Here's a review from that kid with kids, my Li'l Buddy from the Idiot's Delight Digest and as they would say in "Elfquest", family in all but blood, Sean:
"42" was a terrific episode. No argument.
You can argue, the helmet should have been not so clunky, it was derivative of "The Impossible Planet", it was heavy on action, whatever.
It was a terrific episode.
To begin with, it solidifies Martha as a genuine, top of the list companion. This is the relation of Doctor/Companion at it's best. We have this figure, the lost Gallifreyan, the Lonely God, master of Time and Space who needs, needs someone in his life, however transitory, to give him meaning and purpose.
The Doctor without companion is almost nothing. He becomes not lonely, but abandoned, desolate and destitute. He rescues a family from the sinking Titanic. He roams about, ferrying the Master's remains while sipping tea and listening to a gramophone. The Doctor bereft of Ace, even his TARDIS reflects his state. An industrial wasteland. The Lonely God does not need worshipers, he needs companions. However small next to him, however primitive, they are his beloved companions. They are his faith.
The reason that this episode is one of the great ones is that it gives us the Doctor at his weakest. The flawed god, the corruptible god, the god that needs his companion. Without the companion he would have fallen. With the companion he is raised. With the companion he is raised and he shows us the darkness. The thieves in us, the ignorance in us, the heartlessness in us. But only with the companion. The companion is his channel.
To continue, the reason that this episode is one of the great ones is because I loved it! It is the reason Doctor Who is wonderful. Like a Shakespearean play of old, it has something for everyone.
Like they say in the Drowsy Chaperone, it fills it's part. It has something for everyone! Some love the historical episodes. Some love the contemporary episodes. Some love the futuristic episodes. Some love action, some love drama. But the show has it all.
Where is the Doctor not? He is everywhere. He is in our pre-history, he is in our ever changing present, he is in our far-future. He is the ever-present god, and he is lonely.
And enter the companion.
Maybe the companion never fills the loneliness, who could? The Doctor is himself bigger on the inside than he is on the outside. The sheer amount of death he has witnessed, partaken in. But through a companion, he is able to channel that darkness into light, into meaning. The lonely god of death is able to smile, give life and meaning and go on.
This is a great show. Television itself could be summed up into one show, 'Doctor Who'. This is a terrific episode. It sums up the relationship between Time Lord and Human, Doctor and companion, god and follower. It is what it is; human and everywhere.