The new Doctor Who series has started in Britain and on this Saturday's episode the Doctor's faithful robotic dog - K9 - returns.

Last Saturday's episode, despite being on before the 9.00pm watershed was quite scary, and involved the Doctor and Rose travelling back to 19th Century Britain where they met Queen Victoria and had to save her from a werewolf in the Scottish Highlands.

The Times April 24, 2006

K9 is back and ready to fight in shining armour
By Adam Sherwin, Media Correspondent

The new K9: crime-fighter

HE HAS been rusting in his kennel for too long. Now K9 is taking centre-stage with his own £3 million animated series and a range of high-tech toys.

Doctor Who’s faithful robotic assistant, who will be reunited with his master on Saturday in a special guest appearance on the revived BBC show, will become a star in his own right — equipped with a lethal blaster — in a computergenerated series made in partnership with the Walt Disney Corporation.

K9 Adventures will be a 26episode comedy-fantasy series set in outer space. The new-look K9 is a galactic crime-fighter — far removed from the underpowered pup given to Tom Baker in 1977.

Bob Baker, co-creator of the robot dog, promises to give his pet “a sleek new look using state of the art CGI animation mixed with live action”.

The new series is being made by Jetix Europe, owner of 14 children’s television channels, which are screened to 43 million households across Europe and the Middle East.

Disney is the majority shareholder in Jetix, which hopes to distribute K9 Adventures through mobile phones as well as its UK television channel. The series may also be sold to terrestrial commercial broadcasters.

Contractual obligations mean that the Doctor is unable to join K9 on his space mission — Doctor Who is owned by BBC Worldwide — but K9 Adventures is the property of Bob Baker, whose writing credits include the Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Paul Tams, a veteran Doctor Who designer.

Baker said: “It’s thrilling to be able to offer younger Doctor Who fans the chance to get to know K9. I believe they will love the 21st century K9 as much as past generations did when he appeared in Doctor Who.”

K9 partnered the Doctor from 1977 until 1981, and Saturday’s special episode features a reunion between dog, master and Sarah Jane Smith, Tom Baker’s assistant, again played by Elisabeth Sladen. They investigate sinister events at a modern day school run by Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.

An animated K9 allows his creators to rectify some original design flaws. When the metal mutt was first presented to Tom Baker’s Doctor his motorised noise drowned out the actors. His painfully slow movement meant that the dog, with his catchprase “insufficient data”, was often more hindrance than help.


K9 was devised by the Doctor Who writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin and appeared in 22 adventures between 1977 and 1981

He was the fictional creation of Professor Marius, who gave him to Tom Baker’s Doctor

K9 was capable of independent thought and could store unlimited data, calculate complex equations, sense intruders, emit a laser and print information. He could not negotiate rough terrain

Palitoy created a talking K9 that moved across level ground on hidden wheels. It sells for £25

Three K9s were given as parting gifts to the Doctor’s assistants Leela, Romana and Sarah Jane Smith