K-9 (TV series)
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 network||Network Ten (Australia) |
Disney XD (UK & Ireland)
|Original release||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 anything about itself or its past.
The decision to launch the show in Australia 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.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original UK air date||Original Aus. air date||Prod.|
|31 October 2009||3 April 2010||142817-1|
|Whilst Starkey and Jorjie are trying to escape the police, they take refuge in a large detached house, now the residence of reclusive scientist, Professor Gryffen. They come across two Jixen warriors and a robot dog, K-9 Mark I. After the ensuing battle with the Jixen, K-9 regenerates...|
|9 October 2010||10 April 2010||142817-2|
|Having been "tagged" by Jixen slime, Starkey is in hiding from The Department and from the Jixen warrior who survived K9’s blast. Jorjie tells Starkey that the Department is imprisoning Aliens, and K9 flies off to investigate. Jorjies’s mother turns out to be Department inspector June Turner, and there is a confrontation as the youngsters and K9 try to help release the innocent Aliens. Starkey confronts the Jixen with dire consequences.|
|3||"The Korven"||Karl Zwicky||Tim Pye||3 April 2010||17 April 2010||142817-3|
|Starkey is homeless and K9 and Jorjie try to help. Gryffen’s assistant Darius contacts them after the Professor, an agoraphobic, disappears from the mansion. A warning from the 50th century is received, and K9 and the youngsters give chase to a mind-sucking alien called the Korven, who has snatched Gryffen.|
|4||"The Bounty Hunter"||James Bogle||Ian McFadyen||4 April 2010||24 April 2010||142817-4|
|K9 becomes confused about his memory loss when an alien "bounty hunter" arrives and teams up with an evil Department inspector called Drake. Ahab, the Bounty Hunter, claims there is a price on K9’s head for murdering a galactic peace delegate in the 50th century.|
|5||"Sirens of Ceres"||Daniel Nettheim||Deborah Parsons||10 April 2010||1 May 2010||142817-5|
|Drake uses a strange alien substance on a group of school children in an experiment to gain control of the population. Jorjie stumbles across the plan, and K9 and Starkey have to find and destroy the control devices.|
|6||"Fear Itself"||Karl Zwicky||Everett DeRoche|
|11 April 2010||8 May 2010||142817-6|
|London is out of control; riots erupt due to irrational fear. The focus of the paranoia is based in an old junkyard where a strange alien consciousness is at work. K9 discovers the emotion of fear for himself in his bid to thwart the unknown.|
|7||"The Fall of The House of Gryffen"||Daniel Nettheim||Shayne Armstrong|
|12 June 2010||15 May 2010||142817-7|
|Darius, Starkey and Jorjie spend a very spooky evening at Gryffen’s mansion, as spectres from Gryffen’s past materialise, causing mayhem. K9 sees the "ghosts" for what they really are, and the group have to convince Gryffen before the youngsters' life forces are drained away so that the alien energy beings can take physical form.|
|8||"Jaws of Orthrus"||James Bogle||Lindsay James||17 April 2010||22 May 2010||142817-8|
|Inspector Drake is attacked by K9, or so it seems. June Turner and the Department have orders to capture K9 and destroy him. However, Starkey discovers Drake has had a basic double of K9 built to discredit him.|
|9||"Dream-Eaters"||Daniel Nettheim||Jim Noble||18 April 2010||29 May 2010||142817-9|
|An ancient stone obelisk is unearthed by the Department, and an alien force is unleashed that literally starts inducing everyone to sleep and dream. The Bodach feed on brain waves, and what better entrees than human nightmares?|
|10||"Curse of Anubis"||Karl Zwicky||Jim Noble||24 April 2010||5 June 2010||142817-10|
|K9 meets the Anubians, a race he helped in his long-forgotten past. Once placid, these creatures have now become warmongers. They trick K9 by worshipping him as their saviour, a veritable God. Darius sees through the plan and tries to thwart the alien invasion.|
|11||"Oroborus"||Daniel Nettheim||Deborah Parsons||25 April 2010||12 June 2010||142817-11|
|K9 notices a change of behaviour within his group of friends and discovers that time itself is being disrupted. Small chunks of time are being "eaten away". A "Time Snake" has invaded, and Starkey makes a discovery that means that only he alone can face the Oroborus and offer himself up as a meal to defeat the creature.|
|12||"Alien Avatar"||Karl Zwicky||Graeme Farmer||1 May 2010||23 June 2010||142817-12|
|Following The Thames being heavily polluted by an alien chemical, K9 discovers the alien "Medes" are imprisoned by Drake and they need a special "key" to be made for the release of their spaceship.|
|13||"Aeolian"||Karl Zwicky||Dave Warner||2 May 2010||26 June 2010||142817-13|
|London is being bombarded by strange sound waves that cause mass panic. K9 and Starkey are on the trail of the Alien, identified by Gryffen as an AEOLIAN. Darius desperately tries to rescue Jorjie as she is trapped by falling debris.|
|14||"The Last Oak Tree"||Dale Bradley||Jim Noble||8 May 2010||3 July 2010||142817-14|
|Panic ensues when a museum exhibit is stolen and K9, Starkey, Darius and Jorjie are on the trail of the culprit only to find a giant menace hiding in London’s abandoned sewers. However, is the Alien really a threat or is Drake the bigger evil?|
|15||"Black Hunger"||James Bogle||Chris Roache||9 May 2010||10 July 2010||142817-15|
|The Department are using an experimental device that literally eats rubbish. Darius sees an opportunity to make some money and snatches the device. However, the alien virus in the device escapes and threatens to devour everything it touches.|
|16||"The Cambridge Spy"||Mark DeFriest||Jason Bourque||15 May 2010||17 July 2010||142817-16|
|A freak accident engages the STM, and Jorjie is taken back in time to 23 November 1963. K9 and Starkey follow to rescue her and become embroiled in a spy-ring and a race against time to save Darius from never having existed.|
|17||"Lost Library of UKKO"||Mark DeFriest||Deborah Parsons||16 May 2010||24 July 2010||142817-17|
|Inspector Thorne sets a trap for K9 and Starkey is whisked away to a far-off planet all contained within an alien library card. The Librarian arrives to reclaim the card, and K9 and friends need June’s help to rescue Starkey and teach Thorne a lesson.|
|18||"Mutant Copper"||James Bogle||John O'Brien||22 May 2010||31 July 2010||142817-18|
|The CCPC’s are hunting a rogue officer who has developed a personality and consciousness. K9, Starkey and Jorjie take the rogue CCPC back to Gryffen’s mansion and hide him from The Department, only to face the mutant copper causing mayhem.|
|19||"The Custodians"||James Bogle||Shayne Armstrong|
|23 May 2010||7 August 2010||142817-19|
|"Little Green Men" is a new virtual reality game that is sweeping the nation. However, it has a hidden secret. It has a link to an Alien that turns humans into his own kind. K9 and Starkey race to save Darius and Jorjie from being turned into scaly green creatures.|
|20||"Taphony and the Time Loop"||Mark DeFriest||Shayne Armstrong & S.P. Krause (story)|
Anthony Morris & Graeme Farmer
|2 October 2010||14 August 2010||142817-20|
|Gryffen tries to free a time being imprisoned by The Department. He was responsible for an experiment that bought the "Time Blank" into being and K9 assists him in his plan. Unfortunately, the Blank, in the guise of a girl (Taphony), turns on Gryffen and begins to drain Jorjie's life force in an attempt to stabilise her existence. Guest stars Maia Mitchell as Taphony.|
|21||"Robot Gladiators"||James Bogle||Jim Noble||16 October 2010||21 August 2010||142817-21|
|Darius and K9 go undercover to expose a criminal who is using illegal robot technology in what he calls "destruct-ertainment". K9 becomes a Gladiator and has to face the evil "pain-maker" in a battle to the death. But what is the sinister secret plan instigated by Thorne?|
|22||"Mind Snap"||David Napier||Bob Baker|
|23 October 2010||28 August 2010||142817-22|
|K9 is using the STM to try and rectify his memory loss of events prior to his arrival and regeneration. Gryffen and Starkey discover him linked to the machine, which creates a feed-back, and K9 loses all control of his memory and programming. He becomes a danger to everyone and starts his self-destruct programme.|
|23||"Angel of The North"||James Bogle||Bob Baker||30 October 2010||4 September 2010||142817-23|
|Gryffen is taken by Thorne in a special VR encasement suit to the crash site of the "Fallen Angel", the spaceship that the STM was taken from. In the frozen wastes of Canada, Gryffen faces his own demons and the dreaded Korven. K9 and Starkey try to rescue Gryffen from this most evil of alien menaces.|
|24||"The Last Precinct"||James Bogle||Shayne Armstrong|
|6 November 2010||11 September 2010||142817-24|
|A vigilante group of former police officers discover that the Department are upgrading the CCPC’s with Alien tech, and make a stand by holding Gryffen hostage. K9 and Starkey battle the intruders whilst Darius faces up to his past.|
|25||"Hound of the Korven"||Mark DeFriest||Shayne Armstrong|
|13 November 2010||18 September 2010||142817-25|
|Thorne entices K9 to hand over his regeneration disc in exchange for his missing memory chip. As a double cross, the fake chip contains a sequence turning K9 into a bomb. Starkey is taken by a Jixen who has a few surprises for K9 and friends too.|
|26||"The Eclipse of the Korven"||David Napier||Shayne Armstrong|
|20 November 2010||25 September 2010||142817-26|
|A strange phenomenon occurs in the STM that heralds the imminent arrival of a Korven invasion. Thorne is plotting to help them and has as his back-up a sinister giant creature that has K9’s regeneration disc implanted making it an indestructible weapon. K9 faces his biggest threat ever.|
John Leeson reprises his role as the voice of K-9. Sixteen-year-old Brisbane native Philippa Coulthard plays Jorjie Turner, a rebellious 15-year-old whose mother works for the mysterious "Department". 20-year-old Keegan Joyce plays Starkey, a 14-year-old orphan rebel; and 21-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.
- John Leeson as K-9
- Philippa Coulthard as Jorjie Turner
- Keegan Joyce as Starkey
- Daniel Webber as Darius Pike
- Robert Moloney as Alistair Gryffen
- Robyn Moore as Jorjie's mother June Turner
- 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|
|France||RMC Découverte||September 2011|
|Russia||Carousel||3 September 2011|
|Japan||Channel Ginga||February 2012|
|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 was also due to be released in 2013, containing behind-the-scenes extras, short stories, comic strips and other material from the live-action series. There are also 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'.
On 24 October 2015, Bob Baker and Paul Tams announced the film K9: TimeQuake which was destined for cinemas in 2017 and was to feature the robot dog facing off against classic Doctor Who villain Omega in deep space. The film has no connection to the TV series. As of 2018 there have been no casting announcements.
On 9 September 2018, it was announced on the Official K9 Facebook page that "a new multi Million Dollar series" was in development under a partnership with "a major US/UK company" prior to the release of the feature film. The film is to be set in space (similar to Guardians of the Galaxy). Omega is still set to play a part, but the idea of including other classic characters such as the Axons hasn't been dismissed. Further information is promised "in early 2019."
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. In April 2016, Bob Baker stated in an interview posted on K9 OFFICIAL PAGE on Facebook that the TV series will not continue and they will for now just focus on the TimeQuake film.
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