Wilton Knight's estranged son Garthe -- the model for Michael -- returns to the USA from Africa to help a band of mercenaries steal nuclear missiles from a secret government facility. With the aid of his mother Elizabeth, they obtain the formula for K.I.T.T.'s Molecular Bonded Shell, then apply it to a fourteen-ton, eighteen-wheeled monster that Garthe calls Goliath...
Garthe Knight: ............. David Hasselhoff
Elizabeth Knight: .......... Barbara Rush
Tsombe Kuna: ............... Zakes Mokae
Gen. Maddux: ............... Paul Lambert
Rita Wilcox: ............... Shawn Southwick
Gambler: ................... Pepper Davis
Hotel Clerk: ............... Petrus Antonius
Chief: ..................... Ivan Naranjo
Technician: ................ Murray Westgate
First Lt.: ................. Dan Tullis, Jr.
Second Lt.: ................ Yacub Salih
Croupier: .................. Dom Angelo
Prospector: ................ Doc Keefner
David Hasselhoff on Goliath: "Everybody remarks on [this] episode -- honest to God, everybody does. And when I was doing it with my little earring, I thought I am never going to work again. And when my father saw it he said, 'Michael Knight's evil twin is a better actor than Michael Knight!'"
In this episode, K.I.T.T. races at about 160 kms an hour and nearly collides with a huge truck. The scene was worked out to the last inch. "They wouldn't let me do that scene," David said. "There were two stunt drivers and we set up the cameras in the middle of the desert. Each driver was told to get as close as possible to the other. The truck would hold to a straight line and Jack [Gill], in the car, would turn at the last second. Each driver had a radio in the car and that helped control the scene. It appeared that they collided, but that was just special effects. It's very sophisticated. We first shot the cars going by each other. Then we put in a car without a driver, and made it look as if it hit the truck."
Another scene involves David's character jumping from the roof of a moving truck into a passing car. "That scene required a double," David admitted. "It appeared that I had to jump from the truck into the back of a moving car. That really wasn't me. However, I did have to jump from a moving tow-truck used in that scene into the back of a car, then knock out the guy driving the car. That turned out to be the scariest stunt I had to do. The driver held down the gas pedal until I could get hold of the steering wheel. Then I had to push him over and drive away. It wasn't easy." (Extracts from the Knight Rider Album, by Chip Lovett).
This episode marked a turning point in the series -- it was the first time K.I.T.T. was ever seriously damaged. It also introduced two formidable foes in Garthe Knight and Goliath, who join K.A.R.R. in the list of evil counterparts.
For those interested in the Knight family tree, this episode introduces Garthe (Wilton's son) and Elizabeth Knight (Wilton's ex-wife). Garthe's sister Jennifer can be seen in Knight of the Juggernaut, while Garthe himself reappears in GOLIATH RETURNS.
SCRIPT TO SCREEN:
The first draft gives Garthe a limp -- presumably obtained while he was in Africa, although never explained. The idea was dropped, however, to keep him as Michael's physical match.
The writers were torn between two songs to use for Garthe's theme -- Sympathy for the Devil and Gimme Shelter, both by the Rolling Stones. The episode uses Gimme Shelter.
The ramjet makes its first appearance in the second draft. Originally, Michael and K.I.T.T. attempted to leave the desert as slowly as possible; the shooting version saw them lose control, travelling at over 300 mph.
Early drafts saw Michael's search for Ron's tapes hindered by two thugs, Biggs and Statton, who steal them from him at the bus depot. A chase through the streets of Las Vegas ensues, with explosive results.
The scripts reveal that Elizabeth Knight is the mystery caller to General Maddux's office.
* Nitpicks contain spoilers
13500 Blue Diamond Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89135
Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino:
3570 Las Vegas Blvd, South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Garthe & Elizabeth's Hotel Suite:
Ann-Margret Suite, Caesar's Palace Hotel (as above)
Casino Center Apartments, 414 South 1st St., Las Vegas, NV 89101
Red Bluff & Surroundings:
Valley of Fire State Park, Overton, 29450 Valley of Fire Rd, Overton, NV 89040
Jean Dry Lake, Nevada
- The Rolling Stones
Peterbilt 352 Pacemaker
1974 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL
1976 Cadillac Eldorado
Vogue XL Motorhome
Audio Playback (Tape)
Auto Door Left
Comprehensive Configuration Analysis
Emergency schematic Blueprint