Super-Vehicle Sunday: “Knight Rider 2000”

David Hasselhoff in "Knight Rider 2000"

Knight Rider was a four-year shadowy flight of Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and KITT (voice of William Daniels) a man who does not exist and a car like no other, living in a dangerous world of criminals who operate above the law: championing the cause of the innocent, the helpless and powerless with Michael as a modern-day knight in shining armor/Lone Ranger and KITT as his trusty steed.  

Now in the year 2000, Michael and KITT were together again.  

Aired on May 19, 1991, Knight Rider 2000  was set to be a prototype for a new series in keeping the Knight Rider legacy going.  Set in the future, the film finds Michael Knight coming out retirement to help his mentor and Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) boss Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare).  The Knight Foundation is trying to fulfill a contract with the city to get the Knight 4000 (KIFT) off the ground and into the streets.  With only thirty days as the deadline, Michael agrees to help on one condition: KITT, who’s been considered irrelevant by Russ Maddox (the late Carmen Argenziano) to make way for KIFT.  Nevertheless, Michael was able to find the missing pieces to put KITT back together: instilling him in his classic 1957 Chevy.  They joined forces with Shawn McCormick (Susan Norman), a former cop who was shot in the head and was implanted with a memory chip in her head.  Together, they set out to avenge her and expose the conspiracy behind it: leading to a tragic fate for someone who never lost the purpose and belief that one man can make a difference.

Despite good ratings, Knight Rider 2000 didn’t make it past the pilot stage: lacking the heart, humor, and humanity that helped define the original Knight Rider 2000 – especially the smart-aleck KITT as “the car of the future”.

Still, the film influenced Viper about a special investigations team who fights crime in Metro City with the aid of the most sophisticated car on the planet.  With the flick of a button, the Viper (first a red RT/10 Roadster, later a blue GTS Coupe) morphs into the silver Defender.  A mid-season replacement on Friday nights, Viper lasted 11 episodes on NBC in 1994, but was picked for syndication two years later in 1996, where it lasted three seasons as “the perfect weapon for an imperfect future”.

Knight Rider 2000: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Knight Rider 2000” UK Commercial

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