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German TV boldly shows ‘Nazi’ Star Trek episode
Posted: 09 November 2011 02:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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State broadcaster ZDFneo has evidently decided that German viewers are now ready for the episode “Patterns of Force,” 43 years after it was first broadcast in the United States in 1968.

The episode, part of the second season of the immensely popular science fiction franchise, sees the Starship Enterprise visit the planet Ekos in the M34 Alpha System to investigate the disappearance of John Gill, Federation historian and one of Kirk’s erstwhile professors at Starfleet Academy.

The Ekosians, at war with the nearby planet Zeon, are intent on wiping out all the Zeons living on their planet – and destroying Zeon itself - in what they call a “Final Solution.” The Ekosians refer to the Zeons as “Zeonist pigs.”

Kirk and Spock (played by William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, both Jewish) discover that the Ekosians have adopted all the features and institutions of Nazi Germany – including the salute, brown-shirted Stormtroopers, the SS, and the Gestapo, from their “Führer” – none other than John Gill.

Both Kirk and Spock then steal Nazi uniforms to infiltrate the regime and call Gill to account. At one point Spock comments that Kirk “should make a very convincing Nazi.”

The episode was originally considered unfit for German audiences because it referred to Nazi Germany as “the most efficient society” ever created.

As a result, “Patterns of Force” was excised from the series when ZDF first broadcast the original Star Trek in the mid-1970s, and was also removed when private channel Sat 1 aired the show in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The episode was only dubbed into German in 1995 and was first shown on German pay TV in 1996.

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Posted: 09 November 2011 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, Germany is understandably a bit touchy on that particular episode. They have laws against the uniforms, even. No showing them ‘positively’, which pretty much equates to ‘at all’.

Frankly, I always hated those ‘just like X on earth!’ episodes. Bleah.

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Posted: 10 November 2011 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 09 November 2011 05:23 PM

Frankly, I always hated those ‘just like X on earth!’ episodes. Bleah.

That would be about 90% of the episodes then wink

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Posted: 10 November 2011 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think it’s just one of those unfortunate oddities of television and culture. What I remember of the episode doesn’t seem offensive but I can understand why it would’ve been banned for so long in Germany.

As well as being a bit of a Trekkie I’m also half Polish (if that means anything). So as I said I didn’t find the episode offensive but I’m not at all surprised at how such a subject matter can cause discomfort even after many decades.

My take on this is German military uniforms seemed to be almost in vogue with some TV series of that time (e.g. Hogan’s Heros, some episodes of Get Smart). Plus with Star Trek seeming to have issues with budgets I can just imagine them trying to save money by “raiding” what was there in the costume department.

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