Knight Rider - 40th Anniversary Edition [German Import]Overview -
Knight Rider 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a German import that does exist. Turbine Medien, an EU label on a crusade to champion the cause of physical media, collectors, and fans in a world of criminals who’ve turned to streaming. This amazing box set features all four seasons with excellent A/V, the two made-for-TV movies in SD, the followup Team Knight Rider show in SD, and hours of bonus features in a large beautiful box full of swag. If you’re a true fan of Knight Rider - this set is essential for the collection. Highly Recommended.
He is coming. A car, a computer, a man. Knight Riders!
Michael Knight and his talking wonder car KITT hunt down criminals of all kinds on behalf of the Law and Constitution Foundation. Bonnie Barstow and April Curtis as well as the brave driver RC III. Together they fight against Goliath, KARR and numerous other villains so that justice prevails.
In this large collector's box, the Limited 40th Anniversary Edition offers the classic series for the first time on Blu-ray Disc and for the first time uncut including complete dubbing.
The bonus Blu-ray shows more than three hours of new, world-exclusive interviews with the creators (with German & English subtitles). There are also the TV movies KNIGHT RIDER 2000, KNIGHT RIDER 2010 and the TEAM KNIGHT RIDER series (world exclusive on disc).
Posters, art cards, numerous replicas such as Michael Knight's driver's license and the Knight Guide (332 pages) offer the ultimate package for all fans! Limited & numbered - only 3939 pieces!
+ TV films KNIGHT RIDER 2000* & KNIGHT RIDER 2010* (in SD)
+ TEAM KNIGHT RIDER Series (in SD)
+ Bonus Blu-ray with brand new world exclusive interviews and featurettes* (HD, approx. 3 hours):
- Stu Phillips (composer - approx. 11 min.)
- Steven E. de Souza (Producer & Writer - approx. 32 mins)
- Rebecca Holden (Actress - approx. 25 mins)
- Jack Gill (Stunt Coordinator & KITT Driver - approx. 34 mins)
- Tom Greene (Producer & Writer - approx. 50 min.)
- Deborah Davis (author - approx. 17 min.)
- Knightcon 2011 - words of welcome from Tom Greene (approx. 28 min.)
- myKITT.de - The fulfillment of a childhood dream (approx. 13 min.)
- Universal archive* (approx. 30 min.):
- Knight Rider - Under the hood (approx. 16 min.)
- Knight Stunts (approx. 6 min.)
- Knight Sounds (approx. 7 min.)
- Sketch Gallery (approx. 3 min.)
- Photo Gallery (approx. 3 min.)
+ Audio Commentary* on Pilot by David Hasselhoff and Glen A. Larson
+ 332-page book: Knight Guide to Series History
+ Design Concept Replica
+ 2 DIN A1 Posters
+ 5 Replica ID Cards (incl. Knight's driver's license & KITT's vehicle registration)
+ Artcard Set & Sticker
+ Limitation Certificate - strictly limited to only 3,939 pieces
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
If there’s a need to explain the plot of Knight Rider and why it’s awesome to anyone in the world… I just don’t know what to do for them. At its core, the series is essentially pre-Nick Fury David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight and he drives a powerful, fully armed, state-of-the-art talking car K.I.T.T. (an uncredited William Daniels) and goes on a variety of missions helping hapless locals along the way. Overseen by the benevolent Knight Foundation and its leader Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare), Michael and K.I.T.T. get their marching orders but are frequently distracted en route to help save the people who need it most.
Like so many shows of the era like The A-Team, Airwolf, The Six Million Dollar Man, or even to some extent The Incredible Hulk featuring loner heroes helping simple folk deal with whatever criminal enterprise is harassing them. While Knight Rider is very similar to those shows, it's actually much closer to the clasic Lone Rangerseries. You have a loner hero with his trusty steed and best friend... only in this case the ride and the friend are one and the same! Sometimes it’s a big scheme like selling tactical nukes to bad guys. Sometimes it's a greedy land developer trying to swindle a stunt showman out of his race track. Regardless of the stakes, the show was a fun run for 84 thrilling episodes. Which is just about the right amount of time for this series.
By mentioning those other similar series I hoped to illustrate the point that the basic nuts and bolts of the operation are similar to numerous other shows from the late 70s and early 80s. It’s the presentation and plot that changes enough to keep Knight Rider unique, watchable, and most importantly - entertaining. There wasn’t a main throughline to follow, just Hassel-the-hoff bringing the charm and swagger with William Daniels delivering his dry sardonic wit that felt right at home with his tenure as John Adams in 1776. There were a few recurring characters here and there and there was the occasional two-parter episode, but the show was relatively “new episode new town new mission” from one week to the next. Then it got canceled.
But, that’s okay because you can actually have too much of a good thing. But after a couple of years away, the powers that be decided to give the property a new coat of wax and polish for the very entertaining made-for-tv sequel film Knight Rider 2000 which sees a retired Michael Knight called back into action to fight an escaped terrorist played by Mitch Pileggi complete with a newly upgraded K.I.T.T. to seal the deal. The plot of this one feels like a prototype version of Demolition Man as cops have to use non-lethal sonic weapons while prisoners are frozen when they’re incarcerated. When one of the badest bad guys busts loose, they need an old hero to come in and save the future.
Then there’s the bafflingly weird follow-up Knight Rider 2010 that takes the franchise to the post-apocalyptic future. It’s got people with synthetic parts, human smugglers, with a villain played by Brion James that felt like a weird version of Baron Harkonen. Only no Hasselhof and no William Daniels. It’s entertaining, but it doesn’t feel like Knight Rider. It might have worked as a stand-alone sci-fi flick, but the franchise connection is very forced. Then came Team Knight Rider which featured more than one A.I.-powered super-vehicle and attractive driver to headline the series. The show was alright, but with multiple cars, trucks, and motorcycles, it just felt more like a thinly-plotted Ford-funded car commercial than a television series and lasted only a single season. Not included in this set is the 2008 reboot series which is for the best really since nothing can beat the classic original show anyway.
Watching Knight Rider today feels like watching the ending run of the “hero of the week” sort of action show. Even with the gunfire and explosions, there was a low-stakes innocence to the series that would be usurped by the dramatic thrills of Miami Vice while MacGyver had an especially unique hook to the action hero beyond a talking car. As television would change and evolve, Knight Rider remains a fan favorite. It has the perfect blend of humor, action, wild car stunts with the best opening theme music of all time.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
After a debut here in the states, German label Turbine Medien hops in the driver’s seat to give Hasselhoff fans the Knight Rider: 40th Anniversary Edition box set. Complete with all four seasons, the two made for television follow-up films Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010, and the shortlived Team Knight Rider series, this is a massive set. For the main series, all four seasons, 86 episodes total, are spread out between 20 Region Free BD-50 discs. A Region Free BD-25 is reserved for Bonus Features with a Region Free BD-50 disc for the two TV films. The only Region B locked disc is the BD-50 disc reserved for the full season of Team Knight Rider - so you’ll need a region-free player for that piece of this collection.
Each season set gets its own 5-disc digipak package with another three-disc digipak for the bonus features, films, and Team Knight Rider series. But that’s not all, also included is a bunch of swag items including two double-sided posters, concept art card, replica Michael Knight ID cards, decal stickers, complete with the 332-page Knight Guide. The book is in German, but I’ve been picking through using the Google Translate app on my phone - it’s cumbersome and time-consuming scanning each page but it works. Everything is housed in a beautiful oversized box with foam inserts to keep those digipaks and swag itels nice and safe. It’s a true shelf piece.Click for full-sized images:
All 86 episodes of Knight Rider drive in for an excellent 1.33:1 1080p transfer. I only briefly got a look at the old Millcreek set from 2016 and thought that was pretty decent, I don’t have it available to compare but this set from Turbine is top-shelf material. I have to figure since there are four extra discs for the series alone there’s going to be less compression issues. Regardless, details are terrific for the whole run of the show. Facial features, clothing textures, sets and locations all come through beautifully with a nice layer of natural grain. Colors are robust and healthy with bright bold 80s-tastic primaries and natural skin tones. Black levels are generally strong with nice shadows giving the image a nice feeling of depth. There were a couple of scenes for night action sequences in various episodes that could look a little thick, but thankfully not completely crushed out. I wasn’t able to watch every episode, but I picked through at least one episode per disc and didn’t spot any compression issues or anomalies. 4/5
Now for Knight Rider 2000 and Knight Rider 2010 these are presented in SD and they’re the best they can be. While shot on film, they were apparently finished on video so effects, text cards etc. would all have to be redone like what Paramount shelled out for with Star Trek: The Next Generation for them to be cleaned up and pristine in HD. Of the two, Knight Rider 2000 scales the best. There were fewer CGI shots to contend with so aside from some optical effects it generally looks pretty good. Knight Rider 2010 however leaned on a lot more early CGI for various sequences and it’s a bit dodgy looking. There are some moments where scenes can upscale nicely, but any number of video-related anomalies, banding being the worst offender, is present throughout. Checking out Team Knight Rider the series looks pretty good. They’re still SD, but details are generally solid. CGI sequences like the various vehicles driving up their airplane headquarters loading ramp are a bit iffy, but otherwise, it’s a decent-looking venture.
On the audio front, Turbine gives each episode of Knight Rider a solid DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio track. German is the default, but it’s easy to select English in the main menu or during playback. From the iconic opening theme music and Richard Basehart's narration to the revving engines to explosions, the audio mixes have a lot of life and energy. Dialog is clean and clear for each episode without issues. There’s great imaging for each episode and Stu Phillips and Don Peake’s scores always threads each episode for a rich strong soundscape.
Now for Knight Rider 2000, Knight Rider 2010, and Team Knight Rider, these films and episodes are given solid enough Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. They may not be quite as robust as the main series but they get the job done. Dialog is clear and sound effects and music cues are active. With that, I felt like I had to pop the volume up a few notches but nothing too serious in that quarter.
Now if all that swag and a 332-page book wasn’t enough for you to get excited about, Turbine dives deep for a nice selection of new and archival bonus materials to dig into. You’ve got new interviews, a video from the 2011 Knight-con, and a host of extras that didn’t make it to the Millcreek Blu-ray set from six years ago. Of the interviews, I most enjoyed Steven De Souza and stuntman Jack Gill’s segments. De Souca is always a lot of fun to listen to chat away about his projects and you never want to turn down the chance to listen to a stuntman talk their craft. The producer Tom Greene interview is especially great as well. Between the new and archival materials, not to mention the book, you’ve got many hours of great extra content to work through.
Season One - Disc One
- Pilot Film Audio Commentary featuring David Hasselhoff and Glen A. Larsen
Bonus Features Disc
- Road Music - Interview with Stu Phillips (HD 11:22)
- A Spring in her Step - Interview with Rebecca Holden (HD 17:29)
- A Man and his Horse - Interview with Steven De Souza (HD 31:35)
- The Unknown Stuntman - Interview with Jack Gill (HD 33:41)
- Writing for Prime Time - Interview with Deborah Davis (HD 17:04)
- A Kit for Small Success - Interview with Tom Greene (HD 49:34)
- KnightCon 2011 Greeting by Tom Green (SD 27:59)
- MyKitt.DE The Fulfillment of a Dream (In German with English subtitles) (HD 12:44)
- Universal Archive:
- Knight Rider Under the Hood (SD 15:12)
- Knight Sounds (SD 6:39)
- Knight Stunts (SD 6:09)
- Sketch Gallery
- Photo Gallery
- KITT Handbook
Knight Rider was just one of the coolest shows ever made. It was also the right show for the right era and that magic in a bottle simply hasn’t been recaptured. Through 86 thrilling adventures David Hasselhoff and the voice of William Daniels thrilled audiences. 40 years later the show is still a great piece of work with highly entertaining stories, action set pieces, and some amazing stunt work. Thanks to Turbine, fans can properly celebrate this series on Blu-ray with a fully-stacked turbo-boosted collection. The main series looks and sounds fantastic. The inclusion of the two TV films is a nice addition and for the very curious there’s the whole run of the Team Knight Rider sequel series. Toss in hours of new and archival bonus features, a 332-page book, and loads of fun swag and you have one hell of an amazing box set to celebrate 40 years of entertainment with. Highly Recommended.
Also Available - Knight Rider Special Edtion Blu-ray Collection
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