One icon of the 1980’s was a black Trans-Am with a red light sliding back and forth across the front of the car. This wasn’t just a car; it even had a personality, and a name. His name was KITT, standing for Knight Industries Two Thousand.
This car had everything that an imagination could think of in the 1980s. The basic premise of KITT was that a super computer had been installed into a vehicle. He was a car with artificial intelligence allowing him to in essence learn and think, as well as converse with humans. In addition to that, he was able to drive himself, he was bulletproof, fireproof and had afterburners to provide ridiculously quick acceleration. KITT also was equipped with a Turbo Boost function which was probably one of the most used accessories for KITT on the show. KITT was able to see, hear and smell. KITT was able to provide video conferencing to the rest of the team supporting Michael Knight, KITT’s driver. KITT also had a wide variety of weaponry. He had oil slicks and smoke screens, tear gas, a flame thrower and explosives.
Knight Rider KITT
KITT was often driven into a semi trailer, which held the FLAG mobile headquarters. FLAG was the organization that owned KITT and employed Michael. In the headquarters, KITT was able to get all of his mechanical needs met. One of my favourite KITT accessories was Michael’s watch which he was able to use to talk to KITT. As a kid, you always have a watch, and if you don’t you still have a wrist, you could always pretend to be Michael Knight on a mission and be talking to KITT who was outside somewhere.
I think that while partnered together KITT and Michael became best friends. They were each other’s only consistent company. Can you imagine being best friends with a machine? Friends with a faceless voice? I can’t imagine it, but KITT did seem very nice. I wonder if he was programmed to have feelings. If something had happened to Michael, would KITT have started leaking washer fluid as a way of crying? Could he actually be worried when they were in dangerous situations? I wonder if Michael wondered these things as he and KITT raced along the highways. Was he ever able to make complete use of all KITT’s capabilities? KITT type vehicles would certainly be useful in law enforcement today. Perhaps we could all use these vehicles, without weapons of course, and virtually eliminate traffic accidents. At the least let’s get a fleet of them, and give one to every bar, so we don’t have drunk drivers all over the roads.
Knight Rider – Inside KITT
I remember watching one episode as a kid in which Michael was sleeping while KITT was driving. I can recall thinking how awesome it would be to be able to do that. I also remember pushing buttons in my parent’s cars whenever we were driving somewhere and saying “Turbo Boost”. Yes, you can call me a nerd, I definitely was one in those days, but it was still fun and I would do it all over again.
I don’t even know where to begin regarding Knight Rider. It was, “A shadowy flight in to the dangerous world of a man who doesn’t exist.” How could a show be so good when the star was a man who couldn’t act? I couldn’t tell you. It must be that the story was just that good. The man was ex-military and ex-police, and the car….well the car may as well have been a superhero all on its own. I would have said that it could have been human, but it was so much more than that, a human couldn’t carry a flame thrower, explosives and smoke screens all at the same time…while driving.
This show left you feeling good, you didn’t turn off the television that night and say, “that was a crappy episode”. You didn’t watch the whole thing and feel worse when it was over than you did when it started. You finished the episode and listened to the narrator say, “Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world. The world…of the Knight Rider.” When you heard that you thought to yourself, “That’s great!! He did it again, he caught the bad guy and he got out okay.” You also probably were already wondering what the show would have for you next week.
This was just a terrific show that had everything from science fiction to murder mystery. There was a guy with a false identity and someone else’s face driving a car that shouldn’t be able to exist. So, these two (neither of whom should be around), are travelling the western United States fighting crime and fighting it well. They used the superior technology to their advantage, while at the same time using solid crime solving skills to get the job done.
Wasn’t it great to see the focus of the camera zoom in toward the centre of the dashboard? An up close shot of the turbo boost button had to have gotten you excited every time. You knew what was coming whenever that happened, KITT and Michael were going to jump. They must have used this in nearly every episode of the show, and it brought a smile to my face each and every time.
One of my favourite all time scenes, was in the pilot episode of the series. Michael and KITT were on their way to the airport and the turbo boost got used twice, going over a truck and through a truck. I always wanted a turbo boost for my car when I grew up. Also, I loved it when KARR was on the show, I don’t know why, but I liked it that KITT had an “evil twin.”
Knight Rider – KITT and Michael Knight
Now, I need to get something off my chest. I was very excited when the new Knight Rider series was ready to air. I think I watched the first two episodes, but in my opinion, some things are simply better left alone. If it was good the first time, doesn’t mean it will be good the second, and certainly not the fifth time. That is correct; I said fifth, Knight Rider was made into three movies and two series, counting the most recent flop, since the original series left the air. Yes the original was good, please leave it at that and let the memories that we have of it not end up spoiled.