Knight Rider: ‘A Knight in Shining Armor’

Another remake of a Glen A. Larson show. Does it rock the cosmos like Battlestar Galactica?

Title: A Knight in Shining Armor

Cast and Crew

Writers: Gary Scott Thompson

Justin Bruening as Mike Traceur
Deanna Russo as Sarah Graiman
Paul Campbell as Billy Morgan
Yancey Arias as Alex Torres
Smith Cho as Zoe Chae
Bruce Davison as Charles Graiman
Sydney Tamiia Poitier as Carrie Ruvai

Synopsis

A woman from Mike’s past-who he has no memory of—hijacks “The Package”, a taut man whose DNA holds a valuable cipher.

There’s not much more than that. Most of the screen time was eaten up by a protracted action sequence that did little more than provide the leads with a chance to get out of their clothes.

High Points

  • “We should make a baby.”
    “Really?!”
    “No.”
  • “You’re screwing with me again, aren’t you?”
  • Tranformation and inside-the-engine effects.
  • Well, that’s one way to get a DNA sample.

Low Points

  • Running lights? Really?
  • What’s the “KR” stand for under KITT? “Knight Rider” is the show’s title, but it doesn’t appear in the show itself. It’s like stamping “Star Trek” onto the side of the Enterprise.
  • Mustang-to-Attack Mode=Awesome. Mustang-to-F-150=Ford Commercial.
  • The fire sequence went on way too long and the effect started looking campy after awhile.

The Scores

Originality: 2 out of 6. It’s a remake and the plot had a lot of that been-there-done-that feel.

Effects: 4/6. See High and Low points. Decent money and time was spent on the effects, including the very cool touch screen interface in KITT and their base (the KITT Cave?).

Story: 2/6. If you look closely, you’ll find it. It’s the segments wedged in between awkward dialogue about Michael’s spotty memory and the action scenes.

Acting: 3/6. The support crew is funny and entertaining. Davison has his moments. The leads, along with the FBI agents are wooden at best. And at some point, her dad is going to disown Sydney Tamiia Poitier if she doesn’t take it up a notch. Bruening has that underwear model turned actor feel about him. Checking him in IMDB shows mostly soap opera credits. That explains much.

Production: 4/6. The cave (or whatever they’re calling it) is very cool.

Emotional response: 2/6. Just could not get excited about it. I let my five-year-old watch it and he was entertained by the car…and not much else. Frankly, me too.

Overall: 2/6. A sloppy start, particularly if you haven’t seen the miniseries (like myself). If what was aired this Summer was supposed to be a pilot, then they should have rerun it last night and then gotten into new episodes. I don’t really forsee this show lasting for any appreciable length of time, but who knows.

“A Knight in Shining Armor” receives nineteen out of forty-two.

17 replies on “Knight Rider: ‘A Knight in Shining Armor’”

  1. droid says:

    nakedness
    Why did they remove their clothes to ‘cool down’ when the air temperature around them was already hotter than their body temperature?

    Also, maybe my memory is hazy, but this show appears far more like James Bond or Alias than the Knight Rider I used to watch.

    • AceCaseOR says:

      Re: nakedness

      Why did they remove their clothes to ‘cool down’ when the air temperature around them was already hotter than their body temperature?

      Also, maybe my memory is hazy, but this show appears far more like James Bond or Alias than the Knight Rider I used to watch.

      Well, to be fair to the new series, there was hardly any continuity in the old Knight Rider, even where recurring villains like KARR were concerned.

    • Cerberus7 says:

      Re: nakedness

      Why did they remove their clothes to ‘cool down’ when the air temperature around them was already hotter than their body temperature?

      That actually makes sense. It isn’t the temperature difference between you and the outside air that matters, it’s that you’re shedding moisture to your skin, which evaporates, taking heat energy with it. This process would be painfully inefficient at the temperatures shown, but it would be more effective to have your skin in contact with the air directly than encased in clothing. I also find the female lead incredibly hot, so I don’t mind bending the rules a little there. ;)

      There were two things that bugged me. One was the vacuum environment in which KITT, which so far appears to operate on some form of combustion, was still functional. As they haven’t really explained how KITT works yet, I leave open the possibility that the actual technology in use is not combustion.

      Number two was the deployment of KITT from the airplane. I can’t tell if it’s just the way they’re cutting it together, but it looks to me like he’s moving in entirely the wrong direction after the drop.

      Ditto on the review’s opinion on the supporting cast; they were more fun than the mains. I’ll give the show a chance, but they have some work to do here.

      • droid says:

        Re: nakedness

        Why did they remove their clothes to ‘cool down’ when the air temperature around them was already hotter than their body temperature?

        That actually makes sense. It isn’t the temperature difference between you and the outside air that matters, it’s that you’re shedding moisture to your skin, which evaporates, taking heat energy with it. This process would be painfully inefficient at the temperatures shown, but it would be more effective to have your skin in contact with the air directly than encased in clothing. I also find the female lead incredibly hot, so I don’t mind bending the rules a little there. ;)

        I thought about that, but as you say the heat loss from evaporation would be very minor. Consider, in hot countries people don’t walk around naked to increase evaporation – instead they cover up entirely in white clothing to reduce heating from radiation.

        In this case, the clothes would be acting as an insulator against conduction from the hot air (and maybe radiation from KITT’s interior surfaces), and by removing them they would increase greatly the rate of heating. I think this would outweigh the cooling effect from the increased evaporation.

        I haven’t studied thermodynamics since school though, so if you are qualified in this area I will accept my analysis as amateur.

        I wouldn’t mind them ignoring physics as an excuse to show some titties, but they didn’t, all we saw was some underwear.

        • Cerberus7 says:

          Re: nakedness
          It’s not like I’ve done the math on it or anything, and my thermodynamics skills are about where yours are. I was trying to estimate where the turn-over point would be between heat removal and heat accumulation. The last temp I remember seeing was around 130F. That’s survivable. It’s not fun, and you can’t endure it for long without hydration (also true of 120, which I’ve personally experienced). I don’t know about beyond the 130s, though, because there is no place on Earth that has recorded a temp in the 140s.

  2. Tekzel says:

    Disappointed
    The high points: Everything that directly involved KITT

    The low points: Everything else. The dialog was beyond horrid, the writing ridiculous, the acting was universally laughable. The asian linguist girl gets a special mention here, she should be driven from acting by a mob wielding pitchforks and torches. Horrid, horrid job.

    All that said, it was worth watching for KITT itself. The effects were great, Val Kilmer did a great job with the voice, and I didn’t even mind the blatant Ford commercial aspects, I actually liked the truck transformation. Oh, and Turbo Mode rocked! I think I may have let out a little geeky scream of joy when it first happened.

    My take: Keep KITT, Traceur, the father, and the daughter and scrap the rest of the cast. Oh yea, fire all the writers. Find some writers that don’t suck beyond belief. This show had such potential that was squandered in an almost criminal manner.

  3. smeep says:

    Train-wreck bad…
    I’ve also watch the "pilot" movie for this. Someone correct me if I’m wrong here, but didn’t Mr. "Fast-and-the-Furious" director say that he was going to do a better job on this show? The writing is just as bad as the pilot. The science is absolutely HORRIBLE. Turbo boost = jumping over a bunch of people and cars from standing still? How the heck does that happen? And between the pilot and this episode, I get the feeling that they’re going to try and show skin every episode (not that that’s a bad thing mind you). This show is laugh-out-loud bad. Having said that, I will be watching next week to see if it can get worse (and given the fact that the previews make it look like The Fast and the Furious again makes me believe it will get worse).

    I read on article somewhere that said that NBC created this show to make last year’s Bionic Woman look good.

  4. sjaskow says:

    Wrong Actor listed for Zoe Chae
    While she might not want to admit to it, Smith Cho actually played Zoe Chae, not Mark Adair-Rios.

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: Wrong Actor listed for Zoe Chae

      While she might not want to admit to it, Smith Cho actually played Zoe Chae, not Mark Adair-Rios.

      Quite so! Bad copy and paste! Bad! No mouse-click for you!

      All fixed now. Also had a wrong actor/character in the cast list. Alex Torres was the name of the male FBI agent.

  5. J_W_W says:

    Re: Truck
    KITT has to stop changing into a truck NOW!! That was awful.

    • Tekzel says:

      Re: Truck

      KITT has to stop changing into a truck NOW!! That was awful.

      Why is that? We accept that the new KITT can chamge form, and in certain scenarios a truck form would have advantages over a car form. I have no problem with it at all.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: Truck

        KITT has to stop changing into a truck NOW!! That was awful.

        Why is that? We accept that the new KITT can chamge form, and in certain scenarios a truck form would have advantages over a car form. I have no problem with it at all.

        Ok this may sound a bit forced, but here goes. KITT going from a mustang to a beefed up mustang in attack mode I can buy, but to turn into a truck he has to have bigger tires a bigger frame, countless extra parts. In short, I can buy conservation of mass from normal to attack mode, but can’t from normal to truck mode.

        But I know, I know, I’m complaining about the science on Knight Rider….

        • Tekzel says:

          Re: Truck

          Ok this may sound a bit forced, but here goes. KITT going from a mustang to a beefed up mustang in attack mode I can buy, but to turn into a truck he has to have bigger tires a bigger frame, countless extra parts. In short, I can buy conservation of mass from normal to attack mode, but can’t from normal to truck mode.

          But I know, I know, I’m complaining about the science on Knight Rider….

          Theres nothing wrong with that! Its fun to pick apart or defend the pseudo-science in sci-fi. For instance, regarding the mass issue, do you know what KITT masses? I sure don’t. In normal car form the armor could be 4 times as dense as necessary, theres some extra mass that could be used to create a bigger form. Whats in its trunk? Could be a repository for extra mass for the conversion. We are talking about nano engineering here, not your run of the mill mechanical transforms. Anythings possibly reasonable. :) Well, except KITT saving this awful show.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Truck

      KITT has to stop changing into a truck NOW!! That was awful.

      I thought it was great and actually a creative way of getting them into the car quickly.

      Screw conservation of whatever, that’s all wrong, Knight Rider Industries have invented new stuff :)

  6. Jethro says:

    Really? I mean… really?
    I thought it was pretty bad. Especially the transformations and not just the truck one. And the plot was, um. Yeah.

    One note: when Asian Linguist Girl calls Israeli Intelligence and supposedly speaks Hebrew… yes, I understand not that many people speak Hebrew, and maybe it was really hard for the actress to learn those lines phonetically (I had to rewatch that part 3 times to follow what she was saying). But you’d think they could find someone to actually write ONE LINE correctly. And then maybe coach the actress about how different languages actually sound way the heck different…

  7. Hidden Force says:

    KR on KITT’s underside

    What’s the "KR" stand for under KITT? "Knight Rider" is the show’s title, but it doesn’t appear in the show itself. It’s like stamping "Star Trek" onto the side of the Enterprise.

    It probably means "King of the Road." The car’s full name and model is the "Ford Shelby GT500KR," which is the "King of the Road" edition, 40th anniversary of the original "King of the Road" edition. "GT500KR" can also be seen stitched on the headrests of the seats.

    Yes, the "King of the Road" moniker being tied to Knight Rider — and thus "KR" with it — is a bit of a stretch, but it is an actual, legitimate model.

    • theangrymob says:

      Re: KR on KITT’s underside

      What’s the "KR" stand for under KITT? "Knight Rider" is the show’s title, but it doesn’t appear in the show itself. It’s like stamping "Star Trek" onto the side of the Enterprise.

      It probably means "King of the Road." The car’s full name and model is the "Ford Shelby GT500KR," which is the "King of the Road" edition, 40th anniversary of the original "King of the Road" edition. "GT500KR" can also be seen stitched on the headrests of the seats.

      Yes, the "King of the Road" moniker being tied to Knight Rider — and thus "KR" with it — is a bit of a stretch, but it is an actual, legitimate model.

      Ahh. Good enough for me.

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