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Banned ‘Star Trek’ Nazi Episode Boldly Goes On TV For First Time In Germany

Star Trek

Fans of the original Star Trek series in Germany got quite a surprise last Friday when an episode from the show’s second season was finally shown on the country’s public television station ZDFneo after being banned from broadcast for more than four decades, and the reason for the ban had nothing to do with the Chancellor being a Picard fan.

Patterns of Force” was first broadcast in America on February 16, 1968 and found Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy searching for a Federation historian (and one of Kirk’s professors at Starfleet Academy) on the planet Ekos. When they beam down to the surface they notice that the planet’s soldiers are dressed like Nazi stormtroopers.

The shadow of the Third Reich looms large over the action as Kirk and company soon find themselves in the midst of an galactic conflict between Ekos (ruled over by the missing historian) and the peaceful and technologically-advanced peaceful Zeon. It’s also the first time Spock has ever appeared shirtless in the show, and no stardate is mentioned at any point during the episode.

Nazi imagery is prevalent throughout “Patterns of Force,” something Germany has understandably always been very sensitive about in their entertainment. When the episode was originally slated for broadcast back in 1968, the downfall of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich was still too fresh in the minds of a nation fighting to put the horrific legacy the Nazis left in the wake of their deserved destruction behind them forever. Despite being banned from television airings in Germany, “Patterns of Force” was shown once on pay TV and has subsequently been released on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray in dubbed and subtitled versions.

Until now it was the only episode of Star Trek banned from German television. ZDF editorial director Simone Emmelius told the German newspaper Bild, “By showing this episode, Star Trek fans will be able to see the complete series for the first time in its entirety.”


[Source: The Daily Mail via The Mary Sue]

1 Comment »

  1. That is FASCINATING, thank you! I had no idea Patterns was
    verboten in Deutschland but it makes sense. Somehow I feel the
    episode doesn’t quite take itself seriously, from the super 8 Bauer
    camera Shatner is using for the “news” coverage to the plastic Nazis
    in it, Patterns of Force to me always belonged in the 3rd Season…
    it felt like a 3rd season ep, as it used office buildings and
    confined spaces of the backlot (no actual streets were seen!), small
    numbers of extras, when the very essence of Nazi Germany was stadium
    size crowds, etc. I’m trying to think of any other episodes that
    might contain potentially offensive ethnic insults or that might not
    travel well across cultures! Have any other Trek episodes been
    banned for the same kinds of reasons??

    Comment by C-post — November 8, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

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