K-9 (Doctor Who)

K-9 (Doctor Who)


affiliation=Fourth Doctor
Sarah Jane Smith Tenth Doctor| he actually is affiliated to Tenth Doctor because he still shaedan adventure.
planet=Bi-Al Foundation, on K4067 - an asteroid near Titan
era=51st century, later 20th-21st century
start=Mark I
"The Invisible Enemy"
Mark II
"The Ribos Operation"
Mark III
"A Girl's Best Friend"
Mark IV
"School Reunion"
finish=Mark I
"The Invasion of Time"
Mark II
"Warriors' Gate"
Mark III
"School Reunion"
Mark IV
portrayed=John Leeson
David Brierley (voices)

K-9, or K9, is the name of several fictional robotic dogs in the long-running British science fiction television series, "Doctor Who", and its spin-off series, "The Sarah Jane Adventures". There have been at least four separate K-9 units in the series, with the first two being companions of the Fourth Doctor. Voice actor John Leeson has provided the character's voice in most of its appearances, except during Season 17, when David Brierley temporarily provided the voice. K-9's most recent appearance was in the episode "Journey's End", the finale of series four. All four of the K9 models have the same catchphrase which is "Affirmative".

A new television series starring K-9, "K-9", is currently in development and is planned to air in 2008.

Fictional character biography

Debuting in the 1977 serial "The Invisible Enemy", the first K-9 was the creation of Professor Marius, a scientist working for the Bi-Al Foundation in the Centre for Alien Biomorphology on the asteroid K4067 near Titan in the year 5000 [cite |author=Paul Parsons |title=The Unoffical Guide: The Science of Doctor Who |publisher=Icon Books |date=2006 ] . A mobile computer, K-9 was constructed in the shape of a dog as a substitute for the one Marius had left back on Earth. Highly intelligent, with an extensive database and equipped with sophisticated sensors as well as a laser weapon built into its nose, K-9 was instrumental in helping the Fourth Doctor and Leela defeat a sentient virus. At the end of The Invisible Enemy, Marius suggested that K-9 join the Doctor on his travels.

All the K-9s referred to whoever owned them as "Master" or "Mistress" depending on their gender. The units were programmed to be both loyal and logical, with a penchant for taking orders literally, almost to a fault. The Fourth Doctor would often use a glib remark to disarm those who were surprised by K-9's appearance; in "The Stones of Blood" he said, "They're all the rage in Trenton, New Jersey." The Tenth Doctor defended its less-than-streamlined design ("...so disco!") to Rose Tyler, remarking that it was cutting edge in the year 5000.


To date, four different versions of K-9 have appeared in the series:

K-9 Mark I

K-9 Mark I traveled with the Fourth Doctor and Leela from "The Invisible Enemy" until "The Invasion of Time", when it decided to stay on Gallifrey with Leela, who had elected to remain behind on the Time Lord home world. However, once inside the TARDIS, the Fourth Doctor produced a box labeled "K-9 Mark II".

K-9 Mark II

K-9 Mark II was more mobile than its predecessor, and exhibited the ability to sense and warn others of danger. It was with the Fourth Doctor and Romana when they were shunted into the parallel universe of E-Space, and was severely damaged by time winds during the events of "Warriors' Gate". The damage was such that K-9 could only function in E-Space, and when Romana decided to stay and forge her own path, the Doctor gave K-9 to her. Due to a bout of laryngitis — which the Fourth Doctor was baffled as to how the robotic dog could have contracted — the voice of K-9 Mark II changes around the time of Romana's regeneration, only to revert some time later (in reality, this was due to voice actor Leeson temporarily leaving the series at the start of the 1979–80 season and being replaced by Brierley; Leeson returned for the 1980–81 season).

K-9 Mark III

K-9 Mark III was a gift from the Doctor to Sarah Jane Smith, and first appeared with her in the pilot episode of the aborted spin-off series "K-9 and Company" as well as a brief cameo appearance in the 20th anniversary ninety-minute special "The Five Doctors". In the original outline to "K-9 and Company", it would have been eventually revealed that K-9 Mark III was actually sent by and under the control of the Master, but this element never made it to the screen. K-9 Mark III's final appearance was in the second series of the new "Doctor Who" with David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, alongside Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith in the episode "School Reunion". In that episode, K-9 appears more run-down and worn, echoing Sarah's inability to repair it in the spin-off stories (see below). It died heroically, sacrificing itself by using the last of its energy reserves to set off an explosion.

The practical challenges of working with the K-9 prop have accompanied the robotic pooch in his return to "Doctor Who". Producer Russell T Davies told "SFX" magazine, "Yes, just as we expected, multiple takes interp|were required when he bumped into a door or veered off to the left. Lis Sladen did warn us, and she was right!" [cite news
title=Russell T Davies on Who season two

Other appearances

Popular culture

In 1990, an unspecified K-9 unit appeared with Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace in an episode of the children's education programme "Search Out Science" entitled "Search Out Space", which was included as an extra on the release of the Doctor Who story "Survival" by the BBC. Another unspecified K-9 unit also appeared in the 1993 charity special "Dimensions in Time".

In the 1998 computer game "Fallout 2", the Navarro base has a damaged robot dog known as K-9, which uses similar speech mannerisms to the Doctor Who character. If repaired, the cyberdog is willing to join the character's party as a companion.

In the 1999 television series "Queer as Folk" (written by current "Doctor Who" executive producer Russell T Davies), a K-9 model is given to the character Vince as a birthday present. The prop used was an original, operated — as occasionally in "Doctor Who" — by visual effects assistant Mat Irvine.

In the "South Park" episode "Go God Go XII", Eric Cartman, being trapped in the year 2546, has acquired a robot dog called "K-10", a parody of K-9. Due to timeline alterations, he is replaced by robot cat "Kit-9" and later robot bird, "Cocka-3".

Engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center have dubbed two intelligent mobile robots designed to explore the surface of Mars "K-9" and "Gromit". [cite news
title=NASA's new robots show their stuff
publisher=San Francisco Chronicle
] NASA's K-9 is named after both "Doctor Who"'s K-9 and Marvin the Martian's pet dog. [cite web
author=NASA Ames Research Center
title=Introduction, Advanced Technology Field Testing

In the second series of "I'm Alan Partridge", the character of Alan Partridge recalls how his purchase of the rights to K-9 assisted in him mentally breaking down and driving to Dundee in his bare feet while gorging on Toblerone.

K-9 appeared on a 2007 Doctor Who special edition of "The Weakest Link", but was voted out unanimously at the end of the first round, despite answering all of his questions correctly. Anne Robinson (whom K-9 addressed as "Mistress") said "I'm so sorry" before declaring him the weakest link.

Audio plays

In the spin-off media, K-9 Mark II remained Romana's faithful companion for many years. In the early 2000s, John Leeson and Lalla Ward featured in a series of audio plays produced by BBV as K-9 and "The Mistress", detailing these characters' adventures in a parallel universe. As neither Romana nor E-Space could be licensed, the aliases of the Mistress and the "pocket universe" were used instead.

When Romana eventually returned to her own universe, she brought K-9 Mark II with her (presumably having repaired it) and eventually became Lady President of Gallifrey. K-9 Mark II is first seen on Gallifrey in the Virgin New Adventures novel "Lungbarrow" by Marc Platt, alongside K-9 Mark I, which had remained with Leela. Both K-9 Mark I and Mark II appear, voiced by Leeson, in the Big Finish Productions audio adventure "Zagreus" and the "Gallifrey" audio series. Leela's K-9 (Mark I) was destroyed at the conclusion of the second "Gallifrey" series and only Mark II appears in the third series.


In 2003, a webcast adaptation of the never-completed "Shada" serial was produced for the BBC's Doctor Who website, rewritten as an Eighth Doctor adventure and featuring the post-E-Space versions of Romana II and K-9 Mk II.

Novels and short stories

K-9's co-creator Dave Martin wrote a series of four children's books entitled "The Adventures of K9", published by Sparrow Books in 1980. K-9 is travelling on his own in these stories for reasons not explained.

In 1985, a series of gamebooks featuring the Sixth Doctor were published by Severn House under the title "Make your own adventure with Doctor Who" in Britain and "Find Your Fate — Doctor Who" in the United States. These books were actually written by scriptwriters for the television series. Martin wrote "Search for the Doctor" which takes place in the mid-21st century and features K-9 Mark III being reunited with the Sixth Doctor long after Sarah's death.

A short story, "Moving On", in Virgin Publishing's "" anthology and the Big Finish Productions-produced "Sarah Jane Smith" audio play "Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre" (both written by Peter Anghelides) indicate that K-9 Mark III broke down and Sarah was unable to repair it as the replacement circuits would not be invented for several centuries.

Another short story, "Tautology", by Glenn Langford ("Doctor Who Magazine" #194), suggests that K-9 Mark III's motherboard will be passed down through Sarah's descendants and eventually end up in the hands of Professor Marius, who will use it to build the first K-9, creating an ontological paradox.

"Jealous, Possessive" by Paul Magrs, the "Scorpio" story in Big Finish's anthology "" features K-9 Mark I and Mark II relaying their exploits to each other, and their veiled put-downs to each other reveal that each considers the other to be the "inferior" version. This attitude is also occasionally hinted at in the way the two units refer to each other in the "Gallifrey" audio series.

The Eighth Doctor Adventures novel "" by Lawrence Miles indicates that the Doctor built a Mark IV model sometime prior to the events of that book, but what happened to this unit is not stated. In the novel "The Gallifrey Chronicles" by Lance Parkin, K-9 Mark II makes another appearance, having been trapped within the TARDIS since the events of "The Ancestor Cell". At the end of "The Gallifrey Chronicles" the Doctor sends K-9 on a secret mission to Espero, presumably to seek out his former companion, the living TARDIS known as Compassion.

The canonicity of the spin-off stories is unclear, especially in light of K-9 and Sarah's return.

K-9 (TV show)

A proposed K-9 television series or special had been rumoured since the late 1990s, and images of a redesigned K9 were leaked. [ [http://www.paratime.ca/v_and_v/pics/k9_mk5.jpgLeaked image] ] However, nothing became of this effort until 2006.

On April 24 2006 "The Independent", the "Daily Star" and "The Times" confirmed, following previous rumours, that K-9 would be featured in a 26-part children's series, "K-9", to be written by Bob Baker. [cite news
title= Doctor Who's K-9 sidekick is dragged into 21st century in computer-designed cartoon
publisher=The Independent
] The article in "The Times" also featured a picture of the redesigned K-9 for the animated series. [cite news
title= K9 is back and ready to fight in shining armour
publisher=The Times
] The series will be a blend of live-action and a CGI K-9.

Each episode will be 30 minutes long, made by Jetix Europe and London-based distribution outfit Park Entertainment. According to a report in "Broadcast" magazine, the BBC opted out of involvement in order to focus on their own "Doctor Who" spin-off, "Torchwood", meaning that BBC-owned characters are unlikely to appear in the series. A broadcast date for the series has not been officially announced, but a 2008 debut is planned. [cite web
url = http://www.gallifreyone.com/cgi-bin/viewnews.cgi?id=EEVFkypVVZaMnlviUi&tmpl=newsrss
title = More on K9 Series
accessdate = 2006-07-18
author = Lyon, Shaun
date = 2006-07-18
work = Outpost Gallifrey News Page
] [cite news |first=Richard |last=Johnson |title=Master of the universe |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/03/11/svdrwho11.xml&page=3 |work=The Sunday Telegraph |date=2007-03-11 | page=3| accessdate=2007-03-12 ]

List of appearances


;Season 15
*"The Invisible Enemy"
*"Image of the Fendahl"
*"The Sun Makers"
*"The Invasion of Time";Season 16
*"The Ribos Operation"
*"The Pirate Planet"
*"The Stones of Blood"
*"The Androids of Tara"
*"The Armageddon Factor";Season 17
*"Destiny of the Daleks"
*"The Creature from the Pit
*"Nightmare of Eden"
*"The Horns of Nimon"
*"Shada" (not completed or transmitted);Season 18
*"The Leisure Hive"
*"Full Circle"
*"State of Decay"
*"Warriors' Gate;K-9 and Company
*"A Girl's Best Friend";20th anniversary special
*"The Five Doctors" (cameo);30th anniversary special
*"Dimensions in Time";Series 2
*"School Reunion";The Sarah Jane Adventures
*"Invasion of the Bane" (cameo)
*"The Lost Boy"(cameo);Series 4
*"Journey's End"(cameo)

Audio dramas

*"K-9: The Choice"
*"K-9: The Search"

;Big Finish Productions
*"Shada" (webcast on BBCi, later released on CD)
* "The Beautiful People" (adventure related by the character Romana)


;Sparrow Books
*"K9 and the Time Trap" by David Martin
*"K9 and the Beasts of Vega" by David Martin
*"K9 and the Zeta Rescue" by David Martin
*"K9 and the Missing Planet" by David Martin

;Severn House
*"Search for the Doctor" by David Martin

;Virgin Missing Adventures
*"The Romance of Crime" by Gareth Roberts
*"The English Way of Death" by Gareth Roberts
*"The Shadow of Weng-Chiang" by David A. McIntee
*"The Well-Mannered War" by Gareth Roberts

;Virgin New Adventures
*"Lungbarrow" by Marc Platt

;Past Doctor Adventures
*"Tomb of Valdemar" by Simon Messingham
*"Heart of TARDIS" by Dave Stone (cameo appearance)
*"Festival of Death" by Jonathan Morris

;Eighth Doctor Adventures
*"" by Lawrence Miles
*"" by Lawrence Miles
*"The Gallifrey Chronicles" by Lance Parkin (cameo appearance)

hort stories

*"Tautology" by Glenn Langford ("Doctor Who Magazine" 194)
*"Crimson Dawn" by Tim Robins ("")
*"Housewarming" by David A. McIntee ("Decalog 2: Lost Property")
*"Moving On" by Peter Anghelides ("")
*"Timevault" by Ben Jeapes ("Decalog 3: Consequences")
*"The Sow in Rut" by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry ("More Short Trips")
*"Return of the Spiders" by Gareth Roberts ("More Short Trips")
*"Special Occasions 1: The Not So Sinister Sponge" by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman ("Short Trips and Sidesteps")
*"Storm in a Tikka" by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry ("Short Trips and Sidesteps")
*"Jealous, Possessive" by Paul Magrs ("")
*"Kept Safe and Sound" by Paul Magrs ("")
*"Balloon Debate" by Simon A. Forward ("Short Trips: Companions")
*"The Fear" by Alex Leithes ("")
*"The Time Lord's Story" by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett ("")
*"The Little Things" by Paul Beardsley ("")
*"The Clanging Chimes of Doom" by Jonathan Morris ("Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury")
*"Present Tense" by Ian Potter ("Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury")
*"Suitors, Inc." by Paul Magrs ("")
*"All Snug in Their Beds" by Scott Alan Woodard ("")
*"Good Queen, Bad Queen, I Queen, You Queen" by Terri Osborne ("")


*"Terror on Xaboi" by Paul Crompton ("Doctor Who Annual 1980")
*"The Weapon" by Paul Crompton ("Doctor Who Annual 1980")
*"Every Dog Has His Day" by Mel Powell ("Doctor Who Annual 1981")
*"Plague World" by Mel Powell ("Doctor Who Annual 1982")
*"K9's Finest Hour" by Steve Moore and Paul Neary ("Doctor Who Weekly" 12)
*"Timeslip" by Dez Skinn and Paul Neary ("Doctor Who Weekly" 17–18)
*"The Star Beast" by Pat Mills, John Wagner and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Weekly" 19–26)
*"The Dogs of Doom" by John Wagner, Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Weekly" 27–34)
*"The Time Witch" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Weekly" 35–38)
*"Dragon's Claw" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Weekly" 39–43, "Doctor Who Monthly" 44–45)
*"The Collector" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Monthly" 46)
*"Dreamers of Death" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Monthly" 47–48)
*"The Touchdown on Deneb 7" by David Lloyd and Paul Neary ("Doctor Who Monthly" 48)
*"The Life Bringer" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Monthly" 49–50)
*"War of the Words" by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons ("Doctor Who Monthly" 51)
*"City of Devils" by Vincent Danks and Gary Russell ("1992 Sarah-Jane Holiday Special")
*"The Seventh Segment" by Gareth Roberts and Paul Peart ("Doctor Who Magazine" Summer Special 1995)


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/characters/k9.shtml K-9 on the BBC's "Doctor Who" website ("New Series")]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/episodeguide/companions/page21.shtml K-9 on the BBC's "Doctor Who" website ("Classic Series")]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/classic/bluepeter/drwho/video/video1.shtml K-9 being introduced on "Blue Peter" in 1977]
* [http://nzdwfc.tetrap.com/archive/tsv41/affirmativemaster.html "Affirmative, Master: All You Ever Wanted To Know About K-9", by Jon Preddle ("Time Space Visualiser" issue 41, Oct 1994)]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/games/k9/index.shtml A K-9 game, on the BBC's official "Doctor Who" website]

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