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< 3.6 - The Lazarus Experiment
3.8 - Human Nature >

3.7 - 42

Rating Votes
10
3%
3
9
2%
2
8
19%
21
7
28%
31
6
32%
35
5
9%
10
4
7%
8
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
6.6
Votes
110
Director:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
9
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 1/30/19 12:17 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

After receiving a distress call the Doctor and Martha arrive on a spaceship in the future. It is an industrial ship with a small crew and is plunging towards a sun. , ship has 42 minutes until it is destroyed, hence the episode title, and the episode runs in real time which adds a great element to the story. A member of the crew is taken over by a 'parasite' which then endangers the whole crew even further. The ship is obviously getting very hot and the atmosphere of the heat, claustrophobia, time limitations and fear of the crew are all brilliantly depicted. There is a gritty realism and tension as well as realistic feeling ship and crew. The crew are all acted really well managing to quickly establish characters as believable and sympathetic. Michelle Collins and William Ash are particularly excellent and are emotionally engaging.

This episode is written by Chris Chibnall who later went on to become Doctor Who Showrunner in 2018. Here, under the leadership of Russell T. Davies he created a tense, exciting and authentic episode with moments of humour and of touching drama in amongst great action. There really are no drawbacks I can see in this episode and I wonder why it is so under-rated by many viewers. I think small scale episodes where the Doctor is simply trying to rescue a small number of people from an isolated incident are seen by some to be unimpressive and even 'boring'. Personally I love that kind of story and think constant universe threatening epics or huge overarching complicated storylines have their place when used well and used sparingly. Episodes of one off interventions in small, tense situations are extremely important and thoroughly enjoyable. This is the kind of story you would get in the classic series where the Doctor arrives, tries to save people, then leaves. I love it.

Everything in this episode in done to high standard and David Tennant and Freema Agyeman are given great material to show dramatic and emotional depth. They are superb.

I cannot really think of anything to criticise and even the outlandish idea of a sentient life form within a sun is fine within the Doctor Who universe. I am a stickler for logic and I did not see any problems which spoil my enjoyment of this in my many viewings of it. It may not be the most ambitious plot but it delivers in terms of action, drama, script, acting and production. Therefore I rate it 10/10.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
5
Acting Rating:
6
Replay Rating:
5
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: NewWorldreviewsReview Date: 10/1/17 10:08 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

42 has a mixed reception. And, while it's certainly an interesting experiment, it's also hard to deny that it's utterly vapid and forgettable. Sure, there's some good ideas, a decent plot, some good acting and some fantastic direction and effects work, but 42 feels distinctly unmemorable.

One thing that 42 does well is in steering away from monster-filled action. Sure, we have possessed humans with the 'burn with me' catchphrase. However, this all feels grittier, and the story feels better for it. It's a realistic presentation of space travel, which, while good in some ways, is also a little bit of a drawback. At this point in the RTD era, 'realistic' space travel (of the Alien variety) was very much the order of the day for future set stories (like Gridlock and The Impossible Planet), and I think it's here that this approach starts to get a little bit wearing. 42 also suffers from massive structural and pacing issues: leaps of logic just happen because the story needs them to happen, and the real time gimmick just falls apart because of this. Were this a two-parter, this could easily have succeeded a lot better, as it would have had time to flesh out the plot and develop the characters.

That said, there is a lot of good in 42. Some of the acting, especially from Michelle Collins is very impressive, while Who stalwart Graham Harper's direction is fabulous. And even the CGI here is fairly impressive. It's just a shame that because this was a single 45 minute episode, the story had to feel so compacted. Still, it's forgettable, so you won't be wound up for long.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
9
Replay Rating:
7
Effects Rating:
8
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 7/11/17 2:28 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Far better than its reputation, this episode has a lot working for it. The direction by Graeme Harper is spot on with some beautiful visuals throughout. The acting is superb as Martha faces her own mortality and the Doctor struggles against becoming thrall to a murderous alien.

It's a tense fast moving script that manages to sprinkle in a few nice bits of humor. Probably the story's biggest flaw is that this episode's guest characters are not quite as good as in similar stories. I'd prefer the crew in the Impossible Planet/The Satan's Pit. Still, it's an above average episode and a solid entry for the Tenth Doctor and Martha team.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
8
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
8
Effects Rating:
9
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/14/17 11:22 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This is a spoiler review.

Chris Chibnall will be the new showrunner of Doctor Who come 2018, so let's take a look at his first episode for Doctor Who: 42. 42 was written in response to the popular TV series 24, in which the action takes place in real time over 24 hours divided into 24 one hour episodes. Chris Chibnall took this concept and applied it to an episode of Doctor Who, having the entire episode taking place over 42 minutes in real time.

To me, this really benefits the episode. It makes it feel 'real', as though we're watching events take place as they actually unfold. It's a clever concept and one that I applaud Chris Chibnall taking from 24. Kudos to him also for making a Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy reference by having it 42 minutes as opposed to 45 (although this episode isn't quite the answer to life, the universe and everything). The story follows the Doctor and Martha arriving on the spaceship S.S. Pentallian after receiving a distress call and find that it is out of control hurtling towards the sun. The sun starts possessing the crew angry at them for illegally using it as fuel and the Doctor and Martha have 42 minutes to save them and the ship. This is a fun and lively action-orientated episode of the show but it also has a few very creepy moments such as when the Doctor also finds himself possessed. It features one of the greatest moments you can have in Doctor Who that has been done a few times in the new series, where the Doctor himself is no longer in control and is scared of the situation. If the Doctor is scared, you know they are in deep trouble and Chris Chibnall plays this brilliantly.

It's not all good; it isn't the best episode by a long mile. It can feel a little generic and the scene at the end with Francine's call being monitored by a group of people working for Mr Saxon feels a little shoehorned in. It doesn't get the recognition it deserves though as a great episode of series 3. It is definitely among the strongest Chris Chibnall has written for the show.

One of the greatest soap actors Michelle Collins features too. Michelle Collins is known for playing Cindy in EastEnders (a show that I personally hate) and Stella in Coronation Street. Here, she plays Kath McDonnell and provides one of the best supporting character performances of the show. She is very believable and whilst not good enough to be recurring character status, provides a very strong portrayal of a character who is desperate in the circumstances of the ship's crashing. David Tennant and Freema Ageyman are on top form, especially David Tennant who is unbelievably scary when he is possessed by the sun. I think this is one of David Tennant's finest performances as the Doctor; it's just chilling when he utters 'Burn With Me, Martha'. Those four words have a powerful effect on the audience in not only showing the lead character possessed but also in David Tennant's performance that there is still a bit of the Doctor there who's scared and doesn't quite know what to do. This is why David Tennnant is the best Doctor; he gave such a layered performance in the role.

Overall, 42 is a great episode told in real time with strong action scenes and some scary moments. Some may find it generic and the end scene is a bit forced to suit the Mr Saxon arc of series 3 but Michelle Collins is great as Kath McDonnell and David Tennant is terrifying as the possessed Doctor.