I just broke this out since it was with INVISIBLE ENEMY and thought I'd go through the misery all at once and was pleasantly surprised. I really liked it. I know it's taken a lot of criticism over the years. I liked it. It set up an atmosphere of a Hammer Horror film and yet couldn't live up to that but it did a have a good idea behind it.
The theme song is horrible, the opening credits make Sarah Jane look like a wide eyed Moonie member and someone said they tried to go for a Hart To Hart opening (they failed to even come close to H2H's great opening credits).
But there is an old English charm about this story and a menacing creepy feeling that builds. It was supposed to be a 90 min special and was cut to about 50 min. That might explain the inconsistencies but there aren't many. I also felt that anyone could be part of the coven, even the creepy neighbors who weren't.
Also: I like Brendan. He's also taken some criticism over the years and his honking was annoying but he only honked once, ONCE! He's a good character for K9. K9 gave him the info about the soil.
And a blooper about ABOUT TIME's rview of this: ABOUT TIME says Brendan answers no to the quesiton of "can you recognize them" meaning the crooks. Brendan actually answers yes to that but no to the fact that he didn't know who they were. The real blooper is that one of the attackers is standing three feet away from him and he does not recognize him (George). I"m also glad they cut the part that was to have Bill's dog killed by Peter. How dare they even suggest such a thing!? Another thing fought for by JNT (who lost) was to have Brendan naked during the sacrifice or near sacrfice sequence. Perhaps the less I say about that the better. It would be realistic but...really. As it was, he was nearly naked under that flimsy robe/thing.
The K9 Annual based on this story is rather good and follows up the story about other covens.
This story moved at a fast pace (I watched it right after INVISIBLE ENEMY part 4--guess which one seemed like an endless five hours?)and had some geniuely creepy sequences and a great location shoot and excellent interior sets IMO. I liked it and I think it should have gone to series.
I too watched K9 & Co for the first time just last week (thank you Netflix) and I agree 100% with your post. I was very pleasantly surprised with the show. Elisabeth Sladen was terrific and the nephew's acting had alot of heart (but wasn't wooden or over the top). The opening credits were somewhat laughable - I especially liked the cut of Sara Jane dressed like she was a Belinda Carlisle reject from a Go-Go's concert with the sideways pony tail....obviously an early attempt to make her character appear younger.
The feel of the episode seemed like a lost Hinchcliffe episode from Doctor who. The dreariness of the countryside worked well to establish a somber mood.
The best was the weirdo neighbors. I thought the best line that wasn't spoken was at the end of the show when Sara said "I'm sorry, but I thought you were part of the coven"....but what should have followed should have been something like...."...but it turns out you're both just really creepy." Ha ha - sip of tea, wink to camera and fade to black.
All in all - a good episode. I would give it a modest 3.5 tardis groans out of 5.
thanks for that. I like your ending better! I too would give it 3 out of 5 or 3.5 out of 5, certainly sometimes memory cheats in the reverse. I was thinking this would have been a long boring watch but it wasn't. The location shooting helped it tremendously, Brendan was a good character despite one honk or so, and there were little plot holes here and there but nothing major. The atmosphere as you say was pretty good. I don't know if a full series could have come from it but it would have been nice to see it try in this vein rather than alien invasions every week!
Although I haven't read them for years and years, the K9 ANNUAL stories seem to have the same kind of atmosphere and plots as this. It might be interesting to revisit some of them or all of them.
The Gallifreyan Embassy - Forum