7.6/10
2,121
24 user 8 critic

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 Nazi Germany.

Director:

Vincent McEveety

Writers:

Gene Roddenberry (created by), John Meredyth Lucas
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Richard Evans ... Isak
Valora Noland ... Daras
Skip Homeier ... Melakon
David Brian ... John Gill
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Patrick Horgan ... Eneg
William Wintersole ... Abrom
Gilbert Green Gilbert Green ... S.S. Major
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Lev Mailer ... S.S. Lieutenant (as Ralph Maurer)
Ed McCready 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 (David Brian). When Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) 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 (Richard Evans), who takes them to the Zeon resistance. The resistance tests them, and plots with an Ekosian defector (Valora Noland) 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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An early draft had the source of cultural contamination arriving aboard a small "Ambassador-class" vessel called the Magellan. The name was later applied in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) to the Ambassador-class of ships in the mid-24th century. See more »

Goofs

When Kirk and Spock penetrate the Nazi headquarters to attempt to see John Gill, Kirk notes that "They've got the booth curtained off." When he says that, there is a camera shot of the curtain with no one near it. However, prior to that and just after that, Nazis are seen standing right in front of the curtain. There was not enough time between shots to account for their disappearance and reappearance from in front of the curtain, and the action continues clearly indicating that there is no time lapse between shots. See more »

Quotes

Daras: You mean that the Führer is an alien?
Spock: [confirms] That is correct.
Daras: I grew up to admire him, later to hate and despise everything he stands for. But I always thought he was one of us. Now to hear that he's an alien sent hear to destroy us...
Capt. Kirk: That was not his mission, ever. He was sent here to observe, not to interfere. Something went wrong, and that's why we're here. To find out and to correct, we must see him.
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Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »

Connections

Referenced in Star Trek: Discovery: The Vulcan Hello (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kirk and Spock vs. the Nazis
3 December 2006 | by BogmeisterSee 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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