Learning from the past

So, I was able to catch the pilot and second episode of Knight Rider. I am disappointed.

Ok, so I get the fact that the original show wasn’t so great either. It was about a guy and his car, and as kids we didn’t care that the action was obviously staged and the driving was rather low budget. At the time, we couldn’t drive ourselves, so it impressed the crap out of us. But here’s the thing; we’ve grown up. I know that our parents are probably chuckling with the thought that we’re all old enough now to understand how lame our childhood heroes were, but it’s frustrating just the same.

So you’ve made a show about a car and his partner/meatshield; we get that. You’ve done it before. Show us something new! Instead, we get the exact same thing from the 80’s only worse. We’ve still got bad dialog, but now we have impossible special effects to deal with on top of it. I’m all for sci-fi and even bending the laws of physics from time to time, but doing it so often that the show has jumped the shark three times in the first 5 minutes of the pilot is a little much!

  1. KITT is discovered by hostile security and is fired upon. He switches to attack mode, goes into Turbo and jumps over the security guards. While the original Knight Rider used Turbo to jump over obstacles, it was while KITT was at speed.  Jumping from a dead stand-still by vectoring your tailpipes downwards is just silly.
  2. Meatshield 1 and Love Interest 2 are being chased by baddies and need to get to KITT, but KITT is being chased by the security detail he just jumped over. Love Interest tells Meatshield that she uploaded a new program to KITT and they need to activate it to escape. KITT uses the new program to transform into a Ford F-150 and they jump into the moving truck bed. He then transforms back into the Mustang and they have miraculously been moved into the front seats (and not crushed in the trunk).
  3. Security fires a napalm missle at KITT and he is now on fire. The folks at command tell KITT to accelerate to 360+MPH and that will put out the fire. Maybe they forgot that an increase in O2 actually feed fires, I don’t know. In any case, KITT only has a 550hp engine (that much was technically accurate). A Bugatti Veyron (which is actually aerodynamic, btw) needs 987hp just to push it to 253MPH. That’s not a limitation from the car, that’s Mother Nature pushing that hard to keep an object from moving that fast.
Handy little "program" can change the shape of metal!

That’s only the technical side of things. Evidentally, the producers/network have such little faith in the show that they are willing to pull out the “love interest in lingerie” to keep us attentive!

We're not even done with the opening credits in the first episode yet!

I understand that often a pilot will not be as refined as a creator will envision, and so sometimes you have to just give them the benefit of the doubt. So I watched the second episode . . . better, but not by enough. Dialog has been moderately improved, but someone really needs to get a technical advisor on these shows at some point! Perfect case in point:

KITT and Meatshield have been captured by the bad guy. Bad guy brings a device over and attaches it to KITT’s hood. Bag guy hits a button and KITT goes offline, systems fry, and the car turns off. Bad guy explains, “Say hello to the military latest in EMP technology! Your fancy car is now no more advanced than my Jeep!”

No, his fancy car is now no more advanced than my office desk! The command center gets around this by using local cell towers to access KITT remotely, and reroute all available power to reboot KITT’s system.

  1. Did no one explain to the writers what an EMP actually does?
  2. Is it really that easy to hack into a multi-million dollar weapon using a cell phone signal?  Hate to see what you could pull with a Blue-Tooth connection.
Knight Industries: Taking "hands-free" a step too far since 1984!

Series can be remade into very enjoyable shows.  The new Battlestar Galactica is a perfect example of this; even if you don’t frakking love it, you still have to admit it’s heads and shoulders above the original.  It’s pretty easy to do too:  Don’t let a single car company sponsor you to the point that your main vehicle turns into their entire 2009 lineup, hire some writers who have graduated high school, get someone on the staff who has at least looked at a science book, and stop using the same blue screen technology that the weathermen dropped 5 years ago!

See?  Easy!

Related Articles


  1. I’m completely with you on this one. I was soooooo excited for this new season of Knight Rider. I even loved the fact that they used a Shelby Mustang 500GT for KITT (some die hards aren’t so thrilled). But c’mon… Transforming into an F-150!?!?! WTF. Seriously, who are they trying to appeal to? You’ve just scared off the second half of Knight Rider fans (the first half being repelled by the choice of vehicle). Next episode we’ll see KITT transform into an F-15, and fly to the moon to hide from the bad guys. I really think that’s what they’re getting at. KITT can do anything! Next he’ll turn into a small speed bike so Meatshield can maneuver through a busy freeway Matrix style. I mean…. this is all cool, but it’s a little overboard, and it’s definitely NOT Knight Rider.

  2. I was a huge fan of the original series as a kid. I tried to watch the 2 hour movie that came out a while back and decided it was best if I avoid this toxic failure at helping me to relive my childhood.

  3. “KITT, we need something more fuel efficient, NOW!”
    “Hold on, Michael, I have just the thing.”

    Ford Focus rolls along with the glowing lightbars.

  4. I thought the 2 hour premiere was pretty good. It kept my interest and it heightened my hopes for the series. I think a few years down the road, I’ll watch the premiere with teary eyes and hope that someone, somewhere out there will care enough to redo the season with REAL physics, REAL plot, REAL dialog, and REAL Knight Rider specs. Keep it REAL.

  5. I haven’t taken any time to sit down and watch this new series. Thanks to the miracle of Youtube, I have been able to get enough info to know not to waste my time on this show. I love the 360 mph with only 550 hp. No one reads auto magazines so nobody will catch that flub.

    There is fiction, then there is believability. Fictionalize, future technology not current or old technology. That’s not creative license, that’s called ignorance.

  6. Good point. But I also believe there should be a good balance between fiction and believability. I think there is a threshold that allows for some ‘unbelievable’ stunts or tech. Let’s take Odo (Star Trek) for example. As a changling, he could shapeshift into any form. Any change in mass in the negative was explained by storing additional mass in a subspace pocket. He could not, however, change into something with greater mass, unless he “linked” with another changeling. So, it’s beyond laws of physics and nature, but at least it’s explained. Now, let’s take KITT. He changed into a Ford F-150, even though it looks more like a Super Duty F-350, so they ninja failed there. The mass is twice the size, but they never bother to explain how. The tires are three times the size as the original, and they don’t explain how KITT was able to maintain enough pressure in the tires, while driving…. … yeah… …and this was all due to a software upgrade. No mention of hardware modifications, or the fact that maybe KITT was equipped with this capability from the start and was just never included in the programming. Or maybe… just maybe… nah… couldn’t be… they don’t care about viewers… nevermind.

  7. Something I forgot to mention in the post was the scene in the second episode where they mention that “we’ve upgraded KITT’s scanners”. Well, ok, sounds good right?

    Then Meatshield leans on KITT’s hood, and the HOOD “scans” his tattoo and starts displaying classified info on meatshield’s past on the HOOD!

    So by “scanners” I guess they mean the entire car is now a scanner? AND a display?

  8. The joys of Nanotechnology I guess. I’ve been looking for a good solution to scan all my bills into pdf documents and store them online for my viewing. I’ll just buy a KITT! He can retrieve them from my mailbox, scan them, store the PDF files online, then shred the document. I’m starting to like this idea! 🙂

  9. All of this funny but absurd comentary on this blog is about as serious as the screen writers are about keeping this show on the air.

  10. Heh, going back to Schmidty’s idea though . . .
    could you imagine seeing him out in his driveway doing his taxes on the hood?
    Yeah, most of our commentary is absurd.

  11. I just watched the third episode (since it was scheduled to record anyway). It was better in many ways from the previous two. Oh, they upgraded his program again, but this time it was to use his long range sensors to look for a specific tracking signal, so it’s plausible. He can also turn into a submarine.

Leave a Reply

Check Also
Back to top button