’42’ (TV)

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Please feel free to comment on my review.


Right! Time is of the essence! The Doctor and Martha have locked onto a distress call in the TARDIS and have arrived on the spaceship S.S. Pentallian. It’s really hot in there! Absolutely boiling!

They find there’s chaos and trouble afoot as the spaceship goes out of control. They and the crew have 42 minutes left. 42 minutes left to what? 42 minutes left until the ship crashed into the sun!

This is one ‘Doctor Who’ story that’s really a big disaster movie with everything happening all at once. This story will thrill and terrify you. Hold on to your seats! This is going to be a heck of a ride.

I really enjoyed this fast-paced episode by Chris Chibnall that’s well-directed by Graeme Harper. It’s intense with people dying off one by one and has our heroes in an intense period of real-time.

The crew of the S.S. Pentallian are led by Michelle Collins as Kath McDonnell, captain of this ship. Michelle is well-known for being in ‘EastEnders’, and she’s good as a lady captain under pressure.

McDonnell is trying to get this ship of hers away from the sun with all her crew on board and it’s not an easy ride. It transpires that this all her fault. Why and how it’s her fault will soon become evident.

The crew includes Anthony Flanagan as engineer Orin Scannell; William Ash as Riley Vashtee; Vinette Robinson as medic Abi Lerner; Gary Powell as Dev Ashton and Rebecca Oldfield as Erina Lessak.

There’s also Matthew Chambers as Korwin, Kath’s husband who gets infected by something burning him. Korwin experiences pain before becoming a monster as he walks and says “BURN WITH ME!”

Martha and the Doctor get to help out in saving the crew of the ship from crashing into the sun. I love Martha’s adventure with Riley as they go through answer a pop quiz to reach the ship’s bridge.

I found that moment intense and emotional when Martha and Riley get trapped in an airlock and get thrown out in an escape pod towards the sun. It’s upsetting when it’s like Martha’s about to die.

The Doctor’s determined to save Martha, and I like it when he goes out in a spacesuit to pull the escape pod back in. As a result, the Doctor realises the sun is alive as it gets inside and burns him.

Inside the ship, Martha and Riley find the Doctor and he screams with eyes blazing with fire, “Stay away from me!” This leads to an intense; fiery performance from David as he becomes really scared.

But the Doctor gets saved by Martha and the two of them resume their travels together. Martha is delighted and overjoyed when the Doctor gives her a TARDIS key, making her a proper companion.

Throughout the episode, Martha’s has been calling her mum on her phone that has been monitored by a mysterious woman working for Mr Saxon. Who is this Mr Saxon and why is he so important?

This is a brilliant episode in ’42’ minutes and a really intense action-thriller-horror adventure with the Doctor and Martha. It’s good to have a classic ‘Who’ director like Graeme Harper to be on board the new series. This episode contains brilliant performances from David Tennant and Freema Agyeman.

The DVD special features on this episode on ‘The Complete Series 3’ are as follows. On Disc 3, there is a trailer and a commentary with writer Chris Chibnall and executive producer Russell T. Davies. On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Space Craft’.

The stories in Series 3 are stronger in pace and structure by this point. They’re also well-balanced in terms of action, adventure and excitement. It’s also good with the Doctor and Martha as the new TARDIS duo here.

’42’ rating – 8/10

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2 thoughts on “’42’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Possibly one of my favourite Tenth Doctor stories, if Chibnall writes stories of this enjoyment i can’t wait for him to take over as showrunner.

    This episode had that Robert Holmes flavour to it & has some unsettling scary moments which is how i like my Doctor Who to be.

    As ever a brilliantly written review that sums up the episode perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    I certainly found Chris Chibnall’s episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ better than the others in the Matt Smith era, especially ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ and ‘The Power of Three’. I’m looking forward to Chibnall’s era of ‘Doctor Who’ and hope that it’s good.

    I enjoyed this episode very much and found the tension filled within it so engaging and gripping to watch. I do like the ‘classic’ story-telling filled in these new series from the Russell T. Davies era. I hope that aspect of story-telling returns in the Chibnall era, as it’ll be nice to go back to more traditional storytelling.

    Many thanks Simon. Glad you enjoyed my review on ’42’. Tim. 🙂



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