Star Trek: The Original Series
"The Omega Glory"
Air date: 3/1/1968
Written by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Vincent McEveety
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
Kirk, Spock, McCoy and a doomed red-shirt beam down to investigate a Prime Directive issue when they believe Captain Tracey (Morgan Woodward) has used his phaser to help a group of people called the "Kohms" in their slaughter of the barbaric "Yangs."
Potentially interesting, "The Omega Glory" quickly degenerates into wretched excess, the first of many problems being the extreme to which the insane Tracey takes his treachery against Kirk, even when the rationale for it disappears. This episode is one of the most colossally huge messes I've ever seen on Trek. This is a plot that prompts one to start scanning the screen for the kitchen sink, and specializes in out-and-out incoherence. The attempt to politicize the material proves inept—the Yangs (Yankees) versus the Kohms (Communists) requires a leap of credulous faith I'm not willing to take. The "parallel Earth" arguments are dubious, to say the least, but when it goes so far as to use the American flag and the Constitution as symbols of an alien ideology gone wrong, it becomes preposterously overly patriotic—especially through Kirk's final speech.
All meaning is lost in a sea of seemingly random ideas posing as allegory, none of which is slightly believable on one very important level—the story's surface. Gene Roddenberry may be known for many things, but one would hope he's not known for writing "The Omega Glory."
Previous episode: By Any Other Name
Next episode: The Ultimate Computer
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90 comments on this post
Tue, Dec 1, 2009, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 11, 2010, 1:28am (UTC -5)
Looking past that though, the character interaction and dialogue was alright. It had the token redshirt death, good fight scenes with accompanying soundtrack, and an interesting nemesis for Kirk in Captain Tracey, who manages to best him in a fight (initially). Definitely one of the better guest appearances. The plot did hold together well enough until the aformentioned lame ending; I wasn't bored watching this one like I have been with some episodes. I also thought it was kind of funny how after Kirk and Spock escape and subdue the guard, meeting up with McCoy, he just says "Good morning, Jim" as he was expecting them all along. Any episode that makes good use of that trio has at least something going for it.
Tue, Jan 18, 2011, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Jan 22, 2011, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 14, 2011, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jun 19, 2012, 9:42am (UTC -5)
And isn't this like the 3rd ENTIRE starship whose crew was ENTIRELY destroyed? How can Star Fleet bear the loss of 1500 crew or more in just a few short years? And since when can Spock plant thoughts in people's heads without touching them? And how do people with spears and swords overcome people with phasers--why don't they use the stun setting? And now we know that the ship can stun the whole planet--why not just stun the planet and beam up the landing party? And why couldn't Spock or McCoy just tell the Yangs where Spock's heart was--"it's not there; it's over here!" And then Kirk performing the Constitution...wow.
I don't know...so many crazy weird things in here. So much lack of character consistency.
Thu, Mar 28, 2013, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 2, 2013, 11:50am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jan 8, 2014, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 8:23pm (UTC -5)
Seem to recall they also treated any source of science and logic as demonic.
This is obviously Gene speculating on the far end of patriotism blending with religion in a retrograde society. Either that, or it was the foretelling of the Tea Party.
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
*The concept of original ideals (the constitution) being misunderstood/misinterpreted by distant future generations was cool and interesting, IMO. It sort of hearkened back to "planet of the apes" style of post apocalyptic story telling.
The plot about trying to find the serum (fountain of youth), and then it turning out that the people live longer on that planet simply due to natural selection, was good as well. That explained (at least on a surface, sci-fi level of believability) why you couldn't extract a serum that gave people long life. Just like we humans can't just make a serum from turtles or trees that makes us live as long as them.
*The biggest problem was that it required too big a suspension of disbelief regarding the "parallel Earth" being so exactly like our Earth in that this planet even had the same exact American flag and the same U.S. constitution, word for word. I kept waiting for the explanation: ("oh and by the way a time-traveling star fleet ship accidentally went back in time and delivered the U.S. constitution and Flag to this planet"). But it never came! Roddenberry meant for us to just believe that this planet developed identically to Earth, including the creation of the United States of America. I mean, if he wanted to do that he could have used time travel in this episode and sent the Enterprise into an alternate future Earth. Or he could have just had all the same themes, but not have the exact flag and verbatim constitution. . . instead something that was recognizably analogous but not identical, having developed on a different planet and all.
*And, yeah, there was probably too much plot for one episode, but IMO it could have still been a great episode if the above problem had been corrected.
Wed, May 14, 2014, 2:41pm (UTC -5)
several episodes this season had the basic formula:
Enterprise goes to planet where previous Earth-based ship had been, with original crew meeting demise somehow, and the surviving crew members playing a role in the indigenous society.
-Omega Glory (other star fleet captain participates in fight between factions.)
-Patterns of Force (Federation historian crafts society based on Nazi Earth)
-Bread and Circuses (Freighter ship captain becoming First Citizen in modern-day-Rome society)
With three formulaic episodes, I think this counts as another Trek stereotype right up there with Kirk outsmarting a computer!
Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 10:41am (UTC -5)
But dude. That flag. The Star Spangled Banner playing! The way the episode is set up as an alternate world in which the "yellow" (Kirk's word!) man is civilized and the white man is a savage, only to turn it around at the end and show that the white man indeed are just confused Americans and clearly the best of the lot (and that their savagery is them taking on Native American rituals) (!). I can't even. Full disclosure: I'm Canadian, and so it may be that the nationalism here is just lost on me due to a different set of experiences, but Canadians are also pretty inundated with American culture so I suspect that I mostly get it. In order to deliver this parable about the importance of believing in freedom for one's enemies, Roddenberry is embarrassingly racist and jingoistic.
Anyway, as Jammer says, this plot has a kitchen sink quality -- it just wanders from one idea to another, without any kind of focus until the very end -- at which point the focus becomes terrible. This would be a time where I'd be tempted to write an act-by-act breakdown ala the ones Elliott is doing for DS9 in the comments on this site -- because it's hard to even know how to talk about the episode's many bizarre plot shifts. In order, though, the episode introduces and then drops:
- disease which apparently destroyed and entire crew
- Tracy on the planet. dilemma 1: is it ethical for Tracy to interfere in a local fight in order to protect himself, given that he's going to die otherwise?
- possibility of fountain of youth. dilemma 2: is it ethical to ignore the PD in order to stay alive in order to use the Fountain of Youth?
- Tracy kills Galloway for no apparent reason
- Kirk/Yang fight! this episode is so low-budget that it cuts to Spock every time there's a punch.
- Tracy tries to get phasers sent down. Kirk is able to stop because Sulu requires actual authorization, and Tracy, I guess, doesn't try to force Kirk to give that authorization at phaserpoint, because ???. Sulu makes no effort to follow up on this.
- As Jammer says, Tracy continues betraying Kirk even after the rationale disappears. What?
- Tracy now tries to convince everyone that Kirk is sent by the devil (!)
- Kirk/Tracy combat, because...?
- Spock mind controls Yang woman into calling the Enterprise. SPOCK HAS MIND CONTROL POWERS, NEVER SEEN BEFORE OR SINCE. Mind control powers that don't require physical contact. Not only that, but it is completely irrelevant to the episode, since Kirk wins the fight.
What even. I did really like McCoy's blase reaction to Kirk and Spock entering though.
I guess 0.5 stars -- this is such an incredible mess.
Sun, Jun 7, 2015, 7:48am (UTC -5)
In ATOA, he fools the guard into coming into the holding room after which they escape, though in BAON he gets zapped in the brain (indeed Spock's injury is their pretext for returning to the ship)
Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 8:55am (UTC -5)
Sin 1 : Must it always be a paralel earth or a Kirk outsmarts the Machine [TM]?
paralel earths do NOT exist in the SAME universe, let alone copied in the numbers we see them in TOS.
*Classical Greek earth
*Cold War Earth
and who knows how many more of these..
Sin 2 : TOTALLY unplausible
If you do have to add a second earth, at least get your story straight, and aliens that copy your culture down to the very symbol of the flag and constitution is totally bogus!
Sin 3 : American nationalism (sigh)
There are MANY Scify watchers like me who are NOT american.
I am european, and I don't particulairy like america, in fact americanism for me is a verb of my nation going down the drain!
Also in my nation nationalism/patriotism is seen on equal foot with nazicism, to much waving the flag and such and your seen as a nazy, as such I find the general behaviour of this waving the flag in general distastefull.
Sin 4 : Kirk sees himself as american
This series plays in the future, kirk was born 90 years after the founding of the federation, and 150 years after forming united earth.
By the time he gets command, thats 120 years after the founding of the federation and 180 years after forming united earth.
But granted even as nation states ceased to exist, the idea of nationality died slower, just as people still wave flags of nations that no longer excist today, basques in spain, frisians in netherlands, texans in america, and so on, and so on. The general factions on earth (before unification) were 1 The African Union 2 Russia 3 European Hegemony 4 North American Federation 5 Eastern Coalition 6 Austalia.. and a couple more.
as such, kirks thinking as an american may still be valid in some sence.. but THAT america was after the post-nucleair horror, and such, so it had a different flag, different constitution. So to identify with something CENTURIES before your time, is well not unheared of in humans, but not the behaviour one would expect to see in a captain of the federation who is trained to leave behind all that kind of thinking.
So to think that a biggot american would become federation captain, is like saying a racist KKK member would becomre president of the USA, not very likely.
Sin 5 : that other captain behaves irregulair
There was simply no need for him to keep up his paranoid thinking after it was clear that the long lifespans were not possible to duplicate
Sin 6 : the culture fell in despair
United earth, came out of an atomic war, and had the eugenics war before that. And still we managed to launch the phoenix.
It is not likely an entire planet would turn to barbarism after a nucleair war, and even lose the ability to read and write, especially with lifepands of 1000 years, and ample time to rediscover things. If it survived enough to preserve items like the flag and constitution, it should have been able to preserve more items that would enable them to have rebuild more.
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:19am (UTC -5)
One detail I found funny, in addition to all that has been said above by other commenters, is the return of the "trapped in a cell without guards" trope, which has saved the skin of a lot of Starfleet officers in the 23rd and 24th centuries (though it is not exclusively used in the Star Trek franchise). After being beaten unconscious by the Yangs, Kirk is lying in his cell for seven hours without anybody checking on him. But granted, there was only one Kohm guard in the whole facility, and he had his hands full with stopping McCoy from flirting with the meal delivery lady!
Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Mon, Dec 14, 2015, 3:21am (UTC -5)
I don’t know if Mr Shatner suffered doing this, as a Canadian had certainly not learnt to fall in tears when the USA flag was hailed.
My first reaction was disgust. But when reading the comments above I saw it in a slightly other way. Was it really some sort of appeal to be critical and open minded there? Kirk saying that the freedom is there also for the “Kohms”.
I do have my difficulties to put this episode into the normal “star trek universe”. It do though force any sensible person to reflect.
Tue, Feb 2, 2016, 6:36am (UTC -5)
Wed, Jun 22, 2016, 7:21am (UTC -5)
I see far more American over-patriotism on the internet and television than Id like to in real life, when it invades the Star Trek universe that's when it just gets far fetched.
The rest of the episode is pretty good though, like the jail fight scene with Spocks calm advice and McCoys scenes in the laboratory.
Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
"Let's see. The Kirk says we have to make these words have meaning. State? What's a state? Uh ... let's skip that ... Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business... wtf's a quorum? wtf??? Let's skip that too ... uh ... The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. WTF is a Writ of Habeas Corpeous?????
I saw screw the e plebs neesta. Things much better when all we worry about is to kill the khomms!!!"
Sat, Aug 6, 2016, 5:22pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 4:39am (UTC -5)
It had a few entertaining moments, though. (Like Bones' complete lack of surprise or caring when K & S burst in after escaping.) Overall pretty narmy, but I get a lot of enjoyment from that so bonus for me.
The plot's a mess and others have already covered that, so I'll focus more on the little things that bugged me.
Spock's "Captain, are you able to respond" or whatever said way too many times. Hilariously stupid but out of character. (Obviously he can't respond or he'd have done so by now, dumb*ss. Also "Jim, are you ok?!" was perfectly acceptable and less stilted, and some variation of that should have been used after it became apparent he wasn't ok. He came off as either really stupid or really unfunny/inappropriate ("my captain could be dead/dying and I'm over here trying to be funny"). He also said some other hilariously dumb stuff in the cell, the exact words escape me.
"Spock's hurt and we need to beam up to medical to treat him immediately" except they didn't, and he was not only fine but they pretty much forgot about that point a few scenes later. (How did he even get hurt? The phaser beam didn't touch him and later there's a trickle of green goop on his face (blood?) for some reason but it's never even explained?) They didn't even do a follow up "he's fine now" scene back on the Enterprise at the end (not that anyone was worried, but when you make a big deal of something like that (rather than saying "he's stunned" or something) you've got to follow up!). I guess the writers took him out to keep him from overpowering their enemies, so Kirk and Co. could get recaptured, or something. Between this and the cell scenes, I wonder why Spock was even on the ground team in this episode. I get he was a fan favorite and all, but those scenes would have worked much better with Chekov (also him claiming the US Constitution originated in Russia could have been pretty funny.)
Kirk "hiding" by the bars of his cell where the Yangs wouldn't go after him for fear of Spock was pretty hilariously pathetic. Our heroic captain, hiding behind his XO. C'mon. F*cking pathetic. Kirk's supposed to outsmart enemies in situations like this. I lost a lot of respect for him (as did Spock apparently, given his choice to sit in his cell and make dumb jokes (all while his captain could've been brained or bleeding out) instead of, I dunno, breaking out and coming to his aid.)
How come Kirk/Yangs were able to break the bars off their cell window and escape but (substantially stronger) Spoke couldn't/didn't? (He was probably too busy repeating "Captain, are you able to respond?" for the 7 hours however many minutes straight Kirk was out to even try.) Did he seriously just sit there counting the seconds until Kirk woke up?
The Kahns appeared much more civilized and likeable than the Yangs, were we really expected to side with the violent idiots, who acted like animals and refused to speak, just because they were white? (Who am I kidding, this was the 60s, of course we were.)
If Spock is able to mind control ("plant suggestions in") people, why didn't he use that power to tell the Yangs not to beat on his pathetic captain? Or to get the guard to let them out?
200-300 years in the future and we still haven't cured the common cold? Lol. Finally, a reasonable prediction from this show.
Why did Kirk get bested by an older guy so much this ep? He's usually pretty good at holding his own, did he forget how to fight or something? Is the older guy just that good? Kirk gets beat a lot in this episode, so I'm guess no.
"Spock looks like Satan" sorry, you already used that joke in "The Apple" and even then it wasn't that funny. Who grafitied your bible with a picture of him, anyway? Also, isn't he supposed to be hurt/dying or whatever? Yeah, great timing, let's make fun of the dying guy with a reused joke. And then threaten to kill him if you don't say the Pledge of Allegience right. (Go ahead, he's done f*ck all this episode anyway. He won't be missed.) Spock probably retired after this mission.
I don't even remember what happened to the crazy old guy captain at the end, I presume he died or something. Whatever, we're zooming away in the Enterprise, roll credits. Hope Jim got his head looked at. In fact, everything that happened after the Yangs knocked him out in the cell was probably a hallucination. No wonder it didn't make any sense.
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 6:29am (UTC -5)
I think Crazy Old Guy Captain was marched off by Sulu or Scotty at phaserpoint, but I might be mixing my episodes.
When I first remember seeing this one, during the late 70's I believe, the part that excited me was seeing another Constellation class ship. They said there were only 12 of them in the entire fleet, and here we got to see one of them. I was thrilled, and liked seeing other ships every time they were shown (although when we did, it was after a disaster had befallen them, I think).
Back then, I didn't get the name references until they explained them to me, and was shocked to see the US of A flag at the end, but thought it was neat. In later years, it is nothing but cringeworthy. Ah, but in the innocence of youth... :)
Have a Great Day Everyone... RT
Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 11:32am (UTC -5)
Mon, Nov 21, 2016, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
"So to think that a biggot american would become federation captain, is like saying a racist KKK member would becomre president of the USA, not very likely."
If that can happen (or near enough), maybe we need to take a closer look at Kirk as a character. I had been finding he has moments of unbelievable dickishness. He doesn't exactly treat women well. He's relatively quick to anger. He snaps at people unnecessarily. Quite interesting...
Mon, Nov 21, 2016, 6:39pm (UTC -5)
...He's been accused of wearing a toupée...
Tue, Jan 31, 2017, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
But in all seriousness, this episode was sorta boring or ok-ish until those last ten minutes, then it turns into pure nonsense.
And I am from the Americas but not american, so to see in your face american patriotism on Star Trek is sorta awful. One of the things I like the most about Trek is that it pictures a future for humanity when we are above these things, after all the Federation is a federation of Planets, with many non-human races into the mix. So, it is implied the earth works as a whole, and we don't care about nations the way we do in the present. Until this episode, apparently.
In some ways, this episode is so bad it's good. I am both fearing and looking forward to Season 3 because according to internet wisdom there are many more episodes like Omega Glory than, let's say, The Doomsday Machine.
It is gonna be both painful and funny, in a bonkers kind of way.
Ready to beam up, Scotty ;P
Mon, Feb 20, 2017, 8:37pm (UTC -5)
McCoy searching for the cure or the Fountain of Youth? Just one or two scenes of him working. I know, it's hard to make that dramatic or interesting, but they managed to do it before. McCoy actually has something to do for once on the away team rather than being irascible and insulting Spock, and they don't let him do it!
The potential danger to the away team? Bones doesn't even have to work to find a cure, it's already there! Actually, that could have been a nice twist, perhaps adding to the guilt of the captain knowing that he could have saved his entire crew and left at any time. But we barely see his reaction to the news. The twist has no dramatic impact. We hear about it, and that's it. No angst at all.
A villain with a reason to do what he does, who can argue for a position besides the prime directive? A villain, perhaps, trapped in a scenario in which there are no good choices? Ha, forget that! He just went into full evil mode, fighting Kirk for no reason even after learning that his dreams of eternal life were just dreams.
Weighing the values of the Prime Directive? Kirk declares he must do everything to stop him, then just up and interferes himself. They even lampshaded it with Spock! After all the posturing Kirk does about the seriousness of the PD, he just up and reinterprets the Constitution for the Yangs. And after waxing poetic about the sacredness of the PD, his response to Spock at the end was just flippant. I know, lighthearted endings were the style at the time, but if you're going to claim the PD is a serious topic, you need to treat it seriously!
So even ignoring the absurdity of the ending, the episode managed to fail. Good riddance.
OK, I can't ignore the absurdity entirely... Wasn't it just two episodes ago that Spock was claiming the odds of another planet creating Nazis was completely astronomical? What about the odds of not only creating America, but also having the exact same handwriting for the Constitution?
Mon, Mar 13, 2017, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Sun, Mar 19, 2017, 9:56pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 18, 2017, 7:50pm (UTC -5)
This episode actually stars out quite well, with an intriguing mystery. But then it gets really absurd. As others have pointed out, it is ridiculous that the Enterprise runs into so many parallel Earths when exploring our galaxy. And to have a duplicate of the American flag - come on.
However, one interesting point is that some scientists believe the universe to be infinite. This is the concept behind what scientists call a level 1 parallel universe, which is basically just an extension of our universe. (Indeed, Einstein himself said that there were only two things which were infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and the 1st of those he wasn't sure about.) In an infinite universe, there would be an infinite numbers of Earth just like our own, an infinite number slightly different, somewhat different, and so on. I once saw a TV program with scientist Max Tegmark and he said the best evidence scientists now have is the universe is not just really big, but actually is infinite, going on literally forever in every direction. Tegmark said he calculated if you went 1 followed by a million trillion trillion zeros light years, you would find an exact duplicate of Earth. He said while this sounds like a long way, compared to infinity, which he believes to be the true size of the universe, it's right in our back yard. (Of course, the Enterprise still would come nowhere close to these parallel Earths, as they are far outside our own galaxy.)
Sat, May 20, 2017, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Conceptually, it was quite interesting. A history similar to earth where they end up with biological weapons that cause some odd effects and we revert back to tribal living. Ok, where did the tech go? They just forgot all that? Oh well I guess I can accept that.
But the moment they start talking about America and bring out the flag... It's just awful. It's a step too far, just too unbelievable. They never answered the same question at the end of Miri--why is this planet so like earth?--but at least that episode didn't go so mental with the parallels. The exact same flag? The exact same constitution? Come on. This episode could have worked if it was a bit (ok, a lot) more subtle. They could have alluded to freedom and liberty without needing the nonsense they spread so thickly over the top of it.
Ugh, this may not be the worst episode from a storytelling or effects perspective. It might not even be the most absurd, but it's definitely the most cringeworthy.
Wed, Jun 14, 2017, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Jul 30, 2017, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
It's just too much of a stretch that the exact American flag and Constitution are present on this alien world (another parallel Earth -- S2 was full of them). I found the excessive American nationalism/patriotism to be a bit much. Full disclosure -- I'm Canadian. Hard to believe Gene Roddenberry himself wrote this turkey. Plenty of time wasted with purposeless fight scenes (Kirk in the jail, Kirk/Tracey).
The one redeeming quality is Capt. Tracey who played a credible villain -- treacherous, self-serving. Even after it was explained to him that he could beam back because he had immunity and that there is no fountain of youth, he tried his best not to have Kirk & Co. take him as he'd be arrested -- so he nearly tricked the savages into believing he was good and Kirk evil.
But really this episode is a mess. I don't quite get why the Kohms act like such savages? It is clear they have intelligence and can speak well. Anyhow, there are so many holes in this episode -- other commenters have spelled it out better than I care to.
Pretty brutal treatment of the PD. Nothing exceptional in terms of acting between the "Big 3". Decent guest appearance for Tracy's character is the only good part although his irrationality is kind of stunning for a starship captain, but whatever. Not really sure what Roddenberry meant to say with "The Omega Glory" -- that the US Constitution can unite Yankees and Communists and everybody's equal? I think that is what's supposed to happen in the end, but who knows..just too much crap along the way.
Rating 1.5 stars. For me, "The Omega Glory" is tied for the worst S2 episode (along with "I, Mudd").
Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 4:18am (UTC -5)
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
On the Asian thing, it's important to note that Sulu (not Scotty) commands the Enterprise during the landing party crisis here, so not all of the Asians in this one are villainous. It's just the patriotic theme and music which feel a bit out of place. The pacing here actually feels very similar to "A Private Little War," with lots of variety in action and moral debate leading up to a frantically paced and fairly abrupt climax.
Captain Ronald Tracey, as played by Morgan Woodward returning from his Dr. Van Gelder turn in Season 1's Dagger of the Mind, makes a good adversary. He's a little too nutball and irrational by the end in his obsession to find a fountain of youth, but he's still a worthy opponent. Incidentally, if you're offended at this episode, check out the movie "Star Trek Insurrection" from 30 years later where the TNG crew defends lily-white Californians from ugly dark people. Now *that* is offensive: At least TOS has the context of its time for an excuse. The white humans versus ugly aliens vibe of later Trek shows hasn't got any excuse at all.
Anyway, it's not a great episode, but not nearly as bad as some people say. The story holds interest and momentum until very late when the wheels come off a bit. Loved the ending as a kid, but a bit harder to watch now, especially as things develop following Kirk's tense fight scene in the jail.
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
"So to think that a biggot american would become federation captain, is like saying a racist KKK member would becomre president of the USA, not very likely."
You misspelled "becomre".
Wed, Nov 29, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 16, 2018, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jan 16, 2018, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 16, 2018, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Jun 8, 2018, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Jun 25, 2018, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Maybe it's best you watch the drivel on today's network TV, and leave the thinking to the unwashed masses of yesteryear.
Tue, Jun 26, 2018, 5:47am (UTC -5)
All the cool kids watch network tv.
Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 2:47am (UTC -5)
Sun, Sep 23, 2018, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Sep 23, 2018, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Sep 24, 2018, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 3:23am (UTC -5)
I think this episode finally convinced me however, that I wasn't necessarily missing very much. TOS up to this point has been one dumb "comedy" and repetitive battle with an insane, "superior" megalomaniac after another.
When Spock said at the beginning of this episode that they needed to find out what had happened to Captain Tracey on the planet, my immediate mental response was that if the status quo for this series was any indication, they would beam down to discover that Tracey had gone mad with power, conquered the natives, and would attempt to corrupt Kirk or otherwise force him to stay on the planet forever. Surprise, surprise.
My feelings towards this show at this point, are disturbingly similar to what they were towards Andromeda at the end of its' second season. I can only assume that TOS' fan base developed not because of what actually was, but because of what fans recognised what COULD have been. There are a few gems here, it's true; but in the end, this series is among the most massively overrated science fiction I think I've ever seen.
It amazes me when I look at it; because in the past, I always assumed that the likes of Khan were some sort of modern cinematic abberation for the sake of making money, but that Trek on TV was different, and primarily about peaceful exploration. I realise now that I mainly got that impression from TNG. In TOS, there's a Khan-like supervillain (or computer/robot stand-in for such) every second or third episode.
"I thought we were explorers," Scotty said in Into Darkness. No, Scotty. Apparently, you never really were.
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Mon, May 13, 2019, 6:20am (UTC -5)
If only Sexy White Lady (as opposed to Sexy Yellow Lady who brought McCoy food) had been wildly attracted to Kirk, and he had used his irresistiblly persuasive kissing technique on her, this episode could have attained nearly perfect awfulness.
Thu, Jul 4, 2019, 9:03pm (UTC -5)
So some confusion that still bothers me:
The Exeter crew. They know the landing party that returned was infected. They know beaming back down to the planet will keep anyone infected alive. Why did they stay on the ship? Was it part of obeying the Prime Directive? Sacrifice the crew and ship rather than risk non-interference.? Couldn't they have at the very least beamed some or all of the crew to isolated parts of the planet? Why tell others who watched the log entry to beam down to the planet? And why let Captain Tracey remain on the surface? Speaking of which...
Why is Captain Tracey a petty, murderous psychopath? We were told in Court Martial that only one in a million men were fit enough to be starship captains. I also assume they have to undergo some form of psychological evaluation. Wasn't it Roddenberry who criticized FASA for portraying an unbalanced captain in their supplement Decision at Midnight? He specifically told them there were no mutinies allowed and people in Starfleet wouldn't behave like that. But we get Ronald Tracey who killed a security guard in cold blood rather than stunning him and who breaks every oath he took in Starfleet for a youth serum. Given Roddenberry's views on life and death in his Star Trek "bible" it makes no sense that he would write such a loser of an episode.
Sun, Jul 14, 2019, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
I haven't seen "Spock's Brain" since the 1970s -- and I have a feeling I'm going to like it better than "Omega Glory."
Mon, Dec 23, 2019, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Oh well, chalk it up to the aspirational nature of Trek.
Sun, Feb 16, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 1:15pm (UTC -5)
This time, Kirk did not kiss the female alien (usually it happens in minute 35:00 of an average show) , as he does in two out of three episodes of season 2 - in order to save his crew, mankind, script or whatever there is to save.
Mon, May 25, 2020, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
I think the patriotic Cold War American allegory could've worked but they needed to push the idea all the way. Take "Patterns of Force", for example. It's not a great episode but at least it sticks to the one idea about the power of facism and leaves us with a coherent message about the subject. Here, we get a few quotes about "liberty" and a hamfisted tribute to the Declaration of Independence but none of it seems to resonate with what those things mean to Americans, let alone what the implications of freedom meant during the Cold War.
This episode's worst crime is to have so much promise on big subjects and to utterly fail to deliver on them. Luckily, TOS gets it right most of the other times. 1.5 stars for Morgan Woodward being truly menacing and a good foil to Kirk. Still, what a waste.
P.S. As a special bonus, we find out who's a Canadian in this comments section. ;-)
Mon, May 25, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Mon, May 25, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
I actually still need to do my re-watch of this to do my Vulcan telepathy studies for the week. I always remembered this being a pretty bad episode, and I have a vague memory of there being a terrible plot hole somewhere in it.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 1:43pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 13, 2020, 2:56pm (UTC -5)
I'm grateful for this review because I just needed to hear that this episode was bollox though I know it in my heart to be true I needed to know for certain that their are fellow witnesses in this world.
Suspension of disbelief is made even harder by Spock dismissing a similar parallel evolution as far too unlikely only two episodes earlier (Patterns of force)
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 4:39am (UTC -5)
Impossible to rate meaningfully.
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 8:51am (UTC -5)
I always enjoyed this Constitution Class as a kid, and I have to say, despite the questionably language (KIRK: The yellow civilisation is almost destroyed, the white civilisation is destroyed.), I enjoyed it this time around also.
There are some fantastic themes here that would have served the show well in a longer pilot. The themes are, in no particular order,
- The Prime Directive. TOS had been pretty wishy-washy about the Prime Directive up to this point ("A Private Little War"), especially given what a freaking big deal it is in TNG and beyond. But we see here that it was meant to be a very firm thing for Star Fleet officers from the very beginning.
- The madness caused by losing a ship and her crew. We saw that elsewhere, including with Commodore Decker in The Doomsday Machine.
- Money & Greed. Captain Ron Tracey joins a long line of Trek characters (like Mudd, but remember, Pike had also thought of leaving Star Fleet to make money with the Orions) enticed by the lure of filthy lucre.
- Patriotism. Riker was Canadian (kidding, I swear!). Picard was a proud frenchman ("the French more properly used the same colors in the order blue, white and red").
Scotty was a... Scottsman??? And Riley - poor Kevin Riley who sang and died in "Conscious of a King" - was an Irishman. We forget how much place mattered before we entered 21st century Trek.
- Sulu in Command. Not just a Star Trek VI thing.
- The fountain of youth. Wait, where else was there a fountain of youth in Star Trek? The Nexus (Generations). That can't be it??? Wow...
- Spock as deus ex machina.
- Red shirt dies.
- And my favorite part of the episode, Kirk gives a speech!
KIRK: These words and the words that follow were not written only for the Yangs, but for the Kohms as well!
CLOUD: The Kohms?
KIRK: They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing! Do you understand?
CLOUD: I do not fully understand, one named Kirk. But the holy words will be obeyed. I swear it.
It reminds me of the speech Martin Luther King gave only a couple years before this episode aired.
MLK: "When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice."
MLK was shot dead at age 39 a few weeks after Kirk gave his speech in "The Omega Glory." He was only 2 years older than William Shatner.
If you don't understand what the Constitution meant to men like MLK and Roddenberry in 1968, when this episode first aired, you won't get what they were trying to do.
These men wanted the United States to live up to it's promise. The promise that starts with those three simple words: "We the People."
That is a struggle that goes on today, but in Star Trek, we see a world where that struggle was successful. Where are men are truly free at last, free at last.
Freedom is a worship word indeed.
Sun, Jan 17, 2021, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
I was so excited to see an entire race of people that weren't white (something that I griped on and on about for a long time, even in other Treks I get sick of planets full of while people and ONLY white peoplevand The Orville managed to do this in their 3rd episode). So here's a bunch of asians and I'm like wow, great. But then the other captain's like "The savages are clearly more like us!" Because they're the white ones. 🙄 This episode is disappointing.
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 8:06am (UTC -5)
?? I don't remember that part. I thought Captain Tracey was Allied with the Kohms.
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
I believe Eskimo is referring to the line when Tracey tells Kirk that the "animals" happen to look like "us." Because of course, "we" are all white.
At least Sulu had been left aboard ship, so he wasn't saying right in front someone who looked more like "them."
Sat, Jan 23, 2021, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Ya, Kevin Riley survived in that episode.
Wed, Mar 10, 2021, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
I watched it again last night, and I was thinking “this isn’t so bad”— oh until the last few minutes. Sheesh.
Considering this was one of the scripts Roddenberry pitched for the second pilot, I suspect he put in the extreme American soap boxing to appeal to the studio. Whatever.
This episode also is one that I distinctly remembered many parts of, despite one long ago viewing. The other crew reduced to their minerals (which was actually pretty effectively creepy), the Yang/Comm thing, the whole prison break thing.
And of course, Captain Tracey’s goofy yet enthusiastic fighting style, and that he utterly dominated Kirk.
But how could Tracey possibly have been starship Captain material? He went so crazed so fast and thoroughly, they probably should have established it was some radiation effect on the surface or something.
The script does have some relatively realistic science, though, in establishing why these people are long lived (natural selection) and why there’s no “serum”.
Wed, Mar 10, 2021, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Regarding the American stuff not appealing to international viewers— in the sixties, international appeal for a TV show was a very very low consideration.
It really wouldn’t have been that bad if they had cut Kirk’s final insane speech. Crazy Tracey’s claims that Spock (Kirk’s “servant”) is a devil, just look at the scriptures, was pretty good stuff. The notion that the constitution is viewed in nearly religious terms and the basis for American civil religion is a studied phenomenon.
Actually, that’s probably why the script went so “pro American” in the end— most Americans wouldn’t have even been exposed to the concept at the time, and might likely have found it rather offensive, especially if it’s TRUE.
Wed, Mar 10, 2021, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
From Memory Alpha:
- Roddenberry originally wanted to produce this episode early in the first season, along with "Mudd's Women", but NBC thought the script was weak and ordered the staff to 'shelve' it for an indefinite time to be possibly reworked and produced later on. Despite NBC still objecting against it, Roddenberry finally had his way to make "The Omega Glory" late in the second season. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two)
- A letter reprinted in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story reveals that Roddenberry personally submitted his teleplay for consideration for an Emmy Award.
Sat, Mar 13, 2021, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 2:06am (UTC -5)
The only thing that I can say in its favour is the ‘Charlton Heston at the end of the Planet Of The Apes’ moment when the American flag appears, but it goes rapidly downhill from there .
I was young in 1967. I remember Sgt Peppers, and I remember news reports of Vietnam. Those now seem like the extremes of life in the year of the hippie. This Trek episode couldn’t be further from the ideals of the young in 1967, more like a desperate plea to justify the Cold War.
I wouldn’t even give 1 star.
Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 2:34am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 23, 2021, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Keep the first half of the episode "as is", but give the two tribes different names to Yangs and 'Combs'. Also, cut down on the interminable fight scenes.
As for the second half, get rid of the uber-stupid American parallels (flag; constitution) and have Kirk, Spock, and a newly-sane Tracey work out how to rectify the damage caused by breaking the PD. If that means discovering that the Yang 'holy writings' are based on a document that contains elements of the US Constitution, and the Rights Of Man (Thos. Paine), then so be it.
What would also be good is a change to the setting: let that be obvious ruins of a technological civilisation following a nuclear war.
Alternative story: keep the American stuff, but let it be the result of an earlier visit by a pre-Federation spacecraft from Earth, when there was no PD to break.
Fri, May 21, 2021, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Jun 23, 2021, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
It wasn't the *worst* (see: nuTrek, and many episodes of Picard specifically). It wasn't even the worst of TOS, because for all its faults, it had a good initial premise and solid pacing. I prefer an incomprehensible mess to a plodding, predictable snoozefest that feels like it's twice as long as it actually is.
Bizzarely, inconceivably dumb... but at least I wasn't bored.
(Also, this quibble is minor compared to all the other things wrong here, but as a huge fan of TOS fistfights it bothers the hell out of me - how many times has Kirk fought off multiple armed men by himself? He's held his own against Spock in single combat in a thin atmosphere, etc... but this geriatric kicks his ass OVER AND OVER again? C'mon man!)
Thu, Jul 1, 2021, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Granted, none of that really matters because of the absurdity the episode devolves into. You have to stick the landing, otherwise you're left with nothing at all despite any good work done up until then. Or if you can't entirely stick the landing, at least don't bumble it THIS bad. Yikes.
Sat, Jul 3, 2021, 4:49am (UTC -5)
That part reminds me of the patriotic over-egging towards the end of “Independence Day” - OTOH, it seems only fair, out of universe, for people from the US to tout the US (or a US-analogue) in-universe, as long as the touting of the US does not derail the story. In this case, I think it doesn’t. I don’t think the writers of the episode can be blamed for the amount of cringiness that viewers 50 years later might feel at the flag-waving.
I thought the film of what the boarding party found on the Exeter was effective. The episode recalled others in which an intractable medical emergency is both the puzzle and the danger, but it was none the worse for that.
The episode showed how highly the Prime Directive is (at least in theory) honoured - so that was a plus. Kirk sounded quite Picardian for a moment.
2.5 out of 4 seems about right,
Tue, Oct 12, 2021, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Red shirt dies in first 10 minutes: check
Landing party captured: check
Kirk gets into fight: check
Bizzare connection to Earth: check
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Mar 16, 2022, 8:49pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek is a show of its time, just over twenty years after the US had been instrumental in the defeat of fascist powers in WWII and in the midst of a proxy war that was then seen as part of a broader conflict with the Communism that would determine which of two systems would rule the entire planet. The US was filled with an atmosphere of existential terror, paired with the sense that the existence of its way of life, economy and government had the potential to be the salvation of the world.
Captain Kirk was sort of a spacefaring Superman, fighting for truth, justice, and the American way.
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Jul 19, 2022, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
1) The planet is called Omega IV (randomly), so the 'Omega glory' is simply a reference to its American constitution. The idea would be that the Omegans have produced, or at least preserved, something glorious. That would be the rah rah USA interpretation. PS - I laughed my butt off when I read that Roddenberry personally submitted this episode for the Emmy awards.
2) Something about God maybe? Alpha-Omega...glory, which is a term usually reserved for either religion or Klingons. Maybe something about godliness being found in peace and respect for one's neighbor. Not sure how much I can mine out of this one.
3) Maybe inspired by I Am Legend, later made into films such as The Last Man on Earth (1964) and The Omega Man (1971) ? I can see some kind of parallel, where a disease has wiped out the 'normal humans' and the lone survivor is immune, and on the brink of madness, surrounded by dangerous and wild 'others'. In this case the weirdo is the survivor himself, rather than the vampires, and the 'vampires' turn out to be regular humans descended from Yankees and Communists, which is sort of where I Am Legend ends anyhow, with the last human being the freak (incidentally reminding me of In the Mouth of Madness, a John Carpenter film). If the episode is inspired from that, I'm not sure what's glorious about any of this, other than maybe learning that the savages are really not savage.
I'm also wondering now whether this episode may have inspired the name for the 1971 version, The Omega Man. I
f that sounded like a distraction tactic, it was. I have no idea how this episode's title is meaningful other than as rah rah USA.
Wed, Jul 20, 2022, 7:24am (UTC -5)
"The episode may not be good, but Morgan Woodward is always awesome. From Gunsmoke to the X-Files to Cool Hand Luke he never failed to deliver a great performance."
He was even in a Perry Mason episode....and very good. Great at projecting tension and sometimes an air of menace.
Mon, Oct 17, 2022, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Nov 30, 2022, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
Tue, May 9, 2023, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Except wait, Kirk never tells them to wait a few hours before beaming up, or they'll turn everyone on the Enterprise to salt. Whoopsie doodle!
Sorry, I'm going with Outsider65's theory that everything after Kirk got conked over the head was him hallucinating. Spock finished loosening those bars, subdued Tracy, and the four beamed up without further incident. Makes way more sense than the Eeb Plenista.
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