The Doomsday Machine - episode #35

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The Doomsday Machine - episode #35

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:42 am


THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE (2nd season, episode #35)
Directed by Marc Daniels  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  Like a Star @ heaven  writer: Norman Spinrad
Air Date: 10/20/67
"Bones, did you ever hear of a Doomsday Machine?" Kirk asks McCoy in the middle of this episode. We know, don't we? A doomsday bomb, perhaps the ultimate H-Bomb, built primarily as a bluff (see Beneath the Planet of the Apes from 1970 for more enlightenment). Now something has wandered into our galaxy, some alien race's version of their doomsday weapon, perhaps. It's miles long, with a maw that could swallow a dozen starships... and it destroys planets. You heard that right - it just chops planets up and chews down the remains for fuel. Fun, fun, fun, eh?
On the TNG series (The Next Generation) the threat of the Borg was introduced in the 2nd season to sort of add a little tension, to stir things up. It worked. But here was the early version. The Doomsday Machine shows us that there may be some really dangerous stuff out there - that it's not all benign, just waiting for us to happily explore. The story reworks the Moby Dick tale by introducing a version of Ahab - commodore Decker, a slightly older version of a commander such as Kirk. Guest star William Windom may have contributed the single best performance on the original series. As Decker, he just lost his crew and his ship, and is a walking dead man during this episode. Windom added startling nuance to a psychologically scarred, dark yet tragic character, dealing with trauma, as well as obsession and suicidal feelings.

The entire plot shifts around the midway point to the conflict between the psychologically damaged commodore and the huge, unfeeling monster machine. Of course, it's Decker who creates some kind of relationship in his damaged mind: he no longer sees it as an unfeeling machine but as his personal devil, to be vanquished, destroyed. Watch him as he first takes the captain's seat on the Enterprise, looking around his new command. All the crew are now just tools for his use, an insane objective. One definition of insanity is trying the same thing over & over, expecting different results the next time, such as ordering phasers to fire on an impenetrable surface. It's a great performance by Windom, always teetering towards some edge, highly unpredictable.
It's madness in space. It may be Doomsday. BoG's Score: 10


Extra Trek Trivia: the planet killer, as it's also called, is said to have a hull composed of Neutronium; that's also a state of matter described in black hole theory. Famed film actor Robert Ryan was originally intended for the Decker role, but could not work it into his schedule. Windom recreated his character many years later on one of the fan-created Trek episodes on the internet,The New Voyages. The fight between Decker and the security officer suggests a new, futuristic style of martial arts, more so than in other episodes. Sci-Fi writer Norman Spinrad wrote this script; it was his first TV script. He wrote the alternate-history novel The Iron Dream.


NOTE: The Below Video @YouTube (10m.Doomsday) may currently be out of sync;
you can also go here: http://www.georgepetergatsis.net/fun_DOOMSDAYin10.mov

THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE
in widescreen: this is a 10-minute version of the episode redone with new computer FX by a fan, and in 'widescreen' format, as if it were a film. In Star Trek-the Motion Picture (1979), the 1st Trek film, commodore Decker's son (played by Stephen Collins) was the refitted Enterprise's new commander. This relation was not stated outright, just implied, but was later established as canon.
remastered:


Last edited by BoG on Sun May 03, 2015 12:50 am; edited 7 times in total
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Doomsday Machine full episode

Post  BoG on Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:33 pm


CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Kirk: "Matt, where's your crew?"
Decker: "On the third planet."
Kirk: "There is no third planet."
Decker (sobbing): "Don't you think I know that?"




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