Star Trek: The Doomsday Machine   Rewatch 
March 21, 2015 10:38 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The starship Enterprise comes into contact with its sister ship, the USS Constellation which has been heavily damaged by a huge fortified planet-killing machine from another galaxy. Kirk and his crew must find a means to stop the device heading for heavily populated areas of our galaxy, and deal with the heavily traumatized Commodore Decker, the Constellation '​s only survivor.

"The Doomsday Machine" is episode #35, production #35, and was first broadcast on October 20, 1967 and repeated on April 19, 1968. It was written by Norman Spinrad, and directed by Marc Daniels.

TrekMovie review. Overall this episode is considered one of the best of the series with its plot similar to Melville's Moby Dick.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and YouTube.
posted by Benway (6 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
  1. "Notneemore!"
  2. "Borgus frat!"
  3. Spock facing off Decker with that huge wireless earpiece hanging in his ear. ("Vulcans don't bluff.")
  4. Everyone always cites Moby-Dick, but there's also a bit of The Caine Mutiny here, only instead of Queeg's ball bearings, Decker brandishes a deck (heh) of colorful plastic memory chips.

posted by Herodios at 5:16 PM on March 21, 2015

This is one of my favs, or at least best-remembereds. The only thing that doesn't quite work for me now is the somewhat heavy handed "THIS IS A METAPHOR" from Kirk.
William Windom is great as the shell-shocked Decker.
For some reason, I really enjoyed the bit when the Enterprise first encounters the planet killer and Sulu swivels around in his chair to face Spock, who is on the phone with Kirk, as if to say "Hey… are you not seeing this giant weird thing on viewscreen?"
And of course, "Gentlemen, I suggest you beam me aboard"
posted by rodlymight at 9:31 AM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Overall this episode is considered one of the best of the series with its plot similar to Melville's Moby Dick.

I'm genuinely surprised. Easily in my top 5 of worst episodes.
posted by juiceCake at 6:49 AM on March 23, 2015

My first rewatch since Nimoy died. Damn he was good.
posted by whuppy at 7:16 AM on March 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

This was one of my favorites at the time, and I still love it! I also love William Windom (I once saw him live on stage performing Thurber!) and really enjoyed him here. I'm sure I hadn't seen "The Caine Mutiny" yet, so I missed the whole Queeg thing with the 4" floppy discs. I also hadn't yet read the Patrick O'Brien Aubrey/Maturin books, so I didn't yet know all about Commodores.

I agree that we didn't need help from Kirk to see the giant flaming metaphor. I'd wonder why Decker had a pretzel insignia, but luckily, when investigating Kirk's green uniform last time, I found out that the pretzel was a huge mistake in the Costume Department, with them thinking each Starship had a different badge.
posted by acrasis at 1:40 PM on February 1, 2021

Ohura wasn't in this one for some reason. Wikipedia says its a bottle episode, but there's a comms officer with speaking lines in this one.
posted by pwnguin at 7:53 PM on December 2, 2023

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