Knight Rider

Season 1 Episode 9

Trust Doesn't Rust

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Nov 19, 1982 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
59 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Trust Doesn't Rust
Michael and KITT have to stop the newly reactivated KARR (Knight Automated Roving Robot), which is programmed not to protect human life, but for self-preservation.

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  • Two vagrants break into the Knight Industries Museum and unwittingly re-activate K.A.R.R., a misprogrammed prototype of K.I.T.T. Soon, they are using K.A.R.R. in an unstoppable crime spree. Not only a classic of the series, but of 1980s TV in general...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    This episode surely needs no introduction, as it is one of the all-time classics of 'Knight Rider'. Actually, scratch that, it is one of the classic examples of 1980s action-adventure TV in general. Just about everyone remembers this one.

    Back when the series was shown here in the U.K., scattered around the ITV regions, whenever this one turned up in my local area, just about everyone in my school would be excited, and talk about it for days before and after.

    This is an excellent story. Of course, there is K.A.R.R., K.I.T.T.'s misprogrammed prototype (even as a child I loved evil twin stories), but even beyond that, there is the story of the two vagrants, Tony and The Rev, who start out as friends relying on each other, but find their new found wealth (from their robberies using K.A.R.R.) to corrupt their friendship and drive them apart. Maybe it's because this is such a notable episode anyway, but I love these two guys, especially the Rev – I've often wondered if he had found religion as solace through his drinking, or was in fact a shamed priest.

    (Trivia: Tony and Rev's full names, given in some literature, are Tony Coscarelli and "Rev" Jeremiah Beaudine).

    The pair break into the Knight Industries Museum the night before it is due to be decommissioned, and re-activate K.A.R.R.; Naturally, Michael and K.I.T.T. arrive moments later (on some vaguely explained mission), to encounter the newly reactivated K.A.R.R., who nearly mows Michael down. Often in such TV shows, I'm not particularly keen on such "coincidental" storytelling (i.e. characters "just happen to be there at the same time"), but on this instance I can make an exception; besides, as the Museum goes out of commission the following day, maybe it can be explained that both parties are visiting it the night before.

    I love K.A.R.R.'s own tune, a suitably "bad" theme created by Stu Phillips. It suits the character perfectly.

    This episode is also the first to really give Bonnie something to do. Previously, she had been limited to just the odd scene (often just one per episode) in the Knight Industries trailer, tuning up K.I.T.T. before disappearing for the rest of the story. I'm sure that Patricia McPherson jumped at this chance to have more to get her teeth into.

    The climatic "chicken" nose-to-nose is very exciting, and results in K.A.R.R. losing his nerve and plunging over a cliff at the last moment. You know, those Knight Industry dudes weren't very careful – at the start of this story, they have left K.A.R.R. just sitting around in the Knight Industries Museum, and when K.A.R.R. goes over the cliff at the end, they just leave him there to be rediscovered a couple of years later, in 'K.I.T.T. Vs. K.A.R.R.'!

    Talking of 'K.I.T.T. Vs. K.A.R.R.' (K.A.R.R.'s return episode in the third season), fans sometimes like to debate which is the better episode. Personally I love them both; I'll hold off for my more precise comparisons until I get to reviewing that episode, but I do think that 'Trust Doesn't Rust' is the stronger of the two plot-wise; though being a third season episode, 'K.I.T.T. Vs. K.A.R.R.' is arguably slicker produced.

    For years as a child (when I was designated three VHS cassettes to record my TV shows on, and mostly went for 'The A-Team'), I only had off-air recordings of the Pilot, the second season's excellent 'Soul Survivor', and the half-hour version of 'Trust Doesn't Rust'. All first and most second season episodes were edited down into a half-hour format in the mid-1980s, for syndication and some overseas markets, and this example has the entire element of the laser to blow K.A.R.R. up with totally eliminated! So I was delighted when my adjoining ITV region Meridian re-ran the series (well, the first three seasons) in the mid-1990s, so I could finally record a complete version, along with the other episodes!

    All-in-all, 'Trust Doesn't Rust' is one of the very best 'Knight Rider' episodes; definitely in the Top 3, in my opinion, and it deserves its "fan favourite" status. It is one I never tire of watching, and one that is deservedly famous both amongst both fans and more casual viewers. I give it a top scoring 10/10.moreless
  • KITT VERSUS KARR Enough said!

    We discover that a prototype of KITT which is KARR was built first. KARR was dangerous for not being properly programmed although not explained why he was not just reprogrammed instead of building KITT. Still an action packed episode Bonnie is kidnapped to repair KARR and after Michael and KITT rescue her from KARR and her captors, we have a great showdown. First Bonnie tries with Michael and

    KITT to disable KARR with a laser. When that does not work

    there is only one way and that is headon which makes for an action packed edge of your seat ending. Awesome.moreless
  • No matter how old this show is. The episodes are still great to watch. Like this one for example.

    I just got done watching this episode. Oh, man was it good.

    K.I.T.T and Michael are told by Devon that there is another car that looks like K.I.T.T., but is not at all like him. The car's name is K.A.R.R. He was the first invention that Wilton Knight made. The car does not care about human life like K.I.T.T. does. So, Devon tells Michael that he must stop K.A.R.R. before he hurts anyone. While in the process of stopping K.A.R.R., one of the guys that stole him kidnaps Bonnie. So, Michael and K.I.T.T. go out to find her, and stop K.A.R.R. for good. In the end Bonnie is safe, Michael and K.I.T.T. are okay, and K.A.R.R. drives off a cliff at playing chicken with Michael and K.I.T.T.

    I was having a ball watching this episode. I felt like I was on the edge of my sit. I just could look a way from the screen. I wanted to know what was going to happen. This was a great episode.moreless
  • I'm so glad that the Classic Knight Rider is on I was a fan when I was growing up and still am. I am not taking away from the New show, but nothing beats an original. I Just hope that Full episodes of Season 1 and 2 will be online soon.moreless

    "Trust Doesn't Rush" was a a good episode. I mean There were moments that it could have been better. Like take out the Drunking theives and make the plot line where he someone escapes on his own and join forces with a Michael knight enemey, but that doesn't happen. I won't give away the ending. But when I heard the voice of KARR from Classic and the one from the new version I knew it was the same person. I personally like the Orignal version of KARR and not the one from the Knight Rider 2008, which I hope they bring back. Also, I do hope they ( will be very kind and adding Full Episodes of Season One and Two. There is one Episode where Michael meets a mirror of himself. I won't give away the name of the Episode. All in all the show I rate a 9.5 and the episode at least 10, I was being generous, I hit the wrong review number and should have rated it a 7.5. There were ways to Improvement.moreless
Gary McMillan

Gary McMillan

Security Guard

Guest Star

John Brandon

John Brandon

Police Captain

Guest Star

John Hostetter

John Hostetter

Police Officer

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (10)

    • During the montage sequence of KARR's various crimes, much of sequences are made up from stock footage of KITT. These include KITT smashing his way out of the lab in the Pilot, and a shot of him smashing through a door from "Slamming Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular". This second instance is noticeable where KITT has silver stars decals stuck on him from that story. Other shots, of police cars, are from stock footage pre-dating the series.

    • KITT makes reference to Zeno's Paradox, describing it as "What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?" This is actually known as the "irresistible force paradox" and is wrongly attributed to Zeno of Elea.

    • KARR and Devon both confirm that KARR was built six months before they completed KITT, who was completed by putting his processors in Michael Long's car, a Pontiac Trans-Am. But how would they have known to put KARR in a Pontiac Trans-Am? He was shut down and in disuse long before Michael came on the scene.

    • When KARR takes his liberators to the Three Rings drive-thru, close-up shots of the ringmaster show a wood background, but long shots show it simply sitting next to the brick/stone wall of the restaurant.

    • During the small scene which details the criminal spree which Tony and the Rev go on in KARR, two small scenes appear from another popular Universal Production; the scene where the police car turns around in a car park and crashes though a gate comes from The Rockford FIles episode "Profit and Loss Part 2", while a quick picture of the American Coin building is taken from The Rockford Files episode "The Fourth Man".

    • When KARR and KITT are at the manison speeding away, Michael is in KITT, but the camera shows a scene with KARR with Michael's legs dangling in the rear window.

    • "The Car" is also the source for the sound effects used for KARR's "roaring" engine.

    • Near the end of the episode, when Michael's going to ram KARR and KARR turns away, it can clearly be seen that the car going over the cliff is not a black Trans Am, but rather a black car. More specifically, a modified 1971 Lincoln built by Barris Customs for the 1977 movie The Car. The footage used in this episode was actual footage from The Car. This footage was used again in the series, this time for KITT, in "Forget Me Not" a few episodes later.

    • In the first scene with Michael driving KITT, Michael has a red long-sleeve shirt on under his jacket(obviously stock footage). When the scene switches to a face-shot, it's a blue shirt.

    • When KARR is telling Tony and the Rev that he requires service from a technician, on the exterior shots of KARR, it is evident that just a regular model of KITT was used with no alteration - the reflection of KITT's red blinking voice modulator can be seen on the seats.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • KITT: Michael, I have a strange feeling about this.
      Michael: What are you talking about? You don't have feelings!
      KITT: I know. That's what's strange about it.

    • Devon: KARR is like a loaded gun in the hands of a child; it's only a matter of time until there's a real explosion.

    • Michael: What's wrong with a little companionship? You can understand that.
      KITT: No, I cannot. When you're one-of-a-kind, companionship does not compute.

    • KARR: You waste your time, my twin. You cannot triumph over a prototype. Desist your pursuit. You will be damaged.
      KITT: KARR, I didn't know you cared. KARR, perhaps you should be a little more careful and a lot less belligerent.

    • KARR: That harmonic disturbance? What does it mean?
      Rev: It means the cops are comin'!
      KARR: Is that a problem?
      Tony: Are you kiddin'? If the cops catch us, they'll throw us in the slammer!
      KARR: What is the slammer?
      Rev: You remember that room you were in?
      KARR: I will never forget it.
      Rev: Well, the slammer's just like that.
      KARR: I do not wish to go back to the slammer. How may I avoid it?
      Tony: You may get us out of here as fast as you can, you stupid hunk of tin!

    • Michael: KITT, we gotta get this guy to a hospital, buddy.
      KITT: Michael, that car. It could've been my twin. It was exactly like me.
      Michael: Not exactly, buddy. It almost killed me.

    • Rev: (to K.A.R.R.) How about a couple eggs, sunny-side up?
      K.A.R.R.: I have no eggs. Perhaps you can direct me to a chicken.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode title is "Der Doppelgänger". The French episode title is "Le Prototype".

    • Peter Cullen also did the voice of Optimus Prime on the Transformer Series and Transformers: The Movie. KARR's voice resembles Optimus Prime.
      When K.A.R.R. returned in the third season episode 'K.I.T.T. Vs K.A.R.R.', K.A.R.R.'s voice was actually done by another artist, uncredited, but many sources mistakenly presume that Peter Cullen provided the voice on that occasion as well.

    • K.A.R.R.'s voice modulator resembles that of K.I.T.T.'s more recognised one, introduced later in the season in 'Hearts Of Stone'. The producers, looking for a more appealing look for the modulator instead of the original 'blinking red square', apparently adapted the design of K.A.R.R.'s after viewers responded well to the look of it.