Monday, April 24, 2006

Scraping the Spin Off Barrel

OK, so it's maybe not that bad yet, but following hot on the heels of the clunky and tacked-on Torchwood foreshadowing at the end of the otherwise excellent Tooth and Claw, we now have the potential announcement of a K9 cartoon on the Jetix channel.

K9 was crap back in the day, both in execution and concept. And while the execution in the next episode of Doctor Who is bound to be far better than in K9 and Company, the concept - it's a vaguely dog-shaped robot/computer with a laser in its nose, and that's about it - is no more inspired than it was then. Do kids today really want to watch the adventures of the world's least exciting machine? When they could be watching cartoons of the level of sheer genius of Spongebob Squarepants, The Simpsons or Family Guy? Somehow, I doubt it.

What I find particularly concerning is that the unexpected re-appearance of K9 in the TV show might be simply in order to provide a tie-in for new viewers to the cartoon series. I do hope not - or the return of Kamelion can only be imminent.

[oh, and on a more positive spin-off note, Cavan Scott - co-incidentally editor of the Jetix Magazine - and Mark Wright's Forge from the Big Finish novel, Project: Vahalla, is the setting for a new online comic. I haven't seen it yet, but I've enjoyed most fo the other bits and pieces Scott and Wright have put out, so I'm rather looking forward to it].
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13 Comments:

Blogger TimeWarden said...

I'm not a fan of K9 either. I believe he's one of the reasons some people dismiss "Doctor Who" as kids' stuff!

There's probably a case could be argued that the programme's decline in popularity, through the '80s, actually began with the dog's introduction.

Can you imagine Hartnell with K9? I think he would kick it out the way, in frustration, like Rigsby does Vienna!

Tim

3:26 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

K9, Kamelion, the Michael Jackson robot from The Visitation - later Who isn't well-served by realistic robots :)

8:24 am  
Blogger SAF said...

Me, I liked the robot dog back in the day and I liked the design, but I groaned hugely when I heard about this spinoff series. I don't know that he's been included in order to market the spinoff, since AIUI it's a totally separate venture and the Beeb aren't noted for marketing other people's products. They can scarcely market their own properly most of the time. What with the likes of Chantelle getting her own series, there's no barrel left to scrape surely...

9:07 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "What with the likes of Chantelle getting her own series"

What? You're kidding. Surely?

SAF: "I don't know that he's been included in order to market the spinoff, since AIUI it's a totally separate venture and the Beeb aren't noted for marketing other people's products."

Good point. I wonder if the appearance of K9 in new Who sparked a discussion of a K9 cartoon then. It just doesn't seem like an obvious thing to do from thin air (actually, when I first read about it on the BBC website, all I could think of was Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge saying that during his nervous breakdown he had bought the rights to K9).

1:12 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

SAF: "Chantelle getting her own series"
Stuart: "thin air"

Says it all really :)

I also wondered how a K9 spinoff fit in with the Beeb's fear of 'brand dilution', so it made more sense to discover it wasn't their baby. Of course, that doesn't actually mean the idea makes sense in the slightest, but some might argue that even one spinoff (Torchwood) is a little premature at this stage. When it reaches the stage of a Slitheen spinoff (I imagine something like an alien "Dallas") I shall of course be banging my head repeatedly against the TV in the hope it stops. :)

1:41 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "When it reaches the stage of a Slitheen spinoff (I imagine something like an alien "Dallas")"

Dynasty would be better, complete with Blake Carrington and Alexis Slitheen - it'd annoy Craig H for a start :)

3:21 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Hahaha - yeah, you're definitely the ideas man of this outfit :)

3:45 pm  
Blogger alienvoord said...

I guess I'm the only person who's looking forward to it.

6:24 pm  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

The K9 project was actually mooted by Bob Baker over two years ago before the "Doctor Who" revival happened.

Tim

PS They could team Chantelle up with K9 and call it "A Dog's Best Friend"!

8:38 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Timewarden: "PS They could team Chantelle up with K9 and call it "A Dog's Best Friend"!"

lol

They're certainly missing a trick there :)

8:42 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

alienvoord: "I guess I'm the only person who's looking forward to it."

Well my son thinks it looks "brilliant", if that's any consolation (and extremely sadly, I know for a fact I'll buy an DVD that's released)

8:43 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Timewarden: 'PS They could team Chantelle up with K9 and call it "A Dog's Best Friend"!'

Be careful. That's just the sort of glib offhand suggestion that will one day come back to bite us all! :)

9:42 pm  
Blogger TimeWarden said...

Once bitten, twice shy! :)

1:41 am  

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