On a spaceship headed straight for the center of the sun, The Doctor only has 42 minutes to save Martha and the rest of the ship's crew from an inevitable doom...




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Episode complete credited cast:
Matthew Chambers ...
Gary Powell ...


The Doctor and Martha answer a distress call, and find themselves on a cargo ship hurtling towards the sun. They have only 42 minutes until they're destroyed, and the key lies behind the universes deadliest "pub quiz" - but the situation is a lot hotter than it first seems... Written by Steve

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Release Date:

19 May 2007 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


In the commentary for this episode, Russell T. Davies stated that he prefers the Doctor in the blue suit when going to the future and the brown suit when going to the past. See more »


[first lines]
The Doctor: Well, there we go, universal roaming.
[tosses Martha her newly altered cell phone]
The Doctor: Never have to worry about a signal again.
Martha Jones: No way. This is too mad. You're telling me I can phone anyone anywhere in space and time on my mobile?
The Doctor: As long as you know the area code.
See more »


Featured in Parkinson: Episode dated 5 May 2007 (2007) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

A genuinely dark and entertaining story from director Graeme Harper
19 May 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

As soon as Graeme Harper's name came up on the opening titles, I knew this episode was going to be a treat. I wasn't wrong - "42" is a return to classic "Doctor Who". Harper's always had the magic touch - previous stories have included "The Caves of Androzani" and "Revelation of the Daleks" and he's known as the longest-serving crew member on Doctor Who! His tales are normally deadly serious affairs with only elements of macabre humour thrown in to lighten the mood.

"42" is set on a dark and dismal spaceship, not far from a burning sun. There are just 42 minutes before the ship is burned to ashes in the sun's surface. A simple premise? To spice things up in this real-time adventure, there's strange activity involving "possessed" crew members. Cue lots of scary scenes - this is a return to the delights of "The Impossible Planet" and an "Event Horizon" for all the family to enjoy.

Harper creates genuine suspense in this episode. There are moments when there's real danger for The Doctor and Martha, particularly when Martha decides to use an escape pod for temporary safety.

Excellent entertainment with a few genuine surprises. This series has been consistently well-written and delivered so far. The last stories have been less silly than we've come to expect in the past and I've really enjoyed the darker vibe. As the new audience matures, so does this show.

9 out of 10. Definitely one that will be remembered as a future classic.

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