Doctor Who #946: Hound of the Korven

"Jixen are famous for their sense of hunger!"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Jun.28 2010.

IN THIS ONE... K9 trades his regeneration unit to Thorne for auto-destruct software that blows him up if he sees a friend Jixen.

REVIEW: Well, leave it to K9 the Series to name one of its major monsters in the title, then feature a completely different monster, but it's actually kind of clever. The Korven aren't great monsters anyway, so keeping them in the background doesn't bother me, and with the revelation, a couple of episodes ago, that K9 has Korven code in his brain, their acting as a shadow villain works. That mystery is deepened here, as K9's memory circuits are tampered with by Thorne, who may or may not be a Korven agent. And the events of the pilot (and Liberation) are completely put into question when the Jixen are revealed to be goodies, only defending themselves when K9 attacked them on Korven orders. Well, that certainly sets things up for an interesting finale (don't drop the ball, now).

The characters feel more motivated than they usually do as well. Thorne is consistent in his wanting K9's regeneration unit. He also threatens to make Harry Pike's life in VR prison a living hell of sensory deprivation, which get him Darius' compliance. Starkey and Jorjie follow Darius and K9 to the exchange point to protect their friends' backs, judging the situation along the way, not - as so frequently happens - being led by impulse. June finally dares to question her orders from Lomax, the shadowy boss figure whose favorite is obviously Thorne, and Jorjie glows with daughterly pride. These are all nice character touches, as is K9's sense of humor after being turned into a bomb. Not as strong: Darius stupidly grabbing a stun mine.

Did retconning the Jixen into good guys harm the show? How can it when there's just one episode left? They're big scary muppets/teenage mutant ninja turtles, but still muppets/TMNT. The proof is in the pudding. Jixey works as a goodie, a big lumbering ally Starkey can go to bat for, and his story isn't a cheat when compared to the original events. As comic relief, he's somewhat amusing, and might be more so if he wasn't sometimes hard to understand. His handle on the English language does provide some fun, surreal world play.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - We're heading for the end just as the show seems to have found its voice. The characters are more solid than they've ever been, and the plot's revelations matter.



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