K-9 & Company-A Girl's Best Friend (1981)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Main Menu Introduction
|Year Of Production||1981|
|Running Time||50:00 (Case: 74)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||John Black|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.29:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.29:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One of Doctor Who's most famous and best loved companions, K-9 (voiced by John Leeson), was introduced to the series in 1977 as part of the serial, The Invisible Enemy which I reviewed recently. The subject of this review is K-9 & Company which was an early 1980s attempted spinoff series. These two titles make up a two disc set called K-9 Tales.
K-9 & Company was certainly a valid idea using the popularity of two previous Doctor Who companions (K-9 and Sarah Jane (Elizabeth Sladen)) to build a new series around. Unfortunately, the delivery of that idea was pretty ordinary and after one show, which screened just after Christmas in 1981, the series was canned. Recently a new K-9 series has been made, this time animated. The biggest problem with this show to my mind is that the storyline seems to have been stolen from a show like Midsomer Murders rather than be anything like Doctor Who. It is very questionable whether the first show of a series featuring a character extremely popular with children should feature devil worshipping, human sacrifice and murder. Even K-9 points out in his interview in the extras that he was not sure that grisly murder mysteries was where he wanted to go with his career at the time. Throw into the mix some smoking and alcohol consumption and it becomes fairly dodgy for the littlies.
The story follows Sarah Jane as she moves into her Aunt Lavinia's house in a small village while her aunt is away in America. Here she starts to meet some strange people who don't seem overly friendly. Her Aunt's ward, Brendan, comes home from boarding school to stay. Sarah Jane finds a large crate marked to her attention and discovers K-9 Mark III inside who says he is a gift from the Doctor. Pretty quickly Sarah Jane, Brendan and K-9 are involved in dangerous local goings on and they must try to work out who is responsible, especially when Brendan is attacked and Aunt Livinia seems to have gone missing.
On a positive note, K-9 is as usual dryly amusing and the show does not outstay its welcome at only 1x50 minute episode. The theme song and credits for the show are quite funny but not on purpose, which Elizabeth Sladen comments on in the commentary.
A good addition to the K-9 set and worthwhile for Doctor Who completists. But this is not the place to start in the Doctor Who universe.
The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio, non 16x9 enhanced which would be the original aspect ratio.
The picture was reasonably sharp and clear and would seem to have had some restoration work done. Shadow detail is decent. There is some regular grain.
The colour was quite good for the age but dull compared to more modern shows. There was some flaring of bright yellows and bleeding from light colours.
Other artefacts included some very minor aliasing.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which are accurate but a little small and thin for my liking. Another subtitle track provides trivia and is covered in the extras below.
There is no layer change.
The audio quality is good considering the source.
This DVD contains one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. There is also a commentary track with the same specs.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.
The music was unobtrusive during the show however the theme was quite strange and dated.
The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu features music, action and an intro.
The booklet includes an essay plus information about the extras and the people involved.
You can choose either a specific cover this show or one that is the same design style as the other classic Doctor Who discs.
An optional trivia subtitle track is available which relays lots of interesting information about the production, casting, locations, cut scenes and the props and sets. Excellent for fans.
2007 Featurette about the character K-9, his popularity, shooting issues, how Mark III was different and why this show got canned. Interviews with cast and crew included. Worth watching
A joke interview with the character K-9 where he talks about his career aspirations and why this show wasn't were he wanted his career to go. Good stuff.
Various bits and pieces of promo material.
A good selection of people are involved here and they discuss their reminiscences and feelings about this show. They are fairly critical of the end outcome and honest in their appraisal. Another quality extra.
Various shots from the production set to music from the score.
Trailer for DVD release of Brain of Morbius.
Various pdfs can be found on the disc including
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 (and other) releases seem to be exactly the same. Draw
The video is good considering the age of the source.
The audio is good.
Lots of quality extras are included.
|DVD||SONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer|