ST: TOS; The Ultimate Computer S2, Ep53

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.

The Enterprise is used to test the M5, a computer that could replace the crew and captain of a starship. As can be expected with this sort of test, something goes wrong.

This has to be one of my all time favorites of the show. The interaction of Kirk, Spock and McCoy is just fantastic throughout and the alienation Kirk feels at being replaced with a computer is so well done. I know it's become a cliche for an AI to run amok and start killing people, but this episode illustrates why it's a cliche: it reflects our discomfort and fear of growing useless as technology marches forward.

Comments

It is a good episode and the guest star matches or even exceeds Shatner in chewing scenery. Sometimes this is fun and this was one of those times.

Kirk always shone when it came to breaking AIs. This was another good example.

Yeah, if anybody could talk an AI to death it was Kirk.

Great episode! One of my favorites, too. Seeing Kirk cope with feeling superfluous and disrespected - neither of which he was at all used to - is worth the price of admission. Spock's and McCoy's friendship with, and stalwart support of, Kirk has never been better portrayed. Alas, the remastered version of this episode isn't nearly as good as it could have been ("The Doomsday Machine" was greatly improved with its remastered effects), given all the ship-to-ship combat.

Oh yeah, this is a really good episode. McCoy really shines throughout as well. He has some fantastic lines. His observation about the commodore's compassion being why a computer will always be inferior to man is one of my favorite quotes from the episode.

Dr. Daystrom, the boy wonder forever trying to live up to his own genius, was a great character -- watching him self-destruct before Kirk talks M5 into self-destructing was fascinating. Excellent episode overall dealing with some interesting questions about how much tech is too much.

Quote Originally posted by dread pirate jimbo View post
Dr. Daystrom, the boy wonder forever trying to live up to his own genius, was a great character -- watching him self-destruct before Kirk talks M5 into self-destructing was fascinating. Excellent episode overall dealing with some interesting questions about how much tech is too much.
Yeah, Dr. Daystrom was a fantastic character and they managed to work a lot of pathos into his story. Since the M5 was based off of Daystrom's "engrams", I assumed that his need to recapture his former glory may have played a large part in the AI going off script.