Recap: Doctor Who S29 E7 "42"

"Burn with me."

It's "The Impossible Planet", In the Style of... 24... IN SPACE!

The Doctor and Martha land the TARDIS aboard a spaceship, only to have the room they landed in rise to unbearable temperatures, trapping them aboard the ship, which is being pulled into a nearby sun. Martha and the Doctor have only forty-two minutes to save the ship, the crew and themselves. Meanwhile, a member of the crew has contracted a mysterious illness. His body temperature rises to an impossible height just before he opens his burning-white eyes and absolutely fries a fellow crew member to a scorch on the wall.

The only way to save the ship is to pass through a security system, which the crew inconveniently programmed while they were drunk, and decided that it would be a good idea to make it a series of obscure trivia questions. It's like the Pub Quiz from Hell. Martha phones her mum, her own Voice with an Internet Connection, and gets some answers... unaware that Mrs Jones' phone is being tapped by the mysterious people from "The Lazarus Experiment", the ones with sinister music cues; they are revealed to be government agents working for Mr. Saxon.

Before Martha and the other guy make it to the finish, though, another crew member gets infected with the mysterious burning illness and corners Martha and another crew member in an escape pod. The Doctor freezes the infected crewman, but it is too late, and the escape pod has already been released. Martha and the crewman are falling into the sun, and the escape pod retrieval controls are on the outside of the ship... Fat lot of good they'll do there.

The Doctor dons a familiar orange spacesuit and saves Martha's ass, but as he's clinging to the side of the spaceship he gets a very clear view of the sun — and the sun gets a very clear view of him. Apparently the sun is alive, and it's angry. The Doctor, succumbing to the same possession by the sun that claimed the other two crew members, reveals that the only way the sun will let them go is if they return the stolen sun particles the ship has been using for fuel. Martha takes care of it and saves the day, because the Doctor's a bit preoccupied with going batshit insane.


  • Famous Last Words: "Kill me now."
  • Fantastic Aesop: Remember kids, always check to make sure that the star you're using as a fuel source isn't sentient...
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Mr Saxon sent people to listen to Martha's mother's phone.
    • Also marks the first appearance of Master's Leitmotif and the drumbeat.
    • The Doctor being scared shitless and powerless underneath something he barely comprehends foreshadows "Midnight".
  • Genius Loci: The Sun is pissed off about the solar scooping.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The signature defining characteristic and weapon of those possessed by the sun. Used with terrifying effectiveness when the Doctor reveals his glowing eyes just before he forces them shut as the sun begins to possess him.

Alternative Title(s):

Doctor Who NSS 3 E 742