When it debuted on NBC as a mid-season show in January 1994, Viper was dubbed as a “futuristic Knight Rider” for the 1990s — centering a Viper sports car that turns into the silver Defender in a “lone fight for justice” in crime-ridden Metro City. Well, 1994 was also the year that Knight Rider went into the future once more and made another revival attempt with Knight Rider 2010.
The film was part of the weekend syndicated Universal Action Pack. Taking the concept of Mad Max, it takes place in the future centering on Jake McQueen, a young man who smuggles people for money, as he and his U.S Marshal brother (Michael Beach) go after the man responsible for their father’s death. Jake’s KITT is a Ford Mustang completely refurbished and customized — built as a grunge-looking Ford Thunderbird framework, voiced by deceased girlfriend Hannah (Hudson Leick, Xena: Warrior Princess), and together they hit the road fighting for justice in a world without law and order — a world without heroes. Like Viper‘s Joe Astor, Jake McQueen started out as a criminal at first, but chose in the end to be one of the good guys.
Like Knight Rider 2000, Knight Rider 2010 was supposed to be a backdoor pilot for a weekly series — yet the film didn’t connect with hardcore Knight Rider fans. Though it had the “young loner on a crusade” and the “one man can make a difference” concept, it had no connection with the original whatsoever. Still, clips of the film can be found online at YouTube — like this one: