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Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG)
Played by: David HasselhoffMichael Arthur Long (born January 9, 1949 according to his tombstone) is an undercover Los Angeles police detective who, while working on a espionage case in Las Vegas, is shot in the face and nearly killed. Wilton Knight, creator of FLAG, directs his doctors to save Long's life and reconstruct his face. With his new identity, "Michael Knight", Long is provided with high tech crime-fighting equipment, most notably the car nicknamed KITT.
- Badass Normal: Michael is a normal non-super-powered man, whose exploits include special ops missions in Vietnam and time as a competent and respected police officer.
- Berserk Button: While Michael is normally a cool and collected man, threatening to (or actually managing to) harm KITT or Bonnie will usually elicit this response. Also, killing Stevie sure pushed it.
- The Charmer: He's cocky, cheeky and devil-may-care, and he's the type of guy you can't help but like.
- Chick Magnet: Try naming one episode when he didn't have a girl by the ending.
- Chivalrous Pervert: While he does seem to get around a lot, Michael is quite respectful of women.
- Despair Event Horizon:
- In the episode "Junkyard Dog", after he watches KITT being pulled up from the toxic waste pool with all his paint bleached off and his insides eaten out.
- The episode The Scent of Roses was, if possible, even worse for him with the death of Stevie.
- Determinator: He never gives up when it comes to help people, no matter what.
- Ethical Slut: Michael has a lot of romantic relationships, responding quite openly to invitations by ladies, and appears to remain on good terms with them afterwards, as long as no one is getting hurt or it's inappropriate. He's also very gallant and charming about it and on the rare chance that the relationship develops into something serious (e.g. Stevie), he takes it very seriously.
- The Faceless: His face as Michael Long is hidden in shadow for his only pre-surgery scene.
- For Want of a Nail: The sole reason he's alive was because of a metal plate in his skull from Vietnam.
- Fight Magnet: Name an episode which didn't involve him fighting.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With KITT, sort of, since KITT is an AI but with a male voice programming.
- The Kirk
- Made of Iron: Well, part of his head's got a metal plate. Does that count?
- Really Gets Around: No lady is immune to his charms, not even villainesses.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Bonnie.
Knight Industries Two Thousand (K.I.T.T.)
Voiced by: William DanielsK.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Two Thousand) is the artificial intelligence of the autonomous car with whom Michael Knight is partnered. K.I.T.T. was designed by the late Wilton Knight, a brilliant but eccentric billionaire and founder of the Foundation for Law and Government or (FLAG).
- Becoming the Mask: A mission which involved the whole of FLAG foiling a plan concerning neurotoxin had KITT disguised as an incredibly-rare supercar. The same episode had him freak out when his disguise was damaged, only for Michael to remind him that it was a disintegrating disguise which was meant to come off.
- Body Horror: Played for Laughs in one episode which had him modified for a car show. He compares it to having body parts lopped off him, but he changes his tune when Michael reminds him it's to stop more cars from being stolen.
- Cool Car: He is the cool car.
- Faux Horrific:
- He compares being impounded to Michael getting imprisoned, due to having "to spend time with criminals with dents and bullet holes".
- He dislikes parking lots due to the cars having to sit in the sun all day in contrast to their owners "in air-conditioned buildings". He's understandably fine with hospital parking lots due to everyone having a good reason there.
- Friend to All Children: He's incredibly friendly to children. One episode had him manage to get a disinterested schoolboy fascinated with history.
- Has a Type: A very awkward conversation revealed his ideal relationship would be with a sentient red convertible with high CPU capabilities.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He was pretty badly traumatized for a while in Junkyard Dog.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick
- Insufferable Genius: He knows how remarkable he is, to the point that he's undeniably proud, sometimes vain, and even a little stuck-up (though he'll put aside his ego to get a job done.)
- Joisey: One episode had him use this with an irate parking attendant who accused him of "having an accent". He's later cosmetically damaged which causes him to flip between voices every time he hits something.
- Kryptonite-Proof Suit: After one of his tires was melted by an experimental laser, he was treated with a thermal coating which would protect him from the laser for roughly ten seconds.
- Logical Weakness: Not many things can stop KITT, but his being a car does give him a few weaknesses. For example, there's one episode in which the bad guys stop him by putting him on a car lift.
- Made of Indestructium: His "Molecular Bonded Shell."
- Meaningful Name: The Knight Industries Two Thousand.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Only a few things can damage him.
- No Hero to His Valet
- Robot Buddy: Robot-car-buddy.
- Running Gag: As the series progressed, several gags involving him and random citizens were added.
- Servile Snarker: He doesn't snark too much, but he does snark Michael pretty good.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Most noticeable in Junkyard Dog.
- Undying Loyalty: To Michael and Bonnie.
- Vanity License Plate: His reads "KNIGHT". He also has one reading "KNI667" which came in handy for when he and Michael were on the run from the cops.
Played by: Edward MulhareThe director of FLAG, who appears in nearly every episode to provide mission details to Michael and KITT. He's also the spokesman for FLAG whenever it came under scrutiny.
- Badass Grandpa: Not very over-the-top about it (save the few times he's in the field), but he was once a soldier and even while imprisoned made several escape attempts.
- Benevolent Boss: He's willing to put up with a lot of Michael's antics with a (relatively) good attitude.
- British Stuffiness: Even though Mulhare wasn't British
- By-the-Book Cop: He prefers to follow the rules, unfortunately Michael doesn't always go by the book.
- The Conscience
- Cool Old Guy: Apparently escaped out of a few POW camps during the war and left the Gestapo at the time with egg on their faces. Those skills came in handy when he broke out of prison due to trumped-up charges.
- Deadpan Snarker: In a gentlemanly way, of course.
- Foil: To Michael. He's well-mannered, level-headed, intellectual, and tends to stay out of the action, contrasting Michael's young and cowboyish personality.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: Extremely intelligent. Extremely proper.
- Good Is Not Nice: A minor version near the beginning of the series. He wasn't mean or a jerk, just very serious and snobbish. He could just as easily be a nice guy, and he got better as the series progressed.
- Heroes "R" Us: Head of the Foundation for Law And Government.
- Mission Control: He's often found in the FLAG truck.
- Non-Action Guy
- Non-Action Snarker
- Not So Different: He and Wilton Knight have the same relationship Michael and Kitt have.
Dr. Bonnie Barstow
Played by: Patricia McPhersonShe serves as KITT's chief technician and serves as romantic tension for Michael. She left for a year to pursue graduate studies, claiming she'd gotten fed up. She was replaced during that time by April Curtis, another Knight Industries System Engineer.
- Alliterative Name: Bonnie Barstow.
- Badass Bookworm
- Brainy Brunette: You need an expert engineer? You got it.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Michael. She's just too proud and stubborn to admit it.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Single-handedly manages to rig up a sophisticated (for the time) experimental laser, with the sole purpose of defeating KARR. While it didn't stop KARR, that wasn't her fault.
- Hot Scientist
- Mama Bear: Basically the reason for her initial hostility towards Michael is that she's very protective of KITT.
- Not So Above It All: Has a soft spot for 80's arcade games.
- Omniscient Database: Her computer always seems to have what's needed at the right time.
- Put on a Bus: Was absent from the show during the second season, when April was the chief mechanic in her place. This is later explained as her having some kind of falling-out with FLAG.
- Team Mom: Especially to KITT.
- Tsundere: Tough as nails when she wanted to be, but also had amicable social moments.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Michael. In the end they sadly never get over themselves.
Played by: Rebecca HoldenThe chief mechanic for KITT in Season two. She temporarily replaced Bonnie Barstow, who claimed she'd never come back to the Foundation. (Of course, she did eventually.)
- Always Someone Better: Nobody seemed to care that Bonnie pretty much kicked her out of the office when she got back.
- The Chick
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
- Faux Action Girl: Even more so than Bonnie.
- Hot Scientist
- Put on a Bus: And never heard from again.
- Satellite Character
- Sexy Secretary
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The nice Bonnie.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Of the non-dying variety, it would have been interesting to see the show handled an April vs. Bonnie rivalry.
Reginald Cornelius III aka RC3
Played by: Peter ParrosIntroduced in Season Four, he became the new Driver of the FLAG mobile unit and the occasional sidekick for Michael and KITT.
- Black and Nerdy: Boy is he nerdy!
- The Engineer
- Gadgeteer Genius: On par with Bonnie, he and his gang were able to rebuild KITT practically from scratch.
- Genius Ditz
- Grease Monkey: Comes from working on motorcycles all the time.
- Mr. Fixit
- Heroic Wannabe: Wanted to "clean up the streets" when he was younger, even came up with the superhero name "Street Avenger" and carried around a rubber assault rifle to scare crooks.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Sometimes he can be a bit too plucky, crossing over into "just plain annoying".
- The Smart Guy
- Teen Genius: Despite all his eccentricities, RC3 is a genuine mechanical genius.
- Token Minority: Accused of being as much by fans.
Memorable VillainsMost of the series villains were One-Shot Characters due to the lack of any kind of over-arcing storylines for the series. Here are some villains who actually did pop up more than once.
Knight Automated Roving Robot (K.A.R.R.)
"K.A.R.R. is like a loaded gun in the hands of a small child."K.A.R.R. (Knight Automated Roving Robot) is the prototype version of K.I.T.T., originally designed by Wilton Knight and built by his company Knight Industries. Upon completion of the vehicle, K.A.R.R.'s CPU was installed and activated. However, a programming error made the computer unstable and potentially dangerous. The project was put on hold and K.A.R.R. was placed in storage until a solution could be found. Unlike K.I.T.T., whose primary directive is to protect human life, K.A.R.R. is programmed for self-preservation, making him a ruthless and unpredictable threat.
— Devon Miles
- Accidental Misnaming: A poorly-understood metaphor used in his debut episode had him constantly refer the facility he was left in as "the slammer".
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot
- Back from the Dead: Explained in K.I.T.T. VS K.A.R.R.
- Big Brother Bully: Was built before KITT and while the subject doesn't come up often, would often call KITT an "inferior production-line model".
- Blue and Orange Morality: In Trust Doesn't Rust KARR is not really evil but more concerned with self-preservation. If people happen to be in the way, well, too bad. However, the two who reactivate KARR use KARR for evil purposes.
- Death Is Cheap: Pops up in the episode K.I.T.T. VS K.A.R.R. without so much as a scratch on his paint job.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Given that he was at first voiced by Optimus Prime...
- Faux Affably Evil
- Manipulative Bastard: Always seemed to have a knack for knowing exactly what to say to people.
- Meaningful Name: A car named KARR, get it?
- Psycho Prototype
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In K.I.T.T. VS K.A.R.R.
- Shadow Archetype: To KITT.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He's found deactivated in an old Knight Industries warehouse and two bums make the mistake of hopping inside and driving off with him.
- Taking You with Me: Attempts this in K.I.T.T. vs K.A.R.R.
Played by: David HasselhoffWilton's biological son. At the time of Michael's surgery, Garthe was imprisoned in Africa. Believing that his son would never be seen again, Wilton had Michael's face modeled after Garthe's.
- Berserk Button: Several, but Michael's mere existence is a big one.
- Michael usually defeats him by manipulating his reliably short fuse and infuriating him into making a mistake.
- Black Sheep: Garthe thinks his father made Michael into the son he'd always wanted.
- Beard of Evil: His goatee.
- Cain and Abel: Garthe's appearances in the series have always come down to a personal confrontation between himself and Michael. Which is interesting in the fact that they're not actually related.
- Evil Counterpart: To Michael, obviously.
- Evil Gloating: Garthe loves his monologuing...perhaps a bit too much.
- Evil Is Hammy
- Evil Sounds Deep: Has a considerably deeper voice than Michael
- Fake Guest Star: David Hasselhoff, who already plays Michael Knight.
- Momma's Boy: Accused of being as much by Michael.
- Revenge Before Reason: Ends up being his downfall when he tries to kill Michael, but ends up driving off a cliff.
- Smoking Is Cool: He even blows smoke rings!
- It's Personal
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Just like with the gloating, way too much. And their almost always directed towards Michael.
- The Unfavorite: In his own mind, this is how he thinks his father saw him. It probably doesn't help that he learns Wilton re-made Michael's face in "his" own image, oops.
An armored truck built and driven by Garthe Knight, coated with the Molecular Bonded Shell plating used on K.I.T.T., making the entire 18-wheeler highly resistant to convential weaponry.
- Achilles' Heel: The bolt that stabilized his trailer hitch was its only part that wasn't coated with the Molecular Bonded Shell. As a result, K.I.T.T. was able to destabilize it by shooting a powerful laser on the bolt, separating Goliath from his trailer. The missile pods mounted on the cab also were vulnerable, as another shot on the missile pods destroyed the cab.
- Big Badass Rig: It's a big rig coated with what gave K.I.T.T. Nigh-Invulnerability.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Its first encounter with K.I.T.T. ended with K.I.T.T. almost completely totalled after a head-on collision.
- Dark Is Evil: Dark grey, but it still helped make it look like bad news.
- Dumb Muscle: Has this vibe due to not being able to think (literally), and is constantly seen driving through buildings.
- Evil Counterpart: For K.I.T.T., being a vehicle coated with K.I.T.T.'s Molecular Bonded Shell (through unlike K.I.T.T., it had no AI running it).
- Meaningful Name: Goliath ended up being an apt name for a truck that faced off against a smaller car.
Played by: Richard BasehartA self-made millionaire and the founder of the Foundation for Law And Government (FLAG). After Michael Long is shot in the face, Wilton Knight rescues him and has his doctors save his life and give him a new face and new identity as Michael Knight. Wilton was always a firm believer in the philosophy that "One Man Can Make a Difference".
- Big Good: Founder of the, Foundation for Law And Government.
- The Chooser of The One: He gave Michael the new identity, and the new car.
- Cool Old Guy
- Death by Origin Story: He died just after giving KITT to Michael.
- Knight In Shining Armour
- Parental Substitute: More like Michael was his "Child-Substitute".
- Sins of Our Fathers: Inverted; his son Garthe was a very bad son.
- Take Up My Sword: Asked Michael to continue his work in helping "the little guy".
- We Help the Helpless: The Foundation.
Played by: Barbara RushWife to Mr. Wilton Knight, and mother to Garthe and Jennifer Knight.
- Almighty Mom: For whatever else she is, she's one mom I'd never want to cross.
- Alpha Bitch: She wanted to kill Michael Knight because she thought that he took her son's place and destroy FLAG for not helping her son. In all honesty, this lady should be in the villains section!
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She's got a really nasty smile Slasher Smile.
- Doting Parent: She secretly helped her son Garthe, who had been imprisoned in Africa while serving three life sentences, to escape back to the U.S.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Again, Garthe.
- Femme Fatale
- Manipulative Bitch: Is she ever.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Always wore gaudy outfits just to show how rich she was.
- Put on a Bus: Unlike her son. Garthe indicated that she may have passed away.
- The Unfettered: Oh, she has to kill a few people to make her son happy? No problem.
Played by: Mary Kate McGeehanWilton Knight's daughter. She seems to have been in charge of Knight Industries' more profitable operations since her father passed away. Little is known about her except that she's always been afraid of her brother and mother, with good reason.
- Broken Bird
- Dark and Troubled Past: It looks like Garthe's never going to win the "Brother of the Year Award".
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Towards Michael.
- Freudian Excuse: With a mother and brother like hers, who could blame her?
- Heel–Face Turn: After Michael saves everyone, including her. She warms up to him, even calling him a brother.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Not So Stoic: She claims that firing Michael and ending FLAG will cut down costs, when she's really just plain scared of Michael turning out to be like Garthe.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat
- Spoiled Brat: She certainly comes across as one.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: FLAG costs too much money? cut their funding.
Stephanie "Stevie" March Mason
Played by: Catherine HicklandThe woman who was once a close friend to Michael Long, Stevie - as she's known - was once engaged to Michael, unfortunately Stephanie thinks he's dead.
- Ascended Extra: One of the very few love interests who actually makes more than one appearance in the series.
- The Bus Came Back
- Cartwright Curse
- Distressed Damsel: How she's first introduced.
- Flat Character: Other than being Michael's former fiance, there isn't much else to say.
- The Heart
- Official Couple: With Michael, very briefly.
- Happily Married: Again, very briefly.
- Too Happy to Live