K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend
John Nathan Turner for BBC
directed by John Black
starring Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson (voice), Bill Fraser, Ian Sears, Colin Jeavons, Sean Chapman, Mary Wimbush, Linda Polan, Gillian Martell, Neville Barber, John Quarmby, Nigel Gregory, Stephen Oxley, Sue Crosland, Terry Forestal, John Glentoran
written by Terence Dudley, music by Peter howell, title song by Ian Levine, Fiachra Trench, visual effects by Mat Irvine
Sarah Jane Smith, K9, Doctor Who spin-off
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First and foremost, this is a Doctor
Who-spin-off, and several leaps of reason were made to make
this spin-off work ... so don't be surprised if you don't understand all
the implications here.
Who-companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) wants to pay
a visit to her aunt Lavinia (Mary Wimbush), only to not find her but a
robot dog, K9 (voiced by John Leeson), instead, as it turns out a gift
from (and former companion of) Doctor
Who. Together with Sarah's computer nerd nephew BRendan (Ian
Sears) they go investigating - but before you know it, Brendan in
abducted, and Sarah and K9 find more and more traces leading to a witches
coven - which is ultimately ran by George Tracy (Colin Jeavons), foreman
on aunt Lavinia's farm. And in the end, Sarah Jane and K9 can dash in just
in time, when Brendan is about to be made the coven's latest human
sacrifice, and K9 uses his stungun on several of the coven members ... and
the world (?) is saved once more.
And aunt Lavinia?
Oh, she had
nothing to do with any of this, she just had to leave for America, and a
cable saying so just never reached Sarah Jane.
Let's face it,
spin-offs are almost invariable inferior to the series they originated
from (with the possible exception of Frasier), and the
concepts to make them work are often incredibly strained ... as is the
case with K-9 and Company, a show that unites two fan-favourites
among the Doctor
Who-sidekicks - who never shared the screen on the show
actually, and throws them into a low budget earthbound pseudo-horror story
that would have fared better without either of them - as somehow, neither
Sarah Jane nor K9 seem to go too well with witches and stuff. So we are
left with out-of-place characters trying to make their way through an
ill-paced plot (ill-paced in part because the characters are so out
of place) and a horror story with no shocks at all.
Company was supposed to be a pilot but was ultimately never picked up
as a series, but interestingly enough, Sarah Jane (as played by Elisabeth
Sladen) got her own spin-off-series after all as late as 2007, The
Sarah Jane Adventures, with K9 (as voiced by John Leeson) making
irregular guest appearances.