View Poll Results: How would you rate K9 and Company?

Voters
7. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: Put that in your leader Mr Tobias!

    1 14.29%
  • 9: Don't worry we'll have you tucked up in bed before midnight

    0 0%
  • 8: Oh Doctor, you didn't forget

    2 28.57%
  • 7: Garden goblin not in memory

    1 14.29%
  • 6: I am K9 Mark III

    2 28.57%
  • 5: Travis's father says it's all very scientific these days.

    0 0%
  • 4: Never believe what you read in the papers!

    1 14.29%
  • 3: I'm Tracy.

    0 0%
  • 2: Stop honking Brendan

    0 0%
  • 1: Sorry, I didn't realise I was being prickily.

    0 0%
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: K9 and Company

    Do-do-do-de-doo K9!



    30 years ago the other day, Doctor Who's two greatest companions combined to pool their resources against the witch covens of the Cotswolds in the first ever spin-off from Doctor Who.

    What are your thoughts on K9 and Company?

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Where to begin??

    Si.

  3. #3

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    I was so excited about it! I sat down with the family to watch it... and for some reason the reception on my TV went down. Now, any other Dr Who show and I would have gone crazy with tantrums. But it didn't go down quickly enough to prevent me from hearing the theme tune. In fact, I still think my TV committed suicide rather than broadcast it. Not voted yet. Don't think I can. I did watch it afterwards but I still can't remember that much about it. Apart from not liking it.
    The SJA went a long way of making up for it. But even then that was years later.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure this was ever broadcast in Australia, so I was very excited to find it at my local video (yes VIDEO) store as a kid.

    It's a passable enough story. Nothing spectacular, but it is at least it's reasonably paced. It feels, very strangely, like a cut-price version of The Daemons, without Azal- and that's the problem. Actually having some examples of magic in the story and revealing the coven to be controlled by an alien wouldn't have been the most original idea, but would have been more fun than what we've got.

    "I am the Devil!"
    "DEVIL MYTHS EXIST ON MOST INHABITED PLANETS. YOUR ATTIRE SUGGESTS BANDRAGANUS V AND YET YOUR FACIAL HORNS ARE MORE CONSISTENT WITH EARTH-BASED LEGENDS. EXPLAIN DISCREPANCY."

    See? Would literally have taken a 5 minute rewrite and a cheap costume.

    I gather this is indicative of a general problem with the special- it could have been great if people had just tried a bit harder.

    Oooh, coconut macaroons!

  5. #5
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    It's easy to look back and moan about where it went wrong, which I think pretty much all of us have done over the past three decades. But at the time, and as a 10 year old, it was very exciting. We'd had a regeneration, then The Five Faces, then a genuine, bona fide, brand new spin off...

    It was a long time, many years in fact, before I could find anything to complain about with K9 & Company, and even now I really don't mind it at all. There's some absurdity in it, and maybe Sarah Jane isn't written all that well, and K9 is so laughably slow, and Brendan is just so laughable, and... But it's well-intentioned, it's a brave attempt, and by golly it's got a very catchy theme tune, it's got Sarah saying "Oh Doctor, you didn't forget me" and making us all tingly, it's even got the tin dog singing in it! What's not to love!

    Affirmative!

  6. #6
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    I've given it a 10 for the scenes of Market Gardening alone.

    Everything else is (brown) icing on the cake!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #7
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    I've given it 8/10 if only because I love Lis' delivery of "Oh Doctor, you didn't forget!" Her performance in the face of a not very imaginative story is still brilliant. It must've been wonderful to see for the first time 30 years ago when (Logopolis flashback aside) she hadn't been in Doctor Who for five years!
    As I said elsewhere after rewatching this last week you'd never get proper devil worshippers in a BBC children's show now. That's actually quite genuinely sinister.

  8. #8
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    I love it.
    Objectively it's rubbish and as a pilot it gets so much wrong it's untrue, but the simple fact that it exists is reason enough, that and the fact that my 6 year self adored it back in 1981!

    Honestly you sit here now and wonder what the hell they were thinking, from Sarah jane in a bus shelter drinking wine onwards. Who let Terrance Dudley near the pilot? Really? It needed to be set in the city, with Sarah Jane and K9 investigating hi-tech stuff together, cutting edge technologies going wrong. Instead we get a village of loonies, all of whom are in on the plot, except for the most sinister person in the whole village, Juno Baker and her husband. It's just such a waste. It could have been brilliant, but instead it's just average.

    Lis and John deserved better. They'd get it, but it'd be a long time coming. In the meantime we were left with a failed experiment. Could have worked, could really have worked, just not in the way JNT, Eric Saward and Terrance Dudley thought.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    It's amazing and is now up there with "Dimensions in Time" as the ultimate party starter. Sarah Jane's sheer volume of outfits in this story is spectacular, from the stange Chinese Dressing Gown worn OVER her clothes, to an incredible tweed thing that manages to be both a dress and a cloak at the same time. There's a dramatic scene entirely about the PH levels in soil. "It's PH1 over here," marvels Brenden. "And 11 over there. And three over there!". Amazing.

    Linda Polan pitches her performance as some kind of swinger, answering the telephone in her nightie and purring "We'll have you tucked up in bed by midnight." The direction is hilarious in its attempts to mislead the viewer away from the villainess, who turns out to be the postmistress, seen only in a short scene in her lounge having tea and walking accross the village with her shopping.
    "She'll come!" smiles Juno Baker sinisterly, until your second viewing when you realise she's just told her husband that someone is coming to dinner.

    There's a strange time thing going on, with one whole day taking place in two minutes of screen time, and then Sarah Jane taking another whole day to check out two Churches, before nailing the coven in the next ten minutes. WITH KARATE!

    KARATE!!

    The strange thing is, there's a line of dialogue hinting at other covens. So they wern't even going to expand the remit if it got the green light, we'd presumably just have got lots of other attempts to dress young boys in sheets and knock them out with incense. Oh and "The name's Tracey... Peter Tracey!" is a hilarious line. And there's the policeman that dies of fright when he sees a goat in a field. He'd not have been too good in a hostage situation would he?

    K9 and Company is amazing.

    Si.

  10. #10

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    This is a story where everything that could possibly be wrong is SPECTACULARLY wrong. What really blows my mind is the production text, which includes several even worse ideas that didn't make it. I will always love K9 and Company for the unparalleled way it makes me wonder 'what were they THINKING?'

  11. #11
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    Can't help thinking of TOATL in that both that and K9 & Co. could both have been so much better if a little extra thought had gone into it. This is just so slow - it would have worked better in the theatre, it's that sort of pacing - I like it for that, but it doesn't feel quite right for television ; and to tell the viewers that two-thirds of the village were involved before anything else happens! It's more of a Who-didn't-do-it than a Whodunnit.

    And i don't want to be too harsh on the fact that the titular character isn't in it that much. It would have been a major fault if it weren't a pilot, and Sarah and Brendon had to be introduced as well as tell a story in only 45 minutes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Wallis View Post
    ...This is just so slow - it would have worked better in the theatre, it's that sort of pacing - I like it for that, but it doesn't feel quite right for television...

    And i don't want to be too harsh on the fact that the titular character isn't in it that much. It would have been a major fault if it weren't a pilot, and Sarah and Brendon had to be introduced as well as tell a story in only 45 minutes.
    I quite agree. I watched this yesterday for the first time in years and listened to Lis Sladen on the commentary, she mentions the pacing, the lack of tension in some key scenes and how much it seems to have dated even for an eighties show.

    I enjoyed it at the time, it was great that we got a Dr. Who spin off at a time that the parent show got a revamp with a new Doctor and a new time slot. But on the whole it's disappointing.

  13. #13
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    This is a real oddity, in places absolutely awful, but in others, awfully compelling. In the end, it's rather fun, and so it's difficult to be too hard on it. I'm rather glad there wasn't a series though. (Oh there was? I must have lost a couple of decades or so...)

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