“The Omega Glory” Remastered Review + Screenshots and Video [repeat] | TrekMovie.com
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“The Omega Glory” Remastered Review + Screenshots and Video [repeat] July 5, 2008

by Jeff Bond , Filed under: Review,TOS-R Screenshots/Video , trackback

 

This weekend is a repeat of the remastered "The Omega Glory" which originally aired last year (also on the 4th of July weekend). Below is our review plus video and screenshots from last summer. 

REVIEW
by Jeff Bond

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

 

SFX VIDEO
by Matt Wright

SCREENSHOTS
by Matt Wright

Remastered v Original

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extra


It’s my bar – no it’s my bar!


Spock’s eyes make the ladies melt

 

Bonus Video: Kirk has a constitutional
By popular demand…here is the Shat doing it father of the country style.

 

Seasons One and Two discounted at Amazon
The Season Two box set is now available at Amazon for pre-order, discounted to $63.99 (Amazon has a low price guarantee that if they drop the price before ship date of August 5th you will get that lower price). The Season One DVD / HD DVD combo disk is available now for $110.49 (retail is $194.99).


Seasons One and Two of TOS-R ($110.49 and $63.99 respectively)

 

Comments

1. David W. Shelton - July 5, 2008

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

2. Sir Martman - July 5, 2008

yeh not one of the best ones,but still,,,classic Trek

you just have to smile as Shatner reads the episode’s infamous climax: “WE…THE PEOPLE” speach with ,,
every,

word,

as,

its,

own,

sentance.

God I love this Shatner add,,, :o )

/www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1CwZgb_iAI

3. Harry Ballz - July 5, 2008

Captain Tracy was one cool, dark dude!

4. Wesley - July 5, 2008

So, what happened to the exeter? Was it blown up because it was contaminated? or what?

5. CmdrR - July 5, 2008

OK, NOW it’s the 4th of July!

Love this episode. I even love the credulity-crackin’ final scene, although I admit that if they tried it today, it would kill the series.

Thanks, Anthony — and Jeff.

6. ster j - July 5, 2008

Hmm… I looked at the screencaps of this one at Trekcore to check out those lovely closeups of Spock’s eyes. Know what I found? Five o’clock shadow on Leonar’ds eyebrows! Now, part of me said, “They KNEW they were doing these extreme close-ups. Why didn’t they shave those off?” But then, I looked at my own, sad, shaggy brows and realized that those stragglers made Spock’s eyebrows more realistic.

Yeah, it’s too hot here to do anything like make a coherant thought (or spell coherent correctly, it seems!)

So, back to the ep–After Tracy blasts the computer Spock is working on, and wounds Spock in the process, McCoy and Kirk look like they are rendering some kind of medical aid to our fallen Vulcan. I always wondered if Kirk was doing some kind of Vulcan CPR on Spock. Thoughts?

7. Andy Patterson - July 5, 2008

Jeff,

Great review. Super! Hits many things I’ve always thought of this ep. I care not what people say….when these first started being offered on video almost 20 yrs ago this and “Patterns of Force” were the first two I bought. Loved them then. LOVE them now!

You met Morgan Woodward?! That’s too cool! He lives just down the road from me in a gated community (and street named after him) just 12 minutes from me; in walking distance of Six Flags and I’ve never met him! Would love to. Drove past it once but can’t even get in to see the house. Probably just as well. One of my all time favorite Star Trek characters.

I totally agree on how this episode showed a whole other dimension to the Fleet and just how dynamic and superior people who populate the upper echelon of Star Fleet . I still say he’s the all time greatest villain ever. And this is coming from someone who loves Montalban. Show me a better set of fight scenes in all the episodes. That crazy old Ron (Woodward) Tracy appears to be doing all his own stunts. Great voice. Great presence!

8. Commodore Redshirt - July 5, 2008

I had the VIEW MASTER [ remember those? ] of this episode. I’d sit in my room back when I was 10 or so and study each frame. Not the best example of Trek, but Captain Tracey is so out-there he should have been a COMMODORE!

9. AJ - July 5, 2008

What the heck is “tronquility?”

10. Izbot - July 5, 2008

Holy crap, I never even rocognized Roy Jenson as Claude Mulvihill in “Chinatown”! It’s one of my very favorite films and have seen it dozens of times yet never made the connection. Another Trek alum in Chinatown is Perry Lopez who plays police Lieutenant Lou Escobar. He played Rodriguez in “Shore Leave”. Noble Willingham has a small part in Chinatown as one of the city councilmen (he played Texas in TNG’s “The Royale”).

11. Xplodin' Nacelle - July 5, 2008

Re: #4

I’d like to know the answer to that one myself. I wonder if they couldn’t have just vented the ship’s atmosphere out into space, & then repressurized it after the contaminants were sucked out. I think I remember a TNG episode where Geordi, & Beverly did this in the cargo bay. It worked, but it was tough getting to the controls to close the door again, & repressurize the bay. I was hoping that the TOS, or TOS-R team wouldn’t have left us hanging. I’d like an “official” Okuda/Rossi interpretation, please.

12. Matt - July 5, 2008

Trek captains never fulfilled their five year mission, and Tracy was more of the rule and Kirk was the exception.

That was Roddenberry’s vision.

I can’t remember which “making of Trek” book that came from, but that was the idea.

It would have been cool if they kept that going. Many “wagon trains” never made it either.

13. steve623 - July 5, 2008

As I probably said when this review was originally posted, Morgan Woodward is by far the best part of this episode. This is a guy you believe is commanding a starship: the stature, the presence, the intelligence, the charisma. And he’s yet another wonderful example of the quality character actors that helped make the original series *so* memorable. Mr. Woodward made a very creepy guest appearance on an episode of “The X-Files” about ten or twelve years ago and he was just terrific.

14. steve623 - July 5, 2008

“Tronquility” apparently comes out of the same dictionary as “sabotaaajz”.
Likewise, in the Shatnerverse, “Cardassians” is pronounced “Cardashians” (at least in the audio books).

15. [The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator - July 5, 2008

I don’t know why people think the ending is ridiculous. Maybe someone could explain it instead of just making sure to sound cool by copying what everyone else says? This episode was always one of my favorites.

And surely I’m not the only person who gets goosebumps every time they see “The Scene” where Kirk reads the Preamble. He puts so much of the patented Kirk emotion, passion, and soul into it, it’s just amazing.

16. warptrek - July 5, 2008

no’s 4 & 11
I took command afterwards. Capt. A. J. Garibaldi, first Italian to command a starship class vessel. AND I did finish my 5 year mission….

#12 On a more serious note… Roddenberry envisioned Starfleet captains as being a ‘cut above’ regular people. The Commodore’s comment to Kirk in ‘CourtMartial’… “You and I have done what very few can do… commanded a starship”. Obviously the Commodore completed his mission, why wouldn’t any of the other Connies have not come home also? Pike completed 2 – 5 year missions and possibly even part of a 3rd, April completed the E’s first 5 year mission, Garth, who was held in high regard by Kirk, completed his mission though we donot know what type of ship he commanded but it was obviously one on the frontier for Kirk to have ‘studied his missions’ at the Academy. I know the book you are referring to but I think that was not written 100% in stone as far as the tone of the series went.

17. AJ - July 5, 2008

15:

My problem is, well, the potential story of how the Yangs received their “US flag and Constitution” kit, and why it applies at all to a group of Indo-Europeans battling Mongol hordes, or the Chinese, or whatever.

Also, Cloud William is written as a moron, and to have him be the central Yang character is ridiculous.

I think, for many of us, OG holds up on the nostalgia factor, and the Ron Tracy main plot.

Also, Kirk’s speech at the end is laughably bad, and adds to the nostalgia factor. Compare it to his speech at the end of “Mirror, Mirror.” No comparison.

18. Jeff - July 5, 2008

This is the episode that Red Dwarf used partly as inspiration for its pilot episode. Remember Lister getting out of stasis and then running around the Dwarf, seeing all these piles of white powder, even tasting some of them, and wondering where the crew went?

19. Green-Blooded-Bastard - July 5, 2008

I got chills listening to Kirk read the preamble to the Constitution.

20. Andy Patterson - July 5, 2008

15

“And surely I’m not the only person who gets goosebumps every time they see “The Scene” where Kirk reads the Preamble. He puts so much of the patented Kirk emotion, passion, and soul into it, it’s just amazing.”

Hey brother. I’m with you. I always used to get chills from it. A big Kirk scene for sure as a kid. I bought every bit of it. But then again, I’m still the same guy who bought every bit of Batman as a kid. and I’m also the same guy, as I’ve said many times, never thought of the effects of TOS as anything but what they were. Great to me.

21. The Underpants Monster - July 5, 2008

Am I the only one who, on first viewing this episode, half-expected Captain Tracy to be a Supermarionette?

I dunno, the original shots look better to me here. I guess I’ll have to wait until next Saturday and see how it looks on the TV screen.

22. Robert J. Sawyer - July 5, 2008

Just watched the “bonus” video up above of Kirk reading the preamble to Cloud William — and was struck for the first time by how much Cloud William looks and sounds like Carl Sagan. Seriously.

23. Thomas - July 5, 2008

21. Maybe he”s a descendant of Jeff Tracy or one of the boys. He does look a little bit like Virgil. ;)

24. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - July 5, 2008

Hey you bunch of baboons!! Trek III is being shown in HIGH F-ing Def right now on Univeral HD. I am looking at High Def Shatner on my 65″ DLP right this minute!!!!! Can’t believe there was not a post on this. I think they will show First Contact this weekend as well. Can’t believe there was no heads up or post on this. All I can say is as beautiful as it looks they better scrub the grain for the Blu-Ray release it looks like it’s covered in fine sand. But High Def Shatner and the seen where the E enters the space dock in HD!!!!! Wow!!!!!

25. ster j - July 5, 2008

#14. Re: “sabotaaajz”

I always thought that “saboTAAJZ” was the French-Canadian pronunciation of /SAH-bo-taz/. Valeris used Kirk/Shat/s pronunciation in ST6, so he’s not alone.

26. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine - July 5, 2008

Always loved this one.

There is a radio commercial in the NY area fro pre owned BMWs, and I could swear it is Morgan Woodward’s clone reading it. Anyone ever hear those/notice the similarity? I mean, it is scary close to his voice’s tone, pronunciation, everything.

27. The Bear - July 5, 2008

Back in the 7th grade History class we had to learn and recite the Preamble. I had this episode tape recorded and listened to Kirk over and over again until I got it down pat. I don’t think my “Kirk-esque” delivery came over well, but I passed. Geezz…that’s been over 30 years ago! Lol!

28. [The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator - July 5, 2008

# 19 and 20 :

Great!! Glad I’m not the only one who reacts that way to that scene. It’s also nice to know that there are other people out there who actually appreciate the scene – instead of ragging on it for being “ridiculous” or whatever, just to look cool and not geeky (heaven forbid!) for saying something positive about something TOS-related.

Keep it real!!

29. Andy Patterson - July 5, 2008

27

The Bear

A man after my own heart. “In another life I might have called you friend”

28

Yay brother!

30. eagle219406 - July 5, 2008

I would just like to ask and you are probably going to think I am dumb but what was so stupid about the Flag Scene? It showed Patriotism and what the Yangs believed in. And the thing that always confuses me is that almost every episode I see reviewed here people say Sucked or “Wasn’t that great.” Yet Those same people are saying that TOS was the Best of All of them. Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Another thing about TOS that sometimes got to me was the computers. I know that it was made during a time when computers were huge, but it never occured to anybody at the time that, maybe in the future, they would have smaller computers and be able to put a lot more information in a small space? I mean today they have computers that can fit in the palm of your hand, Was that a rediculous thought of the future?

About the episode, was there any other time when Spock Neck-pinched a female?

31. Franbro - July 5, 2008

24

No, they better had NOT scrub the grain when the films make it to BD. Grain is PART of the film image. It’s the particles that the image is recorded upon. When you “scrub the grain” you remove alot of high frequency picture info. as well.

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/robertharris/harris062408.html

Try reading this and learning a bit about what you’re asking for.

32. Billy Bobby - July 5, 2008

This episode is definitely in the bottom five of the original series. The only episodes worse than this are The Apple (76/79), Patterns of Force (77), That Which Survives (78), and The Alternative Factor (79). But it is still TOS and therefore a good episode to watch. Star Trek is like pizza; it’s still good even when its bad. I got goosebumps when Shatner read the Preamble.

33. Sean4000 - July 5, 2008

I saw Trek 3 tonight as well and the grain is not as bad as I thought. Overall the image was okay. This was not a “healthy” scrub as said before in a previous article. The flicker, white and black flecks were there too; as were some very light film wobbles and light and dark inconsistencies.

Purists can go too far too. Although I do not believe that this was the case, just this was a cheap rescan and little more. Believe it or not, I am glad they did not touch the old opticals because I shudder at the thought of what they would have replaced them with.

34. Sean4000 - July 5, 2008

To clarify, I am glad these films were not sterilized and the grain added to the nature and overall look of the picture.

35. Gary the Gorn - July 5, 2008

I really liked the ending too. I think it was a comment on people believing things that they don’t really understand. Blindly following something without question.

Kirk (Shatner) does a great job reading to the people. He is always trying to teach people on the planets some kind of lesson. This episode also had kind of a Twilight Zone feel to it.

I love all of the wacko alternate earth’s they always find. I wish they would have found a bunch of them on Next Gen.

36. Andy Patterson - July 5, 2008

32

To each his own but I say thee nay.

37. Brad - July 5, 2008

#14 –

That makes me think of a new Star Trek spinoff “Keeping up with the “Cardashians””!

38. OR Coast Trekkie - July 5, 2008

In response to the reviewers remarks about phasers:

Yes, I prefer “vaporization” over the “sparks” thing. However, I wish they would have done something to update the vaporization, and changed that it was just a simple, even fade-out. Something that starts from the center and works its way out would be great. Heck, they could still keep the original looking “glow.” (I’m not versed in film terms, so I hope I am understandable).

Now, to get nerdy, I’m going to give my theory as to why TNG-era shows don’t vaporize as much. I think there are different levels of kill settings. You have your low-level kill, which simply puts a hole through someone and causes the sparks, and your high level kill settings, which of course, vaporizes. And of course, you’re going to get more shots off on a lower setting than a higher setting. Tracy, after all, only got off 3 shots before his phaser was out of power.

I also think that the differences in “vaproize” verses “sparks” were also indications as for the purposes of firing the phaser. In TNG era shows, phasers were often used in combat situations, where you needed to get off as many shots as possible. The vaporization was used either in extreme circumstances. However, I also think it was used in extreme circumstances in TOS as well. I don’t think our HEROES in either era used the vaporization very often.

I think Starfleet officers see using the phaser to vaporize someone is seen is inhumane. There is always that “cringe” reaction whenever we see it done.

But yes, while I agree I muc prefer to see things vaporized (perhaps becuase I’m kind of sick like that, lol) keep in mind exactly who is firing the phaser and why.

39. Iowagirl - July 5, 2008

Great review, Jeff. It mentions all the reasons why I like this episode, and many more.

Being German, I first heard the words of the Preamble spoken by Kirk in this very episode in one of the re-runs. Must’ve been about 10 years old then, but I do remember it very well. Although I didn’t understand everything, didn’t know about its background, it struck me right away. I was impressed with the words, the meaning, and the passionate delivery. I knew Shatner/Kirk was talking about something very important and significant. Although much time has passed, it still has that effect on me.

40. Engon - July 6, 2008

Hmmm. An average human (male/female) weighs about 155 pounds. Take away 3-4 pounds of chemicals and you’ve got about 18 gallons of water. Assume 430 crew members on the Exeter (minus one captain) and you get about 7,725 gallons of water. Where did all that go? Starships must have really good dehumidifiers.

41. Engon - July 6, 2008

2.

In defense of Shatner’s reading of The Preamble to the Constitution,” he really only emphasizes “We…The…People” for effect. How else could you read that? The rest of the pauses in the preamble are grammatical, separating ideas. If anything, the words are tumbling out of his mouth (probably because it takes so long to read The Preamble at a normal pace) – not at all like each…word…is…a…sentence.

The music is the same, so maybe hearing this speech, rising to its crescendo, one harkens back to Kirk’s “That’s…why…were…aboard…her!” speech from “Return To Tomorrow.”

42. star trackie - July 6, 2008

Nice review, I always loved this episode. I have no problem with the parralel development angle. If I can buy into it in Miri I can buy into it here. Lots of good moments, moody lighting and the best fight ever, maybe the only fight that didn’t incorporate the use a bad stunt double. Or, at least, I never detected one. Shatner and Woodward both must have scrapped a knee or two staging that whole fight tied to the wrist. Good stuff.

And yes, phasers that create sparks are lame andbelong in Star Wars. Phasers that make things, including people, glow and disappear, are very scary indeed.

43. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

This is still pound for pound the third worst tos episode number 1 is Spock”s Brain and number 2 Is And the children shall lead.

44. Holger - July 6, 2008

I think this is a pretty good episode… UP TO THE POINT when the Yangs overrun the village. What a cool finish this would have been: Captain Tracy, disillusioned, a broken man, is taken home by Kirk to be court-martialed, the inhabitants of Omega are left behind with their stupid tribal conflicts – Prime Directive and all that.
But no, the episode isn’t over and what follows thereafter is among the worst pieces of Trek ever. Not only that we have another highly dubious case of completely parallel developments on different planets (compare ‘Miri’ and ‘Bread and Circuses’), including such minutiae like the design of a flag and the exact wording of the constitution; no, in addition to that we get that ridiculous imposed fight between Kirk and Tracy. What a piece of trash!!
I always press the stop button on my DVD-player remote as soon as the Khom villagers are defeated. But up to that point: Far better than ST: Insurrection.

45. SciFiMetalGirl - July 6, 2008

One of my favorite moments in trekdom is when Cloud William suddenly perks up and says, “freedom?”

Way cool!

46. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

Im sorry I could take cloud Williams seriously or could this episode seriously. Come on, Tribal barbarians on planet light years away with a copy of the Constitution and the Flagg? There is no logic backing episode ,what so ever its thats just plain bad everything. Yeah New effects are improvement but a pig in the poke is still a pig in a poke. If this had been a third season episode it would been one the best easily and thats not a compliment..

47. FredCFO - July 6, 2008

Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development rules !

Yankees and Communists, Christians and Romans (throw in Greek Gods, Nazis and Gangsters — imports from Earth)….

Jeff makes a great point –“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 establishing shot of the Exeter in orbit around Omega IV seems to be be too distant. You can’t tell that it is a starship (maybe with a big plasma screen and HD you could…)

I also agree that the episode gets off to a rousing start and maintains it until the American flag shows up. Althought the fight sequence was nice, interspersed with Spock’s telepathy with the Yang woman. Good juxtaposition of action with calm, the soundtrack adeptly following along.

Too bad they didn’t make the last act more subtle with a flag that resembled an American one and Kirk’s historical rememberances just being similar enough to the Yang’s to get him off the hook.

Miscellaneous items: Morgan Woodward was great, good to see another starship, good to see another starship insignia (interesting — the rectangular patches were pulled off a purse. The command and science emblems cut from Enterprise insignias and glued into the rectangles — at least this is what the close up picture of the original looked like to me.)

I wonder why the Okudas decided to go with the registry number 1672 instead of the Franz Joseph designation of 1706?

48. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

#47 The odds of another planet having an exact word of word duplicate of the Constitution and an stitch for stitch copy of the Flagg zero.

49. Spockanella - July 6, 2008

I’ve always thought this was an episode that could’ve been great, but instead came across laughable. It’s another example of the heavy-handed, beat-you-over-the-head with the message (Yankees and Communists! Get it? Get it?) methodology employed in some of the more embarrassing eps. I’d have loved to have seen this done more subtly. Could have still had two warring factions, and could have made Tracy less of a scheming, greedy b****rd. Maybe, instead, he could have been truly conflicted about breaking the Prime Directive, and offered up a defense to Kirk. Kirk could have been sympathetic, but still required to do his duty. Shades of gray, instead of that moralistic me right, you wrong.

But that’s just me.

50. Cafe 5 - July 6, 2008

With all its flaws it still a pretty good episode. It being one of the pilot episodes not chosen by the network one could imagine what this would have looked like in the first season. I think it worked for the time it was produced. If the production had more time and money per episode when the shows were originally filmed many of the shows would be better. These episodes were filmed on a budget that wouldn’t buy catering for most shows now. Star Trek holds up while other series filmed at the same time are so dated they are barely watchable.

51. Andy Patterson - July 6, 2008

45

I agree.

Wow! It’s so funny how so many people see this episode differently. The flag coming out and the patriotic element always gave me goose bumps as a kid. We’re all willing to buy so many other elements of the fiction of this show, – a salt vampire with suction cups on it’s fingers, Clint Howard as an alien (ok I’d buy that), a planet of people who mimic Chicago mobsters-, and we’re not willing to buy that?!

52. Daoud - July 6, 2008

I think the fan-argument for OG in the 70’s was that… “the Preservers did it”.

This world was one of their experiments, as seen in “This Side of Paradise” with Miramanee’s people. So, they set down some 1960’s Chi-comms and miscellaneous European Americans on a world to see what would happen.

Pesky Preservers… they’re worse than John Gill!

53. Stan Wingson - July 6, 2008

CBS-D- please go back and redo all of your planet shots with the colors the ORIGINAL CREATORS intended. Enough with this, “Well it’s an m-class planet so it has to have a blue sky, flavin flavin crapola.” Seriously. You are ruining this show…

54. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

48

Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development was the worst thing to happen to TOS. I absolutely detest Patterns of Force. The Omega Glory bites the weenie big time. Then we have TOS dealing with religion in a horrible way in Bread and Circus. And A Piece of the Action is just plain silly (although it is by far the best of the earth parallel development episodes. I will never understand why people love earth parallel developments. Spock’s Brain by itself easily beats Patterns of Force and The Omega Glory.

55. star trackie - July 6, 2008

#54 “Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development was the worst thing to happen to TOS. ”

Like it or not, it’s there. And it explains the parallels perfectly. It’s funny how many fans can dismiss the events on the planet as “impossible” while the crew having their atoms scattered and re-assembled on the surface of that planet is accepted without question.

56. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

I know that in Star Trek we have to accept some pretty far out things. I don’t hold Star Trek to a high plausibility standard, but this episode even offends my sensibilities. This is why Star Trek falls under the classification of Science Fiction. However, The Omega Glory falls under the category of Crap.

57. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

Again you cannot have a planet that has no connection to Earth in any way come up with a copy of the Declaration of independence word for word pen stroke for pen stroke. or a an exact American Flag there is plausible scientific theory that will realistically support this. Hodgkin’s Law sounds There could be countless Earth like planets in the unicverse that might be similar but not the same at all and not duplicating exactly earth Landmass, Human beings or what not. Is possible that we may find Humanoid beings out there that look like us but their genes and evolution will be different from ours. It very likely that nature repeats the same patterns because a form works and is successful is repeated by nature and if you look at the evolutionary life history of Earth you see patterns over and over again.

58. Horatio - July 6, 2008

For what its worth, I still think that Shatner’s delivery at the end of this episode is one of the best of the series and ranks right up there with Return to Tomorrow.

59. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

worst bit of overacting that Shatner ever did. Im not knocking him completely as an actor hes quite good. It just that last bit in the Omega Glory was not among his finest moments as an actor.

60. Holger - July 6, 2008

‘Patterns of Force’ and ‘A Piece of the Action’ aren’t exactly cases of Hodgkin’s Law. These parallel developments were induced by manipulation by a Federation historian and by an Earth book left behind, respectively.

61. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

True. But the thought of planets being full of gangsters and Nazis makes me sick.

62. Andy Patterson - July 6, 2008

54

Spock’s Brain by itself easily beats Patterns of Force and The Omega Glory.

I think not. “Patterns of Force” was the other video I bought some 20 yrs ago. Kirk’s speech at the end when he tries to revive John Gill ranks up there with all time great Shatner/Kirk moments.

63. Holger - July 6, 2008

61: You have a point here. The space mobsters were at least kind of funny, though.

64. AJ - July 6, 2008

Hey, Garovorkin,

How about we imagine it’s not Yangs and Kohms, but the Yanks and the Red Sox?

Kirk: “Mr. Scott! Aim photon torpedoes at the big Citgo sign. It’s near something called “Fenway Park” in Boston. That”ll get their attention.”

Scott: “Where’s Boston, sir?”

Kirk: “I don’t know. It’s in Indiana, or something.”

Scott: “Cap’n, uhhh…where’s Indiana?”

Indiana Jones: “What the hell am I doing here?”

Scotty: “Well I’ll be…Indiana Jones…never thought I’d ever see you walk through my door. The haggis is in the fire for sure.”

Not quite what I had in mind.

65. Engon - July 6, 2008

There ARE exact, quark for quark duplicates of the Earth, The Constitution, Old Glory, you, and your collection of Star Trek DVD’s in the universe. They are just very, Very, VERY far away.

The science is straightforward and is based on a couple of simple assumptions which appear to be true.

It may seem unbelievable, even unacceptable, but it is more likely than some of the “science” we take for granted on “Star Trek.”

http://www.mukto-mona.com/science/physics/ParalellUniverse2003.pdf

66. eagle219406 - July 6, 2008

I would like to say something about the Sparks vs. Vaporization. I read that one of you thought that vaporization was scarier and maybe it was, but I don’t remember Gene Roddenberry, or any Star Trek maker say that their goal was to Scare people. It’s a Science Fiction not a thriller. And the only time I ever saw Sparks on TNG era was when they were firing at the Borg. And the only reason there were sparks was because the borg were part machine. They had circuitry that was fried. And if anybody remebers STVI, If they used the vaporization setting, at least aboard their ship, it would set off an alarm. The vaporization setting was probably invented for Clean up Purposes, like on BTVS, when the vampires turned to dust when slain. I did see vaporization a few times in the Movie and TNG era, and the effect there was much cooler than just the GLOW/FADE effect.

And Don’t put down the American flag. Maybe if they had more money, they would have made a different looking flag. But as for the constitution, Sure, maybe it didn’t make sense to have it, but I don’t think Gene was going for realism here, he was trying to teach the audience a lesson, that the right of freedom was for ALL People, and I don’t think it would have worked as well with anything else.

67. sharon fisher - July 6, 2008

Is there any reason to have the really cute chick with rags barely wrapped around her other than to attract attention? :) Not to mention the cute Asian chick in servitude to McCoy.

Was the Yang chick ever in anything else?

68. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

62

Patterns of Force is one of the worst episodes IMHO, ranking 77/79, because it is in such poor taste. This is one of the worst episodes because it is based on some of the worst premises. For example, Spock claims that Nazi Germany was the most efficient state in human history. WHAT?! Also, Gill was one of the most respected historians in the UFP. Therefore, he would not make the amateurish mistake of basing a society on Nazi Germany. And since he was a citizen of the UFP he was bound by the prime directive, a vow that all intelligent people would keep. So IMHO, I would rather watch Spock’s Brain because it is a golden turkey that makes me laugh.

69. star trackie - July 6, 2008

#57 “Again you cannot have a planet that has no connection to Earth in any way come up with a copy of the Declaration of independence word for word pen stroke for pen stroke. ”

Sure you can. And they did.

70. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

69

I wonder if James Madison still had the same personality on this planet. Poppycock! James Madison did not live on this planet. Also, there is almost no way that flag could have thirteen stripes and fifty stars. The unique geography and history of the United States has produced our wonderful flag. The odds of it being duplicated on this planet and having James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin sign the United States Constitution are impossible. Just think, George Washington lived on Earth and Omega IV! I’d watch Spock’s Brain or The Savage Curtain over this episode any day.

71. k7 - July 6, 2008

#70

Not to mention a duplicate Betsy Ross

72. Garovorkin - July 6, 2008

# 69 you know your point does have sort twisted logic to it now that I think about it (LOL)

73. Pat D - July 6, 2008

I had the viewmaster, too!!

74. Andy Patterson - July 6, 2008

I’m not going to continue arguing it but I still love it …and “Patterns of Force”.

On a kind of related note….does anybody have an idea of what system they used to scramble up the Preamble and the Pledge of allegiance? Any of you code busters out there can tell me how they went about it?

75. Billy Bobby - July 6, 2008

74

Yeah. Everybody has their opinions. I personally love And The Children Shall Lead and The Empath. I know that everyone wouldn’t agree with me on those episodes.

76. SciFiMetalGirl - July 6, 2008

I kind of wish that they’d have made it some sort of alternate universe instead of having all of these alternate Earth’s in our universe, or like maybe all of these Earth’s entered into our universe from some other alternate universe through some sort of space anomoly or something. That would certainly solve a great deal of our believability dilemmas that we seem to have going on here.

However, it is what it is, and to me, it is still a great fun episode!

77. OR Coast Trekkie - July 7, 2008

66

I think they should have changed the vaporization done here to something more like what was done on the TNG shows or in the movies.

78. Jeannie Spock - July 7, 2008

In the very last scene where Kirk is looking at the flag I always thought it would have been a nice touch if he had done a quick salute. Every time I watch this I think he will do it – he doesn’t of course.

Another memorable thing is the changing shape of Spock’s green scar on his cheek. The bruises on his face should have been green too but I noticed they looked pretty much like normal bruises. I always wondered if Nimoy’s bruises were actually real and perhaps hastily written into the script to explain them. Some of Spock’s scenes were in semi darkness and his face was obscured conveniently by prison bars at one point. Spock’s explanation of his bruises seemed a bit out of place in the story.

It reminds me of another episode where Shatner had a herpes swelling on his lip so they (unsuccessfully) tried to hide it with harsh shadow lighting.

79. Engon - July 7, 2008

It is probably no coincidence that this episode, one the few penned solely by Roddenberry, wound up being the episode turned into a ViewMaster reel. No question who would get the royalties there.

Its also interesting to note that on the ViewMaster reel, the SPFX shots of the Enterprise in space were achieved using what appeared to be copies of the AMT model. Effects footage from the show could not be made “3D,” so special images needed to be created – probably by the ViewMaster people themselves.

Of couse, someone must also have been on the set to shoot the “3D” images of the live action during the filming of this episode, but I’ve never run across any account of it.

80. star trackie - July 7, 2008

79 , it looks like the viewmaster folks got onto the set and took advantage of whatever opportunity came their way that wouldn’t interfere with the actual filming. In one frame you can see Uhura and Sulu rehearsing with their scripts in hand!

81. Andy Patterson - July 7, 2008

78
It reminds me of another episode where Shatner had a herpes swelling on his lip so they (unsuccessfully) tried to hide it with harsh shadow lighting.

Just our of curiosity…which one is that?

82. New Horizon - July 7, 2008

I have to agree with a previous poster about the planets. It was great that CBS-D thought they should completely redesign the planets, but I think it really took something away from the show. This show had a style that could have been updated with modern techniques…without losing the colorful planets. Just bugs me that they made everything so boring.

83. hubertis bigend - July 7, 2008

i have no more trouble believing in parallel planets and cultures than i do warp drive and universal translators. we forget that at trek’s level of writing, we were generally floating around in fancy, faux-science fantasy. it remains great fun anyway. my chinese girlfriend digs the idea that her people were whupping the white man’s ass for so long. she claims that eventually the yangs would ruin their own culture under the parallel bush administration as well.

84. POD the Impaler - July 7, 2008

I have a soft spot for this episode, despite the breakdown in my suspension of disbelief when the Yangs carry the American flag out.

But Shatner really delivers in his final speech. Hammy acting? Hell, no, Shatner is a genius. He takes a hokey speech and hits a home run.

The part of the speech that really sticks out in my mind, in the Bush era of torture, illegal spying, and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, to paraphrase, “the words apply equally to all, including the Kombs, or they mean nothing.”

Happy Forth of July, everyone!

85. Garovorkin - July 7, 2008

Your right, The Omega glory should have gotten a Sequel, what should it have been called ? The Omega Glory 2 Constitutional Convention. I m just kidding guys (LOL).

86. planettom - July 7, 2008

Give Shatner a break on the overacting; he was presented a ridiculous script with a virtually unplayable scene, and he pulled it off. He’s being asked to recite a schoolkid memorization project and have it convince an alien society to change their ways. What way could this be played except overacting?

If I remember correctly (and I may not be), in the James Blish adaptation it was changed so that instead of parallel development these were the descendants of an early Earth colony. Of course, some of those dudes couldn’t be 1000 years old if so.

What’s frustrating about this is that it could have been a fairly good episode without the ridiculous ending.

Still, that’s one smoking hot Yang woman!

87. CJ - July 7, 2008

The only good part of this ep is seeing Kirk take the worst non-Spock beat down of his career.

88. Commodore Lurker - July 7, 2008

“It’s only at its literally flag-waving ending that the story sheds all its inherent entertainment value and just turns ridiculous. ”

Gotta say Jeff this is the only part of an excellent and informative review that I take issue with.

I always like to think about the first time I saw an ep. when considering its standing in Trek Canon.

The first time I saw the Star and Strips enter the room at the end of this riveting ep., my jaw bounced off the floor in astonishment. That’s well written entertainment. Kirk explaining the meaning of the Constitution is one of the Shat’s finest performances, and a lesson today’s political leaders don’t seem to understand.

89. COMPASSIONATE GOD - July 7, 2008

Great review, Jeff!

The episode is so filled with believable drama, and as you say in so many words, a formidable villain in Woodward’s Tracey. By this time in Trek’s production, all was SO by the numbers and slick. Really a prefect example of how good the series was in appearance and execution.

Roddenberry’s blonde, white Yangs and the asiatic Khoms was not some racist bone falling out of GR’s closet; rather, I believe he took the “sci-fi-as-social-commentary” tool quite literally, believing the audience would need to be hit over the head to understand what he was saying about then-present day earth and its conflicts.

Of course, there is some argument that the reason the episode is so well-remembered is due to the fact it was the GAF Corporation’s choice (or perhaps Gene’s) choice for one of the most successful pieces of Star Trek merchandising of all time–the View Master.

Through the 21 3-D images and illustrated story booklet, fans of several generations (starting in 1968 when the paket was released) enjoyed what was (in many cases) the only taste of “real” visual Trek available, if the actual series was not on their local TV channels at whichever point in history.

“The Omega Glory” –thanks to View Master–was arguably one of the most “loved” Trek episodes, thanks to the availability of the product in the pre-Fotonovel, pre home video years (the same argument could be said for View Master’s 1974 paket of the Animated Series’ “Yesteryear”).

No matter that one thinks of the parallel earth development, I would say “The Omega Glory” is a solid example of riveting, dramatic Star Trek.

90. Dennis Bailey - July 7, 2008

Bad episode. Bad.

91. Jeff Bond - July 7, 2008

I believe in the TNG episode “Gambit” we see phaser rifles (phaser rifles!) hitting rocks in a gun battle and throwing out sparks–and the same thing happens in Nemesis when the Reman boarding party enters the ship. The original series phasers were shown to be so powerful that a phaser rifle always seemed like guilding the lily–if you can do so much with a weapon you can hold in one hand why carry a bulky rifle that really doesn’t seem that much more powerful?

And let me say this about Shatner–he’ll probably always be my favorite actor because no matter what he did it always entertained–from his most subtle moments to his absolute hammiest. I would never deny the outright entertainment value of the “We the people” speech–it’s an all time classic. But it is a heavy-handed and silly ending to an episode I’ve always found exciting.

92. COMPASSIONATE GOD - July 7, 2008

90. Dennis Bailey – July 7, 2008
“Bad episode. Bad.”

…which is just about perfect for the tombstone of about 85% of the Berman era episodes of Trek. Go figure! ;)

93. Engon - July 7, 2008

Although I don’t think this episode is all that bad, I do recall that when Shatner introduced “The Omega Glory” on the Sci-Fi Channel’s extended 90 minute presentation of the series that he began by saying, “Sometimes, it’s hard to keep a bad script down.”

Whether that was his personal feeling or just something written by someone else for the introduction, I don’t know.

94. Andy Patterson - July 7, 2008

Just watched it last night here in Dallas.

That wild, crazy Cloud Williams. Is there a better example of pure, sheer, manic, barbaric, cat like, raw animal impulse than Roy Jenson’s performance in that episode? That guy was a brute. A walking testosterone sample. He deserves some sort of posthumous award for that show. I put that in a special category (though one I don’t quite have a name for) along with Burgess Meredith in Rocky I & II and James Earl Jones as Thulsa Doom in Conan as underappreciated and overlooked performances.

Somebody mentioned earlier Shatner hitting it out of the park at the end…..I always felt so. I feel this show has many homeruns in it.

Have I mentioned I love this episode? I’ll try and shut up about that now.

95. Jeannie Spock - July 7, 2008

Reply to post no.81
“Just our of curiosity…which one is that?”

It was ‘The Day of the Dove’. from season 3.

96. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine - July 7, 2008

I also found it interesting that Roddenberry chose the Chi Coms, and not the Russians, to represent the victorious commies. The Chinese in 1968 were not the leading communist players on the world stage. They are more easily recognizable than Russians, (hence the racial criticisms) but it turned out to be prescient in that the PRC lasted longer than the USSR.

I always had the sneaking suspicion that some of those who criticize Shatner’s “delivery” of the final speech actually have a bit of a problem with the unambiguous pro-Americanism of the content. Roddenberry/Kirk are not equivocating with any moral equivalence or relativism here: U. S. Constitution Good. Commies Bad. No reason to apologize.

97. COMPASSIONATE GOD - July 7, 2008

Re: 96. Gene L. Coon was a U. S. Marine – July 7, 2008

“I always had the sneaking suspicion that some of those who criticize Shatner’s “delivery” of the final speech actually have a bit of a problem with the unambiguous pro-Americanism of the content. Roddenberry/Kirk are not equivocating with any moral equivalence or relativism here: U. S. Constitution Good. Commies Bad. No reason to apologize.”

Personally, I do not have much a of a problem with Gene’s intent; he may hve believed in humanity being more than animals wrapped up in petty, tribal hatred and greed, but I think the episode also tells us he wanted to see such a world through the filter of American democracy–or in Trekian terms, a Federation-like organization, hence the entire Constitution/parallel world subplot, and Kirk’s clear support of it.

98. Kahless - July 7, 2008

67- Was the Yang chick ever in anything else?

I’ll say she was! – as in Television History. Trek had so many TV “firsts”, like Kirk saying “hell” in “City on the Edge of Forever”, the first interracial kiss in “Plato’s Stepchildren” and in this one we see…
… well I’ll put it this way, just after Spock nerve pinches the Yang Babe, she falls to reveal something you’ll have to examine frame by frame on dvd. Yes years before Brittany in the limo, we see a Yang’s yin.

Ok bad pun. Call me a weirdo if you want but I learned it on Wikipedia. :)

ps: Jeff said: “The Omega Glory” was an action-packed western at heart with a core of NAKED patriotism.”

99. John in Canada, eh? - July 7, 2008

Don’t want to knock the effects team on this one, but I have to say the composition of the original shot, with both the Enterprise and Exeter in orbit together, was far superior.
Although, I will give them a kudos for interpreting Kirk’s “Magnification Factor 3″ order a little more realistically: even though the Exeter is little more than a blur, it’s probably more reflective of a x3 increase on the viewer than the original shot.

100. Max - July 7, 2008

Slightly off topic, but if there’s anyone still looking for the Season One Remastered set, I found it’s available on amazon.ca for $54.95, which seems like a huge deal, especially since amazon.com is listing it at $103.95. Mine is on the way!

101. Engon - July 7, 2008

Forgive me if this is stating the obvious, but…

The title of this episode, “The Omega Glory,” is most probably not a reference to the Yangs victory over the Comms, or Kirk’s victory over Tracy, but instead is likely a reference to the U.S. flag – AKA “Old Glory.” Taking into account that the last shot dwells on the flag and that the Star and Stripes is probably obsolete in Kirk’s time, the flag seen here is literally presented as the “Last U.S. Flag” or “The Omega Glory.”

102. Kahless - July 7, 2008

Another Wiki tidbit:

“In the original script, Dr. Carter of the Exeter was to be actually shown dissolving onscreen.”

That would have been cool to see “remastered” – though most likely beyond the budget and mission of CBS Digital.

I echo the comments above about leaving the classic colorful planets alone – along with the composition of the two ships. Less is more.

103. BK613 - July 7, 2008

It’s interesting to note that the dialog of this episode strongly suggests Omega IV’s flag/constitution came first and therefore Earth is the parallel world lol

104. Kahless - July 7, 2008

Following up on the “Yang chick”, her name is Irene Kelly and Memory Alpha has the following info:

Kelly went on to guest-star on Mission: Impossible later that same year. In 1970, she appeared in the Western comedy film Dirty Dingus Magee with Paul Fix, and in 1972, she starred in the western horror movie Enter the Devil. Finally, in 1978, she appeared in the pilot movie for BJ and the Bear, as well as an episode of Quincy with Whit Bissell, Robert Ellenstein, Robert Ito, and Garry Walberg.

She has since retired from acting.

105. Andy Patterson - July 7, 2008

104

Ah Whit Bissell of another lesser guilty pleasure of mine…..”The Time Tunnel”. Talk about a bad show but it was a bonding tool for me and my Dad.

106. BK613 - July 7, 2008

106
And James Darren brings us full circle. eh?

107. Andy Patterson - July 7, 2008

Not exactly sure how you mean….maybe ’cause it’s late. . . he was good on the show. For what he had to do and say. Traveling back to ancient Rome and being able to speak English with the citizens…..silly but fun as a kid.

108. Andy Patterson - July 7, 2008

If you’re trying to relate my “Time Tunnel was a bad show” to Omega Glory….sorry I still won’t concede that. I love it and think it’s a lot fun.

109. Engon - July 8, 2008

It occurs to me that “The Omega Glory” is oddly similar to the film version of “The Planet of the Apes,” which was released only a month before this episode aired. You sort of have an “upside down” world, as described by Tracy, but more importantly you have a relatively primitive society living in the shadow of distant apocalypse. You also have a society mutated by the effects of that apocalypse. In addition, a “non-indigenous race” has taken the reins of civilization while the native population is regarded as “savage.”

Of course, you also have the surprise revelation at the end that the hero is actually in a post-apocalyptic “America.” That revelation is made by the appearance of an iconic American symbol.

One half expects Kirk to get down on his knees and cry out “D*mn, you all to Hell!”

Roddenberry’s script, though, may well predate the introduction of the Statue of Liberty into the “Apes” script and Pierre Boulle’s novel does not have quite the same kind of surprise ending.

110. BK613 - July 8, 2008

107
No more of a seven-degrees-of-kevin-bacon kind of comment: relating your comment back to trek.

As for speaking English with the Romans, that kind of conceit is still present in modern SF like Stargate SG1 and Atlantis.

111. Billy Bobby - July 8, 2008

83

Did you know that the U.S. Army spent 25,000 to investigate the possibility of transporters? Star Trek has proven to be right in many areas. Today we have cell phones, shots without needles (when I found out we had these I flipped out), medical panels that monitor all bodily functions, language translators on the Internet, GPS (gotta have transporter coordinates), Focused Ultrasound Surgery, and transparent aluminum armor (also being tested by the army). Although we are not even close to breaking the speed of light, we have greatly surpassed the speed of sound. All of these things seem more believable than a planet with our exact same constitution.

112. Steve - July 8, 2008

109 – One half expects Kirk to get down on his knees and cry out “D*mn, you all to Hell!”

That leads to an interesting supposition (if the script were rewritten) where its later revealed that the Exeter and Enterprise had passed through a tear in space into an alternate reality/timeline, which they later learn is earth, thousands of years after the great war. Of course that might have worked as a two-parter. Then Rod Serling would have probably sued Roddenberry .

Its still a fun episode – even with the extreme stretch of Hodgekin’s Law.

113. Rocky S. - July 9, 2008

#57 “Again you cannot have a planet that has no connection to Earth in any way come up with a copy of the Declaration of independence word for word pen stroke for pen stroke. ”

#69 “Sure you can. And they did.”

LOL!

Can you have a 20th-Century Rome, where they speak “Twentieth Century colloquial English.”? (So that they can communicate without their communicators’s universal translators).

But that’s a great episode! Can’t talk crap about that!

I think the difference is that the parallel was put out of the way quickly, in “Bread and Circuses”. Somehow, having it as the “point” of a seeming “twist ending” is distasteful. (It was for me, for many years).

I’ve always been uncomfortable with Roddenberry’s parallel development planets idea.

It was explicitly pitched as a cost-cutting measure – costumes, exterior sets, props. And also as a way to generate stories that the average viewer could relate to – and judging from the reactions of casual viewers, over the years, they tend to be favorites.

But it’s hard for us hard-headed sci-fi lovers to accept.

But, sure you can have it.

There are, of course, The Preservers. And the other classic explanation – mischievous beings like Tralane and Q.

And I imagine portions of “Hodgkin’s theory of parallel planetary evolution” might read like this:

“Given an infinite number of universes, one can regard coincidence as almost a force of nature. Such that we might reasonably expect so called “parallel universes”.”

“And given that parallel universes might exist, it is also reasonable to expect that at least one universe might have planets which are parallel in their development..”

But we might be more comfortable with physical phenomena. Some, from
the Neo-Treks, have potential. But you’d probably want to have something a little more refined to the purpose..

TNG “Parallels”. Worf keeps finding himself on parallel Enterprises. Eventually, a fissure opens up, and Enterprises from at least 285,000 quantum parallel (timeline branch) universes appear in the same region of space.

It might not be uncommon for parallel (timeline branches, or coincidence-parallel) universes to leak material into each other, with time & spatial offsets. There could be disruptive effects which could trigger geological changes.

ST:V “Deadlock” – a quantum frammazamma (I forget the technobabble) causes a duplicate Voyager to occupy the same physical space, but be out of phase, or whatever. (Not much point trying to follow Voyager technobabble. They took it a lot less seriously than TNG).

TNG “Remember Me”

Doc Crusher is trapped in a static warp bubble experiment. As The Traveler explains, it was a miniature reality which was shaped by Crusher’s own thoughts. Imagine a galactic historian, wandering into the physics lab at the wrong time… :-)

114. Andy Patterson - July 9, 2008

I’ll say this again…………coming from the guy, who as a kid totally bought Batman (I interviewed Adam West once for a children’s program – I think he was so used to people poking fun at the show over the years that he was surprised at how courteously and reverentially I treated him). . .I didn’t need a theoretical law or explanation for me to buy this episode either. It had all the elements of Trek I loved or craved for. Identical constitution or not.

115. Rocky S. - July 9, 2008

#112 How did I overlook your message?

Too bad they didn’t seem to think of that. Perhaps after “Mirror, Mirror”, they could’ve found various rifts, in nearby places, that would lead them to parallel Earths. Of course there wouldn’t be the surprise, but that could be disposed of.

It could be suggested with rift-like effects. Implying they followed the Exeter through something. (But after any dialog that would’ve explained it to us). I wouldn’t want to give them that level of retcon power, though.

116. Rocky S. - July 9, 2008

#114
Thumbs up. :)

Must’ve been typing while I was.

This is a great episode, in my mind. It has all the fun I could ask for, excellent performances, tight pacing, humor, and nifty surprises.

I Googled “E Plebmnista norcom forcom perfectumum” because about 3 decades ago, a girlfriend claimed it was Latin, and wondered why Spock didn’t notice…

I didn’t find a definitive answer. But it looks suspicious. Anyone?

Anyhow, In the process, I found a number of reviews, which like this one, said the ending was flag-waving. And thus suited to July 4th (too bad it had to be one day after).

Well, I liked this review, more than the others. Except for the negative parts, of course.

So, here’s my view…

I like, what I see, as it’s intended message. One particularly suited to July 4th. Patriotism, yes, but the kind that was (and is) often looked at as subversive.

Cloud William = far too many of my fellow Americans.

Kirk = Roddenberry

And that’s why it had to be exactly the US, and exactly the US Constitution.

It was his message to leaders and followers who believe that we can solve problems, by making exceptions to rights. Who think people should be treated differently according to race, belief, class, or whatever is popular.

Think about then. Descendents of Africans were sub-citizens in parts of the country. And seen as less-worthy by a huge swath of the entire country’s population. They were here, and had endured a bad history, because, at the beginning, rights didn’t apply to them. And, more than a century after freedom, many were still shorted on rights. The second-most shameful racism in our history (keep reading).

Hollywood was still licking its wounds after McCarthyism – people had been accused and brought before Congress, their careers destroyed because they disagreed with the structure or management of our system, or ventured into forbidden politics – they must be communist sympathizers!

“We must protect ourselves from the commies!” “We don’t need rights!”

Freedom of speech (protest, or just speech) was called unpatriotic, by many.

Now we have to protect ourselves from terrorists, we don’t need rights.

Freedom of speech has been called unpatriotic.

Persians and Arabs are suspect. And gays – well, if civil unions carried all the rights of marriage, then there wouldn’t have been that political football, two presidential elections in a row. There are weird disparities, and expectations, for each group, from society, employers, government, and beuraucratic catagories.

Changing to the next subject:

“Lily-white” “Blonde”. Ok, I know there’s a little exaggeration for humor and emphasis. :)

But I see a strong message against racism, and not just in Kirk’s words.

Yes the tribe, who brought in the sacred books was cacasian (although of a variety of skin tones, features, and hair colors, ahem).

Should we be surprised that they self-segregated, as groups did then, and now?

They were Roddenberry’s White Indians. (A concept he took to Genesis II and Planet Earth).

It was a jab at the most shameful bigotry in our country’s history. Most, in our country’s history, had looked down on the Indigenous Americans (both continents) as “savages”. At the time, it was still a popular view.

No coincidence, in the writing of the episode, that Tracey would also see them as unworthy barbaric aggressors…

And, oops, our heroes, and first time audience, see his point of view… until they figure out the other side of it.

The Americans were fighting for their land back. You know, the “savages”.

And changing the subject again:

Was there evidence of sexism, here? Not on the creators’s parts.

Cloud William’s mate didn’t “have much to do”. Well, they were primitives, one would expect some traditional roles.

But we didn’t see as much as you’d expect. He took her with him, into front-line battle.

She was right there, fighting Kirk, alongside him, even once after C.W pushed her away. When the fight carried itself away from her, she started to spectate. And only when Kirk started whomping on the greatest warriero they hade, did she gawk, and back away, as she realized how terrifying, this strange member of the firebox-wizards, was.

(Concessions had to be made to studio and network, but they did their best to keep it plausible).

And she didn’t hesitate to speak up with “Yes. It is written.”. There were husbands in the 60’s who would’ve glared at her for that.

The stunning Asian woman really was subservient. It was her job, for one thing. And one would’ve expected her culture to have reverted to an earlier set of rules, as well. (The Communist Chinese system was moving away from sexism, by the 60’s. But, after an apocalypse…). She noticed McCoy’s attraction, and reacted flirtatiously. One might read submissivness in part of her flirtation, as well. If so, it wouldn’t be surprising if she was raised to think that subservient gestures enhanced attractiveness.

“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…” ”

Slight nitpick:

“Ahhh. Good morning, Jim.” :)

(He’d worked through the night).

There is another way to interpret his underreaction.

It might indicate that was utterly unsurprised that Kirk and Spock escaped. :)

And one last thought (no, really!).

Did Kirk violate the Prime Directive?

Of all the times he is alleged to have, I would say yes. This time he did.

Why? Perhaps the same reason Tracey did…

Infection, and response to the immune factors, could have easily impaired brain functions. Specifically of restraint and judgement.

Or… Kirk knew that would be a plausible defense for the both of them.

Medical experts would offer it as a strong possibility, and no one could dispute it (no way to experiment).

Kirk would get to do something about the tragedy of the Yang’s lost heritage, save everyone’s life, avert a slaughter, and keep the insanity from wiping out the accomplishments in Tracey’s carrer.

Even if Tracey got out of a psychiatric penal colony, at some point, he would still be a social pariah.

So at least let people’s memory of what he was, before that, mean something. Not have his entire service record cancelled out by him betraying his oath.

117. Billy Bobby - July 9, 2008

96

What a cool name you have. Gene L. Coon made Star Trek great. He was like the Harve Bennett of the Star Trek movies. Even though Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, Gene Coon made it work and turned it into, IMHO, the best television show.

118. Andy Patterson - July 9, 2008

“Pity you can’t teach me that”

“I have tried Captain.”

119. Garth Of Izar - September 28, 2010

90. Dennis Bailey – July 7, 2008

“Bad episode. Bad.”

You think you can do a better job? For someone who worked on Starship Exeter(which was in this episode), you certainly are quick to judge.

120. Charybdis - October 2, 2010

All that aside, The Omega Glory was an interesting episode, despite the mixed views it has gotten over the years.

I certainly liked it.

121. Darrell McDaniel - November 14, 2010

This was also one of my favorite episodes as well. In today’s cynical age, any display of patriotism is considered “ridiculous” – so I discount most of this reflex hatred of this episode and particularly the ending since it really just reflects their embarrassment in the ideas that created the United States. In a short scene of Kirk dramatically reading the preamble to the Constitution, he delivers the essence of liberty as well as anything I’ve ever heard.

Shatner’s dramatic speech is considered overacting today. But it is a stirring delivery and I miss the ability of actors to give their all in conveying the important ideas that all of us should be taking to heart.

I would agree that an exact replica of the US Constitution on another planet is impossible, but this episode is about not forgetting the importance of liberty. So I didn’t mind a suspension of disbelief for this enjoyable episode.

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