Darren McGavin had a love-hate relationship with playing Kolchak
"There were scripts we just threw away."
For a series that never even got to air its original season due to low ratings, Kolchak: The Night Stalker has well earned the loyal fanbase that it has accumulated in the years since its cancellation. It should be noted that one of those fans, in particular, is Kolchak himself, Darren McGavin.
In a 1983 interview with Fangoria Magazine, McGavin spoke about the possibility of a Kolchak revival. Though he was doubtful of the revival, he was still confident in the character. He said, "I don't think it will be revived, though I haven't really thought about it lately." But he clarified, "I'll talk to 'em. I love the character. I'd pull the suit out of mothballs."
Despite the love, McGavin was very frank about the difficulty he had during the show's original production. He commented, "There was a lot of friction between myself and the production entity. We ended up spending so much money on scripts that were totally unproducible. There were scripts we just threw away."
By the end of the season, McGavin said that he was the one who proposed the idea to call it quits on the show. He said, "I'd have to give a symposium to explain what happened. I called up the network and said, 'Let's cancel this god-damn thing. You're losing money, we're losing money, and I'm tired and I don't want to do anymore. Why don't we just stop?' Three hours later, they canceled the show."
McGavin went into more detail about his issues with the show's plotlines, specifically the recurring "monster of the week," stories. He questioned, "How many monsters can you go through? It's silly. You're gonna do the werewolf, you're gonna do the vampire, and you're gonna do the zombie, and when you run out of those, what other stories are you gonna tell?"