So, I was able to catch the pilot and second episode of Knight Rider. I am disappointed.
Ok, so I get the fact that the original show wasn’t so great either. It was about a guy and his car, and as kids we didn’t care that the action was obviously staged and the driving was rather low budget. At the time, we couldn’t drive ourselves, so it impressed the crap out of us. But here’s the thing; we’ve grown up. I know that our parents are probably chuckling with the thought that we’re all old enough now to understand how lame our childhood heroes were, but it’s frustrating just the same.
So you’ve made a show about a car and his partner/meatshield; we get that. You’ve done it before. Show us something new! Instead, we get the exact same thing from the 80’s only worse. We’ve still got bad dialog, but now we have impossible special effects to deal with on top of it. I’m all for sci-fi and even bending the laws of physics from time to time, but doing it so often that the show has jumped the shark three times in the first 5 minutes of the pilot is a little much!
- KITT is discovered by hostile security and is fired upon. He switches to attack mode, goes into Turbo and jumps over the security guards. While the original Knight Rider used Turbo to jump over obstacles, it was while KITT was at speed. Jumping from a dead stand-still by vectoring your tailpipes downwards is just silly.
- Meatshield 1 and Love Interest 2 are being chased by baddies and need to get to KITT, but KITT is being chased by the security detail he just jumped over. Love Interest tells Meatshield that she uploaded a new program to KITT and they need to activate it to escape. KITT uses the new program to transform into a Ford F-150 and they jump into the moving truck bed. He then transforms back into the Mustang and they have miraculously been moved into the front seats (and not crushed in the trunk).
- Security fires a napalm missle at KITT and he is now on fire. The folks at command tell KITT to accelerate to 360+MPH and that will put out the fire. Maybe they forgot that an increase in O2 actually feed fires, I don’t know. In any case, KITT only has a 550hp engine (that much was technically accurate). A Bugatti Veyron (which is actually aerodynamic, btw) needs 987hp just to push it to 253MPH. That’s not a limitation from the car, that’s Mother Nature pushing that hard to keep an object from moving that fast.
That’s only the technical side of things. Evidentally, the producers/network have such little faith in the show that they are willing to pull out the “love interest in lingerie” to keep us attentive!
I understand that often a pilot will not be as refined as a creator will envision, and so sometimes you have to just give them the benefit of the doubt. So I watched the second episode . . . better, but not by enough. Dialog has been moderately improved, but someone really needs to get a technical advisor on these shows at some point! Perfect case in point:
KITT and Meatshield have been captured by the bad guy. Bad guy brings a device over and attaches it to KITT’s hood. Bag guy hits a button and KITT goes offline, systems fry, and the car turns off. Bad guy explains, “Say hello to the military latest in EMP technology! Your fancy car is now no more advanced than my Jeep!”
No, his fancy car is now no more advanced than my office desk! The command center gets around this by using local cell towers to access KITT remotely, and reroute all available power to reboot KITT’s system.
- Did no one explain to the writers what an EMP actually does?
- Is it really that easy to hack into a multi-million dollar weapon using a cell phone signal? Hate to see what you could pull with a Blue-Tooth connection.
Series can be remade into very enjoyable shows. The new Battlestar Galactica is a perfect example of this; even if you don’t frakking love it, you still have to admit it’s heads and shoulders above the original. It’s pretty easy to do too: Don’t let a single car company sponsor you to the point that your main vehicle turns into their entire 2009 lineup, hire some writers who have graduated high school, get someone on the staff who has at least looked at a science book, and stop using the same blue screen technology that the weathermen dropped 5 years ago!