Posts Tagged ‘Knight’
As we continue our Vampire Week celebration here at The Steve Austin Book Club, today we are going to take a look at the rise and fall of a TV show that EG dearly loved – Forever Knight.
He was brought across in 1228 – preyed on humans for their blood. Now, he wants to be mortal again … to repay society for his sins … To emerge from his world of darkness … from his endless Forever Knight.
Starting in 1992, each episode of Forever Knight opened with those words. A nice, succinct way to let folks know what the show was about. But, for the beginning of this show, we really need to look earlier… not 1228, but 1989.
From Jessie’s Girl to Coffin…
And, here is where I show my age. One Saturday night, as I was flipping through the channels, I came across a television movie on CBS. It was a vampire movie (which hooked me) called Nick Knight. In this movie, Rick Springfield (attempting to escape soap operas) played Nick Knight, L.A. cop and vampire.
After centuries of giving into his vampire ways, Nick was trying to cure himself. Helping in this effort was Dr. Jack Brittington (Robert Harper), forensic pathologist and the only one who knew what Nick truly was.
He was advising Nick to live as a human in order to become human – eating real food, no longer drinking blood, and exposing himself UV light via tanning beds. Nick was also seeking out some magical goblets that could cure him.
When some homeless are found drained of blood, Nick is partnered with Detective Don Schanke (John Kapelos) to investigate. (Note to readers: That character’s last name is pronounced “Skanky.” I know, right? Awesome.)
Through the investigation, Nick comes to believe that Lacroix (Michael Nader), the vampire that sired him, is responsible.
I won’t spoil the movie any further. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. And, though it was supposed to launch a TV series, that never happened.
Well, not quite never…
The Schanke Years
In 1992, CBS was desperate for some sort of late night programming to go against the Tonight Show and Nightline. After going through a bunch of hosted, Tonight Show-esque programs (one of which starred Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak), CBS decided to switch gears. The result? Crimetime After Primetime.
Crimetime After Primetime was a schedule of different hour long crime shows that aired, each airing once a week. The only one worth mentioning (at least, in my opinion) was Forever Knight.
Forever Knight was Nick Knight revamped (totally didn’t realize the pun, but I’m leaving it, so there!). Of all of the cast, the only actor to return from the original pilot movie was John Kapelos as Detective Don Schanke.
Nick Knight, now played by Geraint Wyn Davies, was now a Toronto cop and vampire. The basic idea of him seeking a cure and redemption continued in this series.
Dr. Jack Brittington became Dr. Natalie Lambert (Catherine Disher).
The role of Lecroix was taken over by Nigel Bennett.
And, the role of Janette (another vampire that appeared in the first pilot that I didn’t mention) changed from Cec Verrell…
…to Deborah Duchene.
Though production values were lower on the series than for the original pilot, across the board, I thought the level of acting went up.
Almost immediately, the show garnered a devoted fan base. Unfortunately, CBS was soon to drop the entire Crimetime After Primetime format, after securing David Letterman for their late night programming.
The voice of the fans was heard, though, and Forever Knight was continued in syndication.
The show’s popularity continued to grow in syndication through the end of the second season.
And, then, the writer’s saw Interview with the Vampire.
The Sun Rises (and we all know what happens to vampires when that happens)
With the third season, major changes came. It was announced that John Kapelos would not be returning to the series (no more Schanke… *sigh*).
It was also announced that Deborah Duchene’s role of Janette, vampire confidant of Nick, was also being eliminated.
Lisa Ryder, as Detective Tracey Vetter, came in as Nick’s partner.
Along with her, came a new, Lestat/Louis-esque vampire named Vachon (Ben Bass).
More and more, the focus of the show shifted toward the new characters, and the storylines seemed to be drawing from the same well as the well-known Anne Rice Vampire novels.
And, perhaps for the best, after three seasons and a radical change in the direction of the show, Forever Knight ended.
I do miss the show, but not what it was becoming. If the show had maintained the quality level that it had in the first two seasons, I would miss it more, but I’m pretty sure if it had continued the way it was headed, I would’ve dropped it.
Still, it is a good idea, and maybe, given the prevalence of vampires in primetime and movie theaters, we’ll see the concept revived yet again.
I miss Schanke.
Welcome faithful reader(s?) EG thought it was important that we blog tonight and for this I hate him. My body hurts. I have the stink of other geeks upon my person. And, the destroyed remnants of a Burger King Triple Stack and a couple of their Taco bombs just laid waste to my lower intestine.
But, EG tells me that the peoples they demands the updates.
So, here you go.
With the continued growth of ComiCon and the hope-dashingly long lines for nearly every panel (I’m looking at you “Ghost Hunters.” Seriously? Ghost Hunters was at capacity? Really? Did actual ghosts appear at the panel? Were they captured before a live audience and then given corporeal form only to feast on the souls of the innocent leaving an ectoplasmic residue in it’s wake? Perhaps that’s what I sat in.) we only managed to get to handful of panels.
Oh, but what glorious panels (except for that Batman one with the corpse of Jerry Robinson) they were!
Here’s what ended up in along with both of our brief reflections on each followed by a few photos that’ll make you feel like you were actually there with impaired vision…
WARNER BROS. THE WATCHMEN PANEL (In which the director, cast and co-creator of the Graphic Novel presented new footage, some expanded from the recent trailer):
EG’s Thoughts: Despite my still lingering misgivings about the project I can’t deny that the footage is impressive and that the makers of the film really do have a love for the project and the best intentions. I still can’t see it being able to adequately translate the work from the sequential page to celluloid but we’ll see.
OG’s Thoughts: While there’s not much in the world that’s worth a three hour wait in line behind the world’s biggest “Drew Carey Show” fan (not EG), this came pretty darn close. Unlike most of these big Hollywood panels, the cast were unusually well spoken and knowledgeble of the source material. (The scars from Sarah Michelle Gellar’s heat-vision blasts of disdain from six years back still burn.) The footage knocked me out of my sweat-soaked socks and I’m just as excited about this movie as I was when we saw our first glimpse of “Superman Returns.” Sadly, I think we all know how that turned out.
DC: BATMAN: NO REST FOR THE DARK KNIGHT (Starring writer’s Paul Dini, Brian Azzarello and Grant Morrison and Joker creator and aforementioned corpse Jerry Robinson):
EG’s Thoughts: I regularly buy both Batman and Detective Comics. I’m enamored with both of the writers of those books (Dini & Morrison). So, you’d think I would’ve been thrilled with this panel. Unfortunately, there was no new information given, the writer’s seemed generally unaware of what each other was doing and most of the talk seemed to be rife with spoilers from “The Dark Knight” (which we won’t actually be seeing finally until Sunday!!!). All and all, it was a generally disappointing panel that not even the lilting brogue of Grant Morrison could redeem.
OG’s Thoughts: I second all that and would only add that it would have been nice if some of the questions asked of the creators were about the actual comics they create. This panel sucked.
EG Adds: And I desperately would have liked to have seen an actual fist-fight between Dini and Morrison who certainly seemed not to respect one and other very much. (Despite lip-service to the contrary.)
ADULT SWIM: VENTURE BROS. & ROBOT CHICKEN:
EG’s Thoughts: We have been to these panels before and they are consistently fun and entertaining and this year was no different.
OG’s Thoughts: These two shows are the only programs in the Adult Swim line-up that don’t seem to be cobbled together from non-sequiters and bong resin. And, while this panel has always been fun in the past, the creators have always seemed a little too-cool for school and kind of annoyed to be there. (Aqua Teen Hunger Force being the primary offender) So, I really dug this year because these guys seemed to geniunely like interacting with the fans and were enthusiastic about what they had coming up.
EG Adds: The only down side – NO FREE SWAG!!! Say you want you want about the Aqua Teen guys, those green Mooninite socks were awesome!
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 20th ANNIVERSARY REUNION (Patton Oswalt hosts the entire cast and writing team of this landmark in geek programming):
EG’s Thoughts: If we had only managed to get to this panel for the entire Con I still would walk away satisfied. As a long-time fan and member of the “Information Club” I was delighted to see both the clips and the cast united on this historic occasion. I only wish that they had been able to announce a new re-launch of the series to heal my aching heart of the loss their cancellation brought.
OG’s Thoughts: Really, probably one of the best things I’ve witnessed our 5 Con-going years. Only that sad, miserable part of myself was disappointed that the Riff Trax people didn’t go to fisticuffs with the Cinematic Titanic people. But, that’s a small part of me. Mostly, I was happy to see them all together celebrating their excellent work.
Alright, that’s it for Friday. Due to an expected late night on Saturday, look for Saturday’s update on Sunday after we return to Los Angeles!
Uh oh! Looks like it is that time again – another Preview Review, wherein I find the unlettered preview pages offered online for an upcoming comic (that I really have no intention of buying), and write a review of the issue based entirely on my perceptions of what is going on.
Today, we look at Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1, from Paul Cornell (writer) and Leonard Kirk (artist), with a cover by Brian Hitch.
Wow! Without further ado, let’s take a look at that Brian Hitch cover!
Uh… yeah. That’s Captain Britain. Yep. There he is. You know, I’m not looking to be spoiled by the covers on my comics, but I would like to see something pertaining to the story contained in the book. Maybe I’m jumping the gun a little here, but unless the story involves Captain Britain rescuing someone from a random graphics department or Brian Hitch’s sketchbook, I’m guessing the images don’t have a lot to do with the story. Oh, wait – I do see a guy with lines on his chin. Ah, that must be the clue to tell us that the issue will have something to do with Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens from space! Well, that image along with a year of promotion from Marvel basically telling us that Skrulls are everywhere. Okay, let’s move inside the book.
Ah, right there! See? I told ya! Skrulls. Clearly, Captain Britain is being attacked by two Skrulls here. One, obviously more accomplished at his shapeshifting abilities, is combining the forms of Ghost Rider, Iceman, and… uh… Hawkman. Wait – Hawkman is from DC, not Marvel. There you have it, True Believers. The Skrull problem is so bad that it is even infecting and drawing from the Distinguished Competition. The second Skrull, being less experienced, is making an attempt to look like Morbius the Living Vampire. Poor kid. Someone really should take him to the side and tell him that the green skin and pointy ears really work against the disguise. But, he is trying, so we should give him credit for that. Maybe this whole issue is about Skrulls in training, hmm? Next page!
So, Captain Britain pulls the ultimate version of every big brother’s favorite game, “Why are you hitting yourself?” The Skrull, using his own Iceman powers freezes his Ghost Rider head. With speed-lines… for some reason. You know, I would think that the Skrull could adapt to that, but maybe this guy is not as good as I first thought, because in the very next panel, Captain Britain shatters his skull into a few thousand pieces.
The second Skrull, now ticked that his teacher is headless, attacks C.B. (because typing Captain Britain over and over is getting tedious) with renewed vigor! Along with his Morbius attempts, he is also now… furry… and his arms are on fire. Again, give him credit for trying. Still hasn’t got that whole “head” thing down, though. Hard to fool anyone when your head is still pretty much Skrull, you know? I mean, say you saw what you thought were your parents, and they looked dead on like your parents in every way, but their heads were all green with pointy ears. Do you really think you’d be fooled into believing those are your parents? But, that’s why we have these training missions, I suppose.
Anyway, fuzzy-flaming-arm-Morbius Skrull holds hands with C.B. and then… flies away. And, it looks as if C.B. is just as confused as I am. Good. I hate to be alone in these things.
With the Skrull leaving, C.B. decides to call it a day, flying off until his services are required again, when those in need cry out in desperation.
Gee, I hope all those injured people down below don’t succumb to a horrible death, engulfed by the surrounding flames and all. Too bad there wasn’t someone around that could maybe get them to safety, perhaps a superhero with the gift of flight… and general awareness of his surroundings. Oh well.
Hey, in that last panel, is that woman realizing she could have had a V8?
Aw, great, now I gotta turn my computer monitor on its side. Okay. Just a minute. Alright, there we go. Uh oh… here we have some real trouble. Skrull on Skrull in-fighting. With oodles of speed-lines! Looks like another teacher/student thing. The student, completely looking like a Skrull, obviously did something to deserve getting stabbed by the teacher Skrull, who has mixed the forms of Marvel’s Black Knight, and Arthur Fonzarelli, aka, Fonzie. Oh, no – wait, I got it wrong. This wasn’t a fight at all. Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull must have told the other Skrull to shapeshift into a scabbard for his sword! The student Skrull evidently couldn’t do it in time, but by the time Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull realized it, he was already slamming his sword into the supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull. What a shame. Looks like there is no way supposed-to-be-a-scabbard Skrull will recieve Black Knight-Fonzie’s top grade – an “Aaaayyyy!”
I… I’m sorry. I apologize, okay? Even I can’t believe I typed that. Quickly, on to the next page before my shame crushes my spirit completely.
Hey, its Firestar! I used to love watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends! Wait… that’s not Firestar? Well, who is it then? Doesn’t really matter, I guess. Anyway, Not-Firestar appears to be running really fast (thanks to the visual cue of, yes, speed-lines) while talking on a cell phone. If she was paying attention to what is going on, she would notice that a couple of Skrulls-in-training are blasting… architecture. Whatever.
Ooh, and its time, once again, for everyone’s favorite game of “Guess which heroes the Skrulls are imitating!” Okay, that first one, all silver-y… I’m going out on a limb and say Silver Surfer. Ooh, and he’s got winged ankles! That’s Namor! Obviously, there must be someone else, too… but I don’t know who. Is it a cosmic character? I’m not really familiar with cosmic characters. Well, yeah, I mean, Silver Surfer, but EVERYONE knows Silver Surfer. Jumping over to the other Skrull… now, THAT is a combo. Thor, big-gold-suited Iron Man, and the Wasp. Let me just say, though, someone really needs to sit the Skrulls down and explain that if the chin lines don’t give them away, the “mixing-up-of-heroes-body-parts” will.
Anyway, Not-Firestar leaps up to the Namor-Surfer Skrull. I can only assume that one of the landmarks that the Skrulls destroyed must have been a cell phone tower. She’s probably really upset about the dropped call. Well, I can understand, I mean that is really irritat–
Great Shades of Elvis! Not-Firestar is a vampire!!! Wow, Namor-Surfer Skrull is even more shocked than I am!
Ooh, a silhouette! Isn’t it amazing how a nice silhouette can tone down the violence of Vampire-Not-Firestar ripping 3/4 of Namor-Surfer Skrull’s neck out to acceptable levels for the general reading audience? Hold on… 3/4 of the Skrulls neck is gone? Vampire-Not-Firestar’s mouth is NOT that big. Wait! I get it! It was the sharpness of Vamprie-Not-Firestar’s hair as she flung her head back that nearly decapitated the Skrull. Wow… that must be some amazing shampoo that she uses.
Uh oh… look at Vampire-Not-Firestar’s eyes. As an avid watcher of vampire films, I know what is coming next. Quick, Iron-Wasp-Thor Skrull, run! Her bloodlust has been awakened! Don’t just stand there in shock! Run!
Oh no. Too late! Here she comes, really fast… which I know, thanks to the inclusion of speed-lines! Quick, next page!
Huh? Oh… well, I guess we’re back to C.B. and the Morbius Skrull. Morbius Skrull begins by waving his stinky, fuzzy feet in C.B.’s face. With speed-lines. He follows with a punch. And speeed-lines. Nice combo.
Oh no! Vampire-Not-Firestar is back! With speed-lines! Is there no end to her desire for liquid life?!?
Oh… and they are joined by three other… beings. Okay, that top guy… Skrull? Maybe. Channeling… Man-Bat and Clayface? I don’t know. The other Skrull is doing a bad impression of Hyperion. The other guy? Uh… Keanu Reeves maybe? Man, it is getting too crowded in this story. Maybe it would seem less crowded if there were fewer speed-lines. Let’s move on to the last page.
Okay, we’ve got Keanu Reeves blasting the Skrull in the neck, surrounded by speed-lines, while Vampire-Not-Firestar dodges the blast by running in the same direction as those speed-lines. (Don’t ask why the speed-lines are in front of her, merely accept them.)
Then Man-Bat-Clay Face Skrull (floating among speed-lines) is watching C.B. punch Hyperion Skrull. Maybe he is wondering (like me) what happened to Morbius Skrull, who C.B. was fighting on the previous page.
Oh, and then C.B. claps his hands in front of Hyperion Skrull’s face (of course, creating speed-lines)… for… some… reason…
And the whole thing is resolved as C.B. punches the head off of Hyperion Skrull, scattering speed-lines across the page.
The next page probably shows Vampire-Not-Firestar feeding on the carcasses of the fallen Skrulls, as Keanu Reeves and Captain Britain react in horror. And, yeah, Keanu Reeves says, “Whoa.” And there are some speed-lines.
Hmm, this was an interesting read. A lot of vampire stuff (Morbius Skrull, Vampire-Not-Firestar), which appeals to me, so that’s good. I would have liked to have seen more of Black Knight-Fonzie Skrull. Ooh, and if they could have crammed in some more speed-lines, that would have been nice.
Sadly, I can only give this issue 433 stars out of a possible 2572 stars. Why? I simply could not read the story fast enough to appreciate the speed-lines.
See ya next time!
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE RECENTLY AIRED KNIGHT RIDER TV MOVIE ARE AHEAD. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, THEN DON’T READ THIS. SERIOUSLY. I MEAN IT. I TALK ABOUT ALL THE INTERESTING THINGS, INCLUDING THE SECRET APPEARANCE OF HERBIE, THE LOVE BUG, AS K.I.T.T.’S NEW LOVE INTEREST. WELL, NO, NOT THAT, REALLY, BECAUSE IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, BUT THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF SURPRISES I COULD POSSIBLY RUIN IN THIS LITTLE REVIEW. SO, IF YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE ZOMBIE BATTLE IN KNIGHT RIDER, DON’T READ THIS. SORRY. AGAIN, NO ZOMBIE BATTLE TAKES PLACE. JUST AN EXAMPLE OF ME SPOILING. GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD.
To the NBC executives:
Just… just stop, okay?
I beseech you. Seriously.
Stop raping my childhood.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, let us talk about the recently aired Knight Rider TV movie.
Buy it now.
It is too cool not to buy.
Why aren’t you buying it?
If you were cool, you’d buy it.
Ah, yes, I sat through this 2 hour commercial. Actually, I taped it so I could skip through the commercials. Shockingly, I was able to watch the entire movie in about 8 minutes.
I subjected myself to the entire debacle, though, with so many of the actual commercials starring K.I.T.T. and the new guy driving the car, it was hard to figure out where to stop sometimes.
Oh, where do I begin with this? How about an overview?
It is 2008, and Charles Graiman, the developer of the original K.I.T.T. has developed a computer program, called Prometheus, that basically controls every military computer for the United States. And the bad guys come looking for it.
(Please note – in an effort not to offend anyone, the bad guys are the current standard, which include a British guy, an Asian guy, an African American guy, and a guy that is probably German, but not really focused on. You looking for diversity on TV? Look to the bad guys. They may be evil, but they are openly welcoming of all races.)
They break into Graiman’s home and steal all his hard drives, but can’t access the information because it is encrypted. Unfortunately, Graiman died of a heart attack when they broke in and threatened him. Whoops. They decide to go after his daughter to help them access the hard drives.
While rummaging through Graiman’s house, the bad guys “wake up” the new K.I.T.T., who goes speeding off to save Graiman’s daughter, Sarah.
What do you mean? I am acting!
Sarah teaches at Stanford, so K.I.T.T. goes there to pick her up. Unfortunately, so do the bad guys. K.I.T.T. saves her, and they go to find someone to help them – Mike Traceur, teenage sweetheart of Sarah, former Army Ranger, current sleazebag. Why? Because Graiman programmed K.I.T.T. to do that… for reasons that really don’t make much sense, but become obvious later. They don’t make any more sense later, either, but you can see why the writers decided to go that direction.
Sarah and K.I.T.T. go pick up Mike in Las Vegas, and then get a message to meet her father. And they drive… and drive. Occassionally, the bad guys catch up to them, but they get away.
Finally, they all meet up at this dumpy little hotel. Here is where Mike learns from his mother that his father is actually Michael Knight, who drove the previous K.I.T.T.
Meanwhile, the bad guys start hacking into K.I.T.T., because, even though this Graiman guy could encrypt all of his computers to prevent the bad guys from getting access to Prometheus, he obviously couldn’t do that with K.I.T.T., because that would make sense, and we can’t have this movie making sense.
Then the bad guys come. And, they kill Mike’s mother. Because they are bad guys.
The leader of the bad guys leaves, telling his men to kill Mike and Sarah. That’s right – he leaves, and just assumes they will be killed. He doesn’t just shoot them right then and there. He drives away while his men are just standing there, with the guns aimed at the good guys.
Guess what? That’s right – Mike and Sarah manage to escape!
Mike and Sarah take K.I.T.T., and, via defying any sense of realistic physics, save her father.
Next, we go to Mike’s mother’s funeral, where Graiman, master of tact that he is, offers Mike the chance to drive K.I.T.T. for the Foundation for Law and Government (just like his dad did). Mike, to upset over all of this, declines.
But (you knew there would be a “but”), at the funeral, Michael Knight (the Hoff himself) shows up to lend the words of wisdom, “One man can make a difference.”
The things I will do for a paycheck…
(Of course, Mike seems all too accepting of his long lost father just appearing out of nowhere, let alone trying to give him advice at his mother’s funeral… but maybe its just me.)
Of course, Mike decides to accept the position of driving K.I.T.T., and things are all set for an ongoing series.
(By the way, there were about a dozen extra characters we met along the way, including a lesbian FBI agent and Mike’s comic relief buddy, shoehorned in for no real reason, but I didn’t really feel the need to highlight them. You’re welcome.)
First off, I’m a huge fan of the original Knight Rider. I also concede that the show doesn’t hold up that well, but it is still fun to watch.
I think that was the big problem with the new incarnation – it wasn’t fun to watch.
The movie just tried way too hard to be be taken seriously. It wanted to be innovative and edgy. It wanted to be dramatic.
Oh, man, did it want to be dramatic!
I am of the opinion that, generally speaking, action movies and new TV shows need to be plot-driven and not character-driven. With action movies, I’m not really looking for character development, and with TV, there will be time enough for character development after an audience is hooked. Trying to completely flesh out characters right at the start comes off laughible at best (forcing situations to become a microcosm of the character’s beliefs), and terribly tedious at worst.
With this movie, it went for the worst. It seemed like entire chunks of this movie were just K.I.T.T., driving along, so that Mike and Sarah could “talk.” As in “we need to talk,” not just shooting the breeze.
The dialogue was just atrocious. Bad, bad writing.
The exchanges would’ve been horrible even with good actors, but, trust me, we didn’t have to worry about that. The cardboard stand-ups they cast in this movie managed to amplify the terrible, forced characterization.
You wanna know how bad the acting was in this movie? When David Hasselhoff came on the screen for his little cameo at the end, he comes off like Lawrence Olivier compared to what we saw up to that point.
A spoiler? Really? Like this blocky car is going to lift off the ground?!?
Besides the writing and acting, everything else is just nit-picking for me. I don’t like that K.I.T.T. is a boxy Mustang, I miss the low “woo-woo” sound from the red scanner on the front of K.I.T.T., there was no sign of the famous “Turbo Boost,” and, while Val Kilmer was fine, he was no William Daniels.
Overall, I wouldn’t sit through this movie again, and I doubt I’ll be checking out any future series based on it. If I want to watch Knight Rider, there are DVD’s out there of the real thing; I don’t have to depend on this pale imitation.