"Star Trek, Vol. 27: Ulitimate Computer & Omega Glory (Full Screen)" [Import]
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"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
Top Customer Reviews
It should be noted that this is one of the most prominent roles played by an African-American on Star Trek TOS. While one is initially frustrated by the character's fate, further reflection suggests a lack of prejudice in this episode. Rather than walk on eggshells, the brain trust gave him the same fate (collapse of some sort) that (almost) always befell all Federation elite. (3 stars)
The Omega Glory-This patriotic episode, in which the Yangs (American whites) are oppressed by the Colms (Communist Asians), is a real stinker, no matter what your political philosophy. The Roddenberry-written episode starts strongly enough with an intriguing and disquieting teaser, but despite plenty of action it's a downhill ride once we reach the planet's surface. I can see the appeal of the 'what-if' stories; they allow us to imagine other possible historical trajectories on earth, and they are cheap to make. But the second season really overloaded us with them. Worse, this episode is in my opinion totally biased, presenting Asians as savages and Americans as heroic. A more measured approach with some heterogeneity would have been nice; on the other hand it wouldn't have made for as viscerally-gripping an episode.Read more ›
THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:
Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: The Series' Umpteenth "Man-Versus-Machine" Scenario
Historical Milestone: The first and only time the term 'Captain Dunsel' (defined as 'a component that serves no useful purpose') is brought up on the show.
Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: One dead
If you're familiar with the episodes 'Nomad' and 'Return of the Archons', you'll probably feel a sense of déjà vu while watching 'The Ultimate Computer'. Once again, a computer goes haywire (in this case, one that's been installed & patched into the Enterprise's systems, in preparation for ship-to-ship battle simulations), and it's up to the resourcefulness of our gallant crew to save the day once again. As expected, Kirk manages to talk the computer 'to death', but not before he shares his feelings of self-doubt, fear of losing his job to a machine, and a stiff drink with the always-sympathetic Doctor McCoy. Nothin' like a nip of the hooch with your chief medical officer to get yourself back on track, I always say...
THE OMEGA GLORY © PRELIMINARY BRIEFS:
Moral, Ethical, and/or Philosophical Subject(s) Driven Into The Ground: Allegory of the Cold War; The true meaning of freedom and liberty
Expendable Enterprise Crewmember ('Red Shirt') Confirmed Casualty List: One dead
This particular show features the return of Morgan Woodward, one of my all-time fave Star Trek guest stars. As the mentally-tormented Dr.Read more ›
THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER is one of those man v.s. machine episodes of Star Trek. Only this time Kirk must sit and watch the Enterprise be contolled by a computer called the M-5 rather than his crew. At first the M-5 seems as flawless as it's creator Daystrom says. Of course the computer goes haywire and begins destroying Starfleet ships. Sure this episode is written ok and all but we've seen this a thousand times before and it's been done better. Still this episode's story is entertaining and worth at least one watch but it is at best a standard Star Trek episode.
THE OMEGA GLORY follows a similar pattern as THE ULTIMATE COMPUTER. This is a typical second season Star Trek episode but it is by far one of the worst varaitions of the whole "journey to an unknown planet run by a cruel race or empire" plots. In a somewhat patriotic episode where the planet is run by Comms (chinese communists) led by a insane Starfleet Captain (Morgan Woodward from DAGGER OF THE MIND). When the Comms are excuting violent slaves called Yanks (as in Yankee) this episode gets a little far fetched. A few suprises here and there, but other than that THE OMEGA GLORY is a below average episode of Star Trek in my opinion. Partly because it's story is pretty far fetched and disappointing in the end. Also because this plot has been done to death in Star Trek and far better other times.
Overall a decent collection of standard Star Trek shows. There is really nothing super special here but if you love classic Trek then you probably will want to get this DVD. Mildly recommended.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Dec 13 2002 by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.
"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. Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2002 by McHenry John
"The Ultimate Computer" is a so-so entry, with more to recommend it than not, and "The Omega Glory" is - frankly - laughably bad, one of the worst scripts seen in the entire... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2002 by Bruce Rux
The Omega Glory was one of the last Star Trek shows that explored the parrell worlds theory (invented so that they would not have to transform a lot of actors into aliens) and thus... Read morePublished on May 12 2002 by D.W. Smith
It seems like quality control has waivered as the series releases have slowly rolled out. Look for spelling errors in the enclosed documentation. Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2001 by R. Slack
Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek on DVD continues with this installment of episodes from the end of the series' second season. Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2001 by Hank Drake
Gene Roddenberry had a dream and it was star trek his infinitive vision lives on today with all the new star trek series but his origonal series is still one of the best in these... Read morePublished on July 15 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... Read morePublished on July 13 2001 by Keith Eubanks II
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