Doctor Who (David Tennant) – 42 and Human Nature

The Doctor (Tennant) and Martha (Freema Agyeman) dive into a real-time episode this week. 42, while being the answer to life, the universe and everything, is how long the episode is in minutes once the titles have been removed.

Written by Chris Chibnall the episode had its premiere on 19 May, 2007.

The Doctor and Martha find themselves on a broke down spaceship that is hurtling into a star and will crash into in 42 minutes destroying everyone aboard. Unfortunately there is more to it than just restarting the engines.

The Time Lord and Companion are split up as they take on separate jobs with the ship’s crew. Martha is working her way to the bridge, but each door is coded with a trivia question created by the crew, where one wrong answer will keep them permanently locked out.

The Doctor after encouraging the remainder of the crew to do their best to gear up their engines, discovers that there is a menace on the ship connected to the energy scoop gathering methods of the ship.

This one is a thrill a minute (quite literally as it’s real time) and is also very spooky, the phrase “Burn with me,” gets to be as spooky as “are you my mummy?”

Chibnall tells a good story, and it’s no surprise that he will move to series showrunner in 2018. There are some great moments in the episode where even the Doctor seems a little frightened, and more telling, he becomes upset. There are times when the Doctor happily gallivants through a story, and not only this regeneration, but this time, things happen, he’s engaged, and driven, and it’s really fun to see this version of the character.

I like this one a lot, not to mention the sinister hints of Saxon at the end of the episode.


Human Nature is a bit of odd creation, and it’s a two parter. Prior to this there was a general consensus that official Doctor Who novels tentatively fit within established canon.

Then along comes this story. It’s actually adapted from a previously published novel featuring the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy). The novel was adapted by its author, Paul Cornell, and aired on 26 May, 2007.

The Doctor has lost his memory. Or that is to say, he has had his memory blocked and repressed to hide him from the Family of Blood who are hunting the Time Lord.

He has hidden himself in a Boy’s School as one of their professors, John Smith, in 1913. He has asked Martha to look after him, leaving her a list of instructions, guides and a way to release his memory, trapped in a fob watch, while she serves as a school maid. Unfortunately, he doesn’t remember her, or any of his past lives, and he’s developed a bit of a life, even a love life, with Joan Redfern (Jessica Hynes).

His past lives only intrude on him at night when he dreams and he’s filled a journal with Impossible Things.

The Family, a very disturbing creation, have tracked him to his location, and prepare to assault the school with their army of scarecrows.

The episode races to a cliffhanger that we’ll have to wait until next week to resolve when they confront The Family of Blood.


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