K-9 (TV series)
- Not to be confused with the single episode of K-9 and Company, broadcast in 1981
K-9 title card
|Created by||Bob Baker
|Developed by||Shayne Armstrong
|Theme music composer||Michael Lira|
|Country of origin||Australia
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Grant Bradley
|Running time||30 min.|
|Production company(s)||Disney Europe
Stewart & Wall Entertainment
|Original channel||Network Ten (Australia)
Disney XD (UK & Ireland)
Cloo (United States)
|Original run||31 October 2009 – 20 November 2010|
|Related shows||Doctor Who
K-9 and Company
The Sarah Jane Adventures
K-9 is a British/Australian comedy/adventure series focusing on the adventures of the robot dog K-9 from the television show Doctor Who, achieved by mixing computer animation and live action. It is aimed at an audience of 11- to 15-year-olds. A single series of the programme was made in Brisbane, Australia, with co-production funding from Australia and the United Kingdom. It aired in 2009 and 2010 on Network Ten in Australia, and on Disney XD in the UK, as well as being broadcast on other Disney XD channels in Europe.
K-9's co-creator, Bob Baker, had long sought to produce a television series starring the character. Indeed, in 1997 Doctor Who Magazine announced that Baker and producer Paul Tams were producing a four-part pilot series provisionally called The Adventures of K9. The magazine stated that the pilot would be filmed that year "on a 'seven-figure' budget", and that the BBC had expressed interest in purchasing the broadcast rights. However, funding proved elusive, and despite persistent rumours, the series remained in "development hell" for many years.
In 2006, Jetix Europe announced that they were "teaming up" with Baker, Tams, and London-based distributor Park Entertainment to develop a 26-part series, then titled K9 Adventures and set in space. This announcement, timed to coincide with K-9's return to Doctor Who in the episode "School Reunion", was picked up in the British media and Doctor Who fan press. In 2007, Park Entertainment revealed that the main setting for the series (by then retitled K9) would be the Platte, "an old Prairie-class spacecraft" once used for asteroid colonization. In addition to K-9, the characters would include Slocum, a thirty-something "space gypsy", and Djinn, "an overactive computer module in the shape of an attractive young woman". This early premise was abandoned before production began in Australia.
Each episode of K-9 is 30 minutes long, made for Disney XD (formerly Jetix) and Network Ten by Stewart & Wall Entertainment, in association with London-based distribution company Park Entertainment. The project is being overseen by Baker; the television series concept was developed by Australian writers Shane Krause and Shayne Armstrong, in association with Baker and Paul Tams. Krause and Armstrong are the primary writers for the series; four episodes were written by Queensland writer Jim Noble. The series is produced by Penny Wall and Richard Stewart of Stewart & Wall Entertainment Pty Ltd, and Simon Barnes of Park Entertainment. Grant Bradley of Daybreak Pacific and Jim Howell serve as executive producers. Michael Carrington, head of animation and programme acquisitions for BBC Children's, told Broadcast that the BBC had declined the opportunity to be involved in the production of a K-9 series, saying, "As the BBC is already committed to a number of spin-off projects, we concluded that a K9 series may simply be an extension too far." BBC-owned characters like the Doctor will not appear in the series, due to rights considerations.
In July 2007, the Australian Film Finance Corporation approved funding for the series, and that the programme had been pre-sold to Network Ten. The Pacific Film and Television Commission (PFTC) (subsequently renamed Screen Queensland) also provided additional financing. The first series was shot between 3 December 2008 and 8 May 2009. The series is produced in Brisbane, Australia, shooting on location around the city and on a set built in a South Brisbane warehouse. A logo for the series was released on 27 February bearing some similarities to the original font seen on the casing of K-9. A trailer produced to promote the series at MIPTV was released on 2 April 2009. As it was made early in production, the music, titles, and voice of K-9 were not the final ones used in the programme. A second trailer was released on 1 October 2009.
K-9 is set in near-future London, with 14-year old characters Starkey and Jorjie, alongside a Professor Gryffen, who is experimenting with a Space-Time Manipulator, and 15-year-old Darius who runs errands for Gryffen. K-9 Mark I follows the villainous reptilian warrior Jixen who come through a space-time portal created by the professor's experiments and saves the Londoners. While protecting them, K-9 is forced to self-destruct, but is able to give Starkey instructions to rebuild and regenerate himself into a more advanced form. K-9 and the humans then form the front line defence against alien menaces from outer space and other times. The Brisbane Times reports that the series is set in London in the year 2050 and Professor Gryffen is employed by a clandestine government agency, "The Department". The design of K-9 is noticeably different from that seen in Doctor Who because although Bob Baker owns the character rights to K-9, the original character design is owned by the BBC.
Connections to Doctor Who
As this is not a BBC production, direct references to Doctor Who are not legally allowed for rights reasons. However, Baker and Tams have confirmed that this K-9 is the original K-9 Mark I, who appeared in Doctor Who from The Invisible Enemy (1977) to The Invasion of Time (1978). This model was last seen in the possession of Leela on Gallifrey; in the first episode, the robot dog is damaged and undergoes a "regeneration" into a new, more advanced form capable of flight. He then explains that most of his memory was damaged, so he cannot remember the Doctor. In "The Curse of Anubis", Starkey and Jorjie steal the Anubians' book, which contains drawing of creatures the Anubians have enslaved, including a Sea Devil (as seen in The Sea Devils and Warriors of the Deep), a Mandrel (as seen in Nightmare of Eden) and an Alpha Centauran (as seen in The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon). While K-9 and the Professor perform diagnostic tests on K-9's damaged memory drive in episode 1, "Regeneration", K-9 plays a three-note cue from the Doctor Who theme, but cannot identify the music. Much like the TARDIS exterior's appearance as a 1963 police box, the Professor's laboratory and home is in a disused police station, still bearing its police lamp next to the front door. In the episode "The Cambridge Spy", Starkey and K-9 follow Jorjie into the past to when the lab was still a police station — specifically to the evening of 23 November 1963, the evening when Doctor Who premiered with "An Unearthly Child". The same evening had been visited by the Seventh Doctor and Ace in Remembrance of the Daleks. The principal adult character, Professor Gryffen holds comparable academic rank to the Doctor and is likewise nearly always addressed by his honorific, "Professor". In the pilot episode, K-9 Mark I gave his own life by self-destructing in order to kill the hostile aliens and save humans in London, just as K-9 Mark III did in "School Reunion".
The decision to launch the show in the UK on 3 April, the launch date for Doctor Who's "The Eleventh Hour", which introduced Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, was interpreted by the Gawker Media blog io9 as a way of taking advantage of the latter show's popularity to boost interest in the new show.
26 episodes have been commissioned. The first episode, titled "Regeneration", was broadcast on UK satellite channel Disney XD on 31 October 2009, intended as a prelude to the series broadcast in early 2010.
John Leeson reprises his role as the voice of K-9. Brisbane native Philippa Coulthard plays Jorjie Turner, a rebellious 14-year-old whose mother works for the mysterious "Department". 19-year-old Keegan Joyce plays Starkey, a 14-year-old orphan rebel; and 20-year-old Daniel Webber plays Darius Pike, an assistant to Professor Gryffen, who is played by Canadian character actor Robert Moloney. Recurring cast members include Robyn Moore as Jorjie's mother June Turner, and Connor Van Vuuren as Drake.
The first episode aired as a sneak preview of the series on Halloween 2009 on satellite channel Disney XD in the UK & Ireland. The full series later aired on Network Ten in Australia, Disney XD in the UK & Ireland, Scandinavia, Poland, Italy and The Netherlands; and Disney Channel CEE in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldava, Slovakia, Hungary and The Czech Republic. It was subsequently syndicated around the globe, including on Channel 5 in the UK and on Cartoon Network in New Zealand. In the UK, Channel 5 broadcast the first season between December 2010 and April 2011. The US cable channel Syfy began airing the series on 25 December 2012, initially by broadcasting the entire first season in an all-day marathon.
|Country / Region||Network(s)||Premiere|
|United Kingdom, Ireland||Disney XD (UK & Ireland)
|(Disney Original Run) 31 October 2009 (Episode 1)
(Disney Original Run) 3 April 2010 (Full Series)
(Channel 5 UK premiere) 18 December 2010 (Full Series)
|Scandinavia||Disney XD Scandinavia||11 January 2010|
|Turkey||Disney XD (Turkey)||6 February 2010|
|Poland||Disney XD Poland||6 February 2010|
|Disney Channel CEE||6 February 2010 (double episode)|
|3 April 2010|
|Italy||Disney XD||May 2010|
|Netherlands||Disney XD||2 June 2010|
|Russia||Carousel||3 September 2011|
|Canada||BBC Kids||4 October 2012|
|United States||Syfy||25 December 2012|
|Series||Release name||# of discs||Region 4
|1||The Complete First Series||4||27 September 2010||11 December 2010
(DW Shop Exclusive)
|N/A||Contains the Complete Series 1, Episodes 1-26 and UK Limited Edition is signed.|
|The Bounty Hunter||1||27 September 2010||N/A||N/A||Contains Series 1, Episodes 1-6|
|Alien Avatar||1||1 December 2010||N/A||N/A||Contains Series 1, Episodes 7-12|
|Series 1; Volume 1||2||N/A||31 January 2011||N/A||Contains Series 1, Episodes 1-12.|
|Series 1; Volume 2||2||N/A||18 April 2011||N/A||Contains Series 1, Episodes 13-26.|
|Ultimate Collectors Edition||4||N/A||11 June 2012||N/A||Contains the Complete Series 1, Episodes 1-26|
|The Complete Series||4||N/A||N/A||7 May 2013||Contains the Complete Series 1, Episodes 1-26
plus two extras, "The Making of K9" and "Interview with K9"
The Complete Book of K-9, a piece of non-fiction that follows the story of K-9 through all four models, crossing over from Doctor Who, K-9 & Company, The Sarah Jane Adventures and K-9 itself has been advertised. A tie-in called The K-9 Storybook is also due to be released sometime this year, containing behind-the-scenes extras, short stories, comic strips and other material from the live-action series, and finally there are K-9 Mark 2 figurines ready for sale.
In 2009, Shayne Armstrong and SP Krause, writers and developers of the series for television, won the John Hinde Award for Science-Fiction at the Australian Writers Guild AWGIES for their script for the episode "The Fall of the House of Gryffen". The episode was also a nominee in the category for Best Children's Television in that year.
In 2009, Shayne Armstrong and SP Krause were also nominated as finalists in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards for Best Television Script for the episode "Regeneration".
In 2010, Tony O'Loughlan, Director of Photography for the show won two bronze awards at the Queensland and Northern Territory Cinematographer Awards for his work on the episodes Angel of the North and The Eclipse of the Korven.
Series VFX Director and Director of 4 other episode, David Napier, was nominated for 'Best Direction in Children's Television' at the 2010 Australian Directors Guild Awards for episode 26 'Eclipse of the Korven'.
The show's creators have stated that a second series is in development. A new design of K9 for series 2 was scheduled to be unveiled by Bob Baker and Paul Tams at the Who Shop on 27 July 2013. Bob Baker told an interviewer in 2014, "Paul and I are in process of getting another series going. Hope it doesn’t take another eleven years!". Paul Tams revealed on a Kickstarter page for his proposed Marti series that he and Baker are sitting out a protracted production deal before bringing back the series in a reboot titled K9 Adventures.
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- In the context of Doctor Who continuity, the Doctor subsequently travelled with a different model of K-9 from The Ribos Operation to Warriors' Gate; a third model (Mk III) was given to Sarah Jane Smith in K-9 and Company and was destroyed in School Reunion which also introduced K-9 Mk. IV, which continued to make occasional appearances on the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures until the death of its lead actress resulted in the show's cancellation in 2011.
- Newspaper front page shows the date as 23 November 1963 and reports the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.
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- K-9 at the Internet Movie Database
- K9 Official
- K-9 (TV series) on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
- The Doctor Who Site