This week it’s Rob Wright offering thoughts and feelings by way of NBC’s Official Knight Writers Blog, focusing on last night’s episode Fight Knight. This episode is notable as on the surface it seems to follow the template of many TV series from the 1980s, “Michael Knight comes to town to help a friend in need. In so doing, he gets into a heap of trouble with local tough guys, a femme fatale… even a Sheriff who just might be hiding a sinister secret. Will Mike save the girl? Who knows! First he and Kitt must work together, fighting and driving, to stop the bad guys before time runs out.” If it sounds familiar, that’s because it could apply to several Original Series episodes — and that was Wright’s intention all along!
“It takes 8 days to shoot an episode of Knight Rider,” he says. “Well, we spent three of them shooting all the fights in the cage sequences… plus another night for the bar brawl.” It was a tough shoot — Hawaii aside, this episode took the cast and crew furthest from LA — and it was particularly rough on Justin. “[He] reminded me that he went to bed sore every night on this episode. Why? Because even with all our visual effect capability… even with the use of Justin’s amazing, MMA blackbelt stunt-double Antal Kalik… even with the vast array of options that camera trickery offers, there are still moments where your actor has take a punch. In a show centering on cage fighting, those moments add up!”
Wright gives props to guest stars Tiki Barber and Michael O’Hearn (American Gladiators‘ Titan) — “due to their unique builds both these guys did all their own fighting and stunt-work. I’m pleased to say both of them kicked ass” — and also to Stunt and Fight Co-Ordinators Danny Wynands and Dino Haines. “As you can tell, we worked our actors pretty hard on this show (as we do on every show) but we always did it with a safe and well-choreographed fight plan,” he says. “It’s ’cause of guys like Danny and Dino -– and the rest of our team of stuntmen and women -– that the director and producers can go and make good action sequences great.”
Wright also reveals that Meghan Markle, who plays Annie, only learned the extent of her fighting duties after she got the part! “Luckily, she’s a natural athlete who was able to step up to the plate and deliver,” he says.