Knight Rider 08: July 2009 Archives

John Eaves, best known as a designer for Star Trek creating the look for vehicles like the Enterprise E, shares an interesting story on his blog today. If you hadn't known, John was tapped by Richard Toyon the production designer of Knight Rider 2008. His task was to design the transforming version of KARR that was created for for Knight to King's Pawn.

Last year the old “Knight Rider” TV show from the 80’s was re-invented and had a short one season run as a new series, and sadly it died away right when it was getting it’s bearings and the cast was getting into their roles. During that time I got a call from Richard Toyon, the production designer on the show to come over and work on the Karr designs with him!! It was great fun to work on an old favorite show, and it was a treat to work with Richard.

Be sure to visit John's blog Eavesdropping with Johnny for an interesting story and additional conceptual sketches.

Today sees the release of Knight Rider (2008), Season One on DVD. This four disc set contains the original Pilot from February 2008, as well as all 17 episodes that aired from September 24, 2008 till March 4, 2009.

Overview
Originally aired in February of 2008, the "back door pilot" was watched by over 12.7 million viewers. Set in real time, of 25 years later, we find Charles Graimen (a never known creator of KITT), being pursued, which activates the Knight Industries Three Thousand, or KITT, so that it can secure Sarah, Charles's daughter, and do what is necessary to protect her and the secrets she might be able to provide.

In September of the same year, Knight Rider returned to series form. Gary Scott Thompson (of Las Vegas and Fast and the Furious fame), came aboard as showrunner to inject adrenaline into the pilot, and transition it to episodic television. Originally approved for 13 filmed episodes, news was received on October 4th that four more scripts had been requested by NBC, and by Oct 21st they had approved a full season order.

As the show changed from the pilot to series, several characters were lost, while others were gained. The small team on the run, had turned into a larger government organization in a bunker in the middle of nowhere. What they lacked in dirt and grit, they more than made up for in flash and amazement.

The episodes themselves start out as a larger seasonal arch, with a story line that was supposed to carry on throughout the season. This was a departure from the original's "self contained format", a change some welcomed, but it didn't stay that way for too long. Sub-plots containing Mike's lost memory were quickly cut from the episodes for being too graphic, and shoved online for not many to see.

With complaints of too many characters vying for screen time, and NBC failing as a network to attract any viewership for any series, thus cutting many executives on staff, a change was needed. The format shifted in brilliant form back to the Knight Rider theme of old, by "offing" several of the main cast members, and blowing up the large government organization.

This new direction, with a renewed focus on the core of Knight Rider's vision of one man making a difference, began to see the ratings improve. But it was too little too late. In December, with new management in power at NBC, production on Knight Rider shut down at the end of it's 17th filmed episode (which aired 13th), a reduction from the 23 that were promised.

While many of us fought on to have this version of Knight Rider rise again, the future is still unclear. But with this release, we get to hold onto it a little more.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has provided us with a couple of copies to give away, so here is your chance to win them! Just reply to this thread with your name and a valid email and we'll randomly pick a winner. All entries must be recieved by Midnight EST Wednesday July 29th.


Winners will be notified via email. This is open only to US residents. (they are region 1 restricted and beyond that we're paying for shipping, and those international fees are a doozy!) Remember, if you pre-order via the link on the right, a portion of your purchase will go back to supporting this site, so thank you!

Thanks to NBC Universal, we have our copy of the Knight Rider 2008 - Season One
DVD in our hands! We'll be working on a review (and maybe give a couple away!), but in the mean time check out these picks of the exterior packaging.

Sound off in the comments if there is anything you'ld to know!

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Available at Amazon for $41.99

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