SciFiWire have posted an interview with Justin Bruening from the set of I Love The Knight Life — now the season finale — where the star of Knight Rider talks about the changes that have recently swept through the show.
“People will be able to relate more,” Bruening says of the show post-‘reboot.’ “They reinvented the show, so it’s going to be more of the original format, where it was usually Michael and K.I.T.T. going out on missions. When you do a mission on a global scale, there’s too much to fit in 42 minutes. With a more localized murder-mystery mission, you can get more in-depth. In this, we can have a smaller mission with more twists and turns that can make it interesting. We still have these grand-scale missions, just not this week.”
With Mike on the road assuming the ‘young loner’ mantle of the original Michael Knight, he now sees less of his co-stars. “Obviously, I’m sad to see people go,” Bruening explains. “They are great friends, and I’ve learned a lot from them, but the way it happens, it makes the story stronger, and it makes the remaining four characters much stronger. We all have to step up instead of relying on the other cast members. It gives us more to do.”
The fact that the remaining cast members have more to do is something that has pleased Knight Rider fans on internet forums, who have complained vocally since the show premiered that the show lacked focus and that Mike was often not the driving force behind the capture of the bad guys — regularly being bailed out of trouble by Sarah (Deanna Russo) or the team in the SSC. Now that Sarah is in charge of operations back at the SSC, the action and adventure is firmly Mike’s department… but how does Justin see the dynamics of their other relationship changing?
“I wish I knew, and I don’t even think my character even knows,” he says. “We are getting to the point where we come together, events have happened, and it makes us shut down in terms of romance. In [I Love The Knight Life], there is a new girl from my past, someone I knew from my childhood, and Sarah knows of her. Oddly enough, she is going through things that are almost a carbon copy to what Sarah is going through. This episode is a new step for Michael and has nothing to do with Sarah. And Michael doesn’t know what’s going on with Sarah, and he’s starting to get frustrated. In episode four, she knew he loved her, and still nothing. It’s like ‘Why beat a dead horse?'”
Of course, major relationship that defines Mike’s character — and the only relationship that really matters in a show called Knight Rider — is that between Michael Knight and his car. “The relationship that is developing is more brotherly,” Bruening says. “It’s basically the same principle as Iron Man, where he was a normal guy without the suit. When K.I.T.T. is around, Michael knows he’s not going to get hurt. That also allows us to joke around more. In the midst of gunfire, because he’s bulletproof, it’s fun to play the opposite of what you normally would. At the same time, we do care about each other like a family. K.I.T.T. continues to learn, and in an upcoming episode he gains even more personality, to the point he starts playing practical jokes on me. It’s a buddy-cop show with the banter. The one thing I would be excited to see is K.I.T.T. becoming angry and how he would retaliate.”
So, no modern takes on classic episodes such as Killer K.I.T.T. this season then, but Bruening reveals that K.I.T.T. has plenty of aggressive ammunition in the season finale. “K.I.T.T. gets some new guns that exhaust his ammunition, which is 8,000 rounds, in seven seconds,” he says. “It’s pretty impressive, but I actually make fun of him for only lasting seven seconds. That’s the fun part of the show. K.I.T.T. is becoming such a strong character that we’re trying to find a way to make the scenes humorous.”
So far, after Gary Scott Thompson’s Exit Light, Enter Knight and Wednesday’s Fight Knight the majority of fans are pleased with Knight Rider‘s new direction. Hopefully the network will follow suit. Bruening himself is happy with the result. “I think it’s always fun to reinvent. It’s exciting. There are changes, and you see progress that way. It’s not stagnant, and it makes sense why we change. Plus, it makes it more like the original series with missions. Sarah is more of the mechanic, and she runs the place. Billy and Zoe are the computer techs, so knowing everyone’s expertise allows Michael to call the right guy.”