> TOS > EPISODES
> THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER >
The U.S.S. Enterprise is chosen to be the test ship for the new
M-5 multitronic computer system, a computer meant to be able to run a
starship without human intervention. Also aboard for the test is Dr.
Richard Daystrom, the inventor of the M-5 and an obsessive and unstable
Initially the M-5 performs well, but when it decides to destroy a robot
freighter, Kirk orders the test canceled. The M-5, however, protects
itself and makes it impossible for it to be disconnected. The computer
becomes increasingly erratic, a result of Dr. Daystrom's decision to
impress his engram onto the computer as part of its programming.
Starting a scheduled war games drill, M-5 uses the full arsenal of the
U.S.S. Enterprise to attack four other Federation starships.
In a last-ditch appeal to the M-5, Kirk makes the computer realize that
it has committed the sin of murder. Since Dr. Daystrom would be
ethically abhorred at such an act, the M-5 is equally penitent and tries
to commit suicide by leaving the U.S.S. Enterprise defenseless
against a counter-attack by the remaining other starships. At the last
moment, Spock and Scott are able to finish disconnecting the M-5 unit.
Kirk keeps the shields down, gambling successfully that the attacking
ships would not fire on an undefended vessel. Restoring communications
next, the fleet is called off.