Star Trek: “Patterns of Force”


I can forgive a lot, but when the underlying theme of an episode is so flawed and so silly, my forgiveness ends like when Dale Ernhart hits a wall. First, the good points: As far as a cautionary tale of interference, it works. What doesn’t work is the whole Nazi thing. Why, why, why on Earth would a historian – a person who makes it his business to know the ins and outs of history – model a society on the Nazis? The symbols, the uniforms, the ranks I could almost understand but to introduce the hatred and racism too?

The whole thing is flawed and even for science fiction, hard to swallow.


Interesting Fact: John Gill was mentioned in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “In a Mirror, Darkly (Part II)”, listed in computer records of the USS Defiant (NCC-1764) in which Gill referred to Jonathan Archer as “the greatest explorer of the 22nd century.”

“Even historians fail to learn from history — they repeat the same mistakes.”
– John Gill

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Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.
  • Douglas Self

    He didn’t institute racism and genocide according to the story, he (very mistakenly in reality) considered the historical Nazi state to be a model of efficiency that would unite this strife-torn world and get their collective act together. But, as Kirk himself, points out, though John Gill had himself the integrity to avoid abuse of power, not so his Deputy Fuhrer, Melakon. Never mind HOW Gill pulls this off, integrating himself into Ekotian society and uniting them, which of itself is utterly fantastic. Consider that Gill is either naïve or just plain wrong about several things:
    1) If the Ekotians were prone to fighting among themselves, once you garb them in Nazi uniforms and introduce notions of racial superiority, what do you expect them to do but turn on the Zaon?
    2) Nazi Germany was in many ways terribly Inefficient, often deliberately so, as Hitler didn’t want his minions to each get too popular or powerful. There were duplicate bureaucracies and many frivolous and ill-considered projects…as the World of War series put it, “too many types of tanks, too few tanks in all…too many calibers of guns”. By the time the German economy was fully on a war footing and Albert Speer had streamlined much of the war production capability, defeat was all but certain anyway.
    3) If Gill is such a well-read historian, was he not familiar with the concept of a ‘palace coup’? Especially if he instituted a totalitarian state, would he not recognize that his underlings would scramble among themselves for power, and one or more would try to knock him off? Also, did he not recall how many attempts were made to assassinate Hitler? Gill is not only crap as a historian, he sucks as a politician.
    Finally, if the Ekotians have thermonuclear missiles with interplanetary range (and obviously greater speed than our own missiles of today) why don’t they just nuke Zaon? Why bother to build and deploy a massive fleet of interplanetary ships with thousands if not millions of troops and Lord know how much hardware. And doesn’t Zoan know about this? Do they believe that sponsoring a resistance is all they need to do to defend themselves?