The thing about a long running TV series like Doctor Who, is that you sooner or later fans are going to want to see a little bit more of certain characters, but Doctor Who didn’t get its first spin off until 18 years after the first serial hit the airwaves.
K-9 and Company
K-9 and Company, A Girls Best Friend served as a pilot episode for a potential spin off featuring Elizabeth Sladen reprising her role as Sarah Jane Smith and John Leeson returning to voice K-9, this spin off sees Sarah Jane and K-9 teaming up to investigate a local cult of witches. Originally broadcast in 1981 as a Christmas special, the first episode was not picked up as a regular series.
Spinning off from the revived series of Doctor Who Torchwood follows the life of Captain Jack Harkness and his Team, Torchwood 2, based at the rift in time and space in 21st century Cardiff, The show mainly looks at the lengths Torchwood will go to, in order to contain extraterrestrial, and temporal threats and the human cost that comes with it.
The Sarah Jane Adventures
The Sarah Jane Adventures picks up from both K-9 and Company and Series 2 of the revived Doctor Who, and follows Sarah Jane, her adoptive son and his classmates and her alien supercomputer as they deal with alien incursions in suburbia. This particular spin off is arguably the most successful with 4 series released before Elizabeth Sladen’s death and one series released posthumously.
K-9 was the only televised spin off of Doctor Who, not to be commissioned by or produced by the BBC but was in fact produced by Disney XD the Australian Network Ten. The show enjoyed limited success and aside from the protagonist and John Leeson’s reprisal of the role, it had very little to do with the Doctor Who universe, making the canonicity of the show itself very debatable. The Show also introduced a new design for K-9 marking a departure from the original design to give way to a flying model of K-9
The latest of the Doctor Who spinoffs, set at Coal Hill School (renamed Coal Hill Academy) a recurring setting from the earliest Doctor Who Adventure (Susan Foreman attended in the serial The Unearthly Child) This series focused on the children of this schools sixth form being tasked by the Doctor to deal with alien threats while trying to deal with their personal lives.