"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,... more » a madman captain, a deadly virus and 1,000-year-old natives on planet Omega IV.« less
This episode is worth watching at least once for a couple reasons.
One: it is a commentary on the fears of the time. People literally thought that computers would not only replace their jobs (which sadly did happen to some) but also would dominate people. This episode illustrates it quite simply with a Computer that will take over command of the Enterprise. Which brings us to Second reason to watch: It has an awesome line about loyalty from Spock. One of those, "Wow, that's one of the nicest things you've ever said, Spock." Good Kirk and Spock moment.
Other than that, the plot isn't too fast paced, but the actor who played the Computer's inventor did an amazing job! The episode is not too preachy and of course ends up with Kirk having to "Illogic" the computer into self destructing.
Yeah this episode was obviously made for a Fourth of July Special. Sad to say... DOESN'T REALLY MAKE SENSE. Sorry, but no way a planet on the other side of the galaxy will come up with the same flag, and the same Pledge of Allegiance.
Ok, if you can look past that story-line flaw... yeah the episode still isn't that great.
Of course there are none that I think are "Oh my gosh save yourself and don't watch it" but this one comes fairly close.
Has an ok fight scene... that's about it.
Hank Drake | Cleveland, OH United States | 08/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek on DVD continues with this installment of episodes from the end of the series' second season.Over thirty years after it was first aired, The Ultimate Computer remains a thought provoking and relevant episode. The theme of man vs. machine is more with us today than ever before. D. C. Fontata's excellent script is helped by superior television directing from John Meredyth Lucas. The distinguished stage actor William Marshall's performance as Dr. Richard Daystrom is rich in foreshadowing the high-strung scientist's impending breakdown. (Primarily based on the strength of that performance, nearly every Trek incarnation since has referenced Richard Daystrom, and in The Next Generation, there's even a Daystrom Institute.) Barry Russo makes a brief but noteworthy appearance as Commodore Robert Wesley (Wesley was Gene Roddenberry's middle name). Finally, James Doohan outdoes himself by playing THREE roles here: Scotty (of course), the voice of Commodore Enwright, and the voice of the M-5 Computer.The Omega Glory was one of three scripts written for the second Trek pilot, following NBC's rejection of The Cage (the other two were Mudd's Women and Where No Man Has Gone Before). Though this was the first script written making use of the parallel worlds concept, by the time it was filmed, the idea had been used so many times before (Miri, Bread & Circuses, Patterns of Force) that it was becoming stale. As in Patterns of Force, the parallels are so obviously drawn that they're not convincing. There are a few clever visual touches here: In The Ultimate Computer, four Constitution Class starships are shown by creating a split screen effect. In The Omega Glory, two existing shots of the Enterprise are combined to create the appearance of two starships orbiting Omega IV. The restored picture is excellent, with deep colors and realistic flesh tones. The sound has been effectively, but tastefully, enhanced for multi-channel systems."
Good if you get it right
R. Slack | Oregon, USA | 10/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It seems like quality control has waivered as the series releases have slowly rolled out. Look for spelling errors in the enclosed documentation. I even received the wrong insert in one of the volumes I ordered (Vol.29) Sound and video is just as good as watching it on TV (4:3 ratio, stereo sound.)If your not expecting bells and whistles, as might be expected, you will be disappointed. However, if you just want to collect Trek, you will be pleased."
Another look at classic Star Trek themes.
Keith Eubanks II | Walnut Creek, Ca United States | 07/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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 cast commentary. Nothing would be better than to listen to Shatner and Nimoy reminisce as to the particulars of any given episode in an audio commentary. Sadly, you'll have to buy their books for those insights. They do include the trailer for "next weeks" episode which is fun. "The Ultimate Computer" provides a predictable warning as to the dangers of technology, and the message is not dated in today's world view. More interesting is the effect this loss of power has on Captain Kirk. The loss of command is a recurrent theme in the original series. Check out "The Deadly Years," "The Naked Time" or "This Side of Paradise." In these episodes, Kirk's passion for the Enterprise is clearly established. Another interesting theme is that of the renegade captain, subject of "The Omega Glory." In the tradition of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" a captain finds himself alienated from civilization and "goes native" setting himself up as lord over the inhabitants. Check out "Bread and Circuses" or "Patterns of Force." The source of conflict, or drama, is provided when Captain Kirk is forced to confront what is essentially a darker version of himself. He knows his enemy, and his enemy, a former friend has the same training Kirk does. Remember, there were only twelve constellation class starships in the fleet, so these captains are at the top of their game. This senario is more directly explored in "The Enemy Within" where Kirk must literally battle his dark side. All said, these are two very strong classics in one package."
Guts & Glory
McHenry John | McHenry, Illinois United States | 10/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""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.
"The Omega Glory" puts the crew on a "parallel Earth" in which the "Yangs" are servants to the "Comms". It is later revealed that the "Comms" are "Communists' & the "Yangs" are "Yankees". This episode contains many surprises after this....despite how incredible and far fetched they may be."
Golden Lion | North Ogden, Ut United States | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dr Daystrom created the ultimate computer, M-5. Spock observes that M-5 does not think in a logical order. McCoy pokes fun at Spock suggesting Spock has been waiting for the right computer too come along. Spock is somewhat annoy with McCoy. McCoy does not want M-5 access to run the Enterprises replacing a crew of over 300 people; Kirk does not want to stand in the way of progress; and Daystrom push off the Kirks cautionous stance by telling they don't understand the new computer capabilities. After an error in tactical response M-5 manages to kill 51 people in a drill against the Excaliber leaving it too drift lifelessly in space. Daystrom has imprinted his brain engrams into silicon circuitry that runs M-5. McCoy chastises Spock about having faith in M-5. Spock tells McCoy, he acknowledges M-5s efficiency but he does not wish too be a servant of a machine, nor does he believe the machine is a God, and does not believe humans are Gods.
Daystrom begins talking with M-5, as if he is talking with himself. He asks M-5 who will atone for the deaths of the Excaliber? Daystrom reality is one of hyper achievement in an attempt to prove his computer theories are beyond reproach, criticism, or rejection by his peers. M-5 perceptions matched his biological perceptions and a duelistic dialogue between man and machine occurred. Daystrom sees the accident as a training exercise where M-5 must learn like a child, who has made a mistake. This one indication Daystrom is insane. Kirk wants to know about M-1 through M-4, too which Daystrom confess that they have failed. M-5 seems like a risk considering previous models failed. However, M-5 represent a quantum leap forward in design and architecture, a perfect model of the human brain. Spock seems to think M-5 is not capable of value judgments, concluding that M-5 is not a spiritual machine, therefore, it can not have wisdom, compassion, and feeling; Man against the thinking machines. Kirk points human superiority, telling the team, he knew the other commander would not fire on Enterprise without first finding out if all alternatives had been depleted. The other command would use wisdom and discretion before taking action rather than follow an exacting strategy suggesting compassion and wisdom from the other human, a trait M-5 missed. Human have the power of discernment.
Kirk asks M-5, why it killed; M-5 explains, too survive and preserve the technology of its creator; Kirk asks M-5, if it is morally ok to kill; M-5 answers that it is not and killing is immoral to God and man; Kirk then ask M-5 what is the punishment; and M-5 commits computer annihilation."