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Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Season 1 Episode 13

Primal Scream

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 17, 1975 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
33 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

In a oil company's laboratory, the air conditioning fails, and a primate creature attacks a scientist. Soon other murders occur. Kolchak must fight the oil company's powerful friends to find out where these creatures came from and how to stop them.

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  • Strange creatures terrorize the city of Chicago. Kolchak battles a cover-up to get to the bottom of the story.

    Kolchak begins by investigating the death of Dr. Jules Copenik, a scientist at Oceanic International Oil, who was killed and had his arm ripped off. Kolchak learns from Copenik's assistant that core samples from the Arctic they were testing had cells that came back to life when unfrozen. Then, Kolchak learns that some kind of ape-like creatures attacked other victims in a similar fashion. Oceanic International Oil puts up pretty good blocking on the media, but Kolchak does some clever investigating on this case. Even Vincenzo gives him some credit on this story. Kolchak has to deal with a police captain who goes so far as to break Kolchak's camera to stop him. Kolchak then steals photos of a creature from police headquarters. This episode shows another kind of conspiracy besides government.moreless
John Marley

John Marley

Captain Maurice Molnar

Guest Star

Jamie Farr

Jamie Farr

Jack Burton

Guest Star

Pat Harrington Jr.

Pat Harrington Jr.

Thomas J. Kitzmiller

Guest Star

Craig R. Baxley

Craig R. Baxley

Robert Gurney

Recurring Role

Paul Baxley

Paul Baxley

Dr. Jules Copenik (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Jack Grinnage

Jack Grinnage

Ron Updyke

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • During the episode, Kolchak mentions that the murder of Rosetta Mason has given the police no new leads. Yet he's the one who finds her body - at the end of the episode. Was there something at the scene that proved that Mason was dead, even without a body present?

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Kolchak: (opening narration) During World War II, close to this very spot, science bore a child that changed the course of human relations. And to this day threatens to end human history. It was called, innocuously enough, the Manhattan Project. And it grew into the terror we all have come to know as the hydrogen bomb. But this year, only a stone's throw from here, science delivered a new child…

    • Vincenzo: You know, there are times I got to admit it, Carl. You are quite a reporter.
      Kolchak: What's the matter with you, Tony? Are you sick or something? You never compliment me.

    • Updyke: Good-bye, Carl. Don't take any wooden bananas.
      Kolchak: That was bad, Ron. That was very bad.

    • (about the north)
      Kolchak: It gets so frozen, so stiff up there that even the penguins wear thermal underwear.

    • Kolchak: Ever try to deal with a giant corporation? They transfer your call here. They transfer it there. And they put you on hold. You're out in the cold. Oceanic International Oil was all that and more.

    • Kolchak: What is this, a freezer?
      Molnar: Well, what does it look like?
      Kolchak: Well, it looks like a freezer. But it's so hot and damp and humid in here, you could steam littleneck clams.
      Molnar: Well, it's out of order.
      Kolchak: Yeah, it stinks too. It smells of mildew. Phew!
      Molnar: Maybe it's your undershirt.
      Kolchak: Could be your jokes.

    • Kolchak: If it's really an ape, why are you investigating it? Why are you on the case?
      Molnar: (looks pointedly at Kolchak) I have the experience. I've had a lot of dealings with baboons.
      Kolchak: (after a beat) Whattya mean baboons?!?

    • Kolchak: Hey, Tony! What's new?
      Vincenzo: That's why I've got reporters...to tell me what's new!

    • Vincenzo: Now where are you going, Carl?
      Kolchak: Springfield.
      Vincenzo: To cover some hot news like the Lincoln/Douglas debate?

    • Kolchak: Now you saw that thing and I saw it, and that was not just any ape. I mean, that wasn't just J. Fred Muggs out there, dressed in a tutu and drooling for the public and playing on a unicycle. That was some... creature!

    • Kolchak: (closing narration) The police and the high-priced scientific help put it together just as I did. With the proper dosage of tranquilizer, the creature became...manageable. That's a great word, isn't it? Manageable. They took it, or should I say him, a few moments ago. He's gonna be tested, studied, probed, I imagine. Captain Molnar took my camera...again, saying that I was unmanageable. But I wanna sue to get it back, and I promised myself that. And if I do, and I do get it back, and if Vincenzo will publish the story, and you see the pictures, they may not be too good. They may be blurry. They may be titilating and not convincing. You might not really want to believe them. But you go ahead. You believe them. And ask yourself, "What happened to him, to it? Will he thrive in our hands? Is he that much like us? Will they be able to make him...manageable?

  • NOTES (2)


    • Vincenzo: ...Abbott and Costello, 1942!
      Tony's sarcastic rejoinder to a bad Ron Updyke joke suggests Updyke pilfered the jape from the famous comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. This two-man comedy team started in radio and graduated to movies. Among their most famous routines is probably "Who's On First?"

    • Landlady: I've seen apes on the Marlin Perkins show...
      The landlady is doubtless referring to Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, a long-running show hosted by Marlin Perkins that weekly brought stories of animals and their behavior into homes for many years.

    • Kolchak:...that wasn't just J. Fred Muggs out there...
      Kolchak is referring to a chimpanzee who appeared on NBC's The Today Show for several years starting in 1953. Muggs' popularity is credited with saving the show in its early years.