Kirk is none too impressed when he's told that the Enterprise is to compete in simulated war games but under the control of a new computer. The M-5 computer is the latest invention of the brilliant Dr. Richard Daystrom, who is confidant that his unit can not only take control of the starship but do a better job than humans can. In its first simulated encounter, the Enterprise under M-5's control easily defeats two other starships. Soon, however, it begins to act independently of its human masters, tapping directly into the warp engines for its power and erecting a force field to protect itself. Daystrom has little interest in disconnecting the M-5 and treats it more like an errant child than a machine. For Kirk and the few crew members still aboard, it becomes a matter of life and death when Starfleet Command orders the Enterprise destroyed. Written by
Did You Know?
Kirk gets the M-5 to commit suicide by asking what is the penalty for murder. However, in "The Menagerie, Part I," it's established that the death penalty has been abolished for all crimes with the exception of visiting Talos IV. See more
Captain, the computer does not judge. It makes logical selections.
[on Kirk's comment that the difference in recommendation from M-5 was only a matter of judgment