Star Trek (1966–1969)
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Patterns of Force 

Looking for a missing Federation cultural observer, Kirk and Spock find themselves on a planet whose culture has been completely patterned after Earth's 1944 Nazi society.

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Richard Evans ...
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Patrick Horgan ...
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Gilbert Green ...
S.S. Major
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S.S. Lieutenant (as Ralph Maurer)
Ed McCready ...
S.S. Trooper

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Storyline

The Enterprise searches the reportedly primitive and warlike planet Ekos for the missing Federation cultural observer Professor John Gill. When Kirk and Spock beam down, they find the Ekosians have turned into a Nazi society, with Gill as their 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 a Zeon prisoner, who takes them to the Zeon resistance. The resistance tests them, and plots with an Ekosian defector just to reach Gill, posing as a Nazi propaganda film crew. Once they enter inside, they discover things are not quite as they appear. Written by KGF Vissers

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16 February 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "leader principle" Kirk mentions at the end of the episode was a foundation of the leadership in Nazi Germany. Known in German as "Führerprinzip", it essentially can be described as a state of law in which there are no laws above those of the Führer, and that the government must obey and enforce such laws. See more »

Goofs

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. Note that the Universal Translator is never mentioned in this episode, and is rarely mentioned in the series. The fact that all the aliens the crew encounters seem to speak English is never really dealt with. However, in Star Trek: Bread and Circuses, Kirk does point out with a note of curiosity that the inhabitants speak English. See more »

Quotes

Daras: Eneg and I will go on the air, offer a new way for our people. For all our people, both Zeons and Ekosians.
Eneg: Is is time to stop the bloodshed, to bury our dead.
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Kirk and Spock vs. the Nazis
3 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Following on the heels of "A Private Little War," this is another serious stab at presenting the dire consequences of interfering with the natural progression of a culture. This time, the contamination is Nazism, a plague of thought / speech spread on a planet called Ekos. The Ekosians, a warlike primitive people, are subverted to channel their aggression against their peaceful neighboring planet, Zeon. The Zeons were more advanced up until a few years ago; but now, Ekos has the same technology and plans are made to exterminate the Zeons. It all started innocently enough. It's a bit strange. The Federation has had this non-interference directive, the Prime Directive, in place for at least a century or more. I understand a sometime aggressive hotshot like Kirk rationalizing around this directive at times of intense situational imperative, but now an elderly Federation historian, a supposed expert on what tampering with history means, decides to re-arrange a culture's status quo on what appears to be a whim - a chance to play God, as McCoy puts it.

The main problem with episodes such as this has to do with constraints related to budget, make-up and so forth. The show is unable to capture the atmosphere of an actual alien planet or culture. Rather, it appears as if Kirk and Spock have transported themselves into Earth's past yet again, to Europe during World War II when it was dominated by Nazi Germany. There is no make-up involved for the supposed two alien races here; they are, for all practical purposes, other humans. The Ekosians are the Nazis here, where-as the Zeons are stand-ins for the persecuted Jews. The episode does succeed in capturing some of that brutality associated with the Nazi regime and there's plenty of suspense as Kirk & Spock attempt to infiltrate the Nazi HQ to see their Federation rep, now Fuhrer. If anything, this is the serious version of "A Piece of the Action" - the scary contemplation of how an entire society can be deluded into following a certain doctrine. But, did we need a sf version of actual history to get the point across? The most intriguing aspect is Melakon, the deputy Fuhrer who is, in fact, the actual incarnation of Hitler or Himmler - take your pick.


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