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THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE

THIS IS ONE OF THE TEN BEST TREKS!

GUEST STARS...
William Windom

PLOT SUMMARY...

The Enterprise encounters a huge, planet destroying, alien machine in space.

QUICK SCAN...

This episode features high suspense and exciting space action sequences. William Windom ("Newhart") delivers a terrific performance as the doomed Commodore Decker. If you like "Moby Dick", you'll love "The Doomsday Machine", which is essentially "Moby Dick" in space, with a dash of "The Caine Mutiny" for flavoring.

SYNOPSIS...

The Enterprise encounters Commodore Decker of the U.S.S. Constellation. All his crew are dead, as a result of a huge, space going machine that destroys planets.

Decker has been driven to madness by the loss of his crew. He conspires to take over the Enterprise, leaving Kirk stranded on the Constellation, which has a malfunctioning transporter. Spock assumes command of the Enterprise.

Decker flies a shuttle into the "mouth" of the alien machine, dying in the process. Kirk flies the Constellation towards the alien device. Kirk beams back to the Enterprise at the last moment; the Constellation explodes inside the huge alien machine, shutting it off.

REVIEW...

Director Marc Daniels', "THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE," is an exciting Sci-Fi adventure tale, pitting the Enterprise against a deadly, planet destroying alien machine. Daniels directed numerous other classic Trek episodes, including: "The Man Trap", "The Naked Time" and "Space Seed".

Under Daniels' masterful direction, William Windom ("To Kill a Mocking Bird", "The Bionic Woman", "My World and Welcome to It") gives a multi-layered performance, as the haunted Commodore Decker. Windom's Decker is truly a tragic figure, and his performance sticks with you long after the episode is over.

Some have referred to this episode, as "Moby Dick " in space. Because Windom's Decker could be compared to Bogart's famous performance as Captain Queeg, it would be more appropriate to call "THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE," as "Moby Dick" meets "The Caine Mutiny" in space.

My favorite scene takes place late in the episode. Captain Kirk, alone, is aboard the Constellation, on a collision course with the mouth of the doomsday machine. With deadly contact mere moments away, Scotty is having trouble beaming Kirk back to the Enterprise. The suspense is considerable and Kirk/Shatner's concern and impatience, convincing.

The Special Effects of the doomsday machine in space are decent. According to informed sources, the U.S.S. Constellation starship featured is actually a plastic Enterprise model, bought in a hobby store, and dressed up with Constellation decals and a different ship's number. Still photos seem to bear out this claim.

"THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE" should be highly watchable for most Sci-Fi viewers. William Windom fans will definitely dig this episode. "THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE" will knock you dead!

 

BEST BETS: The Enemy Within, Mirror-Mirror, Return to Tomorrow

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