The men behind Back To The Future wrote this eerie TV episode

Ten years before Marty rode a skateboard, a headless ghost rode a motorcycle.

Read to Me

"The teenage years: sixteen candles, fervent passions, aimless joyrides and the forbidden taste of beer. A time the world allows for sowing one's wild oats..."

Is this a line about the teenage coming-of-age movie Back to the Future, where Marty McFly longs to take his girlfriend to the lake for the weekend? Or maybe it's about his parents when he goes back in time to their teenage years?

Actually, this is the opening narration to "Chopper", an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker near the end of the show's one-season run. Kolchak was known for bringing such creepy characters as zombies, vampires, and demons to the small screen, and this episode did not disappoint. 

When a land developer moves the coffin of a beheaded motorcyclist, the rider's rest is disturbed and he comes back to life. Like a modern-day Ichabod Crane, this headless spirit rides around on his "steed" and terrorizes the community — specifically, the members of a rival biker gang who killed him. His vengence comes in the form of lopping off heads. The story follows Kolchak as he tries to get this spirit back to rest.

The writers behind Kolchak are already an impressive bunch — previously, we shared how Sopranos writer David Chase worked on some of the first episodes — but the minds behind this high-adrenaline tale are especially unique. Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis worked on the story for "Chopper".

Recognize those names? In 1975, when this episode aired, maybe you didn't. But ten years later, in 1985, they would have a smash hit with their movie Back to the Future. Written by the duo and directed by Zemeckis, it went on to make nearly 400 million on a 19 million budget. Of course, the hero in that story rides a skateboard (and later, a hoverboard), not a motorcycle. 

When you watch this spooky episode, keep an eye out for similarities to the later cultural phenomenon. After all, history tends to repeat itself. 

Watch Kolchak: The Night Stalker on MeTV!

Saturdays at 12 AM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
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AnnieM 7 days ago
I just wish that Kolchak had lasted longer than one season, so we'd have more episodes to enjoy. At least we *kind of* got to see him again when Darren McGavin played Arthur Dales on the 'X-Files'.
Ric 8 days ago
Greetings. As a Kolchak The Night Stalker fan and motorcycle enthusiast, this was one of my favorite episodes. I believe Bud Ekins did the stunts. Fine fare indeed!
Jimo 8 days ago
It was a good creepy show in the day.....and then came "a can of simonize".Fragily"award,too funny!
ChristopherMichael 9 days ago
I really liked the Night Stalker. It was one of my Friday night shows. After Emergency and Kung Fu. Ah, the memories.
Klink 9 days ago
Let’s get the original movie on!
WordsmithWorks 9 days ago
Loved "The Night Stalker" TV movies and the "Kolchak" series, especially the interactions between Kolchak and his exasperated editor, Vincenzo.
Andybandit 10 days ago
Cool story. I never seen Kolchak. I would watch it if didn't come on at 11pm.
Pacificsun 10 days ago
Okay, MeTV writers, it's not like we're not paying attention out here. We really DO read your stories! So maybe this is just a test! 😉

"The teenage years: sixteen candles, fervent passions, aimless joyrides and the forbidden taste of beer. A time the world allows for sowing one's wild oats..."
Is this a line about the teenage coming-of-age movie Back to the Future, where Marty McFly longs to take his girlfriend to the lake for the weekend? Or maybe it's about his parents when he goes back in time to their teenage years?

Wow. That’s certainly a stretch of an allegory. Made me go back to re-read the story though. To see if I could make that connection!

(IMO) BTTF wasn’t so much about a “longing” as it was an accident of time shifting. Doc’s time travel machine (the DeLorean) was an intentional invention (I believe) with the purpose of setting some things right in history.

Maybe the MeTV writers got confused by BTTF's Happy Valley land development distortion, and the general disturbance caused by a land developer (in the Headless Motorcyclist) who moves the corpse. And disturbs the spirit!

“Keep an eye out for all the similarities” (?) Well other than the writer's pure talent, I don’t think there is any, at least story wise. BTTF was just a great escape for bouncing around in the time portal! And giving Marty the time of his life! (Does anyone remember a spook in it)?
Pacificsun 10 days ago
Kolchak is a great Show! Too bad it comes on so late. But it's better having than not at all. I urge a lot of viewers to check it out, if they don't know it from the past!
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"The Outer Limits" is the one that takes control of your TV. The 60s series is great. I didn't like the later series (1995-2002) as much.
Pacificsun kimmer 10 days ago
I'll send the suggestion to them one of these days. Wouldn't it be totally great for Halloween in October.
kimmer Pacificsun 9 days ago
What an absolutely fabulous thought!
kimmer kimmer 9 days ago
Seems us three have a major creepy factor ....love it!
MrsPhilHarris 10 days ago
Now this would be a great show for Sunday nights at 8 or 9.
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texasluva LoveMETV22 4 days ago
Yeah. Before that they were singing songs and laughing and carrying on a dark road in middle of nowhere. Just when you think everything is fine his partner turns into a monster . Goes to show-You just never know
texasluva Pacificsun 2 days ago

!!Wanted!! but preferred Alive
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texasluva LoveMETV22 2 days ago
!!Wanted!! but preferred Alive
Those that wish to participate in the Weekly Movie Quiz.
Reward:
Conversation as to what this movie might be
Winners name in MeTV Lights
Just plain ole fun
Let's Do it at: Who did it: Bugs Bunny or Jerry Mouse?
Friday @ 10:00 P.M CT
The Show Must Go On-Another knock down quizorama and entertainment.
One of our Bonus Movies will be; Bye-Bye Birdie.
!!Wanted!! but preferred Alive
Those that wish to participate in the Weekly Movie Quiz.
Reward:
Conversation as to what this movie might be
Winners name in MeTV Lights
Just plain ole fun
Let's Do it at: Who did it: Bugs Bunny or Jerry Mouse?
Friday @ 10:00 P.M CT
The Show Must Go On-Another knock down quizorama and entertainment.
One of our Bonus Movies will be: Bye-Bye Birdie.
kimmer 10 days ago
Kolchak was a staple for us kids on Friday nights back in the day. Parents were all in the smoke filled kitchen playing cards and all us kids had our chips, dips, creme sodas and the Night Stalker.....what fun we all had!
Pacificsun kimmer 10 days ago
Now there's a memory only somebody who's been there, can appreciate. Thanks for that!!
kimmer Pacificsun 10 days ago
Amazing what memories we have attached to television shows...lol
Zip 10 days ago
Aside from the writers, I don't remember any similarities of that episode of The Night Stalker and Back To The Future, and I remember that episode pretty well. Guess I will have to look again.
daDoctah 10 days ago
I particularly remember this Kolchak episode from when it first ran but not for anything really having to do with the show itself. It's just that during one of the commercial breaks the station dropped in a commercial for Kawasaki that looked like a continuation of what was going on in the show.
Stoney 10 days ago
See, this is why I like these articles. This is one of my favorite Kolchak episodes, "Back To the Future" is one of my favorite movies, but I had no idea of the connection until I read this. I learned something new today. Great job!
Pacificsun Stoney 10 days ago
Well, be sure to read the comments here too, before you give up.
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