Doomsday Machine Question-What Does Decker Exclaim?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Knight Templar, May 15, 2012.

  1. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    In The Doomsday Machine, right after Kirk fires on the planet killer with the Constellations phaser bank, Decker aboard the Enterprise attacks the planet killer again with the Enterprise phasers saying

    "Now it's our turn. Fire phasers"

    We see the Enterprise firing, the beams bouncing off the planet killers hull.

    Then a cut to Decker saying something (it looks like the last of a line of dialogue that was cut out)..

    He seems to be exclaiming "Dent it" as in "Didn't even dent it".

    Then of course he says

    "Hard about! Give me some distance".

    So exactly what is Decker trying to say in the bolded section?
     
  2. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think he said "Did it!"
     
  3. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Agreed, "Did it."
     
  4. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    What did he mean by that?
     
  5. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    The Second Revised Final Draft script for "The Doomsday Machine" dated June 14, 1967 has the following content at Scene 105:

    Scene 105C INT. ENTERPRISE BRIDGE

    DECKER
    (interrupts)
    Kirk pulled us out of there by
    distracting it. Now it's our
    turn. Helmsman... fire phasers.

    As Sulu punches control buttons:

    105D EXT. SPACE - ENTERPRISE (STOCK)

    firing phasers.

    105E EXT. SPACE - PLANET KILLER

    It is hit by phaser beam. Planet Killer again turns
    its funnel mouth in the direction of the beam.

    105F INT. ENTERPRISE BRIDGE

    DECKER
    Did it! Helmsman... hard
    about... cours 25 degress
    mark 2. Give us some distance.

    105G EXT. SPACE - ENTERPRISE STOCK

    Enterprise peels off in a turn.

    ********

    So, Decker wanted to shoot at the Doomsday Machine to get its attention away from the Constellation. After the Enterprise did indeed succeed in diverting the Doomsday Machine away from the Enterprise, Decker exclaimed "[We] did it!"
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if we could shorten that down to simply ...

    "Decker wanted to shoot the Doomsday Machine"

    :)
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, since you have the script, how does the script describe the machine when it first appears?
     
  8. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Technically, we probably can't shorten it down to "Decker wanted to shoot the Doomsday Machine." That's not quite what he wanted to do.

    Sulu: "Direct hit with the phasers, Commodore. No effect. The Constellation is still trapped in the tractor beam and is being pulled into the Planet Killer!"

    Decker: "Excellent, Helmsman! We did it! Good shooting! Whew, that was close!"

    Sulu: "What? Are, you deaf, sir? The Constellation is still trapped and is being pulled inside. Even though the Planet Killer is programed to ignore stuff below a certain size outside of a certain radius, evidently we aren't substantial or close enough! Our phasers failed to distract the Planet Killer's attention from the Constellation and the boarding party is still in extreme danger with only seconds to live!"

    Decker: "No, you misunderstand, Helmsman. I just wanted to shoot the Doomsday Machine. That's enough though, isn't it? I mean, we succeeded in shooting it, right?"

    Sulu: "Well, yes, but even though it was a dead hit and we shot the Planet Killer, the poor ol' Constellation is still being sucked into the maw of that enormous..."

    Decker: "Woo hoo! We shot it! We did it!"

    :)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  9. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    We have Decker's description at Scene 31:

    KIRK
    (crosses in)
    What does it look like, Commodore?

    DECKER
    A hundred times the size of a
    starship... a mile long, with
    a maw big enough to swallow a
    dozen ships... it destroyes
    planets... cuts them to rubble...

    ********

    Then, we have this description at Scene 44:

    44 INSERT - MAIN VIEWSCREEN

    On the screen, looming large and seen head-on, we see
    the Planet-Killer; a great funnel extended before its
    huge metallic body as if it were to devour the Enterprise.

    SPOCK'S VOICE
    An immense body... a large funnel-
    mouth... It looks very much like
    Commodore Decker's Planet-killer...
    And it is pursuing us!

    Then we have Scene 52--just as the boarding party is about to beam back to the Enterprise:

    52 EXT. SPACE - QUARTERING SHOT OF THE PLANET-KILLER

    We see the huge funnel mouth, with a blue-hot LIGHT
    EFFECT glowing within. An ATOMIC BEAM EFFECT (a
    solid beam of blue light) that seems to come from
    within the funnel lances out.

    Later, at Scene 85:

    85 EXT. SPACE - CLOSE ON THE PLANET-KILLER

    We see just the huge funnel, from the side. Then,
    dwarfed by the funnel, the Enterprise moves into the
    FRAME.

    There are other Planet-Killer related scenes--like when Decker takes the shuttlecraft down its maw, and when the Constellation meets the same fate. All the descriptions are the same (and no more informative) than the above scenes.

    If Mr. Spinrad had something else in mind other than what was scripted, he didn't so indicate--or he indicated it only in earlier drafts of the script. As I read what little is in this script, it seems like what was created is pretty consistent with what was requested.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  10. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    To understand what "Did it!" means, try reviewing the context of that scene and the scene before.

    My emphasis added through underlining...

    Decker's "Did it!" exclamation was a quick way to let the audience know that Sulu's phaser fire worked. The alien machine, heading toward the Constellation, was then again distracted by the Enterprise's weapons fire. (The downside of Decker's tactic was later revealed as the alien machine resumed its pursuit of the Enterprise.)
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the bolded text calls out the difference. The description is a funnel that extends out from the body, not merely a funnel. I can see how the production might have interpreted this as a funnel shaped object.
     
  12. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    I personally never understood why some people hated the design of the Planet Killer (including Norman Spinrad).

    There are effects problems in views up close from the side. This is where you can occasionally see some stars shining through the hull of the planet killer. But this is an effects issue not simply a design one. And the stars shining through a vessel happened to the Enterprise occasionally as well. Including this episode.

    To me, the planet killer was a great design. Looking both ancient and ominous with its "maw" seeming to almost be glowing (presumably from radiation).
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    And outright "primal". Remember, this was basically a sci-fi spin upon Ahab and his obsession with the great white whale. Is it any wonder the mechanism bore a vague resemblence to a sea going beast, a leviathan. (Funny enough, to this day when I find myself in a fish market and see a salmon with the head removed, revealing the rich pinkish/red meat inside, I think of the DDM.)

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  14. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    So a starship is... 52 feet 9.6 inches long? :vulcan:
     
  15. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    Get help buddy.:)
     
  16. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Hey, it's not like I pick up the headless fish and "fly" it around while humming the iconic score. :p

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  17. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    If you "fed" it a micromachines Enterprise while doing so, that would be worth a look on YouTube.
     
  18. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    As you probably know, the scripted line was changed somewhat and Decker's line in the actual episode as delivered is:

    "Well, it's miles long, with a maw that could swallow a dozen starships. It destroys planets, chops them into rubble."

    So the final line is "miles"--not just "a mile." Also, the comparison to a starship's size isn't made.

    Nevertheless, when Decker says (in the scripted line) "a hundred times the size of starship," he might mean total mass or volume or displacement--not just length. Size is a little ambiguous.
     
  19. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I could never understand how the alien machine was supposed to be big enough to digest chunks of broken-up planets without it being at least a hundred miles long, if not hundreds.

    I never had a problem with the design of the alien machine as seen in that episode. Its shape and features make it perfectly consistent with the minimalist design of the rest of TOS. Plus it looked vaguely organic, as if it were created/"grown" by a completely alien society. Not unlike Gomtuu from TNG's "Tin Man".

    The only thing that puzzled me was how it could be from another galaxy if it needed to keep feeding on planets all the time. Not very many of them in the intergalactic void.
     
  20. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    "...an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an external force."