“They say there is no devil… but there is… right out of Hell… I saw it.”
Written by Norman Spinrad
Directed by Marc Daniels
Transmitted October 20, 1967
Captain Kirk finds the USS Constellation adrift in space. At the helm is a shattered Commodore Decker, a fractured shadow of the mighty commander he once was. The ship is vacated except for Decker, who claims that the crew had been left to survive on ‘the third planet’ while he chased down a mysterious planet eater. When Kirk reminds Decker that there is no third planet, Decker disintegrates into tears. The monstrous creature, the doomsday machine threatens all life and seems impervious to damage.
And damaged as he is, Decker is determined to destroy it.
Part of the second series of Star Trek, The Doomsday Machine is a space epic exploring the devastating power of this future world where men and women explored the deepest reaches of the universe, encountering unimaginable beings and universes. This threat is all that remains from an intergalactic war, a device designed to end all conflict through superior firepower alone… something so powerful and deadly that it is described as coming ‘straight from Hell.’ Neither entirely mechanical nor living, the ‘planet eater’ consumes everything and anything in its path from spacial debris to space craft to planets themselves. Completely unmanned, it is on a path of destruction that includes the planet Earth.
A harrowing and startling statement on the futility of war, the Doomsday Machine is a message to the audience at the time who lived against the hopelessness of thermonuclear war.
The Doomsday Machine Revealed is a fascinating documentary that delves into the initial script, designs and other aspects that make this one of the most memorable of the classic Trek episodes.
The Doomsday Machine Revealed Trailer
Due to the delay in the releasing of this film, offered here is a look at the early demo concept. (Please excuse the errant photo of Sol Kaplan at the conclusion of the music segment—-actually Gerald Fried). This cut is not representative of the final version in terms of format, sequence, topics, visual FX, etc. Please forward this video to those you feel may find it interesting; further exposure will only help the cause towards a final version being completed and released, including an intended series of other ST episodes to be “revealed”.
My thanks to Eddie Paskey and Norman Spinrad for their contributions.
This film was premiered at Polaris 26, Toronto, ONT.