K-9With the Jixen still at large on Earth, and still following a biological marker that will lead them to Starkey, K-9 may not provide enough of an advantage to keep Professor Gryffen and his friends alive. They learn that the Department – the totalitarian government whose oppressive rule Starkey opposes – has been infiltrated by the Meron, sworn enemies of the Jixen. K-9 warns against pinning too much hope on the Meron, since their ongoing clashes with the Jixen have laid entire innocent civilizations to waste, and goes to the Department’s headquarters to investigate. Starkey and Darius follow K-9, and wind up being thrown in the alien prison themselves – and then they discover that Jorjie’s mother is one of the Department’s chief operatives. Worse yet, the Jixen follow Starkey’s scent to the prison, where they can easily corner him…

written by Shayne Armstrong & S.P. Krause
directed by David Caesar & David Napier
music by Christopher Elves

Guest Cast: Robyn Moore (Inspector June Turner), Connor Van Vuuren (Drake), Jared Robinsen (Thorne), Rob Horton (Dept. Field Officer / Meron #1), Michael Thompson (Dept. Field Officer / Meron #2), Josh Norbido (CCPC), Jason McNamara (CCPC), Michael Donnet (CCPC), Edgen Bekafigo (CCPC), Tyler Rostedt (CCPC), Janardan Kewin (Jixen), Simon Preston-Barnes (Lochnessy Alien), Noel Sheridan (Mr. Whiffy Alien), Paul Tams (Mr. Whiffy Alien), Leah Tilney (Geisha Alien), Sam Tromans (Geisha Alien), George Pikusa (Alien), Jessica Field (Alien), Nick Burgess (Alien), Amy Verwayen (Alien), Hayley McFarlane (Alien), Vince Holland (Alien), Billy Shannon (Alien), Cathey Burgess (Alien)

Original Title: Feast Of The Meron

Notes: Liberation is effectively the second part of Regeneration, the first episode of K-9the series; both episodes have a darker tone (and much darker lighting) than most of the rest of the series, with the Department experimenting on captured alien life forms and Inspector June Turner exhibiting more ruthless behavior (and more advanced technology) than in the remainder of the series; also, Jorjie seems to know nothing of her mother’s day job, whereas by The Sirens Of Ceres she seems to take it for granted. There’s also more overt violence than the rest of the series: Darius orders K-9 to use “lethal force”, and the kids use a grenade-like device to deal with the Jixen. In-joke references to other SF series abound: Starkey appears to be wearing a T-shirt with a stylized version of the masks worn by Berg Katse’s guards in the anime series Gatchaman (better known to the English-speaking world as Battle Of The Planets), and the Department’s operating room uses Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s tricorder sound effect. The K-9 series isn’t allowed to refer overtly to the Doctor Who universe beyond K-9 himself; none of the aliens seen in the Department’s alien prison compound are from the Doctor Who, but intriguingly (and entirely coincidentally), the Meron bear some resemblance to the unnamed fishlike humanoid cornered by Torchwood in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. The changes in tone and storyline between Regeneration / Liberation and the rest of the first season is probably a symptom of a major rethink of the show’s premise after the pilot was shot, making the Department less of an all-conquering Orwellian enemy and changing many of the dynamics between the main characters, all in an attempt to make the series more kid-friendly; this may also explain why the episode had yet – as of its Australian premiere – not appeared on Disney XD in the UK, which also did not repeat Regeneration after its “sneak preview” premiere in 2009. Series co-creator Paul Tams gets in front of the cameras here – see the cast list above.

LogBook entry by Earl Green