A short-lived Sequel Series to the original Knight Rider. It ran from October, 1997 to May, 1998, and a total of 22 episodes were produced in its single season. Rather than focusing on one man and his car, TKR featured a team of five operatives and vehicles:
- "Dante", a Ford Expedition. Operated by Kyle Stewart (Brixton Karnes), a former CIA agent.
- "Domino", a Ford Mustang. Operated by Jenny Andrews (Christine Steel), a former Marine. She was a veteran of The Gulf War.
- "Beast", an F-150. Operated by Duke DePalma (Duane Davis), a former Chicago police officer and boxer.
- "Plato" and "Kat", custom motorcycles which could combine to form a "high speed pursuit vehicle". Operated respectively by Kevin "Trek" Sanders (Nick Wechsler), and Erica West (Kathy Trageser). Sanders is a technical expert; West is a former con artist and professional thief.
The series was considered a failure on many levels. In addition to failing to draw much public interest, it (perhaps unfairly) alienated most fans, whose common complaints were:
- Departure from the "One man can make a difference" premise
- Use of Ford, rather than Pontiac vehicles (Though Ford made an extremely generous offer to the producers, many fans of the original series are rabid Pontiac fans)
- Lack of spectacular "feature of the week" abilities (Probably due to budget constraints)
- Insertion of a comic book style plot arc
- Absence of a KITT-style red "Cylon eye" on the vehicles
- The High Speed Pursuit Vehicle really did look pretty silly.
So outraged were fans of the original series that it was widely speculated that TKR's producers were intentionally attempting to make a bad series as a personal slight against original series creator Glen Larson.
None of the original cast appeared in this series; Edward Mulhare was cast in a recurring guest role, but his untimely death made this impossible. The characters of KITT and Michael Knight made cameos in the series finale, but were played by stand ins.
- Cliffhanger: The series finale, unfortunately titled "Legion of Doom".
- Cool Garage: In this case, a VTOL cargo plane.
- Everybody Owns a Ford
- The Faceless: Several.
- Five-Man Band:
- The Leader: Kyle / AI Dante
- The Lancer: Jenny
- The Smart Guy: Trek / AI Plato
- The Big Guy: Duke / AI Beast
- The Sixth Ranger: Erica (due to her background as a former criminal)
- The Chick: AI Domino
- Immune to Bullets: Though to a lesser extent than its predecessor. Explained in episode "KRO": Although the cars all have high-impact armor and bulletproof glass, FLAG vehicles post-KITT (and moreso post-KRO) have been deliberately designed with weaknesses and vulnerabilities, in case one should go rogue (as did KRO).
- In Name Only: Not much connected it to the original; if Edward Mulhare hadn't died unexpectedly, it would've been a bit better. (Still way better than Knight Rider 2010 was, though.)
- The Lab Rat: Trek, Plato's driver.
- Mythology Gag: Pictures of Devon Miles, Michael Knight, and KITT are occasionally seen in the background.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: Most prominent with Kat and Plato; the two motorcycles have odd-looking bits of plastic bolted to them to look "futuristic", and the combined High Speed Pursuit Vehicle looked like two motorcycles slinging a frame between them.
- Opening Narration: Quoted above, and performed by Don LaFontaine.
- Robot Buddy: All the cars, natch, just like its predecessor. A Shadow Archetype can be found in KRO, who goes out of his way to rescue his original pilot from prison.KRO: I have your man. Give me mine.
- Speaks In Shoutouts: Plato and Trek.
- Three Laws-Compliant: Subverted.Erica West: Shouldn't you be programmed to happily sacrifice yourselves for the team?AI Dante: Was that supposed to be funny?AI Domino: Are you out of your mind?!AI Plato: Give me a break.AI Kat: No way!
- AI Beast subverts it further; as a running gag, he doesn't get along with his driver Duke and oftentimes refuses to cooperate with him (unless someone's life is on the line, that is). On the other hand, Beast seems to hold quite the candle for Jenny...
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: In nearly every episode. Superweapons include: a weather control device; an earthquake machine; two mind control devices; Liquified Nitrogen Gas (which is a high explosive. Presumably the writers really meant Liquified Natural Gas; Nitrogen is inert); KRO; an EMP gun; super-powered armor.