Knight Rider-Season 2 (1982)

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Released 19-Sep-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer- Magnum P.I. Series 1, Miami Vice Series 1, A-Team Series 1
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 1104:00 (Case: 1112)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (6)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 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
Case ?
RPI $59.95 Music Laura Branigan
William Broughton
Glen A. Larson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German 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
French
German
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
French Titling
German Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Michael Knight (David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff) is back in this, the second season of Glen A. Larson's seminal science fiction series that anthropomorphises a car – the charismatic K.I.T.T. (voiced by William Daniels).

    For those who want a run down of the show, my review of the first season is here. I shall not waste your time with episode summaries – you can find good summaries at TV.com. The following sets out how these episodes are arranged on the 6 discs of this second season:

Disc 1

Disc 2

Disc 3

Disc 4

Disc 5

Disc 6

    Aside from the fact that the Foundation For Law And Government still sounds like a scary as hell secret police unit that drags people from their homes in the night and interrogates them in dungeon cells (potentially with electrodes connected to privates), the second season is certainly an improvement on the first.

    There are more true "stories" here, with three 2-part episodes, and some standout episodes such as Goliath Parts I & II, Return To Cadiz, Goliath Returns Parts I & II, and Big Iron, plus far fewer appalling episodes like Slammin Sammy’s Stunt Show Spectacular. Plus, the chemistry of the cast is improved, although the show's techno geek female character changes hands, with the busty April Holden as April Curtis instead of Patricia McPherson’s character Dr. Bonnie Barstow, who returns for the remainder of the show.

    If you're up for a dose of nostalgia, this show is great. It can be a little grating, and watching the whole season in a weekend is enough to really do your head in, but nothing by comparison to watching all 3 seasons of Wonder Woman in one go. All in all, I think I need to go for a jog.

    In any event, great 1980s TV, and it would be interesting to see this revitalised for the modern era – maybe in the way Michael Mann has revitalised Miami Vice for the big screen? Maybe too much to hope for...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Video is presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame - the original broadcast aspect ratio of the series.

    The image is fairly good, if not quite as detailed as I would like. Still, better than it was on TV in the day, and better than regular video.

    There is still some background aliasing and moire, but this is certainly less pronounced than the previous season. There is also a fair bit of dirt flying around, particularly in fading scene changes, which were not done digitally as they are today.

    Colour is still a touch muted by comparison to modern shows, but again, it walks all over the original broadcast, which I remember as being quite faded (I'm sure that's not just my memory fading).

    Shadow detail is acceptable, but a little murky and a touch grainy. Slightly better than the original release, though, in my opinion.

    Subtitles are available in a number of languages, though oddly on Disc 4 you choose audio and subtitles from the episode menu, rather than the home menu.

    The dual layer pauses are between the episodes, which means they are invisible. Even on Goliath Returns, I didn’t see a pause, which leads me to suspect that episodes 1 and 4 are on one layer, and episodes 2 and 3 are on the other.

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

Audio

    Audio is presented in a fairly unremarkable 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono in English, French and German. Not that it’s bad, just that it would have been nice to have something more, although maybe that would have driven the price a little high.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There was the occasional pop of static here and there, and some difficulty with outdoor scenes where obvious post-production ADR was used, but nothing shockingly awful.

    The theme music comes through loud and clear, but it's fairly monaural, as are the sound effects.

    Nothing really in the way of surrounds or subwoofer.

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 disc home menus have various clips from the credits with a 2.0 Dolby Stereo soundtrack of that well known theme. All other menus are static and silent.

Trailers (Disc 1)

R4 vs R1

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

    Content wise, R1 and R4 are largely identical, although R4 has more subtitle options and the R1 release has some subtitles. We seem to have received a better set here, with the episodes split on 6 discs, rather than on 3 dual sided discs as they are in R1. Without an R1 copy, I cannot do a direct video-to-video comparison for you.

Summary

    Knight Rider – Season 2 is great 80s TV with the Hoff in his prime.

    And it is good to see a cleaner transfer than the first season, even if some of the film-to-video artefacts are still present.

    Good to see the producers kept the special features to the first season and didn't try to make up a bunch of crap ones for the second season.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880N Deluxe, using DVI output
DisplaySony VPL-HS50 WXGA LCD Cineza Projector with 100" Longhorn Pro-series 16:9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersDigital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer

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