01/01/2006. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
DVD. Univeral Studios 8235550. 24 episodes and no extras. Price: £24.99 (UK) - it varies so shop around for the best deal). stars: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Rebecca Holden and William Daniels.
check out website: www.universal-playback.com
The systematic release from the Universal Studio vaults of their TV shows continues with 'Knight Rider' Series Two on DVD. A 20 year old show that is still popular and as search engines on the Net shows, still has a lot of fans out there.
For those who avoid the box in the corner, 'Knight Rider' deals with an apparently fatally injured policeman is placed in a unique witness protection scheme where with a new face and ID as Michael Knight is hidden in plain sight sorting out crimes where people can by-pass the law. Working for the Foundation for Law And Government (F.L.A.G.), he has also been given a rather super car prototype with an artificial intelligence called K.I.T.T.. Series Two continues his adventures with only one change in the regular cast in the form of April Curtis (actress Rebecca Holden) replacing Bonnie Barnstow (actress Patricia McPherson) for a season largely cos a Universal exec at the time wanted to give his wife a job. Nothing wrong with Holden as a performer but I know it upset a lot of people at the time.
What was interesting about Series Two was the number of two-parters, three in fact, that it contained. Quite a concession for the larger stories considering they happened less frequently in the 1980s. Mind you, this also resolved the issue of Wilton Knight's real son, Gareth and another villainess from season one. It also brought back Michael Knight's love interest before the face and name change as well which also re-enforced continuity even if it was also used to demonstrate actor David Hasselhoff's singing talents. Can't any of these TV heroes do anything badly?
The big draw to this series is still the car, KITT, who is still testing out various gadgets that invariably prove useful for the story in question. Such things happen in most series although hopefully upcoming scriptwriters will see the advantage in not doing the expected with what is given in future.
This is still a very watchable series even if the technology has moved on somewhat in the past 20 years. It's still rather much a giggle to see the main computers around the Knight Mansion are Commodores, never a computer that was easy to program from my own personal experience, whose longevity has reached zero today. Fortunately, KITT seems a lot more sophisticated itself and some of its advanced technology is being acknowledged in real life today. How long will it be before Bill Gates thinks it might be a good idea to have an AI computer programmed in every car we shall have to wait and see. If you want to wallow in nostalgia, then you'll have bought this show already.
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