Germany Finally Broadcasts 43-Year-Old Star Trek Episode With Space Nazis
A German broadcaster has, for the first time, showed an episode of the original Star Trek series that features a Nazi society. The episode, “Patterns of Force,” has been available on DVD, and was shown on pay channels in the 1990s, but was never broadcast for free.
Even so, the episode was shown after 10pm, and was preceded by a warning.
When the episode debuted in the US in 1968, Germany was just over twenty years out of Adolf Hitler‘s rule. Even today, the country continues to grapple with it’s role in World War II and the Holocaust; and strict laws exist dictating how the subjects can be discussed.
In the episode, the Enterprise goes to an alien planet to investigate the disappearance of a Federation historian. When they arrive, Capt. Kirk and Spock discover that the man attempted to bring order to the anarchistic planet by instating an authoritarian system, complete with swastikas, Nazi uniforms, Nazi salutes, a Gestapo, and calling the leader “Furher”—but his government was overtaken by another leader, who uses the system to wage a racially-motivated war against a neighboring planet.
As if the comparison wasn’t clear enough, the neighboring planet is called Zeon (like Zion), and the resistance leaders are Abrom and Isak (Abraham and Issac).
This isn’t the only time that the original Starship Enterprise encountered a civilization bizarrely like Earth’s. In one episode, they encounter aliens who have modeled themselves after 1920s mobsters. In another, they find a planet that has independently developed the U.S. Constitution word for word.
What do you think? Is this an important step for Germany, or a lot of fuss over a heavy-handed episode?