Friday, October 16, 2020

Friday Creature Feature - K9

Over almost 60 years, Doctor Who has featured plenty of iconic companions. Most fans of the modern era of Doctor Who will probably think of Rose, Amy, or Donna. But there are only a couple who bridge the gap between classic and modern Who. One of them is K9. 

He’s more than just a robot dog. Always polite and friendly, he calls all of the Doctor’s associates “master” or “mistress” (except Mr. Smith). He’s got ears like satellites, a nose with a blaster, and an adorably wagging metal tail. He’s shown himself to be capable of interfacing with any other piece of technology, even at a distance. 

There have been four versions of K9 in Doctor Who (not counting spin-off material). Like the Doctor, each version of K9 have some differences, but they share the common features mentioned above. 

K9 Mark I - This original version was created by Dr. Marius in the distant future. After the Fourth Doctor defeated the Swarm, he and Leela were gifted K9. He stayed with the Doctor until she decided to stay on Gallifrey after the Sontaran attack. 

K9 Mark II - The Doctor claimed you have built this K9 while Mark I was still around. He traveled with the Doctor and Romana as they searched for the Key to Time. His travels continued as the Doctor and Romana got stuck in E-Space. He finally opted to stay behind with Romana when the Doctor left E-Space. 

K9 Mark III - This model of K9 was sent to Sarah Jane Smith after she’d left the TARDIS. So in December 1978 she met him and he stayed around for her adventures for decades. He showed up in “The Five Doctors” living at her place. He ended up sacrificing himself in 2007 so that he could save Sarah Jane, the Doctor, Rose, and Mickey. 

K9 Mark IV - The latest K9 (as far as we know) was left with Sarah Jane after Mark III was destroyed. He joined her on her adventures with Maria, Luke, Clyde, and Rani. He stabilized a black hole and helped the Doctor find the lost Earth. Eventually he moved away to university with Luke, where he stayed until the end of the Sarah Jane Adventures.

Not much is known about what happened to the last K9 after the end of Sarah Jane's spin-off. Earlier this year during lockdown, it was revealed that he went with Ace after Sarah Jane’s funeral. Maybe someday we’ll see K9 again. As far as we know, Mark I, Mark II, and Mark IV are still around. So anything is possible. Maybe K9’s return will bring us the return of Leela, Romana, and/or Ace. I suppose anything is possible when you’re working with this good dog.

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