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Doctor Who Spinoff Shows Guide

This is a guide for every Doctor Who spinoff series and only covers those that have either aired on television or been released through online streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer. Direct-to-DVD spinoffs made by outside companies like Reeltime, such as The White Witch of Devil's End, are not included here.

K9 and Company
Original Airing: 28th December 1981

After the final appearance of K9 in Doctor Who and public outcry for the character to be brought back, it was decided that he would receive his own spinoff series alongside Sarah Jane as one of its two main characters. The general premise involves Sarah Jane receiving a mysterious parcel from the Doctor himself, containing a third K9 unit inside of it. Had the series not been cancelled after its first and only episode, the rest of the series would've seen the pair investigating strange phenomena, be it related to aliens or the occult, as displayed in the first episode which saw Sarah Jane and K9 investigating a cult worshipping Hecate. The Master, as played by Anthony Ainley, would have made a surprise appearance later in the series to reveal that he had actually sent K9 to Sarah and had been in control of him the entire time. As this didn't happen though, it is not considered to be canon and K9 is considered to still be a gift sent to Sarah by the Doctor. Production on the series could have continued, but a change in management at the BBC led to the show being cancelled before any further episodes could be made. It wasn't forgotten about, however, and the events of the only episode made were later referenced in The Five Doctors and School Reunion.

Original Airing: 22nd October 2006 to 9th September 2011

Torchwood was the BBC's second attempt at a Doctor Who spinoff series and the first to be made following the show's revival, and this time did make it past the first episode, lasting for four series. The spinoff focuses on Captain Jack as the head of Torchwood Three, Torchwood's Cardiff division, where he and a team of alien hunters monitor the rift in space and time that resides in Cardiff. It was the first televised media in the franchise to be rated for older audiences, featuring explicit swearing, graphic gore and multiple scenes involving nudity and love-making. The series saw several changes over the course of its run, initially featuring an ensemble cast of five characters, those being Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Owen and Tosh as well as PC Andy and Gwen's boyfriend, Rhys, as recurring characters. Rhys became part of the main cast in the third series following the deaths of Owen and Tosh, and also changed the format of the series to be a five part miniseries following an ongoing storyline. This format was carried over to the fourth series, which lasted for ten episodes and saw the series move away from Cardiff to America due to a co-production deal between the BBC and Starz. The fourth series also introduced two new characters, Rex and Esther. The series ended on a cliffhanger that went unresolved after the show's cancellation, though it has since been revived as an audio drama series by Big Finish.

The Sarah Jane Adventures
Original Airing: 1st January 2007 to 18th October 2011

Following the success of Sarah Jane's return appearance in the revived series of Doctor Who, she was given a second chance at a spinoff series with a New Years special in 2007. After it was a success, the spinoff was picked up for a full series and went on to run for five series. The spinoff saw Sarah Jane living in Ealing with her adopted son, Luke, saving the world from aliens with his friends Maria and Clyde, as well as the supercomputer in her attic, Mr. Smith. From the second episode onwards, the series took on the classic series format of Doctor Who, featuring serialised stories that were two episodes long each with a cliffhanger in the middle. It also saw the return of several other beloved Doctor Who characters, such as the Brigadier and Jo Grant. Maria left the show in the second series and was replaced with a new character called Rani, who stayed as part of the main cast for the rest of the spinoff. K9 also joined the main cast in the third series, but left with Luke when he left in the fourth series. The fifth and final series made another change to the cast, introducing Sky Smith, Sarah Jane's adopted alien daughter. The 10th and 11th Doctors both made guest appearances throughout the series, the latter marking the only time that Sarah Jane ever met the 11th Doctor on-screen. Due to the unfortunate death of Elisabeth Sladen, the show had to be cancelled midway through production of the fifth series, leaving the last three stories unfinished. During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, a video was filmed during lockdown titled Farewell, Sarah Jane Smith, which was set after Sarah Jane's funeral and featured Luke, Rani and Mr. Smith from this series.

K9: The Series
Original Airing: 31st October 2009 to 5th July 2010

During the 16 year hiatus period of Doctor Who in the 1990s, Bob Baker attempted to get a series with K9 as the main character off of the ground, and though his plans to make it were not successful, he continued trying and eventually secured a deal to create it in Australia years later, airing on TV a few years after Doctor Who's revival. He had hoped that the BBC would make it following the success of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, but they turned it down due to deciding that producing four shows at once would be too much. However, as they owned the rights to the design of K9, they allowed Bob Baker to use it in the first episode of the series to lead into K9's regeneration into his brand new design, which came as a necessity to avoid confusion with The Sarah Jane Adventures, which also featured K9 at the time. The series saw K9 brought into London in the 2050s through Professor Gryffen's STM, a Space-Time Manipulator, scrambling his memories in the process and erasing them. Deciding to live with Professor Gryffen at his manor, he is joined by Starkey, Jorjie and Darius to form the K9 unit, tackling alien threats and shady corruption within the Department, a totalitarian government agency. Though its first and only series didn't end on any kind of unresolved cliffhanger or storyline like the previous two spinoff series did, it wasn't picked up for a second series and ended after its initial run of 26 episodes.

Original Airing: 22nd October 2016 to 3rd December 2016

With just a single Christmas special and no series of Doctor Who being released in 2016, the BBC filled the void with a brand new spinoff series for older audiences, the first in five years after the premature endings of both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Although the BBC had approached Steven Moffat about making a spinoff series starring the Paternoster Gang, he turned the idea down and felt that it wasn't right to do. After trying to get Patrick Ness to write an episode of Doctor Who, their discussions led to that of a spinoff series and Class was soon greenlit. It was unique from past spinoff series in that it didn't feature any returning characters in its main cast, instead only starring brand new characters made for the series. It focused on a group of school students defending their school with the help of two alien refugees posing as a teacher and student from various alien menaces that came through a crack in space and time located within the building. For a spinoff series it strangely didn't have many connections to Doctor Who outside of being set at Coal Hill Academy, a renovated version of Coal Hill School. It also featured Peter Capaldi making a guest appearance as the 12th Doctor in the first episode to help establish the series, and featured a cameo appearance of the Weeping Angels at the end of the final episode. The show was cancelled after just one series on two unresolved cliffhangers, although similarly to Torchwood has been revived as an audio drama series by Big Finish.

Original Airing: 12th November 2020 to 10th December 2020

As part of the multi-media Time Lord Victorious event spanning across books, comics, audio dramas and other media, it was decided that an online web-series would be made featuring the Dalekss, the first time that they had appeared in a spinoff show. It was also the first spinoff series to be entirely animated, utilising 3D animation instead of live action performances. Running for five 10 minute long episodes, the series focuses on the Daleks fighting a powerful space entity. It marked the first on-screen appearance of the round-headed Emperor Dalek from the old Doctor Who comics, updated to better match the design of the Daleks in the modern series. It also introduced a brand new rank of Dalek, the Executioner Dalek, and gave the modern series Dalek builds the classic silver and blue colour scheme. In addition to this, it featured the first on-screen appearance of the Mechanoids since their first ever appearance in The Chase in 1965. If one doesn't count K9 and Company due to it being cancelled before a series could even be made, then this series is the shortest Doctor Who spinoff series to date.
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