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Startrek The Original Series Episode Guides Section

     Episode Guides Home : Startrek The Original Series : Season 2 Episode 24

The Ultimate Computer

Episode:  
   24
Season:  
   2
Air Date:  
   08-March-1968
Director:  
   John Meredyth Lucas
Written By:  
   Laurence N. Wolfe
 
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  Synopsis
 
StarDate: 4729.4

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 individual.

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.

 
  Cast
 
William Shatner as James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
DeForest Kelley as Leonard H. McCoy
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott
Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
George Takei as Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig as Pavel Andreievich Chekov

 
  Guest Cast
 
William Marshall as Dr. Richard Daystrom
Barry Russo as Wesley, Commodore Robert
 
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