The Return of the Archons (Episode)

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The Enterprise crew finds a world run by a computer named Landru.

Absorption machine

The Enterprise visits planet Beta III in Star System 6-11 to learn the fate of the Archon, a Federation ship that had visited the planet a century before. After beaming down to explore the planet, Sulu is hit by a strange ray. Transported back aboard the Enterprise, he is found to be under the influence of a controlling force. A landing party beams down and sees the planet's populace suddenly begin going mad, which lasts exactly twelve hours. Reger, a native whose daughter Tula was a participant in "the Red Hour," tells them that monklike Lawgivers roam the planet serving the ruling mystical figure, Landru. Outsiders—such as the crew of the Archon and Sulu—are "absorbed" and transformed into a part of "the body." Reger and Marplon, two members of the anti-Landru underground, prevent Kirk and Spock from being absorbed. Kirk then learns that Landru is a computer, programmed by a scientist and leader thousands of years before to protect his people. Kirk destroys the computer, freeing the people of Beta III to rule themselves.