Customer Review

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars How Sarah Jane might have been..., 21 Feb 2011
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This review is from: K9 Series One Volume One. [DVD] (DVD)
Spin-offs from Doctor Who are difficult to get right because supporting characters rarely have enough development to merit a show of their own. While 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' strikes the right balance of original adventures and connections to the parent series, the producers of this series had their work cut out, with a robot dog and no crossovers with 'Doctor Who' allowed, and provide a good example of how bad the SJA could have been.

Early episodes do not provide much encouragement. The acting is often as shaky as the accents, and you wonder why K9 couldn't have landed in Australia instead, so we didn't have to grimace through initially-inexperienced young actors getting to grips with new accents along with their new roles. Still, this is London many years from now, and it's no stretch to imagine that the accents of Britain might have picked up an Antipodean twang or two in the intervening decades. Sadly, the scriptwriters have K9 acting rather out-of-character at times - though we can put this down to his scrambled memory - and at least his new ability to fly solves a fundamental mobility problem that plagued his time on 'Doctor Who' right from day one. Equally welcome is the wonderful John Leeson, who was the original voice of K9. I can't forgive the odd bone design on K9's front panel, though.

Thankfully, things improve a little over the course of the series, which at times threatens to become a really great adventure series. But with cardboard characters and very little budget, the cast and crew struggle to find interesting things to do. There are some shockingly poor performances here and there at times, and plots that would rarely engage any but the youngest viewers.

It was nice to spot the odd sly reference to 'Doctor Who' - look in the book in what's probably the best episode, 'The Curse of Anubis', and check out who's won the lottery according to a TV news ticker in an earlier episode - but the whole thing feels worse off for severing any connection to the Time Lord. Simply put, a main character who is a robot does not have the depth to support his own series, and the scriptwriters are also lumbered with finding increasingly implausible ways to disable K9 and prevent him ending the episode 15 minutes early with a blast from his nose-laser. K9 has no-one like him to interact with, as no real human emotions, and can't even pick things up! I hope that the other characters will broaden to compensate. I particularly like Darius, whose mysterious background would be worth more exploration; actor Daniel Webber is probably the best of the three young leads.

Overall, some potential, but it would do well to draw lessons from Sarah Jane.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Mar 2011 17:15:11 GMT
agree 100% a spin off just to far

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2011 14:25:10 BDT
A very one sided review. The acting in this series from the younger actors in particular is very good.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2011 15:17:12 BDT
jsteph says:
No, a one-sided review would have been me saying that the whole thing's rubbish. And others would be your 5-star review of 'The Mutants' vs. your one-star review of 'A Christmas Carol'.
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