42 (Doctor Who)

Infobox Doctor Who episode

caption=The "S.S. Pentallian" is hurtling out of control towards a sun — and the Doctor has only 42 minutes to stop it.cite episode | title = 42 | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Chris Chibnall, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-05-19]
doctor=David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
companion=Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)
* Adjoa AndohFrancine Jones
* Michelle Collins – Kath McDonnell
* William Ash – Riley Vashtee
* Anthony Flanagan – Orin Scannell
* Matthew Chambers – Korwin [The [http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/episodes/2007/42-prologue.shtml episode prologue] on the BBC website names this character Korwin McDonnell.]
* Vinette Robinson – Abi Lerner
* Gary Powell – Dev Ashton
* Rebecca Oldfield – Erina Lessak
* Elize du Toit – Sinister Woman
* Joshua Hill – Voice of countdown
writer=Chris Chibnall
director=Graeme Harper
script_editor=Simon Winstone
producer=Phil Collinson
executive_producer=Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
length=45 minutes
date=19 May 2007
preceding="The Lazarus Experiment"
following="Human Nature"
series = Series 3
series_link = Series 3 (2007)

"42" is an episode of the British science fiction television series "Doctor Who". It was first broadcast on BBC One on 19 May 2007,cite web
title = Time Delay
work = News
publisher = BBC
date = 2 May 2007
accessdate = 2007-05-02
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/news/cult/news/drwho/2007/05/02/43612.shtml
] and is the seventh episode of Series 3 of the revived "Doctor Who" series. According to the BARB figures this episode was seen by 7.41 million viewers and was the third most popular non-soap-opera broadcast on British television in that week.cite web
date = 2007-05-30
url =http://www.gallifreyone.com/cgi-bin/viewnews.cgi?id=EElpVkAVuAkzqjqxMZ&tmpl=newsrss
title =42 - Final Ratings
work =Outpost Gallifrey News Page
publisher =Source: BARB
accessdate =2007-06-03


A spaceship hurtles out of control towards an alien sun. The Doctor has 42 minutes to uncover the saboteurs, but with a mysterious force starting to possess and murder the ship's crew, the Doctor and Martha are running out of time.


In the TARDIS, the Doctor adjusts Martha's mobile phone, enabling it to call anywhere in time and space — an ability he refers to as Universal Roaming, a "frequent flyer's privilege". As she is about to telephone her mother, Francine, they materialise on a very hot spaceship (in answer to a distress signal), and the Doctor notes that the engines are not operating. They open the door to the next room and are pulled through by three members of the crew, who then slam the door shut. The captain, McDonnell, explains that the engines have cut out and left the ship on a crash course with a local star. A nearby monitor announces that the projected time until impact is 42 minutes. The Doctor suggests evacuating the crew on the TARDIS, but the ship has begun venting excess heat through the room it materialised in, rendering it unreachable.

The Doctor organises Martha and one of the crew to open a series of password-protected doors in order to access the control room where the auxiliary engines can be activated. Meanwhile the others move to the main engine room, to try to fix the systems. The Doctor finds that all the engine-related machinery has been destroyed, and comments that someone "knew what they were doing."

There is a call from Abi, a medic, to say that Korwin, McDonnell's husband, is having some sort of seizure. McDonnell runs up to the MedCenter with the Doctor following close behind. They go to find Korwin lying near a stasis chamber with his eyes closed, screaming in agony, crying "It's burning me!" before the Doctor sedates him. Upon sedation the Doctor instructs Abi to test Korwin to find out what is wrong with him; then the Doctor and McDonnell return to the rest of the crew.

While updating the crew on Korwin's status, the crew hears Abi's screams for assistance as Korwin gets up and backs Abi against the wall, saying in a deep growling voice, "Burn with me". As he opens his eyes, a blinding light comes out and Abi screams in terror. Korwin then takes a type of welding mask and puts it on to control when he vaporises somebody.

The Doctor runs to Abi's aid telling everyone else to keep working on the engine. McDonnell and Scannell ignore his demand and follow him, Scannell saying that he only takes orders from one person. At the same time, Martha and Riley continue to open doors by answering questions set by the crew, years previously. To answer one of these questions, Martha has to ring her mother and argues with her until her mother looks up the answer on the Internet. Meanwhile, the Doctor finds the imprint of Abi and concludes that she was vaporised. He reasons that Korwin has been infected in some way by something, and can vaporize people somehow.

McDonnell is at first unwilling to believe that Korwin could be responsible for sabotaging the ship and killing Abi, but then relents and alerts the rest of the crew to avoid him. Ashton, working on the engines, sends Erina a message asking for more tools. She mutes the sound and mutters under her breath about the injustice of being sent on every errand as she goes to the control cupboard. She sarcastically ends her spiel with "just kill me now." When Erina closes the door, she turns to find Korwin standing there. He backs Erina against the wall as he did with Abi, and vaporizes her. Korwin goes on to find Ashton, saying "they are getting too far", and proceeds to infect Ashton too. Ashton then puts on an identical welding mask. He goes after Martha and Riley — the ones who were "getting too far" — who, in terror, lock themselves in an escape capsule.

Ashton tries to override the system in order to send Martha and Riley plummeting towards the sun, but Riley is trying equally hard inside the capsule to stop this from happening. Ashton finally simply destroys the system, which makes the capsule Martha and Riley are stuck in plummet towards the sun. The Doctor gets there seconds too late, but decides not to give up. He puts on a space suit and tells Scannell he is planning to pull the capsule back to the ship by setting the magnetic pull off, a system that is outside the ship.

In the capsule, Martha implores Riley to have faith in the Doctor, wondering why he has not found anyone in his life to have faith in — his family is all but gone and he has no romantic attachments. Resigned to her fate, Martha phones Francine once more and, unwilling to divulge her predicament, instead tells her mother that she loves her and tries to get her to simply converse about her life, until Francine's probing of whether the Doctor is with her causes a tearful Martha to end the call. Unknown to Martha, Francine was knowingly having her call monitored on a computer by a woman sitting in her living room, dressed in a suit.

Meanwhile, with some difficulty, the Doctor manages to press the magnetic pull control buttons on the side of the ship. Climbing back into the ship, he looks at the sun and stares into it, realising that it is alive, before he too is infected by the same entity as Korwin. Martha and Riley come back to the ship grinning until they see the Doctor in agony. When they try to see what is wrong with him, his eyes burst open, showing the deadly haze of light that appears in the others when they vaporise someone, and the Doctor snarls at them to stay away. McDonnell arrives and the Doctor angrily explains to her that because she illegally mined the sun for fuel, without checking for life signs, she has seriously injured the living being within the sun. He tells them that the sun is alive in him, and tells them how they can save/stop him. He has his eyes shut, like Korwin, and asks the two women to place him into a cryogenic stasis machine to get the sun entity out of him. He tells them that if it does not work the sun entity will use him to kill everyone on board the ship. Before he goes in he cries for Martha to stay with him, telling her that he is scared. He tries to tell Martha about a process which may happen as she tries to assure him that he will not die.

Martha starts the freezing process but it is interrupted by Korwin, who turns off the power to the stasis chamber from the engineering department. The Doctor then tells Martha that she must go to the front of the ship and jettison the fuel, which will return the living particles back to the sun. Martha runs to tell the rest of the crew to jettison the fuel while the defrosted Doctor appears to lose the fight against his possession, collapsing onto the floor and snarling "Burn with me, Martha". Elsewhere, a shocked McDonnell encounters Korwin. She admits to Korwin that this was all her fault and lures him close to an airlock. She tells him that she loves him and apologises to the rest of the crew through her radio, then opens the airlock and the two of them are sucked out towards the sun in a final embrace. Martha tells the rest of the crew to vent the fuel, which ends the crisis by replenishing the sun and freeing the ship from its gravitational pull, and also ends the sun creature's control over the Doctor.

The Doctor and Martha head back to the entrance of the TARDIS, where Martha kisses Riley goodbye. Inside the TARDIS, Martha tries to speak to the Doctor but he is caught up in his own thoughts. He snaps out of it with his usual energy but Martha is upset as she can see that he is hiding his real feelings. The Doctor then thanks Martha sincerely for saving him and, as a further sign of acceptance, gives Martha her own key to the TARDIS (another "frequent flyer's privilege"). Martha calls her mother back, who invites her over for tea and informs her that it is Election Day. Martha accepts, assured that the Doctor will bring her home in time. After Martha hangs up, we see the woman, and two other men, tapping Francine's phone again. Confiscating the phone, the woman asks Francine if she has voted. Francine replies "Of course. Just don't expect me to tell you who for". The woman thanks her for all she has been doing, saying "Mr Saxon will be very grateful."


*On 12 May 2007, the BBC website published a text-based "exclusive prologue" to the episode. Written by Joseph Lidster, it details the reactions of one of the characters, Erina Lissak, a recent addition to the crew of the "Pentallian", as the ship's engines stop, a countdown to impact begins, and she unexpectedly meets the Doctor and Martha.cite web
last = Lidster
first = Joseph| title = 42: Prologue
work = Doctor Who website
publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation
date = 2007-05-12
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/episodes/2007/42-prologue.shtml
accessdate = 2007-05-12
*Before being put into the stasis chamber, the ailing Doctor begins to explain to Martha that a process will happen if he is dying. This is a reference to Time Lord regeneration. In the accompanying "Doctor Who Confidential" episode, Tennant questioned whether it would have done any good anyway because, while he might change, he could still be possessed.
*The plot bears some similarities to the Fourth Doctor serial "Planet of Evil", which involves a sentient planet, problems caused by the mining of (in that case) antimatter from the planet, and the return of the stolen material as a resolution.
*A symbol on Martha's phone is the same as the one seen on 'Sinister Woman's' laptop. In "The Sound of Drums" this is shown to be the symbol for the Archangel network. Also the background on her phone appears to be Gallifreyan symbols.
* The phrase in this episode 'Burn With Me' was first used in the first episode of series 3 "Smith and Jones", when the Plasmavore was just attacked by the Judoon in the MRI room.


Several elements of the episode had been reused from previous episodes. The stasis chamber is adapted from the prop used as the MRI scanner in "Smith and Jones", according to associate production designer James North. [cite episode |title=Space Craft |series=Doctor Who Confidential |serieslink=Doctor Who Confidential |airdate=2007-05-20 |season=3 |number=7] Likewise, the spacesuit the Doctor wears was previously seen in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" and has since been repainted, according to producer Phil Collinson in the online audio commentary for "42". [cite web | title = 42: Commentary by Phil Collinson, Michelle Collins and Anthony Flanagan. |work=Audio podcasts | publisher = British Broadcasting Corporation | date=2007-05-20 |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/doctorwho/ram/307_commentary?size=au&bgc=CC0000&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1
format = audio | accessdate = 2007-05-20


Originally planned for broadcast on 12 May 2007, this episode was postponed by the BBC due to the Eurovision Song Contest. It was decided that "an early start for episode seven, Chris Chibnall's '42', wasn't a good idea", and therefore the schedules were shuffled and "42" was broadcast one week later. This effectively pushed the rest of the series back a week, i.e., the following episode, "Human Nature", was rescheduled for the week after "42", and not on the same, originally planned day.

Outside references

"Doctor Who Magazine" reported in the preview for this episode that the title "42" was chosen for the fact the episode is set in real time, and had little to do with the American series "24" (named for the same reason). [Citation |last = Armopp | first = Jason | title = TV Preview: Episode 7 "42" |newspaper=Doctor Who Magazine |pages=p49 |year=2007 |date=#382, May 2007] However, producer Phil Collinson explicitly said the opposite in the episode commentary that was done for the official web site. He maintained there that the title is indeed a direct play on "24". Writer Chibnall has confused the matter further. When asked whether the title referred either to that television series or to the work of Douglas Adams (see "Life, the Universe and Everything"), he said yes, and acknowledged that "it's a playful title". Adams was a writer and script editor on the original Doctor Who series. A key plot point in the "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" story (book and television serial versions) is the protagonists being trapped on a spaceship which is pre-programmed to crash into the sun (as part of a rock concert special effect); the number 42 is a key element in the "Hitchhikers Guide" stories. Chibnall goes on to compare the episode itself to "The Satan Pit", at least from a visual standpoint. [Citation | last = Darlington | first = David | title = Script Doctors: Chris Chibnall | newspaper = Doctor Who Magazine | pages = pp 24-30 | year = 2007 | date = #381, April 2007]

The Doctor asks the crew where their "Dunkirk spirit" is, referring to the evacuation and battle of Dunkirk.

A security question on "classical music" concerns Elvis Presley and The Beatles, echoing the 1965 serial "The Chase". The Doctor indirectly refers to the remix of "A Little Less Conversation", and name-drops the song "Here Comes the Sun". The same security question results in Martha's mother making an indirect reference to the "phone-a-friend" option of game shows such as "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" when Martha calls her for the answer.

A security question asks for the next number in a sequence. The sequence consists of consecutive happy prime numbers.


External links

*Doctor Who RG|id=who_tv28|title=42|quotes=y
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/doctorwho/ram/307_preview?size=16x9&bgc=CC0000&nbram=1&bbram=1&nbwm=1&bbwm=1 "burn with me"] - episode trailer


*DWRG| id=42 | title=42 | quotes=y
*OG review | id=2007-07| title=42 | quotes=y

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