Doctor Who News K-9's spin-off show was produced by Park Entertainment

Published on December 7th, 2012 | by Andrew Reynolds

Syfy Gets Desperate for Who, Schedules K-9

Remember the 2010 Doctor Who spin-off K-9?

K-9's spin-off show was produced by Park Entertainment

No, of course you don’t.

You took one look at the designed-by-committee, kiddy-friendly redesign and just carried on buying those cheeses you like and working on that car you own or whatever else you did with that life of yours knowing that the clouds passing overhead stood more chance of capturing your imagination.

Unfortunately, those involved (including K-9′s original creator Bob Baker and long-running driving force Paul Tams) had to do something with this. They couldn’t just pretend that it didn’t exist; they had to bills to pay.

So every once in a while they made announcements about it like people were still listening; ‘Yes, it’ll be on Channel 5 in December 2010 in case you were wondering. What’s that? You want to know about the characters involved? Of course you do! K-9 will have three teenage companions and solve interstellar mysteries in a way completely different to The Sarah Jane Adventures! No, we can’t take another look at that design’.

They even attempted to drag your imagination back kicking and screaming to the concept with publicity photos like this one.

What’s more, accompanying that picture is the news that on Christmas Day the SyFy channel will finally host the US premiere of K-9.

That’s a full two years after its UK debut!

Now, I’m not passing judgement on this after all there are rights issues, on-going negotiations and changes to the buying market. After all this happens all the time with films; it happened with A Thousand Words, Pluto Nash and Ordinary Decent Criminals and look how well they turned out.

So there you have it, a show you forgot about featuring Robo-puppy is set to air two years later on the day where most Whovians will be watching and talking about The Snowmen instead.

After passing up Doctor Who since the 2006 run, SyFy must be desperate to take a bite from the increasingly tasty Time Lord pie…


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

16 Responses to Syfy Gets Desperate for Who, Schedules K-9

  1. avatar Stuart Douglas via Facebook says:

    I loved it. Great redesign, decent jokes, engaging characters. It was at least as good as the SJA, imo.

  2. I remember hearing about it…but don’t like the tin dog’s redesign.

  3. avatar BOJAY says:

    Of course, I remember it. I’ve watched it and will watch it again. I actually really like this show. I OWN it on dvd (the benefits of owning a region free dvd player). Was it oriented and aimed at a younger audience? Absolutely. So were the “Sarah Jane Adventures”. And while I’m not remotely comparing the two (apples and, well, another kind of fruit altogether), K9 has solid writing, decent acting (the supporting cast was at least as effective as the SJA cast), and solid if not overly spectacular special effects/CGI. It more than accomplishes what it sets out to do. Perhaps it will find a wider audience through the usually deplorable SyFy, because it’s a great deal better than most of its current programming. In my opinion, it definitely rates much better than to receive the casual dismissal given above.

  4. I fully intend 2 watch it @some point, what I’ve briefly seen looked good. It would have 2 go along way 2 b as good as SJA adventures, but I don’t think it’s always useful to directly compare programmes. That kind of implies only one can “win”.

  5. It had its U. S. premiere years ago, on the Disney Channel. They showed the first episode, and then it never appeared again.

  6. avatar Stuart Douglas via Facebook says:

    Fair point, Becky. It’s just a good series in its own right.

  7. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    Yes, I’d agree that’s an uncharacteristically bitchy piece for K actually. K9 does a grand little job and with John Leeson in the saddle it’s good fun. Is it for me; no? Would my Seven year old self have loved it; of course? Bob Baker and Paul Tams have worked hard on this with no budget and are developing it nicely…

  8. In Andy’s defence, K-9 was clunkily scripted and lacked the charm of the SJA, regardless of how hard it tried. It was a hit and miss affair, sadly. The redesign, however, was necessary, and it would have been interesting to see how the show might have progressed beyond a single largely forgettable run.

    But you can’t argue with the reception. There’s no news of a second run, two years on (sorry, yes there is. Forgot). Was it a spinoff too far? A television “regeneration” too far? Or was it just not all that good?

    The real story here, of course, is that Syfy are desperate enough to grab K-9, two years on, after realising they made a huge mistake in not keeping hold of DW.

  9. :)

  10. avatar BOJAY says:

    The “real story”, Christian? Really? That anything to do with SyFy would be considered a “real story” is beyond laughable. They lost any credibility a long time ago, and the fact that they passed over or let go of Doctor Who can only be seen, in retrospect, as a good thing. It’s of virtually no impact on folks like you in the UK, but would any self respecting Who fan really want Doctor Who on that network? K9 will be high class for them. BBC America is, obviously, a much better home for it, for us in the States. And I would much rather it find more respectable outlets internationally. I just think that this was an opportunity on Kasterbous’ part to have a negative shot at the K9 series. So Andrew and yourself don’t care for it. Maybe the second series will be made just for the two of you? Maybe the producers will call on both of you and ask your advice. I’m still trying to see your “real story” angle, and if I didn’t respect you so much, I would be having a laugh.

    • Maybe the second series will be made just for the two of you? Maybe the producers will call on both of you and ask your advice.

      Don’t be so ridiculous.

      I happen to think that the piece as published went a little too far and have toned it down slightly. However at no point did Andy suggest that anyone who enjoyed the series was wrong. I don’t think there is any point in being over-sensitive about what is essentially a piece of television that didn’t work for a lot of people who were hoping for something “more”. Is there anything wrong with that? We review stuff on Kasterborous all the time and tell our readers when something isn’t as good as it perhaps should be, without prompting OTT responses (and suggesting the producers would ask for our advise IS OTT).

      Please remember that Kasterborous is a blog, and has been since day one. My team isn’t necessarily going to have the same opinions on matters as our readers (although we might the majority of the time).

      So yes, Bob, the real story, as in what is in the headline and the conclusion. But if you found the piece weighted too heavily against K-9 then I’m sorry. Perhaps we got it wrong this time.

  11. avatar Bob James says:

    And I actually mispelled “kasterborous”. Wow……………

  12. avatar TimeChaser says:

    If SyFy wants more Dr Who-related shows, they should air the rest of SJA. They only played the first season. That would be a thousand times better than this… thing.

  13. avatar Rick Lundeen says:

    Syfy gets no sympathy from me. They really did blow it with DW as well as Farscape. Bunch of idiots run that station. I never even watch it anymore.

  14. avatar daniel clements says:

    i have no problem with K9, Its an oddity of a series -yes. Good special effects and then costumes equvalent to the Mandrels.

    But you know what if one kid stumbles on it and enjoys it, discovers the big world of Who – then huzzah and hurrah

    K-9 and company or the tv series…which is better ?

    Theres only one way to find out….

  15. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    As I say, I think it has a perfect right to exist and having spoken to both creators I think it’s fair to say a number of the shortfalls are not all their fault either. For instance, I know Paul hates the ears of K9 but that was a consequence of external funders influencing. Similarly, the location. Several attempts have been made to get Season 2 off the ground too. A shoot in Australia was cancelled after the floods of 2011, mere weeks before filming was due to start and further attempts are ongoing. Of course, it’s not for me but nor was SJA. But, they both have a perfect right to exist and to be enjoyed and that’s the point. It’s good solid kid’s TV. A very rare commodity nowadays.

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