- Actors: Robert Moloney, Keegan Joyce
- Directors: James Bogle
- Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 4
- Rated: Not RatedUnrated
- Studio: Shout! Factory
- DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
- Run Time: 330 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00BCMSZPC
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,545 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
K-9: The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Originally created for the 1977 DOCTOR WHO episode The Invisible Enemy by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, K9 has long been an iconic television character. But now K9 stars in his own brand-new adventure series!
Blasting back into action via a space time manipulator, everyones favorite robot dog arrives in late 21st-century London, now scarred by alien intrusion and government rule through their cybernetic police force. With the assistance of teenagers Jorjie, Darius, drifter Starkey and Professor Gryffen, K9 becomes Earths front-line defence against dangers threatening from any place, and anytime,in the galaxy! They will have a lot of fun, action, adventure, and some jolts along the way, saving the earth from alien creatures, scary monsters and more than a few nasty humans!
Mixing live action characters with stunning visual-effects, K9 is a childrens sci-fi/adventure series combining comedy, action and suspense. Imagine a mash-up of X Files and Men in Black with a zany dash of Ghostbusters and then add one magnificent metallic mutt, and there you have K9!
An amusing footnote in the Doctor Who universe, K-9: The Complete Series gives the spotlight to the faithful robot canine companion of the British science fiction icon for its own kid-friendly adventures. Conceived by writer Bob Baker for the 1977 Doctor Who serial The Invisible Enemy, the crisp-toned, perspicacious K-9 (voiced, both then and now, by John Leeson) has remained one of the Doctor's most popular sidekicks over the course of his five-decade career, appearing opposite both Tom Baker and David Tennant's Doctors as well as Elisabeth Sladen in the Sarah Jane Adventures, the premise of which also seems to provide the template for K-9--supporting Who character helps kids in Who-lite encounters with aliens. Here, K-9 meets his new human companions through a space-time manipulator created by Professor Gryffen (Robert Moloney) and his two teenage friends (Keegan Joyce and Philippa Coulthard). After self-destructing in order to defeat an extraterrestrial menace also caught in the professor's portal, K-9 rebuilds himself into a sleeker model (a CG creation) with the ability to fly. The quartet's subsequent adventures have the right amount of action and exotic aliens, none of whom should be particularly frightening to young viewers over kindergarten age, and K-9 remains a charming central figure, with the qualities that made him a favorite on Doctor Who--cute, smart, unconditionally loyal, and equipped with a small battery of futuristic gadgetry--also minting him an ideal hero for a children's show: a best friend-cum-bodyguard with a solution for every situation. Who fans will find that there is very little from the original series present in K-9 save for brief glimpses of some familiar extraterrestrial menaces (images of a Sea Devil, an Alpha Centauran, and a Mandrel in "Curse of Anubis"), which is due to the BBC's ownership of Doctor Who and the original K-9 design, which required Baker (who owns the K-9 character) and his Australian series coproducers to keep Who references to a bare minimum while also providing a new design for their titular protagonist. The absence of Whovian continuity will probably bother only adult viewers; younger audiences, for whom the show is clearly intended, will simply enjoy the program for its own merits. The four-disc K-9 set contains all 26 episodes of the series in anamorphic transfers, as well as a pair of brief, lightweight extras: an "interview" with K-9 and a very bare-bones making-of featurette. --Paul Gaita
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There is a manufacturing audio error on disk 3 episode "The Custodians" in which the audio tracks are reversed. The default for this episode only is stereo instead of 5.1. The default audio drops completely at 21:49 into the episode. The episode is completely watchable by switching to audio track 2.
The stories are interesting but it takes a few runs through to catch the evolving story arc for the aliens and adventures. Professor Alistair Gryffen (Robert Moloney) is working with a Space-Time Manipulator (STM) machine retrieved from a crashed alien spacecraft by The Department. The Department employs CCPC androids as a domestic robotic police force. The primary locale for the stories is London.
Darius Pike (Daniel Webber) is a twenty-year-old boy helping the professor. Starkey [Sobol] aka Stark Reality (Keegan Joyce) and Jorjie Turner (Philippa Coulthard) are teenagers rebelling against many of The Department's activities. Inspector June Turner (Robyn Moore) plays the good cop at The Department. Inspector Drake (Connor Van Vuuren) and Inspector Thorne (Jared Robinsen) play the bad cops at The Department. John Leeson voices K-9.
Some of the aliens are Jixen, Korven, Merons, Aeolians, and the Oroborus.
K-9 catchphrases: "This unit does not appreciate the term dog, boy or heel." "This unit is not a dog. This unit is a cybernetic construction containing quantum consciousness..."
The episode "The Cambridge Spy" involving time travel to 1963 has a nod to "Back to the Future" with Darius fading away as history is potentially changed. The episode also has whimsical moments and some fun satirical comments with K-9 going "sixties."
K-9 takes place on Earth in the future, where humanity is controlled by "The Department". People still have freedom and rights, but it's far reduced from what it once was. One of the Department's lead scientists: Professor Gryffen is attempting to create a machine that can manipulate time and space, not for the sake of the Department, but to bring back his wife and children that all died years ago. However an accident when he first uses the machine causes several evil aliens to be transported to Earth. However, following this evil aliens through the portal is the heroic robot dog: K-9! During this first encounter, the Professor is suddenly aided by Starkey: a 14 year old rebel who is wanted by the Department, Jorjie: a 14 year old girl whose mother works for the Department (against Jorgie's wishes), and Darius: a sarcastic and self-absorbed teen. The four eventually become allies as they deal with problems relating to a growing number of aliens that are beginning to visit Earth, along with controversies related to the Department's unfair control over humanity.
One of the strengths of K-9 is it's characters. Professor Gryffen (Robert Moloney) for starters has far more complexity to his character than most others found in children's television. He's a lonely man who lost his family, but rather than just be a man who is dealing with depression, he's also a man who's so afraid of the terrors of the outside world now, he's afraid to even leave his house. His problem is not done in a silly or corny way and despite having an odd phobia, the character is still treated with a lot of dignity. For example, while in the house he acts like a very reasonable, normal, and intelligent man, and will still come up with very reasonable, normal, and intelligent plans for his colleagues to implement outside of the house, he just won't do them himself. It's great to see a character in television show audiences that while there are people in this world that have strange and odd phobias, they can still be very sane and rational in other types of scenarios that don't involve that phobia.
Even though Professor Gryffen is a great character, the show is really driven forward by it's younger characters. Starkey (Keegan Joyce), Jorjie (Philippa Coulthard), and Darius (Daniel Webster) are fascinating characters each with interesting back stories and personalities that are explored as the series progresses. There is a love triangle between the three leads in the show that feels contrived at first, but gets more and more intriguing as the show continues. What's interesting about these three teenage characters is that they are not perfect. When the show begins Starkey may be a rebel that wants to bring down the Department but he doesn't care about working with other people, Jorjie wants to be helpful but finds herself being rude to people often (especially her mother), while Darius is very self-absorbed and is only hanging out with the gang because the Professor actually pays him. In fact, all of the characters are very reluctant to work together at first, but as the series progresses, you begin to see some real friendships grow.
The "villains" of the show are also much more complex to watch. In fact, from a writing stand point, they even rival the complexity of most Doctor Who villains. While evil aliens of the week do show up in some episodes, the main antagonists of the show are the leaders of the Department. While they don't have strong moral ethics, their mission does make some sense. The world has become a mess and it needs order, people are committing tons of crimes and they need to be stopped quickly and efficiently, and aliens are beginning to come to Earth and they need to be better understood. Meaning that many of the plans the Department is implementing in several episodes do have good ends, but their means of getting there is unfortunately always bad. For example, in one of the best written episodes of the series: Sirens of Ceres, the Department needs to find a way to deal with many children in a city that have become delinquents. Their solution - mind control them into becoming well behaved children. The ends seem good, but then you have a conflicting moral debate over what's more important - making sure a child acts absolutely perfect, or allowing a child to have the human right of free will. It's really good story telling like that makes this show an incredible and thought provoking watch.
Strangely enough, the least entertaining character in the K-9 series is K-9 himself. First off, K-9 is nowhere near as funny as he was when he appeared in Doctor Who and the Sarah Jane Adventures. In this show: K-9's jokes are too corny, out dated, and just aren't executed that well. Yes, he serves his use to the series plot, but honestly: this show would honestly be entertaining if K-9 wasn't even in the show. There are however a few good scenes that K-9 has when he's interacting with the human characters. He's essentially the lovable pet of the group, and when K-9 is hurt or in trouble, you see the characters really show some good emotion the way an actual person gets emotional over their real life pet. There's a particularly well done scene in the second episode where K-9 is knocked out, and the Professor while in a panicked emotional state, begins to talk about how he let his family down and that he can't let anybody else down. Essentially, K-9 may not be the best character of the show, but he's a good object for the characters to project their emotions onto. The only strong quality K-9 has alone though is his long time voice actor from Doctor Who - John Leeson who is back, and considering the material he is working with, really does give a good performance.
The only real reason to hate this show is it's limited connections to Doctor Who. Unlike Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, the only direct connection this show has to Doctor Who is K-9 himself. Since K-9 loses his memory in the first episode, all concrete facts about his past are lost including any reference to the Doctor, the Tardis, Gallifrey, the Time War, Romana, Sarah Jane, or anything else related to the Doctor Who show. Any other references are either small, implied, or just tiny Easter eggs. However, the lack of reference to Doctor Who is why this show is good. Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures NEEDED references to Doctor Who to thrive in it's early years, and both shows kind of worked because they retained a sort of "feel" from Doctor Who (especially the Sarah Jane Adventures). K-9 however doesn't need to reference or "feel" like Doctor Who to be good. It can be good all by itself. K-9 is not a "Doctor Who type" show, it is it's own kind of show. Now lets get something straight, Doctor Who is still the far better show. The modern era of Doctor Who has far better writing, acting, special effects, production values, and music. K-9 will never be better than Doctor Who. However if you're looking to take a break from the Doctor Who style experience for awhile and you're looking for an interesting science fiction series that tells different kinds of fascinating stories that explore friendship, romance, adventure, morality, and maturity, then K-9 should definitely be your first choice of a series to check out.