Although the title of the series alluded to its human protagonist, the real star of the weekly, hour-long NBC action-adventure series Knight Rider was a talking car -- and no, this wasn't "Mr. Ed on Wheels." David Hasselhoff headed the cast as an undercover cop named Michael, who after being shot in the face and left for dead was rescued by billionaire Wilton Knight (Richard Basehart), founder of Knight Industries for the Foundation of Law and Order. Surgically supplying Michael with a new face, Knight also gave our hero a new name, Michael Knight, and a new mission in life -- to travel throughout the world righting wrongs and punishing criminals, with the latest in high-tech computer weaponry and gadgetry at his disposal. Foremost among Michael's arsenal of "neat stuff" was a sleek, super-powered black Trans Am named "Knight Industries Two Thousand," or "K.I.T.T." for short. In addition to being outfitted with a near-impenetrable chassis, the capacity to travel 300 miles on the ground, underwater, and even in the air (it didn't exactly fly, but could leap 50 feet upward), and a full arsenal of tracking devices and non-lethal weaponry, K.I.T.T. also possessed a remarkably high artificial I.Q. -- and it was able to speak (courtesy of actor William Daniels), usually for the purpose of imparting important information, or simply and haughtily to put the rather less intelligent Michael in his place every so often.
After the death of Wilton Knight, Michael received his orders from the elder Knight's second-in-command, Devon Miles (Edward Mulhare), who had a hard time concealing his contempt and distrust for our hero. In addition to the two (make that three) principal characters, Knight Rider also featured a trio of mechanics, who occasionally found themselves in the thick of the action. Two of these mechanics were shapely young ladies, Bonnie Barstow (Patricia McPherson) and April Curtis (Rebecca Holden); the third was a flippant, resourceful ex-street-gang member named Reginald Cornelius III (Peter Parros), or RC3 for short. With tongue firmly in cheek and a remarkable lack of violence or mayhem (despite all the fast action, few characters were killed, not even the bad guys), Knight Rider raked in ratings and goodwill for NBC from September 26, 1982, through August 8, 1986. In 1991, a two-hour "reunion" special, Knight Rider 2000, was seen on NBC; and during the 1997-1998 there was a sequel of sorts, Team Knight Rider, which aired in syndication.