Poor #Whovians. While the recently aired Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Return Of Doctor Mysterio," whet fans' appetites after a year without their favorite Time Lord, they now face another long wait for new episodes. Series 10, the last for current show-runner Steven Moffat, is not set to begin airing until August 2017.
Thankfully, fans have options, with a growing library of Whoniverse #spinoffs to dive into. But, like all spinoffs, some are more worthwhile than others. Read on, as we round up the Doctor Who spinoffs from worst to best.
(Note: This list will only cover the televised spinoffs. Audio would take a whole other article!)
What's It About?: In London of the not too distant future, a heavily damaged K-9 MK 1 regenerates into a new form with new abilities, but no memory of his past. He then embarks on a series of new adventures with his new friends Starkey, Jorjie, Darius and the eccentric Professor Gryffen.
The Good: John Leeson reprises his role as the voice of K-9, and the series includes some #EasterEgg appearances from Classic Who monsters.
The Bad: Classic Who fans may dislike K-9's radical redesign. It is also quite frustrating that, as this show was not produced by the BBC and therefore can never directly reference anything from Doctor Who, the long-running plot line of K-9 wishing to restore his memories could never truly be resolved. Watching with that in mind, it becomes painfully obvious that K-9's creators were holding out for permission to reference Doctor Who that the BBC was never going to give. While the show is set in London, it was produced in Australia. This would not have been a problem, except that the majority of the cast do absolutely nothing to hide their very Australian accents.
Redemption?: A feature film, K-9: Timequake, is due for release sometime this year, with K-9 to battle Classic Who villain Omega. How strongly the film is connected to the previous series is currently unknown.
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What's It About?: When rips in time begin appearing around Coal Hill school, the #TwelfthDoctor enlists a group of mismatched students and their alien/former warlord teacher to deal with the alien nasties that come out.
The Good: Miss Quill, played by Katherine Kelly, is a deeply interesting character. The series' main recurring villains, the Shadow Kin, are well used for the most part. The first and final episodes of the series are strong, with the final episode in particular dropping a few epic twists, one regarding a popular Whoniverse villain, that will have many Whovians begging that Class gets a second season.
The Bad: There are quite a few things that Class could have done better. All episodes between the first and last vary wildly in quality. Certain storylines get quite confusing, so more time should have been devoted to explaining some plot elements better. The series would also have benefited from spending more time building relationships and chemistry between the core characters, as they never seem to gel well as a group.
Also, while Doctor Who can be watched with the whole family, Class should be avoided by young or sensitive audiences, as it contains more horror, gore and raunchy scenes.
Easter Egg: In the first episode, "For Tonight We Might Die," The Doctor briefly glances at a plaque containing the names of past Coal Hill teachers, lingering over Clara Oswald's. This plaque is seen again in the last episode, "The Lost," with April shown running her fingers over a certain unseen name.
Before imploring Charlie to shoot her, which would destroy Shadow King Corakinus due to their shared heart, April says, "Let me know I was brave." This line is very similar to Clara Oswald's final words before her death in the Doctor Who episode "Face The Raven," hinting that April may have picked up some sort of residual energy by touching Clara's name on the plaque.
2. The Sarah Jane Adventures
What's It About?: Sarah Jane Smith, a former companion of The Doctor, finds herself on a new series of adventures with her adopted son Luke and his new friends.
The Good: The Sarah Jane Adventures is definitely one to watch for fans of #ClassicWho, featuring appearances from K-9, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Jo Grant. The format, mostly two-part stories, is also reminiscent of Classic Who.
The Bad: This series is clearly geared toward younger audiences, so older viewers may struggle at times. Also, viewers will have to endure another two-parter starring the Slitheen.
Doctor Double: So far, The Sarah Jane Adventures is the only Doctor Who spinoff to feature appearances from more than one incarnation of The Doctor. The Tenth Doctor appears in "The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith," while the Eleventh appeared in "Death Of The Doctor."
What's It About?: The immortal Captain Jack Harkness, a former companion of The Doctor, leads a branch of #Torchwood, a secret organisation formed to deal with alien activity.
The Good: Of the four televised spin-offs, Torchwood stands most easily as a series in its own right, away from Doctor Who, and has arguably the strongest lead actor in #JohnBarrowman. The miniseries Torchwood: Children Of Earth, featuring an appearance by future Doctor #PeterCapaldi as John Frobisher, is often lauded as the series high point.
The Bad: Miracle Day, the second miniseries, is widely disliked by fans. Also, Torchwood is definitely not a show to watch with the whole family.
Easter Egg: Throughout Torchwood's first season, "Vote Saxon" posters often appeared in the background. This referred to the concurrent Doctor Who storyline in which The Master, under the alias of Harold Saxon, was running for Prime Minister.