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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 27, Episodes 53 & 54: The Ultimate Computer/ The Omega Glory (1966)

William Shatner , Leonard Nimoy  |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 27, Episodes 53 & 54: The Ultimate Computer/ The Omega Glory + Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 35 - Episodes 69 & 70: That Which Survives/ Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: CBS Paramount International Television
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 4050 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005J6RE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,506 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 27, Episodes 53 & 54: The Ultimate Computer/ The Omega Glory" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"The Ultimate Computer," Ep. 53 - Kirk stands by helplessly as his ship is used to test an advanced computer that turns out to be as flawed as its inventor. "The Omega Glory," Ep. 54 - Kirk and crew encounter a ghost ship, a madman captain, a deadly virus and 1,000-year-old natives on planet Omega IV.

"The Ultimate Computer"
Kirk reluctantly agrees to play along with a Federation test of a new supercomputer, designed by the brilliant Dr. Daystrom (William Marshall, the booming baritone stage actor most famous for Blacula) to run a starship almost single-handedly. It does its job too well, locking the human crew out of ship operations and using deadly force during the Federation war games. Spock and McCoy continue their now-legendary banter about man versus machine while Kirk muses over the obsolescence of his own command. Marshall is excellent as a former-boy-wonder genius banking his reputation on this breakthrough, treating his creation like a son. That's not too far from the truth: designed after his brain pattern, this thinking, reasoning, learning machine carries with it the insecurities and desperation of its creator. The fears of the emerging digital revolution explored in The Ultimate Computer in 1968 remain today: what is the fate of man in the face of technological efficiency? Films from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Colossus: The Forbin Project to Demon Seed and The Matrix have echoed these themes, and this Trek episode--primitive special effects, zero-budget sets, and all--stands up to them quite nicely. --Sean Axmaker

"The Omega Glory"
What is it with Starfleet captains? So many of them become wildly grandiose. Witness "The Omega Glory," in which another starship commander, Ronald Tracey (Morgan Woodward), tramples the Prime Directive by interfering in a long-running conflict between primitive societies, in this case the Yangs and Kohms of planet Omega IV. Siding with the Kohms, Tracey creates an imbalance of power that Kirk works to adjust by arming the Yangs proportionately. The script by series creator Gene Roddenberry is one of his not-so-subtle allegories for the state of the world in the 1960s, specifically our own cold war between nuclear superpowers. So bluntly drawn is Roddenberry's parallel between Omega IV and 20th-century Earth that this is one of the few Star Trek episodes that risks becoming completely absurd after a point. William Shatner (Captain Kirk) takes the biggest risk of all with a passionate, lengthy speech of the sort pranksters like comic actor Kevin Dunn are wont to imitate today. But the fact is that Shatner pulls off such chancy material very well, and certainly does so here. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Themes August 1, 2001
Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek on DVD continues with this installment of episodes from the end of the series' second season.
Over thirty years after it was first aired, The Ultimate Computer remains a thought provoking and relevant episode. The theme of man vs. machine is more with us today than ever before. D. C. Fontata's excellent script is helped by superior television directing from John Meredyth Lucas. The distinguished stage actor William Marshall's performance as Dr. Richard Daystrom is rich in foreshadowing the high-strung scientist's impending breakdown. (Primarily based on the strength of that performance, nearly every Trek incarnation since has referenced Richard Daystrom, and in The Next Generation, there's even a Daystrom Institute.) Barry Russo makes a brief but noteworthy appearance as Commodore Robert Wesley (Wesley was Gene Roddenberry's middle name). Finally, James Doohan outdoes himself by playing THREE roles here: Scotty (of course), the voice of Commodore Enwright, and the voice of the M-5 Computer.
The Omega Glory was one of three scripts written for the second Trek pilot, following NBC's rejection of The Cage (the other two were Mudd's Women and Where No Man Has Gone Before). Though this was the first script written making use of the parallel worlds concept, by the time it was filmed, the idea had been used so many times before (Miri, Bread & Circuses, Patterns of Force) that it was becoming stale. As in Patterns of Force, the parallels are so obviously drawn that they're not convincing.
There are a few clever visual touches here: In The Ultimate Computer, four Constitution Class starships are shown by creating a split screen effect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good if you get it right October 4, 2001
Verified Purchase
It seems like quality control has waivered as the series releases have slowly rolled out. Look for spelling errors in the enclosed documentation. I even received the wrong insert in one of the volumes I ordered (Vol.29) Sound and video is just as good as watching it on TV (4:3 ratio, stereo sound.)
If your not expecting bells and whistles, as might be expected, you will be disappointed. However, if you just want to collect Trek, you will be pleased.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another look at classic Star Trek themes. July 13, 2001
If there is to be any criticism of the DVD itself, or any in this series, it is that Paramount missed a great opportunity to load these episodes with some great features such as cast commentary. Nothing would be better than to listen to Shatner and Nimoy reminisce as to the particulars of any given episode in an audio commentary. Sadly, you'll have to buy their books for those insights. They do include the trailer for "next weeks" episode which is fun. "The Ultimate Computer" provides a predictable warning as to the dangers of technology, and the message is not dated in today's world view. More interesting is the effect this loss of power has on Captain Kirk. The loss of command is a recurrent theme in the original series. Check out "The Deadly Years," "The Naked Time" or "This Side of Paradise." In these episodes, Kirk's passion for the Enterprise is clearly established. Another interesting theme is that of the renegade captain, subject of "The Omega Glory." In the tradition of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" a captain finds himself alienated from civilization and "goes native" setting himself up as lord over the inhabitants. Check out "Bread and Circuses" or "Patterns of Force." The source of conflict, or drama, is provided when Captain Kirk is forced to confront what is essentially a darker version of himself. He knows his enemy, and his enemy, a former friend has the same training Kirk does. Remember, there were only twelve constellation class starships in the fleet, so these captains are at the top of their game. This senario is more directly explored in "The Enemy Within" where Kirk must literally battle his dark side. All said, these are two very strong classics in one package.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guts & Glory October 2, 2002
"The Ultimate Computer" is a typical Trek story of Kirk vs. the computer..Guess who wins? James Doohan (Scotty) does the voice of M-5.
"The Omega Glory" puts the crew on a "parallel Earth" in which the "Yangs" are servants to the "Comms". It is later revealed that the "Comms" are "Communists' & the "Yangs" are "Yankees". This episode contains many surprises after this....despite how incredible and far fetched they may be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "this unit must survive" February 6, 2007
In 'The Ultimate Computer' mathematics genius Dr Daystrom (William Marshall) installs a new supercomputer, the M-5, aboard the Enterprise. It can run a starship better than humans, and it's to be tested in war games against four other federation ships. Daystrom is such a genius even Spock can only be of small help to him. McCoy says to Spock, "This is what you'd like isn't it Spock?", "you'd prefer a ship run by computer". Spock replies, "I don't find it preferable" in understatement.

When the war games begin, not only does the Enterprise react faster than the other ships, but the M-5 has shields and weapons set to maximum. The M-5 has malfunctioned. It's taken complete control of the Enterprise and doesn't see this as a game. The enterprise destroys one starship and heavily damages one or two of the others.

Dr Daystrom, - "lecturing to fools, who don't even begin to understand my systems; lessor minds and competitors, building, on my work" - a mad genius it turns out, whose own 'brain engrams' have been used in the creation of the computer, tries to talk the M-5 into disconnecting itself. The talk almost sounds as if it is a man in conversation with his child or even with himself, "this unit must survive", M-5 insists.

Kirk asks M-5 to scan the starship Excelsior and Hood. The M-5 reports there are no life-signs aboard. 'You have murdered', Kirk proclaims, and both the M-5 and Dr Daystrom have a mini-breakdown giving the crew a chance to disconnect the faulty computer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek review
It's Star Trek, what else needs to be said. It's one of my favorites. There are two shows on each disc.
Published 8 months ago by Saturday mechanic
5.0 out of 5 stars Great episodes!
The DVD arrived quickly and was absolutely new. It was still shrink wrapped and it played great on my player despite the fact that
these DVD's were first manufactured back in... Read more
Published 18 months ago by David Viglione
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Price Good Quality
This item was used, but I didn't see any signs of that. There were no scratches on the DVD and it played just fine. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Peter
3.0 out of 5 stars One Really Good Episode and One Really Ridiculous One!
If you are deciding which volumes to keep, this one only just falls under the "nice to have but dispensable" category which is a pity because the first episode, "The Ultimate... Read more
Published on December 16, 2006 by Frederick Baptist
4.0 out of 5 stars Still fun to watch
Even though the original "Trek" is showing its age and the effects weren't digital. I think they are still fun to watch. Read more
Published on November 10, 2006 by Tom A. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you wonder how Trek wou;d've looked w/Ron Tracy in command.
These two episodes share the theme of great genius gone wrong. In "Computer", Kirk struggles to free the Enterprise from the grip of a computer that's become self-aware. Read more
Published on August 12, 2005 by Rottenberg's rotten book review
5.0 out of 5 stars Technology run completely amok..........
The Ultimate Computer

Approaching a Starfleet space station, the Enterprise receives orders to test a new computer system. Read more
Published on March 11, 2005 by Cseeley6
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good TREK
These are two OK episodes. To me they are notable for the following:

Ultimate Computer -- Kirk's "all I ask is a tall ship" speech gives me goosebumps every time. Read more
Published on October 6, 2004 by Greg Vincent
3.0 out of 5 stars Another parallel-development world & another killer computer
Not the very best episodes among the original series offerings; they're weighed down a bit by, respectively, too much heavy allegory ("The Omega Glory") and excess... Read more
Published on December 13, 2002 by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars WE'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE!!!
Volume 27 of The Star Trek DVD series contains two of the second season's typical plots. Both episodes are watchable and entertaining However neither of these episodes are not the... Read more
Published on November 6, 2002 by Jared Insell
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