42 (Doctor Who)
|184 – "42"|
|Doctor Who episode|
The S.S. Pentallian is hurtling out of control towards a star — and the Doctor has only 42 minutes to stop it.
|Script editor||Simon Winstone|
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies
|Incidental music composer||Murray Gold|
|Originally broadcast||19 May 2007|
A spaceship hurtles out of control towards an alien star and The Doctor has 42 minutes to save the ship, but with a mysterious force starting to possess and murder the ship's crew, the Doctor and Martha are running out of time.
The Doctor and Martha receive a distress signal from the S.S. Pentallian, a human spacecraft that is hurtling towards the star of the Torajii system. The Doctor pilots the TARDIS towards it to help, but after arriving they are separated from the TARDIS by the rising temperatures on the ship. The ship's engines have failed and they have only 42 minutes left before the ship plunges into the star. They need to reach the bridge controls but find themselves separated from them by thirty deadlocked doors that are each password encoded. Martha teams with Riley to work their way through the doors, having to answer pop quiz questions in order to open each door. The Doctor helps the engineering team try to repair the engines. Martha is uses her modified cell phone to call her mother Francine on present-day Earth to answer to one of the questions. Francing asks questions about the Doctor that Martha ignores.
One of the crew, Captain McDonnell's husband Korwin, has been infected with something that is causing his body temperature to rise to incredible levels. They attempt to sedate him while they continue the repairs, but the sedative doesn't work and Korwin escapes. He dons a welding helmet and starts killing crew members before infecting a man named Ashton. As Martha and Riley continue to work through the doors, they encounter Ashton and take shelter in a nearby escape pod. Ashton is able to launch the pod despite Riley's attempts to stop him. As the pod falls towards the star, Martha calls her mother and apologises but hangs up when Francine again asks Martha for more information on the Doctor. The Doctor learns of Martha's situation and puts on a spacesuit before going outside the ship and activating a magnetic control that recovers the pod. The Doctor looks at the star directly before coming back inside and finds himself infected. He learns that the star is actually a living being. McDonnell admits they drew matter from the star to use as fuel despite it being illegal to do so, and now the star is trying to recover the parts it lost. Martha puts the Doctor into a stasis chamber to prevent him from regenerating, but Korwin appears and disables the chamber. The Doctor insists that Martha leave him and warns the crew to dump the fuel, which should allow them to escape.
Martha relays the Doctor's message to the crew. McDonnell encounters Korwin and apologises to everyone before blowing Korwin and herself out of the airlock. The ship vents its fuel and the engines restart, allowing them to pull away from the star. The presence inside the Doctor slowly dissipates as the ship moves away. The Doctor, Martha, and the remaining crew say their goodbyes as the crew requests a refuel to continue on. The Doctor and Martha depart in the TARDIS, and the Doctor gives Martha one of the TARDIS keys. Martha places another call to her mother, and learns that it is Election Day. After Martha's call, a woman who was monitoring Francine's phone confiscates it and leaves.
Outside references 
A security question on "classical music" concerns Elvis Presley and The Beatles. The Doctor indirectly refers to the remix of "A Little Less Conversation", and name-drops the song "Here Comes the Sun".
A security question asks for the next number in a sequence. The sequence consists of consecutive happy prime numbers.
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. 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".
The helmet used by the Doctor is an adapted Scott Procap.
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.
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.
Doctor Who Magazine reported in the preview for this episode that the title "42" was chosen for the fact the episode is set in approximate real time. Producer Phil Collinson added in an episode commentary that the name was a reference to the real-time US television series 24. Writer Chibnall acknowledged that the title also references the work of Douglas Adams, which features the number 42, and said that "it's a playful title".
Cast notes 
Originally planned for broadcast on 12 May 2007, this episode was postponed by the BBC due to their coverage of the final of Eurovision Song Contest 2007. 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.
- The episode prologue on the BBC website names this character Korwin McDonnell.
- "Time Delay". News. BBC. 2 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-02.
- "42 - Final Ratings". Outpost Gallifrey News Page. Source: BARB. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
- "Space Craft". Doctor Who Confidential. Season 3. Episode 7. 2007-05-20.
- "42: Commentary by Phil Collinson, Michelle Collins and Anthony Flanagan." (audio). Audio podcasts. British Broadcasting Corporation. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-05-20.
- Lidster, Joseph (2007-05-12). "42: Prologue". Doctor Who website. British Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 16 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Armopp, Jason (#382, May 2007). "TV Preview: Episode 7 "42"". Doctor Who Magazine. p. 49
- Darlington, David (#381, April 2007). "Script Doctors: Chris Chibnall". Doctor Who Magazine. pp. 24–30
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Tenth Doctor|
- "42" at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
- "burn with me" - episode trailer
- "42" at the Internet Movie Database