Just when you thought the potential for Doctor Who spin-off shows had been exhausted, The Doctor’s robot dog is about to make a return to television screens. K9 (who also appears in The Sarah Jane Adventures) is being made the star of his own show, made by Park Entertainment.
Like the infamous Dalek upgrade in the revived Doctor Who series, K9 now has the ability to fly, giving him far greater scope for getting involved in adventures and talking to his human companions. K9 co-creator Bob Baker gives some insight into the design process for the upgraded K9 (and reveals some limitations of the original version):
When Paul Tams and I decided to go ahead and devise a spin-off series featuring K9 we looked at the plusses and minuses of the original. One minus was certainly K9’s ground performance. In a studio with flat floors it was fine – but in any exterior shot he looked sluggish and quite frankly unbelievable. Actually, when Dave Martin and I wrote K9 into “INVISIBLE ENEMY” we stipulated that K9 should hover just above the ground, however, the BBC couldn’t afford this SFX and had little means to do it at the time. CSO would have been too time consuming and probably unsatifactory.
So, with a chance to regenerate K9, this was the first thing we considered and we feel it works well, because actors don’t have to sit, crouch, kneel – or in Tom Baker’s case lie down to converse with K9. He can now float up to be level with their faces. This makes it so much easier for actors to interact with him.
My only gripe is that the ‘regenerated’ version of K9 is slightly Disney-fied, but I have to admit that it looks a lot more funky and modern than the original K9. However, since this series isn’t produced by the BBC, there will be no mention of The Doctor in it, nor is there much liklihood of a cameo appearance from the Time Lord. Darnit!
The robot will be voiced by original K9 ‘voice’ John Leeson – which will make him instantly identifiable to fans of the old and new series.
I love the line “Daddy’s space time manipulator is not a toy!” Having not been a big fan of The Sarah Jane Adventures, I probably won’t tune into this – the more adult-themed [[Torchwood (TV Series)|Torchwood]] is more my cup of tea. However, it’s always good to see anything that brings a piece of the Whoniverse to a new generation of fans.