Knight Rider “Knight of the Phoenix” (part 3 of 4)

After the commercial break, there’s another driving montage, as Knight heads to “Millston”, California, which is supposed to be the center of Silicon Valley. Knight starts talking to himself about wanting to hear some music, and this is when the car decides to manifest its latest super power. The car starts talking to him, in the voice of actor Bill Daniels.

Knight is freaked out, and stops the car, yelling all the while. The car, which has now given itself the name KITT, says that there’s no need to yell. “I am scanning your interrogatives quite satisfactorily.” Knight, still playing the jerk, threatens to quit the whole revenge program if KITT isn’t muzzled. He tells KITT to play some music and shut the heck up. Lastly, Knight refuses to let KITT put the car on “Auto Cruise,” even though he’s agitated and tired.

Later on down the road, Knight does indeed start to get sleepy. He full-on nods off, and KITT tries to wake him up by gently calling to him. Having no success, KITT takes over the driving, regardless of what Knight said before. Of course, they pass a couple of cops in a police car, who decide to pursue. The cops are hilariously broad southern hick stereotypes, which is kinda weird to see just outside of Silicon Valley. As we’ll see later on, in the Knight Rider universe, there are lots of rednecks.

Knight Rider "Knight of the Phoenix" (part 3 of 4)

Eventually, Knight wakes up and pulls over. He follows KITT’s instructions and feigns deafness and a kinked neck to explain why it looked like he was sleeping, and why he didn’t pull over right away. Breaking the stereotype momentarily, the hick cops buy it and send him on his way. Glen Larson says that this scene is what told the network and the public what the whole series would be like, so it’s clear that we’re not supposed to take any of this too seriously.

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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 "Knight of the Phoenix"

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