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Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer

Kirk and the Enterprise are ordered to a space station and told to evacuate the crew on the station. Kirk is informed that the Enterprise will be the test vehicle for the M5 Multitronic System, a super computer designed to replace a crew. It is to be tested in battle simulations, but as the mission progresses it refuses to give up control.


Episode Info


Episode number: 2x24
Production Number: 60353
Airdate: Friday March 08th, 1968



  • Currently 7.5/10
7.5/10 (2 Votes cast)
Starring Roles
James Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Recurring
George Takei
As Lt. Hikaru Sulu
Recurring
Nichelle Nichols
As Lt. Nyota Uhura
Recurring
Walter Koenig
As Ensign Pavel Chekov
Recurring

Guest Stars
William Marshall
As Daystrom

Co-Guest Stars
Sean Morgan (1)
As Harper
Recurring
Barry Russo
As Wesley
Recurring

Uncredited
Eddie Paskey
As Lt. Leslie
Recurring
Frank Da Vinci
As Brent/Vinci
Recurring
Roger Holloway
As Mr. Lemli
Recurring
William Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
Recurring
Main Cast
William Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock
DeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

Recap

The Enterprise is ordered to rendezvous at a space station and beam aboard a special envoy: Commodore Bob Wesley. Kirk meets with him and is informed that most of the crew are being moved to a holding facility at the station. The Enterprise has been chosen as the test vessel for the M-5 computer, created by Dr. Richard Daystrom. The M-5 will handle all ship’s functions with only a skeleton crew of 20 while the computer handles war game, navigational, and exploration scenarios...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
The voices of the M-5 computer and Commodore Enwright were provided by James Doohan.

Barry Russo (Commodore Robert Wesley) previously played Lt. Commander Giotto in "The Devil in the Dark".



Episode Quotes
Spock: The most unfortunate lack in current computer programming is that there is nothing available to immediately replace the starship surgeon.

Kirk: There are certain things men must do to remain men. Your computer would take that away.
Dr. Richard Daystrom: 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.
Kirk: You'll have to prove that to me, Doctor.
Dr. Richard Daystrom: That is what we're here for, isn't it, Captain?

McCoy: Did you see the love light in Spock's eyes? The right computer finally came along.

Kirk: 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?
McCoy: 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.

Kirk: Machine over man, Spock? It was impressive. It might even be practical.
Spock: Practical, Captain? Perhaps... but not desirable. Computers make excellent and efficient servants, but I have no wish to serve under them. Captain, a starship also runs on loyalty to one man. And nothing can replace it or him.

Kirk: I'm not interested in eating, Bones.
McCoy: 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.

Kirk: Do you know the one, "All I ask is a tall ship" ?
McCoy: It's a line from a poem. A very old poem, isn't it?
Kirk: 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.

Dr. Richard Daystrom: 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.
Kirk: How long before all of us simply get in the way?

McCoy: Please, Spock, do me a favor and don't say it's fascinating.
Spock: No. But it is... interesting.

McCoy: That thing is a danger to us all. Now find some way to shut it off.
Dr. Richard Daystrom: 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.

Dr. Richard Daystrom: 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.

Spock: Commodore Wesley is a dedicated commander. I should regret serving aboard the instrument of his death.

McCoy: 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?
Spock: No, Doctor. I simply maintain that computers are more efficient than human beings, not better.
McCoy: But tell me, which do you prefer to have around?
Spock: 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.
McCoy: I was just trying to make conversation, Spock.
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.



Episode References
The Excalibur is the third of four Constellation-class starships that are destroyed during the course of the original series.



Analysis
What Changed in the Remastered Version
Along with the usual HD improvements, the episode receives a major overhaul. New footage of the space station is included in the opening sequence, along with another Constellation-class ship docked. The Woden is completely redesigned. The four Constitution-class starships are substantially remastered and differentiated during the attack on the Enterprise. New exterior phasers shots are shown of the M-5 opening fire on the attacking ships. A closeup shot of the Lexington is featured right before Wesley orders the final assault.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerGene L. Coon
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
Make-upFred B. Phillips
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
OtherHerbert F. Solow (Executive in Charge of Production)
Director of PhotographyGerald Perry Finnerman
Art DirectorWalter M. Jefferies
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
 
Warning: Star Trek season 2 episode 24 guide may contain spoilers
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