Customer Reviews: Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 54: The Omega Glory [VHS]
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on October 25, 1999
The U.S.S. Enterprise finds a crewless starship, the U.S.S. Exeter, in orbit around the planet Omega IV. The boarding party from the U.S.S. Enterprise contracts a virus that may have killed the Exeter's crew, but the biosphere on Omega IV is found to contain an immunity. The party is beamed to the surface. There they discover Captain Tracey, the commander of the U.S.S. Exeter. He has been violating the Federation's Prime Directive by interfering in the politics of the natives, using his phaser to protect the Oriental villagers, the Kohms, against the barbarian raiders, the Yangs. Tracey demands that Kirk supply him with more phasers, which Kirk refuses to do. The Yangs capture the Kohms village and the U.S.S. Enterprise crew learns that these people are possibly descendants of Earth's Communist Chinese who left Earth in the last years of the 20th Century. The Yangs mouth a distorted version of the United States Constitution, which are their 'holy words' and which Kirk recites, gaining their confidence. Prolonged exposure to the planet's atmosphere cures the landing party and, with Captain Tracey under arrest, they return to the U.S.S. Enterprise.
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on July 5, 2005
I really like this episode, as goofy as it gets in places. I interpreted it in rather a different way than some of the reviewers here, I suspect.

Rather than this being a jingoist, Pro-American episode, I saw it as a commentary on how people can lose sight of their own ideals. When Kirk sees the battered copy of the Constitution, he points out the words within " ... must apply to ALL people, or they become meaningless!" I see this episode as another example of Roddenberry's hope for a peaceful, unified future where basic human rights are commonplace, and applied to all people, not just a lucky few.

Roddenberry was certainly an idealist, which I think you have to keep in mind when watching episodes like this.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2004
This was always my favorite episode of the original series. The idea of generation after generation of Americans fighting to take back their country from Chinese invaders after nuclear war still gives me the chills. Driven out upon the plains and into the mountains they adopt the ways of the Native Americans and take back their country one city at a time- with nothing but bravery and unshakable resolve. Even the phasers provided to the Kohms (Communists) by the renegade captain of the U.S.S. Exeter cannot stop the Yangs (Yanks.) Frankly, I can't see how this could be viewed in anything but heroic terms. It isn't always winning that makes a nation great- it is never giving up, never forgetting your identity even after overwelming disaster. What was once ours is ours again; it shall never be taken from us again!
The reaction when Kirk sees that tattered flag almost makes you forget that he is a Canadian....
One other thing, this episode is not just about extreme American patriotism. I remember the general atmosphere of 1968 when this was originally aired. Roddenberry was trying to get Americans to put themselves in the place of the Vietnamese. He wanted Americans to imagine what it would be like to have our own country invaded and occupied by an outside power- and how we would never just give up and accept it. Roddenberry was trying to tell us that it was insane to think that an outside invader can ever win the "hearts and minds" of a people who deeply love their country and their culture. Apparently we still haven't figured that out.
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on January 23, 2001
Gene Roddenberry's 'The Omega Glory' has many things to recommend it and an interesting premise, though the episode's distinct "Americanization" ending almost sinks the whole affiar. It is fun to watch as Kirk and crew investigate Captain Tracy's ship with his crystallized crew. Also the fight sequences are entertaining. These elements are what Star Trek is all about. But it is Morgan Woodward's over-the-top performance as Captain Tracy that breathes life into this story. Mr. Woodward epitomizes the acting style of the 60s in his famous line reading: "We killed THOUSANDS and they still came!" You can just hear him saying it with sweat pouring down his face and eyes bulging. That moment alone makes this episode worth another look! Here is a very dramatic episode, some may argue that it over dramatic, with an interesting Prime Directive problem to resolve. Just close your eyes for the final three minutes. You'd do better to hear the Preamble from Schoolhouse Rock.
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on June 18, 1999
This is one of my favorites episodes. It provides a excellant study of study of patriotic extremes and excesses and greed.
As an American though, I must admit that the scene where Kirk looks back at the ragged flag as they're getting ready to leave the planet brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat. Those from other countries may not feel these way, but it's still an excellant episode.
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on June 15, 2007
First, the bad news. This is another one of those parallel-evolution stories that supposes the existence of an Earth PRECISELY like our own except for one critical difference. In this case, Yankees (Yangs) and Chinese Communists (Coms) went ahead with biological warfare in the 1990s and destroyed each other, leaving only tribal civilization. An enormous suspension of disbelief is required for this parallel-evolution premise.

Further, the resolution comes down to Kirk inspiring villagers to peace and freedom by quoting the U. S. Constitution at them. It's as goofy as it sounds. But the Constitution is primarily a blueprint for the complex machinery of the federal government and not too useful to the tribal civilization on this planet. A better choice might have been the Declaration of Independence.

Now, the good news: there are some very eerie moments, among the most deliciously creepy and dramatic in the entire series: the teaser, the fight between Kirk and renegade starship Capt. Tracey (Cool Hand Luke's Morgan Woodward) interrupted by an ominous drum beat that grows ever louder; Capt. Tracey standing in the doorway looking like death warmed over ("...and STILL they kept coming!"); even the appearence of the American flag.

Notable, also, is what Roddenberry tried to do with the ending. The point of Kirk's quoting the Pledge of Allegiance, Constitution, etc. is not pro-American propaganda. Significantly, the Asiatic "Coms" (Communists as it turns out) appear to be the GOOD villagers for most of the episode, a beautiful ironic twist; meanwhile the blonde, white-skinned tribesmen (Yangs) act out the roles usually relegated to inarticulate Mongol hordes. ("And STILL they kept coming!") But the point of the episode is that the "holy words" -- liberty, freedom -- must apply to everyone or they mean nothing. A worthwhile sentiment in these post-911 times. It almost puts a lump in my throat.

If only Kirk could quote Benjamin Franklin, saying that those who give up liberty to achieve a little more security deserve neither.
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on April 9, 2002
This one has a primative culture that is embracing our current constitutional rights in the U.S.A. Sure, it's hokey and simplistic by today's TV standards. It shows yet another Starfleet Commander went awol.... and creates his twisted culture based on primative ones ceturies ago. I am sure someone must of had a script where the crew of the Enterprise sees Ben Franklin or the cave man era...there must have been a few of those on the slush pile of unproduced episodes back then.
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on October 14, 1999
One of my Top 25 Star Treks. This episode was originally considered for the second pilot episode. Captain Tracy steals the show!
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on July 31, 2013
this episode was okay, just an ancient tribe or civilliztion who leaned our pledge of allegiance and saluting our united states flag.
john marco
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on September 24, 2005
Well, sometimes things don't live up to your memories. I was a wide-eyed six year old at my babysitter's house when this episode came on the air. Even though I as much too young to understand, I just got shivers all up and down my spine when Jim Kirk shouted "WE . . . THE PEOPLE!" That was all I remembered for thirty years, till AMAZON gave me the chance to recapture that memory. And at a great price!

Unfortunately . . . uh, this episode bites the weenie. It's not so much the yellow vs. white racial overtones, it's the fact that our boys spend most of their time locked up. And there's no love interest for Kirk. (But a good hypnosis scene for Spock.) And the white "Indians" look like weak, drowsy hippies, not ruthless warriors. And the fight scenes are lame and slow.

Oh, and the basic premise is unbelievably stupid -- a Star Ship Cruiser went missing SIX MONTHS AGO and nobody noticed till now? Uh, wouldn't they be expected to check in? Now and then?

But say, when I bought REQUIEM FOR METHUSALEH, it was everything I remembered and more. Think I'll go review that one next!
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