2.35 : The Doomsday Machine.

Dave

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The one with the planet killing machine, and crazy Commodore Decker.

Decker made a decision to beam his crew to a planet "for safety", only to find the planet destroyed and the USS Constellation spared. He is a man very similar to Kirk, so we can identify with that, and the fact that Kirk may have done the same. The guilt ridden Matt Decker we see, distraught, and in shock, and is presumably what Kirk might become if he ever made a similar error of judgement. Only Decker realised that the doomsday machine had chopped up planets in the system, and that his crew were sent to the next planet in line. And couldn't he give Spock more detail on the planet killers weapon range, it might have helped a bit. Sounds like that would have given McCoy enough to certify him as unfit to command to me

Scotty loses his Scottish accent for one brief line of dialogue about the detonation trigger he has wired for the Constellation ("and thirty seconds later. . . poof!")
 

Technomage

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This is one of my favourite TOS episodes - I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game they were playing with the Planet Killer and the method they used to finally destroy it.

I would've liked to see this device revisited in some other Trek series, as there were probably more than one of them out there, plus it would have been interesting to see a newer class of ship go up against one.
 

Steve Jordan

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Re: best show of them all

wonder how many more are out there think the klingons would beat this
Are you kidding? Once the Klingons realized that sacrificing their ship would kill it, they'd be lining up for the "honor." They could fit half their fleet in there!

Seriously, the melodrama in this one was great, and the angst of a tortured Decker was palpable. I particularly loved Decker's rubbing the data tapes in his hand, ala The Caine Mutiny's Capt. Queeg. And the soundtrack and lighting were some of the best use of atmosphere in TOS.

Such a shame the Constellation was such a cheap-looking AMT model.
 

Steve Jordan

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FYI: I just came from watching this episode in the new "remastered effects" version. As one of the episodes that featured a lot of space scenes, I think it was one of the best uses of the new effects in the series (assuming you're not too much of a purist to condone watching the new effects versions).

I can't say the Domsday Machine came off looking any more menacing--stubbier, maybe--but seeing the damaged U.S.S. Constellation limping and bucking through space was great. (Such a shame my local station insists on editing out seconds here and there, and even entire snatches of conversation, to get those precious extra commercials in.)
 

BAYLOR

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One of the best episodes of the Original series .(y)
 

Extollager

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Topnotch teleplay. Nice use of the Star Trek ensemble (though where was Uhura?) to generate appropriate, interesting dialogue, and one of the very most interesting guest roles. The production team needed a strong, strong performance from the guest actor to carry the Commodore Decker role, and they got it from William Windom. I literally got goosebumps watching, yet again, his tortured first scene.

One can pick a nit or two -- the scale seems off in a number of scenes: if the Enterprise is that far away from the killer device, i.e. there's really, say, 500 or a thousand miles between them, but they look that close, the Enterprise must be enormous and so must be its crew. This problem could have been avoided if it weren't for the fact that the two objects seem to be on the same plane.

But this one, like "Naked Time" which I recently commented on, has that nice quality of being a science fiction teleplay in which the problem is resolved by people working hard at the scientific or engineering situation, + taking risks. A rather good knuckle-biter.
 

BAYLOR

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They original wanted Robert Ryan for the role of Matt Decker.
 

BAYLOR

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The one with the planet killing machine, and crazy Commodore Decker.

Decker made a decision to beam his crew to a planet "for safety", only to find the planet destroyed and the USS Constellation spared. He is a man very similar to Kirk, so we can identify with that, and the fact that Kirk may have done the same. The guilt ridden Matt Decker we see, distraught, and in shock, and is presumably what Kirk might become if he ever made a similar error of judgement. Only Decker realised that the doomsday machine had chopped up planets in the system, and that his crew were sent to the next planet in line. And couldn't he give Spock more detail on the planet killers weapon range, it might have helped a bit. Sounds like that would have given McCoy enough to certify him as unfit to command to me

Scotty loses his Scottish accent for one brief line of dialogue about the detonation trigger he has wired for the Constellation ("and thirty seconds later. . . poof!")
Given the fact that he was up against a planet Killer, beaming his crew onto a planet was an idiotic decision . One that he should have thought through. His crew would have made it had they stayed on the Constellation.

After having destroyed his own ship and gotten his crew killed n futile attempt to destroy the Planet Killer. Why would he repeat the same stupidity with the Enterprise and its crew? Had he survived, he would have probably been court marshaled.
 
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