Daren Dochterman’s Doomsday is Done!

After long wait, Daren’s take on the most effects heavy TOS episode is available. He has a list of notes for the fans about his artistic desisions:

  1. Yes, I know there is a “mistake” in (a certain shot… name it)… it is intended. An homage to 60s FX technology. (lol)
  2. Yes, the Doomsday Machine is transparent in some sections. This is intended. I still maintain that part of the transparency in the front of the cone was meant to be.
  3. The shuttle name I’m using is the NCC-1701/1 “Spinrad”
  4. I know the shots are grainy. They’re supposed to be. :)
  5. I don’t show exterior damage to the Constellation’s bridge much. There is a little bit of a burn mark… but that’s it. The original model shot had no damage to the bridge… and yes, I’m trying to duplicate that… but not have it look a foot long.

For now Daren is releasing an effects only reel, but notes he may release the full episode at a later date. From his blog:

As I stated before… I’m gonna start out slowly… so here is the FX only reel… I’ve left a few of the live action clips to bracket everything so you know the context of the shots… and it is quite choppy… but it should give you a good idea of what I’m doing here.

To begin with it is available on RapidShare:

WMV: small version (29 mb) | WMV: Large version (75 mb)
QT h.264: large version (96 meg)

additional mirror sites and more information at BetaFive.com

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Fantastic! Very nicely done, Daren!

Compared to the Remastered Star Trek done by CBS this is….


Trivia Question…
Just how many different takes are there on this episode anyway?

What a let down. I thought, from what he stated before, he would release the ENTIRE episode, not just an “effects reel”. Although very nice, it’s not complete. Oh, well, i hope the TV version is better, at least it will be a complete show!!!!

I Just saw it!!!!!! WOOOHHAA! History in the making!
Ok…let me breathe…now to be objective:
Yes, it’s a bit choppy, but it seems to live up to expectations for the most part.
My least favorite thing was the anti-proton beam- maybe a little too War of the Worlds and frenetic to convey the power suggested. Yes, he kept the phasers red, but the yellow impact effect looks out of place.
Some of the ship movements and curving trajectories somehow seem off. Deliberate? Hmmm.
On the plus side- his big E captures the “feel” of the original footage effortlessly. (Nacelle ball size notwithstanding) Although the starfields are a little too snowstormish for my taste.
The Constellation has the appropriate amount of damage to honor the original, and the shuttle bay scene looks GREAT!
It all just goes to show that the best future for Trek lies with it’s fans.
Gotta watch it again— later!

I commented on this in another thread, but just want to reiterate my thanks to Mr. Dochterman for making this available. It was a lot of fun to watch and to my surprise, the download went smoothly and I was watching in no time. I usually have trouble with things like that.
I don’t really like to make comparisons, since the two philosophies are somewhat different, but I guess one thing I like about the Dochterman effort is that the ship does look more like the original model. I have no problem with CBS Digital’s model at all, but I do like the lighter color of the Dochterman version better. I also like how he subtly integrated his name into the closing credits. I am not a big fan of the big lit-up hemispheres on the end of the warp engines, but it really makes no big difference to me.
Very much looking forward to tomorrow to see what CBS-D came up with.

The ‘homage’/’mistake’ wouldn’t happen to be the scene following Decker opening the center forward port in the shuttle — and the subsequent exterior visual showing that it was still closed — would it?

Not bad for a fan film, but kind of a let down after all of Dochterman’s build-up and all of his postings of “here’s how I would have done it.”

I should have expected this quality of work from someone who dresses up like batman and glorifies his ego on message boards. What an extreme let down. Im depressed now. Thanks Daren. =(

Man, I just have to wonder who raised some of these people. :-(

The texturing of the Enterprise hull is perfect, COMPLETELY faithful to the original look and it blends in nicely.

Could I inquire on how long has Mr. Daren has been working on this episode?

One Man working on his own – – in his spare time with finite resources. Very Nice Work! Enjoyed the different angles and translucent Doomsday Machine – – that appearance pushed to the limit upon its destruction.

I think he has been working on it for what, 12 years? He started using a commodore 64 with a beta release of strata pro studio

OMG can I have the last 20 minutes of my life back?

Looks pretty good, but if the goal is to duplicate the original series style, I think that Dennis Bailey does a better job with his work on Starship Exeter.

I believe that Daren’ s work clearly reflects the effort that it took to accomplish this task. What you see is exactly representative of what he did, and what he did can be seen by what he has shown us. Congratulations Daren.

CONGRATULATIONS, DAREN!! This is a *major* accomplishment and you should feel justifiably proud of your work on this project.

“OMG can I have the last 20 minutes of my life back?”

For what they’re worth. And you’re welcome to them.

(Jeez. An effects professional takes years of his life to complete a project and put it out there for the edification of people with like interests, with no more expectation than maybe a little ego-stroking tempered with some constructive criticism. Instead, he starts getting gummed to death by nerds.)

Solange, that’s a close to a perfect Zen posting as any I’ve ever read. :-)

Heh, I lucked out and happened to see it and download it as soon as the post appeared. Unfortunatley I’m at work and can’t watch it yet. Grrrrr….

I don’t think I can be any more impressed, the death of the planet killer was amazing! I really liked the transparent part of the machine. My only question is, was this all CGI? or was it both CGI and models? Either way, you should make a loop of it, and send it to CBS-D and say… oh this is what it’s SUPPOSE to look like. Well done!

On the jump cuts, you might consider putting blip/flashes between cuts, it’s the only way I can think to make them a little less jarring.

What an incredible gift!! This is an amazing time to be a Star Trek fan. Two different versions of one of the best episodes are here for our viewing pleasure. Thank You Darren for your hard work. Although, judging from the still shots posted on the web, I may prefer the look of the CBS effort. Of course taste is always subjective. I feel like a young child again watching Star Trek on Saturday nights with my Dad. Once again, Thank You!!!

I wonder if one person who made up their mind about both of these projects months ago will emerge from this weekend with anything like different perceptions…

I’m just gonna jump in here to say thanks for the interest… and the constructive and not so constructive comments… fun to read, all of them.

To answer the question of how long this took me… sure, I started it seriously years ago… but I hadn’t done anything on it since mid 2003. Then in November of last year, I decided to finish it…and worked a couple hours here and there… then in mid January, I started the big push and worked every night and weekend until this past Wednesday… much to the chagrin of my still understanding girlfriend. But at last, it’s done… no more excuses. It is what it is… and I’m fine with it. I figured this was a better way to state my opinion than constantly commenting on the CBS Digital project.

To the comments that have said I did this out of spite and bitterness… you’re entitled to your opinion… but it’s uninformed. I have no animocity… and have freely left myself open for criticism and snide remarks that some have accused me of making.

Thanks again for the encouragment… Now I’ll go find something else to do. lol


I think the thing to remember is that Darren and CBS-D are trying to achieve very different things. CBS-D is trying to make the fx shots look like what you get today, but retaining the artistic decisions of the original crew as much as possible. Darren’s approach, it seems to me, is to say “okay, so busting the original model of the smithsonian and doing passes of it with a HD camera is out of the question… but if you *could*, what would it look like?”

Those are *very* different goals and, while I prefer CBS-D’s approach, I think they’ve *both* achieved their objectives spectacularly. If anything, Darren’s is probably closer to what *he* wanted than the CBS eps are to what *they* wanted.

I’m very impressed with the Doomsday Machine itself which looks, to my eyes, consistently far more effective and convincing that then photos of the CBS version. The crystalline appearance is very good.

However I do have reservations about some of the other effects. Apeing the ‘Sixties look is one thing, but I find it a bit jarring that the effects also ape some of the awkward camera angles and wobbles of the original ship movements so perfectly. That said, when the ship is flying towards the character on an even keel it looks tremendous; not precisely model-like (compared to the Starship Exeter effects which are nearly indistinguishable from the original model work – in a good way), but very reminiscent of the original model.

It’s therefore a bit of a curate’s egg to me, but I greatly enjoyed watching it and I have to give massive praise to Daren simply for the sheer effort and artistry which has gone in to this endeavour. It’s so great to have multiple versions of the episode to watch, and multiple new TOS effects to admire.

One or two typos in that last post, sorry!

I enjoyed watching this greatly. Great Job Daren! Ignore the A-holes.

That is, beyond question, the most incredible CG rendition of the Enterprise I have ever seen.

The Constellation shots are downright eerie in spots too.

Nice touch on an explanation for the transparency of The Planet Killer.

Excellent, excellent work.

I’d love to see your vision of the first “zoom in” shot from the opener of “The Cage”.

Although, judging from a couple of your shots in “Doomsday Machine”, something tells me you have been working on that one too … :)

I just wanted to congratulate Mr. Dochterman on the completion of his project. Its quite an accomplishment.

Congratulations to Darren, and very nicely done. I just sat back and enjoyed it the show the way it was intended and had a good time. Oh sure there were things wrong, but as I’ve said with the CBS-D products no one is perfect and this isn’t a perfect show.

Now Darren how about giving The Ultimate Computer or The Enterprise Incident a re-fit?

Darren – NICE!!!! You did great!
Thanks for all the hard work you put in.

Hopefully in the near future you will be able to release this in its full length episode – the way it was meant to be seen!


Just re-watched it in the big version. Again, awesome work. Some people aren’t going to “get” the approach you took. But Kelvington’s post said it all when he asked if you were mixing models with the CGI. In some shots, there was no way to distinguish.

You attained the slightly garish, but always cool look of TOS and gave it a kick in the side to let us know its alive, if you’ll pardon the expression (wrong episode, I know). I like alot of CBS-D’s work as well, but sometimes find it a little too modern and drab. But I look forward to their Doomsday with glee as well.

Again, thanks for sharing this highly personal vison with the world.

Maybe I’m the only one that can see the massive number of mistakes in it.


Maybe you’re the only one that doesn’t realise they are intentional?

Yes, I think you are.

WOW…never actually saw someone commit career suicide before ;)….that was awful DOC…new voyages looks better and doesnt have your resume…time ta get back on your feet brush yaself off and start hitting those want ads buckarro…sad

To be fair, they aren’t ALL intentional… :) But that’s life.

lol… hey brady… this isn’t my career. This is my hobby. :)

I’m amazed at how non-CG this looks. Many of these shots could coexist in an edit with the best 1960s shots (third-seasonish). It’s like what one might imagine they could have done in a fourth or fifth season. CBS’s work looks invariably like something done today.

I see it as, CBS is trying to “update” the show commercially, while Daren wanted to “perfect” the show artistically. Both approaches have merit. Daren’s version is perhaps more staid than CBS’s but at the same time he avoids the clash of styles created by CBS’s work.

Nice Work! The E looks beautiful! You should be proud of the work you have done here! Thanks for the time you put in. I can’t believe some of the comments from some people. Unbelievable!

Daren, interesting take. It fails on the following level for me (and I hope CBS-D doesn’t fall into the same trap):

This is a chance to see the Enterprise moving and attacking in a dynamic way. Daren simply recreated the shots that existed for the most part. The same repeated cuts to the DDM with phaser hits. The geography of his battle sequence just doesn’t work as it didn’t in the original episode. The whole timing sequence of the Enterprise attacking and then getting caught in the tractor beam really doesn’t work. Decker’s whole battle plan is POINT BLANK and yet it’s firing from way far away and then gets caught in the tractor beam as if the Enterprise was just sitting there at 5 mph the whole time. I really hope Okuda/Rossi did their homework and figured out a way to make the battle dynamic and interesting. It’s got to be more than cool phasers. It’s got to make sense.

Thanks for the effort though Daren. Not my cup of tea, but I appreciate all your work.

To start with, this is my favorite TOS episode and I credit it with my becoming an engineer. if I could do better, and prove it, I might be in a position to be more critical but since I can’t let me start off by saying thanks Darren – I liked it and wish I had time to play around like that.

Like all of the remastered/enhanced work so far and including the original, there are parts I really like and parts I don’t and it seems that TOS will never be perfect.

For Example, in Darren’s version, there is a big-E pass-by that I REALLY REALLY like. It was repeated twice and was part of his early post a few days ago. I like it so much I’ve watched it several times over it is so good.

In the TOS original the old AMT model shots and the phaser shots bouncing off the DDM hull with a bubbling effect always bothered me – sorry, light and directed energy discharges don’t bubble like water. Since it has to match the dialog, at least it should reflect or refract off the surface. Thanks to both CBS-D and Darren for not recreating that!

BTW: Despite the obvious use of a commercial model in the “Kirk Does it Again” sequence, I burned up several of my ATM models in the early 70’s trying to make my own wrecked Constellation so go figure.

I love all the various shots, including the original, of the shuttle bay. I always thought it was their high water mark.

Can’t stand the old TV interference effect on the view screen in the Constellation’s auxiliary control room. I was a bit disappointed Darren reproduced that. Really folks, I realize they didn’t have a clue in 1967 what a malfunctioning computer screen might look like but really, it’s not “miss-aligned rabbit ears”.

The only thing I really didn’t like in Darren’s was the DDM’s anti-proton beam. As was mentioned here already, it looks like the Martian’s ray effect from the 50’s War of the Worlds. Sorry Darren. Please try again and culminate it down to a tighter beam. At least they got that somewhat right in the original even if we could see stars through both the E and the DDM.

Star fields at warp – TOS-whatever has never really made me think, “wow, that’s realistic looking”. I know this is likely to earn me a flame or two but the Doppler effect in TNG era shows (and the TOS movies for that matter) are more believable and consistent with everything I learned in physics.

It was exciting to see Daren complete his quest.

Above all else, I thought his Enterprise model was VERY well done. During those close-up flybys, it looked amazing.

The only thing that puzzled me was what I guess I would call the contrast ratio. That is to say, the ships seemed to stand out too much against the background. But I will gladly admit that might be my LCD monitor and not the effects.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Daren.

BTW: Darren – thank you for making the scale of the shuttle to the DDM more- beleivable. In the original the shuttle looked bigger then the E!


Have you seen his shots of the Enterprise in the director’s cut of the motion picture? This little reel here is what he did screwing around in his free time – and it is still the best looking version of the original series ship I have seen. Career suicide? If I was making a movie, he’d be one of the first people I would call.

To each his own, but at the very least one should be polite. Without Darren’s efforts we might not even have the CBS team’s project.

Also – sorry for the continued misspelling of your name, Daren :-)
I’m an Engineer, not a linguist!

Great job Daren, thanks for putting this up for us to see! We really enjoyed watching it, very nicely done!