Star Trek – Clive Anderson Talks Back – tape 1537

The tape starts with a trailer for Tales of Rock & Roll.

Then, Star Trek and a classic episode, The Doomsday Machine. The Enterprise receives a distress call from the USS Constellation. When they arrive at the solar system where the call came from, they find almost all the planets in the system completely destroyed.

They find the Constellation, adrift and badly damaged.

This was quite exciting when I first saw it. It’s another ship of the same class as the Enterprise, and it’s all broken.

They find the captain of the ship, Commodore Matt Decker (William Windom).

The planets in the system were destroyed by some kind of machine. And now it’s coming after the Enterprise.

Commodore Decker has been beamed back to the Enterprise, but Kirk, Scotty and the landing party are still on the crippled Constitution.

Decker is determined to destroy the machine, putting the Enterprise in Jeopardy. He outranks Spock so he’s in command.

Kirk and Scotty have to try to get the Constitution moving to help the Enterprise.

This really is cracking stuff. A single guest character, redressed sets showing the damaged Constitution, a modified Enterprise model, and we’ve got a story that’s channeling Moby Dick, as Decker obsesses over killing the machine, and tussles with Spock over command of the Enterprise. It’s perfect, really. Well defined characters, natural conflict, and huge stakes that are clear from the start.

Decker is relieved of command, but he steals a shuttlecraft and flies it into the maw of the machine. What seems like a futile gesture gives Kirk the idea that flying the Constellation into the machine and detonating the impulse engines might be enough to dstroy the machine. But it’s a huge risk, as the Enterprise transporters are faulty, so they might not be able to transport Kirk from the Constellation before it explodes.

A near perfect episode, written by veteran SF author Norman Spinrad.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 28th April 1993 – 18:00

After this, recording switches to Channel 4 for Clive Anderson Talks Back. The guests are Meat Loaf

Roy Hattersley

And Anne Robinson

In the next episode, guests are James Whitaker, a royal correspondent who’s utterly vile.

Bryan Gould

and Lenny Henry

Next, the guests are Arthur Smith

Lulu

and Alan Clarke

Before the next episode, there’s the end of an episode of Roseanne.

Then, Clive’s guests in the next episode are Pat Cash

Charles Kennedy

and Esther Rantzen.

The tape ends after this episode.

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4 comments

  1. It’s been at least two decades since I saw The Doomsday Machine, but I can still hear the great music on the episode. Top show all round.

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