First “Midnight” now “42”, I’m really trying to go crazy aren’t I? But I want to get these god awful pieces of s**t out of my system once and for all. So let’s jump in shall we.
When Russell T Davies made Torchwood at some point he decided to make the writer Chris Chibnall head writer of the show. And seeing how he has the achievement of having written the worst story of both Torchwood and the new-Who it’s only fitting that I shout at him for as long as possible. I mean there’s nothing redeeming about this story and I mean NOTHIG. AT. ALL. Chibnall’s scripts often are ether stupid (“Cyberwoman”, “42”), or downright disgusting (“Countryside”, “Adrift”). And while there were several episode of Torchwood that he wrote that I enjoyed (“End of Days”, “Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang”, “Exit Wounds”) they’re still outnumbered by the incredibly s***y ones that he wrote. Also seeing how this is the worst story which the new-Who still has to offer, special precautions have been made to prevent me from killing myself:
- All sharp items (pens, knives, utensils, nail clippers, even the ladder to my bunk bed (yes they’re cool) have been removed from the building.
- They took my school uniform tie to prevent me from hanging myself.
- The padded the edges and framed the lenses of my glasses (yes I wear glasses) (so I don’t jab them in the sides of my throat or use the lenses to slit my wrists).
- And they even took the effort to tape several pillows to my forehead so I don’t bonk myself on the head to death.
- But they failed to find my secret stash of sparkling cyanide vials, so let’s see just how much I can stand before I say “bottoms up”.
Apparently nobody told Chris Chibnall just how huge stars are, the boiling temperature of water, and even basic knowledge of physics, astronomy, chemistry and biology as this episode has been scientifically proven to lower a person’s IQ by the second. I just don’t know where to begin with the episode’s overwhelming piles of bad science.
Okay so it’s been established that a heat shield is what prevents the crew of the ship from being roasted to death by the sun’s heat, okay I can buy that. What I can’t buy is the fact that there’s no explanation as to how they can survive billions of rads (unit of measurement of radiation) worth of radiation that are constantly emitted from the sun and are slamming against the ship’s hull. Even lead-lined hulls are pretty much useless at that close range unless they’re thicker than a skyscraper’s width. And no the heat shield doesn’t protect them from radiation because it’s never been stated that it can.
Let’s hear a line that the Doctor says in a single scene about people possessed by the sun:
“Body temperature 100C”
“Body temperature 100C”
BULLS**T!!! It is physically and biologically impossible for a human body to be heated to 100 degrees and still be able to move. In case you don’t know (which is next to impossible by the way) water (and by that extension – blood and body liquids) boils when it reaches 100 Celsius (as Celsius based his scale on the water: 0 = frozen, 100 = boiling). If your body’s cells get dehydrated then your body’s muscles won’t be able to move even if your nervous system still works, also let’s not forget that the enzymes that cause the chemical reactions in an organism to happen get denatured (deactivated) at around 45-50C. Without your enzymes the chemical reactions which provide energy to your brain and muscles will cease, your body will start to decay, your brain functions will end and you will DIE. Apparently Chibnall flunked his biology exams it’s the only explanation.
You know I’m getting tired of pointing out just how little Chris Chibnall knows about science but the bulls**t science is just so much I need a bigger shovel to scoop all of it away. So we discover that the star is alive and that its motivation for killing people is that they took (by star scale) microscopic amounts of matter in order to fuel their ship. This somehow pissed the star so badly that is going to kill other sentient life forms just to recover microscopic amounts of itself. In reality stars are pretty huge, so huge in fact that even if a star just happens to be sentient, I really don’t think it’s gonna feel anything if it just so happens to be separated from, what in human terms would be, a single cell of its body. Also if you looked at a shot of the ship and the star in the background you’ll see that the star still looks pretty small (even red dwarfs aren’t that small). The only reasonable explanations for the appearance of the star’s size relative to how much time the ship has before it collides with it, are:
- The ship is ether the size of Jupiter, or it’s moving at near light speed.
- It’s an artificial star (they’re pretty small), but that theory goes into the trash as the star is alive.
- Chris Chibnall + the director of this episode are idiots.
So take a pick.
Chemistry? What's That?
Apparently he didn’t pay much attention in chemistry ether as the crew discover that people possessed by the sun are capable of vaporizing people. Not setting them on fire but just vaporizing them. It is impossible to heat an individual to such a precise temperature that they’ll be instantly turned to gas without first becoming plasma (fire), there are varying temperatures to different parts of the body. Also the Doctor also said that the following occurs in the possessed body:
“Oxygen replaced by hydrogen”
[chuckles] I’m sorry but what did he just say?
“Oxygen replaced by hydrogen”
[bursts into laughing] I’m sorry I just can’t believe what I heard, le-let’s play it one more time as I drink my customary pint of coke, and eat my traditional bar of chocolate both at the same time as I confirm that he didn’t just said that.
“Oxygen replaced by hydrogen”
[chokes and spits the coke and the chocolate] HOLY S**T!!! HE SAID IT!!! HE ACTUALLY SAID THE STUPIDEST THING EVER!!! Well that just goes to show that Chris Chibnall is a moron when it comes to science. Part of the definition of “science fiction writer” is to have at least basic knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, genetics and astronomy so that you don’t write total bulls**t . “42” just makes people dumber for watching it and unfortunately the bad science isn’t the only problem in this episode. In fact there are many so I won’t bother explaining why I think that the Doctor’s statement is bulls**t so moving on...
This episode is a symphony of stupid (literally). And let me just list in details every single stupid moment this s**ty episode has to offer.
- The security system was invented by drunks.
- No one knows the answers to all of the system’s questions (anymore).
- Riley and Martha try to hide from the clearly intelligent possessed person in a f***ing escape pod!!!
- Everyone just happens to be away from the bridge and on the same section of the ship when the lockdown happened (pretty convenient right?)
- The Doctor goes outside the ship (that’s so close to a star it’s barely cool enough to keep its crew alive) in a f***ing radiation suit.
- A person who’s heated to 100C looks perfectly hydrated even though he should probably be skinnier (and deader) than a starving African.
- Just how drunk do you have to be to think of extremely random questions to your security systems?
- Riley’s mispronunciation to the word “Beatles”.
- The Doctor being completely useless in this entire episode.
- And there’s so many more...
And now, because I don't know any better...
...the top 10 out of context lines in the franchise that describe this episode (all of the lines below are actual quotes).
10. - “S**t, I said it was stupid...” – Owen Harper (“Everything Changes”)
9. - “It’s extremely very not good” – The Doctor (“Flesh and Stone”)
8. - “It’s beyond wrong” – Owen Harper (“Cyberwoman”)
7. - “...a ‘serial’ killer” – Luke Smith (“Warriors of Kudlak”)
6. - “It’s bad, very bad” – Maria Jackson (“Invasion of the Bane”)
5. - “A foolish waste of energy” – Davros (“Revelation of the Daleks”)
4. - “King of the wasteland” – The Master (“The End of Time, Part 1”)
3. - “...dust and darkness” – Sutekh (“Pyramids of Mars”)
2. - “It’s very pretty and pretty dangerous” – The Doctor (“Planet of the Dead”)
And the number 1 out of context line that describes this episode is:
1. - “Rat jam” – Owen Harper (“Day One”)
Again like before we have a wide range of dimensionless characters. I say dimensionless because calling them one-dimensional would be an insult to one-dimensional characters. I dare you to say anything about these characters because I know absolutely nothing about them. For all I care you can rearrange their positions on the ship and in the plot and you’ll have the same characters. Normally I’ll say something that’ll point out just how underdeveloped they are but I can’t because Chibnall didn’t bother to develop them at all.
There’s pretty much no denying that the story sucks, and can it not suck when the main villain is a joke, the protagonists’ problems a multiplying like hell (you know, soap opera-style), and your characters are dimensionless. I fact there is no story, only a sequence of events that take place over a period of 42 minutes. In order for me to care about the characters, the heroes, the plot, the stakes, the resolution, etc. I need to see drama. There is no drama or comedy or any emotion at all (even the scene where Martha talks to her mum didn't sound dramatic), just people running around and the Doctor being completely useless (as previously stated). I’m really starting to hate this episode.
So we discover that the sun is alive, most of the characters are dead, Riley and the unnamed crewmember reach the control room, Martha tells them to vent the fuel into the star which raises the following question: If they used the star to refuel it must mean that most of their fuel comes from this star, and if they vented their fuel how can they move away from the star? Oh and I almost forgot: THE POSSESSED PEOPLE BROKE THE F***ING ENGINES!!! DID CHRIS CHIBNALL THINK THAT WE WOULDN’T REMEMBER THAT PART!!! Well judging by the episode’s consistency they probably fixed them off-screen. Finally the Doctor and Martha go back to the TARDIS where she and Riley share a moment together, yeah ‘cos that is totally realistic character development. THESE TWO HAVE KNOWN EACH OTHER A GRAND TOTAL OF 45 MINUTES!!!!! CHRIS CHIBNALL YOU...
[2 hours later...]
Again I apologise for this outrage, it just that CHRIS CHIBNALL IS A F...
[Another 2 hours later...]
[breathes heavily] Okay, calm down. It’s just a stupid episode, it’s just a stupid episode...
[2 minutes later...]
So the darkest hour of Doctor Who is finally over, you guys can take comfort in the fact that there’s no way anyone can make an episode that’s in any way worse than this. There is no story, no characters, no nothing. It’s just a horrible sci-fi action-horror movie that just happened to be a Doctor Who episode. 0/10.