Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Knight Templar, May 15, 2012.
It didn't give me goosbumps. It was anti-dramatic and silly.
He said a hundred times the size, not a hundred times the length. You have to multiply all three dimensions. For example, a 10-centimeter cube is 1000 cubic centimeters.
I've always wondered why the planet killer did not have some kind of protection (like a huge hatch or a grill of come kind) over the open end to keep tactics like Kirk used from working.
But then I realized.
The planet killer was of course like nuclear weapons (as stated in the episode) a deterrent, never meant to be used. It was built with destroying planets in mind. Not fighting starships.
ICBMs don't carry weapons to shoot at other ICBMs as they fly by on their way to their targets.
A culture capable of building a Doomsday Machine would be capable of building conventional starships, though. And those conventional ships could shoot down the DDM easily enough, as shown. So it wouldn't be much of a deterrent as such, not against cultures on the same level as this putative party trying to frighten others to submission.
ICBMs do have countermeasures against defenses, and have had those ever since the sixties when the first defenses were dreamed up. In comparison, the DDM appears curiously vulnerable for its purported role. On the other hand, this might be a software problem rather than a design shortcoming: if the thing just kept firing its forward weapon actively enough, the only vulnerable angle would be covered against most threats.
It presumably wasn't designed for a multi-billion year lifespan. It may have been less vulnerable during its intended operational period.
Or then multi-million is exactly what it was built for. It destroys indiscriminately, and takes about half a year to destroy what appears to be half a dozen star systems. In order to berserk its way through a galaxy in the demonstrated manner and thus preemptively render it harmless to the builders, it would indeed have to operate for millions of years.
Probably thousands of DDMs would be built to speed up the berserking process. Perhaps this one would be a stray, carving a little hole in the side of Milky Way by accident while its siblings once made short work of Andromeda or somesuch and then neatly shut down as planned. Not that much of a threat - unless it was a von Neumann machine, creating offspring to more efficiently complete the mission.
Who knows, perhaps the Space Amoeba was a similar machine of slightly differing construction? Perhaps there is something to Spock's weird insistence that all these things come from outside the Milky Way: it may be that our galaxy is a well-defended one, with the Barrier blocking most attack attempts, but that the universe outside is a barbaric battlefield where various berserkers prevent civilizations from rising by ravaging entire galaxies. Not because they would be "out of control", but because they work exactly as planned: their builders would just make sure their own niche of existence would fall outside the parameters of destruction.
If we assume the DDM was "out of control", then claiming that it was a vengeance device is no different from claiming that it was a terraforming machine: it's fundamentally irrelevant and probably incorrect speculation.
Kirk's speculative comment about DDM's original purpose was extremely relevant to the time in which the episode was made, even if it wasn't relevant to the plot.
Well put. Which sort of makes it worse, as it makes the viewer think in terms of an analogy and then realize what a poor analogy it is... The DDM almost becomes a failure when it doesn't live up to the promise of being an arsenal of ICBMs slaved to a dead man's switch.
I tried to think of a nice way of saying this. But couldn't come up with one.
Hey, Greg, one other thing: Can you quote how the script describes the Constellation? I doubt it refers to a registry number, but I'd be curious to read what the script says about it.
There's not much there there we don't already know.
"Scene 8 INT. ENTERPRISE BRIDGE - ON VIEWSCREEN
SHOOTING PAST Sulu on the left, holding part of naviga-
tor in the right. Showing an Enterprise-class starship
seen small at first, but growing in perspective as the
Enterprise approaches it, till it fills most of the
viewscreen. We see that it is the Constellation, sitting
dead in space, with several large, neat holes punched in
the warp-drive pods, obviously a derelict, She is canted
at an odd angle and looks somehow grotesque in her help-
Other scenes have even less content. Here's Scene 11, when we return from the opening credits:
Scene 11 EXT. SPACE - FULL SHOT - CONSTELLATION
The wrecked Constellation floating dead in space, canted
to one side; the holes in the power nacelles are clearly
So it looks like the took an "Enterprise-class" starship model and poked some large holes in it and made it look obviously derelict. And script-wise, that's about all they had to work with.
Well, it does indicate clearly that the ship was supposed to be the same class as the Enterprise, not some other model, which some fans insist on suggesting because of the use of the AMT kit.
It's not so much that the Constellation must be of a different class due to the model, just that it could be. And I doubt anyone would even be suggesting that, if it weren't for the registry number.
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