Knight Rider “Deadly Maneuvers” (part 3 of 3)

Jump cut to nighttime, and Knight is sneaking into the same bunker where Colonel Ladd was snooping around earlier. It’s still not even locked up with its flimsy padlock. While Knight provides more evidence for the eventual courtmartial of everyone involved in the base’s security, Lt. Ladd is working late in the computer room. She’s starting to notice something weird on the teletype—ask your parents, kids—but the pieces haven’t all clicked together with her yet.

Inside the bunker, Knight discovers the same stacks of artillery shells that the colonel did, as well as the still open can of blue paint. He sniffs the paint—hey, that explains a lot about him—and then looks up at a handy dandy reference chart on the wall.

Apparently, the shells are identified by color-coded bands, with this particular shade of blue denoting 90mm armor piercing. One of the wooden crates nearby is open, so he snatches up one of the shells… and starts to scratch at its blue stripe with his keys! In the pilot, we were told that Knight is a Vietnam veteran. Don’t they teach you in the Army to not piss off the artillery shells? Maybe he went through the same training as the people responsible for security on “Engelhart”.

With a little scraping, Knight finds that the blue paint comes off, and that there’s a yellow stripe underneath. A quick glance at the chart on the wall lets Knight know that yellow means…

Knight Rider "Deadly Maneuvers" (part 3 of 3)

And here we actually have some veracity in Knight Rider. Tactical nuke artillery shells were only one of about a million different ways of delivering atomic death developed during the Cold War years. Obviously, everyone knows about ICBMs and free-fall bombs… but artillery? Really?

Really. Atomic Annie, everyone.

Yes, tactical nuclear artillery shells were in the U.S. inventory until the early 1990s. And there were nuclear land mines. And depth charges. And air-to-air missiles. And ones you could launch with a bazooka. How is it we’re still alive? The planet should surely be ruled by cockroaches by now.

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Mark M. Meysenburg

Mark teaches at Doane College, a liberal arts college in Crete, Nebraska. Most of his teaching involves computer science, but Mark also occasionally teaches mathematics and the history of science; he has also been known to offer three week courses on the worst movies ever made. Mark's bad movie obsession was kindled in the early 1980s by the Medved brothers, then fanned to full flame by late-night showings of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Who could have predicted the long term effects of satin-pajama-clad, mincing alien menace? Mark's other interests include homebrew beer and wine, and practicing and teaching martial arts.

Multi-Part Article: Knight Rider "Deadly Maneuvers"
TV Show: Knight Rider

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