Happy 5 year anniversary, KARR 2.0

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Happy 5 year anniversary, KARR 2.0

Post by Michael Pajaro » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:57 pm

Today marks the 5th anniversary of “Knight to King’s Pawn”, KR08’s episode with KARR. I rewatched it, and I think it held up pretty well. In fact, I may have even enjoyed it more now than when it first aired (there was just SOOOO much hype and pressure on it for that first viewing!) So here are some of the things I really liked about it:

Peter Cullen as the voice of KARR
YES! They brought back the voice of KARR from the 80s.

Renaming KARR
In “Knight of the Living Dead” they hint at KARR a bit and KITT calls him the “Knight Auto-cybernetic Roving Robotic exoskeleton” which is too much a mouthful. In “Knight to King’s Pawn” Billy calls KARR the “Knight Automated Roving Robot.” Much better.

KARR as a robot
OK, I know this is controversial. But in 2008, with Transformers being a huge hit on the big screen, Knight Rider stayed with the times and gave us our own transforming killer robot.

It’s heavy
The episode opens with Sarah escaping to Hawaii after her father’s death, drinking away her sorrows. It’s not pretty, but there’s a certain “honesty” to her reaction. The events of the previous episode carry through.

The battle scene
It’s pretty cool watching KARR literally punch and toss KITT around.

Killing Torres
I liked Torres. I always think it’s interesting to have regular characters who have questionable ethics, so Torres created some good inner-conflict. But the show decided to weed down the cast a bit to focus more on Michael and KITT, so Torres had to go following the departure of Carrie and Charles.

Graiman’s speech
This episode completed the reboot of the series and gave the show a new focus. A holographic Graiman tells the team: “You can now be the Knight Industries that Wilton Knight always envisioned. You can reinstitute FLAG, the Foundation for Law And Government, completely autonomous, no more hidden agendas, no more interference… just what you think is right. You can make a difference, but you must decide.” I get chills just thinking about it. Anyone who complained that the show strayed too far from the original HAD to feel optimistic about the new direction for the series after hearing this.

Of course, it was far from perfect. They missed the boat on a few things:

Rushed ending
If ever there was a reason to have a two-part episode, this was it. The episode keeps building and building but we really don’t see KARR until the very end and then it’s rushed. The entire battle is about 90 seconds. I understand that the budget would only allow for 90 seconds of footage, but with some very simple editing they could have expanded it to even 5 or 10 minutes. Instead of having KARR talk DURING the action, why not do cutaways to his dialog and then go back to the action visuals? Cut in some scenes of Billy and Zoe racing to try and download new files into KITT to get his systems online. Whatever.

The Music
When Mike infiltrates a government compound to retrieve KITT, they blast AC/DC’s Rock ’N Roll Train, a new song at the time. I have nothing against AC/DC, but it just seemed really out of place in the episode

Bad editing
This is a nitpick but a big one. For the spectacular climax, KITT turbo boosts into KARR with a gigantic explosion. But because of some sloppy audio editing, when Mike says “KITT turbo boost now” KITT is already in the air before Mike finishes speaking. It was so close to being spectacular.

The big thing that got to me was Graiman's speech. It REALLY captured the potential and intentions of the writers of how they wanted to really revamp the show. At this point though the writing was already on the wall for the show and it wasn't going to get an extra chance.
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Re: Happy 5 year anniversary, KARR 2.0

Post by Ravagedhobo » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:00 pm

You nailed it right on the head, I was a huge fan of the 2008 series (for many of the same reasons) and I to have a few things that bugged me (not to make me stop watching more just little things)

The cgi was ok, but it definitely could of been improved on, mainly when KITT transformed, you could definitely tell that he didn't really fit into the scene.

Some Episode writing
There were a few episodes where the writing was a little out of place, it didn't feel like it was all fitting into the emotion or scene.

Over all I loved the 2008 Knight Rider and I was pretty mad when it got cancelled.


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Re: Happy 5 year anniversary, KARR 2.0

Post by Knight Racer » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:02 pm

I’m glad they brought back Optimus Prime for this since this is the first appearance of karr in this series it fit all too well.That and he was the holy grail of our childhood for those of us who are children of the 80's.I too preferred the older Karr name but this would confuse us between 2 different versions of what Karr was in the 80’s and what he was when Mike was running it as the first pilot.I do like how they differentiated it from the older karr by giving it a transformer state of being and its extended acronym name from the original karr to let us know its not the same karr.There was literally 1 minute 30 seconds of karr/kitt battle screen time.It was too short-lived in my opinion.Could have been an even better 2 parter.By killing Torrez and the rest of the team like that it made the show more about 1 man and one car.Watching a few scenes form the first season of KR80’s I really saw how Devon and Bonnie didn’t have as much screen time as the new team did and it made the show more of a buddy buddy cop show in a way like what we’re getting in Almost Human (very close to KR) and a bunch of other shows & movies.I loved Graiman’s speech too.I was hoping they would use the F.L.A.G. acronym more.I don’t know if they even knew what it stould for until Charles mentioned it in his holographic form.Just saw we agree on the length of time this episode could have taken.

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