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Talk:Patterns of Force (episode)

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German BroadcastEdit

Kobi, you're not 100 % right with pay-tv. In Austria, ORF aired this Episode some years ago. But also late at night. - DerTeufel 21:29, 18 Jun 2004 (CEST)

In that case you should add the info under "Austrian TV", but only Premiere has broadcasted the episode so far in Germany -- Kobi 12:17, 19 Jun 2004 (CEST)

I think there are some things wrong (or at least misleading) in the "German broadbcasting" info.
First, nowhere in the German consitution is a clause that bans the use of Nazi symbols. There are only some laws concerning this matter... and I doubt those laws even apply to "Patterns of Force". Therefore I would also contest the notion that the episode is "technically illegal" in Germany. There are tons of German movies and TV productions there you can see people walk around in Nazi uniforms etc. The "Stromberg-as-Hitler" parody on the latest episodes of "Switch" comes to mind as an recent example. ;-) And the fact that the TV adaptation of Robert Harris' novel "Fatherland" portrays a alternate Nazi Germany which had won World War II never hindered broadcasts of that movie on German TV channels either.
I assume that the episode wasn't broadcast for the following reasons: From the 60ies up until the 80ies, German TV stations were very selective when it came to the question which episodes of foreign TV series were considered "appropriate" for the audience. In particular, this very often included "non-serious" portrayals of the Nazis. A TV series also suffering from this attitude was the original "Mission: Impossible", which had a couple of "Nazi episodes" too. However, here it became clear how random and arbitrary the TV stations really were, because some of the Nazi episodes from "M:I" were actually broadcast for some reasons and others weren't. A number of episodes of other TV series were also never shown, because they were deemed too surreal and too "confusing" for the viewers (several episodes from "The Prisoner" come to my mind here). Episodes containing material considered "inappropriate" for minors also fell into this category.
Another factor playing a role here is that "Star Trek", like most science fiction series, was considered part of the "childrens' program" for a very long time in Germany. That's also the reason why the TOS episode "Amok Time" was heavily re-edited in Germany, because it dealt with human (well, Vulcan in this case) reproduction (= SEX). You can't show the children episodes dealing with sex, as much as you can't show the children episodes depicting Nazis. At least this was the reasoning back then. So, basically "Patterns of Force" was never shown, because of the broadcasting policy of German TV stations at that particular time, not because it contains "illegal" content or something like that.
As for the question why "Patterns of Force" was never shown on non-Pay TV channels after the 1980ies... well, first of all, it was most likely not considered worth the effort to acquire an additional copy for a single episode of a fairly "ancient" TV series from the 60ies. Keep in mind that, as far as I know, "Amok Time" was never shown in an un-edited version on "Free TV" either. And I very much doubt that this is the case because the episode is sill considered "unappropriate" for children. Would that be the case they also should have edited a number of T'Pol scenes from "Enterprise". *lol* Speaking of "Enterprise", the two-parter "Storm Front" was aired in Germany too... and not late at night, but at noon! So, the Nazi thing doesn't really seem an issue anymore.
In addition, the episode "Patterns of Force" is rated "FSK 16" as far as I know. This means it could only be shown after 10 p.m. at night. German TV stations usually don't show 40 year old series after 10 p.m. It would probably be easy to get the "FSK 16" rating lifted today (considering that "Storm Front" is rated "FSK 12")... but then again, for most TV stations it isn't worth the effort to do something like this for a 40 year old episode.
To cut a long story short, I would strike the sentence that the showing of Nazi symbols is banned by the German consitution (which is not true) and that this episode is "technically illegal". It's simply that it was the "code of conduct" for German television back then to withhold "inappropriate" episodes, such as episodes depicting Nazis, among other things. This policy has become obsolete since then, but most TV stations don't bother to acquire 40 year-old TV episodes now.

EDIT: Just remembered another "Nazi episode" from Star Trek, which was shown in Germany: "The Killing Game" (VOY).

Der_Hans 14:14, 19 Nov 2007 (CEST)

Opinionated info Edit

The historical premise underlying this episode is shaky at best. When Kirk asks John Gill why he picked Nazi Germany as the model, the dying professor croaks out, "Most efficient. . .state that earth ever knew," and Spock briefly recapitulates Nazi Germany's rise to power. However, contrary to the popular stereotype, the Nazis' government and administration were anything but efficient. Rather, it was the pre-Nazi Prussian military and bureaucracy that had such a reputation, and the Nazis, who had a welter of overlapping jurisdictions and turf battles, actually impeded the otherwise legendary German efficiency to a surprising extent. Furthermore, the whole idea behind the episode is implausible anyway, because the basis of Nazism wasn't "efficiency," as Gill suggests to Kirk, but rather racism, xenophobia and aggression. You could not introduce the "good" elements of Nazism because there were none, and whatever benefits did come out of it were purely transitory and accidental. So unless Gill was a real maverick, it's not likely that he would introduce such a system in the first place.

The following was removed from the article's background information as it presents an individual's opinion as to the credibility of the episode. --From Andoria with Love 05:46, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Its interesting that someone would write such a long-winded statement, then invalidate it with the last statement -- obviously Gill was a 'real' maverick -- he walked away from the federation and started handing aliens swastikas. Therefore, it was likely he would introduce it, and the entire paragraph is a circular argument restating, trying to disprove, and then eventualy un-disproving things that probably could be better placed in the ep summary. -- Captain M.K. Barteltalk 13:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The Longwinded One Seeks To Clarify

"So unless Gill was a real maverick, it's not likely that he would introduce such a system in the first place."

Its interesting that someone would write such a long-winded statement, then invalidate it with the last statement -- obviously Gill was a 'real' maverick -- he walked away from the federation and started handing aliens swastikas. Therefore, it was likely he would introduce it, and the entire paragraph is a circular argument restating, trying to disprove, and then eventualy un-disproving things that probably could be better placed in the ep summary. -- Captain M.K. Barteltalk 13:09, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I concede that the last sentence of my comment isn't sufficiently clear and does seem to contradict antecedent statements. All the same, you haven't refuted my main point, namely, that the overall premise behind the episode is faulty thanks to succumbing to trite, historically inaccurate clichés about the Nazis.

As I recall, nowhere did the episode assert or even intimate that John Gill had gone mad (à la Governor Kodos, Dr. Roger Korby or Dr. Tristan Adams, for instance) and consequently turned evil, thereby embracing the aggressive, racist philosophy of Nazism. So I must reverse myself, up to a point: yes, Gill the character was a maverick, albeit one who brought about negative results. I suppose that in using the term "maverick" I viewed it as having inherently positive connotations, suggesting the lone moralist (Clint Eastwood, Bogart) who bucks the evil system, but no doubt a maverick can just as easily be wrongheaded. Gill violated the Prime Directive, did indeed start handing out swastikas to aliens and so on.

But since the episode also established that Gill was neither a madman nor wicked nor an amoral deviant, just misguided, only two conclusions remain. Either he was a completely incompetent historian (one who lacked any understanding of the basic facts I enumerated in my comment), or, perhaps, by this point in the 23rd century important records had been lost, so that even experts possessed only a fragmentary, rudimentary grasp of 20th-century European/Earth history. (Of course, Captain Kirk seemed to know something about it in City on the Edge of Forever, but exactly how much is uncertain.) If a precipitous decline in historical understanding took place, one could pose a colorable argument that by the 2260s, even highly educated Federation citizens understood Nazi Germany only hazily--i.e., its evils were recognized, but knowledge concerning the specific ideas, politics and myths ("Aryan" racial superiority, Lebensraum, etc.) undergirding Nazism had faded into the mists of time. That might not be surprising, given the magnitude of the upheavals which, according to Canon, Earth underwent between the 1940s and 2260s. --User: 01:21, January 8, 2007

Supporting the removal of the rant, which was inaccurate as well as being an opinion. WWII is actually not a big interest of mine, I much prefer the war-free happy times of the 1920s, but it still irks me to see people get things wrong that they wouldn't if they really went to the root of thing without their biases on. To understand Nazism, you have to understand what NAZI stand for and the circumstances, while 'racism, xenophobia and aggression' became its primary output, it was not their banner. Post WWI Germany was poor and desperate, they wanted a scrapegoat they can burn because if it was minority x group's fault than there will be a quick fix in 'dealing with' minority x. It was rather like how at the beginning of women's empowerment, labour unions would blame women for stealing jobs instead of fighting for equal pays to even the odds for's easy to give into resentment and indulge in contempt, human nature at is ugliest.

NAZI stands for National Socialist German Worker's Party. /That/ was their platform, a strong Germany where the people will have jobs (so it ended up being divided between Himmler's SS that was pro military pro capitalism, and the SA that was pro socialism, but that's another story). In fact, the NAZI party, before it was Hitler's Nazi party, was a socialist party in its own right, but then Hitler did a hostile takeover. Efficiency wasn't what Nazism is about either, but part of it, to make things run, to do the grand scale things they do, they have to do it properly and do it on time. While yes, things did get stopped up, they would have gotten more done if they weren't so obsessed with weeding out the 'undesirables' and forcing children to attend Hitler's Youth so that they show up tired in class, what the Nazis did, was spread the standard of efficiency. Much like how the Romans spread their calendars with their conquests, and how the English/N.Americans exported their language with hostile takeovers, colonialism, and slavery (a language is kept alive by the numbers that speaks it). - politics/media studies geek [August 25th, 2007)

Image caption changeEdit

I added a brief update to the caption for the image showing Kirk in an SS uniform. This uniform was listed originally as a senior SS officer uniform. In reality, it is more likely a Waffen-SS uniform. These styles of uniforms were prominent in the Waffen SS. It could be an Allemeigne SS uniform but the Allemeigne SS did not adapt the grey uniforms until later in the war. Since the Nazi takeover of Ekos happened a relatively short time ago before Kirk and Spock's visit, it is more likely that it is a Waffen SS uniform. Minutae, I know...but more complete. -- 01:27, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


I removed the stardate because Dagger of the Mind is supposed to be the first episode where Spock uses the mind meld so it wouldn't make sense if this came first. 07:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually, that wouldn't have been a valid reason to remove the stardate, since stardates have never been congruent in the first place. However, this particular stardate was never mentioned in the episode, and is therefore non-canon, so it can be removed based on that. --From Andoria with Love 18:10, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Forum:Patterns of Force - Actual pheomenon?Edit

"Isn't there a documented theory of civilization that supports the use of similar government growth?" -Special:Contributions/ 00:02, December 30, 2006

Quotes at start of Episode articles Edit

It makes sense to have quotes in the quote section, but what about the episode article starting with what is viewed as the best quote of the episode? Is there a policy that prevents this? Might be a subject open to discussion if there is not. -FleetCaptain 04:51, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that that might start some conflicts. Your idea of "the best quote" and anyone else's idea of "the best quote" might be different. Hence why we have a "quotes" section in each episode article. --Alan 06:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, good point. It would have to be sourced somewhere as the best quote. The only ones that come to mind are "My name is Khan, please sit and entertain me" & "Sir, there is a multi-legged creature crawling on your shoulder." Those were stated by Roddenberry to be the best lines of the two episodes in which they appeared. I think "Oiling my traps, darling" has been mentioned in several places as one of the most lustful quotes of Star Trek. Perhaps an MA policy could be developed if there is not one in place already. -FleetCaptain 06:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Why would you need a policy on a subjective idea? As to again illustrate my point about "the best quote", what you suggested above would certainly not be my top choices. Sure, they may be humorous, or creative quotes, but they do not definitively represent the episode in any way, so why make a point of making that be the first thing a reader sees when they come to an article page-- vs. the one or two sentence "quicky" summary we presently have? Again, this is why we have a quotes section...--Alan 06:58, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
All true... -FleetCaptain 07:13, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


* When the SS Major is questioning Kirk and Spock, right before they enter the Headquarters building, you can see an air conditioner on one of the windows behind the Major.

Self-explanatory. - Bridge 17:43, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The fact that John Gill is (technically) an alien ruler within the Nazi-Ekosian society strongly mirrors the fact that Adolf Hitler himself was not German; he was actually Austrian-born (in other words, an alien within a different society), ruling a Nazi German Empire.
Transferred to here temporarily, as I was unsure as to whether this was appropriate for the article. I think that there are many plot aspects throughout Star Trek that are similar to historical events, and unless this was done deliberately, I'm not sure if it should be in the article. If this was deliberate, or there is some other reason to have it, it should be put back.--31dot 20:16, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Kirk and Spock discuss the extreme improbability of a Nazi movement forming on another planet with exactly the same structure and symbols, however at several points in the series, they encounter planets exactly like Earth yet do not consider it unusual.
Sounds very much like a nitpick to me. -FC 11:29, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

teaser image Edit

I'm probably not the right person to sort this out (never had much interest working on ep pages), but the teaser section here has an image that first of all isn't from the teaser, and secondly, its description is nothing but a nitpick. I was about to just remove the image, but there might be a more elegant solution. -- Capricorn 02:43, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

I've reworded the caption, though the image could be moved elsewhere in the article or removed outright. 31dot 02:46, May 22, 2012 (UTC)

Nitpick Edit

  • This episode makes a common mistake about Nazi Germany common to televison takes on the Third Reich. Kirk tells the Enterprise to outfit McCoy as a Gestapo Colonel. The Gestapo were the national police force (Gestaat Polezei), who were more like the FBI and did not wear uniforms, but plain clothes. Hogan's Heroes often made the same mistake with Major Hochstetter, who wore the SS uniform, but was repeatedly referred to as "Gestapo."

I haven't removed this yet, but this seems like a nitpick to me without something to back it up- thoughts? 31dot 09:10, June 19, 2012 (UTC)

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