Saturday, 26 September 2009
K-9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend
“Oh Doctor, you didn’t forget!”
Wow. Surely that’s the greatest theme tune / title sequence combo in all of recorded history? Classy, sophisticated, and in no way tacky or dated. Good to see that Sarah (great to see her again!) is a fellow Grauniad reader, although sadly she prefers the white stuff to a nice glass of red.
We have a new writer, Terence Dudley, and as per usual for the marathon I’ll try my best to pretend I’ve never encountered anything of his, before! I haven’t seen K9 and Company before, though, and it’s the last story in the whole marathon to be a first viewing. I have now seen everything. Exciting, innit?
We get a string of clichés to begin with; a coven of stock pagan human-sacrificing bad guys, we know the drill. Unfortunately anyone who’s seen The Wicker Man is going to suspect the whole village of being in on it, so there’s little in the way of surprising plot twists all the way through. So we get such vaguely familiar tropes as a Herne the Hunter figure, a goat, and worship of both Hecate and a Celtic goddess whose name I don’t recall- surely’ different pantheons? And I had to raise an eyebrow at the concept of an entire village practising the “old religion” in 1981…
We finally get to meet Sarah’s Aunt Lavinia. Unfortunately, though, we also get a lot of long, stagy, awkwardly acted drawing room scenes where all the characters seem to be based on Margot and Jeremy from The Good Life.
Still, Sarah’s fab as always, but the story relies rather heavily on her general fabness to carry everything else. This is pure telefantasy by numbers, not very encouraging for what’s supposed to be a pilot.
Oh, and K-9’s in this, isn’t he? Mark 3, so presumably constructed alongside Mark 2 as that seems the only opportunity for it to have happened. We get an interesting exchange between Brendan (surprisingly likeable; a sort of non-annoying Adric) concerning the Doctor: “Who is the Doctor?” “Affirmative.” It’s all gone a bit War Machines.
Overall it’s a bit of a wasted opportunity. A plot which consists of a few well-known tropes working their way through in the predictable fashion, and establishing very little that would sustain a series, what with its very small regular cast and total lack of a direction to go in. 2/5.