Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The Doomsday Machine 

The USS Enterprise encounters the wrecked USS Constellation and its distraught captain who's determined to stop the giant planet-destroying robot ship that killed his crew.

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Elizabeth Rogers ...
John Winston ...
Richard Compton ...
John Copage ...
Elliott
Tim Burns ...
Russ
Jerry Catron ...
Montgomery
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Storyline

The U.S.S. Constellation and its crew were destroyed by a giant robot ship which consumes planets for fuel, leaving only a guilt-ridden Commodore Decker aboard the crippled ship. Kirk beams over to begin repairs while Decker beams aboard the Enterprise. After Kirk loses radio contact with the Enterprise, the obsessed Commodore seizes command of the starship, determined to destroy the planet-killer, even at the cost of Kirk's ship and the entire crew. Written by fkelleghan@aol.com

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20 October 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The story was taken from an unpublished novel by Norman Spinrad. See more »

Goofs

Star Fleet uses Metric measurements (kilometres etc) and Star Trek characters and scripts normally reflect this as they approach objects etc, but Decker describes the planet-killer as "miles long" - revealing the contemporary US 1960's Imperial system being used in that particular script. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Spock: Captain, you're getting dangerously close to the planet killer.
Capt. Kirk: I intend to get a lot closer: I'm going to ram her right down that thing's throat.
Mr. Spock: Jim, you'll be killed, just like Decker.
Capt. Kirk: No, no, I don't intend to die, Mr. Spock. We've rigged a delay detonation device, you'll have 30 seconds to beam me aboard the Enterprise before the Constellation's impulse engines blow.
Mr. Spock: Your chances of survival are not promising. We don't even know if the explosion will be powerful enough.
Capt. Kirk: A calculated risk, ...
[...]
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Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: The Man Who Came to Be Dinner (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb Story of Obsession
7 July 2006 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

One of the other commentators described this story as "Moby Dick" in space, and William Windom makes a hell of an Ahab.

The Enterprise comes across the remains of the U.S.S. Constellation, whose only survivor is its commanding officer, Commodore Matt Decker (Windom). Kirk learns that the crew of the Constellation, as well as the star system it was patrolling, was the victim of a large, cone-shaped, matter-sucking machine. Decker, overwhelmed with guilt for the loss of his crew and an obsession for vengeance, takes command of the Enterprise (while Kirk is trying to repair the Constellation) and attempts to destroy the machine.

The key to this episode is Windom's superb performance, which is balanced against Nimoy's (as always) level-headed Spock and Shatner's sympathetic Kirk. The finale is also remarkably suspenseful.


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