Doctor Who (2005– )
12 user 7 critic
On a spaceship headed straight for the centre of the sun, the Doctor only has 42 minutes to save Martha and the ship's crew from an inevitable doom.


Graeme Harper


Chris Chibnall

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Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Freema Agyeman ... Martha Jones
Michelle Collins ... Kath McDonnell
Adjoa Andoh ... Francine Jones
William Ash ... Riley Vashtee
Anthony Flanagan ... Orin Scannell
Matthew Chambers Matthew Chambers ... Hal Korwin
Gary Powell Gary Powell ... Dev Ashton
Vinette Robinson ... Abi Lerner
Rebecca Oldfield Rebecca Oldfield ... Erina Lessak
Elize du Toit ... Sinister Woman


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

19 May 2007 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


Martha Jones gets her phone upgraded and a key to the TARDIS, two signs that she's the new companion. See more »


To get through one of the sealed doors, the question is "Who had the most number one singles; Elvis or The Beatles?". The answer is given as Elvis. This is only true for the UK. Worldwide, it is The Beatles. While it's understandable that Martha's mother in the 21st Century would give the answer for the UK, a ship's crew in the 42nd Century would probably have used the answer for the whole globe when creating the question/solution. 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 The Frighten Factor (2009) 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 DVD_ConnoisseurSee 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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