Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trek Thursday: Patterns of Force

#42. Patterns of Force

In case you forgot: The infamous SPACE NAZIS episode! A Federation officer sent to "observe" has meddled in the development of a society and made them all Nazis, with a stand-in Jewish race to boot. The situation has spiraled well out of his control and it's up to Kirk and company to save the day.

Yet another example of Starfleet and the Federation doing more harm in the galaxy than good. You have to wonder: what is the net "moral worth" of Starfleet in this universe? Half the time Kirk and company are either solving problems someone else in the fleet has made; the other half they're making problems and then being nice enough to tidy up the lose ends in under an hour.

This is why the Prime Directive is so important you guys, otherwise we end up with Space Nazis.

 I appreciate that we're not in "parallel Earth" territory—someone from Earth deliberately interfered and made things this way, something about a strong and efficient government rescuing a people in economic and social shambles—but I mean...Nazis? I don't mind brutal totalitarian regimes in my science fiction, even with a good dollop of race hatred, but certainly a more elegant stand-in can be created than Seig Heils and swastikas? Sure this was written in a pre-Godwin environment, where the nightmares of the Holocaust were still brutally fresh, but what makes for good dramatic catharsis in the 60s doesn't always age well. Which is too bad, because with a little more understatement, this episode could have been one of the best in the entire series.

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