Friday, March 19, 2010

Kolchak: The Night Stalker


In 1533 Poland, freedom of the press is a brand-new concept, and Italian immigrant Antonio Vincenzo means to make the most of it. He starts a news sheet advertising “The real stories”, and his star reporter is a crotchety little man named Karel Kolchack.

Kolchack, in his beat-up hat and light blue jerkin, doesn’t seem like the type to get a big scoop. He’s absentminded, clumsy, and has a habit of irritating important people. But he’s perceptive, and he knows there’s more going on in Krakow than meets the eye. While the rest of the world is modernizing, the old ways are not forgotten, and there’s vampires, golems, and demons about, to say nothing of spoilers, Fire Flowers, and the Magic Belt. Kolchack travels to villages all over central Europe seeking out the bizarre and unexplainable, and getting the stories out where they can be seen… by those who believe them.

The advantages to this time period and setting are several. Freedom of the press was a completely new concept at this time, and with Kolchak’s fondness for annoying those in power, it could be interesting to see him fighting a government trying to keep things like this under wraps. Also, in contrast to the modern series, where Kolchak lived in our modern, skeptical age, our Kolchack would be living where people might actually believe him. And in addition to having the rich folkloric tradition of central Europe to pull from, some distinctive elements of Polish myth can go in, too. Fire Flowers, for instance, which grant all sorts of supernatural power to the holder. The only loss would be that it would be really tricky to get in any non-European mythology, which the original series had. Remember the episode with the Rakshasa? That was so cool.

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