Knight Rider (season 1)

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Knight Rider Season 1
Knight Rider season 1 DVD.png
DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26) – May 6, 1983 (1983-05-06)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 August 3, 2004 (2004-08-03)
Region 2 September 13, 2004 (2004-09-13)
Region 4 December 1, 2004 (2004-12-01)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of Knight Rider
(1982 TV series) episodes

The first season of Knight Rider, an American television series, began September 26, 1982, and ended on May 6, 1983. It aired on NBC.[1] The region 1 DVD was released on August 3, 2004.[2]

Knight Rider had a 2 hour premiere on NBC, airing at 8PM on Sunday night. The show was put up against Dallas, and would eventually move NBC out of third place in the network race. No other show had ever survived that time slot. The show eventually aired on Friday nights, and in December of 1982, became the second highest rated show of its day. MASH was in the number 1 spot. The show was renewed for a second season during the filming of, "Short Notice."


K.I.T.T.[edit]

A Hero car of K.I.T.T was eventually sent out on tour to various car shows around the country.

K.I.T.T. was designed by Michael Scheffe using Pontiacs all new 1982 Trans Am. Michael Scheffe had worked for Mattel designing toys, and had done some design work on Blade Runner. Scheffe had around 18 days to create his first mock up of K.I.T.T. for the network.

Stuntman Jack Gill says the car was dropped about an inch and a half from GM's stock height. The car also had around $2000,000 worth of modifications. Spare cars were always on hand, and Universal eventually did all of the modifications that were needed. The hero car was the only one of the vehicles on hand that contained the intricate dashboard. A mock up dash board was used on a sound stage for closeups of the voice box or other buttons.

Glen Larson wanted the car to have a heartbeat, and asked Scheffe to design a beam of light like the Cylons had in Battle Star Gallactica to be used on the front of the vehicle. Larson had Produced Battle Star Galactica. The Pontiac's nose was eventually extended slightly.

Stuntman Jack Gill claims that they got the cars from Pontiac for $1 apiece. The only car Universal had to pay for was the hero car. Pontiac would call up the studio and ask how many cars were needed. Pontiac often gave the studio vehicles that had already been damaged. (Knight Rider Legacy)

William Daniels, the voice of K.I.T.T. would record his parts after the majority of the episode were filmed. Hasselhoff would work with a guy off camera who would read him K.I.T.T.'s lines. If the vehicle was in motion, the lines would be read through the car radio. The vehicle was usually towed during scenes where Hasselhoff appeared to be driving.

K.I.T.T. received an overhaul in 1984, receiving a new interior to keep up with the times.

The studio had a marketing campaign for Knight Rider. Fans could write the network and they would receive a pamphlet detailing some features about K.I.T.T. The first campaign was held in August of 1982. The pamphlet received said, "The Competition is NO Competition!." K.T.T.T was parked alongside a vehicle that resembled the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard. The General Lee featured a double zero on the door. The pamphlet compared the two vehicles.

In the fall of 1985, an ad came out in TV Guide detailing K.I.T.T.'s upgrades.

Season 1[edit]

At the end of Season 1, lead actress Patricia McPherson was fired from the show due to a falling out that she had with Producer Robert Foster. McPherson would be replaced by former model Rebecca Holden. Hasselhoff was reportedly angry about McPherson's firing, but was in no position to fight the network or the show's producers for her job. McPherson later returned for Season 3.

David Hasselhoff eventually got his girlfriend on the show for an episode called, "White Bird." Catherine Hickland would play Michael Long's long lost fiance Stevie Mason. Catherine was brought in to help write the episode. The episode was more mature, and dealt with solicitation. At the end of season 1 during the wrap party, Hasselhoff celebrated Catherine's birthday. A cake was presented with a replica of K.I.T.T. sitting on top. Written in icing were the words, "Look Under the Hood." An engagement ring had been placed under the hood, and Hasselhoff proposed.

The couple honeymooned during the shows second season. During the episode, "Mouth of the Snake" Hasselhoff is barely seen, this was because he was on his honeymoon with Catherine. Catherine returned to the show during the episode, "Let it Be Me." NBC was also trying to create a spinoff series during the episode, "Mouth of the Snake." The couple divorced in 1989, and Catherine went on to marry a man named, "Michael E. Knight."

The premiere episode featured an actor by the name of Larry Anderson. Larry would play Michael Long, the character who would be transformed into Michael Knight, who would be played by David Hasselhoff. Hasselhoff's voice would eventually be dubbed in, and due to that, Larry Anderson wished to remain uncredited in the episode (From the Book Knight Rider Legacy).

Theme Song[edit]

Stu Phillips and Glen Larson composed the music for the show. The decision to use synthesizers was largely a network decision. Glen Larson claims in the book, "Knight Rider Legacy" that they used five or six synthesizers, drums and a Fender bass.

Busta Rhymes sampled the theme song in a 1998 track entitled, "Turn it Up/Fire it Up."

Stunts[edit]

Stuntman Jack Gill worked on the show, and had previously worked on the Dukes of Hazzard. In the episode, "Give Me Liberty...Give Me Death" K.I.T.T. jumps over a General Lee lookalike. In the book, "Knight Rider Legacy" Gill remembers one jump that was reused several times throughout the show. In the episode, "The Topaz Connection" K.I.T.T. jumps a 90 foot ravine. A camera was mounted inside a cage on the right side of the car for a point of view shot. The cameras had cables attached to it, but when the vehicle neared the ramp, the cables would be cut loose, and the camera would run for about a minute before shutting down. When the jump was performed, the cable came loose, and the camera tumbled in the vehicle. The cable can be seen in the footage. The footage was used in several episodes including, "Nobody Does it Better", "Lost Knight", "Junkyard Dog", and "Knight Flight to Freedom."

Hasselhoff performed a few stunts on the show. Hasselhoff was often seen doing 180 degree turns in the vehicle. In the book, "Knight Rider Legacy, Hasselhoff explains that he achieved this by using the emergency brake wile driving around 50 miles per hour. Hasselhoff eventually hit a palm tree and the studio banned him from performing any more of his own stunts due to the liability.

In the episode, "Return to Cadiz" K.I.T.T. appears to glide across water. K.I.T.T. was actually mounted to a submerged platform that had an outboard motor attached.

For the scenes in which K.I.T.T. appeared to be driving without a driver, Jack would sit behind the driver's seat. Jack would extend his arms and legs through the seat out of sight. A two way mirror was created that hid the stuntman during scenes where K.I.T.T. appeared to be driving solo. K.I.T.T. was never seen driving for long periods of time solo due to the difficulty shooting it.

Spin Offs[edit]

Code of Vengeance was a TV show that didn't do very well. The show starred actor L. Charles Taylor who had been featured in the Knight Rider episode, "Mouth of the Snake."

The network was determined to have a spinoff, a show entitled, "The Speed Demons" was envisioned. The show was supposed to involve motorcycles that had been modified like K.I.T.T. The show never materialized. Street Hawk aired about a year later on ABC.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
1 1 "Knight of the Phoenix (Part 1)" Daniel Haller Glen A. Larson September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26)[1] 57375

After Detective Michael Long is shot and left for dead, he is saved by the eccentric billionaire, Wilton Knight and his associate Devon Miles. He is given a new face by plastic surgery, a new identity as Michael Knight, and the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT for short) – a dream car with super-spy gadgets and nearly invulnerable armor. Wilton asks Michael to carry on his crime-fighting crusade believing "one man can make a difference."

Guest stars: Lance LeGault (Colonel Roderick Decker on The A-Team), Richard Anderson (Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman) and Ed Gilbert (Fenton Hardy on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries)
2 2 "Knight of the Phoenix (Part 2)" Daniel Haller Glen A. Larson September 26, 1982 (1982-09-26)[1] 57376
The story continues as Michael locates his shooter, a woman named Tanya Walker, who is stealing technology secrets and embezzling money from a computer company. With the help of a woman named Maggie, Michael lures Tanya into a trap by showing off KITT's abilities as bait.
3 3 "Deadly Maneuvers" Paul Stanley William Schmidt & Bob Shayne October 1, 1982 (1982-10-01)[1] 57305
Michael helps a stranded Army Lieutenant named Robin Ladd who learns her father has died in a suspicious accident. Michael conducts his own investigation which leads to uncovering the theft of nuclear warheads from an Army weapons depot and evidence the top brass may be involved.
4 4 "Good Day at White Rock" Daniel Haller Deborah Davis October 8, 1982 (1982-10-08)[1] 57303
Michael goes to the sleepy mountain town of White Rock for some rock-climbing, but the place is invaded by a troublesome biker gang. Learning another gang is on its way for a showdown, Michael, with the help of a local woman (Anne Lockhart) and her brother, must find a way to drive off the gangs before they turn the town into a battleground.
5 5 "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular" Bruce Bilson E. Paul Edwards & John Alan Schwartz October 22, 1982 (1982-10-22)[1] 57315

Michael investigates a dare-devil stunt show that is plagued with accidents and sabotage. When Michael finds out a disreputable businessman named Blake may be to blame, he joins the show with KITT as his stunt car, hoping to draw out the saboteur and connect him with Blake's scheme to take over the business.

Guest stars: Marc Alaimo (Gul Dukat on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
6 6 "Just My Bill" Sidney Hayers David Braff October 29, 1982 (1982-10-29)[1] 57311
Devon assigns Michael to protect Senator Maggie Flynn who has made enemies in her political crusade to fight a new energy bill. After numerous attempts on her life, Michael arranges for her to hide out with Devon, much to Devon's chagrin, while he conducts an investigation with Flynn's assistant Jane Adams, who suspects a rival politician to be involved in the attacks.
7 7 "Not a Drop to Drink" Virgil Vogel Hannah Louise Shearer November 5, 1982 (1982-11-05)[1] 57304
Michael is sent to help a group of cattle ranchers who are battling an acquisitive landowner. Getting in Michael's way is a troubled rancher's hot-headed daughter-in-law Francesca, who believes they don't need an outsider's help. After Michael and KITT stop a gang of thugs from destroying a pipeline the landowner resorts to bombing a dam that could flood the valley and kill dozens of people.
8 8 "No Big Thing" Bernard L. Kowalski Judy Burns November 12, 1982 (1982-11-12)[1] 57313
Devon is pulled over in a small town for a minor traffic violation, but the officers add "resisting arrest" to the charges and toss him in the slammer. Devon then learns a fellow cellmate, Frank Reston, is an investigative reporter about to bust the county's Judge Paxton on a corruption scheme, but soon Reston is taken away and eliminated. With Devon is a potential witness, Paxton has Devon taken to a maximum security prison. Michael and KITT then break Devon out in order to prove he is being set up.
9 9 "Trust Doesn't Rust" Paul Stanley Steven E. De Souza November 19, 1982 (1982-11-19)[1] 57307
Two petty thieves, Tony and Rev (William Sanderson), break into a Foundation warehouse and unwittingly reactivate KARR, (the Knight Automated Roving Robot) (Voiced by Peter Cullen), which was sitting in storage. Responding to the break in, Michael and KITT arrive to see the two thieves make a getaway in KITT's twin. After Michael learns that KARR was KITT's prototype and programmed with an unstable self preservation AI, he goes after the vehicle which the two thieves are using to crash into bank vaults. Things become more complicated when KARR has the thieves kidnap Bonnie so she can repair a malfunctioning circuit. Michael and KITT get Bonnie back, and try to disable KARR using a laser. When this fails, Michael sets KITT on a direct collision course with KARR, banking on KARR's self preservation to defeat him.
10 10 "Inside Out" Peter Crane Steven E. De Souza November 26, 1982 (1982-11-26)[1] 57302
Michael poses as a wheelman named Dugan so he can infiltrate a criminal training camp led by a retired General named Kincaid. Helping him is a woman on the inside named Linda who only follows Kincaid to avoid being blackmailed. The situation becomes dire when Michael, after unwittingly helping Kincaid in a gold heist, faces off with the real Dugan who shows up and points to Michael as an impostor.
11 11 "The Final Verdict" Bernard L. Kowalski Story by: Tom Greene
Teleplay by: E. Paul Edwards & John Alan Schwartz
December 3, 1982 (1982-12-03)[1] 57316
Michael tries to help a friend named Cheryl Burns who is accused of murdering her boss, and her only alibi lies with a nerdy accountant named Marty Kean who was with her at a bar on the night of the crime. When Michael tries to locate Kean, he finds the man at the center of a police investigation suspecting him of cooking the books of his shady employer. Michael agrees to get the cops, and Kean's employer, off his back if he helps prove Cheryl innocent.
12 12 "A Plush Ride" Sidney Hayers Gregory S. Dinallo December 10, 1982 (1982-12-10)[1] 57306
Michael infiltrates a bodyguard-chauffeur driving school the Foundation suspects may be training an assassin plotting to eliminate a group of third world leaders meeting at a secret conference. Michael first suspects a woman named Margo Wells until another student named Jacobs tries to kill him. With Jacobs eliminated, Michael goes on his way, but when Jacobs returns from the dead, Michael realizes he's been duped and the leaders are still in danger.
13 13 "Forget Me Not" Gil Bettman Richard Christian Matheson & Thomas Szollosi December 17, 1982 (1982-12-17)[1] 57312
Michael works with Marie Elena Casafranca (Maria Conchita Alonso), a woman whose father is a South American leader visiting the United States. Marie fears a rival figure, Rudy del Fuego, may have hired an assassin to kill him. Michael infiltrates del Fuego's private party where he meets a drunk woman named Micki, but she lays down in a bedroom and overhears del Fuego's assassin discussing the killing plot. When she is caught, Michael sees her being taken away in a car, and gives chase, but Micki escapes by jumping from the car and injures her head. Now Michael must make the amnesiac Micki remember who the assassin is before he strikes.
14 14 "Hearts of Stone" Jeffrey Hayden Robert Foster January 14, 1983 (1983-01-14)[1] 57322
Michael goes to Texas to meet Father Carlos Laguna whose family is feuding with a group of gunrunners in possession of an advanced assault rifle called the X-19. The situation worsens when Carlos' brother Roberto is shot with an X-19 during a drive-by attack. With the help of a bartender named Angie, Michael poses as a gun collector and makes contact with the gunrunners where he offers to buy the whole shipment of X-19s. They strike a deal, but Angie tricks Michael and steals his suitcase full of money which was charity funds provided by Devon. Note-KITT's voice modulator is upgraded for the first time into the trio of digital bars seen during the majority of the series run.
15 15 "Give Me Liberty… or Give Me Death" Bernard L. Kowalski David Braff January 21, 1983 (1983-01-21)[1] 57323
Michael enters KITT in an alternative fuel race where the coordinator, Dr. Kempler, believes an oil-producing nation is conducting sabotage to see the advanced fuel technologies fail. Michael investigates every driver's background and zeroes in on a reporter named Liberty Cox who has a long criminal record and a radio detonator device in her luggage. Little does Michael know that Liberty is being set up by the real saboteur; a ruthless cable television sponsor Clark Sellers (Alan Fudge), who stands to make a killing off of the filming rights of the race if every car makes a "spectacular crash".
16 16 "The Topaz Connection" Alan Myerson Stephen Katz January 28, 1983 (1983-01-28)[1] 57321
A high-profile "skin magazine" editor named Philip Royce is murdered and Michael helps his daughter Lauren investigate who killed him and why. The clues may be found in Royce's computer, but the file he was working on is password protected under the code name "Topaz". The plot thickens when a private investigator Royce hired calls Lauren to reveal the story, but the man is killed by a sniper. Lauren and Michael then follow the P.I.'s leads to Las Vegas in hopes of uncovering the meaning behind Topaz, but quickly come across more thugs who want them eliminated.
17 17 "A Nice, Indecent Little Town" Gil Betteman Frank Telford February 18, 1983 (1983-02-18)[1] 57317
Michael poses as a freelance bounty hunter looking to capture a counterfeiter named Ron Austin. He tracks the criminal to the small town of Alpine Crest where Devon is presenting a Foundation award for the city with the lowest crime rate per capita. While following Austin, Michael befriends Jobina Bruce (Jean Bruce Scott), a local reporter looking for a big story, but Jobina is also working for a CIA agent named Larken, who is conducting his own investigation of a local religious printing business, "Hallelujah Press". While Michael tries to make a connection between Austin and the print shop, he is arrested by Sheriff Moore, a corrupt official who also has KITT impounded.
18 18 "Chariot of Gold" Bernard L. Kowalski William Schmidt February 25, 1983 (1983-02-25)[1] 57326
Michael is called to investigate an archeological dig that dug up something strange, but his contact Dr. Litton, suddenly goes insane and slips into a coma. Meanwhile, Devon and Bonnie speak with Dr. Graham Deauville, (Litton's partner) and leader of the prestigious "Helios Society" – an organization of genius minds. Michael learns Litton had stumbled upon a secret excavation and is just the latest member of Helios to fall victim to a mysterious death. Deauville puts Bonnie under mind control and has her reprogram KITT to assist in a museum gold heist which is just one phases of a much larger scheme – to fund the building of an underground complex that Deauville believes will save him from the nuclear armageddon of World War III.
19 19 "White Bird" Winrich Kolbe Virginia Aldridge March 4, 1983 (1983-03-04)[1] 57330
Michael learns that the woman he was once engaged to, Stephanie Mason (Catherine Hickland), has been arrested for her involvement in a money laundering scheme. Unfortunately, he was engaged to her when he was Michael Long and Stephanie thinks he is dead. The Justice Department has given Stephanie the option of turning in her boss Gilbert Cole, or face conspiracy charges if she refuses. The situation intensifies when Cole sends thugs to eliminate her before she can testify before a grand jury. Now Michael must protect the woman he once loved and capture the people who are setting her up, all the while avoiding slip ups that may give away his secret identity.
20 20 "Knight Moves" Christian I. Nyby II William Schmidt March 11, 1983 (1983-03-11)[1] 57332
Michael goes to New Mexico to investigate for the Alliance of Independent Truckers (AIT) whose rigs are getting hijacked on isolated stretches of highway. AIT is led by Rick Calley (James Whitmore, Jr.) who is the latest victim of the attacks when gunmen stole his trailer filled with valuable equipment. More problems arise when AIT's main client threatens to do business with AIT's biggest rival, Prairie Trucking, whose trucks, suspiciously enough, haven't been hit by thieves. When Michael sticks his nose into Prairie Trucking's business, their owner, Falker, sends his thugs to eliminate him.
21 21 "Nobody Does it Better" Harvey Laidman David Braff April 29, 1983 (1983-04-29)[1] 57331
A CEO of an electronics firm (Robert Ginty) hires the Foundation to help catch whoever is stealing software from his company. Michael suspects someone on the inside – a programmer named Julian Groves (Tony Dow) when he learns of his involvement with a con-woman named Connie Chason. Soon an overzealous private investigator named Flannery Roe (Gail Edwards), hired by Groves' wife, gets into Michael's way, but things become more complicated when Connie is found murdered in Julian's bungalow and the programmer is on the run. Michael doesn't believe Julian is capable of murder and he and Flannery are forced to tolerate each other to find the real killer.
22 22 "Short Notice" Robert Foster Robert Foster May 6, 1983 (1983-05-06)[1] 57336
Michael meets a hitch hiker named Nicole Turner (played by actress Robin Curtis) and they share a hotel room together, only to have a gunman bust in who targets Nicole. During the struggle, Michael shoots the gunman in self defense, but to his bewilderment, Nicole flees the scene. Michael is then arrested on charges of murder but Devon bails him out so he can track down Nicole who is his only witness. Michael then learns the gunman was a member of the felonious biker gang and Nicole's ex-husband Harold Turner is their leader. Turner wants Nicole to hand over a microfilm containing criminal evidence and is holding Nicole's young daughter Natalie as hostage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Knight Rider: Original - Full Episodes - Season 1". NBC.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Knight Rider - Season One (1982)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-23. 

External links[edit]