Knight Rider-Season 1 (1982)

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Released 1-Dec-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Knight Rider: Under The Hood
Notes-K.I.T.T. Owners Manual
Featurette-Blueprints Gallery
Gallery-Photo
Featurette-Knight Moves
Featurette-Knight Sounds
Audio Commentary-'Knight Of The Phoenix'- David Hasselhoff & Glen Larson
Synopsis
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 1014:59 (Case: 1164)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Multi Disc Set (8)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Charles Bail
Gil Bettman
Bruce Bilson
Bob Bralver
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring David Hasselhoff
Edward Mulhare
Patricia McPherson
Rebecca Holden
Peter Parros
William Daniels
Case ?
RPI $79.95 Music Laura Branigan
William Broughton
Glen A. Larson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Knight Rider is another one of those highly memorable TV shows from the 1980s. While hardly the rival of Magnum P.I., it has its own charm that made it an endearing staple for so long.

    The plot of Knight Rider follows the adventures of Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), a.k.a. Michael Long, a police detective shot down in the line of duty and saved by a wealthy industrialist and humanitarian. As his final gift to humanity, he gives the world the Knight Industries Two Thousand, or KITT (voiced by William Daniels), who together with ex-OSS agent Devon (Edward Mulhare) works with the Foundation for Law and Government – which is not quite as George Orwellian as it sounds.

    The first season ran through the following 22 episodes:

Disc 1

1.3 Deadly Maneuvers (46:17)

    Michael and KITT investigate a murder on a military weapons testing base related to blue paint.

1.4 Good Day At White Rock (46:15)

    While on holiday, Michael and KITT are called upon to save a town from a bunch of vicious bikers.

1.5 Slammin Sammy’s Stunt Show Spectacular (46:06)

    Accidents related to insurance fraud at a stunt show have Michael and KITT doing daredevil stunts while Michael investigates.

Disc 2

1.6 Just My Bill (46:13)

    Michael and KITT are assigned to protect a senator who has displeased a few people with her political stance.

1.7 Not A Drop To Drink (46:12)

    A fight over water rights brings Michael and KITT to a ranch where Michael has to keep the water running and stop the farmers from doing anything to prevent legal action.

1.8 No Big Thing (45:37)

    A petty crime puts Devon in jail, but when the police murder one of the other inmates, he needs protection from Michael and KITT.

Disc 3

1.9 Trust Doesn’t Rust (45:19)

    KITT’s evil twin KARR – the version of KITT without a conscience – is accidentally sprung from confinement by couple of drunken burglars. When they use KARR to go on a crime spree, it’s up to Michael and KITT to stop it.

1.10 Inside Out (46:17)

    To infiltrate a military crime syndicate, Michael pretends to be a famous getaway artist in order to foil a heist.

1.11 The Final Verdict (46:15)

    When Michael’s friend is accused of murder, Michael must track down an accountant who has been cooking the books.

Disc 4

1.12 A Plush Ride (46:14)

    When the Foundation learns about a plot to assassinate a group of leaders from the Third World, Michael is put undercover in a school for chauffer-bodyguards.

1.13 Forget Me Not (46:18)

    The key to preventing the assassination of a Latin American president is locked in the mind of a girl with amnesia. Can Michael help her drag those memories back?

1.14 Hearts Of Stone (45:56)

    Michael masquerades as an arms dealer to bring down a cartel of gun runners with a new weapon.

Disc 5

1.15 Give Me Liberty ... Or Give Me Death (46:14)

    There is a saboteur at work in a race promoting alternative fuels, and so Michael and KITT are send to investigate.

1.16 The Topaz Connection (46:18)

    When a men’s magazine publisher is murdered, Michael is sent to look after his daughter and uncover the identity of the killers.

1.17 A Nice, Indecent Little Town (46:13)

    Michael tracks a counterfeiter to a small backwater town where things are not what they seem.

Disc 6

1.18 Chariot Of Gold (46:16)

    A series of murders has taken place at a special institution for the intellectually gifted and Michael and KITT must solve the crimes.

1.19 White Bird (46:13)

    When a paralegal is arrested as part of a conspiracy, Michael steps in to save her from being killed by the mob. The only problem is, she is his former fiancé.

1.20 Knight Moves (46:12)

    When a number of trucks are hijacked on the highway, Michael and KITT are sent to find out what is going on and stop the hijackings.

Disc 7

1.21 Nobody Does It Better (46:15)

    While assigned by the Foundation to uncover the identity of a software thief, Michael finds his every step dogged by a bothersome private eye.

1.1 & 1.2 Knight Of The Phoenix: Part I & II (92:03)

    When police detective Lt. Michael Long is shot in the face and left for dead, he wakes up with a new identity, the subject of a generous benefactor who wishes to use his technology to fight crime – starting with a hi-tech car with artificial intelligence known as the Knight Industries Two Thousand, or KITT for short.

Disc 8

1.22 Short Notice (46:16)

    An accident that leaves a motorcyclist dead puts Michael in the hands of the only witness – a woman who insists he help her find her kidnapped child before she will clear his name.

    While hardly a staple of the genre, Knight Rider is one of the more memorable 80s TV shows, perhaps remembered more for later parodies than its own unequivocal style. For a show that sometimes focuses more on its technical marvel (KITT) than it does on its plot, this is hardly surprising. And it lacks the adult dark edge of the similarly themed show Airwolf that enables this to span the decades convincingly. Indeed, viewed through the lens of age and reason, this show comes out utterly hilarious, in a bad fashion kind of way.

    However, if you are a child of the 80s, this will bring back some memories. If you're a child, this will probably make good viewing. Whether there is an audience outside of that bracket for this show, I am less certain. Still, good fun entertainment, and a great way to while the hours away while coming down from Friday night.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, non-16x9 enhanced, this is the original broadcast aspect ratio of the series.

    Overall, the picture is pretty good, although not outstanding. It suffers from some mild graininess that was no doubt a symptom of the film technology of the time.

    Another side effect of the limited film technology is the shadow detail. This is pretty poor overall, and night shots tended to be overexposed dayshots made to look like night with a full moon. Whenever real night shots were used, the quality was noticeably reduced.

    Colour is on the whole fairly good, and probably better than it was at the time on broadcast TV.

    There were no horrendous MPEG artefacts, but the picture was highly prone to aliasing, particularly on straight metal edges that were reflecting sun. There was also a fair bit of background moire effect, but nothing too bad.

    Film artefacts abounded, with opening credit sequences generally being the worst affected parts. However, there were also the odd hairs, and flecks of dirt that cropped up. There was a big white blotch in the middle of the screen from 33:33-5 during White Bird that I think was the worst of it.

    Subtitles are available in English for the Hearing Impaired. These are fairly accurate, following the dialogue pretty closely, and are easy to read.

    The dual-layer pauses occur at the following places:



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Sound is presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono which is the original sound mix for the show.

    Dialogue is nicely reproduced, although there were a few noticeable audio sync glitches that were undoubtedly from the source material.

    The classic theme song by Stu Phillips is given a good mixing, although it is still clearly monoaural. Shame.

    Given the mono limits of this track, there was no surround use and no subwoofer use. There is a decent range in the mono field, though, but this does not compensate for the mono-directional audio on such an action driven show.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in 1.33:1 Full Frame. The main menu is of the credits with the theme music in 2.0 Dolby Stereo. All other menus are static and silent.

Episode Summaries

    Each episode has a small inset still frame summary.

Disc 1

Featurette - “Knight Rider: Under The Hood” (15:52)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this is a doco looking at how the series was created. Includes interviews with cast and crew.

Disc 2

KITT Owner’s Manual

    Allows you to highlight various panels in KITT’s ‘cockpit’ and get information about what the buttons and displays do.

Disc 3

Featurette - “Blue Prints Gallery” (3:09)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this takes a look through the various design drawings for various aspects of the show.

Disc 4

Featurette - “Photo Gallery” (2:56)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, these are a set of photos from promotion and production of the series presented to the theme music.

Disc 5

Featurette - “Knight Moves” (6:09)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this feature looks at all the stunts and tricks that KITT does with a little help from the stunt men. Includes an interview with stunt coordinator Jack Gill.

Disc 6

Featurette - “Knight Sounds” (6:39)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this little featurette looks at all the composing of the music for the show and how music was used.

Disc 7

Audio Commentary on Knight Of The Phoenix: Part I & II by writer/creator Glen A. Larson and actor David Hasselhoff

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this track is fairly mundane, with lots of long pauses, like these guys are getting too old to talk in an animated fashion. There’s a few good anecdotes here in between things, but not an astounding commentary – both talk more freely when the cameras are on them.

Disc 8

Bonus TV Movie - Knight Rider 2000 (90:53)

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is the TV movie that was done as an attempt to revive the show in the early 1990s. This is a surprisingly good TV movie, with plenty of dark overtones which reflects the growth of the show for a growing audience. The plot involves Michael being brought out of retirement to save Seattle from a crime spree in the lead up to the launch of the Knight Industries Four Thousand or KIFF. While sound quality is good, video quality leaves a bit to be desired, and this looks like it has been transferred from VHS. Bad grain and bad aliasing.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Apprently, the R1 version has the pre-credit teaser sequences in tact and the pilot double episode Knight Of The Phoenix is at the start on the first disc. Other than that, there is the NTSC/PAL and region formatting difference. As far as special features and language options go, the R1 and R4 versions are identical.

Summary

    Knight Rider – Season 1 is old school TV with more focus on stunts and action and less on any feeble excuse for a plot. Some of the episodes here are quite good, but a lot are just a loose thread to hang a series of scenes with stuff blowing up on. Not that I’m against that, mind you...

    Video is acceptable, but far from perfect. Still, the resolution is better than it was on TV – you can see all the squibs set to explode on KITT’s hood in many of the episodes.

    The sound is a fairly mundane monaural experience.

    There are several good extras that are actually worth watching.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
You've got 1.1 and 1.2 in the disc section -
Re: You've got 1.1 and 1.2 in the WRONG disc section -
Episode list is correct -
Re: Episode list is correct - REPLY POSTED
The Commentary - Trevor REPLY POSTED
Episode 1.8 -