While we’re all waiting to see if the BBC is ever going to get around to bringing perennial favorite Doctor Who to the big screen, one the Doctor’s former companion is getting their own movie.
K-9, the robot dog who accompanied Tom Baker’s incarnation of the Doctor from 1977 to 1981 before continuing on through his own spinoff adventures, will be starring in K-9: Timequake, which will see the robotic pooch square off against one of the Doctor’s dealiest foes, the renegade Time Lord known as Omega. The news was announced over the weekend at a convention in Machester, UK and repeated this morning on Facebook.
K-9 was created by Bob Baker and Dave Martin for their 1977 Doctor Who story “The Invisible Enemy,” at the end of which K-9 continued to travel with the Doctor for a time. He eventually stays on the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey to be with the Doctor’s then-current traveling companion Leela who also had decided to stay. There have been three other models of K-9 since then. The first traveled with the Doctor and fellow Time Lady Romana and then stayed with Romana when she decided to part ways with the Doctor. A third model was a gift from the Doctor to his long time companion Sarah Jane Smith and was replaced by the Doctor after it was damaged in the 2006 episode “School Reunion.”
Thanks to a weird, at least by American television standards, quirk of copyright law, as creators of the character, Bob Baker and Dave Martin actually own the rights to K-9. And as such have been able to exploit the character outside of the traditional show. In 1981, there was an attempt to launch the character in a solo series called K-9 And Company, which also featured Elizabeth Sladen reprising her role of Sarah Jane Smith. More recently, after the successful relaunch of Doctor Who, Sladen headlined the spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures, in which K-9 featured intermittently. Simultaneouly, the character also headlined his own children’s series K-9, which due to the BBC’s non-involvement, could not feature any other references to Doctor Who lore.
Baker also wrote the Doctor Who episode “The Three Doctors” in which Omega first appeared, so it would appear that he owns the rights to that character as well. But unless the BBC is involved somehow to allow it, the film won’t be able to mention Omega’s Time Lord backstory.
K-9: Timequake is scheduled for a release in theaters in UK in 2017. No word yet on any distribution for the US.