K9 AND COMPANY

Sue: I’m really looking forward to this. I am so ready for Peter Davison.
Me: Ah… But before we get to that, we have to watch a Christmas special.
Sue: A Doctor Who Christmas special? From 1981?
Me: Well…
Sue: It had better not be some fan thing that doesn’t count. I can’t be bothered with that. It’s not that Shada thing that everyone keeps banging on about, is it? Has it got anything to do with Ian Levine?
Me: Well…
Sue: Oh, just put it on. The quicker we do this, the quicker I can watch Peter Davison.

 

A Girl’s Best Friend

We all know how this begins…

Sue: What the hell is this?

Ten seconds in and I have already succumbed to hysterical laughter. I think it’s a defence mechanism.

Sue: Is this a spoof? I mean, is this actually real?

She soaks up the rest of the sequence in shocked silence.

K9 and CompanySue: Stop the DVD. What the hell is K9 and Company when it’s at home?
Me: It’s a pilot for a series that would have featured Sarah Jane Smith and K9. Like that would ever work.
Sue: But it was never shown on television, right?
Me: No, it’s a real Christmas special.
Sue: Good Lord. Okay, if we really have to do this, can I watch the titles again? I couldn’t take it all in. I think I’m in shock.

We watch it again…

Sue: This is shockingly bad. I love the way they run out of footage so they have to repeat it all again. Are you sure it isn’t taking the piss? You can see K9’s wheels when he’s on top of that dry stone wall. I always thought he was supposed to hover off the ground?
Me: What do you think of the music?
Sue: It’s absurd!
Me: It’s by Ian Levine.
Sue: Is this why Doctor Who fans don’t like Ian Levine very much? This music?

When we reach the end of the title sequence, Sue wants to watch it again.

K9 and CompanySue: I want to be sure it really happened.

Sarah sips on her Chardonnay, with a deadline fast approaching, no doubt.

Sue: Just an average day for Samantha Brick.

Sarah jumps into her car.

Sue: It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when Austin miniMetro cabriolets were very trendy. The second car I ever owned was a miniMetro. It was metallic brown with cream seats. It was a rust bucket. It wasn’t convertible either, but it did end up with a hole in its floor.

I pause the DVD.

Me: Is that enough?
Sue: More than enough, thanks. It’s out of my system, now.

K9 and Company begins with a pagan ceremony already in progress. A priestess with the head of a goat whips her followers up into a frenzy.

K9 and CompanySue: I can’t understand a word she’s saying. Not a single word. Take the mask off, dear.

We cut to a pair of gossiping middle-aged women.

Sue: I know what this is. It’s a sequel to The Stones That Dripped Blood. It’s got elderly lesbians in it and everything.

It’s Sarah Jane Smith’s Aunt Lavinia and her friend, Juno.

Sue: Lavinia is a proper smoker. Anybody who can talk with a cigarette dangling from their lips for more than ten seconds really knows how to smoke a tab.

A little later, Sarah Jane arrives at her aunt’s house.

Sue: What is she wearing? Could she be more frumpy? Even the ridiculous jogging outfit from the opening titles would have been better than the brown sack she has on now.

K9 and CompanySarah is greeted by George Tracy. He begrudgingly welcomes her to Moreton Harwood.

Sue: Wasn’t he in A-ha?

George’s son, Peter, brings Sarah a flask of tea as a welcoming present.

Me: Oh, it’s whatshisface from Eldorado. He was in EastEnders not so long ago; Sharon jilted him at the altar.
Me: It’s not Jessie Birdsall.
Sue: Yes it is.
Me: Okay, have it your own way. It’s not as if adding Jessie Birdsall to this would improve it.

Sarah meets Lavinia’s young ward, Brendan, at the train station.

Sue: What the **** are we watching? What is this?

Brendan and Sarah get into a heavy discussion about the art of market gardening.

Me: What I don’t understand is why anybody thought it would be a good idea to set a TV series in the giddy world of market gardening.
Sue: Shhhh. I’m interested in marketing gardening. Brendan’s right, it is very scientific these days.

K9 and CompanyBack at Lavinia’s mansion, Brendan and Sarah meet Colonel Pollock.

Sue: It’s Uncle Monty from Withnail and I. Brendan is in all sorts of trouble.

Juno invites Sarah to a get-together with the other villagers.

Sue: Is it Doreen’s sister from Birds of a Feather? I’m probably reading far too much into this but she sounds like she could be a swinger. Or a dogger. Perhaps that’s where K9 comes into it. Where the hell is he anyway?

Commander Pollock warns Sarah not to get involved with Juno and her husband, Howard.

Commander Pollock: He’s so big, what he loses on the swings he gains on the roundabouts. And we haven’t got any roundabouts.
Sue: See! It’s all code.

Once the Colonel has departed, Sarah and Brendan turn their attention to a very large box that has been gathering dust in an attic in Croydon.

Sue: They never got that crate into an attic in a million years. I refuse to believe it.

They open the box and out pops K9.

K9 and CompanySue: (As Brendan) Thanks. It’s just want I’ve always wanted.
Me: He probably thinks it’s the latest gadget from Clive Sinclair.
Brendan: It’s got ears. And a tail.
Sue: And it must be a bitch because it’s got no cock and balls.

K9 is a gift from the Doctor.

Sue: That’s sweet. Did he give K9s to everyone for Christmas one year? Did Benton get K9 Mark IV?

Brendan is very excited. Too excited, probably.

Sue: This is basically Matt Smith 25 years too early. His performance is so similar, it can’t be a coincidence. Did Matt watch K9 and Company when he was preparing for the role?
Me: I’m sure it was on the top of his viewing list.
Sue: Brendan just needs a bow tie and he is playing the Doctor. Seriously.

Sarah visits Lily, the local postmistress.

Sue: We had a gas fire just like hers when I was growing up. It’s making me feel quite nostalgic. It was such a cozy house. I like the locations in this one. They just need to speed up the plot a bit.

Sarah arrives at Howard and Juno’s party.

K9 and CompanySue: When they’ve drained the punch bowl, they throw their car keys into it. Everyone will be after the keys to the miniMetro cabriolet, just you wait and see.

You could cut the sexual tension with an electric carving knife.

Sue: What time did this go out? Was it post-watershed?
Me: 5:45pm.
Sue: Jesus. What did the kids make of it?
Me: I remember being bored shitless by the whole thing. But I stayed with it to the bitter end, through gritted teeth, probably.

Sue isn’t a fan of Peter Howell’s incidental music…

Sue: It’s terrible. It’s a weird combination of Pink Floyd and Play School.

K9 and CompanyMeanwhile, the Tracys gang up and attack Brendan. K9 stuns Peter before chasing after his dad.

Sue: (singing) Take on me. Take me on.

Sue has an issue with K9’s new sound effects, too.

Sue: The other K9s didn’t make silly tinkly noises. The Mark III is too noisy for me. I think the Mark II was the best model.

Meanwhile, back at the swingers party…

Sue: Is that Les Dawson I can see eating a ham and cheese sandwich in the background?

George Tracy believes that K9 is a fire-breathing hound, sent by the pagan goddess Hecate, but Peter thinks his father is crying wolf. The next morning, Colonel Pollock surveys the damage the devil dog has caused to a greenhouse. It’s that exciting.

Colonel Pollock: We must tell the police.
Sue: (As the Colonel) We may be forced to camp!

Brendan and George Tracy discuss the local soil’s pH levels.

Sue: This is fascinating. They should spend more time on the science of market gardening. This is very interesting if you are into this sort of thing.

K9 and CompanyGeorge finds his son polishing his helmet.

Sue: Mr Sheen. That’s very early product placement. And on the BBC. Tsk.

George Tracy starts raving like a lunatic.

Sue: Never trust a man who tucks his jumper into his trousers.

And then…

Sue: Bloody hell. Sarah Jane just made a silk kimono look unsexy. This is her own series, she should look fabulous. She’s had hundreds of costume changes and each one is worse than the one before it. I know the early eighties wasn’t a great time for fashion, but this is ridiculous.

Peter kidnaps Brendan and Sarah goes to the local police. They are worse than useless.

K9 and CompanySue: She should call in a UNIT airstrike. That’ll teach ’em.

When she leaves the station, Sarah bumps into Lily.

Sue: I really like Lily from the Post Office. Would she have been a regular character if this had gone to a series? I bet she would have been Sarah’s best friend.
Me: No, that’s K9’s job. Didn’t you read the episode title? You saw it three times.

Sarah changes into another outfit.

Sue: Her coat looks like it used to be a continental quilt.

She sets off in her trusty miniMetro, with K9 riding shotgun.

Sue: She should stick K9’s head out of the window. Dogs love that.

Sarah finds a dead copper in the middle of the road. But worst than that, there be goats around these parts.

K9 and CompanySue: That’s the scariest thing in the whole episode. A goat. Says it all, really.

George doesn’t understand why his son doesn’t want to join their weird sex cult.

George: But you’ve always wanted to be let in.
Peter: No!
George: But you’ve been chosen!
Peter: No!
George: You will initiated tonight.
Peter: No!
George: But we must be complete for the solstice!
Sue: Altogether now…
Peter, Sue and Neil: NO!
Me: I think he really mean yes.

The ceremony gets underway.

Sue: So are they alien goats from the planet Goataloid or something? Is that it?
Me: No.
Sue: Oh, don’t you start.

Sarah heads to Juno and Howard’s for some answers. Howard hands our heroine a soothing glass of rohypnol.

Sue: Don’t drink it, Sarah Jane. The next thing you’ll know, there will be topless photographs of you in Readers’ Wives.

K9 and CompanyJuno strokes Sarah’s arm.

Sue: It isn’t even subtext any more.

The pagan ceremony is in full swing (ahem).

Sue: So it’s basically The Wicker Man meets Gardeners’ World meets Abigail’s Party.
Me: It’s a potent mix.

Meanwhile, Juno calls Sarah to offer her a spot of dinner.

Sarah Jane: I’m a bit tired.
Juno: Oh, we won’t be late. We’ll have you tucked up in bed well before midnight.
Sue: Yeah, I bet you ****ing will.

Sarah and K9 search for the location where Peter’s sacrifice will take place.

Sue: The sun has gone down very quickly.
Me: The sun doesn’t always shine on TV.

Howard arrives at the police station, only to find it empty.

Sue: The bell in this police station sounds like a loud fart.
Me: Yeah, stop honking, Howard.

K9 and CompanyBrendan is prepared for his sacrifice. Or a gang bang. It’s not clear.

Sue: What is he wearing? Did John Nathan-Turner have anything to do with this?
Me: Yes.
Sue: I thought so.

But before the villagers can tear off Brendan’s virginal white dress, K9 comes to the rescue.

Sue: You can hear K9 coming a mile off. Turn his notifications off, or put him into airplane mode, for God’s sake.

Sarah Jane uses her karate skills to kick the living daylights out of the coven.

Sue: You go, freelance journalist!

Sarah unmasks the leaders of the coven: Commander Pollock and Lily the postmistress!

K9 and CompanySue: No! I really liked her! She was the only decent character in the whole thing.
Me: She would have got away with it if it wasn’t for that pesky dog.
Sue: So that’s it, then? No aliens? No mind-control involving pH levels or anything like that? They were just nutters?

The episode concludes with Juno and Howard’s third party that week.

Sue: So they weren’t in on it? There are just weird sexual predators? Okay…

Sue has a question:

Sue: So what happened to Aunt Lavinia? Was she sacrificed to the giant goat god?

Right on cue, Sarah receives a telephone call from America.

Sue: So there was nothing wrong with her aunt? They were hunting high and low for her, and all this time she was just gallivanting around America? What kind of mystery is that?

K9 and CompanySarah has some shocking news for her aunt.

Sue: (As Sarah) The whole village is banged up in prison, auntie. Apart from a couple of swingers.

When the credits rolled, Sue sighed. She wouldn’t even sing along to K9’s theme tune.

Sue: If I’d never seen Doctor Who before, I would have said: “What the **** was that?”
Me: Yes, but you have seen Doctor Who before.
Sue: I’m still going to say, “What the **** was that?”
Me: Are you surprised that it didn’t go to a full series?
Sue: Hardly. Would it have been like that every week? It doesn’t bear thinking about. The swinging subplot would have been a nightmare.

 

The Score

K9 and CompanyMe: So what mark are you going to give it?
Sue: I’m not going to give it a mark. That wasn’t Doctor Who.
Me: It was pretty close.
Sue: It was nothing like Doctor Who! There should have been aliens involved, not middle-aged swingers who were probably brain-damaged from all that interbreeding.
Me: Harsh.
Sue: I just want Peter Davison. Was there really any need for that? Why are we punishing ourselves like this?

As I put the DVD back on its shelf, Sue backs down:

Sue: If I had to mark it – which I’m not – I’d probably give it a 3, but only because Sarah Jane and K9 were in it. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the idea – they proved that 25 years later – but it just fell flat. Can we put Peter Davison’s first episode on now, please?
Me: Wouldn’t you rather watch Hot Fuzz instead?
Sue: And why would I do that?
Me: No reason.

 

Coming Soon

 

114

Comments

  1. Lewis  September 8, 2012

    Brilliant write-up, though it did seem to go on. I can’t stomach another viewing of it, though I do like the title sequence.

    Now, I’m off to watch some Chibnall. God help us all.

    • Lewis  September 8, 2012

      To be fair, this Christmas special is better than The Doctor, the Widow and the Snorefest.

    • DPC  September 8, 2012

      LOL!

      Okay, SJS looks hot in the jogging outfit and I’m a bit of a fan of the title audio, but…

      yeah, K9&C was absolute rubbish…

      Sue’s contributions almost made it better… and not because she has any preconceived fan notions! πŸ˜€

  2. Dave Owen  September 8, 2012

    This is the best “Wife In Space” so far. From “The Web Planet”, via “The Mind Robber” to “The Ambassadors of Death”, Sue has never been subjected to anything which so utterly diverges from the agenda of Doctor Who. She has never reacted with such utter disbelief. A joy.

  3. Wholahoop  September 8, 2012

    3/10!!! Very generous, a mind numbingly awful programme and to think I was disappointed that the TV transmitter gave out half way through the transmission. I think The Winter Hill transmitter was demonstrating its sentience in censoring transmission of this appalling cash-in. It starts off badly with the dreadful introduction and struggles to improve thereafter. Nice to see that Wis sees some positives in the science of market gardening, which is more than I did and thanks for the genuine LOL moment with the question “Did John Nathan-Turner have anything to do with this?” coupled with “I thought so”

    Not seeing the programme because of the transmitter failure I had to rely on the novelisation until I wasted Β£10.99 on the VHS at some point in the 90’s, I really should have known better

  4. Simon Harries  September 8, 2012

    I have fond memories of watching Hot Fuzz in London with you, John and Damon… after enjoying the chase through the market garden greenhouses, the freakish locals and the numerous coven scenes, we all stepped out of Tottenham Court Road Odeon and said, “Anyone else reminded of K-9 and Company?!” Ah, we’ve seen some times!

  5. Gavin Noble  September 8, 2012

    I thought this was a welcome programme back when it was transmitted because it bridged the gap between Tom and Peter and it had K9 in it. I do remember thinking there wasn’t enough K9 in it when it was shown but I still have a certain degree of fondness for this story.

    I listened to Ian Levine’s podcast recently and he was very critical (unsurprsingly for Ian Levine!) about the way the theme music for the show sounded (and it’s still better than Doctor in Distress – can’t wait to hear what Sue thinks of that when you get there! Hope that’s not a spoiler?). It was meant to be a lot more orchestral apparantly. Can’t say I hate him – I think Who fans have a lot to thank him for in terms of having episodes available to buy because he saved them from being junked and was involved in the recovery of many more. Quite a few of the extra features on the DVD’s are down to him as well. I know there are things to be critical of him about as well and I don’t always agree with what he says (oir at times how he says it) but sometimes you have to give him his due.

    At least in the end we got a much better version of K9 & Company thanks to Russell T Davis!

    • DPC  September 8, 2012

      Which is ironic, since Russell T Davies couldn’t get WHO done right… (“The End of Time”, amongst so many other stories, were riddled with cliches so bad that all of Classic WHO’s seem original by comparison… worse, RTD could have looked to how the Time Lord was revealed in “The Time Meddler” and use suspense and proper awe to reveal the Time Lords… not copycat a lame Star Wars prequel, idiotic blank background sets, overhyped maudlin hamfests, and all, for visual cues with no substance within… but I’m just a fan who has seen inane emotionalism and even less enthralling populism elevate his era just because he knows how to make people cry on cue… at least WHO didn’t try to cater to populist drivel and did something unique. Even Verity Lambert admitted she made a program of the sort she’d want to see. She didn’t do it just for cheap empty ratings…)

      • Andrew Bowman  September 9, 2012

        At the risk of further inflaming this off-topic seam, when you say RTD didn’t get Who right…? Surely, it’s the success it is *precisely* because he got it right! It’s phenomenally popular now (which I know is an issue for some fans (!)) but seeing as how the general public (non-internet-bothering-fans) like it, I would argue that the case for it is very strong. Same goes for Moffat too! Right, I’ll hide in a corner and cower, just in case Neil decides it’s one OT post too far πŸ™‚

        • Thomas  September 9, 2012

          I don’t agree with the original poster, but the argument “it’s successful, therefore good” isn’t a very good defense.

          • Andrew Bowman  September 9, 2012

            No, but “it’s successful, therefore working” is πŸ˜‰

        • Frankymole  September 9, 2012

          Interestingly, it was the success of K-9 (the character) that persuaded K9-hating JNT to commission this story. Otherwise we’d have had a 28-episode Season 19. A demonstration that popularity with the audience and “giving them what they want” goes back a long time before Rusty Davies.

  6. Dave Sanders  September 8, 2012

    It’s time this programme was given an updated theme tune for the modern internet age. I suggest ‘Shallots’ by Weebl. – http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/Shallots/

  7. John G  September 8, 2012

    A-ha, I think I spot a little game being played during the course of this post! Welcome back, and good to see you both in such cracking form after your short break. Sue’s reaction to the title sequence was fantastic – every time I have seen it I too have been reduced to a state of stunned disbelief.

    I don’t actually think the story itself is all that bad, though the script is little more than functional. It is reasonably atmospheric, and I think it makes an undemanding watch if you’re in the right mood. When you compare it to SJA, however, the character dynamics are wrong and everything feels too contrived. I also don’t think having K9 as the focus rather than Sarah-Jane would have worked in the long term.

    Anyway, back to the main business. Here’s hoping Sue doesn’t regard Castrovalva as a catastrophe…

    • DPC  September 8, 2012

      I’ve read websites that use a lot of well-thought reasoning to point out how Colin’s era is far superior to Davison’s… their points re: Colin’s era are spot-on, but I disagree with them over Davison’s. Especially when they also applaud more recent episodes that use the same trite tropes and add nothing original, but I’ll bring up that comparison when “The Visitation” is covered… if I do, of course…

      • Neil Perryman  September 8, 2012

        Less than a dozen comments in and this is wildly off-topic already. I don’t want to have to police this thing (I haven’t got the time) but can you please keep this thread about K9 and Co. Thanks.

  8. Graeme Robertson  September 8, 2012

    If Sue thinks “Brendan” was in trouble then get her to see “Empire State”, from just 6 years later, when he is “The Boy With The Golden Arse” (I swear this is true – he’s even proud of it).

    G

    • Frankymole  September 9, 2012

      Sounds intriguing. He also popped up three times in “Nightingales” playing a werewolf… Is he still acting?

  9. Nathaniel  September 8, 2012

    I’m not usually one for laughing out loud, but the image of Matt Smith settling down to watch this as part of his education in Who had me in stitches. Thanks to the both of you for this ceaselessly entertaining blog – it is the highlight of my Internet.

    Oh, and could we please have as many of these spin-off entries as Sue is able to stand? There’s a goldmine of comic opportunity just waiting – Dimensions in Time, A Fix with the Sontarans, Search Out Science, Downtime, Abducted by the Daleks……

    • John G  September 8, 2012

      By the end of the experiment I think Sue will have endured enough punishment, without inflicting Downtime on her as well!

    • Frankymole  September 9, 2012

      Maybe not the latter! Anyway, if we’re talking XXX Whoers, “Dr Loo and the Filthy Phaleks” at least features Rose Tyler looky-likey Alicia Rhodes… *cough* allegedly, so I hear.

  10. Peter J Ross  September 8, 2012

    3/10 is the same rating Sue gave to The Tribe of Gum. I wonder if K9&co would have improved in her estimation (and fans’) if it had been given a series, with a soon-to-be iconic monster appearing in the second story?

    Anyway, I watched K9&co two nights ago for the first time ever, and I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as its reputation. The plot is uneventful and the dialogue clunky, but it’s got Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson and a fine collection of character actors who are competent even when on auto-pilot, valium or, in Bill Fraser’s case, seemingly both. And I thought Elisabeth looked particularly lovely and acted particularly well in this – and her costumes weren’t as bad as many of her DW costumes. The music is terrible, but so was almost all the post-Dudley music in DW.

    Still, I suppose 3/10 is fair.

    • Graeme Robertson  September 8, 2012

      Always thought Sarah’s costumes were fine in this, A little hit & miss, but that reflected her time in the main series.

      The title ones try a bit too hard to posit her as this modern, active, professional woman when the later plot didn’t really let her be as it was all about the tin dog.

      G

  11. Jazza1971  September 8, 2012

    Great write up. Very enjoyable.

    “He begrudgingly welcomes her to Moreton Harwood.

    Sue: Wasn’t he in A-ha?”

    Superb!

    • Graeme Robertson  September 9, 2012

      Yup, that’s the T-shirt for me!

    • Robert Dick  September 10, 2012

      You *must* have heard that gag before now πŸ™‚

  12. Paul Mc Elvaney  September 8, 2012

    I’ve never actually seen K9 and Co. before, and I’ve never seen the opening titles or heard the theme tune. Until now. Thanks for that, my life is so much more….complete.

  13. Mark  September 9, 2012

    Its always funny when what you watch is bad:) and this is SOOO bad. Loved the “readers wives” comment:)

  14. Mark  September 9, 2012

    Forgot to mention my favorite bit of madness is in the opening titles where Sara is sipping her wine sitting at a desk with a typewriter and papers…but on a park bench outside! How does that make ANY sense?

    • Iain  September 10, 2012

      For years I never realises it was a seat outside a pub – just presumed she was sitting in a bus shelter, filing copy in the hours between the rural service coming by.

      And is it just me, or is that look to camera when Lis’ name pops up in the credits held just a little too long? It’s like being in a staring contest…

  15. Damon Capehart  September 9, 2012

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the various a-ha references in this report. As SUMMER MOVES ON into the Davison era, we can hope that Sue doesn’t find too many reasons to smack THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS out of you with that pillow.

    • Damon Capehart  September 9, 2012

      Oops, just noticed that you already snuck in a “Living Daylights” reference in your write-up. Oh well.

      • Damon Capehart  September 9, 2012

        Oh, I got it: ” We had a gas fire just like hers when I was growing up. It’s making me feel quite nostalgic. It was such a cozy house..”

        More like a cozy prison!

        (Too obscure?)

        How about: When JNT found out that K9 & Co wasn’t going to be picked up for a series, he was crying in the rain. Ultimately, though, there’s never a forever thing. He probably shouldn’t have been so touchy. I mean, that’s just the swing of things, right?

  16. fromEssex  September 9, 2012

    We’ve recently watched this. My son thinks it’s great.. Personally, I love the theme tune.

  17. BWT  September 9, 2012

    Well… for the first time I tried to follow along and watch with Neil and Sue. I tried. I really did. But it’s a steaming turd of the smelliest order – ten minutes was all I managed (and even then I used fast-forward a couple of times).

    About the only positive thing I can say about this festering excuse for entertainment was that car in the title sequence. It reminded me of the time we hired a car and drove from Basildon to Blackpool and back again. That was a mini Metro too. And it was crap too. As well as the trip: we found an old tape in the car (Merseybeat stuff) and “Ferry cross the Mersey” was playing as we drove over the Mersey. Later we stayed in the dirtiest B&B, got ripped off at the local pubs and endured the coldest, stormiest summer seaside trip ever.

    Ah… those were the days!

    • Frankymole  September 9, 2012

      Call yourself a fan? You must suffer for your… art? Oh okay, best not, it’s probably against some human rights law to make anyone watch this. Even Lis Sladen slags it off emrcilessly in her DVD commentary.

      (Nice to see Colin Jeavons without the huge furry eyebrows though.)

  18. kevin merchant  September 9, 2012

    Did you have to include K9 and company?
    K9!
    K9!
    K9!
    K9!

    I can’t get that tune out of my head!!!!!

    • solar penguin  September 9, 2012

      They don’t write lyrics like that any more.

      • wholahoop  September 9, 2012

        and for small mercies we must be grateful

      • Lewis  September 9, 2012

        No. Instead, we get One Direction and Nicki Minaj.

  19. Ryan Hall  September 9, 2012

    Ahhh massive fond memories of this, i so wanted to find a box with a robot dog in the attic at my house as a kid hahahaha.

    its very bizzare considering there screen time together ( ie hardly any ) , everybody accepts Sarah jane with k9 as if they had been traveling with the Doctor for years.

  20. Richard Lyth  September 9, 2012

    3/10 is incredibly generous, the opening sequence is the only entertaining thing about this. It’s worth watching with the DVD commentary though, Elisabeth Sladen manages to point out exactly what’s wrong about every scene. She would have made a great director.

    • BWT  September 9, 2012

      “…exactly what’s wrong about every scene.”

      Yes, they were all written by Terence Dudley – someone whose writing has never really enthused me at all, I’m sorry to say…

  21. Jamie  September 9, 2012

    Sue’s continued viewing of the opening titles gave me serious cause for alarm. I feared that the two of you were trapped in a Chronic Hysteresis…..like flies trapped in amber.

  22. steve  September 9, 2012

    Whats the point! huh! You spend time watching that dross and not SHADA. Come on.

    • Andrew Bowman  September 9, 2012

      But Shada wasn’t broadcast, K-9 and Company (for better or worse) was. I believe, and I may be wrong in this, that the nature of this blog is to view all Doctor Who (and associated spin-offs) from the 20th century in broadcast order. Whether we get to see A Fix with Sontarans, Search Out Space or Dimensions in Time remains to seen, although I for one would be disappointed if Neil doesn’t risk further assaults to Sue’s senses!

      • Frankymole  September 9, 2012

        K-9 was even repeated a year later (1982), for those “unfortunate” enough to miss it due to the transmission failure. I doubt Sue will be clamouring to see it again though…

      • steve  September 9, 2012

        prey tell me this sire’ – What is the point of making rules for this ‘experiment’ – by ego the nature of an experiment should be haphard any road…you don’t know what your gonna get kinda malarky. To experiment with ONLY the ‘Broadcast WHO episodes….It baffles me…I mean..just why WHY O WHY would anyone conjour up such a rule in the first place?

        It’s not like there were a ton of spin offs anyway…and as mentioned before..you viewed the MOVIES of the two Peter Cushing Dalek films did you not???? Yes you did..they may of been broadcast on the telly…but it does appear one rule has been broken. SHADA should be watched and enjoyed.

        What harm does it do…does it open the floodgates to a whole host of other knockoffs?…Im not saying to watch Swop Shop, Jim’ll Fix It and Rod Hull – when the doc all appeared ( although …perrsonally I think Sue should and would enjoy the nostalgic trip back )… but tell me this please..in the 80’s…what other spin offs did WHO bring about?? As far as I recall..none. So…aside from Torchwood..SarahJayne Adventures..thats about your lot. SO…what is the harm in watching Shada…its not a bad watch anyroad..and was filmed during Bakers peak period.

        I rest my case m’lud.

        • John Williams  September 9, 2012

          The case for not watching Shada just gets stronger and stronger.

        • Andrew Bowman  September 9, 2012

          I think Neil himself has said this in the past that the two Doctor Who movies were made, and shown to an audience, during the sixties, while Doctor Who was being shown on telly (or possibly between seasons). Now, seeing as these two were seen/viewed/watched/enjoyed/endured/delete where applicable, it was a perfectly acceptable, if somewhat surprising, inclusion re the experiment. Shada has never been broadcast; it was made available as a VHS with Tom Baker filling in the missing bits, it’s been remade and broadcast on the BBC website, and it’s been novelised by Gareth Roberts. Now, if I was doing this blog, I’d show the Paul McGann version, because that was the one that had been “broadcast” to potentially the most viewers. However, if the TB version is shown, it should be shown between the Pilot episode (91) and Dimensions in Time (93), as that’s when it was made available. In fact, I would show A Fix with Sontarans between RotD and ToaTL, and show Search out Space and the aforementioned two prior to the TV movie. But that’s just me πŸ™‚

          • John Williams  September 9, 2012

            I’ve actually seen Neil’s “Big Wife in Space Experiment Rule Book”. It’s quite a sight. He’s put a lot of thought into it.

          • Andrew Bowman  September 10, 2012

            I’m sure he has. While the main series is pretty much taken as read, it’s these extra-curricular bits which are clearly causing quite a brouhaha. Without wishing to offend certain readers/posters, is it really that difficult to accept that, because it wasn’t shown on television, Shada doesn’t count, at least not in its intended slot? Anyway, I fear I’ve gone wildly off topic.

            I have seen K-9 and Company, once (I got it out of the library). It didn’t feel right to me; Sarah Jane was all right, and K-9’s introduction into the story was nicely handled. Brendan, his bizarre laugh aside, is reasonably played, and the whole thing rattles along at a leisurely pace. However, until reading this blog, I couldn’t remember for the life of me what it was about, which probably isn’t a good thing in the main. Still, as a first attempt at a spin-off, it was a brave attempt.

          • PolarityReversed  September 10, 2012

            Why not do a Steve in Space take on Shada, if it’ll make you happy? Post a link if you like.

            Since *you’re* so concerned with adherence to rules:
            As Tom (he of the bended knee earlier in life) would probably lose no time in telling you, in that context it’s “pray”, not “prey”. Homophones, dear boy.
            I’ve no idea what “by ego” is supposed to mean (and I’ll let you off the typo on “haphazard”), but “your” is possessive, “you’re” is a contraction of “you are”.
            The rhetorical past tense indeterminate you were looking for is “may have”, not “may of”. Homophones again.
            *It’s* “swap” not “swop”; “nostalgic trip back” is tautological; and the apostrophe goes in front for decades – ’80s – to indicate that the tacitly understood 19 bit has been left out. Unless you meant to refer to something belonging to an entity called 80? Indicator of omission, not a possessive.

            However, I do rather enjoy *your* undoubtedly unintentional Francophile neologism “conjour up such a rule”, which for me rather neatly encapsulates the playful, lighthearted complicit framework hereabouts.
            M’lud.

          • PolarityReversed  September 10, 2012

            A simple illustration to bear in mind:

            “Lend me YOUR pencil.”
            “No. Because YOU’RE a git.”

          • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

            PolarityReversed’s post on the rules of grammar and usage actually made me shiver with delight.

            The homophone for “may of” is probably the contraction “may’ve”, but congrats on laying to rest that diabolical invention which some say is actually threatening to enter the dictionary…

          • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

            Congrats on getting in Sarah’s wonderful “brouhaha” (at the Space Defence Centre, no doubt. Probably involving an eyepatch). Was the VHS+script of “Shada” released in 1992? Nice if it was, as that means there was original Dr Who of sorts broadcast in 1990 (“Search Out Space”, which Ian Levine has turned into a 12-episode epic), 1991 (the Pilot, never before shown, but shown in 1991 as part of the Lime Grove celebrations/commiserations), 1992 (“Shada”?), and 1993 (“Dimensions in Time”, plus the retro action bits for Kevin J Davies’s documentary)… bit of a rest in ’94 and ’95, and then….

          • Leo  September 10, 2012

            The Shada video was released in July 1992, to answer Frankymole’s question.

        • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

          Good call on “Dr Emu and the Deadly Dustbins” and its sequels though. They’re essential to any understanding of Britain in the 1970s.

  23. Leo  September 9, 2012

    The way Sue was putting her comments, I can’t tell if she was either dreading or hoping it would suddenly become a porn production.

  24. Leo  September 9, 2012

    Oh yes, and the opening theme… try listening to just the first 7 seconds of it, because I’m positive that it sounds almost exactly like it’s about to become ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ by the Supremes. Just the first 7 or so seconds… really, try it.

  25. John Callaghan  September 9, 2012

    I approve of K9&C. One thing that it has in common with my favourite Doctor Whos is that it’s marvellously cosy, like The Vicar of Dibley with robots and Satanists. Now *there’s* a show!

  26. Ryan Hall  September 9, 2012

    Its hardly dross…..and to be honest with you its better than alot of new Doctor who thats on now…it was its 1st ep, it never had the chance to become anything better back in the 80’s so its not really fair to call it that, im pretty sure everybody would be saying exactly the same about ” invasion of the bane” had that just been a one off.

    had it become a full series i do wonder what route it would of taken ( Aliens etc) ? and if it would have been a CBBC tv show like SJA .

  27. Noodles  September 9, 2012

    I have to say that I loved this as a kid, so will always look fondly on it as a more critical adult.

    It’s probably also worth pointing out that it got 8.4m viewers, even with most of the Northwest of England not being able to see it. That’s more than any episode of Tom Baker’s last series. The reason it didn’t go to series isn’t that the public didn’t like it, but that the BBC executive who wanted the series to go ahead left and the person who replaced him didn’t like the idea itself.

  28. PolarityReversed  September 9, 2012

    Surely the only reason this is included is to splain why SJ has K9. If RTD hadn’t decided to sploit it later on, it wouldn’t be here.
    Otherwise, it would be a bit like reviewing the Star Wars films and including the Adam & Joe toy skits.
    K9&C is scrutiating.

    • Jazza1971  September 9, 2012

      Sept (did you see what I did there?) this was an official spin-off where as Adam & Joe were not.

      • PolarityReversed  September 9, 2012

        I was zaggerating…
        I reckon Dr Who doesn’t need spin-offs, and they rarely do well or last. Attempts to stitch them back into the main show don’t seem to do too well either.

        C’mon then, Torchwood fans – pin me down and use your fetishistic metal gauntlet on me or sacrifice me to the giant vulva at the centre of the earth. I don’t mind, coz I can’t die, even when reduced to mince…
        (No feisty randy Welsh people went unshagged in the making of this remark.)

        • Jazza1971  September 9, 2012

          I have to agree, no need for spin offs. But they’re there, so, m’eh.

        • John G  September 9, 2012

          I enjoyed SJA, for the most part. Even though it was aimed at kids, it generally felt much closer to the spirit of the old series than New Who often does. The best story, Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane, was far superior to many episodes of the parent show. I suppose SJA was really K9 and Co done right, not that that was too hard…

    • Noodles  September 10, 2012

      More like reviewing the Star Wars films and including the Holiday Special.

  29. Glen Allen  September 9, 2012

    Well I’ve ben waiting for this one but I’ve been away “Up North” for a week.
    I know, I’m never in one place long enough to lick a tramp.
    Strangely only two nights ago I saw Hot Fuzz for the first time (in Stoke On Trent), thought I’d hate it but really enjoyed it and expected Lily Gregson to pop up and inform that that I dont have to come ‘ere to watch thaat. She didn’t.
    Is it terribly bad to admit that I watch K9&Company every year on December 21st (usually late at night) so that K9’s statement of “December 22nd starts at midnight tonight!” (Yes that deserved an exclamation mark) is accurate? . Well I just have admitted it and I don’t care one jot.

    • Glen Allen  September 9, 2012

      Oh AND…
      when I was working with Lis we dissected K9&Co. over many (company paid-we’re weren’t that daft) lunches. She mentioned a lot more about her feelings towards it (most are on the DVD now) but she wasnt happy with her portrayal of Sarah. I said that I thought I found it spot on. She’d had all these adventures so she wasnt ever going to be the same Sarah, she’d grown and was now the “Doctor” figure. Tougher, wiser and perhaps more determined. She said that she’d never really looked at it like that but I had a point and on reflection it kind of made sense. ..before patronisingly (and with tongue in cheek) ruffled my hair saying “Arent you clever? You’ve clearly watched it far far too much”
      As for ger comments on John Black though…ahem the less said the better

      • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

        By criminy, Glenn, looks highly likely that you changed the course of history – at least as far as ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ go! No wonder she was so happy to take on the mantle of the elder mentor / Doctor. (You win a sonic lipstick in a colour of your choice!)

        • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

          Glen not Glenn. Wobbly finger. Sorry, Greg. πŸ˜€

  30. Philippa Sidle  September 9, 2012

    This had me hooting with laughter, which is more than the thing itself did at the time of broadcast. I remember feeling profoundly embarrassed for it. I’ve never seen it again, but thanks to Sue and the almost as funny DWM Time Team write up a while back, I don’t have to!

  31. DamonD  September 10, 2012

    Sarah Jane’s repeated expression of Dull Surprise in the opening credits always makes me laugh. Feel the enthusiasm!

  32. STEVEN  September 10, 2012

    Polarity – Madam,

    I have been unable to establish when the two DrWho 60’s dalek movies were first broadcast on british telly..however as one of them was released in ’65…i am guessing ..guessing mind merely that..that the movies were NOT broadcast on the telly in the 60’s and instead sometime in the 70’s or later. Happy to stand corrected old chums but if that IS THE CASE then my argument is warrented and stands.

    • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

      “Dr Who and the Daleks” was first shown on Sat 01 Jul 72 on BBC 1 at 19:05hrs
      “Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150AD” was first shown on Sat 19 Aug 72 on BBC1 at 19:07hrs

      • wholahoop  September 10, 2012

        is there no question that cannot be answered now that we have t’interweb?

        • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

          Forty-two. Or is that an answer that cannot be questioned?

          • Andrew Bowman  September 10, 2012

            Isn’t it “what’s 6 x 7?” πŸ˜‰

          • Frankymole  September 10, 2012

            Wrong question. “What do you get if you multiply six by nine?” was apparently closer to the Ultimate Question according to the skewed rules of this universe… but if it’s ever answered, like the Fields of Trenzalore, something disastrous happens. Anyway, we’re not doing Shada so – bye-bye Douglas!

    • Neil Perryman  September 10, 2012

      STEVEN is right, you know. I’ve consulted my Wife In Space rulebook and yes, the Dalek movies aired in the 1970s. We have broken the experiment. There’s hardly any point in carrying on with it now. Oh well, it was good fun while it lasted. Please form an orderly queue for your refunds.

      • Paul Mc Elvaney  September 10, 2012

        I shall not rest until you watch Devious!!

      • Dave Sanders  September 10, 2012

        It’s 1982 now. I’d like mine in Cadbury’s Star Bars please.

    • Andrew Bowman  September 10, 2012

      Surely it’s more about when something was first available to watch, rather than when it was shown on television? If the BBC decided to do a cinematic Doctor Who film, set within the continuity of the series, but not shown on telly until 3 or 4 years later, when would you watch that? In it’s intended place in the canon, or when it’s finally shown on TV? I know that the Cushing films don’t ‘fit in’, but it still makes sense to watch them when they were first shown. Doesn’t it?

      • Dan  September 10, 2012

        Andrew – most people probably agree with you.

    • PolarityReversed  September 11, 2012

      STEVEN:

      The correct form of address to one’s governess is *Miss* Polarity, if you please.

      Much better, but you still need to watch the apostrophes on decades, and it’s (*it is*) “warranted”. Now, spit spot, and into the toy chest the DVDs will go. Next week a chimney sweep with a really dodgy accent will come calling, and we can examine how to use commas.

  33. Dan  September 10, 2012

    Would this be a bad time to bring up Marco Polo?

  34. STEVEN  September 10, 2012

    Tis a sad day then fellow Who-fanatics that due to a fundamental error by Neil this ENTIRE experiment must come to an end. Glad that you have fallen on your sword so to speak.

    Aside from ‘being proved correct’ the other good news is Sue has been spared from the worst decade in WHO’s history I suppose.

    Farewell then Neil and Sue. Farewell…

    • Noodles  September 10, 2012

      Spared the worst decade in Whostory? But she’s already watched the 70s.

  35. Steve O'Brien  September 10, 2012

    I’ve read all these comments out of order, just for the f*** of it.

    • Jazza1971  September 10, 2012

      Hahaha…made me laugh!

    • Dave Sanders  September 10, 2012

      Good job this isn’t a Prisoner blog then – you could neither read the comments in the order they’re written, nor the order they’re presented. Not that they’d make any more sense. Or less, come to think of it.

  36. STEVEN  September 10, 2012

    …alternatively you could just say scr*w it and watch ‘ Shada’.

    • Robert Dick  September 10, 2012

      Anyway… K9 & Company….

    • PolarityReversed  September 10, 2012

      They could always plan to watch Shada, not finish it and then not post a commentary…

      • Dan  September 10, 2012

        Ideally, Neil should have told Sue there was a much-anticipated six-parter by Douglas Adams was due to close the season, then, closer to the time, explained that a strike had prevented it’s production, thus simulating the experience we had at the time. And then of course not post a commentary. (Is this what you were getting at?) Actually at the time I wasn’t even aware that it was called Shada, just that Dr Who was going to finish early that year. Due to a strike.

        • Dave Sanders  September 10, 2012

          Ah, but they’d pre-empted the strike joke already by watching City Of Death when there was nothing else on the telly.

    • Dave Sanders  September 10, 2012

      Bye Bye Duggen a big hole for yourself.

      • Ozzy Baxter  September 10, 2012

        As an American fan of Doctor Who since first glimpsing Tom Baker, Lis Sladen, & Ian Marter on my local PBS station back in 1979, I have this to say about the Shada debate:

        Who Gives a Flying F**k?

        This guy, Neil, and his wife perform this fun experiment for exactly that: Fun. You don’t have to pay to watch. And likewise, you don’t have any say in the content. Thus, either read and enjoy or write your own blog and shut the hell up.

        How is it that after almost 50 years there is STILL the whiny contingent of so-called “fans” that insist on trying to “control” the franchise? They want to judge who is and is not a fan, want to be the final word on what is and is not canon, and seem to believe they “know” what is and is not Doctor Who. Turns out, unless your initials are “BBC” your opinion is irrelevant. Fact.

        Shada was never televised, and quite frankly, the half-assed version with Tom Baker narrating the missing material is pretty much boring as balls. Let Neil & Sue do what they want, and join them if you like. No one is forcing you to be here to police what people want, see, or believe about Doctor Who.

        Thanks and keep up the good work Neil & Sue. Can’t wait for the Davison era to start. πŸ™‚

        • Noodles  September 11, 2012

          I think you might be taking some of these light-hearted comments a *little* too seriously.

          • Ozzy Baxter  September 11, 2012

            Possibly. I also sounded a little more “intense” in that post than I had intended. LOL! πŸ˜‰

      • Ozzy Baxter  September 10, 2012

        I didn’t mean to Reply directly to you, Dave Sanders. That was for “everyone”. πŸ˜‰

    • Lewis  September 11, 2012

      Or, alternatively, get over it.

  37. Glen Allen  September 11, 2012

    Frankly Ive been wanting to say what Ozzie has said for quite a while πŸ™‚

  38. Jez Noir  September 11, 2012

    If this blog is ever published in book form, I think this particular Discussion thread should be included in full, in an appendix or something.

    And, just in case it is, I’ll take this opportunity to say ‘Look Mum – I’ve finally been published!’

  39. Ritch Famous  September 11, 2012

    I have a special affection for any instance of Doctor Who being thrust into the droll ‘real world’. I can only take so much of it, but still.

  40. STEVEN  September 11, 2012

    OSBORNE – I have been chastised – correctly – for my use of grammer..I write as I speak and make no appologies for it. However YOU have made quite a vular post there clearly missing the point entirely. Watching ‘Shada’ is very relevent to this ‘experiment’ as it was made during the period Sue and co are looking back on. Period.

    For the record, I havent bothered watching Shada myself..getting pretty bored by it and skipping through it ….My opinions on the show are irrelevant as this isn’t my ‘experiment’, being merely one of the labrats, like your good self. We are all in this together and need to make certain rules are adhered to or else this ‘experiment’ would be regarded as pointless.

    • Dan  September 11, 2012

      I think this might be taking the word “experiment” a little too literally. A sample of one is always going to lead to tentative conclusions at best. Brilliant that you haven’t even watched Shada.

      They should also read all the unused scripts that were written at the time, since they were written during the period we are looking back on.

      Sorry to carry on off topic. I just haven’t got a lot to say about K9 and Co.

    • John Williams  September 11, 2012

      >My opinions on the show are irrelevant

      Yes they are

      >We are all in this together

      No we’re not

      >and need to make certain rules are adhered to

      No we don’t

      >or else this β€˜experiment’ would be regarded as pointless

      No it wouldn’t

  41. Neil Perryman  September 11, 2012

    “For the record, I havent bothered watching Shada myself…”

    Now that’s what I call a punchline…

    • STEVEN  September 11, 2012

      Thank you Neil, I am nothing if not honest.

      Obviously IF this were MY ‘experiment’ then I naturally would of done my damnest to ensure I watched ALL WHO episodes..hence regarding your Shada obmission being nothing more than scandelous. Also, i bare witness to the fact in the past you have admitted to watching various ‘extras’ on WHO…and to a lesser degree reviewing them..or at the very least commenting on them. These ‘extras’ havent been shown on telly..so by ego you shouldnt of perhaps mentioned watching them. Just a thought.

      By the way, why is this site still up and running? Half expected to see the ‘link broken’ message when i logged back in there..just if you are a man of your word…which I thought you were…

      • Neil Perryman  September 11, 2012

        OK, I’m bored now. And if you are nothing if not honest, then why did you post comments under a different name with the same IP address?

        Either you are clinically insane or this is a wind-up. Either way, I’ve had enough now.

  42. P.Sanders  September 11, 2012

    The only labrats (and at the same time experimenters) in this whole project are Neil and Sue and their family. Everyone else has decided at no cost to watch and chat. Neil and Sue owe nobody anything.

    Now to get my post back on-topic, K9 & Company is balls. xx