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Vehicular intelligence in Knight Rider

by Critical Commons Manager

In Knight Rider, David Hasselhof plays Michael Knight (nee Michael Arthur Long), a Vietnam veteran special forces turned undercover cop who is shot in the face while his partner is killed. Knight undergoes facial reconstruction surgery performed by Richard Anderson, the actor who portrayed Oscar Goldman in the Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Motivated by revenge and the wishes of a wealthy, dying plutocrat who created the car, the Knight 2000, a black Pontiac TransAm dubbed "the most expensive car in the world." The dashboard of KITT "looks like Darth Vader's bathroom" and is described as the fastest, safest, strongest car in the world, but is also fuel efficient and "operated entirely by microprocessors."

Ironically, the pilot episode of Knight Rider takes Hasselhof to Silicon Valley to investigate a technology company called Comtron. Echoes of the Bat cave, Bat computer, Batmobile and even Alfred the butler echo through the pilot of Knight Rider before David Hasselhof undertakes his first mission to Silicon Valley, where corruption and greed has led to murder in a company that makes electronic devices, still a novel concept in the early 1980s:  "It's a regular boomtown; there's more money flowing through here now than there was during the California gold rush; all because of tiny microchips; every calculator every electronic kid's game, they were all born right here."

Knight Rider opening titles

KITT, the AI Trans Am featured in Knight Rider displays striking similarities with the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica, both created by Glen A. Larsen

from Knight Rider (1982-86)
Creator: Glen A. Larson
Distributor: Universal TV
Posted by Critical Commons Manager