An anonymous letter informs the Foundation that a motorcycle accident that resulted in death was sabotage. Michael and K.I.T.T. investigate at the current motorcycle derby and must enter the race itself -- thereby becoming "the first four-wheeled motorcycle team in history" -- to prevent another murder.
Kelly Travis: .............. John Macchia
Sabrina Travis: ............ Lydia Cornell
Lee Carstairs: ............. Bruce Bauer
Roger Floyd: ............... Madison Mason
Darlena Webster: ........... Christine DeLisle
Wade Fontaine: ............. Michael Champion
Danny Duvall: .............. Ethan Wayne
Cameraman: ................. Kurt Fuller
Race Announcer: ............ Larry Huffman
This episode, like MOUTH OF THE SNAKE after it, was intended to be a springboard pilot for another series: Speed Demons. Writer Tom Greene fleshed out an idea that merged elements of Knight Rider with the series Ironside -- a wheelchair-bound man and his brother (Lydia Cornell's character Sabrina was never intended to crossover to the new series) who fight crime for the Knight Foundation with the aid of futuristic, K.I.T.T.-like motorcycles. This promising idea (similar to the later Knight Rider-inspired series Street Hawk) was eventually passed over for the short-lived series Code of Vengeance.
It is in this episode that we first learn of Devon's history with motorcycles. He relates another such story in the episode KILLER K.I.T.T. The crash helmet he wears while riding the motorcycle at the end of the episode was previously worn by Michael in SLAMMIN' SAMMY'S STUNT SHOW SPECTACULAR, and still bears Michael's initials.
Michael Champion previously appeared in the first season episode GOOD DAY AT WHITE ROCK. Coincidentally, this episode reuses the footage of K.I.T.T.'s lake jump that originally came from that episode. Ethan Wayne is the son of legendary actor John, and went on to co-star with Peter Parros (Season Four's RC3) in Adam-12.
SCRIPT TO SCREEN:
Wade Fontaine was originally called Wade Fortuno. There was also more competition for Wade and Lee Carstairs in the form of Gene Tourvald, a tall, strongly-built Slavic woman racer. Tourvald was nicknamed "The Trickster" when she featured in the script (in the episode it's Fontaine).
The early drafts featured another elaborate accident at the end of Act One. Tourvald takes a tumble and is injured, and Kelly flees the scene leading to the highway chase that makes it into the show.
Devon shows Michael his old helmet. He was nicknamed "Dusty Miles".
* Nitpicks contain spoilers
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