The UK’s SFX magazine has a new interview with Gary Scott Thompson regarding the current “reboot” we’re seeing, and the new direction that Knight Rider is taking. It’s a situation the network has forced on the showrunner, he reveals.
“When we spoke, NBC were still leading me to believe we were going in a certain direction,” Thompson tells the magazine. “We had written scripts and shot episodes that detailed Mike’s past and had flashbacks to what happened, and these were things we were forced to take out — kicking and screaming, by the way. They just felt it was too dark. But it wasn’t; it was just telling what happened and him trying to piece together his memory. It gave a sense of mystery that’s missing and made it stand out more than just being a fluffy show.
“We had pitched NBC on the first 13 episodes and his backstory was a big part of that, so that by the time we got to episode 13 we had pieced together the puzzle, and from 13 to 22 we’d sort of solve what was left to solve about it. Once the network saw the cut of [A Hard Day’s Knight], they had us rip all of it out and it’s been a scramble to replace it. This is really the network’s reboot. They don’t like when I say that, but these are marching orders coming down.”
It’s been reported that the format the show will take is a lot more reminiscent of the Original Series: a modern-day Lone Ranger concept, with Mike and K.I.T.T. driving across the country and helping the common man. The seeds of this were sown in last night’s episode, Day Turns Into Knight: “The dying wish of one of the characters is that they go back to what they had originally started with, before they got too involved with the government,” Thompson says. “Mike is told to go back to the idea that one man can make a difference; that he should go out and help people who need help and not take on the terrorist of the week. As a result, they’ve kind of gone rogue and will be operating outside of the law. So the government shuts them down and what they do from there is the show’s new direction.”
What does Thompson think of the new direction? “I think the drama’s good, especially in those episodes. We’re just starting on the ones after that — the reboot. Now it’s like, ‘what do we do?’ and they actually ask that question. They go forward from there and fulfil someone’s dying wish. It’ll work, touch wood.”
It’s SFX, issue 179, February 2009, out now!