Doctor Who 42 Episode 307. Written by Chris Chibnall
First Broadcast on the BBC 190507. Story number 187
Starring David Tennant as the Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones. Description and review.


A cracking good story that rocketed along (pardon the pun) at a cracking pace.

The Doctor gives Martha universal roaming on her mobile (so that we could have scenes similar to those from the TV series 24 where one of the main characters calls back to base for advice. Oh look, 42, 24. Haha)

No sooner do we get a 24 parody from South Park, and 24 gets renewed for 2 more seasons than we get 24 ideas in a Doctor Who episode. Quick flash of the ticking clock.

So they land on a rocket ship heading for a solar impact. Though I don't know if collision or impact are suitable words for hitting the sun. It is a world of supercompressed gases. How about vaporisation?

They've got 42 minutes to get the engines back online but Corwin has shut down all the doors from here to the engines. Martha and another guy must break through all the doors, quick flash of the ticking clock, and answer some pub quizzes on the way. (Martha rings her mother for the answer to one of the questions)

Pluses so far. The Doctor and Martha are not accused as saboteurs. The saboteur was already identified before they got there. They don't get accused of bringing the virus onboard, and their help is welcomed. And when people start disappearing they're not suspected. Yay, it's not the Planet of Evil/Warrior's of the Deep/Frontios.

Quick flash of the ticking clock.

Corwin has been taken over by some infection and is walking around with his eyes closed. Though, how eyelids can prevent the fusion processes of a sun from burning through is beyond me.

He opens his eyes, groans "burn with me" and fries people into a burn shadow against whatever 5ft 10inch wall they happen to be backed up against. (We've all read about the burn shadows of victims under the atomic bomb above Hiroshima.)

He fries the ship's doctor, then the engineering assistant then heads over to fry his wife.

Because there is a lot of tension that can't be kept going for all of 42 minutes, they break it with some humour. Just before the engineering assistant is about to die she complains about having to run around to get tools and says "please, kill me now" cue zombie!

"Burn with me" will now be the catchcry around British schools this UK summer.

Captain Cath is informed by the Doctor that her husband has been completely taken over by the parasite and is no more.

Zombie Corwin finds the engineer and, with a combination of the burn scenes from Pyramids of Mars and Dragonfire, converts him into another killer.

For some reason, though, they have to wear read gas mask helmets with little black visors.

Quick flash of the ticking clock and a great shot of the ship falling into the sun.

The engineer zombie Ashton goes chasing Martha and her friend and they head into an escape capsule but Ashton remembers how to jettison them and does so.

The Doctor tries to confront one of the zombies while Corwin is knocked out by the other crewmates.

Just as the Ashton zombie is about to fry the Doctor, it reacts to the 'death' of the Corwin zombie and heads over to find out what's happened.

The Doctor sees Martha and the other guy in the pod drift away from the ship and towards the sun.

The Foley department, which adds the sounds to the episodes, kind of got it wrong here. If you're tapping on a glass that's strong enough to resist vacuum, it's not going to sound like wine glasses! It would have been better for that to be silent too.

A close look at the sun from Martha and Joes perspective. A bit of a friendly chat as they get closer. She rings her mum and agents from Harold Saxon try to trace the call while she's talking.

The Doctor decides to remagnetise the hull by climbing outside in a space suit and activating it from the outside. When he does so the pod comes back but he realises that the infection comes from the sun.

I'm a bit disappointed by the Doctor's reaction at this point. He realises the sun is alive and he quotes from Frankenstein. "It's alive!" He already knows some planets and stars are alive so he should have said "oh, it's alive, of course!"

We get a bit of music similar to that from 2001 - A Space Odyssey.

The Doctor is taken over by the parasite and his body starts to burn up. Cath and Martha take him to the infirmary where they try and reduce his temperature. (A nice reference to Planet of the Daleks as the Doctor is covered in ice)

Corwin gets up again as the other two men try to get through the doors to the engines. The girls are struggling to get the Doctor under control and, while the stasis chamber is attempting to burn the parasite out of the Doctor, Corwin shuts down the power.

The Doctor's parasite doesn't disappear and he sends Martha to the guys at the engines to tell them to dump the solar energy that they'd scooped up.

If anyone has seen the movie The Black Hole, you might recognise a scene near the end.

Well, I'm not going to say anything more. This episode is definitely worth watching though some things could have been done better. The special effects are great, the acting is convincing but having Corwyn walk around with his eyes closed looked a bit lame. Oh, and Martha gets a key to the TARDIS. Woohoo! Just in time for the Doctor to lose his memory and become human.


BBC Blurb

Doctor Who 42 Ep 7/13
Saturday 12 May
6.40-7.25pm BBC ONE

In a distant galaxy, a spaceship hurtles out of control towards a boiling sun with the Doctor and Martha trapped on board, as Russell T Davies's Doctor Who continues. They've only got 42 minutes to uncover the saboteurs, but, with a mysterious force starting to possess the ship's crew, the Doctor is running out of time.

David Tennant plays the Doctor and Freema Agyeman plays his companion, Martha Jones. Michelle Collins guest stars. 

The Doctor and Martha must try and save a ship from falling into the sun. They've only got 42 minutes. Suggested that this episode may be a homage to Douglas Adams as 42 is the meaning of life, the universe and everything according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Also suggested that the episode may be in the style of the TV series 24.

This episode stars Anthony Flanagan. In a recent interview with the Manchester Evening News on the 21st February he reported that he plays an engineer called Orin in episode seven - an adventure which also features former EastEnder Michelle Collins. "It was great fun. We're being pulled into the sun and we've got to find a way of not dying."

Interesting side note. This episode about falling into the heart of the sun, where everyone was suffering from the heat, was filmed in the middle of winter!

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