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Review: Knight Rider #1

Knight Rider remains one of the most fondly remembered action adventure TV shows of the 1980s. It was about an undercover cop named Michael Long who was betrayed and left for dead in the desert. Long was rescued by an eccentric billionaire by the name of Wilton Knight, who nursed Long back to health. Wilton Knight also gave Long a new face and identity as “Michael Knight”. Knight convinced Long to use his police officer skills to help his private organization (The Foundation for Law and Government), and equipped him with a super car with artificial intelligence named KITT (Knight Industries Two-Thousand).

This is a modern take on Knight Rider. Gone are the 1980s sensibilities, of curly mullets and jackets with the sleeves rolled up. Michael carries around a cell phone now, and doesn’t talk into his wrist watch, and KITT receives signals and data from the web, and GPS info. The new and improved Michael is a member of a clandestine organization that uses chess monikers. A former Army Ranger and cop turned agent, Michael is a ‘Knight’, which is where the name comes from, although the remainder of his story should be very familiar for series fans (plastic surgery and all).

The creators do a great job of updating the old favourite aspects and giving them a modern sheen. I particularly liked the ‘spy’ feel that has been worked into the story. There is a lovely slow build to the storyline and it never drags, there is always plenty going on. The update reflects a more modern sensibility turning up the violence and maintaining a savvy approach throughout.

This is the reimaging that fans of Knight Rider have been waiting for; more correctly, this is the reimagining that I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn’t realize that more emphasis on story and character was just what was needed. This version of Knight Rider works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment. Importantly, the sense of humour and fun from the original are intact. Written by Geoffrey Thorne (Leverage, Ben 10) and illustrated by Jason Johnson (Wetworks, Godstorm) Knight Rider is frenetic and fun to read.  This series is going places and in the coolest car imaginable.

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Stephen Pryde-Jarman is a Cult TV and Film journalist, award winning short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. A natural hoarder, second hand shopping fulfils his basic human need for hunter-gathering; but rummaging through a charity shop’s bric-a-brac shelf also brought him the inspiration for his novel Rubble Girl having seen a picture of a Blitz survivor sat amongst the rubble of her house with a cup and saucer. Rubble Girl has been described as " thought-provoking" and "fast paced ... with plenty of twists and turns." Amazon.

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