A dead crew, a missing Captain and a mystery to be solved. Originally broadcast on March 1, 1968 this is The Omega Glory.
Captain’s Log Undetermined.
After discovering the USS Exeter adrift with the entire crew dead. Kirk and find that they have been exposed to an unknown virus and must go to the planet to find the Exeter’s Captain to determine what is going on. They soon find Captain Tracey in charge of the culture on the planet in clear violation of the Prime Directive, and is in the middle of a war between the Yangs and the Kohms.
Soon Kirk and his away team discover that the planet’s environment has some sort of super-immunity effect on people allowing anyone to live over 1000 years and never get ill. However, if they leave, they will die very quickly as their body now depends on the planet’s environment. Captain Tracey wants to use Enterprise to crack the code as to why this is and possibly profit on it in the process but Kirk refuses causing Tracey see Kirk as an enemy.
McCoy soon discovers that the environment will not have a long lasting effect on anyone not from this planet, and he discovers that anyone not on the planet for long can still leave without illness. Tracey is adamant that they can extract the key to essential immortality from these people and escape with his life.
In an unexpected twist it is soon discovered that this planet is really a parallels Earth and the Yangs and Kohms are actually the Yankees and the Communists with even a United States Flag showing how similar they once were. Tracy challenges Kirk to a fight when Spock is identified as a servant of ‘ the evil one’ and, after Kirk winds, they discover that the people there now believe Kirk is one of ‘God’s’ Servants and had been sent there to allow the Yangs to win. In the end the Yangs read the US Constitution and agree to follow it’s ‘holy words’.
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
Ok, this episode was a real slog to get through and the twist was something of a Planet of the Apes copout that really didn’t need to happen. Seriously? Yet another ‘Parallel Earth’ situation? I mean, how many planets are we going to run across that just happens to either be another Earth or have elements from Earth’s past? By this point in the season, I can sort of see why the network had originally cancelled the series because it was going down hill fast! In fact, it felt like they just kept trying to find ways to bring up their new toy ‘The Prime Directive’ in every way they could even when the story’s didn’t quite work.
To me, The Omega Glory is an example of the Original Series on a serious downslide. While this is certainly not the worst episode in the series, I would say it is the worst of this season. It’s bad and besides the blatant propaganda side of the story ‘Yankees vs Communists? really?’ Can we be any more obvious here? Sure, it was the 60’s and there was a very prevalent anti-communist movement going on, but this, this feels so very forced. There is even a point where Kirk begins to recite the US Pledge of Allegiance which, in continuity, makes ZERO sense. It had been well established that Earth no longer had separate country’s and was under a single unifying government. This was a key factor to becoming a planet that could become part of the interstellar community. So how does Kirk, who has never shown himself to be a student of US History, let alone Earth’s History of the 21st century, know these words almost by heart? Then, he not only shows a deep connection to the US constitution but also a deep reverence toward the US flag itself. None of this makes any sense at all in the context of the series and only serves to be nothing more than a studio’s attempt at heavy handed propaganda at the expense of a quality tv series.
Then, there is a MASSIVE plot hole that is never explained. Why did the crew of the Exeter die again? Apparently the away team got sick because they were on the planet for too long but Kirk and team could leave with no concern because they weren’t there for too long. So, why would the crew who didn’t go down get infected by crew who stayed too long? This really makes no sense as they should not have had much if any reaction seeing that they were barely exposed. Plus it implies that the Enterprise just leaves the Exeter floating around the planet with nothing but piles of salt crystals in the place of the crew. ugh.
Not only all of that but it really felt like the cast were not even really trying for most of the episode. The pacing, the acting and even the dialogue delivery all feel like they were just trying to get through it so they could go home. Sadly, there is zero energy among the cast and that lack of energy only serves to make this almost torture to watch.
Overall, this is a terrible episode that really should have been developed a little more. It’s rough and not in a good way. Avoid the Omega Glory, it’s not worth your time.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- It is worth noting that Captain Tracey can be seen wearing a different logo on his uniform. At one point it was considered that each ship had their own logo with the ‘Delta’ symbol belonging to the Enterprise. This was later retconned out of continuity.
- We learn that Vulcan’s don’t have a traditional heart beat.
- We never find out what happened to the People of Omega IV, despite being a parallel planet to Earth itself. You’d think that would be something someone would revisit at some point….but no, instead we get a ghost western…oh wait that’s season three.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Assignment: Earth
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Late To The Game 4/4/2022
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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