Michael and K.I.T.T. investigate an apparent suicide that leads them to an elaborate con artist masquerading as a voodoo princess. In an attempt to steal some priceless archeological finds, she utilizes special earclips that turn the wearers into zombies, and Michael must face several before becoming one himself...
Donald Crane: .............. Henry Gibson
Harana/Bonita Vance: ....... Rosalind Cash
Elizabeth Wesley: .......... Christie Hauser
Claude Watkins: ............ John Vernon
Guard: ..................... Chuck Lindsly
Max: ....................... Dick Durock
Jarrett: ................... Allan Graf
Jeremy Towers: ............. Charles Davis
Sadly, this is the last episode of the series; however, the story does not end here. Depending on which version you'd like to follow, the series is picked up several years on in the television movie KNIGHT RIDER 2000, the sequel series TEAM KNIGHT RIDER and the 2008 update KNIGHT RIDER.
Those expecting a real farewell will be disappointed; the episode (and series) ends quietly with an exchange between Michael, Devon and guest character Elizabeth Wesley, played by Christie Hauser. Bonnie does not appear; for her last appearance, see the penultimate episode: KNIGHT OF THE RISING SUN.
This was also the last episode of the series to be filmed. Production on Knight Rider finally wrapped on Tuesday, February 25, 1986, with the aforementioned scene that closes the episode.
The series was still pulling in a respectable share of the audience during its fourth year (a Nielsen rating of 13.8, 22 share), despite the gradual decline in quality. It was cancelled because of high production costs, and Universal had low expectations for selling the series in the syndicated market. As TV Guide (US, August 16-22, 1986) explains, "Universal got hurt earlier this year when it told the networks it would walk away from expensive projects if licensing fees didn't go up. Universal dropped at least two series and began backing off from the hour-long action shows that have been its strong suit. Universal's Knight Rider, for example, was costly to produce and, so far, doesn't look like it will be a big success in syndication." Ironically, the series became highly successful in syndication, and twenty years later is still seen in over 70 countries.
This episode was originally scheduled to air on March 21, 1986, but suffered a pre-emption.
Writer Tim Kring went on to create and produce the sci-fi series Heroes. He remembers Voo Doo Knight: "It was my very first job in TV. I went in on Thursday and they needed the script on Tuesday and I wrote it over the weekend. I couldn't believe the amount of money I earned from that weekend's work. I was hooked on it from there. I couldn't make that kind of money legally doing anything else. I'm sure the script wasn't very good." (From Metro, Thursday, January 6, 2011)
Actor John Vernon previously appeared in the second season's A GOOD KNIGHT'S WORK. Dick Durock had an uncreditted role in the earlier episode RING OF FIRE. Allan Graf previously appeared in the second season's SOUL SURVIVOR. Writer Deborah Dean Davis had a hand in some of the earliest episodes of the series; she wrote GOOD DAY AT WHITE ROCK, and co-wrote JUST MY BILL and FORGET ME NOT.
SCRIPT TO SCREEN:
Harana is described as an "overwhelming presence," an "ebony beauty [who] radiates sensuality in her exotic primitive dress, with dark and mysterious eyes."
Missing from the episode are more hints of romance between Michael and Elizabeth, including a kiss and some innuendo at the police station, and Michael and K.I.T.T. coming to the conclusion that if she decides to return to St. Louis it would be "The downside of Fate."
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