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
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 »
Well, there we go, universal roaming.
[tosses Martha her newly altered cell phone]
Never have to worry about a signal again.
No way. This is too mad. You're telling me I can phone anyone anywhere in space and time on my mobile?
As long as you know the area code.
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A genuinely dark and entertaining story from director Graeme Harper
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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