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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
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