Knight Rider (franchise)

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Knight Rider
Knight Rider logo.svg
Franchise logo
Creator Glen A. Larson
Original work Original series (1982)
Films and television
Films Knight Rider 2000 (1991)
Knight Rider 2010 (1994)
Knight Rider (2008)
Television series Knight Rider (1982–1986)
Team Knight Rider (1997–1998)
Knight Rider (2008–2009)
Code of Vengeance (1985–1986)

Knight Rider is an American science fiction entertainment franchise created by Glen A. Larson. The core of Knight Rider is its three television series: Knight Rider (1982–1986); Team Knight Rider (1997–1998); and Knight Rider (2008–2009). The franchise also includes three television films, computer and video games, and novels, as well as KnightCon, a Knight Rider convention. Beginning with the original television series and continuing with the subsequent films and series, the franchise has developed a cult following and spawned many pop culture references.

The original Knight Rider series followed the adventures of Michael Knight, a modern-day crime fighter who uses a technologically advanced, artificially intelligent automobile. This car is virtually indestructible, due to a high-tech coating applied to it. This series debuted in 1982 and ran for four seasons on NBC. These adventures were continued with the television films Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010 and the short-lived Team Knight Rider. One other television movie, Knight Rider, served as a pilot for the 2008 television series Knight Rider (2008 TV series). In 1985, a spin-off series, Code of Vengeance, also premiered.

Conception and setting[edit]

Knight Rider stories usually depict either average citizens, or ethical heads of corporations, being bullied into subservience to an overbearing or ruthless criminal organization. The protagonist(s) of each particular series is instructed by the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) to assist in some manner. The protagonist(s) has the assistance of a high-tech, self-aware, and nearly indestructible vehicle.

Television series[edit]

Three television series make up the bulk of the Knight Rider mythos: Knight Rider (1982–1986), Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), and Knight Rider (2008–2009). There also was a spin-off series, Code of Vengeance, that ran for one season (1985–1986). In total, 133 Knight Rider episodes have been produced across the 7 seasons of the four various TV series.

Main series[edit]

Knight Rider (1982–1986)[edit]

The original Knight Rider series saw Michael Knight, a crime fighter who uses a high tech, artificially intelligent automobile, the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT). This car is a virtually indestructible weapon that fights for justice.

Team Knight Rider (1997–1998)[edit]

Main article: Team Knight Rider

This series, set ten years after the original series, sees that the Foundation of Law and Government (FLAG) has used a team of five "highly skilled operatives" to do the job that Michael Knight used to do. They each drive a high tech vehicle.

Knight Rider (2008–2009)[edit]

This series followed Michael Traceur, the estranged son of Michael Knight, as he takes up the mantle of the FLAG driver. This time, he is driving the Knight Industries Three Thousand, also known as "KITT".

Spin-off series[edit]

Code of Vengeance (1985–1986)[edit]

Main article: Code of Vengeance

The Knight Rider episode "Mouth of the Snake",[1] was a backdoor pilot for this series. In it, David Dalton, a Vietnam veteran-turned-drifter, travels across the United States in a camper van, with only his dog for company. Dalton involves himself in the personal lives of people he meets. In a similar fashion to Knight Rider, he uses his fighting skills to help them gain justice over their enemies.

Television films[edit]

Number Title Original air date
1 Knight Rider 2000 May 19, 1991
2 Knight Rider 2010 February 13, 1994
3 Knight Rider February 17, 2008

Spin-off media[edit]

The Knight Rider franchise has a number of novels, video games, and other materials that cover many aspects of the various series and films.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Terrace, Vincent (November 1985). Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials: 1974–1984. 2. Baseline Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-0918432612. Retrieved March 22, 2010.