Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 21

Patterns of Force (16 Feb. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 950 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 6 critic

Looking for a missing Federation cultural observer, Kirk and Spock find themselves on a planet whose culture now models the German Nazi Party of old Earth in the 1930's.



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Title: Patterns of Force (16 Feb 1968)

Patterns of Force (16 Feb 1968) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Evans ...
Skip Homeier ...
David Brian ...
Patrick Horgan ...
William Wintersole ...
Gilbert Green ...
S.S. Major
S.S. Lieutenant (as Ralph Maurer)
Ed McCready ...
S.S. Trooper


The Enterprise tracks the missing Federation's cultural observer, Professor John Gill, to the reportedly primitive and peaceful planet of Ekos. When Kirk and Spock beam down, they find the Ekosians have turned into a Nazi society, with Gill as its Fuhrer, and are at war with the peaceful people of neighboring planet Zeon. They steal uniforms to enter the headquarters; but when Spock is forced to remove his helmet, his ears betray them and they are led straight to the torture chamber. After a flogging as 'Zeon spies,' they manage to escape with the Zeon prisoner Isak, who takes them to the Zeon resistance. The resistance tests them, and plots with an Ekosian defector to get to Gill, posing as a Nazi propaganda film crew. Inside they discover things are not quite as they appear. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

16 February 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Schulberg Building (formerly, the Directors Building) and the Lubitsch Building (formerly, the Producers Building), both located on the Paramount Studios lot, were used for the exterior shots of the Ekosian Nazi headquarters complex. See more »


Kirk and Spock's tools, including the Universal Translators, are confiscated upon their capture, yet they continue to talk with Ekosians and Zeons with no trouble. See more »


Capt. Kirk: [after Kirk knocks an Ekosian unconcious] Spock, take his uniform.
Spock: You propose we pass ourselves off as Nazis, Captain?
Capt. Kirk: If John Gill is the Fuhrer, it would seem the logical approach.
Spock: That's very well taken, Captain.
See more »


Referenced in Futurama: Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Benevolent Fuehrer
22 February 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The wisdom of Star Fleet's Prime Directive never had a better example in the history of the Star Trek franchise than in this episode where an earth cultural observer played by David Brian decided to play God with a warlike people and introduce Nazism into the population. He had intentions of being a benevolent Fuehrer, but some very ambitious underlings led by Skip Homeier turn the Nazi movement on their planet of Ekos to what it resembled on Earth. They're also more powerful than what they were on Earth as witness by the fact that the Enterprise is attacked with hydrogen bomb missile.

That's a taste of what the Ekotians plan to do to their neighboring planet of Zaon. Zaon hating and scapegoating is the favorite past time of the Nazis of Ekos.

After that attack and seeing how the Prime Directive has been violated the mission and the duty of the Enterprise is clear. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy come down to investigate and if possible stop a wholesale slaughter. Later on they're joined by DeForest Kelley.

Can a totalitarian type movement ever be benevolent? Turn that one over in your minds when you watch this Star Trek story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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