Chasing Knight Rider: The Preamble

While Battlestar Galactica was one of the series that Larson was known for in the late 1970s, it would be the 1980s where Larson’s stock was at his highest.  As it is, he was commissioned to put pen to paper and release two more science fiction/fantasy shows for NBC:  Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, and Knight Rider.

The Story of Knight Rider:

Police Officer Michael Long was hot on the trail of Industrial Spies when he gets shot in the line of duty and is left for dead.  He would be rescued by Wilton Knight, a wealthy philanthropist who rebuilds him and his car.  Rechristened as Michael Knight, he would use this newfound lease on life to fight crime and criminals in ways that he was unable to before he was killed.

The Crew:

First, there’s Michael Knight.  Believe it or not, his story isn’t unlike most Action Superheroes.  Most of them are riffs off of the Jesus Christ (Near)Death and Rebirth story.  As it is, however, unlike similar origins in The Six Million Dollar Man, Michael receives no superpowers himself.  Instead, he gets a super-powered car.

That car is known as the Knight Industries Two Thousand.  This car was Pontiac’s Trans-Am advertisement that ran for 4 years and many more in syndication.

Heading the team is Devon Miles.  A prim-and-proper British gentleman, he prefers the finer things in life.  Because of this, he and Michael clash over methodology, style of dress, and even the food that they eat – because Michael prefers 20th Century American fast food, and Devon does not.

Rounding out this team is Bonnie Barstowe.  She is KITT’s primary technician and one of the scientists for the Knight Foundation.  In stereotypical Action Show fashion, Bonnie’s “Intelligence is Only Matched by Her Beauty.”  In reality, Bonnie’s character is supposed to be the sex symbol of the show.  She does, however, do some rather amazing things when you think about them – even if she only gets them as lines for the show, most of the time.

Since this is an Action Show of the 1980s, expect the usual sexism and racial issues that plagued the genre during the time period.  However, given how Larson and company handled such issues in Battlestar Galactica, I would expect them to be not as bad, nor not as blatant as some of the other showrunners at the time.

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One Response to Chasing Knight Rider: The Preamble

  1. I loved those shows. They were the only thing worth watching back then when most people had only the big three (ABC,NBC,CBS) and maybe 1 or 2 local channels. No one had cable en mass before 1984 and “I want my MTV” Fox had yet to get it together. I just now remembered Airwolf! How could I forget. I saw Jan Michael Vincent when he was a mess. Yikes.
    I came upon your site while doing some research on 80’s shows.

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