Knight of the Reboot

Well, this week’s episode formally started the new “reboot” of the Knight Rider series into something closer to the original 80’s series.   Although not obvious from this episode itself, this is part 1 of a 3-part story which will shake up the status quo.

The first change is the new opening which I’ve linked to above.   To be honest, I’m pretty ambivalent on it.  A lot of it feels like it cuts around too quickly to me, and there are a lot of shots that are obviously tacked in and will presumably change as main cast members exit over the course of the next few episodes.

The build up to this transition also started in last week’s episode I felt.  Aside from the conversation between Billy and Zoey, which was about as subtle as Brian Blessed (“KARR Lives!!!!!!”), we also had a much more shadey Torres (something we’ve been expecting going by the videos linked to in his Knight Industries profile).   To be honest, its been a bit of an issue I’ve had with this plot arc.   Torres seems to be a shadey character, hiding Mike’s past from him, involved with KARR etc, however in many of the episodes he’s a friendly member of the team.  I’d have preferred to see him more stand-offish from the beginning if he’s truely using the team for his larger gameplan (of course, he may not be, we’ll find out in a couple of weeks).

And talking of KARR, we’re seeing more footage of him in the various trailers.   The newest being here:

I’m really impressed.  The CGI looks very detailed, and its obvious a lot of time and money have gone into making KARR look good.   If you watch carefully (and the HD version will probably help), you can see he’s got a yellow scanner bar at the top of his head, so its nice to see that confirmed 🙂

Overall, I’m still enjoying this series and I’m optimistic about the new direction.  The cast’s always felt a bit big, and Bruce Davison’s Graiman has been criminally wasted in this show.  We’re seeing a lot more building of the relationship between KITT and Mike in the newer episodes, and the production team have been promising more action with KITT which we saw with the return of Turbo Boost this week, and the classic Ski Mode is due for a comeback as well.  These were pretty much at the core of the appeal of the original series, so should boost this new series as well.

There’s a good interview with Gary Scott Thompson regarding the show’s future here on Knight Rider Online.  Well worth a look, and I found it interesting and candid.  I liked his point about how Knight Rider appeals strongly the male demographic, which gives it an advantage.   Hopefully if the KARR episodes and the reboot can give the ratings a bit of a boost, we may still get a second series.

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19 thoughts on “Knight of the Reboot

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  1. Not seen this yet (Computer problems, damn them) but the interview in SFX Gary Scott Thompson seemed, well, not entirely happy with teh way things were going, and he pretty much admitted they were to a large extent winging it with the cuts demanded by the studio.

    Hope this one lives. We need a light fun show, particularly since Pushing Dasies is axed and Middleman looks really uncertain.

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  2. Not read that interview yet. Is it in the latest issue?

    Does sound like a good interview though. He’s given a few fairly honest interviews lately about the show and its something I really appreciate.

    If Middleman doesn’t get a second season, there”s no justice in the world.

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  3. Its a page or so, and yes it is pretty good.

    Rumours are that there will be no Middleman season 2 which is an Outrage and I am writing to my MP. That will make teh next election more interesting “What do you want” A second season of Middleman, do that and you get my vote.

    SOme peopel are already suggesting shoudl a DVD boxed set appear we all buy 3 copies and see if we can get a film made.

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  4. Don’t know if I could afford 3 copies, but I’m definitely nabbing season 1 on DVD the minute it comes out. An excellent show, and one that I’ll happily load up random episodes of to watch on DVD.

    I really wish I wasn’t at work so I could dig out my SFX issue and read that interview, and thus contribute something Knight Rider-related to this reply…

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  5. Oh, the interview does let something slip, A cast member’s dying wish will be that they go back to the “One man Can make a difference” helping out small towns against bikers. WHo will this dying man be, Graman? Michael Knight, Original KITT?

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  6. While the Mustang was originally a bit of a shock, I’ve really grown to like it. Its a great looking car, albeit in a different way to the original Pontiac. The red scanner light is still there as well, just redesigned.

    Completely forgot to read that interview last night. That sounds interesting though, and a nice call-back to the original series. I’m convinced its Graiman, and after seeing the military trying to pervert his technology, his dying wish will be to cut ties to the Government and have Sarah restart FLAG (which Graiman mentioned wanting to do in the pilot).

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  7. Gang of Bikers?

    Finaly this series will get what it really needs, Stock footage of KITT brekaing Mike out of Jail. Now Mike can be arrested as many times as he likes because we know he’ll always be busted out of the eerily familiar jail cell.

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  8. Ok, I’ve now read the interview, and its quite surprising. GST is mercifully honest (as I say, something I’ve very much appreciated in his interviews), however I’m not completely sure I agree with him. While I do agree that ripping out the arc plot and flashbacks wasn’t a great idea (we’ve mentioned before how tacked together the arc has seemed in some episodes, and this explains why) I do agree with the network, that Knight Rider definitely doesn’t need to be dark and gritty.

    GST’s comments do make it sound like he wanted the show to be quite arc-heavy, and more focused on the large cast of characters over the Mike/KITT relationship and cool car stunts. To be honest, having just watched the latest episode, it benefits enormously from a bonkers opening 10 minutes of high speed driving and turbo boosts.

    While I appreciate the direction it seems he was trying to go in, I’m not sure its necessarily a fit for what people expect from Knight Rider. Of course, since we’ve been watching something that’s been a hack-and-slash job from what he wants versus what the network wants, its probably unfair to judge the show as it stands. It seems to me that the episodes starting from this reboot will be the ones to truely judge the show on, now that hopefully all parties are on the same page.

    I just hope the network is willing to give the show a chance after these initial teething problems, and throw advertising weight behind it and allow it to find its audience. I also hope that this clash of ideas hasn’t killed the show off in regards to the general audience’s view of the show, before it found its footing.

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  9. I actually thought it explained the Hack and Slash nature of the show quite well, why the arc plot seemed tacked on at times. It is a shame when studio/creator differencesso visably jar and I just hope it doesn’t damage the show too much.

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  10. It definitely does. Reminds me a lot of Crusade, which famously had the season round the wrong way thanks to clashes in direction between JMS and the studio, and I know that the episode order of Knight Rider has been mucked about a lot.

    As I say, here’s hoping that with this reboot everyone’s on the same page now.

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  11. Indeed. In fairness Knight Rider actually held its core audience against the new series of American Idol last week which is a good sign. However this week sees the new season of Lost starting, which I suspect will be a larger test. I can see the ratings taking a bit of a hit 😦

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  12. Actually I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that they are taken into account in the final ratings now. Although how that works with advertising I don’t know.

    I’m not sure if that’s UK or US either, so it still may not count.

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