The Ultimate Computer

Episode Reviews (5)

Great
156 votes
8.2
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  • 6.0

    Dr. Daystrom programs a Milton Bradley game into the Enterprise computer just so he can relive a boyhood dream by yelling out “Oh no, you sunk my battlship!”

    By hrtonslv, Aug 12, 2012

    Surprise, surprise... another story about computers replacing man and then realizing you need compassion to make everything flow smoothly. Although my childhood friend and I used to take turns poking fun at Daystrom's breakdown (Look at your four mighty starships! Four toys that I've grasped...) it was done quite well. My biggest gripe other than that this script has been done a million times in a million different books, movies and other TV shows, is that at the end of the episode, Kirk seems to be a little too jubilant in celebration of M5's demise considering the Excaliber was completely destroyed and that many other lives were lost on the other starships.moreless

    4 4

  • 5.0

    Do they have have Myers-Briggs tests in the 23rd Century?

    By peck2000, May 25, 2012

    There's good news and bad news with this episode.



    The bad news is that the plot is awfully familiar. Can there be a single person in the world who doesn't figure out in the first five minutes where this segment is going? We can trace this story back to Chaplin's MODERN TIMES and probably earlier if we include prose fiction as well. So zero points for story originality.



    The good news is that Shakespearean actor William Marshall, as computer whiz Daystrom, brings some dignity to the rather wobbly proceedings and is, despite some iffy lines, a commanding presence as the disintegrating software designer.



    But you have to wonder why someone like Daystrom wouldn't have undergone careful psychological screening before being (effectively) given control of a Starship. And why Commodore Wesley would immediately think his old friend Jim Kirk was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic (bearing in mind Kirk isn't in charge of the Enterprise - M-5 is!), rather than entertaining the notion that Daystrom could be the balmy one ...



    Otherwise, this is a fairly routine filler segment and well below the standard of other episodes in the second season.moreless

    1 1

  • 6.5

    Kirk is replaced by a computer.

    By Celedorian, Dec 10, 2010

    It's human nature to ask the question, "how is a computer superior to a person and how is a person superior to a computer?" In science fiction, it's natural to follow up with the questions, "how much can we depend upon computers? What's the limit of their abilities in the future?" Star Trek tackles all these questions with this episode, but the end result is not very good. The problem is that the script focuses too much on the computer and too little upon the characters. Star Trek works best when it's not about gadgets and technology, but when it's about the people dealing with them – people just like you and me who happen to be living in a different time. To give credit where it's due, there's a bit of exploration of Kirk's feelings with regard to his computer replacement, but it's not enough to make this episode a good one.moreless

    2 1

  • 8.6

    Aboard the U.S.S Enterprise the ship is chosen to test the new M-5 multitronic computer but they did not know that the computer had a mind of it's own!

    By M00N-CAT, Nov 13, 2006

    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. I thought that this was a very good TOS episode especialy for it's genertaion of technologymoreless

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