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K9- The Complete Series DVD Review

K9- The Complete Series DVD

“K9” is a hit-and-miss “Doctor Who” spin-off.

What do two rebellious teens (Starkey and Jorjie), a Professor (Gryffen) and his assistant (Darius), and a robot dog (K9) have in common? They protect a future London from menacing aliens (namely the series baddie the Korven) and the totalitarian Government agency known as The Department. Throughout the 26 episode season/series, viewers can expect to see plots about: Jorjie’s mother, Jixen warriors, Drake and Thorne (two meddlesome Department employees), the Professor’s Space-Time Manipulator, Gryffen’s search for his wife and children, an alien bounty hunter named Ahab, fear, control, alleged ghosts, a K9 duplicate, time travel, the CCPCs (robotic officers for the Derpartment), a deadly virtual reality game, robot fighting, a host of aliens (such as the Bodach, Anubians, Oroborus, Medes, Aeolian, and Centuripedes), and more.

After attempting a K9 spin-off with the so-so “K-9 And Company” pilot back in 1981, producers and K9 creators Bob Baker and Dave Martin decided to give it another shot with 2009’s “K9.” So, how does it fare? The results are about as equally mixed as they were back in 1981.

The series starts off promising enough in the pilot episode “Regeneration” as we get to see the old school K9 regenerate into a new K9. Unfortunately, the series falls flat after that until the last several episodes (which I’ll get to in a bit). While viewers slowly get accustomed to the cast of characters, the writers struggle to find the right tone and suitable story arcs for the show. For an alleged kids show, the setting and tone is rather depressing and weird as our characters (many of whom are plagued with sadness) are stuck in a “1984” esque future London. As for the story arcs, the writers tend to stick to a formula early on with several monster of the week episodes and far too many frequent run-ins with The Department. It becomes tiresome to say the least.

Thankfully, “K9” really improves near the end of the series/season with episodes like the offworld adventure “Lost Library of Ukko,” the series best “Angel of the North,” and the final two episodes “Hound of the Korven” and “The Eclipse of the Korven.” With sharper scripts and some real character growth, the show was clearly starting to come into its own. It’s a shame that the series stopped after this (although a second season is rumored).

While the writing may be inconsistent, the cast helps make the material palatable. First and foremost, John Leeson (who provides the voice of K9) is the star of show. Simply put, K9 is not K9 without him (this is especially evident when David Brierley voiced him briefly for a year). His comedic timing and award worthy voice acting brings the lovable robotic character to life. The human actors are also quite memorable here especially Robert Moloney (Professor Gryffen), newcomer Philippa Coulthard (Jorjie), and Jared Robinsen (who plays the Agent Smith esque Thorne).

Summary: Had “K9” been more in line with the Whoniverse (or even been a BBC program), it might have been a more successful show ala “The Sarah Jane Adventures.” As is, however, the show is both frustrating and fun. It’s certainly worth a watch (especially for Whovians) if for no other reason than to see the title character and to try and spot the “Doctor Who” references.

Video/Audio:

The series, which is presented in widescreen, looks better than I thought it would on DVD. TV series often look a bit murky in standard definition, but the cinematography is surprisingly sharp looking here.

From K9’s voice to the theme music, the Dolby Digital 5.1 delivers in the audio department.

Extras:
* “Interview With K9”- A brief, cheesy, joke filled interview with K9 talking about his acting career.
* “The Making Of K9”- Pip Russell hosts this 24 minute featurette that contains show clips, set footage, cast interviews, and information about FX and the various forms of K9.

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May 10, 2013 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. One of these days, I need to watch this, I even downloaded the first episode and deleted it out of fear that I would absolutely hate it.

    Comment by Stephen | May 11, 2013 | Reply


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