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Knight Rider

Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series was broadcast on NBC and starred David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern-day knight fighting crime. Michael Knight drove a sentient talking car with artificial intelligence. Conceived and produced by Glen A. Larson, the show was an instant hit. "I wanted to do The Lone Ranger with a car", Larson said in The Last Great Ride. "Kind of a sci-fi thing, with the soul of a western."

In 2008, following the broadcast of a TV movie used as a backdoor pilot, it was announced that a new season of Knight Rider will be put into production with the first new episode to be broadcast in September 2008.

Knight Rider reruns on Retro Television Network, Hulu, returned on Sleuth, an NBC Universal cable television channel, in September 2008. In Canada, it airs on Saturday and Sunday on the DejaView network and on Prise 2 in French. In the UK, re-runs can be seen on the Satellite, Cable and Digital Terrestrial channel Bravo and Virgin 1 at selected times. In the Middle East the show can be seen on TV Land. In Malaysia, the show was aired during TV3 prime time slot back in 1986.

Plot

Self-made billionaire Wilton Knight rescues police detective Michael Long after a near fatal shot to the face, giving him a new identity (via plastic surgery) and a new name: Michael Knight. Wilton selects Michael to be the muscle in the pilot program of his Knight Foundation-funded public justice organization, the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG). The other half of this pilot program is the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a car controlled by a computer with artificial intelligence, KITT. Michael and KITT are brought in during situations where "direct action might provide the only feasible solution."

Heading FLAG is Devon Miles, who provides Michael with directives and guidance. Dr. Bonnie Barstow is the chief engineer in charge of KITT's care, as well as technical assistant to Devon. (April Curtis fills this role in Season 2).

Cast

  • David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight: Michael Arthur Long is an undercover detective who, while on a case, is shot in the face and nearly killed. Wilton Knight, creator of FLAG, contracts his doctors to save Long's life and reconstruct his face. With his new identity "Michael Knight", Long is provided with high tech crime fighting equipment, most notably the car nicknamed KITT.
  • William Daniels (Voice) as KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand): The autonomous car/artificial intelligence with whom Michael Knight is partnered.
  • Edward Mulhare as Devon Miles: The leader of FLAG who appeared in nearly every episode to provide mission details to Knight and KITT. He was also the spokesperson for FLAG whenever it came under scrutiny.
  • Patricia McPherson as Bonnie Barstow: (Seasons 1, 3-4) She served as KITT's chief mechanic and as romantic tension for Michael. The character was dropped after the first season, but due to strong fan reaction and lobbying by Hasselhoff and Mulhare, she was returned for the third season and remained through the end of the series.
  • Rebecca Holden as April Curtis: (Season 2) Chief mechanic for KITT. The character was removed when Patricia McPherson returned.
  • Peter Parros as Reginald Cornelius III aka RC3: (Season 4) Driver of the FLAG mobile unit and occasional sideman for Michael & KITT.

Spinoffs/Sequels

Code of Vengeance

The two part episode "Mouth of the Snake" served as a backdoor pilot for a short lived series entitled Code of Vengeance, revolving around Vietnam vet David Dalton. The Knight Rider episode featured David exhibiting great gymnastics, not unlike The Six Million Dollar Man sans bionics, but when Code of Vengeance aired, Dalton was an ordinary-skilled drifter. It soon fell off the schedules after only five episodes.

Knight Rider 2000

Knight Rider 2000, a 1991 sequel movie featuring Michael Knight and Devon Miles, who is killed, with KITT being given a new sporty red body (a close facsimilie of the Pontiac Banshee IV concept car, was actually a Dodge Stealth with custom body work) as the Knight 4000, and serving as a Television pilot for a would-be new series starring Susan Norman as Shawn McCormick, but it did not sell.

Knight Rider 2010

Knight Rider 2010 is a 1994 movie loosely based on the show. In this version, a Classic 1969 Ford Mustang replaces the previously used Pontiac Trans Am; additionally, as there are so few links to the original show, it may not be considered canon other than for carrying the Knight Rider title. The film was penned by Miami Vice writer John Leekley.

Team Knight Rider

In 1997, Team Knight Rider was introduced as a spinoff. Set sometime in the near future, the show featured a fleet of intelligent vehicles. Michael Knight returned at the end of the final episode of the first season, not however, played by David Hasselhoff. This was a cliffhanger intended to be explained in the next season. However, the show did not catch on and the second season was not commissioned. Team Knight Rider ran for 22 episodes.

2008 Television movie & Sequel

On September 26, 2007, NBC announced that it was creating a two-hour backdoor pilot to air later that season. In the new version, Justin Bruening stars as the estranged son of Michael Knight, Mike Traceur. Deanna Russo plays Traceur's one-time girlfriend and love interest, Sarah Graiman. Bruce Davison co-stars as her father, physicist Charles Graiman, the original designer of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). Wayne Kasserman co-stars as Mike's roommate and friend. David Hasselhoff also has a cameo as Michael Knight. KITT is portrayed as a Ford Shelby GT 500 KR Mustang.

Supervising producer Dave Andron wrote the pilot script, Doug Liman and Dave Bartis executive produced it. NBC announced on December 13, 2007 that the new 2-hour pilot will air on February 17, 2008. Val Kilmer is the voice for the new KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) Mustang (the part had been recorded by Will Arnett, but he was asked to withdraw by General Motors because of Arnett's prior agreements with GM on advertising.), and Sydney Tamiia Poitier, the youngest daughter of Sidney Poitier, plays FBI agent Carrie Rivai.

After receiving good ratings, NBC announced that Knight Rider will return as a weekly series beginning in the fall of 2008. The show is set to air Wednesdays at 8:00PM/7:00PM CT. The series premiered Sept 24, 2008 on NBC.

Film adaptation

In March 2002, Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a film adaptation of the TV series. The film would be re-designed to be similar to Revolution's previous project, XXX. Series creator Glen A. Larson was hired to write the first script draft, with the series' lead actor David Hasselhoff attached to advise the project and also have an onscreen role. In April 2003, Revolution Studios hired screenwriters David Elliott and Paul Lovett to pen the film's script. In April 2004, the premise of the film was described to have Hasselhoff reprise his role as Michael Knight, though he would be an elder statesman that would serve as a mentor to the protagonist like the character Devon Miles mentored Knight in the TV series. The protagonist would be Knight's son, inheriting the family business and driving the vehicle KITT. The series' voice of KITT, William Daniels, was being sought by Hasselhoff to reprise his role. The producers' choice for the role was actor Ben Affleck.

In May 2006, The Weinstein Company acquired film rights to adapt Knight Rider from series creator Larson. He expressed his interest in the film adaptation as a potential franchise property. The following September, Hasselhoff invited actor Orlando Bloom to portray Knight's son in the film adaptation, but Bloom turned down the offer. In April 2007, Hasselhoff said that the film was in development at Miramax, and that he would at least have a cameo in the film.

DVD Releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released all four seasons of Knight Rider on DVD in Regions 1, 2 & 4 for the very first time. The first season (which includes the Knight Rider 2000 bonus disc) was released on DVD in North America (United States and Canada) on August 3, 2004. The second season was released on April 12, 2005. The third season (which includes the bonus episode "Knight of the Rising Sun" as a taster of season four) was released on January 31, 2006. Season Three has some sound effects missing from some episodes (such as gun shots, eject lift, etc.) and by contacting Universal, they will send customers information about getting replacement discs sent to you via mail. The fourth and final season (which includes KITT's blueprints and a 1980s TV Flashback special) was released on April 4, 2006. DVDs of the first two seasons have subtitles in English, French, and Spanish, but season three DVDs have no French subtitles and season four DVDs have no Spanish subtitles, either.

DVD Name Ep# Region 1 Region 2 Region 3
(Taiwan only)
Region 4
Season One 22 August 3, 2004 September 13, 2004 April 7, 2007 December 1, 2004
Season Two 24 April 12, 2005 July 4, 2005 July 24, 2007 September 19, 2005
Season Three 22 January 31, 2006 May 26, 2006 TBA July 12, 2006
Season Four 22 April 4, 2006 September 18, 2006 TBA September 20, 2006
The Complete Series 90 October 21, 2008 November 13, 2006 N/A N/A

Knight Rider in popular culture

Automotive design/marketing

It has been alleged that customers would visit their local Pontiac Dealership and request a Trans Am "Knight Rider" edition. Pontiac then told Glen Larson to refer to the car as a "Black T-Top" instead.

Knight Rider was a boon for General Motors Pontiac and also Cadillac. Pontiac supplied the Trans Am for the show, which in 1982 was a newly-redesigned model. Knight Rider promoted the Pontiac label for General Motors. Cadillac also benefited because Michael Knight's boss Devon sometimes drove a Cadillac. He would drive a Cadillac Seville, Cadillac Eldorado, or a stretch Cadillac DeVille limousine. In addition, General Motors supplied cars for the show's production.

On July 8, 2008, GPS manufacturer Mio Technology announced the release of a Knight Rider-themed GPS unit for a price of $270. The unit has the original Knight Rider logo printed above the display and features the voice of William Daniels.

Toys, games and vehicles

Various toy versions of KITT were released and produced solid profits. Among the more notable of the Knight Rider memorabilia includes the remote controlled KITT, the Knight Rider lunch box, and the deluxe version of KITT. This final model, sold by Kenner Toys and dubbed the "Knight Rider Voice Car", spoke electronically (actual voice of William Daniels), featured a detailed interior and a Michael Knight action figure as well. Also various electronics firms sold kits to add the running red lights to any car.

In the 80's there was a Knight Rider toy vehicle for Germany's Darda system.

Knight Rider was turned into a computer game in 1986 for several popular 8-bit formats, although it only received a partial release.

In the modern era, Knight Rider the Game was produced by Davilex International under license. Players could drive KITT through 15 missions and meeting characters from the show like Devon, Bonnie, KARR and Garthe Knight.

With the popularity of Knight Rider the Game, Davilex also released a sequel in late 2004. The game improved the overall structure of the game, but didn't follow the original series much as KITT has weapons and he uses them to fight robots.

In Japan, between 2002 and 2004, a Japanese toy manufacturer Aoshima which had the official license to produce Knight Rider merchandise, produced the Knight Rider FLAG trailer truck 1/28 scale model and a KITT and KARR mini-Z racers (these were R/C cars).

Charawheels 1/64 scale die-cast toy model of KITT (2004) — Charawheels is “Hot Wheels” in Japan. This toy is very hard to find now.

As with many popular series of the era (including The Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team et al), ERTL released die-cast toys of KITT in three different sizes - the common miniature sized model, a 'medium' sized model, and a large sized model. These toys featured red reflective holograms on the nose to represent the scanner (however, they were located on the point of the nose, rather like the early mock-up of KITT seen in the Pilot) as opposed to altering the basic model design to incorporate the scanner as commonly seen in the series. The toys also included round steering wheels as opposed to KITT's customised one. Also in late 2004, 18 scale die-cast models of KITT and KARR were produced from ERTL complete with detailed interior and light up moving scanner just like in the series. KARR was later manufactured by Aoshima. They repainted the KITT models that they got from ERTL with KARR's colours and changed the scanner to amber. Both KITT and KARR sold very well both in stores and online. These models are still available on various websites selling die-cast models, as well as eBay.

In September 2006, Hitari, a UK based company that produces remote control toy cars, released the Knight Rider KITT remote control car in 1/15 scale complete with the working red scanner lights, KITT's voice from the TV show and the car's turbine engine sound with the "whoosh whoosh" scanner sound effect. This can still be found online at eBay or at some stores in the UK.

In March 2007, Advanced Mobile Solutions Ltd (AMS) published the Knight Rider mobile game in 2D and 3D versions. The game has been released on wireless carriers' networks in Europe with a planned Q2 2007 release in the U.S. and Asia. In the 10 multi-level missions, the user plays avatar Michael Knight and drives KITT to combat enemies such as KARR, Goliath, the Fist and others.

In June 2008, it was announced that a GPS system with Knight Rider stylings and the voice of KITT (William Daniels) was being made by Mio Technology and would be released in autumn.

Music

The series had a strong musical connection, the theme tune has been sampled and remixed a number of times, and episodes featured popular music tracks as well as original compositions.

Theme Music

A number of performers have released and remixed the main Knight Rider theme (which was written by series producer Glen A. Larson and Stu Phillips ):

  • In 1983, the theme music was released on a 45 rpm during the holiday season. Produced by Glen Ballard & Brock Walsh under the performer title "Kitt The Amazing Car of Tomorrow" with narration by William Daniels & David Hasselhoff but mostly by an unknown performer. This single was titled "A Knightrider Christmas" on MCA Records 52330.
  • The theme music was sampled for two 1997 hit singles: Busta Rhymes' "Fire It Up" and Timbaland & Magoo's "Clock Strikes [Remix]".
  • The theme was also released by TV Junkeez in 1999.
  • Using the name "Michael Knight", DMX Krew released a 12" vinyl, "Knight Ryder", with a cover of the theme. The B-side is a track called "Trans-Am Beats."
  • UK Garage outfit So Solid Crew sampled it for their 2002 hit "Ride Wid Us."
  • In 2000, female rapper Lil Kim also sampled this tune in the song "How Many Licks" featuring Sisqo on The Notorious K.I.M. album.
  • Panjabi MC also sampled the theme tune for his 2002/2003 UK and European crossover Bhangra influenced dance hit, "Mundian to Bach Ke (Beware of the Boys)". A remix to Panjabi MC's song featured Jay-Z.
  • In 2003 the Mexican electronic-music band Sonido Lasser Drakar performed a remix from the theme, it was called "Pontiac Firebird 82" as a tribute to the car that was portrayed KITT. Pat Thomi, a prolific session guitarist, played the guitar on the original theme.
  • Armenian-American metal band System of a Down played a guitar variation of the theme in their song "I-E-A-I-A-I-O."
  • Swedish deathrash outfit The Crown adapted the opening notes of the theme tune for the bridge of their song "The Speed Of Darkness", which appears on their 2002 Crowned In Terror album and its 2004 revision, Crowned Unholy.
  • Swedish melodic death metal band In Flames used the theme to open their set during the Unholy Alliance tour in 2006.
  • Australian DJ Fatt Dex and MC Trey released "Creepin'" in 2001 which takes inspiration from the theme.

Classical music fans will note a striking similarity between the opening motif of the Knight Rider theme and the opening fanfare of the "March and Procession of Bacchus" by Léo Delibes.

Composer change

When Stu Phillips left the series, Don Peake became the music composer and did the remaining 77 episodes during the rest of the series. The change of the style between the composers can be felt in the middle of the first season, from Hearts of Stone onward. The style of the music composed by Phillips was more symphonic, Peake's was more electronic and rock.

Use of popular music

Knight Rider has the distinction of being one of the first U.S. television series to utilize popular music throughout the episodes. Most of the time, for cost reasons, a cover band was hired to perform the songs (so that the production company only had to pay for a license for the song itself and not the original artist's recording of it). Most of the songs were used in driving montages, although music did figure prominently in the plot of the episode "White Line Warriors", in which a radio disc jockey played the John Cougar Mellencamp song "Crumblin' Down" (albeit performed by a cover band) as a signal to robbers. It would not be until 1984 that Miami Vice would go further in its use of music, both original and popular, for both dramatic scenes and action scenes.

Popularity in other countries

Knight Rider proved immensely popular overseas, and continues in syndication in various countries today.

! Country
! Foreign title
! Translation
! Network(s)
! Notes
Argentina El Auto Fantástico
(The Fantastic Car)
Dubbed
Australia Knight Rider None Nine Network
TV1
First run on the Nine Network, generally shortly after first runs in the US, Knight Rider never really ran in repeats in Australia until the formation of pay-tv channel TV1.
Austria Knight Rider Dubbed ORF1
ATV
See: Germany
Brazil A Super Máquina
(The Super Machine)
Dubbed SBT (TVS) (1984-1985)
Rede Record (1988-1993)
Channel 21 (Play TV) (1996-1999)
Bangladesh Knight Rider Unchanged
BTV (National TV)
Was a very popular series on TV in the mid 80's. Aired on Wednesdays at 9pm
Bulgaria Среднощен Ездач
(Midnight Rider)
Dubbed
Diema (2008)
KITT remained КИТТ and Michael Knight was Майкъл Найт. Although the false translation of the title, the name remained the same and was not translated.
China 霹雳游侠
(Thunderous Knight (errant))
Dubbed CCTV (1993) Michael Knight's name was transliterarily as 麦克柰特("mai-ke-nai-te"). KITT was transliterated as “基特”(ji-te).
Colombia El Auto Fantástico
(The Fantastic Car)
Dubbed Cadena Uno (1985-1991)
Canal Uno (2006-2008)
Knight Rider became a popular series in the 80's. Now run in repeats, as a cult show.
Costa Rica El Auto Fantastico
(The Fantastic Car)
Dubbed Channel 7
Channel 6
Czech Republic Knight Rider Dubbed TV Prima
Denmark Knight Rider Subtitled TV3
Dominican Republic El Auto Fantástico Dubbed Telesistema
Teleantillas
Ecuador El Auto Fantástico Dubbed Telecentro (TC) - 1980s, 2008 Telesistema (RTS) - 1990s.
Estonia Knight Rider Subtitled TV3 First appeared on Estonian TV in the form of a mock KITT voice in numerous salt cracker commercials featuring clips of the show where Hasselhoff is eating crackers.
Finland Ritari Ässä
(Knight Ace)
Subtitled MTV The Swedish speaking minority in Finland may use either the Finnish title or Swedish (identical to English) title when talking about the show.
France K 2000 Dubbed M6
TF1
NT1 (2006)
K 2000: K for Knight, the intro also reference Michael as a knight and his horse. It first debuted on La Cinq.
Germany Knight Rider Dubbed RTL
Super RTL
Das Vierte
The show's opening text has been changed to: Knight Rider - ein Auto, ein Computer, ein Mann - Ein Mann und sein Auto kämpfen gegen das Unrecht (Knight Rider - a car, a computer, a man - A man and his car fight against injustice). The FLAG was called "Foundation für Recht und Verfassung" (Foundation for Law and Constitution).
Greece Ο ιππότης της ασφάλτου
(O Ippotis tis asfaltou)
(The Knight of Asphalt)
Subtitled In the late 1980s, a Greek b-movie was produced, based on a Greek version of Knight Rider, called "Psit", starring the comedy actor Kostas Voutsas in the role of Michalis Nichtas (Μιχάλης Νύχτας), a transliteration of the name Michael Night (not Knight).
Israel Abir al Galgalim
(Knight on Wheels)
Most people refer to the series as "Hamechonit Hashchora" ("The Black Car").
Hungary Knight Rider Dubbed KITT was voiced by László Versényi, although much deeper than the original. The reason for such a deep voice was that Hungarian people were not used to a telephonic voice like William Daniels' KITT. Most of KITT's functions were translated in a way that they were named "Mode", for example, "Turbo Boost" was called "Turbo Mode", or sometimes "Turbo Drive". Super Pursuit Mode was translated S-P-M-Stage (S-P-M-Fokozat). During the original airing in 1992, the episodes were disordered and were left in this scrambled way until the latest airing in 2005-2006, when the episodes were aired according to the original episode sequence. FLAG was translated as "Jogért és Igazságért Alapítvány (Foundation for Right and Justice). In Hungary, Knight Rider was one of the first crime fighter series and is still popular among many fans.
India Knight Rider Doordarshan
Star World
Indonesia Knight Rider Subtitled RCTI
Italy Supercar Dubbed Italia 1 This is widely recognized as one of the most successful series in the history of Italian television. The introduction soundtrack is always the instrumental from the pilot "Knight of the Phoenix", the narrated version is never used. The same way, the ending quote "One man can make a difference, Michael", at the epilogue, is replaced with only the soundtrack, giving the audience the classical image of the venture hero riding away, rather than the one of a person with a mission stated by a dead man. A different character interpretation is present in many lines from KITT, especially from early episodes. Assuming that KITT's behavior while speaking is in between HAL9000 from 2001 and VINCENT from The Black Hole, there are lines (for example, in the pilot, when KITT returns to Michael after having been stolen) where it sounds much more formal and distant (like HAL9000) in Italian than in the original dialogue. The voice was also deeper than the English one, so much that at the beginning of Season 2 ("Goliath") the dubbing actor was changed. The early voice belongs to Adolfo Lastretti and the later one, closer to the original, to Massimo Venturiello. An edition aired in the Italian-speaking Switzerland in 1985 had, for at least a couple of episodes, a different audio mix, with the front scanner "humming" noise removed or heavily lowered. It also sported the original title in the opening sequence.
Japan ナイトライダー in Katakana
(Romaji: Naito Raidā)
(Knight Rider)
Dubbed TV Asahi The sequence of the episodes was very different from the original. For example, "Voo Doo Knight" was the last episode in the USA, but "The Scent of Roses" was the last one in Japan. Most season two episodes were aired before starting Season One. The following episodes (from Season One unless otherwise indicated) were not aired in Japan, but they are still available in the Japanese version (Region 2) of Knight Rider DVDs: Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular, Not a Drop to Drink, A Plush Ride, Forget Me Not, Hearts of Stone, A Nice, Indecent Little Town, White Bird, Knight Moves, Short Notice, and Silent Knight (Season Two). Season 4 was retitled Shin Knight Rider (新ナイトライダー) (New Knight Rider) to reflect KITT's Super Pursuit Mode upgrade.
Latvia Ceļojošais bruņinieks
(Travelling Knight)
Dubbed LTV1
Lithuania Ratuotas Riteris
(Knight on Wheels)
Dubbed TV3
Malaysia Knight Rider Unchanged TV3
Mexico El Auto Increible
(The Incredible Car)
Dubbed Televisa
(1987-2006)
KITT's voice was provided by Germán Robles who, oddly enough, was born in Spain.
Netherlands Knight Rider Subtitled RTL 7
Norway Knight Rider Subtitled TV3
New Zealand Knight Rider None
Pakistan Knight Rider PTV The series gained a massive following and even now cars can be seen with a row of red lights imitating KITT's scanner. It remains the most popular American TV show ever broadcast in the country to date.
Peru El Auto Fantástico
(The Fantastic Car)
Dubbed Frecuencia Latina
(1985-1988)
Knight Rider became a popular series in the 80s and 90's, even now it is widely recognized as a good show
Poland Nieustraszony
(Fearless)
Lector Polsat
TV4
TVP 1
TVP 3
The character names and KITT itself have not been changed in the first translation, although in the second one KITT was called "K". Due to bad sound quality in some episodes, many fans were thinking that Michael was driving KARR. Although, in episode 3 or 4 of the first season, KITT says "Jednak wolę być K 2000", which can be translated as "I want to remain as K 2000". That convinced Polish fans that Michael was driving KITT.
Portugal O Justiceiro
(The Bringer/Enforcer of Justice)
Unchanged RTP1, TVI Some years after its prime reruns of the show were broadcast, there were the dubbed version from Brazil, which to many made the show unintentionally funnier than the original version (Brazilian and Portuguese people tend to consider each other's pronunciation funny in general).
Romania K.I.T.T.
(Knight Rider)
Subtitled Tele7abc This show was one of the most successful series aired on Romanian television after the 1989 Revolution. Teenagers and kids of that period all know who KITT was.
Russia Рыцарь дорог
(Knight of Roads)
Dubbed STS, DTV
Saudi Arabia Knight Rider None Saudi Aramco Channel 3 & Saudi TV Channel 2 One of the few shows that was permitted airtime, despite the fact that many of the female actresses wore short shorts, something unacceptable in Saudi culture.
Slovenia Vitez za volanom
(Knight Behind the (steering) Wheel)
Subtitled Kanal A
TV 3
South Africa Knight Rider None Knight Rider had an effect out of all proportion to its immediate stature at the time of production, by creating a significant circumvention of the UN imposed sanctions during the era of Apartheid. The episodes "Goliath pt 1 & pt. 2" with the confrontation between Garthe Knight and Michael Knight, and therefore between KITT and Goliath, were filmed in South West Africa, then the U.N. mandate of South Africa. Moreover, local black acting talent John Kani provided a compelling African Dictator, Tsombe Kuna, a supporting villain to Garthe Knight, as the driving force supporting the construction of Goliath. The effect of the production for the SABC's syndication was electric - they furnished the Knight Rider crew with all facilities, and a number of SABC crew names appear on the credits of the two part episode.
South Korea 전격 Z 작전
(The Blitzkrieg Operation Z)
Dubbed KBS
Spain El Coche Fantástico
(The Fantastic Car)
Dubbed TVE
(1984-1988)
Antena 3 (1991-1998)
"Coche" translates to "car", this is a stylistic difference of the Spanish language, whose vernacular varies from country to country) and FLAG was called "Fundación para la Ley y el Orden". The voice of KITT was dubbed by Carlos Revilla, a fondly remembered actor who later provided the voice of Homer Simpson. Funnily enough, in the Spanish version of the episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, KITT makes an animated cameo and Mr. Revilla dubs both his voice and Homer's.
Sri Lanka Knight Rider Subtitled Rupavahini
ITN
Sweden Nattens riddare
(Knight of the Night)
Subtitled The show has three names, "Nattens riddare", "Riddaren i natten" and "Knightrider".
Taiwan 霹靂遊俠
(Thunderous Knight (errant))
Dubbed and subtitled for first run, bilingual broadcast and subtitled for repeats CTV Michael Knight's name was translated to be "李麥克" ("Mike Lee"). KITT was known as "霹靂車" or "Thunderous Car".
Turkey Kara Şimşek
(Black Lightning)
Dubbed TRT 1 The show was such a big hit that during the years of the initial run, many automobiles and vans were fit with a thin row of red lights that imitated KITT's scanner. It has left such strong memories that stand-up comedian Cem Yılmaz came up with a series of television commercials as recent as 2005, where he had a talking car named GİTT, a Murat 124 (a cheap car that was manufactured in 60's and 70's in Turkey based on Fiat 124), outfitted with the scanner. In one petrol commercial Yilmaz drag races his GİTT 124 against a Corvette on the Istanbul Park raceway. They take off together, as the Corvette crosses the line and comes to a halt, the driver steps out to see Yilmaz playing a game of table football, casually proclaiming a 5-0 victory as the driver listens in.
Ukraine Мандрівний лицар
(Knight Errant)
Dubbed ICTV
United Kingdom Knight Rider None ITV1
Bravo
Virgin 1 Channel Five
No longer airing on ITV1 and Channel Five.

  • In Germany and Austria the show was popular enough that it spawned a licensed German audioplay series available on cassettes which re-told the original TV series, only with more accurate translation than can be done for lip-synch dubbing, featuring the series' original dubbing voices but employing their own sound effects and scene music alongside the show's original theme.
  • In the UK the show was also a massive hit. The show raked in a large audience, even though it was not networked for much of its run, with each region showing episodes in their own selected time-slots and (as was common with imported shows) episodes were often shown out of sequence, sometimes edited for time and/or content as each region saw fit. Many regions had their own quirks with the show - for example, London region Thames split the very late episodes, which were not pulling in as many viewers, into two halves, airing them over Monday and Tuesday in a 5:15 pm slot. After the initial run of the series, many regions ran the unpopular edited half-hour versions in the late 1980s. Various ITV regions also gave the complete episode versions a repeat run in the mid-1990s. Although some regions, such as London's LWT, did not, those that did only showed the first three seasons. In 1997, it was shown by the newly launched Channel 5, who ran most episodes in a Saturday morning slot as part of their youth-orientated strand, first as a double-bill of episodes, then later with one episode on Saturday and one episode on Sunday. Although there was the occasional minor edit here and there, it was the first time that a lot of material (such as the opening trailers, which ITV often edited out) was shown on UK television. They ran the series to near the end of the third season, but did not show the fourth season despite many requests from fans; although they did show the feature-length fourth season opener, "Knight Of The Juggernaut", in a 'one-off' showing (the other feature-length episodes were also given airings in such 'one-off' slots several times). A couple of years later they too also aired the unpopular half-hour edit versions. It is currently being broadcast by Virgin Media owned channels Bravo and Virgin 1, who also broadcast the fourth season for the first time since the episodes were originally shown on ITV in the later 1980s. The show has not been broadcast on terrestrial UK TV for some time now, though the two spin-off TV movies get occasional airings on Channel 5, and ITV broadcast Team Knight Rider in the early 2000s.
  • In South America, except Brazil, the show was renamed El Auto Fantástico (The Fantastic Car) and is generally known by that title. Incidentally, many shows are renamed overseas to better suit the subtleties of different languages. In this case the play on the word "Knight" in the title (a triple meaning, with Michael Knight, the Knight Foundation, and the classic medieval Knight all playing part of the meaning) was not as effective in Spanish speaking countries, as the word Knight is translated to "Caballero" (meaning both "Knight" and "Gentleman"). El Auto Fantástico also contained slight differences in the naming of certain elements, with the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) being renamed FLO (La Fundación de la Ley y el Orden, translated as the Foundation for Law and Order) to suit the audience. Names of the characters remained unchanged, with the only other differences being the voices of the actors who recorded the lines in Spanish. Currently (2007) in Argentina and (2008) in Colombia the series is still being broadcast.
  • In The Philippines, Knight Rider was shown on GMA 7, Wednesdays in the 8:80pm time slot form 1983-1987 originally as an hour long show. It was later re-aired as in 1987-1988 as an edited 30 minute "Special Edition" show also on GMA 7.

Knight Rider still has a large following in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, Sri Lanka and China, and reruns of the show air across the world to this day.

Further reading

Nonfiction

  • Joe F. Huth and Richie F. Levine (2002). Knight Rider Legacy: The Unofficial Guide to the Knight Rider Universe. Writers Club Press. ISBN 0-595-23910-2.

Fiction

  • Glen Larson and Roger Hill (1983). Knight Rider. Pinnacle Books. ISBN 0-523-42170-2 (adapted from and expanded upon the feature-length / two-part Pilot episode)
  • Glen Larson and Roger Hill (1984). Knight Rider: Trust Doesn't Rust. Pinnacle Books. ISBN 0-523-42181-8 (adapted from and expanded upon the first season episode of the same name)
  • Glen Larson and Roger Hill (1984). Knight Rider: Hearts of Stone. Pinnacle Books. ISBN 0-523-42182-6 (adapted from and expanded upon the first season episode of the same name)
  • Glen Larson and Roger Hill (1984). Knight Rider: The 24-Carat Assassin. (UK publication only) (adapted from and expanded upon the feature-length / two-part second season episode 'Mouth of the Snake'. Interestingly, the back of the book states that it is adapted from All The Glitters - the working title for the story)
  • Glen Larson and Roger Hill (1984). Knight Rider: Mirror Image. (UK publication only) (adapted from and expanded upon the feature-length / two-part second season episode Goliath. The back of the book states that it is adapted from Goliath and Goliath Returns, but the actual story is only adapted from Goliath. One of the interesting differences is that in the book, Garthe Knight is called Garthe Bishop. This novel also states that April is actually Devon's daughter, but this was never used in the series and is not considered canon)

A series of annuals were published each year in the UK by Grandreams. These books consisted of a mix of text stories and cartoon strips, as well as photos and articles on the shows stars and KITT. There were five annuals produced in total, each reflecting the different season of the show that was airing at the time, with the final two releases covering the final season. (The last annual was printed in a quite small quantity, due to popularity of the show gradually fading, and is considerably rarer as a result).

References

See also

External links

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