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KNIGHT RIDER: KNIGHT OF THE DRONES

2 HOUR SEASON PREMIERE

September 30, 1984
SEASON 3, EPISODES 1 & 2
Production #58621
2-Part Version: #58675-6
Filmed: (5)
Reruns: April 21, 1985

Writers: ..................... Robert Foster &
.............................. Gerald Sanford
Director: .................... Sidney Hayers

SYNOPSIS:

In San Francisco, Michael and K.I.T.T. are alerted when a murderer with ties to the Foundation's past escapes from jail in an armored car that appears to drive itself. The mission forces Michael to enlist the help of an old friend who may hold the key to breaking down the drone car's complex C.P.U. In the meantime Michael must face radio-robots, kung-fu fighting bodyguards to a Chinatown criminal and Margo Sheridan, the criminal behind it all who sells secrets to the highest bidder.

CAST LIST:

Dr. David Halston: ........... Jared Martin
C.J. Jackson: ................ Jim Brown
Peter Wong: .................. Evan Kim
Margo Sheridan: .............. Barbara Stock
Cliffton & Turk: ............. The Barbarian Brothers
Bubba: ....................... Joseph Ruskin
Carter: ...................... Arnie Moore
Fong: ........................ Wood Moy
Ho Chin: ..................... Harry D.K. Wong
Arthur - Nice Old Man: ....... Chuck Dorsett
Henrietta - Nice Old Lady: ... Grace Bauer
Babette: ..................... Eva Gholson
Su-Lin: ...................... Joan Chen
Karate Twin #1: .............. Al Leong

GO TO FULL CAST & CREW

TRIVIA:

Speaking in 1984, here's what producer Gino Grimaldi had to say about the apparent destruction of K.I.T.T.: "The whole reason that we had to do some rethinking was basically because technology had caught up with us... innovations in the computer and motor industries are occurring almost every week. What's science fiction one week is reality another.

"We suddenly became aware between filming the second and third series that cars were coming onto the market with dashboards which were not dissimilar to that of K.I.T.T. Already there are cars being made which have a talking computer built into them with a couple of dozen phrases. Things like reminding the driver that the doors aren't locked, gas is running low and so on. There are also cars around with television screens, and microchip technology is now used to a great extent in the digital layouts.

"Since K.I.T.T. is something extra special and a car of the future it was necessary to make certain changes to keep it that way. It seemed that the only solution was to have K.I.T.T. completely destroyed and for Bonnie to have to put the whole thing back together again but with more futuristic components!" (Extract from the Knight Rider Annual, U.K. Edition, 1985).

After a year's absence, we are treated to the return of Patricia McPherson as Bonnie Barstow, K.I.T.T.'s resident mechanic. She takes her old job back, replacing Rebecca Holden who left at the end of the previous season.

Patricia McPherson told of how she was almost injured during the filming of this episode. "I remember there was a scene I had to do where I was supposedly unconscious and this other guy had to pick me up and put me over his shoulder before carrying me off somewhere. Well everything went according to plan and then he suddenly tripped on a camera cable or something like that and we both fell over. I nearly was unconscious then!" (Extract from the Knight Rider Annual, U.K. Edition, 1985).

This episode is the first in which K.I.T.T. undergoes a major change. The next would be the fourth season premiere KNIGHT OF THE JUGGERNAUT. It also follows the trend of the other season premieres in that it moves the action away from Los Angeles; here the mission is in San Francisco, while in GOLIATH they visit Las Vegas. Knight of the Juggernaut is set in Chicago.

The episode also adds significant backstory to the Foundation. Here we learn that the Foundation employed another agent before the discovery of Michael Long. His name was Ken Franklyn, and he had all Michael's qualifications, except he wasn't a police officer. He was killed in action by C.J. Jackson.

This is the only episode of the series to utilize a pre-opening titles sequence, or "Teaser," that isn't a compilation of highlights from the episode.

SCRIPT TO SCREEN:

The Teaser itself wasn't conceived that way; the script includes those scenes as a sequence built into Act One. They were moved in the editing process. The technique works well as a dramatic device, although new shots of Michael and K.I.T.T. were required for a brief montage to introduce the episode.

Su-Lin's murder was originally to be shown onscreen, but doesn't make it to the episode. Halston leaves explosives in the vault to cover his tracks, but his mention of this is also cut.

Michael's escape from Margo's house was originally written with him jumping through the window to safety. The episode has him jump over the wall to a sheer drop.

SCRIPT -  1ST DRAFT - REV. 7/16/84
SCRIPT - 10TH DRAFT - REV. 8/ 7/84

NITPICKS:

* Nitpicks contain spoilers

GO TO NITPICKS

FILMING LOCATIONS:

Santa Clara Penitentiary:
Moreland Dr., San Bruno, CA 94066

Margot's Mansion:
Place Moulin, Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920

Fong's China Trader Restaurant:
675 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Golden Fox Club:
901 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

K.I.T.T.'s Destruction:
Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114

Golden Fox Club (Back Entrance):
2226 (approx) Taylor St., San Francisco, CA 94102

Chinese Tunnel:
Bronson Caves, 3200 Canyon Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068

Embarcadero:
The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111

RELATED LINKS:

FAN RATING:

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Current Rating: 4/5 stars

5 stars: stars 28 people

4 stars: stars 3 people

1 star: stars 1 person


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BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS:

SOUNDTRACK:

Torture
- The Jacksons
Jump (For My Love)
- The Pointer Sisters
Little Red Corvette
- Prince

VEHICLES:

1983 Ford Thunderbird
1980 Cadillac Fleetwood
1957 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
1984 Lincoln Continental Mark VII
International Harvester Paystar 5000
1981 Dodge Diplomat

K.I.T.T.'S FUNCTIONS:

ATX Surveillance Equipment
Auto Cruise
Auto Roof Left
DMV Check
Eject Left
Electrical Generating Mode
Grappling Hook
Image
Infrared Tracking Scope
Linear Predictive Graphics Routine
Passive Laser Restraint System
Police Frequency
Polyphonic Synthesizer
Pursuit Mode
Radar
Self-Analyzing Probe
Self-Diagnostic Routine
Signal
Ski Mode
Surveillance Mode
Thermo-Dynamic System
3-D Interactive Graphics Plotter
Traffic Control System
Turbo Boost
Voice Projection
Voltage Induction Coil
Winch

DISCUSSION: