Doctor Who

Season 3 Episode 7


Aired Saturday 8:00 PM May 19, 2007 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

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out of 10
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  • Brilliant Scripting!

    I'm going to cut to the chase here - this episode left me absolutely breathless. The action and suspense kicks off right at the start and just does not let up until a couple of minutes before the end.

    Where do I start? It has twists and turns all over the place. David Tennant and Freema Agyeman are both particularly magnificent in this episode, both of them instantly fitting in to the surroundings they find themselves in, and once again, I hate to admit it, but Agyeman is already outshining Billie Piper in the assistant's role. Tennant is also especially brilliant in the final 10 minutes or so, as the source of this episodes menacing enemy takes its effect on him. Ex-EastEnder Michelle Collins is an inspired choice to play the ships captain Kath McDonnell, as she plays the role of the strong female leader to perfection. There's also a completely unexpected cameo by delightful former Hollyoaks girl Elize du Toit, and a sinister turn from Martha's mother, played ridiculously well by Adjoa Andoh. Let's just say Jackie never hated the Doctor this much...

    The biggest doffing of the cap, however, has to go to Chris Chibnall for a truly brilliant script. The plot line and the twists in it are unbelievable, it keeps you guessing all the way through, and the revelation 10 minutes from the end when the Doctor finally realises what's going on left me gasping. As an episode it's slightly reminiscent of The Impossible Planet from the last series, although this episode is ten times faster while still being nearly as scary and unnerving.
  • 42 was entertaining!

    42 was a superb and entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, intrigue and suspense. The character development was pretty good and the story was well written and moved along nicely. I liked how Martha and The Doctor had to make decisions to save lives. It was also cool to see Martha get the Universal Time and Space phone! I liked the idea of what was alive. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
  • Reminiscent of "Sunshine" and "Solaris"

    "42" does not draw solely on previous Dr. Who episodes.

    "42" is reminiscent of the critically praised 2007 SF film "Sunshine," which was released five months earlier, in April 2007, as well as the 1972 Russian made SF film "Solaris," a cult classic.

  • It felt like an amalgamation of "The End of the World" and "The Impossible Planet." With a little bit of "The Lady in the Fireplace," thrown in for good measure.

    I mean; let's look at the similarities! You've got the TARDIS materializing aboard a stalled spaceship in answer to a distress signal. That's more or less what happened aboard the S.S. Madame Pompadour, in TLITF. You've got a sun literally burning up the air in certain parts of the stalled spaceship. That's more or less what happened aboard that space station in TEOTW. And, you've got a disembodied sentience taking over the corporeal body of one or two of the crewmen (plus the Doctor). That's more or less what happened in TIP. The only difference between those three episodes and last night's hour-long one-shot? Martha Jones was the sidekick, instead of Rose Tyler! I hope next week's episode is a little more suspenseful than this one. Because, this one didn't exactly keep me glued to my seat between commercials.
  • A Nod to the Late Great Douglas Adams?

    I'm wondering if this is some kind of homage to the late Douglas Adams, (aka Dr. Who episode writer David Agnew) and the author of "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" (HHGG).
    The title "42" is an important and iconic number in HHGG and part of the plot has the hero's trapped on a spaceship autopiloted to fly into the sun, as part of a rock concert no less!

    Douglas Adams is, as most SciFi fans would know, was and is a revered but sadly deceased and missed famous author of many now classic novels. He worked for the BBC and specifically Doctor Who so it's not so far fetched eh?
  • Overwhelmingly average

    The concept of 42 is a good one - not original, but good nonetheless, promising much in the way of an adventure rarely pausing for breath. Which we pretty much get, give or take a few slower scenes. So far, so good. The pre-titles sequence sets things up nicely, presenting the situation and saying 'there you are - you have 42 minutes to right all the wrongs'. However, the tension and emotion is lost somewhat along the way due to rather lacklustre performances from the cast (other than Freema Ageyman, who isn't bad, and David Tennant, who throws himself into the role, exploding with even more manic energy than usual). Also, there's a niggling feeling throughout the episode that never goes away, that this is merely filler. An inconsequential, slight story before the far more affecting Human Nature and Family of Blood. The mention of the Doctor being close to regeneration does raise the stakes, as does him crawling around on the floor screaming, but even so, we never really believe it's gonna happen. On the plus side, the sets are very good, the Doctor explaining happy prime numbers is a great moment, and the pace is quick enough to keep the viewer watching until the end, even in the weaker moments. Passable as entertainment, with a few really good bits, but nothing more to warrant much in the way of rewatching.
  • A bit of deja-vu.

    This episode is a cross between 'The Impossible Planet', 'The Satan Pit' and 'The Doctor Dances'.

    It was a little bit boring and the acting was quite bad.

    The storyline was thin and was a big let down.

    It didn't contribute well to the rest of the season and I found it too timed.

    It made me feel hot and confined and I didn't like it. It was a bit repeated and they recycled ideas which I didn't think was good.

    Very disappointing and I hope they never ever ever make another one like it. It was definately not good.

    Review by ben-the-hen. Thank you. Ben
  • The Doctor and Martha are trapped on a ship plummeting towards the sun...

    Yes, this story has a familiar feel to it - especially to the recent 'Impossible Planet' and an old story 'Planet of Evil'. However, the episode was going at such a furious pace, that the viewer was swept up in the excitement of it all. There were many great scenes. The crewmembers dying one by one, the captain struggling to save her infected husband and eventually killing him and herself, the Doctor fighting against the 'infection' and Martha helping crewmembers and then floating hopelessly off into space! Even the clock-counter worked very well in this episode - adding extra tension to the story. What a great episode!!!
  • The Doctor has 42 minutes to save the crew of a ship before they're insinerated by the sun.

    Trapped on a ship on a collision course with the sun. Ok, it's been done before (i just can't remember where) but this was awesome. The crew being picked off one by one was predictable but still ok. The disintegrating thing was good too. To be nit-picky, the plot jumped all over the place setting up for the next episode(s) but they managed to pull it off(just).
    It was nice to see the Doctor in danger instead of the companion for a change. I certainly wasn't expecting that. Neither was i expecting the whole 'the sun is alive' thing. I also liked the 'romance' between Martha and Reilly i think it was. Either way it was nice to see character development. Not to mention the kiss at the end.

    Despite it's faults, it was a great episode.
  • Not quite Life, Universe and Everything,

    A good episode just not a very important episode. Still not a massive fan of Martha, I found her yakking somewhat overblown and her foreword thinking ability somewhat lacking. The sun creatures were only vaguely interesting to me, possibly the fact that they had not form giving them no real tangible sense of being. All the elements of several good episodes were there and by that I mean several different. Each plot device was a good one but somehow the way they were put together with the considerable lack of emotional involvement between the audience and characters the episode did not work well.

    The returning to life of one of the infected crew mates was poorly done whilst the Captains sacrifice felt hollow and unneeded. Not my favorite.
  • It makes me so sad to say this, but it was hard to enjoy this episode :O

    Yeah, this just didn't feel like a Doctor Who episode. And i'm not saying that in a good way. It was pretty similar to 'The Satan Pit' and whatever the episode before that was called in episode two, and I didn't like that either. No more people turning into killers on a ship that is near danger: In this case the sun, in The Satan Pit's case a black-hole. It was too similar to a previous episode that had already copied a few things from older episodes - and I think Doctor Who is one of those programs that cannot be repeated.. I can watch an episode twice at maximum, and after that I will only watch it if there is nothing else on TV. I think most people are the same with that. So watch it if you want - it still beats alot of other programs that will be on - but don't be expecting something amazing.
  • A time tested episode format that's guaranteed to get your blood pumping.

    Sure we've seen plenty of these with the Doctor and Rose...hell we've seen plenty of these with the Doctor and his many many many companions. Just because we've seen it doesn't make it any less brilliant when they pull it off right, and make no mistake 42 pulled it off just right.

    In many ways this episode is a landmark in the relationship between the Doctor and Martha. With one flick of his sonic screwdriver the Doctor gives Martha her very own "call from any time period or quadrant of the galaxy" plan for her cell. Just in time to as the pair happen to come across a distress signal.

    Upon appearing out of no where we find the pair find they're on a ship getting ready to fly straight into the sun. With manic energy and an edge of raw insanity Tenant treats the audience to his ever brilliant interpretation of the Doctor. With touching character moments, a great guest supporting cast, and lots of fast paced fun 42 is a high point for season twenty-nine.

    Now, if only we knew who the hell Mr. Saxon was I could spoil what's building to be a phenomenal season.
  • Thermal excitations produce lots noise but swamp the signal.

    There's a worrying trend in Doctor Who, whereby frantic action is equated with excitement. This episode, for example, includes a race against time, a ship's Captain sacrificing her life for the crew, Martha being jettisoned in an escape pod, and the Doctor possessed and on the verge of regeneration. Any _one_ of those elements might have filled an episode. But here, they're packed together more densely than matter in a neutron star, squeezing out any character development or emotional conflict, and so failing to deliver the genuine adrenaline surges that come when you care about the characters and the story. The result is something like a "glitterball": dazzlingly sparkly, but no fun for literary epileptics.
  • cool

    Yay, I can finally get around to writing this review.

    So, The episode begins with the Doctor rejigging Martha's phone just like he did to Rose's. The end up on a spaceship which has just 42 minutes before it crashes into the sun. Nice.

    The Doctor and Martha attempt to help get the ship started but there is another problem: The captain's husband (I can't remember her name) has been possessed (I think) by the sun that they are going to crash into and is burning people up. See, this ship has been harvesting the sun for fuel and the sun isn't happy.

    I thought this episode was really creepy. The fact that you couldn't see the man's eyes when he was wearing the suit just made it seem even scarier. Also the Doctor is actually scared of what is happening when he is being taken over. If the Doctor is scared then that is truly frightening.
  • The Doctor and Martha answer a distress signal and end up trapped on a ship hurtling towards the sun. *SPOILERS*

    I am of two minds about this episode. First of all, there were some great moments. The Doctor and Martha are making a great team and Martha is becomming more than just Rose's repacement. She is smart and brave and is far more pro-active in looking after herself. She is even willing and able to save the Doctor on quite a few occasions and, importantly, she is extremely loyal to him. To the detriment of her relationship with her own mother. there was, however, a lingering sense of deja vu to do with the setting and storyline but that faded towards the end. The Doctor's reaction to the pain of the sun was wonderfully acted by David Tennant who, as usual, played his part to perfection.
  • Trapped in a spaceship hurtling towards the sun, with 42(yes, 42) minutes to reverse the situation, The Doctor and Martha have their hands full. Oh. Did I mention that the sun they're flying towards is posessing the crew members?

    *Spoilers* This episode is where we really see Martha prove herself in a crisis situation. It's also where we see just how much she differs from Rose. (Keep in mind, these are just my opinions.)

    Rose, while she never meant any harm, really, always just seemed to focus on one thing - The Doctor, for example - without thinking of the affects her actions may have on other things. In some cases, that can be a good thing, but at other times, stopping to think for just a millisecond can save your life, along with others.

    Martha managed to stay relatively under control during the whole fiasco - of course, some of this probably comes from her training to be a doctor, which probably puts her in quite a few stressful situations.

    I was espcially impressed during the part where The Doctor was about to go into the stasis chamber, and he says, "I could kill you...I could kill you all! I'm scared...I'm so scared!" Honestly, if The Doctor, who has faced everything from Daleks to Slitheen to what could be considered Satan, told you that he was scared, what would you do? Martha remained calm, determined, and seemingly confident.

    Another part, shortly after the power to the med center is switched off, is where The Doctor tells her to leave him and get to the front of the ship. At first, of course, she argues, but quickly does as she's told. Another difference from Rose Tyler. Rose would have probably focused on The Doctor, and the fact that he 'needed her.' She would have stayed, perhaps coming to her senses eventually, but too late. That's not to say Martha completely forgot about him, of course; she ran back to where she'd left him once the immediate danger was over and done with.

    Martha is a very remarkable companion.

    On a completely different point...

    I've heard people say that it was OOC for the Doctor to say that he was afraid, and so forth, and to be screaming and carrying on... Well, let's think about that. They're about ten minutes away from crashing into a sun, the power of which is BURNING him from the INSIDE-OUT. He's in EXTREME PAIN. It's trying to posess him, and he's trying to fight against it, and losing control. He knows that if it defeats him, it will use him to kill the others. The only way to prevent this from happening is to freeze him at a temperature BELOW -200 DEGREES, for ten seconds, no more - or he'll die/regenerate - no less - or it won't freeze the sun out of him. He can't do ANYTHING to make sure that it goes right. His life, along with everyone else's, when you think about it, is in the hands of two humans, one of whom stole fuel and caused the whole mess in the first place. I think he's got a right to be scared.

    As for people saying that it's too similiar to Impossible Planet and Satan Pit... Who says some adventures can't be similiar? And if it took place at a time period near IP and SP, it's natural that some of the equipment and stuff would look alike. Convenient? Yes. Worth complaining about? Debatable.

    SUPERB acting from everyone, especially David Tennant and Freema Agyeman, the odd bit of humor thrown in here and there to lighten things up, a nice but infuriating twist at the very end involving Martha's Mother, good music, and wonderful character definement and development.
  • Have I just gone through a time warp? ***Possible Spoilers***

    Did I just watch an alternate reality episode of The Satan Pit/Impossible Planet?
    Perhaps not...
    Although this episode was really a rehash of whats already been done it was still a very fun adventure that picked up speed and kept on thumping right to the end.
    The sets were wonderful, and the lighting beautiful.
    It became obvious that Martha was running down the same hallway a few times, and this took away a bit of the magic for just a moment.
    The acting was what we expect from Doctor Who. Well performed and timed.
    I enjoyed the music in ths episode it was large and bumping and exciting.
    There were parts that reminded me far too much of the Satan Pit and Impossible Planet. I think it was Martha being in the Pod, to Roses being on the escaping space craft. And the Doctor being in a space suit.
    And talking about the space suit, even my 6 year old pointed out that if the Doctor could use the suit (and the ships field) to protect him from the suns heat, why not use the suit (and perhaps an internal shiled) to enter the room that the TARDIS was stuck in.
    To me a huge miss on the writers behalf.
    Still I did enjoy and give it thumbs up. It is only TV after all and i'm taking it all a bit too seriously.
    Well done Beebs!
  • Tick tock tick tock tick tock 42 minutes later and time runs out will the Doctor survive or burn

    The Doctor has 42 minutes to save a ship from crashing into the sun, The Doctor in real time very cool, very 24ish

    Throughly enjoyable episode, high on tension and emotion especially the scenes involving Martha and her caterpillar eyebrows mother who possibly is one of the most annoying Doctor Who characters so far.

    Martha so far is proving a very worthy Doctors companion, in such a short time she has almost overtaken Rose. Michelle Collins was a very good character addition to this episode.

    The taut action throughout did not let up and in my opinion makes it one of this seasons classics.

    But still who are the mysterious people is black miss bushy brows lady is colluding with???????????
  • Here Comes The Sun Written by Chris Chibnall Directed by Graeme Harper

    Martha (to Riley): “Well done, very hot”.

    Well I’m glad someone is experiencing some heat because the weather I’m getting is more or less erratic at best and hellishly cold at the worst. Seriously, it’s the middle of May so where’s the start of summer, already?

    Some people will quickly assume this episode is something of sequel to last year’s much loved two parter “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit” and they might be right. Either way, it’s one tense frakking hour (or should that be 42 minutes) worthy of Battlestar Galactica proportions. Fresh from getting herself a permanent trip on TARDIS, The Doctor’s generosity regarding Martha also extends to upgrading her phone so she can call her mum but when the TARDIS lands quite roughly on the SS Pentallian, hearing the nagging Francine might be the least of Martha’s problems.

    Just like “The Impossible Planet”/“The Satan Pit”, The Doctor’s timing is quite delicious with him more or less arriving at the start of a major disaster when the ship’s captain Katherine McDonnell quickly informs The Doctor and Martha that not only is everything dead on the ship but also that they have 42 minutes before hitting the sun.

    When I heard this episode was going to be real time, my immediate thoughts switched to the series 24 and when writer Chris Chibnall mentioned his like for the series, a part of me was wondering how the real time would dictate the action and in terms of experiments, I would say excellently.

    Upon meeting McDonnell, the next batch of people from this disparate crew included the rather contradictory Scannell as well as emotionally detached Riley, much older Ashton, Kath’s husband Korwin followed by Erina and Abbey Learner. Although this lot aren’t as brilliantly vocalised like the crew run by Zachary Cross Flame, there’s at least some people you will care about that will make this plot work.

    The obvious candidate is probably Kath McDonnell, the ship’s leader and clearly the sort of woman who lives in a man’s world and uses this to not only survive but gain respect and keep her crew. I’m not a huge fan of former EastEnders actress Michelle Collins but credit given where it’s due, she does a great job in playing a captain without overacting or underselling any of the frantic moments that McDonnell is put though the episode.

    Out of all the crew, McDonnell is the first one to embrace The Doctor and Martha even if her first words to them upon discovering them in the vent chamber is of suspicion but hey, at least the girl is willing to give them a chance and it’s quite surprising how quickly she takes their offer of helping them out.

    With a clock constantly counting down the minutes and seconds before the ship actually hits the sun, time becomes the very thing against everyone on board. With the TARDIS trapped in the vent chamber, The Doctor and Martha have to come up with other ways of steering the ship from the sun but the interesting thing is that they are problems on the ship just as harmful as the sun.

    Yeah it seems that McDonnell’s husband Korwin is burning up and having his entire oxygen switch to hydrogen that the crew’s attempts of containing him in a stasis chamber does very little to keep him from going on a rampage and trust me, it’s one that makes this ship even hotter than it already is.

    Korwin is not only burning up but he’s also able to burn people alive and Abbey is the first victim of her buddy’s abilities as Korwin goes on a killing spree within minutes. Abbey is one of the least vocalised members of SS Pentallian so in some ways while her death is particularly gruesome, it isn’t as impacting as it would’ve been if Korwin’s first victim had been Scannell or Riley who are a huge emphasis in the episode along with Kath.

    It’s also kinda funny in a cartoonish type way when the rather tiresome Erina spends a good few seconds complaining about being the crew’s butt monkey and makes the grave error of sarcastically saying “kill me now” before the more seriously possessed Korwin grants her wish. Oh if this was a horror film, I’d be rolling on the ground with laughter of this particular dispatch. Note to self: never say “kill me now” in areas where someone is capable of making good on that.

    Anyways back to the sun problem at hand, The Doctor obviously has enough confidence in Martha because during the middle of this entire crisis, while he’s alright to let her help unlocking various doors with the rather delectable Riley, he’s still worried about her and believe me, after this episode, he has got more than enough reasons to as well.

    While it’s nice to see a bit of flirtation between Martha and Riley as they efficiently go around unlocking various doors, it’s these two who are also put into serious jeopardy when their escape from Korwin has them in an escape pod, which kept being activated and held until at the end, Martha and Riley found themselves heading to the sun in a much speedier fashion.

    To make this moment even more epic, we had everything suddenly go deadly silent as Martha cried for help and The Doctor vowed to get her back. Although there’s a moment where Martha says a line to Riley that Rose said to Zach about The Doctor last season, it’s still an effective one and noting the differences between Martha and Riley’s biological and social lives ups the tension of their predicament.

    It’s really this moment that makes me like Riley out of everyone else because while he might be a tad emotionally detached, he encourages a rather freaked out Martha to reach out to her Mum after a disastrous first phone call and suffice to say, the second one isn’t any better either. Still Riley deserves points for his way of comforting Martha in that respect.

    As for The Doctor, he may have had no control in how Rose left him but he was damned if he was gonna have Martha eaten by the sun and after getting Scannell onside, he was able to go outside of the ship and managed to even get the escape pod to come back, despite the furious struggle he had in the process.

    With about fifteen minutes left in this episode and no sign of the generators being able to override everything to steer the ship away from the sun, the coolest thing about an already complexly plotted episode was that the sun and possessions on boards weren’t quite as they seemed.

    The first hint of this is when Korwin was running around and upon hearing Kath’s voice was able to recognise and then blame her for the deaths on boards. This also then disregarded her denial earlier on to The Doctor about her crew coming into contact with any other life forms.

    It’s interesting that during Korwin’s killing spree he left Ashton alive and possessed rather than just killing him to survive but also despite excessive repeating how creepy the phrase “burn with me” had become. Usually at this point in an episode, you’d be groaning and muttering “I get it already” but it was still compelling no less.

    However the best of this episode was it’s major revelation about the sun being alive and Kath’s crew mining fuel out of it which explains why not only the ship is being sucked with the crew possessed but why Kath is essentially to blame for the disaster facing everyone on board.

    Even The Doctor has a go at her and soon enough even he turns on this sun’s influence which pushes Martha into not only freezing him and panicking when half way through the process the power is cut out but also taking control of the situation at hand too and with Kath and Korwin being tossed out to the sun in a skimmed over manner, it’s Martha along with Scannell and Riley who save the day.

    Giving back the fuel that they took from the sun was the only way the ship would stop being pulled in and The Doctor would also be released from his possession and when he started on the “burn with me, Martha” spiel, things really did feel very touch and go and that essentially is the episode’s biggest strength because even though you know The Doctor is going to win this, those feelings that he might actually lose are also apparent.

    Losing even more members than the ones on Zachary’s crew, the only two people to make it out alive are Scannell and Riley. With Riley largely focused and vocalised with his interactions with Martha, Scannell was kinda vocalised with his interactions between The Doctor and McDonnell and while McDonnell was the one who wanted honesty, Scannell was the one I felt who was honest in how he behaved towards everyone on boards. His interaction with The Doctor on Martha was another goodie too.

    With Scannell and Riley receiving some form of an S.O.S. (and Riley getting a cheeky snog from Martha), the next big issues in the episode were the relationships between Martha, The Doctor and Francine and predictably how they all affected each other as well.
    The best thing about this week’s instalment is that The Doctor and Martha are efficiently working together as a team and checking out each other back with both of them getting moments where they vowed to save the other and then for them to actually deliver on it. Oh and Martha got herself a TARDIS key so she really is here for the long haul.

    However as Martha’s relationship with The Doctor is on solid ground, hers with Francine is far from it and when Francine isn’t doing her best to criticise Martha’s attitude, she’s allowing Mr Saxon’s minions, including a rather smug lady to trace her conversations with Martha.

    Okay after that and encountering increasing spoilers, I have to admit that I am going to be very disappointed with the writers if Mr Saxon isn’t revealed to be The Master after all because judging by last week’s antics and the end of this week’s one, there’s all the trappings of The Master trying to lure The Doctor into a trap by using Martha’s mother as intelligence and bait at the same and boy, it also caps this episode off brilliantly.

    Also in “42”

    With this episode supposedly 42 minutes long, I was worried we wouldn’t get the Opening Credits, especially now that there are rumours of the show being stripped of them like many US programmes nowadays.

    The Doctor (re ship): “Now that is hot”
    Martha: “It’s like a sauna in here”.

    McDonnell: “That is brilliant”
    The Doctor: “I know”.

    Isn’t it cool how Martha got both her Super Phone and TARDIS key in the same episode yet Rose got both of them in separate and earlier episodes?

    McDonnell: “He’s as stupid as my husband”
    Ashton: “And he’s sabotaged the ship as well”.

    Francine: “What’s this, a pub quiz?”
    Martha: “Yeah, pub quiz”
    Francine: “Using your phone is cheating”.

    What exactly does Francine do for a living? We know Tish is into PR but with Francine being vocalised a bit more, I’m curious as to what she does.

    Martha: “You don’t know The Doctor, I believe in him”
    Riley: “Then you’re lucky. I’ve never found anyone worth believing in”.

    Apart from Kath and Korwin being spouses, the only other bit of family intelligence is Riley having a dead father and an awkward relationship with his mother.

    Martha (to Francine): “I never say it, I never get the time to think of it but I love you”.

    McDonnell: “What happened?”
    The Doctor: “It’s your fault Katherine McDonnell”.

    Some of the questions for the door locks included number sequences, SS Pentallian’s first flight, Riley’s favourite colour and most downloads between Elvis and The Beatles. I knew the Elvis answer myself.

    Scannell (re TARDIS): “This is never your ship”
    The Doctor: “Compact and another word – robust”.

    The Doctor: “Thank you”
    Martha: “Don’t mention it”

    Chronology: Although I don’t remember it being mentioned onscreen, it’s supposed to be the 42 Century as well as the day after “The Lazarus Experiment”, which is also Election Day.

    After being deprived of Doctor Who for two weeks, it’s safe to say that my expectation for “42” were huge and it’s even safer to say that this episode excelled my expectations to the freaking rafters as this intense episode was not only an instalment that avoided being a gimmick but it also further forwards the ongoing Mr Saxon saga which is getting more compelling by the minute.
  • 'Burn with me' (Spoilers)

    Having had to wait two weeks for this episode, I was relieved to find that I actually liked 42. Waiting that long created a real sense of anticipation amongst fans and I’m glad that- at least for me- the show did not disappoint. A rather unique blend of real-action drama and sci-fi (Doctor Who does 24 after a fashion), it is- almost literally- a thrilling race against the clock. The Doctor and Martha receive a distress signal and land on board the SS Pentallian, a cargo ship in the Toraji system. However, there’s a slight problem: in forty-two minutes, the ship will crash into the sun. And as if that isn’t trouble enough, the ship has been sabotaged and crew members taken over by deadly creatures with the power to vapourise their victims on the spot. But how did they get on board? And will the Doctor be able to avert disaster? Both the Doctor and Martha feel the heat (in more ways than one) as this pacy and exciting episode hurtles breakneck towards the end.

    Performance-wise, its pretty good too. With seven characters on board the ship, it’s always going to be difficult to make them all rounded and sympathetic characters, especially in such a short timeframe. So whilst characters like Captain McDonnell, Scannell and Riley are drawn quite clearly, the others are almost ciphers- and in the case of two of them, pure cannon fodder. That’s a slight failing in retrospect but as you watch, you get caught up in the pace. Michelle Collins, primarily known as the scheming Cindy Beale in Eastenders, gives a decent turn as McDonnell, captain of the Pentallian- tough, strong yet hiding a secret that is the key to solving the possessions. Also, William Ash is great as Riley, who forms a nice flirtation relationship with Martha. Anthony Flanagan is good as the sarcastic and negative Scannell. The others all do well enough with what they have- in some cases, that’s not a lot.

    David and Freema are great as usual, with their relationship becoming more established too- Martha is given Universal Roaming for her mobile and the TARDIS key (the two emblems of full companionship). David’ breakneck explanation as to why 379 is the correct number in the sequence- all to do with happy primes- was great and his scene in the medcentre after he’s possessed was great. Martha’s relationship with Riley is nicely done too and I have to admit to getting choked up on a couple of occasions- when the Doctor watches helplessly as the escape pod- with Martha and Riley in- is jettisoned (beautifully shot) and when Martha phones her mum to say goodbye. However, there’s something odd going on- Francine has a sinister blonde woman tapping into her phone-calls with Martha. At the end, she hands the mobile over and is told that ‘Mr. Saxon will be grateful’. Adjoa Andoh is also particularly strong- so far, they haven’t overused Martha’s family (as I felt they did with Rose’s) which is good. Plus this is another nice little reference to the main story arc- following on from the strange man at the launch in The Lazarus Experiment who tells Francine that the Doctor is dangerous. Major kudos to all the design team and the CGI guys for a visually sumptuous episode. The Pentallian is rundown, grimy, dark- the perfect arena for the episode to take place in. Added to that, the CGI of the ever-present sun and the ship’s descent look brilliant. Doctor Who veteran Graeme Harper directs the entire episode with style, clarity and verve, with a smart script by Torchwood writer Chris Chibnall. There are a few niggles with it- the lack of characterisation in some of the Pentallian’s crew, a rather silly interlude over who had more number ones (Beatles or Elvis) plus a strangely Saturday morning serial type score which was sometimes at odds with the action or a bit jarring. Those aside and you have a thoroughly great episode.
  • The Doctor and Martha run a race against the clock before the ship they're in falls into the sun

    The classification "they did this one already" combined with a 9 score seems an odd combination, but the slightly unoriginal script was saved by the performances of the actors and its high pace.

    Martha proves once again that she is a more than able companion, even though she does need to be saved by the Doctor in this episode. However, she then returns the favour and saves the Doctor, which evens the score. Great performances by Tennant and Freeman as well as by the supporting cast. The sense of urgency, emphasised by the countdown, was great and made this a different episode from the previous two-parter with a similar storyline.
  • Haven't we seen this before?

    I have to admit that there was quite a lot wrong with this episode. For starters we have seen it before, it is pretty much a remake of The Satan Pit/ Impossible Planet which was good then, but second time around it loses its appeal. Tardis is lost, people are posessed and kill other people, doctor has to face lossing his companion etc. Been there done that, got the episode on VCR and would have just whipped that out if I'd wanted to see it again. This episode was wasted on an old storyline but it could have been very good because the 'bad guy' was moderately scary and the CGI was great. The actors were all pretty good but their characters were lost because they died to quickly for us to get to know them, which meant that I really didn't care when they died. However Tennant and Freeman were both pretty good. I think she's starting to come out of Rose's shadow now and I think that has been timed well, she needed to be overshadowed for a bit because the doctor would be missing Rose and if he hadn't been his new relationship with Martha would have meant nothing to me if he could lose Rose so easily. Also I really like this subplot about Mr. Saxon, it'll keep me on my toes guessing right up until The Sound of Drums which I am majorly looking forward to!

    One thing I didn't like was that the doctor gave Martha both the super phone and the tardis key in one episode. She obviously needed to get them both at some point but this felt a bit like the writers were drawing a line under Rose and saying that she has been completely replaced now which doesn't work for me. The memory of her must always be there.

    Overall an okay episode even though we have seen it before. It was the unoriginal plotline that let it down rather than the acting or effects for me. Waiting ever exciting for that sound of drums and 'Human Nature' next week looks good, hope it lives up to expectations.

    Happy viewing people
  • Companion saves Dr - film at 11.

    If you're one of the people who rated this episode poorly, I'd recommend you view the corresponding "Dr Who Confidential". Initially I found the storyline unsatisfying. Yes, yes, there was a great deal of danger, Martha almost got toasted (and not in the 'one six pack too many' sense) and the Doctor is almost taken over by a not-so-evil entity.

    After viewing the "Confidential", I -- got -- the episode. I understood where things were going and the motivation behind characters. Before anyone brings it up, I agree the show itself should have made me understand those issues. I'm thinking maybe I'm being too superficial as I watch the episodes. From now on, I'm watching with a more critical eye.
  • Best of series so far!

    Well finnnnaaaallllyyyyyy the 3rd series gets going! So far i have been pretty disappointed with the rest of the episodes this year but everything clicked for me with this one. It had a good story great acting it looked and sounded good, it was funny at times had loads of adrenaline (with not that much running around) and almost zero sci-fi babble that has plagued the past few episodes (dalek 2 parter-i'm looking at you!).

    Before this ep i wasn't too sure about Martha but i like her now! Good to see a different side of the doctor, getting pretty freaked out when he was all shiny eyed. Also despite the lack of blood and swearing i was pretty suprised to see this ep on at 7.15, not sure if anybody else thought this but i reckoned it was hardcore! There were crazy deaths left and right and everybody screaming every five seconds, hurrah!!! So all in all, loved it to bits. Hope that the series keeps up like this till cap'n jack gets here which i'm sure will be quality (although i did see a clip of jack harkness riding through time grabbing on to the tardis which looked....well...dumb).

    p.s. nice development on mr saxon can't wait to see how it pans out!
  • and I thought the curse of fenric was fast paced

    I guess I'd be very cynical if I didn't mention this episode's lack of build up letting it down, afterall that was my problem with the lazarus experiment. But I did enjoy this more despite the fact that there was virtually no build up, which is the problem with setting it in a 42 minute time scale, you've got to adapt to the environment you're given very quickly. I'm glad that despite the time scale, we are given some time to get to know two or three characters before they die, however quick it is.
    I can't argue with the plot however, the plot was brilliant, it was scary enough for doctor who (I'm still waiting for the moderate violence I've been hoping for since episode 1) but it was well plotted, I didn't really notice the fact that time seemed to go by really quickly when you've got the whol possession storyline to go along with.
    Anyway, good performances all round, especially by David Tennant when he was possessed by the sun (yeah, couple of events of bad or incomprehensible science there) Good to see that even in this day and age it is still pointed out that doctor who shouldn't be seen as a god like figure with no weaknesses (bar the assistants)
    And where assistance is concerned. Before now Martha was just the obedient tourist except in a couple of situations, now I'm glad that we see her take charge for a change. Before now its been a bit tedious while the Doctor just shows her around places moaning about how he misses Rose, now the series is starting to pick up again now that the Doctor is treating Martha like a real person.
    Anywho, 42 wasn't what I expected but I enjoyed it anyway, now we've got human nature to look forward to, yay
  • The Doctor and Martha receive a distress call, and 40 minutes later I wake up...

    Seriously? What. The. Hell? I watched this evening's episode, sat on the sofa as ever with my missus. I have loved both Tennant and Eccleston in the new series', and my fiance has loved from the classics through to now.

    And we sat there... Bored. Bored through an episode of Doctor Who?! How is that even possible? You're talking about a guy who gets over excited at the opening credits, and a gal who not only owns her own remote control K9, but has had lunch with monsieur Tennant himself.

    The episode was a painful rehash of the Impossible Planet (same sets, costumes, themes, inability to get to the TARDIS, possession of the crew and, this time literal, 'ticking clock') which just didnt work. Martha was completely unphased by her imminent death, and the Doctor just seemed to have strops throughout. Plus, when did everyone start trusting the Doctor's appearance immediately?

    The Saxton link(s) were just awkward.The Deux ex Machina's were painful too. Doctor Who can damn well do anything, but "Oh look at me I'm going to save her by my cunning use of magnetism" is a bit much.

    Oh and nice matching visor hats along wit, oh yes, GARDENING GLOVES for the 'bad guys'. Quality...

    There was no charatcer development of either the crew (and as such I didn't care about them dying) or the Doctor and Martha (oh she now has a phone AND a key).

    I watched the trailer this week. I hope next week is as good as it made out.

  • the doctor and martha must stop a spaceship from crashing into a sun.

    This episoe was okay, the doctor and matha have to work with some crew members to stop a ship from crashing into the sun.
    The first half of the episode was frankly a bit borign but it picked up in the second half. with the doctor hanging outside the spacship thriying to pull the lever. it's actually marthawho saves the day this time around. sending the gas back into the sun. There ae also some interestign monets when martha pohnes her mum and we find ou at the endo fo the episode thAT she was getting some information for some people wh were workign for mr saxon. what is he up to?