K9: "I've been recalling scrambled information since this morning."
After the consistent improvement of recent editions, from the opening shot this doesn't look promising.
Although the earliest episodes of this series tended to revolve around the S/TM causing trouble, lately the show has been a lot more imaginative. Here however we're straight in with it frying K9's memory in the first scene, giving him an identity crisis. Gryffen and Starkey try to recover the lost files of his experiences on Earth, resulting an extended flashback from the first episode. By 'extended' I mean that we got the original scene, plus a bit more that wasn't included in the episode. Hmm, this could go one of three ways…
1. With the improved scripting of late, this could become a story that takes in the show's bigger picture and creates something of a storyline. This would be the best option.
2. They could be doing that thing that some TV shows do, when they go back and show us what was going on in each of the characters' lives just before episode one. This would probably be great or terrible depending on how they handle it.
3. This could be a clips show. Without even a whole series in the can yet, this would be utterly pathetic.
And the answer is…
… option three??? Oh, mannn, you're joking! NO way! You CANNOT cheat us with a clips show after less than one series!
Well, y'know what? They do, they actually do. I don't blame you if you disbelieve me, I still can't quite believe it myself. For the next 25 minutes, all I felt was embarrassment.
They really couldn't have handled this any worse, as almost every clichéd clips show goof gets dutifully trotted out.
YES, K9 does explicitly see himself from a third-person point-of-view in his flashbacks.
YES, K9 does have flashbacks of events to which he himself was not witness, such as while he was explicitly too focussed on running deep memory scans to register what was going on around him, while he was out of communication across town, and after he has shut down and gone offline.
YES, K9 does even has a flashback of himself… having a flashback! I mean they could at least have presented that memory in advance of the ones which came chronologically later, enabling us to see him back on another planet in The Bounty Hunter and then coming through the STM to Earth moments later in Regeneration, but they didn't even think of that did they, noooooo.
Since the actor is no longer in the series, K9 apparently has hardly any memories of Drake. The one shot that we do get of him is in the background behind June while she is on the phone to Jorjie, meaning that to remember this, K9 must have been bugging the call! This is even worse than the flashbacks he has of himself asleep.
They even include over a minute from episode 21. (this is episode 22)
Continuity is one of many qualities which this series lacks, and yet in an episode like this one, when the characters are actually allowed to refer back to earlier events, you would have thought they ought to excel. However, part of the plot of these wraparound scenes finds K9 about to self-destruct, a possibility which no-one remembers will release the alien virus from Black Hunger and wipe out all life on Earth.
Also, there are only flashframes from Taphony And The Time Loop, which is a bit of a missed opportunity. Given that Gryffen and Starkey cannot now remember these alternate-timeline events, how cool would it have been to have witnessed these guys discovering K9's memory of them?
There are just two clips-show gaffs that mercifully don't make it in here, which are:
1. Presenting a flashback of an episode not yet aired. (still inexcusable, Terrahawks)
2. Out-takes. Just how even more cringeworthy would it have been to see these in the closing credits? Thank you God for small mercies.
Frankly, I was genuinely tense about point two as the closing titles began. The credits might have got shrunk down into a box to make room for them on the screen, rendering the text unintelligible.
Well. If I were any one of the NINE organisations getting credited with this shallow excuse for a half-hour TV show, I'd probably be relieved at that.
K9: "Attack! Attack! Attack! Be warned - this unit is entering attack mode!" (Dave)