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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Wm Keith
    February 17, 2012 @ 12:47 am

    One other problem with the title sequence is that it appears to be an anti-drink-driving montage, minus the terrible accident at the end. The terrible accident at the end turns out to be a 60 minute live-action Scooby Doo episode.


  2. Scott
    February 17, 2012 @ 1:31 am

    Those credits are bonkers. They SEEM to be trying to mimic the kind of things you saw on early 1980s American action shows, except instead of showing exciting things like people getting into car chases and crashing into stuff and maybe firing the occasional machine-gun, we get… Lis Sladen reading a newspaper and K-9 sitting on a wall. Thrilling stuff.

    Of course, the biggest mystery regarding anything to do with the plot or characters of "K-9 and Company" is why she's chosen to read a newspaper at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.


  3. Electric Dragon
    February 17, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    I saw (a very small amount of) the K-9 show. As a complete accident while channel surfing. Having been previously unaware of its existence, coming across it was quite the most bizarre experience – a blinged up CGI K-9 was hovering in the middle of a school library set, surrounded by child actors of the most awkwardly overdramatic stage school variety. And it was on Channel 5! Dr Who and its trappings are so associated with the BBC that seeing K-9 on Channel 5 was akin to bumping into your science teacher in Woolworths on a Saturday.

    I only lasted about 30 seconds before I flipped the channel.

    PS. Wasn't Louise Brown (the first test tube baby) born in 1978?


  4. Jon Cole
    February 17, 2012 @ 2:50 am

    K-9 & Co is much easier to forgive if you just think of it as a one off Christmas treat to make up for someone having stolen all your favourite characters over the last few months – especially when you get to see Sarah Jane Smith for the first time (as opposed to hiding inside a Target Novelisation.)

    Thankfully someone did us all a favour and made sure that it didn't go any further.


  5. Dan
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:17 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  6. Jack Graham
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:29 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. Dan
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:38 am

    You mean the 2009 non-BBC Aus/UK series. I was going to mention it in response to the suggestion that K-9 as main character doesn't work. But perhaps it's so far from actual Dr Who that it doesn't count. And I can't comment on whether it works.

    It's K9 Mk I, and it's an oddity purely stemming from the fact that the creators had the rights, just as with Terry Nation and the Daleks.


  8. Huw Bowen
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:44 am

    I remember watching this as a seven year old and thinking it was the Greatest Thing Ever. I was mystified and heartbroken that the BBC didn't pick it up, and all I could do to console myself was listen to the theme song on vinyl. I may have had terrible taste as a child.


  9. David Bateman
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:59 am

    If it's possible to imagine David Bowie as the Doctor, it's possible to imagine Kraftwerk doing the titles for K-9 and Company. And with that happy thought, I'm off to bed…


  10. Dan
    February 17, 2012 @ 4:18 am

    You were seven. Actually I don't think the theme's that bad.. the lyrics could be more varied though. Just read the following comment – it's not possible it's easy to imagine Kraftwerk doing it.


  11. Seeing_I
    February 17, 2012 @ 4:26 am

    Sladen looks like she's holding back tears in her credit-caption shot. And at :29 I do believe they captured the exact moment she decided to quit acting and spend more time with her family.


  12. Exploding Eye
    February 17, 2012 @ 5:14 am

    I can only think of Garth Merenghi's Darkplace when I watch those opening titles. I seem to remember it has more or less the same 'melody'.


  13. Alan
    February 17, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    I'm wiping tears from my eyes as I watch this. It doesn't even look real. It looks like the people from "Look Around You" or "Garth Marenghi's Dark Place" were making a Doctor Who parody!

    Oops! Exploding Eye beat me to it!


  14. BerserkRL
    February 17, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    Another problem with K-9 and Company is that a metal dog that moves on rollers works best on planets that are mostly long corridors with nice flat floors. Fortunately, that's the sort of planet the TARDIS usually went to in those days. Unfortunately, Sarah Jane lives on a planet that's largely bumpy with grass and rocks and stuff.

    In related news, the real mystery in the credits sequence is how K-9 got up on that ledge.

    While I too have not seen the new K-9 series and have no particular eagerness too, that's at least one problem they've solved. It's not clear that solving it was such a great idea, though; I wasn't a fan of having R2-D2 flying in the prequels either. What worked for the Daleks doesn't work as well for cute plucky robots.

    Rural Satanists.

    Satanists? If they worship Hecate, I would presume that they dismiss Satan as a Judeo-Christian fable.


  15. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 17, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    I would presume that nobody involved in this production spent the time to even contemplate the possibility of a distinction between paganism and Satanism.


  16. Brian
    February 17, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    Ian Sears as Brendan Richards serves mostly to reassure the viewer that Adric could have been so much worse.


    That's all.


  17. Matthew Blanchette
    February 17, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    The reason it probably looks so bad (and why they just kept repeating the same shots over and over) was because it was the very first filming for the episode — they didn't have any "action" to cut into it, so they had to settle for "vaguely-interested wine-sipping"… 😛

    Also, only two script editors worked on Season 19; by the time Bidmead wrote "Castrovalva", he hadn't been script editor for four months — Eric Saward was.


  18. Meh
    February 17, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    Really enjoying this blog.Just one question -when you get to torchwood and the sarah jane adventures will you be doing a post for every story or just one for each show like pop between realities?


  19. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 17, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    Somewhere in between. I figure 3-4 posts for a season chunking episodes together into single posts. So Torchwood will probably get around a dozen posts total. Not sure about Sarah Jane – that'll probably be more like 7 or 8.


  20. BerserkRL
    February 17, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    The reason it probably looks so bad (and why they just kept repeating the same shots over and over) was because it was the very first filming for the episode — they didn't have any "action" to cut into it

    But the scenes we do see aren't excerpts from the show, they're original shots. They could have filmed a few more — nothing fancy or high-budget, just slightly more action-y, with scenes like Sarah Jane hurriedly scrambling over a wall (without K-9, I guess), or Sarah Jane and K-9 poking around detectively in an old attic. (I guess the non-action-y scenes were meant to remind us of the Avengers opening, but … they don't.)


  21. BerserkRL
    February 17, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Will you have to watch the new K-9 show in order to determine whether you want to say anything about it?


  22. Elizabeth Sandifer
    February 17, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    It'll get at least one entry. I'd be a bit surprised if it merits more than that, but it's possible.


  23. BerserkRL
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Maybe you'll title that entry "Keep Your Eyes Shut and Keep Moving."


  24. Zapruder 313
    February 17, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    Lest we forget, this spin-off was sufficiently prominent that there was even a World Distributors annual based on the show! I still have mine somewhere, I think . . .


  25. BerserkRL
    February 17, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

    And it's a PDF on the K-9 Tales DVD, I believe.


  26. David Bateman
    February 17, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    @Dan I wasn't imagining they'd do a cover of the theme tune. That's the stuff nightmares are made of.


  27. Dan
    February 18, 2012 @ 1:53 am

    I'm afraid I don't think it's that bad!!! lol


  28. Matthew Blanchette
    February 18, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    They were specifically shot for the title sequence, but also served as the first shooting for the show; I don't think that's usually how it goes for pilots, but that might've been as a cost-saving measure, here.

    There's more details on the production through this link, at the Shannon Sullivan website:


  29. BerserkRL
    February 19, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    Most intriguing sentence at that link:

    During the summer of 1980, [Nathan-Turner] had considered bringing a former companion back to Doctor Who, and engaged in discussions about the return of both Sarah Jane Smith and Leela.

    So instead of Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan, we might have had Sarah Jane or Leela again? or does he just mean as a guest star?


  30. Matthew Blanchette
    February 20, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    That's why the whole Gallifrey plotline and "Sealed Orders" was dropped; Louise Jameson balked at doing more than three episodes.

    I'm pretty sure Tegan's role in "Logopolis" is close to what Sarah Jane's originally was… right down to the absent aunt. Seems to've been part of JNT's original brief — got swapped over to K-9 and Company when Lis Sladen agreed to do the spin-off.


  31. Henry R. Kujawa
    May 14, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    Let's see… they named it after the dog instead of after the most poopular girl they ever had on the show, so the name of the show is stupid. The opening credits are awful, the theme song (if you can even call it that) is even worse than the visuals. They've got a 2nd-rate writer and a 3rd-rate director (I looked them up at the imdb) and as usual, John Nathan Turner doesn't know what the hell he's doing.

    It's awkward to watch, Brendan is slightly less annoying than Adric (no, really), and Bill Fraser is slightly less entertaining than he was in "MEGLOS". And Colin Jeavons– my God, I was trying to remember, where have I see that face??? You know, I could have sworn he was in "THE DAEMONS", but, not, he was Inspector Lestrade opposite Jemery Brett.

    Despite all this, it's STILL more entertaining than the entire Peter Davison run of DOCTOR WHO. But I put that down to Lis Sladen. She really was my favorite actress for 12 years running (before getting knocked down to #2 by someone else).

    When they say "change in BBC management", was Michael Grade involved?


  32. S. Alexander Reed
    April 28, 2013 @ 6:27 am

    Alphanumerically, K and 9 stride the number 10, suggesting a substitution of (10+1)(10-9) for the balanced 1010 representation of 100 (as in percent; as in complete). In this way, by virtue of being slightly askew in two aspects (super-dog intelligence * sub-dog biology) somehow doesn't even out in the total equation (99 instead of 100).

    This helps us to explain the idea that K-9 himself is something of an impossibility. This becomes strikingly clear in the credits when K-9 declares his name and his nose extends. The Pinocchio parallels are pretty obvious: a man-made creature who comes to life. We are to assume that the utterance of "K-9" is itself a lie. And what does it mean for one's name to be fundamentally untrue?

    This is why the series was canceled.


  33. David Gerard
    December 1, 2013 @ 2:14 am

    Your video's disappeared; there's a copy here:


  34. Franz
    December 19, 2014 @ 8:25 am

    It's certainly kid friendly, but it's not for kids as such. …


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