Doctor Who (2005) s03e07 – 42

There have to be TV shows where they unintentionally duplicate episodes. Soap operas, whatever. The same plot must get repeated. Unintentionally. Because it very obviously happens intentionally, such as with 42, which is a riff on a great two-parter from last season, only without anything similarly great.

Like, if you’re going to remake something… don’t remake something great and do a middling job of it. It doesn’t help the supporting cast is wanting. It doesn’t help it’s a horror episode with a director who can’t do horror. Though Graeme Harper’s direction is rather wanting overall.

It also has, maybe, a reveal from a “Star Trek” episode. Maybe. It’s from something—and it was used again in an excellent Mike Carey Barbarella comic—but last season’s original version of 42 was also a riff on something else. Riffing on riffs in genre is fine… just have something to do with it. Writer Chris Chibnall has got zip. Oh, wait, he gives Freema Agyeman a love interest—William Ash—but just a temporary one. I guess Ageyman gets a substantive subplot to herself, leaving David Tennant to deal with the more wanting supporting actors. Ash is at least cute (ish), whereas Tennant’s hanging out with captain Michelle Collins (her ship is falling into the black hole… sun, sorry, sun). Collins is… miscast. The part’s not good, Harper’s direction’s not good, but it does seem like Collins is supposed to be doing something more in the part and it never clicks. It’s peculiar.

Or maybe I was just remembering how good the actors were in the previous version of this episode.

Either way… Collins and Tennant are not magic together or even mildly amusing like Agyeman and Ash.

There’s a do-it-yourself Cyclops (X-Men Cyclops) thing going on with the possessed astronauts. Or whatever they’re called. Doesn’t matter.

It’s a pointless episode but should be a lot better.

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