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 ...
Did You Know?
In his 1999 essay "Welcome Aboard the Enterprise," science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer
writes, "...the ship's computers, as seen in "The Ultimate Computer," were designed by a Nobel-prize-winning black cyberneticist, played with equal dignity by William Marshall
. During the era of Martin Luther King
and the Watts Riots, it was a powerful, important statement to have the white captain of the Enterprise deferring to black people; as Marshall observed thirty years later, the single most significant thing about his guest-starring role was that he, an African-American, was referred to as "Sir" throughout the episode." See more
After the first round of attacks against the task force, Wesley reports to Starfleet that the captain and first officer of the Excaliber are dead plus "many casualties". With no further attacks, a few minutes later the Excaliber is reported to "look dead", and is subsequently scanned to show no life on board, even through it has not been attacked again. See more
[M-5 has destroyed an unmanned ore freighter in an unprovoked attack
Captain James T. Kirk
Disengage the computer. Lieutenant, contact Starfleet Command. Tell them we are breaking off M-5 tests and returning to the space station. Come along, Dr. Daystrom. M-5 is out of a job!
Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more
Referenced in Star Trek Timelines