Friday, November 4, 2011

After 43 Years, Star Trek Episode "Patterns of Force" to Air in Germany

"Don't mention the war," was the warning from Fawlty Towers. It appears that Star Trek didn't get the message, and it paid for it for more than four decades.

German public broadcaster ZDFneo is going to air the original Star Trek episode "Patterns of Force" for the very first time, nearly 43 years after it aired in the United States, according to a report on The Local, an English-language German news website. Though the episode did air on German pay TV in the mid-1990s, this is the first time it'll air on public TV.

The episode, written by John Meredyth Lucas, is an extremely unsubtle homage to World War II and a certain rotten little German regime run by Nazi fanatics. Whatever art might have been in the episode is probably drained away by the heavy-handed bluntness; as The Local notes, it involves a war between two planets, one of them named Zeon, whose partisans are called "Zeonist pigs."

Okay, so not all science fiction is finely honed cultural critique. Sometimes the critique is slathered on with a ping-pong paddle.

Nonetheless, the German broadcaster apparently decided that the Huns – oops, one war too far back – could stand a little thinly veiled attack on a German government that was soundly blasted into smithereens 66 years ago.

One wonders what they would think about Starship Troopers ...

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