Star Trek 2.6 (The Doomsday Machine)
William Windom (Commodore Matthew Decker)
Jerry Catron (Crewman Montgomery)
Tim Burns (Crewman Russ)
John Copage (Crewman Elliot)
Richard Compton (Crewman Washburn)
Elizabeth Rogers (Lt. Palmer)
Writer: Norman Spinrad
I admit a bias towards this episode, not quite sure why. It’s not like it was one of the first episodes I ever saw or anything like that. I like this one simply because it’s great.
This is the first time (I think) we get to see another StarFleet vessel, certainly inside it. Okay, so it’s the Entperprise sets smashed up with some rubble thrown in, but you don’t get to see that very often.
Secondly, the guest actor (William Windom as Matt Decker) is excellent. His performance as he tells Kirk what happened to the crew of his ship, the USS Constellation, is amazing, you can feel his anguish at what happened. This part in the hands of a less capable actor could have ruined the episode – has Decker not convinced then a lot of what happened would have looked like hokey nonsence. Escpecially his suicide at the end. (If he died. New Voyages fans will think otherwise!)
Then there is the premise. An ancient robotic weapon is heading in a straight line to the most densely populated part of our galaxy (the thing that smashed up the Constellation) and must be stopped. We don’t know what it is or why it is there, Kirks theory that it is a leftover doomsday weapon from some ancient war is plausible but never proved. I think that is another reason I love this episode so much – in later versions of Trek they would have beamed aboard and found some database that they could translate and so on. No explanations here. This thing just is and must be stopped.
And finally there is the pacing. If all gets sorted in the last moments that it could be sorted (of course) and even the transporter needed to save Kirk from certian death breaks down thirty seconds before he will die. Again, a bit of a Trek cliche but here it is excellent.
Can’t say anything bad. It only doesn’t get a ten as I don’t give them. One of the best Star Trek episodes from any of the series.
Crew Deaths: 0
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 32