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Into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist...
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About the Show
Minor Spoilers
Character
KITT.
The 80’s was a great time for TV, especially for the rise of action shows. The A-Team, Magum P.I., Airwolf, MacGyer, the list goes on. But when it comes to naming my favourite show of the decade, the answer is always the same…

KNIGHT RIDER! A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist… Sorry, got distracted by the intro again. Knight Rider is one of the earliest shows I remember really liking, and it still remains one of my favourites over 20 years on. Let’s explore the world… of the Knight Rider!
Quote The show is known mainly for two things – having a really cool car named KITT (more about him later, I promise!) and having David Hasselhoff playing the role of Michael Knight. This was his first major TV role, although you can’t really tell when watching.

There are many 80’s shows as I’ve already mentioned, so with it there is many 80's action stars. You need someone who can hold their own and Michael Knight fits that bill. Michael Knight, or Michael Long as he was known back then, started as a cop. When an undercover case goes horribly wrong, he is rescued by a billionaire and given plastic surgery. With it, comes a new identity, a new life, a new purpose – to fight criminals who operate above the law.

He has excellent fighting skills, being able to get himself out of sticky situations if a peaceful solution is not an option. He also has great detective skills, known for his hunches and “unique” style of logic at times (according to KITT anyways), who will stop at nothing to bring criminals to justice. He cares for his friends at the foundation and those who he helps during his assignments.

Many people who grew up watching Knight Rider will remember David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight. Tall, dashing and has those trademark sunglasses. But each of you will also remember the moment that they imagine being 10 year old (or actually being 10 years old) thinking how KITT is the coolest car ever, and they aren’t wrong!

KITT, which stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand, is the supercar that Michael Knight drives. The Ford Gran Torino in Starsky & Hutch looked great and the Ferrari 308GTS Magnum, P.I. was fast. But calling the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am a car is a little bit of an understatement. KITT is much more than just a car. He is the most fastest and advanced car ever built.

The car can go speeds over 200mph. 0-60mph takes about 2 seconds, and he has a pursuit function which increases handling and speed for high-speed pursuits. In real world terms that Bugatti Veyron territory, which is one of the quickest production cars on the planet. No car can catch KITT! He is very nimble, agile, being able to give chase and keep up with any car that dares to try and get away.

The reason for this, apart from his speed and agility, is what KITT is made from. Instead of boring materials like Steel, Aluminium or Carbon Fibre, KITT is made from the Molecular bonded Shell. This alloy is virtually indestructible, which also means KITT is bullet proof! It’s not just cars that KITT has gone up against, every type of vehicle you can think of has tried and failed to bring down KITT. Attack Helicopters, tanks, trucks, diggers, you name it!
[Knight Rider]Look at the incredible dash! Doesn't that look so cool?
That’s not all! KITT has a personality, and can talk! He becomes more than a car. He becomes... human. KITT can also drive great distances by himself without driver input (take that Google!). Yes, he read that right. KITT is programmed never to take a human life, so your always assured that KITT is in full control when he is driving.

KITT also has a broad range of gadgets which are used on their missions, which some are used more than others. The most used feature is the Turbo Boost, which allows KITT to leap into the air and over obstacles. Ski mode is used regularly as well, which allows him to travel on two wheels. He also has a micro-jam, to short circuit electric devices, oil slick, an ejector seat and loads more. KITT can use any of his gadgets at will, or by Michael. KITT is a unique concept and without a shadow of doubt is an incredible car.

Michael and KITT’s relationship is one of the strongest parts of the show. Michael has a really good friend in KITT and a big help to him when fighting crime. Hundreds of criminals have fallen thanks to the combined efforts of Michael and KITT. They are one of the best TV duos, with great storylines, dialogue and most importantly – teamwork.

Michael and KITT make a great team, but they can’t do everything, sometimes they need help. That is where FLAG comes in. FLAG, the foundation for law and government, was founded by the late Wilton Knight. On his deathbed talking to Michael, he believes that one man can make a difference. That is main principle on what FLAG is – along with being involved with charity.

The organisation is led by Devon Miles, a great friend of Wilton. Devon oversees the entire organisation, and is the one responsible for giving Michael his assignments. An elderly English gentlemen, he is more for playing by the rule book than Michael, which leads them to clash a little at first, but over time they come extremely close friends.

Bonnie is another of the FLAG's semi team. She is mainly KITT's mechanic, keeping his systems in tip-top shape and adding new functions when needed. Bonnie also provides new equipment for Michael from to time. April was also KITT’s mechanic for the year when Bonnie when to University. RC3 joined FLAG after helping Bonnie repair KITT after a mission went south.

It’s a great family that supports Michael and KITT, and especially great to see the way how KITT interacts with these characters. It’s pretty unique, and one of the many reasons why Knight Rider works and how it’s slightly different to other 80’s shows.


Closing Thoughts
Classic Classic
I remember watching this series before anything else, that's how much it's been part of my life. It's a show that the whole family can enjoy. Children, Adults, Parents, Grandparents, the list goes on. It's just good honest entertainment, which never gets bogged down by complicated plots or hard to follow scenes. It's fun, simple as that.

My One Big Highlight
SpidermanOne of the most well known things about the show is the incredible opening sequence. Filmed in the deserts of America, it was a unique and breathtaking introduction at the time, and 30 years on, it still remains one of the most iconic introductions ever created. The same can be said for it's brilliant theme, which is still as ironic!
Elephant In the Room
elephantWith any TV show, there are some terrific episodes, and some average at best. The majority of Seasons 1-3 are excellent. I love this show, but even I have to admit that season 4 (especially towards the end) quality did drop off compared to the other seasons. It still managed to have some great episodes, just not classic ones.
Article
A Historic History Lesson
Minor Spoilers
[KITT]Here is KITT in action... BOOM!
I remember quite well. It was 2007 and there were whispers on the interweb about a new Knight Rider series was in production. Then, out of the blue: BAM! Knight Rider was announced. It was coming back! I was so excited. With the option to use CGI, a brand new car and being a continuation of the story from the original series, it all looked really promising.

Then the pilot aired. Yes, it lacked the polish of the original pilot, and it didn’t have features like Turbo Boost and Ski Mode, it was good foundation (get it?!) for the series to come.

However, the series had a different executive producer, and it turned out to be quite different to the new series pilot. While many write it off as an awful series that didn’t do anything right, I disagree. While on the whole it should have been much better than it was, it did get quite a few things right, and I quite enjoy it as a whole.

So in the interest of impartiality and fairness, I’ve spilt my points into two sections: What the series did right and what it didn’t get quite right. Let’s begin:
The Good:
The Mustang
I've always maintained that the first thing you have to get right is the choice of car. While I wasn't a big fan of the choice when I first announced it, it has since become one of my favourite cars. (This is coming from a big Top Gear and The Grand Tour fan) It's a different direction from the original Transam, but I still reckon it's a worthy successor.

Considering it’s a supercar, it certainly is a supercar. With a 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 180mph, the actual real-life car is fast to begin with! The modern mustangs have been a bit of hit and miss design wise, but I really do like this shape. Like the original series, there are a lot of great camera shots with KITT, with one particular shot filmed in the sunset, making the mustang look even cooler.
KITT
While the choice of car fits, what about KITT himself? While i’m never going to say it’s better than the original KITT (that will never happen), thankfully one thing they did get right in Knight Rider 2008 was KITT. Voiced by Val Kilmer, not an obvious but good choice, KITT got more and human sounding as the series went on. The new scanner, I definitively think is just as good as the original one.

So what about the dash? Well it isn’t as good as the original, it does have some great aspects. The voice orb introduced after the pilot was an upgraded version of the original KITT’s voice box, which for me actually worked better. Go figure. I also like the hi-tech display screen on KITT’s window, with lots more information being able to be displayed.

And I shall now address his biggest change: the transforming. Many people hated it, but I actually found it a good addition: partially. KITT transforming into attack mode or cars similar from the base mustang is great. This is a logic upgrade from SPM, and with extra weapon and other features, works well for an upgraded KITT. However, I didn't like him transforming into trucks and 4x4’s. Even the smaller Autobots from Transformers don't do that!
Mike and Sarah
Mike Traceur is a good character and a worthy heir to the throne so-to-speak. Considering he is Michael Knight’s son after all. Justin Bruening does a great job with the character with all the trails he has to face during his first year at Knight Industries. Well the ties to the original series are more down to FLAG and KITT, there are some ties to his father – including his new name.

Sarah Graiman in all intents and purposes was the main character in the pilot and it shows the start of the great bond that her and KITT developed over the series. Being much more than a mechanic, she is full trained field agent too.

Michael and Sarah work well together in the series. Their will they/won’t they relationship takes a few twists and turns in the series, especially during their missions together. It’s a different dynamic to that of the original series, with Michael not really having a romantic interest until Stevie enters in the picture.
Good Theme
Following on from such an ironic theme was always going to be difficult. How do you go about it? A full on remix like you find on Youtube? Or do you borrow part of the theme and do something different? Well that’s what they did here. The first part is exactly like the original, but it then changes into an Electronic/Rock mix which suits the new direction of the show. I would normally hate this kind of music, but for some reason I still really like it.
Overbranching storylines
If there is one main difference between the 80’s and recent decades when your comparing style of TV making, is that shows now make much better use of storylines which leak into multiple episodes, which then get resolved either by a big episode, or by another story. The original Knight Rider never had this, so I'm glad Knight Rider 2008 series did make use of this. The mystery surrounding some aspects of the main characters works well and pays off in the end.
The Sense of Fun
It’s funny coming back to Knight Rider 2008 after watching the likes of Agent of SHIELD and Arrow. Both shows do have fun moments, but they generally quite serious action shows for 95% of the time. Knight Rider 2008 isn’t like that. There are a few darker episodes, but generally the show has the light tone the original Knight Rider was known for.
[Michael Knight and KITT]Here is Mike Traceur and KITT. They look cool hey?
The Not-So-Good:
Some bad CGI and green screen
And here is my biggest problem with the show. With the advancement of CGI, you would think that the show would look better for it? No actually. Now I can understand that TV budgets are way lower than movies, but still the effects should have been better. While they are some really cool moments, there quite a few shots that look really fake, especially when the camera switches to the proper car.

And don't get me started on the green screen, which is probably the worst I've seen in a TV show. Considering the original series had a very convincing green screen and rolling road, how can it be 30 years on and look worse?
Too many main characters
When developing the series, they uttered a new saying: one team can make a difference. This should of been a warning, as this isn't NCIS, it's Knight Rider. While the whole set up did work up to a point (the KITT cave is cool) there was one major problem: there was too many characters. You had Mike, Sarah, Charles, Agent Rivai, Billy, Zoe and Agent Torres, not to mention KITT.

They did solve this problem by then 13 episodes had aired, so the damage was done. The way the show ended is how it should of started. Hindsight hey?
Adult Themes
The original knight rider was like most other 80s shows - they were all suitable for all age groups, no matter what episode you put on. While the majority of Knight Rider 2008 is fine, there was some moments which shouldn't of made it to the script, never mind the screen. Characters having sex? Making fun of Michael longs name? Just no.
Badly edited intro
While I liked the new theme, I didn't like the intro they used in the series. I thought the one they used in the pilot had some style about it, but the one the series uses is just a badly edited bunch of clips. They had some great camera shots of KITT in the desert and some great scenery, so why didn't they use it?


Closing Thoughts
After rewatching this series, I quite enjoyed it. It’s a fun series with some good moments, which is also interesting to see the adventures of the Knight Industries Three Thousand and Michael Knight Jr.

In October 2016, it was announced that another Knight Rider series is production. Hopefully they look at what and didn't work on this series while developing it, as if this series isn't successful then I doubt we will see another knight rider series for a long time.