The Dr Who K9 character has been around for a while, in fact it was in 1977 that we were first introduced to the lovable robotic dog. We are however told that the dog was created in the year 5000 by Professor Marius on as asteroid near Titan. The creation of the Dr Who K9 character added an extra dimension to the Doctor and his relationships. The ‘tin dog’ as K9 gets named is more advanced than the earths current technology and therefore has the appeal of being powerful, advanced and loveable.
The Dr Who K9 character has helped four of the doctors, starting with the fourth Doctor. His last appearance was with the ninth Doctor at the school reunion. This is an episode where the Doctor meets up with Sarah Jane Smith again. Sarah Jane has looked after K9 since she last traveled with the doctor. K9 and Sarah Jane have continued to work as a team through the Sarah Jane adventures, during which they continue the doctors work on earth. This is a heart wrenching episode for any K9 fans as K9 sacrifices his life for his mission. However, the Doctor, could not leave the millions of fans in tears, so he rebuilds K9 and leaves him as a companion for Sarah Jane.
Just as the daleks are defined by their declaration to ‘exterminate’ so K9 is defined by his speech. K9 is always respectful and polite, calling the person for whom he is currently working ‘master’ or ‘mistress’. He also has several expression which he produces, especially at moments of crisis; ‘affirmative’, and ‘insufficient data’.K9 will often be savior of a situation and the viewer is left on the edge of his or her seat wondering if this will be an ‘affirmative’ or ‘insufficient data’ minute.
The relationship of K9 and the Doctor is discussed in the school reunion episode. Sarah Jane and Micky Smith are in the car waiting and Sarah Jane is telling Micky about the doctor and how he always he does not like to travel alone. It is during this conversation that Micky comically compares himself to the ‘tin dog’ and then realizes that the Doctor does not take him seriously.Little does Micky realize that he is being equated to one of the most loved Dr Who characters and that K9 is an advanced, intelligent, logical robot who has saved the day countless times.