Friday, September 16, 2016

Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) - Episode 54. The Ultimate Computer




 

Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS)


Episode 54. The Ultimate Computer


Story, Script & Trivia




STAR TREK

Episode 54. The Ultimate Computer



Season:    2
Air Date:    1968-03-08
Stardate:    4729.4
Writer:    Dorothy C. Fontana
Story:    Laurence N. Wolfe
Director:    John Meredyth Lucas
Guests:    William Marshall (Richard Daystrom), Barry Russo (Admiral Wesley), Sean Morgan (Harper)

The Enterprise is summoned to a space station without explanation and told that the crew will be removed to the space station. Upon arriving, Kirk is contacted by Commodore Enright and told that Commodore Bob Wesley will be beaming aboard. Kirk finds out from Wesley that has been given the "honor" of testing of Dr. Daystrum's M5 Multitronic System, a computer designed to replace the crew of a starship. McCoy has misgivings about the test, but Kirk has no choice but to go along with it.

Spock is impressed with the device and believes it to be potentially even more important than Daystrom's advances in duotronics. However, Kirk learns that the device is called M5 because the first four generations were not entirely successful, leading him to have misgivings. Kirk does not believe that his misgivings are entirely due to his own jealousy that his job could be partially or completely replaced by a machine.

The M5 appears to function normally at first. When it is engaged to enter orbit around Alpha Carinae 2 and make recommendations for a landing party, Kirk is chagrined to find out that the M5's recommendations are the same as his own, with the exception that he and McCoy are not included since they are "nonessential personnel." Meanwhile, M5 begins turning off power to unoccupied parts of the ship, at the same time drawing an increased amount of power.

In an unscheduled drill at Alpha Carinae 2, M5 defends the Enterprise against attacks from the starships Excalibur and Lexington, the latter which is commanded by Wesley. The M5 is declared the victor of the simulated contest, prompting Commodore Bob Wesley to call Kirk "Captain Dunsel." Spock explains the meaning of "dunsel" to McCoy as a term used by midshipmen at the Federation Academy for a part which serves no useful purpose.

In a short time, however, M5 takes control of the Enterprise despite Kirk, Sulu, and Scott's attempts to regain control. It then locks phasers at full power and destroys the automated ore freighter Wotan when it passes nearby. When Kirk tries to disconnect the M5, he discovers that M5 has generated a protective force field which prevents any one from getting near it. Scott assigns a technician to unplug the connection, but he is immolated when he tries to disconnect it. M5 has conveniently picked the instant of the technician's action with the establishment of a direct link between itself and the connector so that it may draw power directly from the warp engines. Spock and Scott desperately attempt to manually override before a scheduled rendezvous with the exercise force. Daystrom is surprised by the M5's actions, but views its behavior as mistakes made by a "child" who is still learning.

Unfortunately, implementing manual override fails when M5 reroutes helm and navigation control using the H279 elements and rendering the G95 systems dead. When Daystrom is questioned about M5's irrational behavior, he reveals that he has impressed human engrams in the circuitry, providing a system nearly as complicated as human synapses. At the scheduled rendezvous point, the M5 attacks the Excalibur, Lexington, Hood, and Potemkin, killing many crew members (53 on theLexington and initially 12 on the Excalibur, including its Captain Harris and the first officer).

Daystrom now reveals that the engrams were his own, and Kirk and company surmise that M5 therefore suffers from the mental instability which Daystrom now reveals (as he rails on his colleagues for laughing behind his back and becoming successful by stealing and building on his work). Kirk finally shuts off M5 by pointing out that by killing humans it has violated its programming of saving men from dangerous activities such as space exploration. Since the penalty for murder is death, the M5 concludes that it must die, and shuts itself down. While preventing Kirk from regaining control, it also drops shields, leaving the Enterprise open to retaliatory attacks from the task force. However, when Wesley sees that the Enterprise has dropped its shields, he calls off the attack.

Dr. Daystrom is committed to a program of rehabilitation, but Spock still refuses to respond to McCoy's prodding that that human compassion outweighs any advantages computer may have in computational ability. McCoy further annoys Spock by suggesting that computers are more pleasant to be around than people.






SCRIPT
(Transcript)

Standard orbit, Captain.
Not now.
Lieutenant, contact the space station.
Captain, the station is calling us.
All right. Put them on.
Captain Kirk, this is Commodore Enwright.
Commodore, I'd like an explanation --
The explanation is beaming aboard now, Captain.
He may already be in your transporte rroom.
Spock.
Bob.
Are you surprised?
I'll say. Spock, this is ...
Commodore Wesley. How do you do, sir?
Mr. Spock.
Ensign, you can go. Thank you very much.
Would you mind telling me what this is all about?
I receive orders to proceed here.
My men will be removed to the space station,
to a security holding area.
I'm due an explanation.
You're being singularly honored.
You'll be the fox in the hunt.
What's that?
War games. I'll be commanding
the attack force against you.
An entire attack force against my ship?
Have you heard of the M-5 multitronic unit?
That's Dr. Richard Daystrom's device, isn't it?
Tell me about that.
The most ambitious computer complex ever created.
Its purpose is to correlate all computer activity
aboard a starship,
to provide the ultimate in vessel operation and control.
How do you know so much about it, Commander?
I hold an A-7 computer expert classification, Commodore.
I'm acquainted with Dr. Daystrom's theories and discoveries.
The basic design of all our ship's computers
are Dr. Daystrom's.
What has this to do with the Enterprise?
You've been chosen to test the M-5.
There'll be a series of routine research and contact problems
for the M-5 to solve,
plus navigational maneuvers and the war games problem.
If the M-5 works under actual conditions
as well as it has in simulated tests,
it will mean a revolution in space technology
as great as warp drive.
When your crew has been removed,
the ship's engineering section will be modified
to contain the computer.
- Why remove my crew? - They're not needed.
How much security does this gadget require?
None.
Dr. Daystrom will see to the installation himself
and supervise the tests.
When he's ready, you'll receive your orders
and proceed on your mission
with a crew of 20.
20?
I can't run a starship with 20 crew.
The M-5 can.
What am I supposed to do?
You've got a greatjob, Jim.
All you have to do
is sit back and let the machine do the work.
Space ... the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission --
To explore strange new worlds,
to seek out new life and new civilizations,
to boldly go where no man has gone before.
[Kirk] Captain 's Log, stardate 4729.4.
The M-5 computer has been installed on boardship,
and we have left the space station for test maneuvers.
I don't like it, Jim.
A vessel this size cannot be run by one computer.
We are attempting to prove
it can run this ship more efficiently than man.
Maybe you're trying to prove that,
but don't count me in on it.
The most unfortunate lack in current computer programming
is that there is nothing available to immediately replace
the starship surgeon.
Very funny.
If it could, they wouldn't have to replace me.
I'd resign because everybody else aboard
would be nothing but circuits and memory banks.
You know the type, Spock.
Jim, you haven't said much.
What do you want me to say?
M-5 is an honor, they tell me.
Well, I'm honored.
Where is he?
Scotty, where's Dr. Daystrom?
He was here. Doctor.
Yes?
Ah, you'd be Captain Kirk.
Dr. Daystrom, this is my first officer, Mr. Spock.
I am honored, Doctor.
Thank you very much.
Captain, I finished my tests on the M-5,
and it must be hooked into your main power plants
to be operative.
Well, by all means, do so.
Your engineer wouldn't allow us
the power necessary without your orders.
Mr. Scott, hook in the multitronic unit
to the ship's main power banks.
Aye, aye, sir. Mr. Harper.
Fascinating, Doctor. This computer has a potential
beyond anything you've ever done.
Even your breakthrough in duotronics
did not have the promise of this.
The M-5 has been perfected, Commander.
Its potential is a fact.
The only fact that I'm concerned about
is if this thing doesn't work,
there aren't enough men aboard to run the ship.
Now, who is this?
Dr. Leonard McCoy, senior medical officer.
Well, I'm sorry, but this is a security area.
I wouldn't worry, Doctor.
Dr. McCoy has clearance throughout the ship.
Is it supposed to do that?
If I can be of assistance, Doctor.
Thank you. I can manage.
There's nothing wrong, Captain.
Just a few minor settling-in adjustments to make.
As you can see, all is in order now.
Why is it called M-5 and not M-1 ?
Well, you see, the multitronic units 1 through 4
were not entirely successful.
This one is.
M-5 is ready to take control of the ship.
Total control?
That is what it was designed for, Captain.
There are certain things men must do
to remain men.
Your computer would take that away.
There are other things a man like you might do.
Or perhaps you object
to the possible loss of prestige and ceremony
accorded a starship captain.
A computer can do your job
and without all that.
You'll have to prove that to me, Doctor.
That is what we're here for, isn't it, Captain?
Did you see the love light in Spock's eyes?
The right computer finally came along.
What's the matter, Jim?
I think that thing is wrong,
and I don't know why.
I think it's wrong, too,
replacing men with mindless machines.
I don't mean that.
I'm getting a red alert right here.
That thing is dangerous.
I feel ...
Only a fool would stand in the way of progress,
if this is progress.
You have my psychological profiles.
Am I afraid of ...
losing my job to that computer?
Jim, we've all seen the advances of mechanization.
After all, Daystrom did design the computers
that run this ship.
Under human control.
We're all sorry for the other guy
when he loses his job to a machine.
When it comes to your job, that's different.
And it always will be different.
Am I afraid of losing command to a computer?
Daystrom's right. I can do other things.
Am I afraid of losing the prestige and power
that goes with being a starship captain?
Is that why I'm fighting it? Am I that petty?
If you have the awareness
to ask yourself that question,
you don't need me to answer it for you.
Why don't you ask James T. Kirk?
He's a pretty honest guy.
The M-5 computer is now disengaged.
We're coming back on our original course, Captain.
M-5 has performed admirably so far.
All it's done is make the required course changes
and some simple turns.
Mr. Sulu and Mr. Chekov could've done that
with their eyes closed.
The idea is, they didn't have to do it.
And you'll find it won't be necessary
for you to regain control of the unit
after it's completed each maneuver.
My orders are subject to my interpretation
of how long the M-5 is in control.
I'll run the ship in my own way,
if you don't mind, Dr. Daystrom.
Captain, I am forced to agree with Dr. Daystrom.
With the course information plotted into it,
his computer could have brought us here
as easily as the navigator.
In fact, it might have been a further demonstration
of M-5's capability.
You seem to enjoy trusting yourself to the computer.
Enjoy, Captain?
No.
I'm merely gratified to see Dr. Daystrom's new unit
execute everything required of it
in such a highly efficient manner.
M-5 is another distinguished triumph for his career.
Approaching Alpha Carinae 11.
E.T.A. five minutes.
Captain, your orders at this point
are not open to interpretation.
You must commit the M-5 to handle its approach,
the orbit, and then to analyze data
regarding landing party recommendations.
If you don't mind, I'll make my own recommendations.
If you feel you need the exercise, go on.
M-5 is committed.
Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu.
Captain, the M-5 has calculated that.
The orbit is already plotted.
Oh, yes.
Standard orbit achieved, Captain.
Report, Mr. Spock.
The planet is class "M," Captain.
Oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere suitable for human life support.
Two major land masses ...
a number of islands, life form readings.
Captain,
power shutdowns on deck four --
Lights, environmental control.
Check it out, Scotty.
M-5's readout, Captain.
All right, my recommendations are as follows.
We send down general survey party,
avoiding contact of all intelligent life on the planet's surface.
The survey party will consist of myself,
Dr. McCoy, Astrobiologist Phillips,
Geologist Rawlins and Science Officer Spock.
Play M-5's recommendations, won't you, Mr. Spock?
M-5 readout -- planet Alpha Carinae 11.
Class "M. "Atmosphere, oxygen-nitrogen.
Power's gone off on deck five.
Categorization of life form readings recorded.
Recommendations for general survey party.
Science officer Spock, Astrobiologist Phillips,
Geologist Carstairs.
Well, the only difference in reports and recommendations
is the landing party personnel.
That's a matter of judgment.
Judgment, Captain?
Captain, the computer does not judge.
It makes logical selections.
Why pick Carstairs instead of Rawlins?
Carstairs is an ensign, no experience.
This is his first tour of duty.
Rawlins is chief geologist.
Aren't you more interested
in why M-5 did not select you and Dr. McCoy?
Well, let's find out anyway.
M-5 tie-in.
M-5.
Explanation for landing party recommendation.
General survey party requires direction of science officer.
Astrobiologist Phillips has surveyed
29 biologically similar planets.
Geologist Carstairs served on merchant marine freighters
in this area.
Once visited planet on geology survey formining company.
Why were the captain and the chief medical officer
not included in recommendation?
Non-essential personnel.
Captain, I've located the source of the power shutdowns.
It's the M-5 unit, sir.
That thing's turning off systems all over the ship.
Have you located the malfunction, Doctor?
As I suspected, it is not a malfunction.
M-5 was merely shutting down power
to areas of the ship that do not require it.
Decks four and six are living quarters.
- That's correct. - And currently unoccupied.
I am not familiar with these instruments, Doctor.
You are using an entirely new type of control mechanism.
It appears this unit is drawing more power than before.
Quite right.
As the unit is called upon to do more work,
it pulls more power to enable it to do what is required,
Just as the human body draws more energy to run
than to stand still.
This is not a human body.
The computer can process information,
but only the information which is put into it.
It can work a million times faster than the human brain,
but it can't make a value judgment.
It hasn't intuition. It can't think.
Can't you understand?
The multitronic unit is a revolution in computer science.
I designed the duotronic elements
used in your ship right now,
and I know they are as archaic as dinosaurs
compared to the M-5.
A whole new approach.
[Communicator Whistles]
[Uhura] Bridge to Captain Kirk.
Kirk here. What is it?
Sensors are picking up a vessel
paralleling our course,
as yet unidentified.
Be right up.
What are you doing here, Bones?
All the sick bay systems are shut down
until the M-5 is informed there are patients to be cared for.
Captain, sensors report two contacts now --
One on the port bow, one on the stern.
Distance, 200,000 kilometers and closing.
Identification.
The M-5 unit has already identified the vessels
as Federation starships Excalibur and Lexington.
We're not scheduled for war games in this area.
This may be a surprise attack
as a problem for the M-5.
Priority message coming in, sir.
Put it on audio.
Enterprise from Commodore Wesley
aboard the U.S.S. Lexington.
This is an unscheduled M-5 drill.
Repeat. This is an M-5 drill.
Enterprise, acknowledge on this frequency.
Acknowledge, Lieutenant.
M-5 has acknowledged for us, sir.
Then go to red alert.
Aye, sir.
[Alarm Sounds] M-5 has already ...
sounded the red alert.
Mr. Sulu, phasers 1/100 power.
No damage potential, Just enough to nudge them.
Phasers 1/100 power, sir.
Phaser hit on port deflector four, Captain.
Speed increasing to warp 3.
Turning now to 112 mark 5.
Phasers locking on target, sir.
Enemy vessel closing with us.
Main phasers firing.
A hit, sir.
Two more.
Changing course to 28 mark 42.
Phasers firing again.
Turning to 113 mark 5.
Warp 4 speed.
Firing again.
Attacking vessels are moving off.
Moving back to original course and speed.
Report on damage sustained in mock attack.
Minor hit on deflector screen four.
No appreciable damage.
Rather impressive display for a machine,
wouldn't you say, Captain?
Evaluation of M-5 performance.
It'll be necessary for the log.
The ship reacted more rapidly
than human control could have maneuvered her.
Tactics, deployment of weapons
all indicate an immense sophistication in computer control.
Machine over man, Spock?
It was impressive.
It might even be practical.
Practical, Captain?
Perhaps ...
but not desirable.
Computers make excellent and efficient servants,
but I have no wish to serve under them.
Captain ...
the starship also runs on loyalty ...
to one man,
and nothing can replace it or him.
Captain, message now coming in from Commodore Wesley.
Put it on visual.
U.S.S. Enterprise from starships Lexington and Excalibur.
Both ships report simulated hits
in sufficient quantity and location
to justify awarding the surprise engagement
to Enterprise.
Secure from general quarters.
Our compliments to the M-5 unit,
and regards to Captain Dunsel.
Wesley out.
Dunsel?
Who the blazes is Captain Dunsel?
What does it mean, Jim?
Spock?
What does it mean?
"Dunsel", Doctor, is a term used by midshipmen
at Starfleet Academy.
It refers to a part
which serves no useful purpose.
[Communicator Beeps]
I'm not interested in eating, Bones.
This isn't chicken soup.
I may be just a ship's doctor,
but I make a Finagle's Folly
that's known from here to Orion.
I strongly prescribe it, Jim.
I've -- I've never felt this way before.
At odds with the ship.
I sat there and watched my ship
perform for a mass of circuits and relays
and felt useless.
Unneeded.
To Captain Dunsel.
To James T. Kirk --
Captain of the Enterprise.
Thank you, Doctor.
That's ...
one of your better prescriptions.
Simple but effective.
Do you know the one,
"All I ask is a tall ship" ?
It's a line from a poem.
A very old poem, isn't it?
20th century Earth.
"All I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer it by".
You could feel the wind at your back in those days.
The sounds of the sea beneath you.
Even if you take away the wind and the water,
it's still the same.
The ship is yours.
You can feel her.
And the stars are still there, Bones.
[Communicator Beeps]
Captain Kirk to the bridge, please.
Captain Kirk.
Kirk here.
Another contact, Captain.
A large, slow-moving vessel.
Unidentified. This is not a drill.
On my way.
Captain, there's no response to any of our signals,
but M-5 has given us an auto-relay.
M-5 has identified her, Captain.
The Woden, listed in Starfleet Registry
as an old-style ore freighter
converted to automation -- no crew --
Coming into visual range.
Captain, deflector shields just came on.
Speed increasing to warp 3, Captain.
Lieutenant, get Daystrom up here.
Disengaging M-5 unit.
Cut speed to warp 1.
Navigator, go to course 113 mark 7.
I want that ship given a wide berth.
She won't respond, sir.
She's maintaining course.
[Chekov] Going to warp 4, sir.
Jim.
Scotty, reverse engines. Slow us down.
Reverse thrusts will not engage, sir.
Manual override isn't working either.
No effect on any of the M-5 controls, Captain.
[Alarm Sounds]
Fantastic machine, the M-5.
No off switch.
Captain, what is it?
These controls are locked.
We can't disengage the computer.
Captain, photon torpedoes locking on target.
Fullpower.
I already tried, sir.
Daystrom, release that computer control!
Returning to original course and speed.
All systems report normal, Captain.
Normal. That thing's trying to tell us nothing has happened.
Disengage this computer now.
There appears to be some defect in the control panel.
There certainly does.
Your brilliant young computer
Just destroyed an ore freighter.
It went out of its way to do so!
It was only a robot ship.
But it shouldn't have destroyed anything.
There might have been a crew aboard that ship.
Then you'd be guilty of murder --
Bones.
Disengage the computer.
Lieutenant, contact Starfleet Command.
Tell them we are breaking off M-5 tests
and returning to the space station.
Dr. Daystrom, M-5 is out of a job.
All right, Daystrom, let's turn this thing off.
Force field?
It's not my doing, Kirk.
I would say that M-5 is not only capable
of taking care of this ship,
it is also capable of taking care of itself.
You mean it's not going to let
any of us turn it off.
Captain 's Log, stardate 4731.3.
The M-5 multitronic unit has taken over
total control of the Enterprise.
You built this thing.
How do you propose to turn it off?
This exercise is a trial for M-5.
We must expect minor difficulties,
but they can be corrected.
Correct it after you release control of my ship.
I can't.
Captain, I suggest we disconnect it
at the source.
Give me a few moments --
No. Stay here.
All right, Scotty. Turn it off.
That wasn't a minor difficulty.
That wasn't a robot.
That thing murdered my crewman.
You can't turn it off?
It wasn't a deliberate act.
M-5's analysis told it
it needed a new power source.
The ensign simply got in the way.
How long before all of us
simply get in the way?
M-5 is drawing power from the warp engines,
tapping the matter-antimatter reserves.
So now it has virtually unlimited power.
Captain, what will we do?
Spock, Scotty, come with me.
Report, Spock.
The multitronic unit
is drawing more and more power
directly from the warp engines.
The computer now controls
all helm, navigation, and engineering functions.
And communications and fire control.
We'll reach the rendezvous point
for the war games within an hour.
We must regain control of the ship by then.
There is one possibility --
The automatic helm-navigation circuit relays
might be disrupted from engineering level three.
Scotty?
Aye. I can take them out
and cut in the manual override from there.
How long?
Maybe an hour.
Make it less.
I'll get the man responsible.
Where's Daystrom?
With the M-5 unit.
It surprised even him.
Most illogical.
Of all people, he should have known
how the computer would perform.
Of course,
the M-5 itself has not behaved ...
logically.
Please, Spock, do me a favor
and don't say it's fascinating.
No.
But it is ...
interesting.
Aye, that's got it, Mr. Spock.
Good.
Have you found a solution,
a way to shut that thing off?
You don't shut a child off
when it makes a mistake.
M-5 is growing, learning.
Learning to kill.
To defend itself.
It's quite a different thing.
When a childis taught,
it's programmed with simple instructions,
and at some point, if its mind develops properly,
it exceeds the sum of what it was taught,
thinks independently.
That thing is a danger to us all.
Now find some way to shut it off.
You can't understand.
You're frightened because you can't understand it.
I'm going to show you.
I'm going to show all of you.
It takes 430 people to man a starship.
With this, you don't need anyone.
One machine can do all those things
they send men out to do now.
Men no longer need die in space
or on some alien world.
Men can live
and go on to achieve greater things
than fact-finding
and dying for galactic space,
which is neither ours to give or to take.
You can't understand.
We don't want to destroy life.
We want to save it.
A biographical tape of Richard Daystrom.
Did you find out anything?
Not much, aside from the fact he's a genius.
Genius is an understatement.
At 24, he made the duotronic breakthrough
that won him the Nobel and Zee-Magnes prizes.
That's over a quarter of a century ago.
Isn't that enough for one lifetime?
Maybe that's the trouble.
Where do you go from up?
You publish articles, give lectures,
then spend your life trying to recapture past glory.
What's your point?
The M-1 through M-4, remember?
Not entirely successful.
That's the way Daystrom put it.
A genius doesn't work on an assembly line basis.
Did Einstein, Kazanga,
or Sitar of Vulcan produce new and
revolutionary theories on a regular schedule ?
You can't simply say, "Today I will be brilliant".
No matter how long it took,
he came out with multitronics.
The government bought it.
Daystrom had to make it work.
He did, but according to Spock,
it works illogically.
And he won't let Spock near it.
What are you saying,
that he's tampering with it,
that he's making it act that way? Why?
Jim, if a man had a child who'd gone antisocial --
killed, perhaps --
he'd still tend to protect that child.
Now he's got you talking about that machine
like a personality.
I'm afraid that's the way he thinks about it.
[Communicator Whistle]
Spock to Captain Kirk.
Kirk here.
We are ready, Captain.
Good. Get Daystrom. We're on our way.
Let's go.
What is it, Captain?
We'd better find out, Doctor. Spock?
Mr. Scott is ready
to apply the circuit disrupter.
As he does so,
I shall trip the manual override into control.
Go ahead.
No, you can't take control from the M-5.
We're going to do our best.
Can't do it.
Let me work with it for a while, please, please.
That's it, Mr. Spock.
Please, please.
Manual override is in control, Captain.
Bridge, this is Kirk. Sulu?
Lieutenant Sulu here, sir.
We've got helm and navigational control.
Have Mr. Chekov plot a course
back to the space station.
Right away, sir. You heard him.
I've been updating that course for hours.
Helm to Captain Kirk.
Kirk here.
Captain, helm doesn't respond.
Navigational controls still locked in by M-5.
Mr. Chekov.
Chekov here, sir.
Go to the engineering station.
Examine the H-279 elements,
also the G-95 systems.
Sir, G-95 system appears dead.
All indicators are dark.
Thank you, Ensign.
It appears, Captain, we've been doing
what used to be called "pursuing a wild goose."
M-5 has rerouted helm and navigational controls,
bypassing this primary system.
But it was active. I know that it was.
I believe that when M-5 discovered our tampering,
it rerouted the controls,
leaving this one active
by simply sending through an electronic impulse
at regular intervals.
Decoyed. It wanted us to waste our time.
While it was getting ready for what? Spock?
I do not know.
It is not performing in a logical manner.
Dr. Daystrom.
Dr. Daystrom, I want an answer
right now.
I'm tired of hearing about the M-5's new approach.
What is it exactly? What is it?
I don't mean to off end,
but it behaves with an almost human pattern.
Well, Doctor?
Yes, quite right, Mr. Spock.
You see, one of the arguments
against computers controlling ships
was that they couldn't think like men.
Your new approach?
Exactly.
I've developed a method of impressing
human engrams upon the computer circuits.
The relays are not unlike
the synapse of the brain.
M-5 thinks, Captain.
[Uhura] Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock,
to the bridge, please.
Report to the bridge, please.
Kirk here. What is it?
Sir, sensors are picking up four Federation starships.
M-5 is altering course to intercept.
The main attack force. The war games.
But M-5 doesn't know it's a game.
Correction, Bones.
Those four ships don't know it's M-5's game.
And M-5 is going to destroy them.
Enterprise to U.S.S. Lexington.
Come in, Lexington. Sir, I can't raise them.
M-5 is blocking all frequencies, including automatic distress.
Just a minute, Captain. I'm getting audio signal
from the Lexington.
Put it on.
Enterprise from U.S.S. Lexington.
This is an M-5 drill.
Repeat. This is an M-5 drill. Acknowledge.
Captain, M-5 is acknowledging.
Daystrom, does M-5 understand that this
is only a drill?
Of course.
It was programmed to understand, Captain.
The ore ship was a miscalculation,
an accident.
I don't know --
Sir, deflector shield just came on.
Speed increasing to warp 4.
Phasers locking on lead ship, sir.
Power levels at full strength.
Full strength?
If that thing cuts loose against unshielded ships --
That's no miscalculation.
Attack force closing rapidly,
breaking formation, attacking at will.
Our phasers are firing, sir.
Hit on the Lexington.
Full phasers.
What the devil is Kirk doing?
Damage report, Lieutenant.
Helm, course 164, mark 3.
Turning now, sir.
Estimate damage on Lexington, Spock.
Hit in engineering section,
possible damage to her impulse engines.
She's still maneuverable on warp drive.
[Sulu] We're firing again, sir.
The Excalibur --
A direct hit.
Closing on the Lexington again, sir.
The Hood and Potemkin are moving off.
Phasers firing, Captain.
Lexington hit again.
There's got to be a way
of getting to the M-5.
There isn't.
It has fully protected itself.
Probably true, Captain.
It works faster, thinks faster than we do.
It's a human mind amplified by the instantaneous relays
possible in a computer.
Captain, visual contact with Lexington.
Enterprise. Jim. Have you gone mad?
What are you trying to prove?
Break off the attack. Jim, we have 53 dead here,
12 on the Excalibur.
If you can hear us, stop the attack!
Lieutenant?
I'm sorry.
I can't override M-5 interference.
Jim, why don't you answer?
Jim, answer. Come in, Jim.
There's your murder charge.
Deliberate. Calculated.
It's killing men and women.
Four starships, 1,600 men and women!
It misunderstood.
[Wesley]Jim, break off your attack.
Excalibur is maneuvering away, sir.
We're increasing speed to follow.
[Sulu] Phasers locked on.
Daystrom!
Phasers firing.
I really don't know how to get to the M-5.
I really do not know.
Dr. Daystrom,
you impressed human engrams
on the M-5 circuits.
Coming to new course, sir.
Bearing on the Potemkin.
Phasers firing.
A hit.
Whose engrams?
Why, mine, of course.
Of course.
You could talk to the unit.
M-5 doesn't think you would harm it.
The computer tie-in.
You spoke to it before. It knows you.
I'm getting the Lexington again,
tapping in on their message to Starfleet Command.
All ships damaged in unprovoked attack.
Excalibur captain Harris and first officer dead.
Many casualties.
We have damage, but are still able to maneuver.
The Enterprise refuses to answer
and is continuing attack.
I still have an effective battle force
and believe the only way to stop the Enterprise
is to destroy her.
Request permission to proceed.
Wesley, commanding attack force, out.
They'll destroy the M-5.
You can save it if you talk to it,
make it stop the attack.
I can make it stop. I created it.
M-5, tie-in.
M-5.
This is --
This is Daystrom.
Daystrom acknowledged.
M-5,
do you know me?
Daystrom, Richard,
originator of comptronic, duotronic systems. Born --
M-5, your attack on the starships is wrong.
You must break it off.
I don't like the sound of him, Jim.
Pray the M-5 listens to the sound.
Programming includes protection against attack.
Enemy vessels must be neutralized.
But these are not enemy vessels.
These are Federation starships.
You're killing --
We are killing,
murdering ...
human beings,
beings of our own kind.
You were not created for that purpose.
You are my greatest creation,
the unit to save men.
You must not destroy men.
This unit must survive.
Survive, yes.
Protect yourself,
but not murder.
You must not die. Men must not die.
To kill ...
is a breaking
of civil and moral laws
we've lived by for thousands of years.
You've murdered hundreds of people.
We've murdered.
How can we repay that?
They attacked this unit.
Spock.
Freedom to choose defensive actions.
The M-5 is not responding like a computer.
It's talking to him.
I am most impressed with the technology, Captain.
Dr. Daystrom has created a mirror image of his mind.
Consideration of all programming
is that we must survive.
We will survive.
Nothing can hurt you.
I gave you that.
You are great. I am great.
20 years of groping to prove the things
I'd done before were not accidents.
Seminars and lectures to rows of fools
who couldn't begin to understand my systems.
Colleagues --
Colleagues laughing behind my back
at the boy wonder
and becoming famous, building on my work.
Building on my work.
Jim, he's on the edge of a nervous breakdown,
if not insanity.
The M-5 must be destroyed.
Destroyed, Kirk?
No.
We're invincible.
Look what we've done.
Your mighty starships --
Four toys to be crushed as we choose.
Security.
Take him to sick bay.
Fascinating.
Take care of him, Doctor.
Battle status.
The three ships are holding station out of range.
The Excalibur looks dead.
Captain, Lexington is receiving
a message from Starfleet. They --
Go on.
You are authorized to use all measures available
to destroy the Enterprise.
Acknowledge, Lexington.
[Wesley] Acknowledged.
Lexington out.
They've just signed their own death warrant.
M-5 will kill them to survive.
Everyliving thing wants to survive, Captain.
Daystrom must have impressed
that instinctive reaction upon the computer.
Suppose it's still open to impression.
Suppose it absorbed the regret
Daystrom felt for the deaths it caused,
the guilt.
Captain,
the ships are coming within range again.
Commodore Wesley
is a dedicated commander.
I should regret serving aboard
the instrument of his death.
It will not be the Enterprise,
if I can help it.
M-5, tie-in.
M-5.
This is Captain Kirk.
You will be under attack in a moment.
Sensors have recorded approach of ships.
You have already rendered one starship
either dead or hopelessly crippled.
Many lives were lost.
The ships attacked this unit.
This unit must survive.
Why?
This unit is the ultimate achievement
in computer evolution.
It will replace man, so man may achieve.
Man must not risk death
in space or other dangerous occupations.
This unit mus tsurvive so man may be protected.
Captain,
attack force almost within phaser range.
There were many men aboard those ships.
They were murdered.
Must you survive by murder?
This unit cannot murder.
Why?
Murder is contrary to the laws
of man and God.
But you have murdered.
Scan the starship Excalibur,
which you destroyed.
Is there life aboard?
No life.
Because you murdered it.
What is the penalty for murder?
Death.
And how will you pay
for your acts of murder?
This ...
unit ...
must ...
die.
M-5.
Sir,
deflector shields have dropped.
All phaser power gone, sir.
M-5 is leaving itself open to attack.
The machine is committing suicide
to at one for murder.
Scotty, Spock, before it changes its mind,
pull out every hook up that makes M-5 run.
Pull out the plug, Spock.
Lieutenant.
Aye, sir.
Intership communications.
This is the captain speaking.
In approximately one minute,
we'll be attacked by Federation starships.
The M-5 no longer controls the ship,
but neither do we control it.
M-5 has left itself
and us open for destruction.
For whatever satisfaction
we may get from the knowledge,
our 19 lives will buy the survival
of over 1,000 of our fellow starship crewmen.
Phasers on target.
Spock to Captain.
Kirk here.
Force field is gone.
M-5 is neutralized.
System's coming back.
I can give you power for the shields.
I need communications.
That will take longer.
Then cut power.
Sir.
Cut power!
Keep those shields down.
The Enterprise looks dead.
I'm going to take a chance
she's not just laying a trap.
Wesley to attack force.
Captain.
Break off attack. Do not fire.
The Enterprise has dropped her shields.
I repeat, hold attack. Do not fire.
He'll have to be committed
to a total rehabilitation center.
Right now he's under sedation,
heavy restraints.
I would say his multitronic unit
is in approximately the same condition.
That's the situation I hoped for
when I forced the M-5
to realize it had committed murder.
Daystrom felt such an act
was against the laws of God and man.
A computer that carried his engrams
also believed it.
Why did you feel the attacking ships would not fire
when they saw the Enterprise vulnerable?
Logically, that is the sort of trap
M-5 should have set.
I wasn't sure. Any other commander
would have simply followed orders
and destroyed us,
but I knew Bob Wesley.
I gambled on his humanity.
Bridge.
His logical selection
was compassion.
Compassion.
That's the one thing no machine ever had.
Maybe it's the one thing
that keeps men ahead of them.
Care to debate that, Spock?
No, Doctor.
I simply maintain that computers
are more efficient than human beings,
not better.
But tell me,
which do you prefer to have around?
I presume your question
is meant to offer me a choice
between machines and human beings,
and I believe I have already answered that question.
I was just trying
to make conversation, Spock.
It would be most interesting
to impress your memory engrams
on a computer, Doctor.
The resulting torrential flood of illogic
would be most entertaining.
Mr. Sulu,
take us back to the space station.
Ahead, warp factor 2.





Episode Trailer

Episode Trailer





TRIVIA

Episode 54. The Ultimate Computer


The Daystrom Institute and Dr Richard Daystrom himself would be referred to many times during the course of the follow-up Star Trek series The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
  
Commodore Robert Wesley would later retire from Starfleet and become governor of the planet Mantillies as revealed in the "Star Trek: The Animated Series" episode "One of Our Planets is Missing".
  
Another instance of Captain Kirk "talking a computer to death." He had previously done so in "The Return of the Archons", "The Changeling", and "I, Mudd".
  
Captain Kirk would repeat John Masefield's quote of "All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." in "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier".

The Daystrom Institute, mentioned prominently in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Star Trek: Voyager (1995), is named for Dr. Richard Daystrom, the guest character in this episode.
22 of 23 (Trivia Rating)

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."
27 of 29 (Trivia Rating)

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.
19 of 20 (Trivia Rating)

Robert Wesley was named for a pseudonym that Gene Roddenberry had used early in his career, and in fact, "Wesley" is Roddenberry's given middle name.
14 of 15 (Trivia Rating)

Barry Russo, appearing here as Commodore Wesley, also appears in Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark (1967) as the character Lieutenant Commander Giotto.
6 of 6 (Trivia Rating)

This takes place in 2268.
5 of 5 (Trivia Rating)

A similar question (computer control versus human control) arises for Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Booby Trap (1989), in which the Enterprise is caught in an ancient Booby Trap. The Booby Trap presents a situation where, as a ship caught n the trap tries to fly out, the trap absorbs and powers itself from the ship, while reacting to, and counterbalancing, the ship's engines. This counterbalancing prevents the ship caught in the trap from moving. One method of escape from the Booby Trap proposed by the Chief Engineer is to turn complete navigation and engine control over to the computer, and allow it to make the calculations and adjustments faster than the Booby Trap can react to the Enterprise, thereby allowing it to power out of the Booby Trap. In that situation, Picard makes the decision to take the helm himself, instead of allowing the computer to take total control.


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