Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Doomsday Machine

TOS Season 2 Episode 6
Air Date: October 20th, 1967

This episode reminds me of the TNG episodes involving the crystalline entity. A space creature that goes from planet to planet destroying all life. Only this episode is about a creature that eats planets.

When the Enterprise enter a system where all the planets are missing, they discover the USS Constellation (I presume the first of the Constellation class star ships) destroyed and adrift. It has minimal life support so they beam over to investigate. They find the ship abandoned, well almost.

They find the captain Commodore Matt Decker in a state of shock. He said that they were attacked by some kind of weapon when investigating solar systems that have been destroyed. In a last effort to survive the crew beamed down to the third planet but before the Decker could beam down the weapon attacked again and damaged the transporters leaving him stranded. Then it destroyed the planet.

"Bones, did you ever hear of a doomsday machine" - Kirk
"No, I'm a doctor not a mechanic" - McCoy

The doomsday machine seemed to be going system to system, destroying planets and consuming them for fuel. It reminds me of Stargate Universe where the ship goes from galaxy to galaxy using stars to replenish its fuel storage. Spock plots the doomsday machines course directly into the most densely populated part of the galaxy.

The doomsday machine makes an appearance and strands Kirk, Scotty and two other crew on the USS Constellation. The Commodore Decker of the Constellation takes command of the Enterprise and chases the doomsday machine, his own Moby Dick. Like Ahab, Decker attacks the doomsday machine and almost gets the Enterprise destroyed. Scotty was able to get the Constellation impulse engines and a phaser bank working and Kirk distracts the machine long enough for the Enterprise to get some distance.

After re-establishing communication with the Constellation, Kirk tells Spock to relieve Decker of command. On his way to sickbay to be examined he attacks his escort and escapes on a shuttle craft. Decker flies the shuttle craft directly into the belly of the beast hoping to do some damage. Sulu detects that there was a power drop when the shuttle craft blew up. This gives Kirk and idea. Set the Constellations self destruct and "ram her right down that things throat".

I don't know what the general opinion on the remastered effects that they made in 2006, but I personally feel they did a great job. The effects look good while sticking with the art direction of the series. Here is an example of the doomsday machine before the remaster.

"Vulcan's never bluff" - Spock

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