Inspector Thorne sets a trap for K9. Starkey is whisked away to a far off planet. The desolate world is contained within an alien library card. The Librarian arrives to reclaim the card. The team need June's help to rescue Starkey and teach Thorne a lesson. The Librarian takes a liking to Professor Gryffen and sets about tidying up the mansion.
K9 flies to Department HQ and hides on its roof, curious about its new open day. He contacts Starkey in a queue to the entry with Darius, asking him if they have ever had a careers day. He replies it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. K9 doesn't like this. As he looks over people queuing, Starkey tells him to move back. In Department HQ, June is talking with Thorne. She is intrigued because the Department hasn't recruited like this before. Thorne tells her she keeps saying the Department needs to be open and transparent. The CCPC guard opens the door, letting the visitors in. Thorne arrives to greet the crowd and introduce himself. As they move on, Thorne tells everyone that the Department is a multinational security facility, offering career opportunities in the UK, the Americas, the Pacific Union and other countries. Starkey and Darius stop and ask K9 where to go. He tells them to go back down the corridor the way they came in, the way to Thorne's office. As they make their way they spot a CCPC, the first they've seen inside. K9 suggests they abort the mission. The CCPC moves on as Starkey and Darius get to Thorne's office. Darius stands guard at the door as Starkey investigates the office. Starkey finds an interesting picture on Thorne's desk. Despite K9's warnings, Starkey moves closer and is sucked into it. A shocked Darius grabs Starkey's communicator. K9 tells Darius to take the picture and bring it back to Gryffen and by all means don't look at it.
Darius and K9 arrive at the Gryffen House, and tell Gryffen that Starkey has been sucked into the picture, which K9 identifies as a Library card from Ukko. Gryffen wants to take a look at it but Darius warns him not to. K9 brings him up to date: Starkey used the careers day to get in Department HQ; Darius and Starkey arrived at Thorne's office and discovered the Library card, and when Starkey looked at it he was sucked in. K9 tells Gryffen he thinks it's a set-up by Thorne. When Gryffen asks K9 what the next step is, he tells him to get a mirror. At Department HQ, Thorne enters his office and discovers the Library card missing. He looks at CCTV footage and finds Starkey and Darius. When a CCPC arrives, Thorne demands to know how they escaped. The CCPC tells him their orders were to allow them to find their way to his office. Using a mirror, Gryffen, Darius and K9 look at the Library card to find Starkey trapped on a barren planet, calling out for them. K9 tells Gryffen and Darius the Ukkans are an all-female race of Librarians who mastered — or "mistressed" — the art of archiving. They can reduce a whole world to an infinitely compressed hologram, which they file in their archives as a library card. They do it because nobody else will; they preserve endangered planets in holographic form. K9 compares it to squashing the data when you zip a file on a computer. This particular card is of the barren planet Urlic. K9 tells Darius they would have to speak to a Librarian to get Starkey out. Gryffen asks him how. K9 doesn't know.
At Department HQ, June asks Thorne about the Ukkan Library card. He tells her he's exploring its properties for use by the Department. June tells him it's extremely dangerous and spots the base of the card on Thorne's desk. Back at the house, K9 confirms Darius' observation that the light on the card is blinking faster. Darius answers the door and sees an alien on the doorstep. K9 says she is the Ukkan librarian they're looking for. She introduces herself as Yssaringintinka. She goes to take a look at the card, causing Darius and Gryffen to avert their eyes. She assures them she has become immune to the effect of the card over millennia. Gryffen tells her Starkey is trapped on Urlic. She is more concerned about Urlic than Starkey, as his presence threatens the planet with contamination if he leaves anything behind. Gryffen asks if she can get him out. She asks him where the plinth is. He tells her that the card is all that they have. She says she can extract Starkey with a retriever, but only if the card is on the plinth. K9 tells her it's at Department HQ. She tells them to go get it, but Gryffen warns her the Department doesn't like people dropping in. The Librarian gives everyone purple glasses to allow them to look at the card without being sucked in and so that they can talk to Starkey. They contact Starkey, and he says that he is thirsty because it's hot on the planet. They warn him to not leave anything behind. Yssaringintinka states that the card's fail-safe will close the portal in two hours.
June goes to Thorne's office with a warning that Lomax wants to know why Thorne has been interfering with alien technology. As prison numbers are rising, he wants to use Ukkan technology to dump them on other planets. June warns him that LOMAXX wants the card back in twelve hours or Thorne will be forced to resign. Back at the house, Jorjie has arrived. K9 tells the team they have to do a deal with Thorne. They will offer him the card if he gives them the plinth to get Starkey out. Gryffen refuses, saying he hates liars like Thorne. He's a scientist and science is the pursuit of truth. K9 tells him that to a machine like himself, truth is just software. Yssaringintinka asks why he is careful with truth when his house is so messy? "Tidiness comes before truth". Gryffen is contacted by Thorne, who tells him he has something of his, he wants it back and if he goes to take it by force, people will get hurt. K9 interrupts. Thorne has stumbled across technology he wants to exploit but doesn't know how, so he set a trap. He can do nothing with the technology unless he has more information. He tells him about the Ukkan goggles and offers him the Librarian as a consultant.
As K9, Jorjie and Darius go through the tunnels, Jorjie is angry because Darius didn't tell her earlier about Starkey's plan to infiltrate Department HQ. Darius confirms he didn't want her to join in. Jorjie wants a look at the card to make sure he's all right. K9 tells her she can't. Yssaringintinka has the goggles disabled. Later, they meet with Thorne. Jorjie gives Thorne a pair of protective goggles. The reason Yssaringintinka disabled the goggles is revealed as Darius opens the box containing the card, double-crossing Thorne and sucking him into the card.
Thorne has double-crossed them as well. His box contains a brick rather than the plinth. At the house, Gryffen sees Yssaringintinka making his cabinet neater. He tries to make it messy as she puts it back. On Urlic, Thorne is trapped with Starkey. Thorne tells him his plan to turn the planet into a prison colony and the first inmate will be Starkey. Starkey tells Thorne he's the second. Thorne is contacted by June. He demands she gets him out of there. June replies that Thorne is not in any place to make demands. June goes to Thorne's office in Department HQ and grabs the plinth.
On Urlic, as Starkey drinks from his water bottle, Thorne tells him he's thirsty as well. Starkey doesn't care. Thorne tells him he should be grateful. If it weren't for him and the Department he'd have nothing to rebel against. Starkey remarks that Thorne's shirt is "skanky" and he looks like he's "selling funeral insurance". June arrives at the house and gives Yssaringintinka the plinth, with only three minutes until the link is closed. She tells K9 the position Starkey and Thorne are standing is crucial for the extraction. As Starkey and Thorne fight over the water, Yssaringintinka tells them where to stand and the others tell them to stop fighting. Thorne is persistent but Gryffen warns him to do what Yssaringintinka says. She says that the extractor doesn't work well with two entities, so they must put their arms around each other. Starkey grabs Thorne and they return to the house. When Thorne threatens to have everyone arrested, Yssaringintinka threatens to erase him if he harms anyone. He deserves erasure for his overdue Library card alone. She tells them that humans don't deserve to live on Earth as they have made such a mess of it. Starkey thanks her for retrieving him. She tells him it was her pleasure although the same can't be said for Thorne. She asks Gryffen to show her out. On the doorstep she asks him to come back to Ukko with her as they are short of men. He is tempted but passes. He thanks her and she teleports home.
At night, as Starkey and K9 go to bed, Starkey asks if he missed him. K9 tells him that as a cybernetic robot he does not experience emotion, much. Starkey asks K9 to turn his night light off. As K9 falls asleep Starkey tells him he missed him.
- K9 Mark 2 - John Leeson
- Starkey - Keegan Joyce
- Jorjie Turner - Philippa Coulthard
- Darius Pike - Daniel Webber
- Professor Alistair Gryffen - Robert Moloney
- June Turner - Robyn Moore
- Thorne - Jared Robinsen
- Yssaringintinka - Cathey Robinsen
Production crew Edit
- Writer - Deborah Parsons
- Director - Mark DeFriest
- Producers - Penny Wall, Richard Stewart, Simon Barnes
- Executive producers - Jim Howell, Grant Bradley, Steve Robbins
- Associate producers - Bob Baker, Paul Tams
- Supervising producer - Dale Bradley
- Co-Executive producers - Mark Blythe, Sam Tromans
- Line producer - Pam Collis
- VFX Director - David Napier
- Series Production Designer - Jon Dowding
- Episodic Designer - Adam Head
- New K9 Design by - Paul Tams, Alex Kubalsky
- Series Director of Photography - Ben Nott
- Episodic Director of Photography - Tony O'Loughlan
- Music by - Christopher Elves
- K9 theme music by - Michael Lira
- Editor - Russell Maggs
- Casting - Faith Martin and associates
- Episodic casting - Lisa Maloney
- Drama/Dialogue coach - Peter Kent
- Story Producer - Greg Walters
- Script Adaption - Michaeley O'Brien
- Production Accountant - Pru Donovan
- 1st Assistant Director - Peter McLennan
- Script Supervisor - Sue Ketchington
- Costume Designer - Joanne Thompson
- Makeup Designer - Sharon Robbins
- Puppeteer - David Pawsey
- Location Manager - Charles Boyle
- Sound Recordist - Ian Grant
- B Camera Operator - Dan Maxwell
- Gaffer - Steve Monk
- Key Grip - Billy Harmer
- Special thanks to - Space Furniture, Shredox, J. Barbour & Sons Ltd, Heath Williams at Firefly Lighting, Videopro
- Safety Supervisor/Stunt Coordinator - Danny Baldwin
- Transport Manager - Alister Ward
- Unit Manager - Graeme Suhr
- Post Production Facility - Cutting Edge Australia
- Head of Post Production - John Lee
- Sound Design - Warren Pearson
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Story notes Edit
- Even though only Starkey and Thorne go to Urlic, this is the first visit to another planet on K9 and also the first visit to an another planet in a Doctor Who television spin-off, beating both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, which had its first visit to another planet several months later with Death of the Doctor.
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Filming locations Edit
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Production errors Edit
- When K9 says, "Happy landings", in the tunnel, his blue light does not come on.
- K9 has a nightlight. K9 Mark IV used this in TV: The Lost Boy which took place forty-three years before the events of this episode.
- On the Department Open Day, Thorne reveals that the Department is a multimillion dollar corporation stretching across the entire globe, employing thousands of people. The Department is more a corporate giant than a form of government, but still dominates not only London but the whole world.
Home video releases Edit
This episode is featured in the following DVD sets:
- Series One complete box set, released in Australia on 29 September 2010. 
- K9: Series 1: Volume 2, containing episodes 13–26, released in the UK and US on 18 April 2011. , 
- K9: Ultimate Collectors Edition, containing the full first series, scheduled for release in the UK on 11 June 2011.