August 24th, 2005


This Day in History, 1995: Windows 95 Released

Ten years ago today, Microsoft released the Windows 95 operating system.

Being a Macintosh user and a science fiction fan, what I most recall from the release was one particular ad Microsoft ran for the new system. They had a series of ads suggesting that on August 24th, people should skip event X in order to get the new Windows 95, where X was filled with other things happening on August 24. One of those things, it turned out, was Intersection, the first World Science Fiction Convention to be held in Glasgow. (We've just had the second.) Well, when Microsoft listed the Worldcon in their ad, they left off the trademark symbol...and there was a brief discussion in fannish circles wondering whether we ought to send them a cease & desist letter. Especially given how intently they protect their own trademarks...

Take my love, take my land, but don't take my robot dog...

The BBC has announced that one of my favorite Doctor Who characters, K-9 the robot dog, is returning to the show.

arib is less than thrilled about this, so I suggested a crossover where K-9 appears on Firefly:

Me: Maybe if they introduced K-9...
Ari: If they introduced K-9, Mal would shoot it. Then Jayne would use it as a footstool.
Me: Then the Doctor would rescue his faithful robot companion.
Ari: Right, and Jayne would keep shooting him until his regenerations ran out.
Me: And then the TARDIS would eat him.
Me: And then K-9 would stomp all over Jayne's butt.
Me: And Kaylee would pat K-9 on the head and give him a doggie treat.
Me: And then we'd have a new TV show where Kaylee and K9 roam the galaxy, with similar sounding names.
Me: We could call it, "Kaylee, K-9, and Company"
Ari: Oy
Ari: And Kaylee could clobber Sarah Jane with a wrench and steal her apartment.

"K9 and Company" Title Sequence on Web

After posting about the possibilities of the Doctor's robot dog K9 appearing on Firefly, I went poking around the web for more information on K9 and Company.

You see, for those of you who don't know, after K9 left Doctor Who, he got his own spin-off series, which lasted for, um, the pilot. My reference to "Kaylee, K9 and Company" was a riff on that old series. (Points to jenwrites for recognizing it.) The premise was that the Doctor sent a new model of K9 to his erstwhile companion Sarah Jane Smith, now living in the county of Gloucestershire. Because, after all, if you're an investigative reporter living in a sleepy English town in the early 1980s, what would you need more than a robot dog?

Anyway, for some unknown reason, the BBC has a page on which they've put up the opening title sequence from the episode. You can watch K9 sit there and intone his name to music as Sarah Jane sits at an outside desk, drinks wine, runs, drives a car...while the camera dramatically closes in on her a few times, to make it clear that this is an action show.

Who in the world thought this would be a good idea? The mind boggles.

And, come to think of it, how did K9 manage to climb up onto that stone wall? Did Sarah Jane pose him there specifically for the camera? Why, God, why?

(Watch it at BBC - Cult - Classic TV - BBC - Title Sequences - K9 and Company. And if you want to read a plot summary of the episode, check out K9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend. My favorite part: "Brendan is using K-9 to test soil samples from the garden when he is attacked by George Tracey and Tracey's son Peter. K-9 stuns Peter with a blast from his nose laser and George flees in terror before Brendan can get a good look at him. " I want a nose laser!)