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Knight Rider

Season 1 Episode 5

Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Oct 22, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
47 votes

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Episode Summary

Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular
Michael joins an auto-daredevil show whose owners unwittingly took out a second mortgage from a crook who arranges "accidents" so he can take over the business.

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  • Devon sends Michael and K.I.T.T. undercover at an automobile stunt show that is being sabotaged by a crooked businessman who holds the mortgage. Nothing special, but not that bad either...

    After the Pilot and two very decent regular episodes, things feel to be settling down much more into the standard template for the series in "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular", having a more streamlined and slightly "production line" feel.

    This early episode seems to have been primarily conceived to show off various K.I.T.T. stunts. As such, it's an okay concept, I suppose, but I feel they could have done more with it.

    Although we briefly saw Michael completing an unspecified mission at the start of the previous episode, "Good Day at White Rock", here we see Michael taking first 'real' on-screen mission of the series, as his adventures in "Deadly Manoeuvres" and "Good Day..." came about very much by chance.

    As the template for the series sets in place (actually, if the production codes are to be believed, this one was filmed mid-season), here we get our first of MANY scenes of Michael and Devon in Devon's office (something that would be a recurring plot staple in many episodes), and the first real hint of the spark between Michael and Bonnie – although it is carried out pretty corny on this instance (and let's face it, David Hasselhoff can do corny very well!).

    We also get the first instance of what would be a "convenient" plot staple: Bonnie adds new functions (oxygen vent and more powerful Turbo Boost) that *just happens* to come in handy in this particular story! This convenience of new functions that just happen to come in useful that very episode, would be an element of the series that was often used, particularly in the second season.

    The overall plot is fair I suppose, but there felt to be no real urgency to it, just very much kinda "Okay, we'll wait for the saboteur to try again". I also picked up on several nitpicks (covered in the Notes and Trivia sections), of the racetrack going from wet to dry and back in the same scene, and K.I.T.T. nose-diving as he jumps the moving vehicles (a shot used at two points in the story), covered with some awkward editing.

    As the third regular episode after the Pilot, it serves it's purpose well enough – though I did find it to be a bit a comedown after the previous two; and if it had been located a bit later in the run, it would definitely have a more "Average" ranking with me.

    I've commented on my review for "Good Day..." that I mostly like the early in-episode scores used in the series, before the more electronic style was phased in; but I gotta say, some of the incidental music in "Slammin' Sammy..." sounds pretty cheap and ropey.

    Looking through the current first season ratings scores on TV.com, I see that "Slammin' Sammy..." currently scores lowest, with (a still reasonable) 8.3. While it does set into place the template for much of the first season, it's not my personal least favourite episode of the season. I don't love this one, but I don't hate it either. I give it a fair (maybe slightly generous) 8/10.moreless

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Although Devon was briefly seen in his office on the phone to Michael in the pilot, this episode is the first time that we have scenes of Michael and Devon in the office, on the Knight Estate. These scenes would become a recurring staple of future stories, as Devon outlines Michael's mission for the episode.

    • When KITT performs the jump over the moving truck and car, he noticeably nosedives towards the ground as he lands, where the stunt went slightly wrong in filming; the sequence is edited with other shots to make it look like he had a perfect landing. Later, when Michael is drugged, the same footage is used, again showing the nosedive, and the episode's opening teaser also ends on the shot, again being very noticeable.

    • Several conversation scenes set at the arena very obviously were shot with the aid of lights for filming, with tell-tale signs such as shadows giving it away.

    • When Michael does his try-out for Lisa, the arena is bone dry. He immediately has a conversation with Lisa, and the arena is suddenly wet as if it had just showered. He then asks Mark to see his act. When Mark does his act, the arena is once again bone dry.

    • When KITT balances himself on two wheels, you can see that Michael has turned fat. It's actually his stunt double, and you can see a dummy in the passengers place.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (1)

    • The French episode title is "Les Cascadeurs", meaning "The Stuntmen". The Czech episode title is "Kaskadér Sekáč Semy", meaning "Stuntman Fop Sammy".