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Knight Rider Complete on Blu-ray

Monday, 07 November 2016 00:00

Knight Rider - The Complete Collection now available on Blu-rayTV supremo Glen A Larson followed up hits such as the original Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century with one of his most fondly-remembered smashes: Knight Rider. On the surface, this tale of a man and his car defending the innocent and vulnerable against evil tycoons and corrupt officials might sound a little corny, but not when your star is David Hasselhoff and this is certainly no ordinary car!

Hasselhoff (Baywatch, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”) plays Michael Knight, an ex-cop rescued from near-death and given a new identity under the auspices of a private foundation. His somewhat unorthodox partner is KITT (voiced by William Daniels), aka the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a souped-up Pontiac Firebird Trans Am sporting self-aware and very sarcastic AI, a nearly indestructible shell and a large array of gadgets to help get Michael out of almost any scrape.

Michael’s boss at the Foundation for Law and Government is Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare – The Ghost & Mrs Muir, “Our Man Flint”), an English toff who tries, and generally fails, to educate his charge in the finer things in life. They are aided by automotive engineer Bonnie Barstow (Patricia McPherson - Ariel in Star Trek: The Next Generation “Angel One”), and later April Curtis (Rebecca Holden – guest star on The New Mike Hammer, The Master, Taxi, TJ Hooker, Matt Houston and Police Squad!).

The show was a huge success in its day, thanks to a number of key elements. The chemistry between the cast, especially The Hoff, KITT and Mulhare is second to none. The wonder-car’s AI is voiced by William Daniels (“The Graduate”, St Elsewhere); he does a stunning job of giving KITT the most supercilious, warmly cheeky personality you could imagine (if you discount the frostier Orac from Blake’s 7!). It is no easy job when all he gets to act with, other than his voice, is a pulsing red light on the dazzling dashboard.

The episodes have a ton of charm, humour and daft enthusiasm about them. We all know the premise is preposterous, even in this day and age when self-driving cars are no longer fictitious, but the viewer cannot help but go with the flow, lapping up Michael’s lanky charisma, the frequently hilarious but also often impressive stunt work, and the fact that our hero effortlessly convinces helpless women and young kids to get into his car five seconds after he has met them!

Early highlights include seeing KITT indulging in matador duties to keep a rampaging bull occupied, running rings round a biker gang and taking on his evil, similarly-specced twin KARR Let us just say that KITT does not take kindly to being called the ‘inferior production model’!

The series’ theme tune by Larson and Stu Phillips is quite brilliant, capturing the high-tech, high-energy tone, complete with a breathy, booming narration by Richard Basehart (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), who plays the Foundation’s head in the pilot episode.

Knight Rider was the basis for a succession of less well-received spin-off series and TV movies, and even to this day, another revival is rumoured to be in development. You cannot keep a winning formula down!

This box set features all four seasons of the original series, which amounts to a whopping 90 episodes, all remastered in stunning high-definition. Whether you are new to the series, have fond memories of it or even if you already own the original DVD release, this is a must for any TV connoisseur.

Special features include:

  • “Knight Moves”
  • “Knight Rider: Under the Hood”
  • Photo Gallery
  • Blueprints Gallery
  • The Great 80’s TV Flashback

Knight Rider - The Complete Collection (1982-86) is out on Blu-ray on 21 November 2016, courtesy of Fabulous Films Limited. The 20-disc set has a running time of 4327 minutes approx, carries a '12' certificate and retails for £149.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 08:47

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