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!