Originally Transmitted – 28th December 1981
K9 and Company might be something of a guilty pleasure, but it’s a pleasure nonetheless.
When devising a spin-off series for K9, there were already two ready-made possibilities. K9 Mk 1 was on Gallifrey with Leela, whilst K9 Mk 2 was journeying through E-Space with Romana 2. Possibly neither Louise Jameson or Lalla Ward were interested in playing second fiddle to a tin dog, so this left the way clear for the return of Sarah-Jane Smith.
Elisabeth Sladen is, of course, the main selling point of K9 and Company. And although we didn’t know it at the time, this was essentially the first of a two part story (the second, School Reunion, would follow a mere twenty five years later).
A Girl’s Best Friend is an odd story. It’s full of red-herrings and innocent people acting in the most suspicious way (in order to con us into believing that they’re wrong-‘uns). Colin Jeavons and Bill Fraser liven up proceedings with some interesting performances that teeter on the edge of credibility (and Jeavons later topples over completely).
Given that a running thread through the story is the mysterious disappeance of Aunt Lavinia, it’s a little anti-climatic to find out that nothing at all has happened to her. And the reason why Brendan (Ian Sears) should be lined up for sacrifice is a bit vague – unless it was explained and I just drifted off for a moment.
Terence Dudley’s novelisation managed to put some more meat on the bones of the story (just likes his novelisations of Black Orchid and The Kings Demons) which proved that there was a decent tale buried here, but it just didn’t quite come over on television.