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New Look for K9 Revealed for Upcoming Doctor Who Spin-Off Series

Date posted: March 11, 2009

The new look for K9 in the spinoff series

It’s been known for some time that there has been a new Doctor Who spin-off series in the works starring the Doctor’s very own tin dog, K9.

Now we’re getting a first look at the new redesign of the character, who was first introduced in the 1977 Doctor Who story “The Invisible Enemy”.

K9’s new series has been variously called K9 Missions, K9 Adventures but now seems to be just simply K9.

The first series, currently shooting in Australia, will consist of 26 half-hour episodes, and is being developed by original co-creator of K9, Bob Baker.

As far as I can tell at this point, only Network Ten in Australia is currently signed to air it, as it is not being developed in conjunction with the BBC.

This lack of contract with the BBC, who reportedly declined so they could focus on developing Torchwood, is what necessitated the redesign of K9 that you see at the top of this article.

K9 is being made by Jetix Europe, which is a division of a company that started with the Jetix station in the US, so this makes it likely it could air in the States, and it seems pretty much inevitable that it will air in the UK.

While I can understand  the legal reasons they had to give K9 a new look, and I don’t mind it if done well, it’s a shame they couldn’t have stuck *a little* closer to the original design.

original series K9

I don’t have a big problem with the new look in general, and definitely can’t fairly judge it until I see it on the show, whenever I am able to.

The one complaint I have is that they made him a different breed of dog.

K9 definitely used to be a terrier (presumably a scottish terrier, judging by his collar).

The new look K9 is clearly a much bigger dog, and more aggressive looking (down to the stylized teeth exposed in a growl).

The changes in the details of his appearance don’t really matter that much to me, as long as the changes don’t imply a similar change in his personality. Obviously one doesn’t necessarily follow the other, but it’s just a thought that comes to mind, considering the original K9 not just looked like a terrier, but had a terrier personality.

As long as they stay faithful to the original character (and hire John Leeson to do his voice), that’s the important thing.

K9’s character began his original run on Doctor Who in the ’70s as a one-off character who was made an ongoing character very much at the last minute after he proved so popular in his first story.

Because of his hasty addition to the show, the existing scripts had to be rewritten to accommodate having a computerized dog with a built in laser  in the story.As a result K9 frequently broke down so they wouldn’t have to do a complete rewrite, or seemly whenever it was convenient for the writer.

Presumably this won’t happen so often now that he’ll be the star of the show, but still, some of K9’s break-downs could be fun. Take a listen to this one, voiced by John Leeson:

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