Tuesday, 7 July 2015

1984: KNIGHT RIDER: KNIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (aka the pilot) Novelization (Star Books)

From 1984: the first KNIGHT RIDER novelization from Star Books.

Star were, alongside Target, another imprint of WH Allen, who - as we've been seeing (and will continue to see) had a nice little sideline in TV based novels (all adapting screen adventures) during the mid-Eighties.  

This was the last Larson show created under his Universal contract (I think his day-to-day involvement on the weekly series was minimal as he'd moved over to 20th Century Fox to create the likes of THE FALL GUY, MANIMAL and AUTOMAN) so, sure enough, he made sure that he garnered a co-author credit (ala BATTLESTAR).  In reality, he probably never even knew this existed except as an income line on his contract.  

The book, which I've not read yet, is based on the show's feature-length opening movie aka Knight of the Phoenix.  It's worth a watch because, tonally, it's a little darker than the series itself.  Larson's stock company of Star Age performers saw several familiar faces clock in for opening night.  

According to the commentary on the DVD release, Larson didn't have time to finish shooting and editing the opener by deadline so he completed a partial version and pitched that to NBC.  Once the deal was sealed and the series green-lit, he went back and inserted the (cringy) comedy sub-plot with the bumbling car thieves to bring it up to the requisite length for broadcast. 

David Hasselhoff... Superhuman.  Apparently. 

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