Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-04-18 Entry: "Show Rotation"

Next up in the crazy nostalgia merry-go-round is Knight Rider season 2, and we kick off with the two part "Goliath" which if memory serves is the first "lets do what we can to trash KITT and then rebuild him with new gadgets" although I don't think this is where we get the super-pursuit mode added.

Okay, so we've got a mysterious rich guy, and a photographer who clearly shouldn't be there. Okay, the mysterious rich guy looks like Michael Knight, but he's got an evil moustache (and a cane that he can shoot people with).

Of course, this is the season where Bonnie has disappeared and he have to live with April instead... do they actually explain that change anywhere?

Devon goes to dinner with Wilton Knight's wife, who poisons him to get the formula for KITT's molecular bonded shell which she can then give to the evil guy, Garth. Ah, okay, Garth was serving three life sentences in Africa so there was no chance of him showing up and getting confused with Michael... but somehow he's back anyway, and he has a veeeery large armoured truck that he's now making indestructible.

Considering KITT drives everywhere, I wonder what the Foundation's petrol bill is... criss-crossing the US every week... Oooh, stock footage of Rio De Janeiro and then a dead body, making it clear that Garth has all the formula.

See, I got distracted and didn't summarise the rest (or indeed, the next episode). Suffice it to say Michael manages to stop Garth (even having to impersonate him at one point, which he does a reasonable job of considering how little interaction they've had) and take out Goliath. The next episode was "Brother's Keeper" in which Michael breaks a guy out of gaol who doesn't want to leave, and then runs around after a bomb for the rest of the episode.

Then I watched Norwich City snatch a draw from the jaws of victory... when you're winning 3-1, only Norwich could throw it away enough that the last couple of minutes are praying they don't lose. Of course, if the Palace player with the raised foot had been sent off when he dug his studs in the back of one of the City players then he couldn't have scored their second goal, and if Norwich had substituted Shekell like I'd been telling them to do for half the match then he couldn't have pulled Johnson down again forcing the ref to award a penalty.

Back to Knight Rider, "Merchants Of Death," and Michael has to postpone a trip to California to go to Phoenix and look for a missing woman... with a personal connection to Devon.

Okay, woman gone missing has a photo of a freight yard, and after tracking down evidence of her death, they gain evidence that she was killed by a weapon fired from a helicopter - a special miliatary helicopter firing some top secret missile. It's another KITT takes on a helicopter episode...

Show four on my little merry-go-round is Quantum Leap series 2. And we kick this show off with "Honeymoon Express" which sees Al testifying before congress over the loss of control of the Quantum Leap experiment. The congressional committee seem skeptical that God is in control, especially considering that he doesn't appear to have impacted any significant global events. Unfortunately, as Al's word is the only evidence that Sam really is back in the past, the committee want to stop funding it... so presumably Sam'll have to do something to get their opinions changed.

But how's Sam going to do that on a train on his honeymoon... going to Niagara Falls with his new bride. He's a cop, married to a law student (whose father is a senator). Al wants Sam to save the U2 bomber, while Ziggy thinks Sam should be helping the wife (Diane) to pass the bar exam. Of course, it doesn't help that Diane's ex-husband tries to kidnap her.

Everything comes to a head when Al finds out that the head of the committee ran against Diane to get his position, and when he cuts of funding, Sam helps Diane to pass her bar exam, thereby changing the outcome of the congressional race, and getting the funding for another year.

Sam leaps into a disco dancer in "Disco Inferno" and he gets shot in the first couple of minutes. Fortunately, he's an stuntman and he's on a set. But the stunt coordinator quits and the two sons have to leave with him.

Worryingly for Sam, all they know is that the younger brother dies in the next couple of days. He seems to be keen to do his own stunt and Sam doesn't seem to be doing a good job of persuading him he's not ready. So if the brother has a future in music, who is he? Presumably he's famous at some point knowing how this show drops the stars in.

The brotherly connection in this leap leads Sam to reminisce about him and his older brother Tom. It's not until halfway through the episode that Sam recalls that Tom died in Vietnam.

Of course, things work out so he can leap in to Popeye in "The Americanization Of Machiko." Of course, his lack of knowledge of who he is means he leaves his Japanese wife at the bus when his father turns up to take him home.

Guest starring K. Callan as his mother, she's the one disapproving of Machiko and unwilling to accept her into the family. The old flame, Naomi keeps throwing herself at Sam, and Rusty has a grudge against the Japanese for ruining his baseball career. You know, the usual conflicts!

Of course, I'm not sure the next leap shot at the end is the actual episode - the leap shows him jumping in to a black man and sitting down at the counter in a whites only cafe. But isn't the next episode "What Price Gloria?" in which case it's picking up the leap from the end of the first series... i.e., Samantha...

Yep, there's that bubble bath. We get Verbena Beeks' first mention as the project psychiatrist, and we find out Al sees Sam as whoever his host is rather than as him.

But how do Samantha's clothes fit? In the mirror shots with Gloria, she's about four inches shorter than Sam. I guess this is just one of those temporal mysteries.

Just to shake things up, Sam then leaps in to a blind piano player... fortunately he's just finishing his performance...

And that finishes the disc. I'm now going to go out and forage for food, so we won't immediately be doing show five.

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