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Talk:The Doomsday Machine (episode)

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QuotesEdit

The list of memorable quotes appears far too long for them all to be memorable. Many of them are entire scenes of dialogue. I believe some should be removed. Jaz talk 18:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I removed a bunch of the quotes, and corrected the remaining ones. Skold 18:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Text removed, citations needed Edit

I removed the following bits of text for the reasons stated below:

  • Norman Spinrad was displeased with the model used for the berserker-- he envisioned a doomsday machine bristling with all sorts of evil-looking weapons. Considering the challenging effects and set budget for this episode, the weapon turned out pretty well.
Removed second sentence: opinion, let the viewer draw his/her own conclusion. Also, needs to be cited.
  • William Windom most notably played the prosecutor opposite Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. Windom's prop in that film was a pencil, which he toyed with while cross-examining witnesses.
Belongs in Windom's article, if anywhere; no real relation to this episode.
  • Vulcans never bluff.
I don't know if this is true or not, but to be kept, it needs to be fleshed out a bit more than this, and cited.

Several other statements need citations as well, and were marked as such.

Renegade54 16:41, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Spinrad's displeasure with the model of the doomsday machine is mentioned in David Gerrold's making of "The Trouble With Tribbles" book. Not up to speed on how to put this info on the page, sorry.

I've also heard the story of Spinrad pushing for Robert Ryan as Decker, but forget where I read it. Sir Rhosis 20:30, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Removed second sentence of:

  • Sol Kaplan's suspenseful "countdown" music, written for this episode, was re-used (some would say overused) in many second season episodes. Was this music the inspiration for John Williams' award winning two-note-based music in "Jaws"?

...as it's purest speculation, and not related to this ep. —Spider 21:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Berserker? Edit

Changed references to "berserker" to read "planet killer". The device is never called a berserker in the ep, and it doesn't really fit the definition of the word. If the description comes from a script or other source, it needs to be cited. —Spider 21:09, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Folks who use the term "berserker" in speaking of this episode are probably thinking of the science-fiction stories by Fred Saberhagen where "berserkers" are the names given to ancient doomsday weapons dedicated to the destruction of organic life. The first of Saberhagen's berserker stories saw print in the 1960s, and therfore theoretically may have somehow inspired this episode's creation, but absent any real citation to that effect, that's just speculatory and probably not suited for mention in the article itself. —TommyRaiko 21:32, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
The cover copy in the novelization of this episode (Star Trek 3 by James Blish) uses the word "berserker" as a description of the planet killer. Scott son of Pete 18:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

What happened to Washburn? Edit

In this episode, Scott and eventually Kirk both transport back to the Enterprise. Washburn however is evidently left to his own devices, as he seems to be left behind to die in the explosion.

After the last time we see Washburn, Kirk tells Spock, "Mister Scott and I will stay here, but beam the damage control party aboard," and then Spock tells Kyle to do so. Presumably, the damage control party that was beamed back included Washburn, Elliot and Russ. - Bridge 01:56, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Kirk's line makes it obvious: "Washburn, get down to Engineering, assist Mr. Scott." Since Washburn was one of the Damage Control party, why would anyone believe he didn't go back? We didn't see the other two guys beam out either. Scott son of Pete 18:19, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Background Cleanup Edit

I cleaned up background information to remove POV/commentary and nitpicks that had crept in. Most could be simply rephrased, but I felt the following should be removed here for now:

  • William Windom's powerful acting in this segment makes it doubly regretful that his character would not return to the show. Like Captain Queeg and the ball bearings he used as worry balls in The Caine Mutiny, Matt Decker absent-mindedly shuffles two record tapes in his hand, both in the Constellation's Auxiliary Control room and later on the Bridge of the Enterprise.

The first sentence is pure POV without facts. The second appears to be personal commentary, but I'm unsure what its getting at. Please re-add if it is a factual connection.

I removed the following for being nitpicks:

  • Watch Lt. Palmer during the scene when Spock is insisting to Decker that he give the command, "If you do not veer off, I shall relieve you on that basis." She alone is covering her ears as though a loud noise is supposed to be occurring. Apparently whatever the director had intended as an audible part of this scene did not make the final cut.
  • In the fight scene involving William Windom (Decker) and Montgomery, the scuff marks on the floor shows that scene was obviously filmed and refilmed several times.
  • When Kyle calls the bridge and tells Spock that the transporter is out, he sounds like he's right on the bridge, although it had been established that Kyle was operating the transporter. This is because the sound editor forgot to filter John Winston's voice in post-production.

I removed the following for being commentary:

  • There is a curious event in this episode that may have resulted from an unscripted ad lib by James Doohan. Just after Kirk dispatches Scott to the engine room of the Constellation, Scotty tells Washburn, "Come along, lad!" Immediately, Kirk says, "Washburn, you get in there", referring to a section of the auxiliary control room (this is to get the viewing screen in the control room working so that Kirk can see what is going on between the Enterprise and the Planet Killer). Richard Compton (Washburn) looks genuinely surprised at the contradictory orders.

If there is a source stating it was ad libbed, feel free to re-add it, with proper rewriting.

I removed the italicized text below because I believe it is untrue:

(This line from the novelization has achieved at least semi-canonical status, considering its Roddenberry origins and the fact it has yet to be contradicted in any official source).

In addition, I think a lot of the information is misplaced in this article. In particular, the notes about the engineering set and the green wraparound tunic contain a lot of information irrelevant to the episode. They should really just state that this was the first appearance; the other information should be moved in my opinion. – Cleanse 09:38, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

"The casualties you're about to send me" Edit

From the "Apocrypha" section:

In James Blish's adaptation, Decker's first name is "Brand" and he doesn't pilot the shuttlecraft into the planet-killer. In addition, after being ordered off the bridge by Decker with "Mr. Spock knows his duties under regulations, doctor... do you?" Blish gives McCoy one final retort: "Yes, sir -- go to sickbay and wait for the casualties you're about to send me."

Didn't this line resurface in TNG's "Chain of Command, pt. 2"? Crusher to Jellico? I'm 90% sure it did, but I'm on the road and don't have any way to check. 206.191.22.165 21:08, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

...edit after logging in, just to put my actual sig here. Jeh 21:28, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

You're right that it did, though if memory serves it was slightly reworded. I think it was something like: "Get sickbay ready for the casualties you're about to send me."

NitpicksEdit

Regarding: "* Actor James Doohan (Montgomery Scott) mistakenly delivers the line, "Thirty seconds later -- poof!" in his own accent, and not Scotty's familiar brogue. The slip-up made it into the final episode." - I don't think this is simple subjective nitpicking. I read this originally in the Star Trek Compendium. If it appeared in an actual published book, and by that a licensed one, wouldn't it work here? leandar 12:29, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

I was the one who removed it. There was no indication it was from a published source, so it looked like yet another stupid fan nitpick that we really don't want to become a repository for. I'm still not a fan of having it even if it is from a published source, as I still don't think it is worthwhile to have on MA. If others disagree, I won't object, but only because it is from a published source (and needs to be cited as such). --OuroborosCobra talk 19:41, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

More nitpicks Edit

  • The 30-second countdown to explosion actually takes 84 seconds of screen time. Twenty-five seconds of screen time elapse before Spock announces that 20 seconds remain until detonation. Another 25 seconds of screen time elapse before Sulu begins a 16-second verbal countdown, which he ends with 4 seconds remaining until explosion. These 12 seconds of verbal countdown take 17 seconds of screen time. After Sulu's final verbal announcement of 4 seconds remaining, 15 seconds of screen time elapse before initial flaring, and another 2 seconds elapse before the actual explosion.

Removed nitpicking - dramatic license could be to blame - or possibly some scenes take place at the same time just showing all the different things that are happening in the same scene...whatever — Morder 18:59, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I personally don't think that pointing out a countdown that takes 3 times as long on screen as it's supposed to is "nitpicking" (perhaps if it only took 10% to even 50% longer would be nitpicking, but 300% surely isn't). A similar point is made on the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan page, in which a 60-second countdown takes 2 minutes and 34 seconds of screen time. Perhaps that should be removed as well -- or they should both stay. I think this kind of information is interesting. -- obijohn
Absent an explanation of why the time discrepancy was that way, it's a nitpick. As Morder said, there are any number of explanations why.--31dot 23:10, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
The TWOK note has been removed. Some TOS pages have just accumulated nitpicks over the years, and it's only slowly that we're able to get them removed.– Cleanse 00:01, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Removed quotes Edit

Removed the following quotes and memorable scenes, per MA:QUOTE. If there is some way to slim these down they might be able to go back.

"I checked the engines. The warp drive, that's a hopeless pile of junk."

- Scott

"Mr. Spock... I am officially notifying you that I am exercising my option under regulations as a Starfleet Commodore, and assuming command of the Enterprise."
"You have the right to do so, sir – but I would advise against it."
"That thing must be destroyed!"
"You tried to destroy it once before, Commodore. The result was a wrecked ship... and a dead crew."
"I made a mistake then; we were too far away. This time, I'm going to hit it with full phasers at point-blank range."
"Sensors show the object's hull is solid neutronium; a single ship cannot combat it."
(slaps the conn) "Mr. Spock, that will be all. You have been relieved of command – don't force me to relieve you of duty, as well."

- Decker and Spock


"You can't let him do this!"
"Doctor, you are out of line."
"So are you... sir! (to Spock) Well, Spock?"
"Unfortunately, Starfleet General Order 104, Section B, leaves me no choice; Paragraph 1A clearly states—"
(rolling his eyes) "To blazes with regulations! You can't let him take command when you know he's wrong!"
"If you can certify Commodore Decker as unfit for command, I can relieve him under Section C."
(slaps the conn) "I'll certify that right now!"
"You will also be asked to pull your medical records to prove it."
(pause) "Now, you know I haven't had time to perform an examination on him."
"Then your statement would not be considered valid."
"You may leave the bridge, doctor."
"What about the captain? We can't just–"
"Doctor, you may leave the bridge."
"Spock? Do something!"
"Mr. Spock knows his duty under regulations, Doctor... do you?"

- McCoy, Decker and Spock


"Commodore Decker – you are relieved of command."
"I don't recognize your authority to relieve me."
"You may file a formal protest with Starfleet, assuming we survive to reach a Starbase; but you are relieved... Commodore, I do not wish to place you under arrest."
"You wouldn't dare... (Spock motions for security) You're bluffing."
"Vulcans never bluff."
(long pause)"No... no, I don't suppose that they do. Very well, Mr. Spock; the bridge is yours."

- Spock and Decker (The "Vulcans never bluff" dialog has been deleted in syndicated versions of this episode)


"You said it yourself, Spock; there is no way to blast through the hull of that machine, so... I'm going to take this thing right down its throat."
"This is Kirk – Matt, you'll be killed!"
"I've been prepared for death ever since I... ever since I killed my crew."
"No one expects you to die for an error in judgment."
"A commander is responsible for the lives of his crew, and for their deaths. Well, I should have died with mine."
"You cannot succeed, Commodore; your only logical alternative is to return to the ship."
"Matt, listen to me – you can't throw your life away like this. Matt, you're a starship commander; that makes you a valuable commodity. We need you, your experience, your judgment. Matt – (Decker switches off) we're stronger with you than without you!"

- Decker, Kirk and Spock

--31dot 22:10, September 16, 2009 (UTC)

Uhura's Duties Edit

To this point:

  • Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) does not appear in this episode. Uhura's duties were assumed by Lt. Palmer, played by Elizabeth Rogers.

I added

This was the first time that Uhura's duties were assumed by someone else for an entire episode.

I am not entirely happy how that sentence flows, but it gets the point across, I guess. Anyway, I have recently been wrong on two "first time" counts, so if you think this was not the first, feel free to take it out again. Also, I do not know about later episodes, but unless it does happen a number of times, it would perhaps be good to add a comment on that as well (this was the only time/this was the first of two/three times) *Jasper* 20:30, January 19, 2010 (UTC)

John Farrell was the communications officer in "Miri", so I'm afraid you're wrong again. :) --Myko 22:26, January 19, 2010 (UTC)

Star date Edit

Is there a source for the star date 4202.9? Because Deckers log says 4202.1 on the dvd. Thanks a lot. --Plasmarelais 14:23, March 22, 2011 (UTC)

Removed Edit

I removed the following, as it has lacked a citation for some time now. Namely, which interview?

  • In an interview with William Windom, he joked that Marc Daniels, the director, didn't know what to do with the scene of Decker describing what had happened to the Constellation, so he told Windom just to "improvise", during which time the director simply left the camera running and walked out to work on something else. Windom actually made a totally improvised, ten-minute speech, and in the end, they only used about a minute and a half of it. He was referring to the laid-back style of directing used.

This also lacks citation. Which polls? If it's just some website, then it probably wouldn't be allowed - see Forum:Inclusion of websites that collate viewer ratings.

  • The episode is constantly ranked in the top five of any "top ten" polls taken among fans with regards to their favorite Star Trek episodes.

Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 08:11, June 6, 2011 (UTC)

Pretty sure it was in an old Starlog interview, but I don't know which issue. I remember reading it years ago. So if anybody is interested they could track it down and cite it. To me, it's just trivia, though. Sir Rhosis 18:09, June 6, 2011 (UTC)
I removed the following claim, which states that "it is not known":
  • Kirk's theory about the origin of the doomsday machine states that it is the remnant of an ancient war in which the builders of the machine were eventually destroyed by their own creation. This is the same basic concept used in Fred Saberhagen's Berserker novels and short stories. Saberhagen began publishing these stories in the same year that the Star Trek episode aired. It is not known whether the episode was inspired by his stories. The Star Trek Concordance, when first published, does frequently refer to the planet killer as "the berserker", but this term was never used in the episode itself. However, characteristics of Saberhagen's Berserkers not attributed to the doomsday machine (at least not on screen) were actual artificial intelligence and the ability to replicate itself or create smaller machines to supplement it.

--31dot 04:21, February 4, 2012 (UTC)

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