In the nineteen seventies and eighties if you wanted a creative television show with a little bit of semi comedy crime-drama, possibly some science fiction and a good ol’ fashioned American Hero at the helm then the first person that you called was Glen Albert Larson. He was responsible for many hit shows such as Battlestar Galactica, The Fall Guy, Magnum P.I, Buck Rogers in the 25 Century and the rather strange Manimal. However, one of his biggest hits was the show Knight Rider.
As with most things that Larson did the storyline was pretty fanciful. The premise is that eccentric billionaire inventor Wilton Knight decides that he wants to do something for society. Wilton is obviously sick to the back teeth of reading about all the trouble in North America and he resolves to do something about it especially as he has found out he’s going to die. What do you think he does from the following options?
- Set up a trust fund channelling his companies’ money and resources into build schools and learning centres so his name will be forever remembered?
- Create a Scholarship program for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and fund them through college and start up grants for small and new business?
- Design a super car, that looks remarkably like a black 1982 Pontiac Firebird (mainly because it is), with a talking artificial intelligent computer system capable of having feelings and way beyond any processing ability of computers at the time to run it. Interestingly I bet this was the only car not to need a visit to a Gloucester MOT Centre. For everyone else in the area a Gloucester MOT would be compulsory. Next, coat it in an experimental bonded shell that means that in any accident it’s going to come out better even if it involves bombs, rockets, landslides and solid walls. Coupled with that it also has a turbo boost giving it what seems to be the speed of jet fighter plus its fire proof. The plan is that this car will be driven by someone to stop people who “operate above the law”. To back it up it has a support truck following it around with a team of specialists (including a beautiful scientist to flirt with) and some of the most sophisticated technology in the world?
That’s right, he choose option 3 but he doesn’t stop there. Wilton then sets up FLAG (the Foundation for Law and Government) as a front for Knight Industries to go out and fight crime. He then decides that a seriously injured policeman (a memory damaged Vietnam veteran he finds on the side of the road), is the best bet to put in the car but only after he’s had major reconstructive surgery to his face to make him look like David Hasselhoff.
This plan works out be a great idea as the reborn Michael Knight subsequently uses this cutting edge technology to go on and rescue a selection of pretty girls from mild peril for the next four years. Money well spent then Wilton!