‘THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
In this episode, the Enterprise comes up against a gigantic alien machine that devours planets and ships. Captain Kirk calls this a ‘doomsday machine’, as he and his crew try to outrun it in outer space.
They also need to find a way to destroy this new weapon without destroying themselves. It’s a tense and gripping episode that I enjoyed seeing and this proves to be a real thriller of an epic space opera.
The special guest star of this episode is William Windom as Commodore Matt Decker. He was in command of the starship Constellation that got attacked in the alien machine’s wake in outer space.
The Constellation is now adrift. Commodore Decker tries to take command of the Enterprise ship from Spock and he pilots a shuttlecraft into the mouth of the planet killer in an attempt to destroy it.
I found it tense when Spock reluctantly had to let Decker to take command of the Enterprise ship. But it is clear that Decker is unstable, as he and the Enterprise attempt an attack on the planet killer.
Kirk sees this from on the view-screen of the damaged Constellation ship and is angered that Decker put his ship in danger. He orders Spock to take over from Decker and assume command of the ship.
It was pretty tense when Spock insisted that Decker let him take command of the Enterprise or else he’ll have him arrested. Decker grudgingly and reluctantly relieves himself of command of the ship.
I liked it when Bones tries to defend Spock during his relief of command by Decker and protests against it. Decker was naughty when he fought the security guard who was escorting him to sick bay.
Sometimes it seems that Decker is a madman and flipped when he’s trying to assume command of the Enterprise. But his regret of losing his own ship and his people motivates his actions in this story.
When Decker pilots the shuttle into the mouth of the planet killer, Kirk and Spock insist that he return to them. But Decker is determined. It seems like suicide when the shuttle enters the machine.
But it transpires that Decker was onto something, as the shuttle’s entry into the machine damaged some of its systems. Kirk attempts to do what Decker did, except by with the damaged Constellation.
Kirk with Scotty’s help intend to overload the impulse engines of the Constellation ship and set a 30-second detonation device for it to explode. It’s a risky go to destroy the machine, but it could work.
I was on the edge of my seat as Kirk was still on the Constellation as it enters the doomsday machine. He insists that the Enterprise beams him back aboard when the transporter malfunctions.
This episode also guest stars Elizabeth Rogers as Lt. Palmer. She’s temporary communications officer aboard the Enterprise. I assume Lt. Uhura is off on holiday during this episode. She’s missing the fun!
I must say that I’m very impressed with the new CGI effects for the re-mastered version of this episode. The CGI shots of the Enterprise, the Constellation and the planet killer machine are superb!
‘The Doomsday Machine’ is a terrific ‘Star Trek’ episode! My Mum doesn’t seem to think there’s much action in this episode, but I found it gripping and so tense that had me on the edge of my seat.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 2 of both the original and the re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘The Doomsday Machine’ (TOS) rating – 8/10
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