Star Trek (1966–1969)
8.1/10
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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.

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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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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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8 March 1968 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Commodore Wesley's high-backed command chair appears to be the same one used on the ISS Enterprise's command chair in "Mirror, Mirror". See more »

Goofs

McCoy notes that having a crew of only 20 aboard is insufficient to properly operate the ship if the M-5 fails. From a safety standpoint, no experimental equipment would ever be tested without reasonable safety measures in place to handle a catastrophic failure, including having a sufficient number of personnel on hand to handle an incident. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Spock: 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]
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Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: Shattered Universe (2003) See more »

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M5 Computer Takes Over The Enterprise
12 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Season 2, episode 24. By Federation orders, the Enterprise is ordered to participate in computer wargames. Kirk is forced to a very minimal skeleton crew, the M5 computer is installed on board the Enterprise by it's inventor Dr. Richard Daystrom while Starfleet is very optimistic the M5 work - in the name of progress. M5 does what it's designed to do in a test drill which leaves Kirk and the skeleton crew more nervous but when an oil freighter passes by M5 chases it down and fires at it, causing it to explode. Kirk orders the M5 to be stopped but the M5 has learned to defend itself and will not allow humans to shut if off. Dr. Daystrom invented M5 to help save lives but when he sees everything going wrong and even killing a crewman he and his M5 tries to stop Kirk and his skeleton crew from disabling the computer and taking back their ship. M5 has taken over everything from communications to warp drive to weapons. Dr. Daystrom loves his "child", the M5, while Kirk and crew are having trouble waking him up from his M5 dream of helping humanity.

A fantastic episode that entertains the idea of computers/machines getting smarter and taking over to help humans. But, what happens when the computer goes wrong? 9/10


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