Series and Season: Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 2
Episode #,and Episode Name: 6 – “The Doomsday Machine” and 7 – “Catspaw”
Setting the Stage: I started at 6:45 pm on January 15th, 2020 with the husband, Tempura (on his lap), and our sick pupper (he has an upset stomach) on my lap. I’m still watching via Netflix and using their episode order. The plan was for three episodes today, but that clearly didn’t happen. Sorry kids, maybe tomorrow!
Quick Summary with my Impressions: “The Doomsday Machine” starts out with no Uhura, seven planets that seem to have vanished, and a broken down U.S.S. Constellation. While surveying the ship, Kirk finds Commodore Decker in a total state of shock and PTSD. They apparently encountered a planet killer (think some strange combination of Galactus and the Death Star) that proceeded to kill the planet Decker sent his crew to, and he is devastated. At first Decker defers to Kirk, but later seems to grow a backbone and is hellbent on destroying the machine. Apparently, this is the season of the broken transporter. Decker tries everything he can to destroy the machine, and won’t give up. Eventually he commandeers one of the shuttles and rams it into the machine, killing himself in the process. This gives Kirk the idea to do the same with the Constellation, but with the transporter on the fritz we get a very dramatic last second rescue of Kirk. I mean, obviously you can’t kill Shatner… but they wanted to keep us on the edge of our seats. The plan works, our heroes escape, and the machine is dead! I liked the drama of this episode, no matter how over the top it was, but I wasn’t so keen on Decker (or the actor who played him). I give this episode 4 tomatoes and a carrot.
“Catspaw” sees Uhura back in her rightful place on the bridge, but wait… why aren’t Scotty and Sulu beaming back? The guy who beams back dies almost as soon as he arrives and a strange, beaming voice warns that there’s a curse on the ship and they should leave or they will all die, how dramatic! Our three leading men beam down and they encounter three old lady apparitions. Sassy Spock is back, a castle appears in the distance, and there’s a KITTY (that’s apparently scared of Spock, haha). Back on the Enterprise some random red shirt is in command, what’s up with that? I mean, I get that all 5 of the usual command staff is down below… but who is this guy?
Our three heroes find Scotty and Sulu, who are clearly under some mind control or drugs, and they encounter a wizard of sorts named Korob. Korob has a black cat, who turns out to be a woman named Sylvia, and they have immense power to cause things to appear and happen with just a thought. Sylvia has the hots for Kirk. I mean who else was going to get some kissing time on screen? However, she realizes that Kirk is using her and she freaks out. Korob realizes that Sylvia has gone off the deep end and tries to help the landing party. Eventually, Kirk destroys the transmuter and everything disappears and is set back to normal. We are left with these weird looking aliens that die within a minute.
What strikes me about this episode is how much Kirk cares and feels the loss of every crew member. He seems to take it to heart, even if only for a little, and he really understands that he is making life and death decisions all the time. No matter his other flaws, he really does try to be the best captain who attempts to make the best decisions for the majority of his crew. I liked the ridiculousness of this episode, so I give it solid gold 7.