Hello Michael, I’m Back!

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Watch the full 2-hour long Knight Rider movie here: http://www.tvsquad.com/2008/02/18/knight-rider-the-car-is-nice-the-movie-is-meh/

February 18, 2008 – February 24, 2008

Hello Michael, I’m Back!

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The last Knight Rider episode aired August 8, 1986. February 17, 2008, a new two hour long NBC television movie premieres with a new KITT, a new Michael Knight and the daughter of KITT’s creator. So almost 22 years after the first show ended why bring Knight Rider back? Who really knows and who really cares? I sure don’t, all I care about is that the hit show that went out three months after I was born is back. This time again with a very cool car, except it’s not a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, no, it’s a new Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 KR, and a surprisingly good lineup of actors. The voice of KITT, now standing for Knight Industries Three Thousand instead of Two Thousand like the original KITT was, is Val Kilmer. Originally Will Arnett of Blades of Glory and RV fame was supposed to back KITT, but a prior commitment to GMC as the voice of their cars left Ford and NBC in a tight spot, as it would look awkward having the voice of a Ford KITT show up as the voice of GMC commercials as well. The character for Michael Knight is resurrected by new comer Justin Bruening, who portrays the son of the original Mike Knight. I won’t go through the plot of the original show as you can go to Wikipedia and see that.

cody2.jpgThe show was actually pretty good. It is a precursor to the new upcoming Knight Rider show to NBC this fall. It started out with a subtle drop of information that was never released in the original series, such as who the creator actually was. The acting was not very convincing at first, but, after the first hour of the show became much better and quite believable. All in all the show was pretty funny too, especially when KITT tells Mike he needs to make a stop, and Mike replies “ya know we stopped an hour ago, you should’ve gone then.” Though just a cheesy one liner it shows the already building relationship between Mike and KITT. Also it was very funny when KITT asked whether Mike was a “homosexual” or not. But by far the funniest part to me was when Michael dropped a potato chip from the bag he was eating from on the driver’s side floor and KITT responds with an “excuse me” and a picture of a no littering sign and then a picture of the famous Italian-American Indian Espera De Corti or Iron Eyes Cody as he is famously known as, crying from the famous “keep America beautiful” advertisement of 1971.

The new GT500 KR looked great and seemed wild to be able to drive. I especially loved the part when the computer of the Knight 3000 (the actual car) had to be shut down and when the computer was shut down a manual gearshift rose up through the center armrest area and a clutch pedal dropped down in regular place. The car seems incredibly advanced in so many ways, especially since it can morph into regular unsuspecting silver Mustang GT or into a high speed driven beauty with an extra top speed wing, rear diffuser put in place and the grill changing to a different style solid piece. Pretty much everything you remember from the old KITT is available to use on the new KITT, except this KITT has a supercharged 550hp V8 engine, where as the 1982 Trans Am that was originally used did not have anything like that…

The voice of Val Kilmer was great. Having a high powered actor be the voice I’m sure will do wonders for the show’s ratings, but he is also a great voice for KITT. The original voice of KITT was by William Daniels, Mr. Feeny to us Boy Meets World fans. He was of course the best choice for KITT, but, now that the show is targeting a much younger and more technologically advanced era, NBC needed a new voice.

The show I think will be great. Knight Rider was very popular in the 80’s and has remained popular through the years. It is the perfect time to see Knight Rider come back and a new KITT. Ford did a great job providing the car, and the development team did an amazing job making KITT work as well as it does. I wish I were as lucky as Jay Leno and get to pilot the new KITT and learn how to use the remote control that works up to a mile away. BMW did a Knight Rider type promo for the new 2007 Mini Cooper on its website, with a series of short films with a KITT like Mini and a straggler who piloted him, which proved to be popular and retro all at the same time. Knight Rider has been one of the most popular retired series’ to ever hit television, and now it’s going to be an even better series with the new upcoming show.

Josh

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Photos courtesy of: http://www.autoblog.com/photos/the-new-kitt-official-photos/644490/

http://www.tommcmahon.net/trivia/index.html

Information on Knight Rider thanks to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_Rider

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight_Rider_%282008_film%29

http://www.autoblog.com/2008/02/17/knight-rider-the-liveblog/

Go here to Jay Leno’s Garage to see his exclusive video of KITT and its workings: http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/

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