TOS' Ultimate Computer Exposes a Classic Kirk Mistake

Captain Kirk made landing party mistakes multiple times in the original series as pointed out by Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer.

Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Ultimate Computer" reveals Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) repeatedly making blunders that he never fixes. In "The Ultimate Computer," Kirk's starship Enterprise was chosen to test the M-5 multi-electronic unit, invented by the brilliant Dr. Richard Dystrom (William Marshall), who The dual-electronic computer used by the enterprise number was designed. The M-5 was designed to automate Starship, reducing the Enterprise's crew of 400 to just 20.

Star Trek: The M-5 in TOS aims to eliminate human error and reduce loss of life, but it exposes the fallacy of having artificial intelligence replace human empathy and judgment. At first, the M-5 performed admirably, giving the Enterprise a maneuverable victory over the rest of Starfleet. But the M-5 has flaws and malfunctions, so it attacks other starships and kills the crew on board. Plus, Dr. Daystrom is furious, and he's desperate for the M-5 to prove his genius. But before the M-5 disaster ensues, it highlights an ongoing issue in TOS of how Captain Kirk chooses who goes to his landing party when launching on strangers new world.

TOS' Ultimate Computer Exposed Kirk's Away Mission Mistake

Captain Kirk compares his command experience to that of the M-5 when selecting personnel for the landing party on Alpha Carina II. Kirk chose himself, astrobiologist and geologist Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley). Jim was offended that the M-5 call chose an astrobiologist, a different geologist, and eliminated Dr. McCoy and Captain Kirk. Additionally, the way the M-5 handled the Enterprise before it turned murderous was praised by the top brass at Starfleet Command, who insultingly referred to Kirk as "Captain Dunssel", as Spock (Leonardney Moy), meaning "a part that is useless."

However, the M-5 was actually correct in not selecting Captain Kirk for the landing party. As the captain of the Enterprise, Kirk repeatedly put himself in mortal danger by firing beams at planets. Also, Kirk almost always takes Spock, his first Officer, along with him, meaning the Enterprise doesn't have two highest-ranking Commanders. That means turning to chief engineer Scotty (James Doohan) or helmsman Sulu (George Takei) to take charge of the ship. Kirk also likes to have Dr. McCoy step down with him, stripping Enterprise of its chief medical officer. when it comes Regarding the landing party's suggestion, M-5 felt that Captain Kirk's judgment was poor.

Why Captain Kirk Kept Going On Away Missions

Captain Kirk never ceases to lead the landing party throughout the entire Star Trek: Original series or films. He continued this risky approach throughout his Starfleet career. Of course, the real reason Kirk led the landing team so many times is that Star Trek is a TV show and Kirk is the main character, so he always had to be at the center of the action and the episode's storyline. Military tactics and logic give way to the demands of TV drama, so Captain Kirk always leads out missions, be damned dangerous.

To Star Trek: The Next Generation's credit, steps were taken to address Kirk's problems with the captain's outing missions with his first mate and the ship's doctor. In the early days of TNG, First Officer Commander William Rick (Jonathan Frakes) would lead the outing mission, while Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) would remain aboard USS Enterprise D . The system eventually gave way to the demands of each episode's story, but TNG still made a commendable attempt not to repeat Captain Kirk's usual Star Trek mistakes: Original series.

More: Why Pike Really Wears Kirk's Green Shirt in Strange New World

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