I want K9 to count down my mornings
August 31, 2022 4:11 PM   Subscribe

K9, for the youth, was Dr. Who's weird robot dog in the 1970s / Tom Baker years. He occasionally counted things down for Dr. Who's girlfriend companion by saying, "Twenty minutes and counting Mistress! Ten minutes and counting, Mistress!" and so on. I want a timer that says this to me in K9's voice at one or two minute intervals.

I have searched but I can't even find one example of K9 counting on Youtube or elsewhere. I know it used to happen all the time, like when there was a bomb about to go off, or Leela or Sarah Jane needed to rescue the Doctor in a certain amount of time, or, I don't know, for all their robot dog timer needs. I believe K9 was discontinued for just being too embarrassing even for the 1970s but as a child I loved him so much. I can't have been the only one; there have to be some K9 .wav files out there that I could. . connect to a timer somehow? Just turn on? I haven't gotten to that part yet but if I could find all the recordings of K9 counting, I bet I could figure out a way to make it work. Or, ideally of course, I want a small talking K9 the size of an egg timer. I know that probably only exists on Gallifrey.

However, it would genuinely be helpful for old me to have someone / something telling me how much time I had left before some arbitrary deadline, like when I have to get out the door to go to work. K9 would be best, but if it can't be K9, maybe there is some other odd timer with voices? Or an app?

I know this is probably an impossible request, but if anyone can find me a K-9, it is you, hivemind.
posted by mygothlaundry to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I found some voice files here, but no counting. I searched the scripts for all the episodes for lines by K9 that contain the word "minutes", which only finds a few lines from S16E3, S16E4, and S16E6:

K9: Three hours nine minutes and ten point seven seconds,
K9: Probability is for maximum three point two five minutes.
K9: Maximum. Now three point one three minutes.
K9: My power packs will be drained in approximately seventeen minutes,

There are, separately, lines with numbers from one to twelve in various episodes, but I can't find "thirteen" or "fourteen" — "seventeen" and "eighteen" appear in S15E5, S16E3, and S18E4, so you could maybe take the "teen" from that and splice it together with the beginning of "thirty" (which appears in S15E5, S16E3, and S18E2), "four", "fifty" (S15E5, S16E3, S17E5), "six", "nine", etc. "Twenty" appears in S16E3 and S17E5. Probably it's a fair amount of work to splice them together, but it seems doable.

Here's a list of which words that might be useful appear in which episodes:

Click to expand
one: S18E5 S18E4 S16E6 S28E3 S15E5 S16E2 S15E6 S17E5 S16E3 S17E6 S15E2
two: S16E6 S16E4 S15E5 S18E2 S15E6 S17E4 S17E5 S16E3 S15E2
three: S18E4 S16E4 S16E6 S28E3 S15E5 S15E6 S17E3 S17E5 S15E2
four: S16E6 S15E5 S18E2 S16E2 S15E6 S17E5 S15E2
five: S18E5 S16E6 S15E5 S15E6 S17E4 S16E3 S15E2
six: S16E6 S18E2 S15E6 S17E4 S15E4 S17E5
seven: S18E5 S18E4 S16E4 S16E6 S15E5 S15E6 S17E4 S17E5 S16E1 S16E3
eight: S18E5 S18E4 S15E5 S15E6 S17E5 S16E3
nine: S18E5 S16E4 S16E6 S15E5 S15E6 S17E5 S15E2
ten: S16E4 S15E5 S16E3 S15E2
eleven: S16E4 S15E5
twelve: S16E6 S15E5
seventeen: S18E4 S15E5 S16E3
eighteen: S18E4
twenty: S18E2 S17E5 S16E3
thirty: S15E5 S18E2 S16E3 S15E2
fifty: S15E5 S17E5 S16E3
sixty: S17E4
minutes: S16E4 S16E6 S16E3
minute: S16E4 S16E6 S16E3
hour: S16E4 S16E1
hours: S16E4 S16E1
second: S16E6 S16E4 S15E5 S15E6 S17E5
seconds: S16E4 S16E6 S15E5 S17E5

posted by wesleyac at 6:43 PM on August 31, 2022 [14 favorites]

Making a physical is possible if you are willing to sacrifice one of those old BBC Radio Toys, as I am not sure K9's plans are available via a 3D printer. It may be able to hide something akin to an Echo inside as the microphone to actually react to your voice prompts.

I'm trying to find a timer that can be customized to special voice prompts, but so far, I'm not having much luck.

FWIW, K9 did make it back for at least one Christmas Special, and I believe they did make a Kid's series spinoff for him. Have to doublecheck.
posted by kschang at 7:02 PM on August 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If nothing works, there are timers where you record your OWN voice reminders, usually used as pill taking reminders, like this one. You can probably set 5 timers, at 2 minute intervals, using the existing sound clips, so up to 10 minutes, all at once. That'd be the quickest. Then hide it inside a K9 toy with some sort of rigging for the buttons and display, and it'd be made.

Further check shows there are PLENTY of Dr. Who K9 3D printable models available. I am thinking using the side door. if it flips down. That should be plenty of space to fit in a physical timer. But the model will likely have to be scaled down.
posted by kschang at 7:36 PM on August 31, 2022 [3 favorites]

The kid's series was the Sarah Jane Smith adventures.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 10:54 PM on August 31, 2022

Best answer: There was also an Australian kids' show from K-9's rights-holders that is not connected to Doctor Who for legal reasons, but still has John Leeson playing the voice.
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 11:27 AM on September 1, 2022

Response by poster: You all are the BEST. Thank you!
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:46 PM on September 1, 2022

This question inspired me to add optional countdown warnings to my custom talking timer, mainly because I'm looking forward to using them! For K9 phraseology, you could change the phrase to "%s and counting, Mistress!". (The browser's text-to-speech engine does seem to respond to punctuation.)
posted by nicolaitanes at 7:51 AM on September 2, 2022

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