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Universal Studios Home Video presents

Knight Rider: Season Two (1983)

"It appears to be a large... My goodness, large isn't the word, it's enormous!"- K.I.T.T. (William Daniels)

Stars: David Hasselhoff, William Daniels
Other Stars: Patricia McPherson
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 19h:33m:00s
Release Date: 2005-04-12
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ B-C-B D-


DVD Review

Talk about nostalgia! I was overcome by it when I began the first episode in Universal Home Video's Knight Rider: Season Two set. This is a show that I not only grew up watching, but I also carried my Knight Rider lunch box to school every day and carried papers in my Knight Rider folder as well.

The strange thing is, when I watched that first episode, I realized that the theme music didn't sound familiar at all. Usually that's what sticks with me and most people who loved a show and revisit it after 10 years or more away from it. 80s shows like The A-Team and The Greatest American Hero were all about their memorable theme songs, but I guess that's one area where Knight Rider missed the boat.

Knight Rider stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, who works for the Foundation of Law and Government to fight evil that is above the law. Michael's crime-fighting "companion" is his souped-up talking car K.I.T.T. (which stands for, Knight Industries, 2000). Now basically a "Z"-list actor who is often parodied (and self-parodied), back in 1982 and beyond, Hasselhoff was one of the hottest actors on the planet. His image was on countless forms of Knight Rider memorabilia, making his four-year run on the show quite profitable.

Season Two of the show kicks off with the two-part episode, Goliath. This actually has Hasselhoff playing two roles, both Michael Knight and his brother Garthe, even though he is only credited for his role as Michael. This is one of the better storylines, with Michael and K.I.T.T. battling Garthe and his truck that strongly resembles K.I.T.T.

Brother's Keeper makes it sound like Garthe might be back for more, but, instead, Michael is intentionally put in prison so he can break out an inmate who is wanted by a terrorist threatening to blow up the city. Another killer vehicle is on the scene in Merchants of Death, as Michael and K.I.T.T. battle a futuristic attack helicopter that has fallen into enemy hands.

Blind Spot finds Michael investigating a businessman who is exploiting illegal aliens, with a blind woman as his only witness. Return to Cadiz takes Michael and K.I.T.T. to the water where they are testing out the car's new function allowing it to drive on the water. The test is cut short when K.I.T.T. finds a scuba diver injured and washed up on the shore.

The spotlight continues to shine on K.I.T.T. in the next few episodes, with K.I.T.T. the Cat helping Michael find a cat burglar, Custom K.I.T.T. putting the duo at a custom car show, and Soul Survivor pitting K.I.T.T. against Michael after a computer whiz re-programs the car.

Louisiana is the setting for Ring of Fire, where Michael is protecting a Cajun woman from her evil husband. The next three episodes take their clever titles and run with them. Knightmares has Michael suffering from amnesia and reverting to his old identity as policeman Michael Long, Silent Knight is a Christmas episode, with Michael trying to save a gypsy boy from a group of robbers who he caught in the act, and A Knight in Shining Armor finds a killer trying to find his victim's daughter who has the key to a treasure.

Past the halfway point we go with Diamonds Aren't a Girl's Best Friend, in which Michael goes to Mexico to keep a talent agent from using models to smuggle diamonds into the US. "White-Line Warriors" finds a group of car club members being blamed for a bunch of burglaries in a coastal community.

Speed is the key in the next two episodes, with Race for Life focusing on Michael's attempts to find a gang leader who is the only compatible donor for a sick girl, and "Speed Demons" taking Michael and K.I.T.T. to a motorcycle race where a killer is expected to strike.

Michael's brother Garthe is back (as is Hasselhoff in that role) in Goliath Returns. This two-part story sees Garthe kidnap Devon, April, and a scientist in order to force another battle between K.I.T.T. and Garthe's new truck, GOLIATH.

Another play on words comes in the form of the title A Good Knight's Work, in which Michael is being chased by a criminal who knows his past identity. Yet another two-parter is up next, as Mouth of the Snake has Michael teaming up with a government agent and a murdered lawyer's widow to connect the dots between a criminal, a stolen rocket launcher, and a secret code.

Let it Be Me has Michael posing as the singer in a rock band to find out if a dead band member's demise was an accident or if it was murder. Big Iron is the season finale, with Michael and K.I.T.T. being buried under tons of gravel.

While there are some very fun, entertaining episodes in Season Two, it becomes quickly and brutally obvious that Knight Rider hasn't held up well over the last 20+ years. The acting is rather atrocious, the dialogue extremely hokey, and the fashion statements, down right laughable. Still, die-hard fans will get a kick out of reliving their beloved show now that they have all of the second season at their disposal.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Each episode comes to us in its original full-frame format, but the transfers are hit or miss as far as their quality goes. The overall sharp picture features quite a bit of detail, and bright, vibrant colors are a constant. However, there are many instances where the print appears severely damaged, and an overabundance of edge enhancement proves very distracting at times.

Image Transfer Grade: C-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono mixes are actually very good. Of course, they don't benefit from the wide dynamic range that today's action-oriented shows enjoy, but the tracks make the most of the mono format. The dialogue comes across crystal clear, and the other sound effects, including K.I.T.T.'s wonderful voice are seamlessly blended into the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade:

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 84 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Magnum P.I.: Season Two, Knight Rider: Season Two, The A-Team: Season Two, Miami Vice: Season One, Meet the Fockers
Packaging: Nexpak
3 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: DVD-18

Extras Review: Aside from some previews for other Universal Home Video DVDs, there aren't any other extras in this set.

Extras Grade: D-

Final Comments

Universal Home Video brings Knight Rider: Season Two to us with all of the complete, uncut episodes intact. While the audio and video preserve the original quality of the show, which is sure to please its fans, there aren't any extras to be found aside from a couple of previews for other Universal titles. Hopefully there will at least be some extras in future Knight Rider sets.

Chuck Aliaga 2005-04-11