Saturday, 22 May 2010

K9... but why?

Everyone knows K9, the greatest companion ever! (Well, for those that consider K9 the best companion ever.) But he was very popular with the kiddies, if not always the actors, and of course had to be resurrected in the NuSeries.

But then he was resurrected for Disney. A new production of K9 has been created, shooting in Australia, which changes the metal dog to a new upgraded model which can fly, be in CGI and otherwise bear little resemblance to the original. But then, that's the point of this writing.

The show itself is very much a kids show, with a cast of youngsters, a professor, some corporate authority types and, of course, K9. It is set in a future, totalitarian London which cyber-cops and occasional alien incursions. Episodes sometimes have those alien incursions, or are up against the authorities, etc., etc., in a very kid friendly way. Which is nice in an of itself. Indeed, watching the series as a separate series from anything else, it's not bad and, although cheesy, is quite watchable...

But what does this have to do with Doctor Who? The series is in a future never seen in the parent series. Features aliens never mentioned in the parent series. And K9 himself isn't as he was in the parent series. So what's the point? Why not invent a whole new series? Is this just feeding off the fame of the parent series?

[Well... yes. And for rights reasons they can't exactly have the Doctor turn up. But still...]

Still, at least this spin-off worked better than Nation's launch of the Daleks in America. But I can't help thinking that the concept of it being linked to DW is overshadowing any sense of it being taken seriously by itself.



Anonymous said...

I agree on the out-of-story-universe reason why the Doctor or the various _Doctor Who_ monsters haven't been able to make an appearance: simple licensing. And I am bemused by changing his appearance, since even if the producers can't play on the character's full history for licensing reasons, surely if they are trying to play on the character's name recognition factor to the point of getting John Leeson to reprise the voice, then it would seem to be simple enough to recreate character's appearance.

However, even with the perambulations of whether this is the same character (and which same character), there is a simple enough solution that I'm happy to fall back on. I've always been of the opinion that the K9 we met in 'The Invisible Enemy' was likely an assemble-for-yourself kit job bought off the shelf by Prof. Marius, implying that there may be as many K9 units in the 51st century - with varying levels of kitbashed-ness - as there are R2 units in the Star Wars universe.

As for how the show holds up on its own... Er, I've 'seen' most of the episodes so far, but it's always been something I've had on the TV while doing something else. I'd have great trouble remembering the names of any of the characters beyond K9 and Starkey, to be honest.

Jamas Enright said...

Only seen about a third of the episodes so far. (Just not something that demands to be watched.)

According to Wikipaedia, ie the truth, this K9 is supposed to be the first K9 that was with Leela on Gallifrey before falling through a time portal.

But... that contradicts the Big Finish audios! Oh waily waily waily, how ever shall that be explained???