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Series / K9

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K9 (2009-2010) is a Doctor Who spin-off based on everyone's favourite robot dog, who fell through spacetime to end up in eccentric Professor Alistair Gryffen's laboratory/mansion in mid-21st-century London. Sacrificing himself to save the humans from something that followed him through the portal, K9 regenerates into an updated design... but with no memory of how he got to Gryffen's lab. He's quickly introduced to Gryffen, a physicist researching space-time manipulation (with an eye towards resurrecting his lost wife and children); Gryffen's petulant assistant, Darius Pike; rebellious middle-class scion Jorjie Turner (pronounced "Georgie"); and teen dissident Starkey, with whom K9 forms a bond.

26 episodes of the first series have aired, with no sign of a second season.

Though contemporary to both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, this series was not as firmly tied to its parent show due to not being produced by the BBC.

K9 has examples of:

  • Alien Invasion: Doesn't happen as much as you may think here.
    • The Korven are established as having tried and failed to invade Earth in the year 2480.
    • The Anubians attempt to enslave humanity in the latest of a long line of conquests.
    • The finale has the Korven using their Time Machine to attempt an invasion of Earth in the near-future/present day.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Every alien that appears speaks English with two exceptions, though K9 has a translator for those two.
    • The Medes in #12, "Alien Avatar"
    • The Aeolians in the next episode, "Aeolian".
  • All There in the Manual: The show's setting of 2050 is never stated on-screen and is only gleamed from publicity material.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: K9 is set in a dystopic future London where surveillance is ubiquitous and the populace is explicitly told to accept it "for your own good".
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Oroborus and the Centuripede.
  • BFG: June uses one in the finale to take out a pair of CCPCs in "The Eclipse of the Korven".
  • Birthday Episode: "Taphony and the Time Loop" has the celebration of Professor Gryffen's 38th birthday.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: In "The Custodians", a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher is demanding ten million credits to shut down his mind-control once it proves to have horrific side-effects that even the Department don't like:
    Inspector Thorne: You're blackmailing me?
    John: That's a very non-wonderful word, Inspector. But yes, I am.
  • Bounty Hunter: In "The Bounty Hunter", logically enough.
  • The Bus Came Back: According to Word of God, the version of K9 featured in the series was the same version who appeared on Doctor Who in the 1978 story "The Invasion of Time", who at the conclusion of that story stayed behind on Gallifrey. The parent series replaced him with K9 Mark II. A Mark III and IV were later introduced but up until this series, Mark I never returned. It also reveals that, somehow, K9 Mark I was rebuilt after being blown up in the Gallifrey audio series.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Darius likes Jorjie. Jorjie likes Starkey. Neither manages to tell the object of their affection, though Jorjie and Starkey almost kiss in the final episode. They're interrupted.
  • Clip Show: In #22, "Mind Snap", K9 manages to get his memory erased, so Starkey and Gryffen have to prompt him to remember their adventures. Oddly, he retrieves files of things that happened a) while he was somewhere else, b) while he was blown up, and c) in someone else's dreams! Discounting brief flashbacks, this is the first time in the history of the Doctor Who franchise that producers have had to resort to this trope.
  • Con Man: Darius is a mild example. So far we've seen him buy the wrong parts for Starkey and charge him anyway, find a way out of the city despite being under surveillance, stall two aliens bent on his destruction, and nick - pick - some food for Gryffen.
  • Continuity Cameo: In "Liberation", Dauntless Prison has what appears to be an Axon and Zephon as inmates.
  • Continuity Nod: In "Curse of Anubis", the Anubians' holy book features illustrations depicting their attacks on the Mandrels, Alpha Centauri and the Sea Devils.
  • Cyberspace: Exists, but we haven't seen it extensively used. It is used as punishment. And it can be fairly mild, or almost impossible to endure. Thorne uses Darius's father to blackmail him, by promising an easier time in the VR prisons. Starkey, who was in and out of facilities growing up, says they 'mess with your head'.
  • Dystopia: Future London looks clean and safe, but not very comfortable.
  • Expy:
    • Professor Gryffen is arguably one for the Doctor, both being chatty scientist who provides the most help to the crew. Most likely intentional as the actual Doctor couldn't be used. Interestingly the Seventh Doctor was referred to as "Professor" by Ace.
    • Darius draws some inspiration from both Clyde Langer and Owen Harper.
    • The Korven are this for the Daleks, being a fearsome alien race intent on destroying humanity and conquering the universe, though they are not as strong as the Daleks.
  • Hikikomori: Prof. Gryffen, who hasn't been outside in ten years.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Starkey and Jorjie.
  • Hybrid Monster: In the finale, Thorne presents Trojan, a supersoldier created from DNA of every species encountered by the Department, with Thorne namedropping the Jixen, Anubians and Meron. This becomes Trojan's downfall when K9 uses the Jixen battle shriek to cause Trojan's Jixen and Meron DNA to fight each other.
  • Ice Queen: June is initially presented as an antagonist—but she loves her daughter, Jorjie, and is trying to protect her. She can still be fairly cold, though.
  • Identical Grandson: In "The Cambridge Spy", Jorjie, Starkey and K9 meet Darius's great-grandfather, William Pike, who looks exactly like him. They also meet Agent Barker who is identical to Thorne, who does not appear in this episode, but Jorjie lampshades this to Starkey.
    Jorjie: Does he remind you of someone?
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Averted within this series in particular; the tin dog is consistently K9, not K-9.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: After regenerating, K9 doesn't remember the Doctor, nor the majority of the adventures he had with him.
  • Living a Double Life: June Turner, who's always told her daughter Jorjie that she has a boring IT job. She's really head of alien threats at the secretive Department.
  • Mind Prison: A popular punishment for dissidents in this setting, apparently involving solitary confinement in a Blank White Void.
  • Mooks: The CCPCs.
  • Monster Clown: Darius's nightmare in "Dream-Eaters" is about these.
  • My Beloved Smother: June is always checking up on Jorjie, practically Once an Episode.
  • My Nayme Is: One of the main characters is named "Jorjie".
  • The Nth Doctor: Producer Bob Baker decided to take a leaf out of the parent show's book and had K9, just like his master, sacrifice himself then regenerate into a brand new model. However, he's quick to point out that this is still K9 Mark One, just in a new body.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: As Gryffen points out twice in The Custodians, he's "not a doctor-doctor." Since the issue was a virtual reality helmet that was turning children into aliens, he was able to help anyway.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Filmed in Australia. Set in London. Mostly child actors. The results...vary. Darius tends not to bother, which is odd since we know his family's been in London for at least a hundred years.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Reverse the Polarity: In "The Jaws of Orthrus" and "Black Hunger".
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Perhaps due to his extensive travels through time, K9 is the only one of the gang who remembers Taphony after she passes through the STM.
  • Robot Clown: Are common place in the future.
    • In "Dream-Eaters", Darius has a nightmare of being trapped in his car with three robotic clowns and the human Mr. Floppy Fun Pants.
    • "Robot Gladiators", has Chuckles and Boris, a pair of clowns (invokedwith the same cosutmes from "Dream-Eaters") forced to fight as gladiators who befriend K9. They return to the circus once the K9 Unit crash the business.
  • Shout-Out: When Professor Gryffen tries to access K9's memory, The first few notes of the Doctor Who theme plays after he tries to access the memory banks. Neither Gryffen nor K9 have a clue about the song's origins.
    • In "Curse of Anubis", the Anubians' holy book depicts their befriending then subjugating a green-skinned alien race who bear a remarkable resemblence to the the Mekon.
  • Sinister Surveillance: All of future London, but especially the Department.
  • Tempting Fate: In "The Cambridge Spy", Jorjie and Starkey are stuck in 1963 and Darius has vanished because they've changed the past. Gryffen: 'It couldn't possibly get any worse!' Cue June arriving to check up on Jorjie...
  • The Unfavorite: Darius. In the seventh episode Starkey is told he's the the closest thing to a son Gryffen has. Darius, who's been looking after Gryffen for two years, is standing right there. Jorjie also prefers Starkey over Darius. There's also the fact that as far as we've seen, Darius sleeps in his car. Granted, that might be because he's insanely protective of her, but it still seems unfair when Starkey gets a bedroom. And a bed.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: This series takes place in the year 2050, roughly 40 years ahead of its airdate. Though it's an Unmasqued World with advances in virtual reality and robotics, and a looming Dystopia, architecture and clothing appear much the same.
  • Two-Teacher School:
    • Apart from the Department Mooks, we only ever see June - head of the Alien Threat department - and Drake, later replaced by Thorne, ostensibly head of non-alien related security issues. Both Drake and Thorne frequently stepped outside their duties, usually in some kind of attempt to catch/destroy/enslave K9. They had an offscreen boss, Lomax, who was mostly used as a threat by June to get Drake or Thorne to back down.
    • Lomax made a few appearances throughout the series, as a silhouetted government official conferring with either Drake, Thorne or June with a distorted voice. It is later revealed that he is a Korven, and the mastermind behind their planned invasion of Earth.
  • The Unmasqued World: By this time in the Doctor Who universe, the existence of aliens is well-known and accepted. Jorjie's mum is head of the alien threats division of The Department.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In one episode, a CCPC that has been implanted with human genetics escapes from the Department labratories, who try to find him and have him destroyed. K9 and the gang find him which, ensues a dilemma whether or not they take out his genetic implants and replace them with standard CCPC hardware.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A small team led by a former companion of the Doctor, tasked with looking after a phenomenon from which entities from across space and time fall through, but which travelling through from this end is far more difficult. Where have we heard this one before?
  • Zombie Apocalypse: In "Dream-Eaters", an incorporeal alien race called the Bodach sends the whole of London (bar the team, although June is the Avatar and Darius falls eventually) asleep and into an army of sleep walkers.