Review – “The Omega Glory” Remastered | TrekMovie.com
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Review – “The Omega Glory” Remastered July 3, 2007

by Jeff Bond , Filed under: Review,TOS Remastered , trackback

Once again it befalls me to offer the defense of a not-very-well-thought-of episode of original Trek. When most people bring up “The Omega Glory,” it’s to do their impression of William Shatner’s inimitable (well, actually, VERY imitatable) delivery of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution at the episode’s infamous climax: “WE…THE PEOPLE…of the unitedstates…do ORDAIN and ESTABLISH this Constitution–!!” It’s a groaner of an ending that quantifies Gene Roddenberry’s somewhat flat-footed idea of a rampant biological war between parties on an alien planet that effectively throws them into the Stone Age. That in itself isn’t bad (if having already been done in a sense in episodes like “Miri”), but Roddenberry (who was supposedly inspired to write this episode after viewing the actual Constitution on a trip to Washington D.C.) turns “The Omega Glory” into a Cold War parable that’s strangely racist, with warring “Yankees” and “Commies” descended from yet another culture apparently identical to ours right down to language both spoken and written.

The episode’s “Yangs” are lilly-white, almost Aryan Caucasians, the “Kohms” are Asians, and Kirk can’t help but take the side of the downtrodden Americans, winning them over with the nobility of their ancient words while the evil Captain Tracy appeals to their superstitions and hatreds.

“The Omega Glory” was one of three ideas for Star Trek’s “second pilot,” the other being “Mudd’s Women” and, thankfully, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” Dissed by the network for making “The Cage” “too cerebral,” Roddenberry was taking no chances with his unprecedented second turn at bat—“Mudd’s Women” was rampantly sexual and “The Omega Glory” was an action-packed western at heart with a core of naked patriotism. While the “Mudd” episode has its pleasures, it’s doubtful either “Mudd” or “Omega Glory” would have made very good demonstrations of Trek’s viability as a science fiction series.


Pick the bad guy

“Omega Glory” winds up as somewhat of an afterthought at the end of season two, ironically butted up against “Assignment: Earth,” itself a pilot for a Trek spin-off series. But while I have cringed along with everyone else at the story’s ridiculous denouement and the revelation that the blonde aliens on the planet are heroic Americans fighting for their land, I’ve always found the bulk of “Omega Glory” to be a fun, exciting outing of classic Trek. This is the episode excerpted on The Tom Snyder Show, which showed the teaser of the Enterprise discovering the U.S.S. Exeter in orbit around planet Omega IV and Kirk, Spock, McCoy and an expendable beaming aboard the ship and finding it abandoned—and just like Tom Snyder, I was hooked as a teen by this opening. In fact, the opening beats of the episode provide everything you’d want from a classic episode. Any time we see more of Starfleet, and in particular another starship, I’m hooked—even though it’s the simplest, cheapest trick in the book to stand the actors on the SAME SETS and have them act like it’s another ship. Another brilliant Trek gimmick is those uniforms lying around filled with what looks like crushed quartz crystals. McCoy’s revelation (“…the crew never left!”) and the idea that all those uniforms contain desiccated human bodies, well, ick is all I can say—it’s almost as good as reducing the crew to Styrofoam dodecahedrons in “By Any Other Name.”


He’s salt Jim

Roddenberry and co. were ingenious to establish right away that there were at least 12 other spaceships like the Enterprise, because if Kirk, Spock and McCoy were such interesting people, who was running these other ships? We met Matt Decker in “The Doomsday Machine” and Bob Wesley in “The Ultimate Computer,” and Ron Tracy immediately lives up to the standards of sheer, magnetic manliness established by those two rugged individualists.

Actor Morgan Woodward is one of my big guilty pleasures and probably the biggest reason I enjoy this episode (I met him at a Trek convention five or six years ago—I was totally unaware he was going to be in the autograph room, I was just standing there actually with my back to his table, turned around and there he was—and I can honestly say it was one of the great moments of my life meeting him. He’s in good shape and looks remarkably similar to the way he did in the Sixties, and he just seemed like a great, fun guy to know). We see him earlier in Trek as Dr. Simon Van Gelder, a wild-haired psychopath with bad skin and eyes like two big poached eggs, and he gives one of the all-time great raving maniac performances. So it’s a little unsettling to see him as the trim, calm and competent Captain Tracy explaining to Kirk about the virus that’s destroyed his crew.

Of course Kirk soon begins to suspect Tracy isn’t telling them everything he knows, that in fact the other Captain has violated the ultimate taboo: the Prime Directive. And this is what always impressed me as a teen and it’s something that still impresses me watching the episode: this is the first and only time we see James Kirk up against another starship captain, an equal in almost every sense of the word. Yes there was Matt Decker but Kirk isn’t fighting Decker, just arguing with him. And Tracy, at least at first, isn’t in Decker’s pathetic, beaten condition—this is a man in his prime and as he proves when they first come to blows, this guy is actually tougher than Kirk! Woodward’s Tracy is big, confident and merciless, and only late in the episode does he become unhinged. The quite terrific revelation of his crimes is a great example of the show’s ability to imply great scope, as well as savagery, with a few well-chosen words: Spock has been scouting the surrounding countryside and reports to Kirk and McCoy in a Kohm house where they’re holed up. He shows Kirk a handful of phaser power packs—actually phaser handles, which were designed to twist off the phaser body and be replaced when drained (a feature which, like many of this prop’s carefully-designed and thought-out working bells and whistles, was for some reason never properly demonstrated on screen): “Captain Tracy’s reserve belt packs. Empty,” Spock says, “Found among the remains of several hundred Yang bodies.”

Tracy himself confirms the facts, in one of the most brutal acts shown on the series, by almost casually disintegrating the wounded redshirt Spock brought back with him from his scouting expedition (in post-TNG Trek, phasers hit people, some sparks fly out of their chest and they fall down; in classic Trek, they disappear in a red haze, which is frankly a hell of a lot scarier). Later Tracy makes one of the great, operatic bad guy speeches in all of Trek as he describes the Yang attack he barely escaped alive from: “They sacrificed hundreds just to draw us out into the open…then they came…and they came…we drained four of our phasers and they still came…we killed thousands of them and they still came!” Check out Jerry Finnerman’s lighting on Woodward—there’s a great tracking shot in on him as he makes this speech, sadly interrupted by a reaction shot of Kirk and McCoy, with the camera moving close to Tracy’s disheveled figure, wide eyes blazing out of his almost silhouetted form in the doorway.


Dr. Van Gelder? No…Capt. Tracy

Oddly with all this blood and horror (“Omega Glory is really the Heart of Darkness of Star Trek), the episode finds ways to be fun—the hallmark of the show’s second season. The fight scenes are energetic as Tracy makes a truly formidable opponent in three scenes, soundly whipping Kirk’s ass in the first and giving him a run for his money in the other two. When Tracy throws Kirk in a cell with Cloud William (ex football player, and memorable Chinatown thug Roy Jenson), the Captain’s rueful banter with Spock (trapped in another cell away from all the fun) is even better than the similar interplay in the prisoner cell in “Patterns of Force.” McCoy, himself trapped replaying his makeshift laboratory scenes from “Miri,” comes up with some good business of his own, especially when Kirk and Spock return from what must have seemed certain death and the doctor is too wrapped up in his studies to offer more than a distracted “Oh, hello Jim…”


I’m busy

The climactic fight scene couldn’t be more standard, but the combination of Woodward’s bullheaded refusal to go down quietly, the typical villain’s move of turning a primitive culture’s superstitions against them, and Spock’s atypical use of Vulcan hypnosis, make for an exciting scene. It’s only at its literally flag-waving ending that the story sheds all its inherent entertainment value and just turns ridiculous.

With its well-designed Kohm village exteriors, stark film noir interior lighting and interesting footage of the Exeter set dressings, “Omega Glory” has always looked good with the exception of the Yang’s bushy wigs. The new transfer makes a good thing look even better, at least after the initial Exeter and beamdown sequences, which suffer from a little of the drab brown caste that “Friday’s Child” exhibits. I’m partial to the original angle of the Enterprise approach to the Exeter in orbit—for all its technical shortcomings, there was a linear “we are here and that’s what we’re looking at right over there” graphic quality to the reuse of prior miniature elements and the new shots of the ships from the side, while obviously far more ambitious in terms of movement and execution, lack a little of the drama of the originals (the pull-in on the Exeter’s primary hull and its registry numbers is nice and well-suited to the dramatic musical sting used there, although bulletin boards all over the net are afire with arguments about the registry number). Sulu’s first magnification of the Exeter is interesting in that we see the ship as a small blip in orbit instead of the stock shot from the original episode, but this subtlety works against the big music cue here. It makes sense to make Omega IV more Earth-like but that IS starting to drain the variety and color from a lot of these episodes; too bad it’s so hard to reconcile the blue sky location footage with the magenta planet footage from the original because it could have been seen as after-effects from the planet’s war.


what’s that number?

There are three phaser shots in the episode: Tracy’s execution of the wounded security guard, his destruction of the computer Spock is about to use to contact the ship, and his shot at a barrel Kirk dives behind in the outdoor chase prior to the Yangs’ takeover of the village. If there’s any enhancement of these shots it’s extremely subtle; frame by frame the details look pretty much exactly like the originals. The shot of the computer being disintegrated in front of Spock has always been problematic—it’s an interesting effect showing the square outline of the computer expanding into a green vapor, but Nimoy’s physical reaction is more appropriate for an explosion and the problem isn’t solved by CBS Digital here. Some have remarked about the Enterprise leaving orbit without the Exeter but it’s explicitly stated that Sulu leaves the other starship behind earlier in the story to go into a different orbit.

“Omega Glory” will never be remembered as a great Trek episode, but taken on its own terms it’s an entertaining hour, and Ron Tracy will always be one of my favorite characters from the show. I think he gets a bad rap because he became the prototype for a particularly overused type of Trek character, the “mad general”—meaning that any time a Trek hero comes up against a highly-placed figure from Starfleet, they’re likely to be secretly deranged. But Tracy did it first and in my view did it best.


nice shot of the E leaving another (not as) strange new world

Comments

1. neal - July 3, 2007

wow, so very well put. i totally agree with this review and have written here before that omega is an awesome episode … as long as you turn it off after the big fight on the persian carpet. just pretend the flag was never there. tracey is brilliant, the fights are cool, the music is sharp, and the whole prime directive thing is nicely played out. the smartest observation here was pointing out the huge drama inherent in kirk going one on one against one of his peers, his equal, and in the first outing coming up way short. tracey was bigger and badder than kirk, at least for a while …

2. earthclanbootstrap - July 3, 2007

Nice review! I couldn’t agree with you more about the fact that it is in fact a really great episode right up until the cheeseball ending. I might actually have to hunt down some of those firefights on the boards about the registry number of the Exeter. I honestly had no idea that Paramount had gone back and assigned numbers lower than 1701 based on that scene from “Court Martial”… anyway, thanks for the good work go to Jeff and CBS Digital!

3. Scott - July 3, 2007

Nice review of another episode that fell into what rapidly became a second season cliché — the almost-parallel Earth. I agree with all the sentiments as expressed by Mr. Bond. Good job.

Scott B. out.

4. Enterprisingguy - July 3, 2007

Excellent review!

5. Dennis Bailey - July 3, 2007

Great review, Jeff. Thanks.

Yeah, the casting in this one is hard to fathom, given GR’s sensitivity to this kind of *blatant* racism in television (as opposed to more subtle and arguable forms that certainly did slip into Trek from time to time).

“Mudd’s Women” is blatantly sexual, but it’s no less a familiar Western tale than “Omega Glory” – it’s the old mail-order bride-for-grizzled-prospector/cowboys story. The guy who pitched Trek as “Wagon Train To The Stars” knew what templates to fall back on to appeal to the networks (or thought he did; NBC selected the most skiffy and least familiar of the three stories).

6. CmdrR. - July 3, 2007

Don’t be dissin’ the E Plabnista, baby!

I like this episode, including its ending. It’s NOT SUPPOSED to be able to withstand real world logic. This is 60s TV fantasy. It has established its own rules and it stick to them in this episode. The BIG ending is important because it drives home the point of how much is at stake in a WWIII. You want subtlety on TV. Wait 20 years or so. Not in 66-69.
Compare this episode to any other show at that time, see how it stacks up.

7. FredCFO - July 3, 2007

As someone pointed out in a previous thread — this was the last of the “Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development ” episodes of TOS.

I guess that it wouldn’t have been so bad if there hadn’t been a Roman planet in the same season. (The Gangster and Nazi planets were due to Federation contamination — but still Nazis, Gangsters, Romans, Americans/Communists — it was getting tired. Then on the other hand, there was a budget to be mindful of. The Western was visited in “Spectre of the Gun” in the 3rd Season.)

Too bad they just didn’t have similar cultures as opposed to the exact same ones — that would have been slightly more believable.

Old Glory, Omega Glory…

8. Kev - July 3, 2007

Nice review of a solidly entertaining episode. Morgan Woodward was an excellent guest. My guess on the American homogeneity is that its just heightens the rampant xenophobia on both sides. Just a 2 cent fan theory. And this was 1968, after all. This is s fun show that delivers fistfights, a derelict ship, the Prime Directive and much more.

9. Michael - July 3, 2007

So who gets to go back and get the Exeter anyway? and I agree with Jeff – ewwww!! Would be a good story for Starship Exeter – asuming they ever finish the current installment.

Great review – agreed with it on all points. someone else here said something about having the viewmaster edition of this story – I had that. Great stuff. Must be stuffed into some box around here.

10. Stanky VanGelder - July 3, 2007

re: 6 CmdrR.

I agree. Well, stated.
This hasn’t always been one of my favorites, but I really enjoyed it this time around.

11. Dennis Bailey - July 3, 2007

#9: “So who gets to go back and get the Exeter anyway? and I agree with Jeff – ewwww!! Would be a good story for Starship Exeter – asuming they ever finish the current installment.”

I believe that Jimm and Josh Johnson drafted a story about the retrieval of Exeter by Garrovick and crewmates as a possible “pilot” for “Starship Exeter.” So while it’s never been filmed, it probably exists as an outline or something.

There never were any in-continuity “canonical” hull registry numbers for most Constitution-class ships. “Starship Exeter” uses the registry numbers established in the Franz Joseph “Starfleet Technical Manual” in 1975. The modern Trek productions instead use a list compiled by Greg Jein (based on a list of ships seen on-screen briefly in “Court Martial”) back in the 1970s. Based on their appearences onscreen, the Jein numbers for both U.S.S. Defiant and U.S.S. Exeter are now part of official continuity.

12. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - July 3, 2007

Stanky VanGelder is my new official favorite talkback name

I always loved this episode. Don’t really see any blatant racism. Both the Commies and Yanks are shown to be reduced to doopey primatives after their terrible war. There are in fact huge portions of China that are still little better than a notch above bronze age villages. Don’t know how that’s racist .

I thought the print was too oversaturated with color in many scenes like those early Ted Turner colorized movies. I loved the new orbit effects. Would have been cool to have the E towing the Exeter out of orbit on the way out.

13. Scott Gammans - July 3, 2007

Dennis, does this mean that you’ll be redoing the effects for “Starship Exeter”? (**ducks**)

14. Exeter - July 3, 2007

Superb review. Good points all.

I figure CBS Digital was following the original continuity (which showed the Enterprise leaving Omega IV sans Exeter). It would have been nice to show the Enterprise towing the vessel, though. Yes, it’s a plague ship. But can you imagine Starfleet leaving one of its finest starship designs abandoned?

Maybe it’s moreso a failing of Gene Roddenberry’s script. In the TNG-era, we would have heard Picard say the Exeter was destroyed to prevent further risk of contamination… and warning buoys/beacons had been deployed. There wasn’t a tidy wrap-up here: The Enterprise leaves orbit; the Exeter remains behind.

Guess it’s the same way I felt when the Enterprise left the Doomsday Machine. It would have been nice to hear that ships had been dispatched to study the machine. Too much information for most TV audiences, I suppose.

Anyways, stellar job with the review! Onwards to supporting the folks at “Starship Exeter” so we can see more adventures!

15. billy don't be a hiro - July 3, 2007

I’m delighted to see Morgan Woodward get such nice press. He was all over television in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, playing everything from rootin’-tootin’ cowboys and rednecks to cultured and wealthy sophisticates, and he was always terrific. I saw him in an old Gunsmoke the same day that Omega Glory aired and it was a trip to get a bit of a double dose. Thanks for showing him some love, Mr. Bond. As always, your reviews are tops.

16. Michael Hall - July 3, 2007

Nice job of reviewing, Mr. Bond. I’d never considered the “Heart of Darkness” parallels myself, but now that you’ve pointed them out the comparison seems obvious. The episode would have been far more effective–a classic, even–if it had examined how Tracy’s original good intentions went sour in a serious way, and jettisoned the embarrasing earth-parallel elements altogether.

17. Lao3D - July 3, 2007

Excellent job! That review almost made me like the episode…

Almost.

18. anon - July 3, 2007

Hm, no mention of exposed belly buttons? Funny that they were all over the place here while they made Hartley cover up in a much later episode

19. Naib - July 3, 2007

I admit this was my favorite episode from when I was younger.

20. TiberiusK - July 3, 2007

A superb review! Informative, accurate, and extremely detailed. Kudos to this writer.

21. Diabolik - July 3, 2007

I think the viewmaster reel versions of the ship shots was better than the CBS shots. The old model shots by Viewmaster were real, solid models, not cartoony CGI.

Just kidding!

22. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 3, 2007

Liked the ending, too! High worship words always make me verklempt. Can we talk?

23. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 3, 2007

No racism here. Kirk says the word has to apply to everyone…the Yangs and the Comms equally! Do you understand…do you?!

24. Jon G - July 3, 2007

I always thought, and this may sound crazy, that they could just go back to the planet… since they already know about the federation, go to some abandoned or sparsely populated continent… since the population was pretty much wiped out by the plague, and land the ship. Sure its huge, but another starship could come with a crew, build some infrastructure like giant scaffolding on the planet, land the ship in it until its immunized. Ship and crew are best kind, then they leave. They could vaporize the infrastructure from orbit, or beam it up. Or hell, the planet is already messed up… just leave the shit there and never go back.

Actually, that woulda made a cool episode…

25. Jon G - July 3, 2007

That is of course, asssuming that the ship can be immunized just like people. I don’t see why not. It is Star Trek afterall.

26. OR Coast Trekkie - July 3, 2007

I think CBS-D did a good job with the ship establishing shots. The shot of the two ships was, in reality, a good shot. But it just might not have worked for this plot.

Unfortunately, the Remastered project job isn’t to go and fix the holes in the writing and dialogue, so we just have to deal with the “what happened to the Exeter?” question. The only way to really fix that is to have a complete, modern TOS remake, and remaking specific TOS episodes. I know I speak blasphemy…

I’ve said before, I am disappointed that phaser blasts were not addressed. The team has to get some consistency on redoing them.

27. neal - July 3, 2007

anyone remember seeing morgan woodward as “punk” on dallas? he was on for a bunch of seasons in the 80s. lots of good woodward-action.

i had the viewmaster. that thing was how i knew the colors in the show, shirts and otherwise. (the ol’ tv was b&w!!). how loved the viewmaster — for those wondering what the hell this is, check it out:
http://members.aol.com/graemecree/trekmisc/viewmastertrek/index.htm

28. Michael Hall - July 3, 2007

#24–no need to land the ship. Just pilot it into the atmosphere (which we know courtesy of “Tomorrow Is Yesterday” it can handle, even if it’s not specifically designed for it) and open the windows. :-)

29. OM - July 3, 2007

…A couple of points about Omega Glory:

1) The ep was one of three scripts submitted by Desilu to NBC for consideration WRT the second pilot. Mudd’s Women and Where No Man Has Gone Before were the other two. All three were eventually filmed, with TOG reportedly the “weaker” of the three and thus the last to be filmed. There’s some truth to this in the fact that the original pilot proposal script had some plotting and character differences that required some substantial rewrites in order to fit the script into the show’s continuity. One of the most striking differences was the ship’s doctor, “Dr. Johnston”, who was to be killed by Tracy just before his fight with Kirk. Roddenberry wrote this particular twist in to clear the way for another doctor for the regular series if the 2nd pilot did, in fact, sell the series and if this script was the one picked. Three guesses who that doctor and actor were going to be?

2) One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that TOG has only been seen as a “worst episode” candidate since the changes in how the American people view patriotism. Growing up with TOS, I never heard any of the accusations that the episode was nothing more than weak Cold War propaganda. In fact, the only complaints I ever heard involved just how this particular parallel Earth could have evolved, and how the episode should have addressed that. Come Watergate, the fall of Vietnam and the subsequent temporary neutering of this country at the hands of that peanut farmer, anything that could be perceived as “rallying around the flag” was automatically to be distrusted and denounced. Which is why most people miss the point that TOG tries to make: if you’ve forgotten what it is you’re fighting for, then the battle is lost regardless of whether your enemy is defeated.

30. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 3, 2007

27. Neal

Yeah, Morgan Woodward was great as Punk Anderson on Dallas.
I’ve got Woodward in an old western called “The Great Locomotive Chase.” He was an opera singer early in his career!

31. Penhall - July 3, 2007

I thought for sure CBS digital would beef up the disintegration of the computer that injures Spock. So many missed opportunities with this project, but I guess it has to be blamed on a rushed schedule. Too bad….

32. T in HI - July 4, 2007

Bond, Mr. Bond… a superb review, shaken and definitely not stirred… but stirring.

(Geekiness content alert! Do not read further unless you are ready to be overcome by incredibly geeky thoughts.

You have been warned!)

How amazing to read that there is someone else out there that finds certain episodes compelling because they show that TOS Starfleet is more than just the happy universe of Kirk, Spock, Bones and the rest of the Enterprise crew. To this day, I can’t explain why throwing another starship or a starbase into an episode spices it up for me… I wonder, does anyone besides the two of us suffer from this geekiological syndrome?

One item shown in this episode you didn’t discuss was the Exeter patch worn by Tracey and his ill-fated ship’s surgeon. Like the Constellation and Starfleet Command patches shown previously, it is cool with a capital K. Much more interesting than the boring Enterprise arrowhead patch, and far more detailed than the poor replica used on STARSHIP EXETER. The patch shown in this episode is an intricate 60-ish art deco design that’s supposed to symbolize something (just what we’ll apparently never know; I don’t even know who designed these patches—Theiss? Jeffries? Roddenberry?).

Enough geekfest for now. I know I’ll pick up similat topics again when we finally get to see “The Ultimate Computer”… Just imagine… arguments over registry numbers for four starships instead of one… arguments on whether Wesley is the real captain of the Lexington or not, and if he is, why is he wearing a Starfleet Command patch… I have to stop or my head will explode!!!!!

33. Jeffrey S. Nelson - July 4, 2007

At least Wesley Crusher isn’t in command. Dohhhhhhh!

34. Cranston - July 4, 2007

Great review. I agree 100%.

A couple of comments: You’re right on about Spock’s “well-chosen words” after finding the phaser packs. But my favorite line, a perfect, razor-sharp jab from Spock, comes before that, with his simple statement to Tracey when they first arrive: “Interesting that the villagers know about phasers.” Overall, a good, tense, dramatic episode with great character work for the first 2/3.

But as soon as the flag shows up, the wheels come off. I do think that, for me, there’s undeniable resonance in the idea of vague memories of a long-collapsed USA persisting among its hunter-gatherer descendants, but the execution here is ham-handed and laughable. Maybe that kind of idea could have been better explored in a time travel story (although time travel is much overused). I think the basic idea had potential, but completely collapsed on execution, particularly with the racial overtones you noted (esp. Kirk talking about the “Yellow civilization” and the “White civilization.”)

Bummer, though. Good episode otherwise.

35. Cranston - July 4, 2007

Another thought I had briefly while watching this — did anyone else get vague whiffs of “ST: Insurrection” while rewatching TOG? Even with the flameout ending, this ep was far better, IMO….

36. Cervantes ( yearning for another CBS Digital questionaire... ) - July 4, 2007

Okay, this lack of phaser touch-ups is really getting to me now…

37. ENGLISH TREKKER - July 4, 2007

Good review, even though I think the episode is poor.

38. COMPASSIONATE GOD - July 4, 2007

Interesting POVs.

All I can add is what I posted a few days ago:

Like it or not, one of the brilliant things about TOS is that it was able to comment on issues of the day–yet remain relevant in pointing to issues of the future.

It is pretty much beyond argument that Ronald Tracey’s actions/desires on Omega 4 and Kirk’s “…they must apply to EVERYONE, or they mean nothing!” also apply to present day American political situations. Roddenberry, et al, realized how flawed government (and its servants) could be. No system is perfect, but from time to time we need strong reminders about a leaning toward corruption.

Politics aside, I LOVE this episode, as the principals were so comfortable in their roles, the music cues were spot-on for effect (ex. the transition from Exeter’s engineering section to the bridge / Kirk’s reading of Yang holy words / Tracey’s “…and they came” scene) and overall, a very grim piece sans even some of the light humor associated with season two.

Morgan Woodward…what can one say? He’s a powerful actor and in my view, one of the Trek franchise’s greatest guest stars, because he’s so darn believable as Tracey–one moment cool, the other sinister, and another, downright brutal. Highly effective. As for Shatner? Shat-tastic. Only he could read the so-called holy words and successfully keep the viewer “in” the meaning for the plot.

Oh. As for Exeter’s registry? Whatever is on screen counts (I guess we all understand this by now). Books and other media do not count….so take THAT, Star Wars Exapnded Universe fans!!

39. T in HI - July 5, 2007

Jeff Bond–please go back and look at the scene you described with Tracey in the doorway (“Kirk, did you set the savage free?!?!?!”). The camara cuts away to Shatner and Kelley three times during Tracey’s diatribe. Watch Shatner during the first and last cutaways. Just what is he doing????? While supposedly staring down at the prone body of Spock, his arms are making the strangest motions, like he’s frantically kneading bread! At the same time, his face cringes almost like he’s having spasms!!!

As odd as this is, the middle shot makes it odder still–it has him simply sitting there listening to Tracey, displaying no real emotion. So much for effective cutting and continuity…

Another oddity: why did they need two Exeter tunics for Morgan Woodward? Was one damaged, lost or stolen? Pay close attention to the collar and Exeter patch and you’ll see what I mean–the tunic worn in the scene where Tracey is introduced is clearly different than the one in the following scene where he calls the Enterprise on his communicator (the second tunic has a visibly more elongated front point on the collar and the patch is at least an inch lower over his left breast). In another continuity glich, the two tunics are switched again after the attack on Spock; if you look closely, the dirt stain patterns on the tunics don’t even closely match!!!!!!

40. TJR - July 5, 2007

Hmmmmm?

What that other guy said about re-making the original episodes.

That could/would be a cool experiment.

41. Jeff Bond - July 5, 2007

39. –

Well it’s pretty clear the idea in those three shots is that Kirk is attempting to do something like CPR on Spock–it’s not great staging but I like the dramatic point made there–and Kirk does respond, angrily but in a very preoccupied manner, to Tracy at one point. The idea is that Kirk and McCoy’s concern is with Spock’s survival more than Tracy’s self-involved speech–and I really like Kirk’s fury when he finally leaves Spock to confront Tracy (“THERE’S NO SERUM!”). I agree the reaction shots are clumsily staged–and my guess is for some reason Nimoy couldn’t be there for those shots and they had to find a way to shoot around him and pantomime the CPR action. And continuity errors abound on Trek (and in fact you can find a laundry list of continuity errors in just about every major movie listed on imdb)–we’re talking about a low budget show. Trek is rife with awkward moments, the important thing for me is how well the show worked given its limited resources.

42. T in HI - July 6, 2007

Ah haaaah…….

But don’t you put one hand over the other when performing CPR?

I know, I know… don’t say it…

43. Jeff Bond - July 6, 2007

It’s FUTURE CPR, dammit!! In fact, Trek may have been ahead of its time there because the idea of non-medical personnel performing CPR is relatively recent–I can’t think of many examples of non-doctor characters, or even many doctor characters themselves, performing the maneuver in Sixties TV…

44. T in HI - July 6, 2007

LOL!!!

45. mrregular - July 8, 2007

KXVO in Omaha was SUPPOSED to show this episode as a repeat last night(7/7) right after “Return to Tommorrow”. Great, I’ll see it..I was out of town last week. Wasn’t being shown in the city I was visiting.
BUT at 8pm “Tommorrow is Yesterday” was re-aired…
Does this make sense because of the similar titles of the episodes??
Otherwise it’s ridiculous..again, KPTM is not following their posted broadcast schedule on their website. At. All.

46. mrregular - July 8, 2007

KXVO did NOT show this episode last night as a repeat. Rather, the Omaha based station re-aired “Tommorrow Is Yesterday” for some unknown reason at 8pm. ..perhaps because the title of that episode is similar to the first run “Return To Tommorrow” shown at 7pm??

47. mrregular - July 8, 2007

Strike my comments about KPTM in my post #45, meant to say KXVO.

48. Andy Patterson - August 9, 2007

I have to didagree with some who say this a poor episode. Its always been one of my favorites and , no disrespect to Montalban, but Morgan Woodward’s Ron Tracy is the BEST Star Trek villain ever!

Freedom? You speak of Freedom?

I-ee Plegli-ian,
neptun flagun,
tu pep,
like for stand…

49. JL - July 22, 2008

I’m late with this but for the record, I love this episode. Great performance by the guy playing Capt. Tracy – - and GREAT, GREAT DRAMA – - and build up of tension throughout the entire episode. How can you not love this?

50. Randel Dyer - November 12, 2008

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51. Charybdis - June 20, 2009

Hello, there. I’m new to this site, and i just thought I would add my two cents in here.

Being a fan of the original(and only)the original Star Trek, The Omega Glory is definately among my favorites. The late Gene Roddenberry’s script for this episode definately did what Star Trek always did best at. Addressing the political, social, and religious issues of the times.

In the case of The Omega Glory, this episode, like A Taste Of Armageddon and A Private Little War, was certainly a metaphor about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Let’s face it, this episode(which shares some parallels with the original Planet Of The Apes)certainly screams 1968(when both this episode and POTA came out)and one huge anti-war theme.

In a few words, I liked it.

I especially liked Morgan Woodward’s performance as Captain Ron Tracey. As Mr. Woodward once described Tracey in a ST-Magazine Interview, “Ron Tracey was a good man who just went bad.” Which makes me wonder what Tracey was like before he went bad and suffered a nervous breakdown.

Perhaps a Star Trek adventure should be written about Tracey and the USS Exeter before the events depicted in The Omega Glory.

Overall, it was a cool episode. The appearance of both the American flag and the Constitution was similar to the Statue Of Liberty scene in Planet of the Apes.

There is a Star trek fan fic story about Ron Tracey on the Star Trek – The Animated Series web site. Old Ron returns to cause some problems for both the Enterprise and the new crew of the Exeter. Check it out.

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