Knight Rider should require no introduction, but if you’re just emerging from beneath a rock you stowed yourself under back in early 1982, it’s the show where “David Hasselhoff stars as Michael Knight, a sleek and modern crime fighter assisted by KITT, an advanced, artificially intelligent, self-aware, and nearly indestructible car.” That’s in quotes because I lifted it directly from Wikipedia. Said car (which could talk, by the way—kind of a big miss there, Wikipedia) was “played” by the just-released third-gen Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, replete with gloss-black paint, button wheel covers, and a tan interior slathered with switches, 7-segment displays, LEDs, a CRT monitor, and a yoke replacing the steering wheel.
KITT was voiced by William Daniels (TV nerds will also recall him as Dr. Craig on St. Elsewhere) to complete the show’s absolutely perfect main-characters casting. Mock the Hoff all you like, but he was indelible as the leather-bejacketed Michael Knight and always played the role completely straight, no matter how absurd the action or ball-crushing the jeans. And wow, could the man sell a Turbo-Boost:
If you’re watching the video, keep your eyes peeled for later-season jumps executed as miniature effects, and appearances of the easily-spotted rubber-body KITT atop a VW Beetle chassis. As you can easily imagine (but will see captured on video when you click here), actual Pontiac Firebirds couldn’t begin to handle jump landings onto flat ground, hence the model work and novel Bug solutions.
Where was I? Oh, right: rebooting the show. It’s been done before! See Knight Rider 2000 (1991), Knight Rider 2010 (1994), Team Knight Rider (1997), and Knight Rider (2008). Or don’t see them, they’re not good. But now you’re in charge: how would YOU reboot the show? Sky’s the limit, and you have all the budget you need. Who do you cast as Michael Knight? What kind of car is KITT—and who voices it? What kind of show will your Knight Rider be? Prestige limited-series drama? Go for it. Weekly action-adventure for the kids, like the original? Sounds good. Dark and gritty, with a brooding antihero? A bit overdone, but hey, you’re the boss. Maybe Michael is Michelle this time around. Maybe it’s set in the steam-power era, and KITT can speak because of magic, not technology. Anything goes, because
You’re In Charge Of The Knight Rider Reboot. What’s Your Plan?
To the comments!
50 years in the future, the USA is in economic freefall. The government is controlled by a militant religious sect, corporations wage actual war on one another, the middle class no longer exists. Mikela “Mikki” Bishop is part of small underground resistance with grand ideas of overthrowing the government and restoring democracy. After breaking into an aging military installation, she discovers a forgotten hard drive, and among the files is the app “KITT”. KITT awakens on her smartphone and helps her escape security by connecting to a Batmobile/Tumbler-esque vehicle with heavy ballistics and remote drones. KITT becomes part of the team as they fight for survival.
Since modern vehicles are all computerized, KITT can move freely between them. AI’s are now commonplace, and while interacting with them KITT’s ideals are tested, making him question his own existence.
My reboot starts with a fat/old David Hasselhoff/Michael Knight enjoying retirement… until Big Oil gets control of Knight Industries and the Russians get control of the Foundation for Law and Government. And then the series reboots with him knocking off the individuals responsible for the corruption, one by one. But of course in doing that, he himself becomes an outlaw.
So my reboot has one element of the original Knight Rider and the A-Team.
This sounds like Arrow, with cars.
My reboot would be Michael Get shot In the face again just like the original episode one and Is in a coma This happened in the late 80s and he don’t wake up to 2023 or 2024 Confused but knows how to fight crime As always kitt is disabled but he brings him back Old school with new modern day technology to help him fight crime. But he needs a younger Guy to take over Michael will take Devon miles spot because he had passed away Bonnie has a daughter and she is the new mechanic for kitt At the foundation he has 1980’s Retro Everywhere Lol