Most tensive of all TOS episodes
Seeley P | 04/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Doomsday mashine is my favourite TOS episode. Wolf in the Fold is also very exciting. TOS at its best - I recommend it!"
The Doomsday Machine
Seeley P | Texas | 02/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Doomsday Machine
Following a trail of debris and asteroids that are the planetary remains of Systems L370 through L374 the Starship Enterprise discovers the heavily damaged U.S.S. Constellation dead in space. Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and a damage control party beam over to the crippled starship to investigate the cause of its condition, they find the corridors littered with wreckage and debris as well as no one from the crew on board. The ship's phaser banks were completely exhausted and her warp drive was a hopeless pile of junk. Attempting to access the Constellation's computer logs in auxiliary control the landing party discovers the Constellation's commander, Commodore Matthew Decker. Decker relays a horrifying tale of a monstrous devil machine, which destroys planets by chopping them into rubble using a powerful anti-proton weapon.
Analysis of the Constellation's log tapes by Mr. Spock revealed that the Constellation had encountered an automated weapon of immense size and power slicing up the 4th Planet of System L374 and was using the debris for fuel. The U.S.S. Constellation had attempted to stop the marauding machine but was heavily damaged in the fight, with the ship dead in space and unable to support the crew Decker ordered that they beam down to the relative safety of the 3rd Planet in System L374. With the Commodore the last person on the Constellation the machine suddenly appeared and destroyed the 3rd Planet totally annihilating Decker's crew, the shock of watching his entire crew die while he was helpless to save them sent Decker over the edge. Kirk theorized that the "Doomsday Machine" as he called it was built primarily as a bluff and was never meant to be used but was used in a war uncounted centuries ago something like the 20th Century's H-Bomb.
Kirk orders McCoy and Decker to beam back to the Enterprise while he, Scotty and the damage control party stay on board the Constellation to get her ready to be towed to a repair facility. Decker's "Planet Killer" arrives just as McCoy and Decker beam over to the Enterprise, the machine attacks knocking out the Enterprise's transporter and stranding Kirk and the landing party aboard the derelict Constellation. The Enterprise suffers minor damage in the attack while the machine resumes its deadly original course right into the heart of the galaxy - the Rigel Colonies. Decker assumes command of the Enterprise from Spock and despite some colorful protests from Dr. McCoy, he orders the Enterprise to pursue and attack the Planet Killer before it can destroy the Rigel Colonies. Kirk and the damage control party work feverishly to restore the Constellation's main systems and her viewing screen in auxiliary control, the main screen is repaired and activated just in time for Kirk to see his ship attacking the Doomsday Device - the Enterprise's powerful weapons didn't even scratch the seemingly impenetrable neutronium outer hull of the Planet Killer.
The Enterprise takes a beating at the hands of the Planet Killer's main weapon which knocked out the starship's shields and caused multiple hull breaches and casualties. Spock manages to convince Decker that his course of action is foolhardy, reluctant; Decker orders the battered starship to veer off just as the machine traps the Enterprise with an extremely powerful tractor beam. Scotty manages to repair the Constellation's impulse drive and recharge one of her phaser banks, maneuvering the crippled ship into phaser range the Constellation is able to distract the Planet Killer there by releasing its hold on the Enterprise. After some assistance from Decker on the Enterprise both vessels manage to escape destruction.
Kirk finally managing to regain contact with the Enterprise orders Spock to take command from the obsessed and unstable Commodore. Decker relinquishing the bridge is ordered to be escorted to sickbay for an examination escorted by an Enterprise security officer. On the way to sickbay Decker overpowers his security escort and takes off for the hanger deck, reaching the shuttle bay he steals a shuttlecraft and heads for the Planet Killer. Kirk and Spock both attempt to convince the guilt ridden Decker to return to the Enterprise, Decker's feeling of guilt and sadness at the loss of his crew are too strong and he pilots the shuttle into the maw of the Doomsday Machine.
The shuttlecraft's explosion which caused a minute drop in the machine's power emanations gives Kirk an idea, having Scotty rig the Constellation's impulse engines to explode the ship is turned into a giant H-Bomb. Kirk's plan was to pilot the Constellation into the maw of the Planet Killer and detonate the impulse drive from the inside hopefully stopping the mechanical monster for good. The window of 30 seconds that the engines will explode after activating the countdown is very slim considering the fact that the Enterprise's transporter is not at 100% and therefore unreliable. Kirk decides to proceed despite the odds that are stacked against him. Scotty and the damage control party beam back to the Enterprise leaving Kirk alone on the Constellation, allowing him to complete final preparations before putting his plan into action. Scotty is able to repair the Enterprise's transporter and Kirk is transported off the Constellation just as the 97.835 megaton explosion created by the overloading impulse drive deactivates the Planet Killer.
One of Treks best, no question.