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Poll of the Week: Does Not Compute!

Randal Shayne

Poll of the Week: Does Not Compute!   

7 members have voted

  1. 1. What was your favorite instance of the Enterprise crew talking a computer to death?

    • Leaving Nomad to wrestle with the conflicting truth that it was not perfect (”The Changeling”)
    • Kirk informing Norman that he is “not programmed to respond in that area” (“I, Mudd”)
    • Explaining to Landru that HE is the evil plaguing Beta III (Return of the Archons)
    • Leading M5 to realize the magnitude of its crimes (The Ultimate Computer)
    • Convincing the android Korby that the “real” Korby had died long ago, and that his vision of utopia would not come to pass. (What are Little Girls Made Of?)
    • Something else? Tell us below!

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For more than fifty years, Star Trek has been showing us that words are more powerful than the strongest phaser or mightiest army. How many episodes have been resolved through an eloquent, heartfelt speech to the right individual, inspiring a ceasefire or encouraging a change in mentality? It’s a staple of our beloved franchise, and part of why Star Trek is so unique. However, there have been instances in which words have literally been used to destroy or fatally incapacitate an enemy- specifically, a computerized enemy. In particular, The Original Series had a habit of encouraging machines to destroy themselves using nothing but words- out of 79 episodes, a whopping 5 have been concluded in this manner, or in something similar.

This week’s poll asks you for your favorite episode in which Kirk and company destroyed a computer, or caused said computer to commit suicide, using nothing but speech, arguments, or visual stimuli. Was Nomad, from “The Changeling”, your favorite victim, who met his end when Kirk pointed out that the murderous probe’s actions proved it was just the sort of imperfect being it itself sought to eliminate? Or were you more swayed by the M5’s realization that it had killed hundreds of innocent people, in “The Ultimate Computer?” Perhaps the more light-hearted, comedic approach of “I. Mudd” was more to your taste? Never again would the crew of the Enterprise act so silly. Or did you prefer something else, an occasion not mentioned here? Give us your vote and let us know what you chose in the comments section below!

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"Captain James T. Kirk: [broadcasting on intership communications] This is the Captain speaking. In approximately one minute, we'll be attacked by Federation starships. The M-5 no longer controls the ship, but then neither we control it. The M-5 has left itself, and us, open for destruction. For whatever satisfaction we may get from the knowledge, our nineteen lives will buy the survival of over one thousand of our fellow starship crewmen."



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