Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The Ultimate Computer 

Kirk and a sub-skeleton crew are ordered to test out an advanced artificially intelligent control system - the M-5 Multitronic system, which could potentially render them all redundant. Star fleet is very optimistic, but, Kirk fears - even in a testing situation - removing humans from the equation is a very dangerous position to be left in. A position of life or death.

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Storyline

Captain Kirk replies to an urgent (yet brief) message from Commodore Enright, which only tells him to report to the nearest space station. Once there, most of the crew is removed - held in a security area, leaving only a minimal skeleton crew on-board. Commodore Bob Wesley arrives, and informs the captain he's the unwitting 'fox in the hunt;' of simulated war games to be played. The purpose? To put the so far only-rumoured-to-exist M-5 Multitronic unit - through its paces. The M-5 computer is the latest invention of the brilliant Dr. Richard Daystrom, creator of the Duotronic computer systems, which power Enterprise, and many other high-end systems. Daystrom is confidant his unit can not only take control of the starship, but do a better job than humans can. At first, the Enterprise under M-5's control easily defeats two other starships, but, quickly begins to act independently of its human masters, Daystrom has little interest in disconnecting the M-5 and treats it more like an ... Written by garykmcd

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8 March 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to playing his regular role of Chief Engineer "Scotty" Scott, in this episode James Doohan also provides the voice of the computer M-5, as well as that of the briefly heard and unnamed starbase officer who gives Commodore Wesley and the other starship commanders permission to destroy the Enterprise. See more »

Goofs

When M5 begins the attack on the Federation task force, it concentrates most of its attention on two ships, the Lexington and the Excalibur, with a single attack on a third ship, the Potemkin. The fourth ship of the task force, the Hood, is never attacked by the M5-controlled Enterprise. However, when Commodore Wesley contacts Starfleet and asks for permission to destroy the Enterprise, he states that all four ships have sustained damage. See more »

Quotes

Captain James T. Kirk: The M-5 must be destroyed.
Dr. Richard Daystrom: [distressed] Destroyed, Kirk? No. We're invincible. Look what we've done: your mighty starships - four toys to be crushed as we choose!
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Daystrom's Dilemma
3 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a rather complex episode. It has the classic question as to whether complete mechanization (including a master computer) is preferable to a human (or non-human) crew. A man named Dr. Daystrom is one of the pioneers in the development of space technology. He was once lauded but, like so many pioneers, has become the object of the public's malaise over past accomplishments. He uses the Enterprise as his Guinea pig, installing his ultimate computer and putting the crew in menial positions. To test out his baby, Daystrom has arranged war games with other starships. The computer does a masterful job of running the ship, but because artificial intelligence lacks imagination, when the games commence, the thing can't distinguish the game from reality. It believes these ships are actually attacking it. Daystrom goes mad when efforts are made to stop his creation. Another issue is if Daystrom has his way, there will be no more crews, no more explorations. Would it spell the end of the need for looking into the unknown.


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