– Roll the mechanics! Look behind these heroes for the race car
“Magnum”, “K 2000”, “The Man Who Falls”… On television, producer Glen Larson made the engines roar. To guarantee the masculinity of his heroes?
At a children’s birthday party, my grandmother asked me what I imagined when I was 30. The answer had been simple: “Magnum big and bald”. The second wish is granted and only two centimeters short of the first – actor Tom Selleck would be top at 193 cm – but the anecdote clearly shows how well the series had penetrated the consciousness by the early 1980s.
Playing Magnum probably cost the American actor the role of Indiana Jones, but to the delight of fans of floral shirts, stalking Dobermans and snoring red Ferraris. Housed in the luxury residence of writer Robin Masters, the Hawaiian detective became this nice but slightly stupid fellow who was as good as he was loyal, and whom every Sunday we cheered in advance about the insults he would face Higgins, the estate’s stern butler . A protagonist of the comical “couple” he made with our lovable moustache, a better promoter of hair ornaments than Freddie Mercury…
In total, Magnum will start in about 162 episodes after its endless swim in the Pacific. Beneath its exotic and bling-bling exterior, the series nonetheless opened a breach previously reserved for cinema: it showed Vietnam veterans – Magnum himself and his bar owner and his helicopter pilot buddies – including the traumatic aftermath of the conflict.
Among the celebrity guests of the series we have to mention Frank Sinatra, Sharon Stone, but above all Angela Lansbury who, as Jessica Fletcher of “Arabesque”, exonerated our poor Magnum who was wrongly accused. As for Robin Masters’ beautiful mansion, you know it was destroyed in 2018, but the entire series was released on Blu-ray in 2019.
“Magnum”, 162 x 50 mins 1D Broadcast in French in December 1981 on Antenne 2. In Switzerland the series appears to have been broadcast only in the summer of 1987.
The Falling Man (1981-1986)
Launched in 1981, The Fall Guy (VO) had it all. On the one hand thanks to the inventor Glen Larson, a year earlier co-creator of “Magnum” (read above) and a year later from “K 2000” (read below). And on the other hand, thanks to its main performer, the charismatic Lee Majors, who in the 1970s, before falling on the spot, was “The Man Who Was Worth Three Billion”, either an established star of the small screen, but also of tabloids because of her Marriage to the “Funny Lady” Farah Fawcett.
The series’ tasty country credits, interpreted by Lee Majors himself in VO, narrate its plot. Colt Seavers describes himself as “the unknown stuntman who made Redford a star”. But hanging out with stars isn’t enough – and many of them will appear in their own roles – our hero counts his money in his run-down Los Angeles heights chalet with an outdoor bathtub. He still has a great car, a GMC Sierra Grande, almost as famous as the van from “The All Risk Agency”.
So Colt Seavers plays a bounty hunter to make ends meet along with his stunt partners, his mischievous cousin Howard “Howie” Munson and the handsome Jody Banks. And there’s work for the trio, the two men have fists that walk easily (with a great sync tone emphasizing the “pif!” and the “paf!”).
In addition to the brawls galore, each of the 112 suspenseful episodes (spanning five seasons) has its share of car chases with screeching tires, crumpled sheet metal and cars on their roofs. Another recurring element that adds to the charm of the show from this period: all episodes end in a big laugh. So let’s end it with a laugh and cheer: Ryan Gosling will reprise the role of Colt Seavers in an upcoming film adaptation!
“The man who fall to peak”, 1981-1986, 111 x 50′. Broadcast only from the beginning of 1993 on French-speaking Switzerland television, in France on Antenne 2 from September 1982.
Before you walk down the Malibu beaches in a red bathing suit and sing freedom (yeah, yeah, go for a walk hereworth it), David Hasselhoff drove a black car full of accessories that talked and drove.
Fans of the series “K2000” (“Knight Rider” in the original version), which aired on the NBC channel from 1982 to 1986, will of course have recognized KITT, the other main character of the series. With its “look” consisting of an animated red light band, this car has become almost as famous as its human driver.
KITT is the acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand (hey, what a coincidence, we find the K and the 2000). It’s a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that was rebuilt by the teams of Wilton Knight, a billionaire benefactor.
In the series, David Hasselhof was also transformed by these tech aces. A former police officer who was seriously injured while on duty was rescued by the billionaire’s teams, who gave him a makeover along the way. Thus he becomes Michael Knight, a sort of adopted son of Wilton Knight, in charge of defending the most vulnerable. Michael and KITT form an inseparable duo who will bring some justice to this cruel world in 90 episodes.
For the little story, the series “K2000” and “Alerte à Malibu” are more related than it seems at first glance. The first actually made David Hasselhoff a lot of money, thanks to a contract that allows him to receive royalties on the profits made. And that’s exactly the money he invested in 1991’s “Alerte à Malibu” to give the series a second chance after a disappointing first season and make it the success we know.
K2000, 90 episodes of 45 minutes each. Broadcast in France from April 1986, first on La Cinq, then on TF1, M6, NT1 and RTL9. In Switzerland on RTS from summer 1986.