Wednesday, January 12, 2011

K9 - "Curse of Anubis"

Spoiler Level: High

Chalk up another one in the "win" column!  This episode of K9 is a classic alien invasion story.  The Anubians arrive on Earth in their spaceship pyramid, and immediately fall down in worship of the Almighty K9, who liberated them many millennia ago against another race that was enslaving them.

K9 of course has no memory of this, but since his memory has been scrambled ever since arriving back on Earth he thinks there might be something to their claim, especially when they provide their Book of Anubis as evidence:

I for one was very happy that the K9 pictured in the Book of Anubis was the classic K9.  I was afraid it would end up being the new K9, because (a) the producers of the show might not trust the audience to remember that K9 originally looked different, or (b) while Bob Baker may have co-ownership of the K9 character, this likeness of K9 is owned by the BBC, so this show might not have been allowed to use it beyond the first episode.  Not that it couldn't have been explained away if it had been the new K9 in the book; you could say that the regenerated K9 would end up traveling back in time or some other timey-wimey thing.  But thankfully, they didn't do any of that.  The pictures of K9's past were of his original look, as it should be.  So major points to a story that was already going well for that touch.
Upon seeing this, K9 immediately starts burying himself in trying to restore his memory, to the extent of tuning out everyone else.  In the meantime, the Anubians start their takeover of Earth, starting with Professor Gryffen.  Their mind control over him is subtle at first, but when he banishes Darius from his home, Starkey and Jorjie immediately realize that something's wrong.  Which is good on two levels; firstly, because they didn't miss the obvious like they did in "Jaws of Orthrus," and secondly, because all I did was cheer, I didn't particularly care if the Anubians had done something to Professor Gryffen if it meant that Darius got kicked out.

So Starkey and Jorjie swipe the Book of Anubis to get a better look at it, and discover-- no, it's not a cook book-- that after K9 freed them, the Anubians went out into space and started taking over other races.  Including Alpha Centauri!

Now is that awesome, or what?!?  How's that for connecting this show to the Doctor Who universe?!?

So of course the Anubians catch Starkey and Jorjie, and it's up to the banished Darius to save the day.  Which he does quite nicely, and not in the least bit annoyingly.  I mean that in all seriousness.  If the show would flesh out his clever side more like they did here and toned down his annoying side (which they didn't do in the first half of the episode), he might become a likable character.

Another thought occurs to me that the reason K9 doesn't remember the Anubians might not be because of his memory being scrambled; he might have never met them.  Perhaps that happened to K9 Mk II?  (K9 Mk III or IV are more unlikely, since they seem to have never left Earth.)  Probably not, since this show is supposed to be following the adventures of K9 Mk I, but it occurs to me as a possibility.

So if you're keeping score (and I am), this makes 6 good episodes out of 10 for the new K9 show.  That's over half, and I'm willing to forgive a bumpy start if the quality keeps up like it has for the last two episodes.

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