First, let the Fortress establish where it stands. We were very fond of the original Knight Rider . We do not even acknowledge the existence of a TV movie that may or may not have been made in 1991. Team Knight Rider  had its moments, but was not really Knight Rider format – although its opening theme was and is one of the most awesome ever and included a narration by Don LaFontaine – the movie trailer voice. (Listen for yourself:)
If the 2008 Knight Rider strikes you as trying too hard to be hip and cool, you would be right. Keep all heavy throw-able objects out of reach while watching because you will be ambushed by horrid overbearing electric guitar and scream metal. This usually happens at designated scene transitions designed to up the cool-factor with young hipsters. That and the over-the-top hip hop ambushes only succeed in causing excessive blood loss from viewer’s ears.
In fact during the last episode Mike [the star] asks K.I.T.T. if he could do anything about the mind-grating hip-hop ambush we had been subject to for over a minute. Even K.I.T.T.’s choice of a 1970’s disco tune, designed to be funny, was a welcome release. Too bad Mike did not complain earlier – and all season long.
The show’s format started out very non Knight Rider. A large ensemble cast. We will give you the Fortress one sentence synopsis for this format which was used for most of the season: The partially government funded Knight Foundation’s futuristic super-car is sent out on shady political missions driven by an ex-military man with holes in his memory who has to adjust to working with his ex-girlfriend hottie and a smart-aleck car AI named K.I.T.T.
Around episode 12 the producers radically changed to format to something more like the original. It was jarring and felt rushed as characters were killed off and written out. While this new format is more character driven and welcome, it is also less action-packed. Small stories can work, but the writers may not have had time to get totally up to speed.
K.I.T.T. is flatly and boringly voiced by Val Kilmer (it is as if he is trying to do a robot voice!) It lacks the fun, dry wit, and character of the original’s venerable William Daniels. The cast lost some of its better actors in the format change. The remaining ones are likable but need improvement. They struck us as very 1990’s weekend syndication, if you know what we mean.
There is some fun technology like hand manipulable displays built into K.I.T.T.’s hood. Other tech like the entire car transforming into a pick-up truck, or K.I.T.T. manufacturing anything in his glove box stretch credulity too far.
The new turbo boost is fun, but rarely used. K.I.T.T. can EMP most cars, shutting them down immediately. This sometimes undermines some of the vehicular action and you might say to yourself, “Couldn’t he just stall out the car those machine gun wielding thugs are using?” The high number of terribly convenient or contrived plot elements are equaled by unfilled plot holes.
If you like the Knight Rider franchise you may sit through the entire season of 2008’s version as we did. Despite the format changes, the ear bleeding music, the questionable acting and the boring K.I.T.T. voice it had its moments. Really. We encourage you to give it a shot, but we would only recommend season 1 to fans.