This week’s episode:
Continuing the upward swing from the season’s current low-point (the Dalek episodes), “42” was another in the line of episodes reminiscent of the short stories found in the old Annuals, or the comic strips in Doctor Who Monthly — which, as I’ve said before, I think is a Good Thing ™.
Not great, by any means — I had heard that the “gimmick” was that the episode plays out in real time, but I saw no evidence that was the case; the welder’s masks on the possessed crew members had no purpose outside of making them creepy and ‘faceless’; and the re-use of some costuming (the space suit) made it seem much more reminiscent of last season’s “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit” than it actually was…. but, all in all, a good story, some nice effects (I *loved* the design of the starship), and absolutely brilliant music (Murray Gold is always good, but when I actually *notice* the music, that’s when he’s really “on”).
Another “Mr. Saxon” reference, building towards the big confrontation at the end of the season (although, I’ve got to admit, I’m getting tired of Martha’s mum — could we have other family members featured, please? It’s beginning to feel like a less-council-estate re-run of Jackie Tyler).
Next week is part one of a two-parter that I’ve been looking forward to — based on the 90’s ‘New Adventures’ novel “Human Nature” — which was one of the better books, but is throwing the fan community into a tizzy. At the time it was published, we were told that the novels represented “official” Doctor Who, and were to be considered “canon.” Now, they’re re-making one of the tales, with a different Doctor, and the Producers’ response is, basically, “Oh well. Deal with it.”
Personally, I have no problem with this. A story is a story, after all, and the whole “canon” thing originally began as a tongue-in-cheek effort among Sherlock Holmes fans, but has been taken up by fandom all over the spectrum, with apparent ignorance that it wasn’t supposed to be taken seriously…..