The M5 story

EPISODE 53 AIR DATE 3/8/1968

In the late sixties ,visionary Gene Rodenbarry forecasted that one day people would try to replace people with computer automation systems. He also foretold the failings of this endeavor. He did incorporate this theme in a number of his works including the original Star Trek. In an episode named "The Ultimate Computer" Gene spelled out this plot.

Dr Dastrom who invented the Duotrinic Circuit that made star ships possible had an ego problem, he had to top himself. He did this by inventing the Multitronic Circuit ,light years ahead of the old duotronic technology. The first four computers he made failed using the new technology. On Dr. dastroms fifth try "The Multitronic #5 Computer" was installed on the Enterprise to automate the functions of the crew and free them to pursue other interest. Then Kirk ,Spock and Dastrom stayed on board to observe the test. The M5 did well in a controlled battle test but later it made many errors with real weapons and star fleet ships, killing and wounding the good guys. Many atemps were made to shut down the M5 but it continued to grow and kill. Finally Kirk out wits the M5 and gets the machine to realize it has killed people and the penalty for this is death. The M5 then tries to commit suicide by leaving its self open to attack by star fleet. Kirk now pulls the plug and non verbally communicates he is back in control. Kirk saved the day, Dr. Dastrom was hauled off to the star fleet loony bin and the M5 was scraped.

Computers do some things vary well but human decisions are not in this group!



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