Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 6

The Doomsday Machine (20 Oct. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 1,102 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 6 critic

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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Title: The Doomsday Machine (20 Oct 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Elizabeth Rogers ...
John Winston ...
Richard Compton ...
Lt. Washburn
John Copage ...
Tim Burns ...
Jerry Catron ...


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

20 October 1967 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Constellation's registration number has the same numbers as the Enterprise, just in a different order. See more »


When Commodore Decker's shuttle leaves the bay, the star field in the background changes mid scene. See more »


Matt Decker: That thing must be destroyed!
Mr. Spock: You tried to destroy it once before, Commodore. The result was a wrecked ship and a dead crew.
See more »


Referenced in Free Enterprise (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic TOS War Story
16 July 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

The Doomsday Machine is a war story at many levels. It is the story of war spun out of control exemplified by a self-sustaining ancient device which seeks, destroys and digests whole solar systems. It is a story about military conduct aboard Federation ships. And it is, of course, a parable connected to the development and proliferation of nuclear arms. Despite all this heady stuff, it is also one of the most suspenseful and driven episodes of TOS. It is remarkable that so many viewers seem to miss the obvious points made here now that we have deluded ourselves into believing that the bomb is no longer something to be afraid of.

The plot uses a simple device - a large, impenetrable and incomprehensible rocky-looking cone with some form of bizarre and very powerful energy within it - perhaps one of the strangest and most alien space monsters ever construed. Two starships, one crew-less and crippled, and one experiencing a power-struggle involving a possibly insane commander must figure out a way to survive and warn star fleet as the 'planet killer' is just about to reach a system inhabited by millions of colonists.

Marc Daniels' directing and an amazing performance by William Windom as Commodore Decker, CO of the Constellation, are highlights of this classic episode. The Norman Spinrad script is quite serious, but not at all heavy-handed, and the regular cast, especially Nimoy, also do outstanding work.

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