K9 and Company

Before diving into the beloved/hated K9 show from 2009, I decided to watch the oft-forgotten early attempt at a Doctor Who spin-off from 1981, K9 and Company, which only aired one episode (“A Girl’s Best Friend” by Terence Dudley) and was never picked up for a full series.

I felt that the episode was perfectly okay, but not particularly interesting or exciting. That is to say, it didn’t make me go, “Oh, I’d like to see more of this.” It took too long to set up the main mystery, and it spent a lot of time with these characters that I didn’t care about at all. The supporting characters weren’t all that interesting, aside from Brendan. Sladen and Leeson are magnetic, though, as always.

By the end of the episode, I felt that I didn’t quite understand what they were trying to achieve with this spin-off, which was probably why it never amounted to anything. This remained pretty devoid of tension or excitement, and they never did anything interesting with the cult stuff.

Also, there’s not a lot of K9 in this, despite the show being named after him. It should be “Sarah-Jane and Company” instead.

The theme tune is wonderfully cheesy, though :smiley:

Overall, this is a 6/10 for me.

What are your thoughts about the show? Would you have liked to see it become a full-fledged series, and what do you think would have happened in it if that had been the case? Do you think we would have seen cameos from Doctors, companions, villains, or other characters from Doctor Who? Would it have had a bigger impact on the Doctor Who universe as a whole?

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I love K9 and Company for many many reasons.

The theme tune is glorious.

The idea that to launch a series about the Doctor’s robot dog they thought it was a great idea to do a version of the Wicker Man!

Linda Polan (Juno) being all mysterious for absolutely no reason at all!

Brendan!

Brendan’s honk!

And if you want to know what a whole series might have been like, get your hands on this:

It’s on the DVD as a PDF and there is an audio version now.

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I’m sure I’m in the minority here but I LOVE K9 and co. My brother and I watch it religiously on Christmas Eve, it’s become a Thing for us. And yes, it’s very silly, and yes it’s funny that Lis Sladen clearly hates K9 so much, and yes the story makes no sense, but it’s also fun.

The theme tune is amazing, I’m obsessed with the way they clearly blew the budget on Lis Sladen’s awesome wardrobe, and I love the little dive into Sarah’s family past. In a way, I would have loved to see more of Brendan and Lavinia, and really dig deeper into Sarah’s past.

But yes, overall, as a story it’s a bit naff and nonsensical, and perhaps had it become a real series, it would have decided what it wanted to do - it feels kind of like they couldn’t decide if they wanted to be horror or SF or a more grounded drama with Sarah at the centre. Perhaps if it had kept going and dug deeper into the supernatural horror aspect, it could have really been interesting.

Then again, had it become a full series, maybe we never would have got SJA, and I know which I would rather have.

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I liked it well enough, even rated it 3,5/5 :star:
That said, the best bit about K9 and Company for me is definitely that it is used as a set-up for the brilliant “Hecate” joke in “Gallifreyan Buccaneer” from “Doctor Who and the Pirates” :sunglasses:

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I think its fun. I’m surprised that, with Sadie Miller playing Sarah Jane for BF they haven’t revived the show. I’d get it!

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Once you get into the story, it’s very reminiscent of early 1970s Doctor Who. The set ups of cults and folklore is spooky and intriguing, building an interesting village setting where mysterious goings on can occur. It reminds me a little of Children of the Stones or some of the cults you come across in Survivors. Unfortunately (for me) the way it wraps up is pedestrian and relies solely on the cliches and genre tropes it’s tapping into rather than it’s own unique story ideas. There is literally a Scooby Doo unmasking of the central villains at the end of the 50 minutes. K-9 also isn’t used quite right either. He is best as a piece of light relief and worst when he becomes a moving ray gun.

All in all I’m delighted that this story exists and a little disappointed that it never got picked up for another episode. In some ways it makes sense, the balance of all the right ingredients for a spin off isn’t quite there.

6/10

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