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Podcast Enterprise: S2E06 The Doomsday Machine


Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis: When this episode opens, you have the Enterprise with Lieutenant Palmer at the communications console, receiving some sort of a distress signal from across space. And it seems to be from a distress beacon of a starship. But they can’t make anything out of that distress signal because of heavy subspace interference. But she does figure out the word Constellation. And so the Enterprise must find the source of this distress signal, and then they enter a star system called L370. When they enter L370, they find that the sun is intact, but all seven planets have been destroyed.

And they cannot figure out why those planets have been destroyed, because only a supernova or a star explosion can cause such a destruction. There seems to be nothing of the sort there. So they cross L370 and they go over to L374, which is the next star system. And there they find except for the two planets closest to the sun, all the other planets have been destroyed. They also find the source of the distress signal and that is the USS Constellation, which is basically a sister ship to the USS Enterprise. Kirk gathers a small landing party and along with Scotty and Dr. McCoy, transport over to the USS Constellation and try and figure out what happened here.

He leaves Spock in command of the Enterprise. Now when Kirk transports himself to the USS Constellation, they find that the ship has been almost completely abandoned. There’s nobody there. It seems that everybody left of their own volition or they were kidnapped, something of that sort. They also find that the captain of the USS Constellation is still on board. This is Commodore Decker. He’s in a state of shock. Which means that Dr. McCoy has to somehow revive him using a hypospray. And when he does that, Commodore Decker is in a state of absolute trauma. He’s not able to talk properly, but eventually, Kirk figures out that there is some sort of a planet killer running around destroying planets and solar systems. It leaves the suns intact, but it destroys all the planets that it comes across. And then it uses the debris of those planets for fuel. As to what happened to the crew of the USS Constellation, Commodore Decker had them transported down onto the third planet of the system of L374, and the third planet was subsequently destroyed by the planet killer, which is why Commodore Decker is in a state of absolute shock and trauma.

To have him treated, Kirk sends Dr. McCoy and Commodore Decker back into the Enterprise. Now this is where things get a little interesting because Commodore Decker wants to have this planet killer destroyed, and the Enterprise, much to its shock finds that the planet killer has returned to L374. Apparently it is because they are there and this machine, the planet killer is a machine and some sort of robot. It’s a doomsday machine designed to destroy everything in its wake. It has detected the Enterprise and it has come back into L374. And here Commodore Decker, he uses his power and his slightly deranged mentality to assume command of the Enterprise.

He wants to destroy this thing called the planet killer. He can’t do it because the Enterprise does not have the technology to pierce the pure neutronium hull of this machine. Kirk, meanwhile, is trapped on the Constellation. He gets Scotty to somehow rig the engines and get them working. Commodore Decker wants to take the Enterprise and ram it into the Planet Killer’s throat. He wants the Enterprise to destroy by going into the thing’s maw. This is where… Spock has to use his powers and relieve him of duty by exciting suicide because you’re not supposed to use a starship to commit suicide. He uses that clause in the federation regulations and relieves Commodore Decker of his post and re assumes command of the Enterprise once more.

Commodore Decker is still unhinged. He goes down to the shuttlecraft hangar. He picks up a shuttlecraft, takes it to the planet killer without authorization, and he literally rams the shuttlecraft into the maw of the planet killer. He doesn’t do much damage, but there is some slight energy drop in whatever emanations the planet killer has been giving out. Kirk uses that information to turn the Constellation into some sort of a bomb. He has to time it perfectly. He has to take this Constellation, ram it into the planet killer’s throat and detonate it. And he also has to get out of there within a 30 second margin, which is all very dicey, but he pulls it off, gets back to the Enterprise and the planet killer’s destroyed completely because of that detonation.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!


  1. Intro music: Music from
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