What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

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What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by jup » Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:01 am

I was thinking about this, a little earlier. We're entering the days where so much of Knight Rider's science fiction is turning into everyday fact. Many drivers have been using mapping systems (GPS) for a few years. Self driving cars are out there (in limited numbers) among all the other vehicles. Phones and other electronics are growing cleaver enough to hold limited levels of conversations. Flying cameras are becoming common enough to buy in select stores. Watches can do everything that Michael's watch once did. (Two way communication/video transmission...tell time. I think we can nix the high voltage transmission bit.)

But, here's my question. What about the plots?

What plot devices still work in these modern times and what is only good for nostalgia references?

For example: Michael getting out of KITT to use a payphone when they have a fight would be as hard a sell today as Superman changing in a phone booth. But, using train tracks as an emergency route still stands the test of time.

Or using turbo to outrun a corrupt cop's malfunctioning radar gun still has some valid value to this day. But, making a stand in a mountain town against a bunch of bikers that are up to no good would seem to be a script more worthy of being under glass in that history of television museum then in use, these days.

While going head-to-head with an urbanized battle tank can still work, would giving a ride to a gypsy kid have any place, these days?

Would putting your brand new car into a demolition derby race still be entertaining or just a bit too simplistic? Or would it just seem too stupid to test a software company's security system to some random guy, like Michael once did to some arcade maker's warehouse?

So, what plots still work with little to no tweaking and what plots are simply outdated? After all, Stevie and Michael's love are pretty much an eternal relationship, regardless of the time. But, a talking teddy bear that makes insults might be too passé.

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Re: What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:56 am

I think I have one: White Line Warriors.

A radio DJ plays "Crumblin' Down" when he knows the cops are busy chasing street racers to notify burglars that "the coast is clear" for the robberies.

Today, he would simply send a text or post a coded tweet as a signal.
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Re: What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:47 pm

This doesn't quite fall into the same category, but I want to mention Sky Knight: would they make that episode today?

We think of hijackers a LOT differently now than we did in the 80s. Enough time has passed that they could do the episode today, but I bet in 2002 they would have avoided it completely. Knight Rider was/is a light-hearted action adventure show and had it been on the air in the early 2000's I bet they would have avoided a plot line about a highjacked plane.
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Re: What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by jup » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:57 am

Those are some very good points, indeed. Our modern life has so much integrated contact that it becomes almost convoluted to signal a group via FM radio when a mass text with code words is a far superior choice. Why, even my DS is capable of passing along messages on an unmonitored, short wave basis.

And, we've all become ultra sensitive to the powerful dangers of hijacked planes. Why, it's probably in the same ranks of sensitive in the American culture as Fat Man and Little Boy are to the Japanese culture. Life lessons that are to never be forgotten, no matter how much time may pass.

I can also say that an episode about a computer genius that hacks into KITT would be showing it's age. I certainly can understand how a rewrite could make the story work in a modern age. But, when whole groups of cyber terrorists bring down corporate web sites and services...sometimes for months...a story about a lone super smart computer user in a world where most people only vaguely know the word 'computer' is something out of a time capsule. However, an experimental, self driving car that runs on solar power could easily fit with a modernized episode.

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Re: What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by Scott Kirkessner » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:17 pm

I would say Knight of the Phoenix and any episode concerning industrial espionage doesn't hold up. With WikiLeaks and the Sony hacks, there wouldn't be any reason for Cameron Zachary to send Tanya and the rest of his crew to worm their way into companies, where he can find some major computer wizards like Randy and steal secrets from the comfort of their chairs.

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Re: What episodes DON'T stand the test of time?

Post by KFCreator » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:13 am

I don't know, I think the majority of the storylines still could hold up, albeit if it were being produced for a modern audience, there would obviously be some major tweaks done. But industrial espionage could definitely still happen by planting a mole into a company or organization. In this day and age, yes, a lot of company secrets are stored in computers. But I would be willing to bet that the best kept secrets have never been recorded in an Email or a file, they are secrets that some people would only ever risk communicating verbally to a trusted friend or colleague. As for Sky Knight, why is that storyline so hard to believe for today? Sure, they may have avoided that storyline in the early 2000s, but nowadays, I could see that storyline still holding up. People take hostages now all the time for the stupidest reasons, so why not for something like releasing political prisoners? Even for White Line Warriors, you gotta admit that having a DJ playing a certain song to send a signal is a pretty ingenious idea, even for today (aside from the fact that not many people listen to the actual radio anymore). It's safer than a text message or a tweet, which could potentially be intercepted by a third party (which, if you don't craft your words just right, the internet will take all of 30 seconds to screenshot it and keep it for all eternity, no matter if you edit or delete it later).
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