Michael and K.I.T.T. are called in to investigate sabotage on a movie sound stage that is said to be haunted.
Victor Gavin: ............. Michael Callan
Mel Tobey: ................ Antony Ponzini
Karen Bennett: ............ Lenore Kasdorf
Edward Kent: .............. Robert Englund
Liz Preston: .............. Leann Hunley
Sam Clifford: ............. Richard X. Slattery
Buck: ..................... Pat Buttram
Slim: ..................... Hank Worden
Girl: ..................... Jerri Parros
Travis: ................... Matt McColm
Guest star Robert Englund, best known for playing the infamous Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street film series, remembers this episode: "I'll tell you a story about [Knight Rider] that ties into [Fright Knight]. That day's shooting was actually filmed on the stage at Universal that was used for the original Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney. It's still there."
Known as the Phantom Stage, hidden at the rear of this giant soundstage are the original sets for the Paris Opera house, as built for Lon Chaney's classic The Phantom of the Opera in 1925. Parts of the auditorium set survive to this day, making them the oldest surviving movie sets in the world, and the oldest on the Universal backlot. The Phantom stage is also unique in that no other soundstage in Hollywood history has been named after a single film.
Providing inspiration for this episode, the Phantom Stage also has a legend all its own: A caped figure has been seen running around the catwalks above the stage -- could this be Lon Chaney repeating his most famous role even after death in 1930? Other reported phenomena include lights turning on and off and doors opening and shutting. An electrician reportedly fell to his death from a catwalk in 1925.
This Knight Rider episode marked the only time on film where Stage 28 appeared as itself.
Bonnie, like Patricia McPherson, is a big fan of Westerns. Michael jokes that he'll get her a "gutsy Maureen O'Hara role" -- exactly the kind of part Patricia McPherson stated she would like try in a US TV Guide interview.
The Foundation has a branch dedicated to making educational films.
This episode uses the Universal Studios backlot and tour extensively throughout the story, especially the climactic chase sequence. Look out for the Courthouse Square set that was used as Hill Valley in the Back To The Future movies (the theatre is still showing Cattle Queen of Montana starring Ronald Reagan and Barbara Stanwick, as it is in the movie), the Flash Flood set and the Avalanche Tunnel. The shark from Jaws even makes a guest appearance!
Lenore Kasdorf previously appeared in the episode LOST KNIGHT. Jerri Parros is the wife of Knight Rider co-star Peter Parros.
SCRIPT TO SCREEN:
Sam Clifford was originally named Andy Clifford, while the haunted soundstage was originally Stage 12 (changed to Stage 28 for reasons stated above).
* Nitpicks contain spoilers
Universal City Studios Backlot, Courthouse Square
Universal City Studios Backlot, Blue Parrot Hotel / Monkey Bar / Boragora
Universal City Studios Backlot, Flash Flood
Universal City Studios Backlot, The Ice Tunnel