Questions about the series

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SITT
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Questions about the series

Post by SITT » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:09 am

Hey guys, I'm re-watching the series for the first time in years and I have a few questions.

1) How did the crew facilitate the "driverless" KITT scenes? Was it simply a case of the stunt driver lying on his side, or was it a more elaborate setup?

2) How many Trans Am's were totalled during production of the series?

3) Is there a reason given for KARR's survival? (I'm part way through S1, and I remember seeing KITT vs KARR as a kid, so I know he survives, I just don't remember if they explained how).

4) If any of you have a full size replica of KITT, what's it like driving with that steering wheel? It always struck me as insanely cool, but possibly a bit hard to control during violent manoeuvres.
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Re: Questions about the series

Post by corlando52 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:51 pm

1 - Various ways were used to accomplish KITT driving himself. Early on, they had someone behind the driver's seat and a netting was used between the headrest area and back of the PMD seat so he could see where he was going. He also wore a suit that looked like the seat upholstery. If you look closely, you will see his arms retracting as he finishes driving and KITT stops. Later on, they made a driverless KITT with a small steering wheel on the passenger side. The driver would be practically lying down and looking through a monitor to see where he was going. Here's a shot of the driverless stunt car:
Image

2 - A lot of these questions can be answered if you buy either or both of these books: Knight Rider Legacy, Knight Rider Companion. Also, Joe Huth has a Knight Rider Historian site here:
http://www.knightriderhistorians.com/
He is also coming out with a new book in about a month. You can write to him through his website.

3 - KARR survived because they wanted to do another episode with him. There is no clear reason why he survived, other than possibly his molecularly bonded shell protected him.

4 - I have a 1:1 replica of KITT. When KR first came out, I was driving a 1974 Corvette. I fell in love with KITT and tried to emulate the interior as best as I could, making my own digital dash, etc. I found a steering wheel and cut it into a gullwing, and drove it every day. I told you that to tell you this. I LOVE driving with a gullwing steering wheel! It opens up the entire dash. You don't realize how much a steering wheel obscures your vision. And it seems easier to drive with for some reason, like it's more balanced. The only thing that takes getting used to is when you back up, you can't, obviously, rest your hand on the top of the steering wheel. But after a couple of times, you realize you have to use the side of the wheel. No problem.

Hope this helped!

Chris

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Re: Questions about the series

Post by Knight Racer » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:03 pm

Image

Thats one image of the guy wearing the seat.I heard there were times when David climbed into the car after an autopilot sequence and David would fight with the guy who would take over the passengerseat driver or him.

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Re: Questions about the series

Post by SITT » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:51 pm

Wow, thanks very much for the informative reply, Chris!

That's fascinating, I had no idea there was so much thought put into it. It's genius in its simplicity. I remember on Tomorrow Never Dies they built back seat driver controls into a BMW and had the stunt driver covered with a dark cloth, that's what got me wondering about the techniques on Knight Rider. A mate of mine did a single shot of a driverless car in his film (link in sig.) and what he did was recline the seat all the way back (if you look carefully, you can see there's no headrest where the driver's seat should be). Took a few takes to get him to stop the car in the right place, but worked okay in the end.

Glad to know that the yolk steering wheel handles well, and as you say, reversing must be a little tricky to get used to! Now all we need is a road-legal turbo-boost...

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Re: Questions about the series

Post by Skav » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:03 pm

The thing is you could always see the cover covering the back seat driver whenever KITT drove himself apart from in season 4 when they put the seat further back. To overcome the problem during season 1-3, they could have used better camera angles.

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