Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 23

The Omega Glory

Aired Unknown Mar 01, 1968 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Enterprise investigates the disappearance of another starship and discovers a planet where the inhabitants are immortal...and engaged in a strange parallel of Earth's Cold War period.

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  • A renegade Captain's interference with a primitive society on an alien planet leads to Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock becoming involved with the planet's cold war.

    Roddenberry throws just about everything but the kitchen sink into this story, bogging the episode down with stray details and losing the main point in the process. It's a prime directive story, a fountain of youth story, a civil war story, and an American story all rolled into one. (And if that's not enough, the episode even throws in some faulty science, with McCoy claiming that humans are 96% water. While a popular legend, the truth is the percentage fluctuates between 50% to

    A planet based story anchored by backlot location shooting, "Omega" is an oddball offering. With Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, it features the right characters. It has a nice guest star performance from Morgan Woodward as another Starfleet captain. There's even some excitement in the first few acts as Kirk fights... well, just about everyone but Spock and Bones. Yet, the story just feels off, like the story writer had one idea and the teleplay writer took it somewhere else. (And that's all the more odd for the whole thing being written solely by the show's creator). It seems like the story is about a lost colony with roots in America that still worships the Constitution but doesn't understand what it means... a nice allegory for the modern day phenomenon of celebrating the Founding Fathers and their documents but not heeding their words or understanding that their rights apply to everyone. But the colony doesn't have roots in America... or Earth, and so not only does it make no sense that they would have American artifacts, but it makes no sense for the colony to worship them. If a culture doesn't understand a document to begin with, why would it mean anything? For an episode overloaded with too many elements, it's baffling that it would leave out the most important bit. It's as if the episode is working it's way up to a Planet of the Apes or "Twilight Zone"-like twist to allow everything to fall into place, but then it runs out of time.

    Interestingly, NBC had been trying to bury this story since Roddenberry first proposed it as a pilot for the series; yet Gene not only eventually pushed it through, he personally submitted his finished script for consideration for an Emmy. (It was rejected).

    Unfortunately, the poor script is just the start of the problems... former Canadian football player Roy Jensen and rookie actress Irene Kelly are wooden and uninspiring as the "American" prisoners and drag the material down further. (It doesn't help that Roddenberry gives Kelly little to do but stand around and look pretty. The character's inclusion is puzzling until the last act, when you realize Roddenberry has her in this for just one If that's not enough, director Vincent McEveety, gives most of the scenes a lethargic pace to ensure insomniacs watching Star Trek at three in the morning finally get the rest they need.

    Star Trek would return to the "fountain of youth" idea in TNG's second feature film, Insurrection. Meanwhile, "The Omega Glory" is never mentioned or referenced in Star Trek ever again. (In fact, the redshirt who dies near the beginning returns in "Turnabout Intruder", so maybe this one is all just a bad dream).

    Remastered: Replacing the original's recycled footage from "Mirror, Mirror", the upgraded version gives us a more Earth-like planet and more fluid, dynamic shots of the ships. Unfortunately, CBS Digital doesn't touch up a phaser shot next to Spock that Nimoy treats like an explosion, though the piece of equipment it hits simply vaporizes. A few added sparks to explain how it injures Spock would have been nice.

  • mixed messages, confused plot, requires WAY to much suspension of disbelief

    The episode is supposed to be about a parallel world where communism triumphed in the "cold" war.

    In the intial set up - we're told the cities are peaceful places surrounded by warringsavages.

    Yet as soon as the parallel is revealed and the "savages" are shown to be quasi-Americans, we're supposed to rejoice that the warlike clan has taken over the peaceful cities? As soon as they (completely unrealistically) whip out their tattered American flag, recite the pledge and the Declaration of Independence it's the best solution? (and as others have said it simply was too much of a stretch to believe - and I'm willing to suspend disbelief pretty far for a sci-fi show).

    As others have pointed out, they've already done the "just like earth" (20's Chicago & Nazis) episodes and they've done the someone violating the Prime DIrective a couple of times. They should have stuck with the disease/immunization and quest for "fountain of youth" angle and dropped the political analogy.

    I have to agree that this was one of the worst of the episodes (maybe a tie for the episode where Uhura is raped & they're sold as slaves)... though at least in this episode we didn't have to watch Kirk make out with more alien 'babes'....

  • The third of the parallel world clunkers ...

    As if "Piece of the Action" and "Patterns of Force" weren't bad enough, here we have an episode that asks us to believe a savage planet on the other side of the galaxy with no contact with Earth could independently evolve a Declaration of Independence ... and Kirk uses this realisation to recite the familar words (would they be as familiar to Kirk in the 23rd Century, when presumably the USA no longer exists?) and prove to the Aliens that he is One of Them ...

    It really does stretch the audience's Suspension of Disbelief to the absolute limit.

    Pretty terrible, really.moreless
  • The worst Star Trek episode ever… "Bottom of the barrel" is probably to good a classification...

    If ever want to refer to a bad Star Trek episode, in all the different series (and that is well over 500 episodes), this would be the one to mention.

    It is incredible how, a series that was so influential in Sci-fi history and that personally I like, can have an episode as bad as this one.

    The reason it is this bad has all to do with the plot / story. As a lover of science-fiction in general, I can understand strange and unlikely stories, like time travel, parallel universes, etc.. Not that they exist or could exist (maybe they, maybe they do not), but in this type of episodes the stories are fun and we can follow it. However, now we come to ” The Omega Glory”. A history was about replicating a possible outcome to the America versus the communism fight. The Yang (=Yankees= Americans) have lost a war against the communism and have to fight back to get it back. The problem is not this concept, it is that the parts have names similar to the original and the Yang have the same constitution, declaration of independence and flag. Exactly the same… in a planet light-years way, with no previous contact. Come on. How can believe it? Can you be more egocentric? It is not possible…

    Luckily, this is the worst episode and there are not any other this bad. Some better, or not quite as good, but none that is quite this bad…moreless
  • The Enterprise finds the crew of the USS Exeter wiped out by an unknown plague, and its only survivor on a planet on which the inhabitants are seemingly immortal, and engaged in a Cold War-like conflict. One of my lesser favourite episodes...moreless

    As my reviews for other episodes around the period of this one probably reflect, I try to find good in even the weaker stories. But in the case of "The Omega Glory" ... this one just didn't work for me, for various reasons.

    I wasn't keen that the interior of the USS Exeter looked *exactly* the same as the Enterprise (in an obvious recycling of the Enterprise set) – I would have liked to have seen a different colour scheme, or at very least a couple of details changed. Obviously this was down to budget and time restrictions, but it didn't exactly get the episode off to a good start for me.

    The whole 'parallel Cold War' plot also seemed a bit lazy. Bearing in mind that this episode comes close behind "A Piece of the Action" and "Patterns of Force", both of which deal with parallels to Earth time periods, by now – and so close together – the whole concept felt very weak and over-coincidental.

    There were some moments and elements that could maybe have been good – the fight sequences, for example, aren't bad, and William Shatner and Morgan Woodward seemed to do most of their own stunts – but for some reason, this whole episode just didn't go down that well with me at all.

    Ordinarily I prefer planet-based episodes such as this compared to ship-bound stories, but not with this one.

    Maybe I missed something (I confess to my attention wandering a bit later on, due to not really enjoying the episode), but the whole parallel-to-America, flag and Pledge of Allegiance and all, didn't seem fully explained, and far too coincidental. The final act, complete with Kirk's obligatory 'speech of the week', also seemed a bit too preachy for my liking.

    Then there was Spock's telepathic thing with the woman that he did simply with his eyes – where did that come from? Did I miss something? As far as I know, this was never used again in the series, and rightly so.

    This story was one of several considered as the 'second pilot' to the series. I'm glad they went with "Where No Man Has Gone Before" instead!

    All-in-all... not one of my favourites. For the reasons listed above, and for some things that I just can't quite put my finger on. This one just doesn't feel right.moreless
William Shatner

William Shatner

Captain James Tiberius Kirk

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Mr. Spock

DeForest Kelley

DeForest Kelley

Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

Morgan Woodward

Morgan Woodward

Capt. Ronald Tracey

Guest Star

Roy Jenson

Roy Jenson

Cloud William

Guest Star

Irene Kelly

Irene Kelly


Guest Star

Paul Baxley

Paul Baxley

Capt. Kirk's Stunt Double (uncredited)

Recurring Role

Eddie Paskey

Eddie Paskey

Lt. Leslie (uncredited)

Recurring Role

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • During the final meeting of the Yangs with the flag and all, people in the background are speaking Chinese although there are no Comms present.

    • Cloud William opens the Bible nowhere near the bookmark, but the bookmark is at the opened spot in the close-ups. When he closes it the bookmarks moves to a different spot again.

    • After they enter with the flag and Kirk stands, at least three subsequent close-ups still have him sitting. Finally they catch up and the close-ups show him standing.

    • When Kirk and the landing party beamed about the Exeter's engineering section, when Kirk was speaking on the ship-wide intercom, on the screen, empty rooms were showed and even the engineering section was shown empty, but Kirk and the landing party were in the engineering section.

    • Cloud William slams Kirk - really hard - with a solid iron bar. Yet the captain has nothing more then a minor headache - the whole side of his skull should be shattered!

    • Cloud William says they'll uphold the words of the Constitution. But...they don't know what it means. "E Pleb Neesta" has no meaning to them. Is the Federation going to teach them what the Constitution means, breaking the Prime Directive?

    • Just before the Yangs enter with the flag, Kirk's hair is parted on the wrong side because of the director flipping the shot.

  • QUOTES (9)

  • NOTES (5)

    • Morgan Woodward (Capt. Ronald Tracey) previously appeared in a season 1 episode "Dagger of the Mind" as a different character.

    • According to Roy Jenson (Cloud William), while filming this episode, his young son had accidentally swallowed a key to one of his toys. The boy was hospitalized to allow the doctors to determine whether he could pass the key naturally or would require surgery to have it removed. So when not on the set shooting his scenes, Jenson was at the hospital rehearsing his lines with his wife and monitoring his son's condition.

    • This episode was one of three (including "Mudd's Women" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before") considered for use as the show's "2nd pilot". "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was eventually selected as the one to go into production and "Mudd's Women" soon followed. The script for "The Omega Glory" was shelved and later resurrected, rewritten, and rejected twice more before it was finally filmed and aired.

    • Desilu No: 5149-54.

    • An announcement by NBC that Star Trek has been renewed for a third season by the network was transmitted over the end credits of this episode.