Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 23
Original Air Date: March 1, 1968
|via Star Trek Fan Companion|
The Enterprise discovers yet another planet which has suffered from the cultural interference of a Federation emissary, in this case Ronald Tracy, captain of the USS Exeter. Stranded on the planet Omega IV when the entire crew of his ship succumbed to disease, Tracey discovered he was immune as long as he never left. The hardy constitutions of the planet's natives afforded them long lives and Tracey lived in hope of discovering their secrets. But Omega IV's inhabitants, the Yangs and the Kohms, are locked in brutal war. Tracey sided with the Kohms and supplied them with phasers, a clear violation of the Prime Directive. All standard Trek fare so far.
Then the story, admittedly, runs off the rails. When Kirk, Spock and McCoy fall into the hands of the Yangs, they piece things together, drawing upon 20th century Earth parallels. The Yangs, the Caucasion-seeming savages, are the Yanks or Yankees. The Asiatic Kohms are the Communists. It was as if the Earth conflicts had gone the other way and the Asian Commies had won (bear in mind, the Vietnam War had yet to play out in its entirety). But the Yangs held on to their holy relics: an American flag and a copy of the US Constitution. How such items made their way across the galaxy is a fair question and my TV Production teacher's main gripe.
"The Omega Glory" was one of relatively few episodes which creator Gene Roddenberry wrote himself. Expecting a speculative fiction universe to be "realistic" is probably missing the point a bit. However, I think eye rolling over the heavy-handed symbolism is fair.
The episode does contain one truly great line towards the end, even if it is quite a long walk getting there. Kirk chastises the Yangs for treasuring the words of the Constitution without understanding them. He says to their chief, the Holy Words "must apply to everyone or they have no meaning."
|via Memory Beta|
The Enterprise happens upon a planet of the condemned. Convicts sentenced to death have been sent to uninhabited worlds which are doomed to impending supernova (Can a planet supernova? Is supernova a verb?). The prisoner leader Targu and his goons capture Captain Kirk and the rest of the landing party, intending to use them as leverage to escape their plight.
The Gold Key folks seem to have a better handle on the philosophy of the series than they did in issue #1 (review here). However, there's still room for improvement. When the Enterprise finds itself caught in an electronic field, Kirk's intention is to destroy its source, usually not the Federation way.