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"Fifteen years ago, all it took was one man and one machine to get the job done. Now, the Foundation for Law and Government has assembled five highly skilled operatives and paired them with the most advanced, state-of-the-art vehicles to take on a new breed of outlaw. They are: Team Knight Rider."
Short-lived Revival of the 1982-1986 NBC series Knight Rider. Run from October, 1997 to May, 1998. A total of 22 episodes in a single season. Rather than focusing on one man and his car, TKR featured a team of five operatives and vehicles:
- "Dante", a Ford Expedition. Operated by Kyle Stewart (Brixton Karnes), a former CIA agent.
- "Domino", a Ford Mustang. Operated by Jenny Andrews (Christine Steel), a former Marine. She was a veteran of the Gulf War.
- "Beast", an F-150. Operated by Duke DePalma (Duane Davis), a former officer of the Chicago police and boxer.
- "Plato" and "Kat", custom motorcycles which could combine to form a "high speed pursuit vehicle". Operated respectively by Kevin "Trek" Sanders (Nick Wechsler), and Erica West (Kathy Trageser). Sanders is a technical expert; West is a former con artist and professional thief.
The series was considered a failure on many levels. In addition to failing to draw much public interest, it (perhaps unfairly) alienated most fans, whose common complaints were:
- Departure from the "One man can make a difference" premise
- Use of Ford, rather than Pontiac vehicles (Though Ford made an extremely generous offer to the producers, many fans of the original series are rabid Pontiac fans)
- Lack of spectacular "feature of the week" abilities (Probably due to budget constraints)
- Insertion of a comic book style plot arc
- Absence of a KITT-style red "Cylon eye" on the vehicles
- The High Speed Pursuit Vehicle really did look pretty silly.
So outraged were fans of the original series that it was widely speculated that TKR's producers were intentionally attempting to make a bad series as a personal slight against original series creator Glen Larson.
None of the original cast appeared in this series, though Edward Mulhare was cast in a recurring guest role. His untimely death made this impossible. The characters of KITT and Michael Knight made cameos in the series finale, but were played by stand ins.
- AI Is a Crapshoot (KRO)
- Automated Automobiles
- Big Bad
- Cliff Hanger (The series finale, unfortunately titled "Legion of Doom")
- Cool Garage (In this case, a VTOL cargo plane)
- Everybody Owns a Ford
- The Faceless (Several: "Shadow Man", eventually revealed to be a hologram produced by KITT. Michael Knight in the series finale. Moebius, the series Big Bad, in his first several appearances. His true identity was never revealed, but he was eventually given the face of actor David McCallum)
- Five-Man Band
- Immune to Bullets (though to a lesser extent than its predecessor)
- The Lab Rat (Trek, Plato's driver)
- Off-the-Shelf FX (most prominent with Kat and Plato; the two motorcycles have odd-looking bits of plastic bolted to them to look "futuristic", and the combined High Speed Pursuit Vehicle looked like two motorcycles slinging a frame between them.)
- Robot Buddy
- Shout-Out (pictures of Edward Mulhare, David Hasslehoff, and KITT are occasionally seen in the background)
- Sister Becky (Plato and Kat were replaced by more realistic motorcycles without explanation, and an even sillier looking HSPV resulted. Also KITT and Michael Knight in the series finale)
- Story Arc
- Weapon of Mass Destruction (In nearly every episode. Superweapons include: a weather control device; an earthquake machine; two mind control devices; Liquified Nitrogen Gas (which is a high explosive. Presumably the writers really meant Liquified Natural Gas; Nitrogen is inert); KRO; an EMP gun; super-powered armor)