The Doomsday Machine (remastered)
The Enterprise encounters the wrecked USS Constellation and the distraught Commodore Matt Decker. Decker’s crew and several planets have been destroyed by a planet killing thing. Who created the Doomsday Machine? We never find out though the ‘TNG’ novel ‘Vendetta’ gave us one possible explanation.
The inserted CGI is bad. Kirk wears the green wrap around French trim wrap. Uhura is not in this episode. People mumble and enunciate badly. Scotty ponders. Decker looks bad so McCoy tends to him as Kirk yells. Decker explains how the Constellation was damaged and so he beamed his crew down to a planet which was then ‘eaten’ by the planet killer. Spock says the doomsday machine uses planets for fuel and came from another galaxy. This was obviously a comment on the MAD scenario.
The CGI planet killer and its flames looks like a killer ice cream cone. Decker seizes command of the Enterprise. The crew think he is nuts and he inspires universal hostility. Kirk, Scotty and a red shirt are trapped on the USS Constellation. Decker is all emotional bitter angst. Willard Decker in ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ was his son. Kirk saves the day, the planet killer goes inert and Kirk can do no wrong. This was infuriating and mediocre and what is with the isolated light in Kirk’s eyes?
“Atmosphere poisonous to human life.”
“Hopeless piece of junk.”
“They say there’s no devil Jim.”
“Where’s your crew?”
“On the third planet.”
“There is no third planet!”
“Don’t you think I know that? There was! But not anymore!”
“There’s no ship to leave!”
“You are out of line.”
“So are you! Sir.”
“That sir, is illogical.”
“Vulcans never bluff.”
Balance Of Terror
Outdated graphics show the Neutral Zone established between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire. There is talk of a century old Earth/Romualn war. Kirk and Spock drop exposition about the Neutral Zone and the Romulans that the crew should have learned at Starfleet Academy. The description of the Earth/Romulan war bears little relation to what was shown in ‘The Romulan War’ books. Lt Stiles mentions the space service. Is he connected to the Styles in ‘Star Trek III: The Search For Spock’?
Outposts and asteroids are being destroyed by a Romulan ship. Kirk uses the phrase “invisibility screen” not cloak. This good episode was a submarine drama in space. The hapless Stiles exemplifies all that is wrong. The Enterprise somehow gets a view inside the Romulan ship and people finally learn what Romulans look like. The Romulan commander is played by Mark Lenard. Nobody ever commented on the fact the Romulan commander and Spock’s daddy Sarek look alike. Stiles accuses Spock of being a traitor. A bit of conjecture he adheres to.
The Romulans wear wool uniforms and discuss their cloaking system. We get a very brief view of Romulan culture and ethics and it is fascinating. One Romulan is blonde. Spock mumbles about plasma. Scotty says the Romulan ship has only simple impulse. There is a convenient comet. The two ships fight. Rand is useless. The Romulan commander’s friend dies. There is 60s SFX. Spock calls Kirk: Jim and sir. Kirk broods. Things are grim. Bones mumbles. The Romulan ship is their flagship? There are overblown musical cues. The Romulan ship is damaged and the Commander and Kirk talk face to face. Kirk offers assistance but the Commander activates the self-destruct. The Romulans are intriguing.
“Only the Romulans know what they think of Earth.”
“The Neutral Zone. Home.”
“Something visual ahead Captain.”
“My judgement prevails.”
“This glorious mission.”
“Our gift to the homeland: another war.”
“Death and more death.”
“Hardest substance known to our science.”
“These are Romulans!”
“Fight to prevent a fight.”
“Weakness is something we dare not show.”
“Treaty boundary in 21 minutes.”
“20 seconds till Neutral Zone.”
“All debris into disposal tubes.”
“Forgive me my old friend.”
“He is there. Somewhere.”
“That’s not our way.”
“We are creatures of duty Captain.”
“I regret we met this way. You and I are of a kind. In a different reality I could have called you friend.”
Coup De Grace
Bellamy gets a scrub down - am I supposed to care? Duplicitous mountain men lurk. Octavia has gone full Grounder. One mountain man is captured. The narco-state Mount Weather and their outdated grand narrative are roundly condemned by Jasper. Expectations were comfortingly low for this ep. Contemptuous remarks are made by a Glasgow hardman type. Things are unravelling. Abbie is ineffective and useless. The captured mountain man won’t talk to Kane. Abbie is an ass. There’s a coup in Mount Weather. The Ark people may be genetically modified? I didn’t care for this or the musical montage.
“Checked the harvest chamber last night.”
“What are you doing?”
“What about them?”
“They tried to kill her Marcus.”
“The ground is our birthright.”
“I’m the Chancellor.”
“Then act like one.”
“You’re a stain on our legacy.”
“Our legacy? We’ve been bleeding people to stay alive for generations. That’s our legacy.”
“That can’t happen.”