Knight Rider sees Michael Long, a police detective, shot in the face and left for dead whilst on assignment. Saved by plastic surgery and a new identity, Michael Knight (Hasselhoff) is recruited to the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG), led by Devon Miles (Mulhare), assisted by Bonnie Barstow (McPherson), who equips Knight with KITT, a Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am with artificial intelligence (as voiced by William Daniels). And so begins a unique crime-fighting duo that spawned four series, a revival series and a host of other media.
The Blu-ray format works incredibly well for Knight Rider, it does an excellent job of giving the series a nice remastering, which keeps the ‘80s retro charm without adding any unnecessary CGI, something that has spoilt other re-releases of classic film and TV series in recent years. Meanwhile, the box set comes complete with a variety of goodies in the way of extras including: select episode commentary from the Hoff himself and Glen A. Larson (the mastermind behind the series), a photo gallery, blueprints gallery and other general ‘making of…’ sections (or is that under the hood sections? Ahem…)
Meanwhile, as for the series itself, it’s pure unadulterated escapism. Long before his singing career and the tongue-in-cheek persona he has adopted in the last few years, you see what made David Hasselhoff an appealing part of the series in the first place: he’s charming and witty as well as threatening when he wants to be. It makes you realise that such a series just wouldn’t have worked without someone like him. Also you get to see the early appearances (and voices) of performers such as Geena Davis, Jason Bateman, Peter Cullen, and Robert Englund. What may put off some viewers is the nature of each episode more or less being self-contained; with the exception of a few two-part stories, the fact that every story is resolved within forty-five minutes may not appeal to more modern audiences who expect a certain level of story-arc with their series.
However, with this affectionate remastering, the extras and the Hoff in his prime, Knight Rider is too hard to resist.
KNIGHT RIDER – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: DAVID HASSELHOFF, EDWARD MULHARE, RICHARD BASEHART, PATRICIA MCPHERSON / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 21ST