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K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend (1981)

TV Movie  -   -  Mystery | Sci-Fi  -  28 December 1981 (UK)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 278 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Spin-off from "Doctor Who" which, despite good ratings, didn't get past the pilot stage. One time companion to a mysterious and body-changing alien known as "The Doctor", Sarah Jane Smith ... See full summary »

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Title: K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend (TV Movie 1981)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
John Leeson ...
K-9 (voice)
Bill Fraser ...
Ian Sears ...
Colin Jeavons ...
...
Mary Wimbush ...
Linda Polan ...
Gillian Martell ...
Neville Barber ...
John Quarmby ...
Nigel Gregory ...
Stephen Oxley ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sally Ann Wright ...
Coven Member
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Storyline

Spin-off from "Doctor Who" which, despite good ratings, didn't get past the pilot stage. One time companion to a mysterious and body-changing alien known as "The Doctor", Sarah Jane Smith returns to Earth and carries on with her journalist career. Now, in 1981, she has managed to rebuild her career and has come, a matter of days before Christmas, to her Aunt Lavinia's (a famous scientist) house in the sleepy English village of Moreton Harwood to write a book and to rest after her world-travelling assignments. However, her journalist's nose sniffs out another mystery when she arrives to find Aunt Lavinia gone, and nobody knows where she is, but the local rumour is that she was the victim of a local witch coven. Worshipers of a pagan goddess Hecate gather to celebrate a festival by ritually murdering a friend of Sarah's. She needs help... and she gets it from a box from her friend "The Doctor." Inside the box is a metal robotic but almost human-like talking dog called K-9 that is built ... Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

28 December 1981 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

K-9 and Company  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A pilot for a never-realised spin-off from Doctor Who (1963). Elisabeth Sladen's character of investigative journalist Sarah-Jane Smith had been The Doctor's travelling companion from 1973-6, whilst K-9 had been introduced into the series in 1977. See more »

Goofs

The 'witches' in this show pray to the Goddess Hecate. However, the worship of Hecate is associated with Athens, Thrace and with Greeks from the Anatolian peninsula. So as a Greek Goddess, it's a near impossibility of her being worshiped in Southwestern Britain. The ancestral people of that area are essentially Brythonic and would have worshiped Celtic deities. See more »

Quotes

Juno Baker: [to Sarah Jane] We'll have you tucked up in bed well before midnight.
See more »

Connections

Spun-off from Doctor Who (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"He's fantastic!" "Negative."
15 June 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

I'm very much a closet Doctor Who fan. Not for me public declarations of interest in this most uncredible of programmes. Yet even the usual standards of embarrassment I normally feel about queuing with a Who video were intensified when I saw K-9 and Company in a sale for a fiver and went to "treat" myself.

Opening with a title sequence that combines the pace and structure of terminal diarrhoea with the wit and panache of a kick up the arse this really doesn't bode well. Thrill! To Sarah Jane sipping wine. Chill! To her reading The Guardian. Spill! To her jogging down a road (On a cold day, it seems). The amazing thing is, it actually gets worse.

Imagine a Hammer Horror edition of Crossroads directed by Michael Winner and you still can't begin to come close to the unmitigated crappery of this ferrago. Watching the title sequence (I hate to keep coming back to it, but it's a nightmare that I imagine will haunt me for years to come) you can't believe that its makers were serious. What person in their right mind would seriously believe this would work as a series?

It's strange because no episode of Doctor Who has dated as badly as this. Thirteen minutes in (the unlucky number? It is here) K-9 appears. I always found him endearing in the show, but out of context he doesn't work. Mind you, neither does Sarah Jane. Both are adequate support, neither are stars. K-9 claims to have a nuclear battery and a holographic memory, so you're mistaken if you think he's made out of battered old plastic and a remote control car.

8.4 million idiots actually tuned in to this tot. Producer John Nathan-Turner was never really conversant with the word "taste" and so you just KNOW when K-9 mentions the Doctor the incidental music will segue into a skit of the old Who theme. Tacktastic! In fact Peter Howell's incidental music is a bonus in that it gets "scary" whenever a covert villain is on screen. Handy of him that, as by destroying any suspense he ensures those of a nervous disposition won't get any anxiety from watching it.

Nineteen minutes in and I've lost the will to live. I just don't care anymore. If I died in the next minute it would come as blessed salvation. You sense some of the "we don't normally take to foreigners" schtick is supposed to be a satire of old England values, but even the hero describes someone as looking like a gypsy. This is like The Wicker Man with the focus on the wicker. Characters even trade gardening tips in this story, for God's sake!

The sets look exactly like sets, the acting is chronic, the direction horrendous and the script feeble... is there a single element of this show that doesn't conjure up the word "inept"? It's a strange kind of Television Company that thinks pagan sacrifices are an acceptable form of family entertainment. Though as the majority of the audience were probably comatose by that stage it scarcely seems to matter.

All this requires to take it into seventh Heaven is a Scooby Doo unmasking of the villains, karate stunts from Sarah Jane and K-9 performing a Christmas Carol. Oh dear God take me now. I bet no one has ever compared K-9 and Company to Apocalypse Now, but while I was watching it I couldn't help thinking of a quote from that picture: "The horror, the horror..."


3 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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