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Knight Rider    
All you'll ever need to know!  

from Cult Times #68

The Premise:
Police officer Michael Long is shot in the face by a group of criminals. He awakens with a new face and a new name, Michael Knight, given to him by entrepreneur Wilton Knight. Wilton is the head of hi-tech firm Knight Industries and wants Michael to fight crime for the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). All Michael is missing is a near-indestructible car with a smart-ass personality, but luckily Wilton has one on hand: the Knight Industries Two Thousand, KITT for short.

Background:
Glen A Larson, on a high after Battlestar Galactica, started the craze for ‘super machine’ shows. In hot pursuit of Knight Rider came Airwolf (smart helicopter) and Street Hawk (smart motorbike). Knight Rider was the biggest success, thanks to the fresh-faced, neatly permed charm of leading man David Hasselhoff and the biting sarcasm of KITT.

First Run:
Knight Rider was first shown in 1982 on NBC in America, and has been revived in two TV movies, Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010, and a 22-episode update show called Team Knight Rider.

Number of Episodes: Eighty-four across four seasons.

The Good Guys:
Michael Knight, KITT wins again! Who knew?a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent. KITT, bullet-proof car with all manner of neat gadgets, most prominently a turbo boost for leaping things and the ability to drive itself.

Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare), avuncular boss of Michael at the Foundation; KITT’s mechanic (an excuse to get attractive girls oily), either Bonnie Barstow (Patricia McPherson) or April Curtis (Rebecca Holden). The final season saw the arrival of RC3 (Peter Parros).

The Bad Guys:
Garth Knight, who looked exactly like Michael but with an evil goatee beard. He drove the indestructible truck Goliath, and later KARR, both machines who could take on KITT. Other than that, it was the usual collection of thugs, crooks and hoods.

And Isn’t That... Geena Davis as the week’s love interest in KITT the Cat and Nana ‘Deep Space Nine’ Visitor in Hills of Fire. Knight Rider 2000 featured James Doohan as himself and Knight Rider 2010 starred evil Mitch ‘X-Files’ Pileggi.

Overdone Clichés:
KITT enters some kind of competition that he’s obviously going to win; KITT befriends a tramp who’s so drunk he doesn’t realize he’s talking to a car.

Fashion Statements:
It was the age of the hunkin’ chest, and none was hairier and manlier that that of Hunkelhoff. Unbuttoned shirts a go-go.

  David Hasselhoff: bubble-perm
Good Knights

Knight of the Phoenix
A gritty and well-put-together pilot that introduces all the characters and provides an interesting story.

Goliath
The first heavy-duty encounter between KITT and Goliath, and Michael and his evil twin.

Junk Yard Dog
A surprise mid-season shocker as KITT is dropped in a pit of acid and almost destroyed. Hasselhoff’s expression is a picture as he sees his livelihood dissolving.

 
Knight mares

Episodes in which KITT was fitted with a new device that would conveniently be required 30 minutes later, the episode where he becomes a convertible being the most laughable.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Knight Rider
is currently airing on
Bravo, weekdays

See listings section of this Cult Times for details

Paul Spragglehoff

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Feature © Visual Imagination 2001. Not for reproduction.