Tag Archives: knight rider

What’s On TV – Knight Rider

List Item:  Watch half of the 1001 TV Series You Must Watch Before You Die
Progress: 172/501
Title: Knight Rider
Episodes Aired: 90
Episodes Watched: 15
Year(s): 1982-1986
Country: USA

Just for starters – I know when first adding the 1001 TV Shows list to this blog there was a grid where I said that for TV shows less than an hour in length it would be a sample of 20 episodes. Truth is, we just wanted to move on.

That isn’t to say that we didn’t derive some level of enjoyment from the world of Knight Rider as that would not be true. Thanks to perusing a number of blogs we were able to make a list of what would be considered the best episodes. The other option would have been to watch a season or just go scattershot – so I think this was the best option.

So what is Knight Rider other than the vehicle that gave the world David Hasslehoff? Well, it’s an action/adventure show where a man fights crime with the help of a talking car. Usually there’s a  good looking girl in distress for good measure (but not always).


In one of the better episodes the role of the good looking woman in distress was actually played by Geena Davis. As I watched it I kept thinking “in four years you will have an Oscar”. It was just one of those weird moments where you have to take a step back and realize you are watching one of those ‘Before They Were Famous’ moments.

Just looking at Geena Davis and David Hasslehoff in that picture makes me think of how eighties this show is. I mean, look at their hair!? Everything from the fashion to the music to the opening sequence with narration by Richard Basehart…

gypsyRichard Basehart!

… just screams 1980s. In some ways Knight Rider probably couldn’t exist as a series nowadays, it just feels a bit too camp (and sexist if I’m being honest) in places.

The bright light of this show was KITT and how this artificial intelligence interacted with everyone around him. Having watched episodes from all four seasons it’s rather heart-warming to see how the relationship between Michael Knight (Hasselhoff) and KITT developed. This developing relationship is the focus of my favourite episode of the 15 we saw: ‘Knightmares’.

The reason ‘Knightmares’ works so well is that it focuses solely on the relationship between KITT and Michael. Sure there are villains in a dam (or at least the shell of one), but this is very much a secondary point. It’s a bit of a pity that the writers had to resort to a soap opera style plot of Michael getting amnesia in order to focus on this… but I guess that is the only way they could canonically allow Michael to be SO vulnerable.

A lot of praise has to go to William Daniels for his voice-work as KITT. He has the right level of flat emotion and snark in order to give us the perfect KITT. In a scene full of car chases and jumps (that have become a bit boring after a few episodes) he is able to bring us right back with a cutting remark about Michael’s gambling, womanising or a sudden desire to become a cat burglar. KITT is a genius creation in his own right and the true star of Knight Rider.

So yes Knight Rider was fun, but there are so many shows that I am itching to see like The Twilight Zone, The Singing Detective and Buffy The Vampire Slayer that made it feel as if it was time to move on.