‘Patterns of Force’ (TOS) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is one of my favourite ‘Star Trek’ episodes from Season 2 of ‘The Original Series’. ‘Patterns of Force’ is a story where the Enterprise heroes visit a planet where there are Nazis roaming the place.

I like this episode since it helped me with studying for my exams in GCSE History back in 2005. I was studying Nazi Germany at the time, so this tale helped me with understanding that infamous period.

In this episode, the Enterprise visits the planet Ekos in the M43 Alpha system. Kirk is looking for his former Starfleet history professor, John Gill, reported missing and sent to Ekos as a cultural observer.

When Kirk and Spock beam down to Ekos, they find that the whole society has been interfered with and is now under a Nazi dictatorship. What’s worse is that John Gill has now been made the Führer.

I liked the drama and the tension featured throughout this episode. Kirk is astonished and appalled that the Ekosians have made their society as a Nazi dictatorship and can’t believe John Gill is Führer.

The Ekosians as Nazis are trying to exterminate the Zeonian population on their planet. This is clearly a close parallel to the Nazi’s final solution of exterminating the Jews from Germany under their rule.

I enjoyed how Kirk and Spock disguise their way through this Nazified planet by dressing themselves as Nazi in order to get to the Fuhrer. Spock is funny wearing a helmet over his head to cover his ears.

There’s a horrific moment when Kirk and Spock fail to get into the Nazi HQ to see the Führer and they get flogged in the prison. Kirk feels the pain of the lashes as Spock remains upright throughout.

I’m not sure how affected viewers were by this episode when they originally watched it on TV. It must have a risk to show Nazis in a sci-fi show like this, since it wasn’t long after World War II ended.

The episode guest stars David Brian as John Gill the Führer in this episode. Kirk seems to have a great respect for Gill during the episode. Is Gill really evil in this or is he being coerced into this somehow?

There’s also Skip Homeier as Deputy Führer Melakon. Melakon delights in the Nazi way on Ekos and he is described as an evil man in this episode. Could Melakon have some part to play in this horror?

Richard Evans guest stars as Isak, one of the Zeon victims of the Nazi regime on Ekos. Isak helps Kirk and Spock in escape prison and see the Führer. Isak is determined to kill the Führer once and for all.

Patrick Horgan guest stars as Chairman Eneg. Eneg inspects Kirk and Spock when they’re being brutally tortured. Eneg doesn’t seem a typical Nazi leader since he seems merciful to Kirk and Spock.

There’s also Valora Noland as Daras, a female Nazi officer who receives a medal of honour. Daras however is an Ekosian opposing the Nazi way as she works her way as a Nazi to infiltrate the regime.

I was funny when Bones beams down from the Enterprise, dressed up as a Nazi colonel, but he can’t get his boots on. It was tense when they get caught but funny when Kirk makes out Bones is drunk.

The climax to this episode is very good when Kirk persuades John Gill to help them and tell the truth to the people of Ekos. This succeeds, but will it mean the deaths of many or will the violence cease?

‘Patterns of Force’ is definitely one of my favourite episodes from ‘The Original Series’ of ‘Star Trek’. I am grateful to this episode for helping me with studying Nazi Germany for my GCSE History exams.

The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 6 of the original DVD and Disc 7 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.

‘Patterns of Force’ (TOS) rating – 10/10

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2 thoughts on “‘Patterns of Force’ (TOS) (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Brilliant episode & another underrated gem, strong story, great characters, interesting ideas & a scene stealing performance from Dr McCoy.

    This was deemed a boundary pusher back in the day as it dealt with themes that were still raw.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    I love this ‘Star Trek’ episode with the Nazis. I’m grateful to this one for helping me with my GCSE History exams. I loved it when Bones beams down in his Nazi uniform and he gets annoyed, before eventually feigning to be drunk before other Nazis.

    Yes, I heard that this episode wasn’t shown in Germany due to its subject matter at the time. But I enjoyed this one and it highlights the horrors of history biting back on people if we don’t learn our lessons from it.

    Thanks Simon.

    Tim. 🙂



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