Director: Vincent McEveety
Writer: Gene Roddenberry
Cast: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Morgan Woodward, Roy Jensen, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Irene Kelly, Morgan Farley, David L. Ross, Lloyd Kino, Ed McCready, and Frank Atienza
Composer: None (Stock Music)
Air Date: 3/1/1968
Production #: 60354
After discovering the derelict starship Exeter in orbit around Omega IV, Kirk travels with McCoy and Spock to the planet’s surface. Once there, the captain and his officers are greeted by a deranged Captain Tracey (Morgan Woodward), who now lives alongside a tribe of Asiatic humanoids known as Kohms. Upon being confined to a jail cell with Cloud William (Roy Jensen), the leader of an opposing tribe called Yangs, Kirk decides to help his new friends dispel the mystery surrounding a timeless holy document and its contents, which contain a surprisingly familiar code of instructions.
A patriotic episode, “The Omega Glory” will appeal to Star Trek fans with its overt but effective Cold War commentary. Many viewers may likewise appreciate Gene Roddenberry’s message on coming to terms with mortality, lest a fear of death prevent one from pursuing a noble path in life.
Similar to his character of Simon Van Gelder from season one’s “Dagger of the Mind,” Morgan Woodward portrayed Captain Tracey as a man driven to insanity by unbearable suffering. An insatiable desire for immortality is another factor that contributes to Tracey’s irrational mental state, which makes sense when considering the psychological toll that the loss of an entire crew would take on a once responsible starship captain. By internalizing the above motivations while leading the Kohms in their quest against the Yangs, Tracey presents himself as a convincing and formidable antagonist to Captain Kirk (that being said, one may question why an individual of such unstable temperament was allowed to command a starship in the first place).
(Spoilers beyond this point)
In contrast to “Patterns of Force,” “The Omega Glory” makes no attempt to justify how a parallel Earth society, this time consisting of Yangs (Yankees) and Kohms (Communists), could arise without external interference.
While “The Omega Glory” leaves much to be desired in the way of subtlety, a poignant conclusion draws certain parallels between Roddenberry’s humanist vision and the principles in which the Founding Fathers of the United States so fervently believed.
“The Omega Glory” is an underrated, if not terribly profound, Star Trek episode. Although a more nuanced exploration of the “holy words” contained in the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Pledge of Allegiance would have been commendable, audiences may nonetheless admire Roddenberry’s central thesis for its inspiring qualities.
Overall Quality: 7/10
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