Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Season 1 Episode 7

The Devil's Platform

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 15, 1974 on ABC
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Episode Summary


A series of mysterious deaths plague the election trail of Sen. Robert Palmer, as does a mysterious black dog with a pentagram for a dog tag. Carl investigates and finds that the Senator has made a pact with Satan in return for the ability to assume the form of an indestructible black mastiff, and destroy his enemies both within his own party and opposing him. Kolchak must confront Palmer and destroy the pentagram before Palmer kills him.


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  • Kolchak must uncover infernal truth about a senatorial candidate.

    Kolchak begins the episode by recalling the mysterious deaths of two players in the current senatorial race in Illinois. He runs to an office building to interview Robert Palmer, popular in the current race for senator. Palmer and his campaign manager are having an argument about Palmer's crooked ways when they step on an elevator. Then, the elevator drops about forty floors all the way to the basement. This is one of the episodes where Kolchak is at the scene when it happens. When the maintenance men open the elevators, the only thing alive is a giant black dog wearing a strange necklace. The dog jumps Kolchak when he takes a picture of it, and he snatches the necklace just as the dog runs away. This dog seems to follow Kolchak around while he has the necklace. Meanwhile, Emily Cowles, another employee comes back from her vacation in Rome. Kolchak works hard to get the Palmer interview. At the Palmer house, Kolchak gets attacked by the same dog who takes back the necklace. While there, he sees Palmer, who says that he had been in a depression and couldn't give Kolchak an interview. After other death's involving the dog and another senatorial candidate, Kolchak does research and discovers that Palmer has sold his soul to the devil for political success and evil powers. Kolchak, armed with Miss Emily's holy water, goes to Palmer's house to confront him. Palmer offers Kolchak power and success like he has, but good old Kolchak dosen't waver. After destroying Palmer's pentagram necklace, while Palmer is in dog form, Palmer is apparently trapped with the mind of a normal dog forever. This is a very exciting episode. Kolchak is the uncorriptible hero who clearly believes in God. However, I don't believe that water blessed by the Pope can do anything.moreless
Tom Skerritt

Tom Skerritt

Robert W. Palmer

Guest Star

Julie Gregg

Julie Gregg

Susan Driscoll

Guest Star

Ellen Weston

Ellen Weston

Lorraine Palmer

Guest Star

Jack Grinnage

Jack Grinnage

Ron Updyke

Recurring Role

Ruth McDevitt

Ruth McDevitt

Emily Cowels

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Ruth McDevitt is billed as Edith Cowels in the end-credits, even though she is referred to as Emily throughout.

    • The preceding episode, "Firefall," takes place in September. Two episodes previously, in "The Werewolf," Chicago is in the midst of a winter snowstorm. In this episode, it is Senatorial election season.

    • When Kolchak blows up the photo of Palmer, the original photo is black and white, but in at least one sequence in the darkroom when he turns on the lights, the enlarged copy appears to be in color.

    • Miss Emily returns from vacation here - she left on vacation back in the first episode, "The Ripper." But she appeared previously in episode #5, "The Werewolf."

    • As the two policemen run down the bridge toward the dog, you can briefly see the sleeve of the cameraman on the left side of screen.

    • When Carl sneaks into the wine cellar he gets cobwebs all over his hat. But when he discovers the closet the cobwebs are gone. Then when he sees Palmer go through his ritual, the cobwebs are back on the hat.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Kolchak: The old cliche that politics make strange bedfellows is only too true. At one time or another, various and sundry politicians have found themselves, when it proved expedient, of course, sharing a blanket with the military, organized crime, disgruntled gun-toting dairy farmers, the church, famous athletes, the comedians . . . the list is endless. But there was a senatorial race not so long ago right here in Illinois. where the strangest bedfellow of all was found under the sheets. The strangest - and certainly the most terrifying...

    • Kolchak: The people's candidate: fearless, energetic and independent...why can't the people's candidate be like the rest of us: timid, insecure, and lazy?

    • Kolchak: I was a young man when I started waiting for the elevator, but there's two things that just can't be rushed - anyone who is paid by the hour, and an office-building elevator.

    • Kolchak: Some advice for pedestrians: when you're run over by a strange dog, if you can't get his number, at least get his license tag.

    • Vincenzo: Yeah, but nobody's so much as whispered foul play. And the authorities, apparently, are unconcerned.
      Kolchak: What authorities?! Listen, the-the Titanic was full of authorities, look what happened. Neville Chamberlain was an authority, look where we... The Second World War.
      Vincenzo: Carl, do not wax professorial. It just happens to be, uh, that's all. It's striking both sides of the political fence. That makes it obvious that it isn't motivated.
      Kolchak: Sure. Terrific.
      Vincenzo: Did you put the story on the wire?
      Kolchak: Sure, it's on the wire.
      Vincenzo: Did you insinuate anything in the elevator story? Which political party did you point your finger at? Who's gonna sue us now?!

    • (interviewing a politician's wife)
      Kolchak: What does the candidate like?
      Lorraine Palmer: Privacy.
      Kolchak: What's it like living with Bob?
      Lorraine Palmer: He's perfect.
      Kolchak: I wish I were.
      Lorraine Palmer: So do I.

    • Vincenzo: Why do I eat at Manny's? What are the first symptoms of botulism - anyone know?

    • Vincenzo: You know, I once thought about entering the priesthood---
      Kolchak: Then the Inquisition ended, and all of the fun went out of it for you.

    • Kolchak: Can I get a voucher for this (torn pocket)?
      Vincenzo: Maybe it'll heal itself. Are you trying to tell me you're concerned about the way you look?

    • Kolchak: Exactly what don't you like about this hat?
      Vincenzo: What's under it.

    • Kolchak: I thought mongrels were even-tempered - this one tried to kill me.
      Updyke: Well, dogs are instinctive judges of character.

    • Kolchak: Political campaigns are generally littered with posters and rhetoric - this one was littered with corpses.

    • Vincenzo: I don't mind political exposes, if the facts are there. But Kolchak, why does our political expose have to have a dog in it?

    • Kolchak: Sometimes if you want a job done right, you just have to foul it up yourself.

    • Palmer: (to Kolchak) You're a good reporter. Not a great one. You have personality flaws that are going to keep total success from your grasp. But you are, nonetheless, a very good reporter. You would like, more than anything, to have the Pulitzer Prize. Though publicly you scorn the very concept of awards. You'd like more than anything else to get to New York and work on a major daily paper. You'd even like a suede-back chair at your desk. Not leather - suede. Such small ambitions, really. Your editor is Anthony Vincenzo. He frustrates you terribly. You blame him for your problems, but you know that you yourself are responsible for most of them.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Norm Liebmann does not receive an on-screen writing credit.

    • Stanley Adams previously played a different character, a used car salesman, in the original Night Stalker movie, making him one of only four actors who appeared in at least one movie and the TV series (the others are McGavin, Oakland, and Larry Linville).