Review: “Patterns of Force” Remastered | TrekMovie.com
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Review: “Patterns of Force” Remastered May 25, 2007

by Mark A. Altman , Filed under: Review,TOS Remastered , trackback

TRIUMPH OF THE BILL
Kirk & Company save us from the Nazis and proves we can all get along
Santayana once said “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” but in the case of John Gill, he didn’t forget, he just made a really, really bad call. It was a bad call, John, a bad call. Thus goes “Patterns of Force,” in which a Federation historian (this time not an unhinged captain, commodore or woman who wants to change bodies with Kirk for a change showing that even academics can get into the act of nearly destroying, not only one planet, but possibly two) uses Nazi German as the template for a brave new Ayran world. It’s such a great idea that the neo-cons watching this episode as kids probably thought what a great idea this would be oneday…but I digress.

Back in the days when I was editing an acerbic, snarky little sci-fi magazine called “Sci-Fi Universe,” I had an assistant who used to hold up “Patterns of Force” as everything that was wrong with Classic Trek. She was a card-carrying Next Generation acolyte (not that there’s anything wrong with it) and so when we’d all be talking around the office about how much better Original Trek was than Next Gen, she’d silence us with two words: “Nazi Planet.” I’m not sure she really knew what this meant, but had a sneaking idea there had been an episode of the original Star Trek in which Kirk and Spock had to dress up as Nazi’s and foil the malevolent plans of a sinister nasty whose planet was about the eliminate the surrogate Jews, in this case, the Ekotians. But this wasn’t a simple case of Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Evolution, a neat conceit Gene Coon came up with to explain why every alien planet looked like the Paramount backlot, but rather the work of a Federation Historian who actively attempted to do some 23rd century nation building by using the Nazi’s as his blueprint.


Good thinking, John

The irony is that as silly as “Patterns of Force” sounds on paper, it’s actually quite an enjoyable little episode with one of those pesky morals that the rest of the Trek series seemed to dispense with. Unlike “Piece of the Action” that boasts a somewhat similar premise, that was played for laughs, “Patterns” plays it straight. Which isn’t to say there isn’t some great banter (much of the best of it, excised by the syndication editors who managed to cut the great scene where McCoy wonders why he has to beam down in Nazi regalia and Kirk orders him down naked, if need be) between our characters. There’s even a slight visual effects enhancement in the scene where Spock climbs on Kirk’s back to break out of the cell their incarcerated in with is laugh-out-loud funny even the 45th time you’re watching it. And while the espionage plot isn’t quite “Army of Shadows,” there’s a nice little twist when the Ekotians utilize an old Resistance trick to find out if Kirk is actually in league with the Nazis. Yes, there are a few uncomfortable moments when Kirk and Spock admire each other in their respective Nazi regalia (perhaps the birth of K/SS fiction?), but damned if those Nazis don’t have some bitchin’ plasma screens around the capital.


Jim there is something I have always wanted to say

I know what you’re thinking; but what about the new visual effects? Isn’t that what, theoretically, you’re supposed to be writing about, stupid. I guess, but the new enhancements are almost besides the point in this case. The new transfer is gorgeous as is par for the course and there’s nothing particularly wrong with the new visual effects: the standard planetary orbit moments are fine. There’s also a new shot of the nuclear missile on course for the Enterprise which I wasn’t thrilled with the execution of if only because it replaced my favorite shot of the Enterprise firing phasers in which the camera tilts up on the Enterprise from beneath the primary hull and the phasers bathe the ship in a radiant blue glow (how’s that for festishizing a ship. Hey, at least, it’s not a fucking B-Wing). Instead, that shot is now from behind the primary hull looking out at whatever the Enterprise is blowing up. It’s an angle the producers of the new visual effects seem to like so much which I just can’t stand. It’s not a flattering angle for Matt Jeffries’ design and isn’t nearly as cool – and they’ve come to rely on it almost as much as the original SFX guys relied on stock footage.


Why replace one over used shot with another overused less flattering one?

I actually did like one of the shots of the Enterprise in orbit quite a bit and realized that what’s not working about some of the new visual effects are the inconsistent lighting (when the ship is lit correctly,it looks quite good; when not, not) as well as the way the Enterprise moves as it bounces around in and out of orbit. The Enterprise always was a majestic looking vessel, that moved elegantly through the cosmos.A lot of that was because they couldn’t really do much more with it because of the constraints of working with the miniature and optical printing, but I think it’s important to retain that sense of movement in the CGI – even if in space the ship really could ping-pong a lot more. To me it’s like the old point the fanboys love to point out about sound in space. Sure, if you’re Kubrick, you don’t have sound in space.But in a show in which every alien race speaks English and an entire world is patterned around the Nazi’s, I think taking the dramatic liberty of having sound in space isn’t such a bad thing after all.


TOS-R seeing the light

And even if you hate this episode for all the reasons my old minx of an assistant, Amanda, did (but what did she know, she dated cast members from Voyager), you have to love the shot of Melakon’s reaction when he gets shot. It’s almost as classic as Scotty feigning fainting in “Spock’s Brain.”

And at the end of the day, “Patterns” for all it’s goofiness, has some real dramatic fireworks between a remorseful John Gill and Kirk as well as a sweet message that buttons the episode in which everyone agrees to give peace a chance. You gotta love the 60’s….and the 23rd Century.

MORE: Remastered Patterns of Force Vid clips and screenshots 

MARK A. ALTMAN is a co-writer/producer of FREE ENTERPRISE. His latest film, DOA: DEAD OR ALIVE, opens June 15th from Dimension Films starring Devon Aoki, Jaime Pressey, Holly Valance and Sarah Carter. He is also co-publisher of GEEK MONTHLY
 

Comments

1. Anthony Pascale - May 25, 2007

sorry for the delay guys. There was a mix up on my end on the reviewer for this and Mark offered to step in at the last minute and whip up a review….thanks mark for an entertaining review.

2. Pat - May 25, 2007

>>>Why replace one over used shot with another overused less flattering one?

Thank you!!! I agree completely. Why replace an iconic shot of the ship with the POV phaser fire? Because apparently the CBS-D team are to anal retentive to see the ship shoot without hitting something.

Thanks god they aren’t replacing shot from the back of actors heads looking toward the target instead of the shot of the stars of the show!!

3. Doug L. - May 25, 2007

re 2

From the last thread on this ep, I think a lot of us think that. dl

4. CmdrR. - May 25, 2007

Good review. Nice amount of snarkiness. I know others don’t want any, but it’s good to be entertained by a review as well as informed. I’m not a big fan of this episode, for reasons I’ve already bored people with in previous threads. If anyone wants another or my unanswered questions: Did the Federation really send a historian alone to this planet then not keep tabs whilst her rebuilt it? This change didn’t happen overnight. On Earth, it took over a decade. So, what? Gill kept sending back happy-grams?

5. Ron - May 25, 2007

How disappointing to wait this long for the review, only to have to endure a dose of Altman’s politics and a shot of the f-word to wash it down. I’m used to that sort of thing from other sites, of course, but Trek Movie Report has been such an excellent source of Trek news and reviews to date that I guess I’ve come to expect a certain level of class. I haven’t been driven away by any means, but here’s hoping better editorial decisions are made in the future.

6. Jim J (f word cop) - May 25, 2007

Naughty-naughty…anyway, I always kinda liked this episode, too. Interesting that his co-worker dated people from the Voyager cast. Now there’s some gossip that could get really entertaining. Hmmm…

I do agree about the shot of the phaser fire. I just think they oughta get away from that one and go back to the one you pictured, or try something different. Other than that, great work!

7. Doug L. - May 25, 2007

What’s with all the “REVIEWER” haters on this site??? Do some of you have a personal stake in this??

It’s a review… relatively non-offensive, mildly amusing, makes it’s case. Get over it… “a shot of the F-word”???
I think we can handle it in small doses. In the words of the immortal Charlie Brown…. “good grief”

Doug L.

8. Jim J (German, Rome, Gangsters all...) - May 25, 2007

BTW-The preview of “Bread and Circuses” is up. Anyone for Rome? When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

9. Anthony Pascale - May 25, 2007

Ron

I can assure you that the editorial policies of this site are not under review. I am proud to have the diversity and quality of reviewers that have contributed to this site.

10. CmdrR. - May 25, 2007

Ron — “…to wait this long for the review, only to have to endure…”
The tone here suggests something more than a response to a single review. If you don’t like this site, why visit? And who “waited?” Personally, I love this site but also possess a life. Even if I disagree with points in a review, it’s good to see people trade ideas about Trek. I guess the tribble fur will really fly once we get solid details on XI.

11. Ron - May 25, 2007

#9: I’m surprised by that response, Anthony. I would think your editorial policies would be under continual review, always hoping to provide the best possible offering to the fan community. And until today I too have been quite happy with the reviews posted here (count me among those who think Dennis Russell Bailey is one of the most insightful and refreshing voices in Trek fandom). A shame that the “marquee value” of a name like Mark Altman will override basic good taste, but I guess that’s how it goes.

#10: Did you read anything more than the first sentence of my comment? Go back and take a look – I never said I disliked this site. Just the opposite, which is what prompted my stronger than average reaction. At a lesser site I wouldn’t have bothered saying anything, since that (and far worse) is the level of discourse I’ve come to expect in such places. I enjoy the articles, news, and discussion at Trekmovie.com and will continue to do so – I’ll just make sure to check the byline first.

Finally, I support trading ideas about Trek as much anyone – but which part of the “neocons” comment had anything to do with Trek?

12. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - May 25, 2007

Nice review, can I be in Free Enterprise 2 ???????????

13. Gsmarty Pants - May 25, 2007

I’m kind of glad there was a mixup, otherwise we wouldn’t have had Mr. Altman’s entertaining review. This episode follows no logic whatsoever in its premise, but the execution of it is really quite solid and fun to watch. But I have to reiterate one your points… Nazis? Nazis? What were you thinking, John Gill?

Maybe the studio just had some spare uniforms in the costume department…

On another note, like you really need my 2 cents on this, Anthony, but I’d like to thank you for running this place the way you do. Most sensible. An occasional f-bomb should at the least be tolerated, if not tittered at. Ha ha, I almost said tit.

2 out of 7!

14. Captain James B. (Neo Con) Quirk - May 25, 2007

Excellent episode, review sucked, tired of slash refs and political refs, re.neo-con. Don’t need the Fword at all and don’t need the snarkyness.

Jesus H. Christ, can’t reviewers just review the freakin episode, without being juvenile and political?

Yet another example of the leftist trekkies pushing thier viewpoint.

Please, just review the episode on it’s merits. Why is that so freaking hard?

15. Gsmarty Pants - May 25, 2007

>>> 14
Excellent episode, review sucked, tired of slash refs and political refs, re.neo-con. Don’t need the Fword at all and don’t need the snarkyness.

Jesus H. Christ, can’t reviewers just review the freakin episode, without being juvenile and political?

16. Gsmarty Pants - May 25, 2007

>>> 14
Excellent episode, review sucked, tired of slash refs and political refs, re.neo-con. Don’t need the Fword at all and don’t need the snarkyness.

Jesus H. Christ, can’t reviewers just review the freakin episode, without being juvenile and political?

Take the Lord’s name in vane, much? Last time I checked, that counts as profanity as much as the “f-word.” And putting the H in the middle doesn’t really change that.

Casting stones can be fun, I guess. In the meantime maybe you should take a stress pill, and think things over.

Maybe my sarcasm detector was off?

17. Kirk: The Jack Bauer of Space - May 25, 2007

It’s nice to see a couple of people on here who also noticed the neo-con reference. And of course they were summarily put in their place by those who (although I don’t know, it’s just a wild guess) are just slightly left of Karl Marx.

Moderates and conservatives (or anyone a half a smidge right of Marx) will probably not find many friends on a Star Trek fan site, that’s the reality I think, as liberalism and political correctness abound in Star Trek fandom… I’ve found that those who spout diversity are the most hateful against anyone who questions their point of view. but anyway, I still love ST and always will.

That all said, it was still a pretty good review. I can take a little snark.

18. Captain James B. (Neo Con) Quirk - May 26, 2007

It’s nice to see a couple of people on here who also noticed the neo-con reference. And of course they were summarily put in their place by those who (although I don’t know, it’s just a wild guess) are just slightly left of Karl Marx.

Moderates and conservatives (or anyone a half a smidge right of Marx) will probably not find many friends on a Star Trek fan site, that’s the reality I think, as liberalism and political correctness abound in Star Trek fandom… I’ve found that those who spout diversity are the most hateful against anyone who questions their point of view. but anyway, I still love ST and always will.

Well said. It’s all love and light until someone who thinks for themselves voices an oppinion. If you don’t march in the PC lockstep of todays Left wing communist dictators of these “Star Trek” websites, you’re banished by the lefties, or jumped on by gangs of IDIC spouting juveniles.

I thought IDIC meant IFINATE. Not just some facist, group think, mentality.

Where’s all of that tolerance when it comes to free thinking?

Speaking of facists, have you noticed that many Trek fans use the same tactics that the Nazis started out with…like shouting down the opposition and forcing one type of thought.

A very appropo episode indeed.

Funny, I’ve been a fan of Trek for 38 years and it’s only been on the 8-10 years that I noticed that you had to march lockstep with the liberals.

19. Doug L. - May 26, 2007

re 11

by the number of people who responded negatively to your original post, you shouldn’t be that surprised.

re 14

Your post is just as profane, snarky and juvenile as you claim the review is… just the kind of hypocrisy neo-cons are known for.

Since the episode has some serious political overtones, it’s not uncalled for to have some political opinion mixed in the review. Who are you people who can’t read a review without getting all bent out of shape. Agree/ disagree, debate all you like, I’ll join right in, but otherwise, these posts are mighty touchy.

Doug L.

20. Scott Gammans - May 26, 2007

“I thought IDIC meant IFINATE.”

It obviously doesn’t mean knowing how to spel.

21. Tommy Servo - May 26, 2007

I have a long standing tradition with any review/editorial/bathroom-wall scribbling written by Mr. Altman. I will read it until he makes the first comment either (1) unnecessarily slamming Conservatives or Republicans (the two are not necessarily the same), or (2) professing his undying love of Al Gore. At that point I simply stop reading and go on to something else – no harm, no foul. Obviously I didn’t get past the first paragraph of this review.

re #7 – I’m disappointed to see that the F-bomb was apparently dropped in this review. Too bad. I have always considered this a “PG” rated site and allowed my kids, big fans of TOS and TAS by the way, to view it. Guess those days are over.

22. THEETrekMaster - May 26, 2007

Typical liberal tripe…damn Socialists…

Always having to sneak in their BS!!!

Newsflash!!! Mark! You aren’t “converting anyone”…you are just nauseating some of us.

I could make a career out of pointing out the traitorous and subversive acts of liberals…but I refrain from doing so because this is a…TA DA…Star Trek site.

TTM

23. FredCFO - May 26, 2007

National socialism is all about the power of the state. Neocons are wary of the power the state. The reviewer did more than digress. He’s looking for Nazis in all the wrong places.

24. Doug L. - May 26, 2007

re 21 and others

Of course it depends on how old your children are, and I do appreciate you don’t want your kids to have to read profanity, but you also can’t protect your kids from profanity forever.

Better they enjoy a site like this that offers interesting debate and differing opinions with an occassional occurrance of profanity, than try to pretend it doesn’t exist. IMO.

I just find it blatantly disturbing personally, that people are so offended by a fairly innoccuous review. Mr. Altman is entitled to his opinion, and was asked to express it. Let’s read it graciously and debate it if we like, but this vitriolic diatribe about the fall of this as a family site, or the posts which are far more politically divisive than the review are hypocritical at best and offensive at worst.

My final word on the subject, I promise. DL.

25. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - May 26, 2007

Srill waiting for my Free Enterprise 2 contract………………

Still waiting……………….

26. Captain Jmase B kuirk. (Neo Con) - May 26, 2007

20. Scott Gammans – May 26, 2007
“I thought IDIC meant IFINATE.”

It obviously doesn’t mean knowing how to spel.

Ah, the last oasis for the liberal left. If you can’t attack the content, attack anything else and set yourself up as being superior in the process.

Fragin grammer mekanix and spelink, I guess you never made a mistake?

27. Lendorien - May 26, 2007

Sheesh.

This is why these reviews shouldn’t have political shots in them. Review the dang episode, don’t tell us your politics. I find it annoying when either side does this in these reviews because inevitably people get bent out of shape about how it disagrees with their politics and the focus goes from the episode to the iraq war or something that has nothing to do with the episode at all.

I also think the use of the F word was un-needed. But then, I tend to think ANY use of the f-word is unneeded.

Good review otherwise. I agree on the firing shot replacement. I liked the old shot better too, but I suppose they wanted to let the audiance see the rocket and the ship at the same time.

28. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - May 26, 2007

What’s wrong with the F-word it denotes my favorite activity. I think an F-bomb, used as an adjective, is fine as long as it is done in a creative manner. I would aggree that using the F-word as a verb in public forums is a bit tackey.

Now marta come hither and F……………………………………………

29. Ozy - May 26, 2007

What’s wrong with firing shot. It’s nice to see some new angel.

30. Kirk: The Jack Bauer Of Space - May 26, 2007

Another wild guess here, but I bet if there was a little slam against liberalism inserted into a review (I know, that is nearly impossible), and people commented on it, they would not be considered “touchy.” No, we’d have a crisis of epic proportions here, with the need for a national movement. Perhaps a townhall meeting with Jesse Jackson or the Rev. Al Charlatan, with the person who wrote the review sent to rehab, followed by an Oprah tour.

Those who agree with the left are “enlightened,” while those who voice the –slightest– disagreement are, at the very least, “touchy.”

Oh, and help me if I’ve made any spelling or grammar mistakes.

31. Doug L. - May 26, 2007

re 30

“No, we’d have a crisis of epic proportions here, with the need for a national movement”

Nice crystal ball you got there… sounds like a slam against liberals to me.

Nobody has come out endorsing or disavowing anyone’s politics as far as I can tell except for a vocal few up in arms about a “single” comment in the review. I think “touchy” is appropriate.

Doug L.

32. Gsmarty Pants - May 26, 2007

The only reason political references should be avoided is to prevent stupid conversations like this. I say both sides should just man up and learn to take a joke now and then. It’s really not that big a deal in the long run, but the ensuing trainwreck racks the nerves to say the least.

#29: Altman’s problem with the firing shot is that it doesn’t really show off the design of the ship as well as the original angle. Usually I’m in favor of such changes when the CBS-D people make them, but I agree with Mr. Altman in this case. It’s the kind of thing that, just looking at it doesn’t give you a real sense of how the ship is shaped. Obvioiusly they decided to go for something new that emphasizes action, and I understand the motivation. But it’s likely there could have been something wholly new created that would have pleased everyone, but I suspect they often run in to time and budget limitations, requiring them to rework earlier scenes rather than building something up essentially from scratch.

At the same time, this is a relatively effects-light episode, so if the above is true I’m curious to know what they could be working on that’s coming down the pipeline.

As silly as the premise is on its face, (maybe Gill was watching Hogan’s Heroes during his 20th century history class… this theory makes more sense to me all the time) it’s still one of my favorites.

33. Captain James B. (O'Reilly) Quirk - May 26, 2007

“Another wild guess here, but I bet if there was a little slam against liberalism inserted into a review (I know, that is nearly impossible), and people commented on it, they would not be considered “touchy.” No, we’d have a crisis of epic proportions here, with the need for a national movement. Perhaps a townhall meeting with Jesse Jackson or the Rev. Al Charlatan, with the person who wrote the review sent to rehab, followed by an Oprah tour.

Those who agree with the left are “enlightened,” while those who voice the –slightest– disagreement are, at the very least, “touchy.”

Oh, and help me if I’ve made any spelling or grammar mistakes. ”

Again, well said on all counts! I think it’s really very simple.

1) If you are reviewing an episode and you don’t appreciate your politics, or social beliefs being attacked, then have the same respect for those that may have differing oppinions.

2) If you are going to review an episode, review it on it’s merits and not through any type of personal social, political viewpoint. This will make the review more enjoyable to everyone and will reduce the amount of social/political debate. UNLESS, that is exactly what you are shooting for. If indeed you are looking to rile people up, then proceed as before, but be prepared to for the fall out. I often feel that some of these throw away comments are made for just that purpose. To dangle bait in front of conservatives, and then to cry foul when someone takes the bait and beats the fisherman about the head and shoulders. “Those dastardly conservatives are at it again.”

3) Everyone appreciates having thier beliefs at least respected, but that includes both sides.

4) Reviewing an episode and wasting time trying to compare the morals and mores of the time, with todays lack of morals, is just that. A waste of time. Some of us still hold to those beliefs, or see things like Gary Mitchell’s comment as innocent stuff. RE: Dennis Baily’s WNM review.

5) A well informed reviewer doesn’t need to be verbose to give a good review. Look at Rich Sternbech’s review and compare it to some of the others. There’s no need to try and impress this audience with your depth of knowledge, or trivial detail. We get it, your smart. So is your audience. Get over yourself and write the review.

Well that’s my advice. As for the site. I love the site, love the videos and enjoy a good number of the reviews. It’s great to keep up on the most recent TOS news, but lets try and keep the conservative bashing to a minimum. I’ll do my best to keep the liberal bashing to a bare minimum.

Thank you, this had been your humble correspondant reporting live from the front lines of the culture war.

34. Gsmarty Pants - May 26, 2007

Everything should be nice, for the nice people.

This comment has been sanitized for your protection.

-Kirk: the JFK of space.

35. Kirk: The Jack Bauer Of Space - May 26, 2007

The caption under the shirtless Jim & Spock is great! :) I was always surprised by the chest hair on Spock… I never expected Vulcans to have body hair for some reason….maybe it would be more fitting if Kirk had the chest hair of, say, Austin Powers….

Wouldn’t Janeway or maybe Sisko be more the JFK of space? Just a thought…

36. Demode - May 26, 2007

“Why replace one over used shot with another overused less flattering one?”

I have to agree wirh Mark on this. That really is a big angle to shot from. It just looks off. In this case, the original effect looks much more classy,

37. Gsmarty Pants - May 26, 2007

#35

Well, a hyper-idealized JFK in space would probably be more accurate.
Whether one agrees with the politics or not, the ever-lingering nostalgia for JFK has its basis in the optimism America had about its role in the world, that many felt he embodied at the time. The same kind of optimism about Human potential and its power as a force for good is almost always present in Star Trek, and it comes largely from the fact that it was made in America at that particular place in time, when progress and achievement seemed limitless. Like space.

Also, while not captain of the Big E, JFK did command men on a ship of war. He saved his crew in the line of duty, as well, in a heroic incident that captured the nation’s imagination, even if it wasn’t in a key strategic engagement. There was plenty in the man’s life to inspire heroic characters in fiction, and Kirk would seem to owe at least part of his lineage to the JFK mystique/legend. They also both bagged a lot of babes.

The “we choose to go to the Moon” speech also comes to mind as something which may have captured Roddenberry’s imagination.

It’s superficial, yes, but the similarity too of the initials almost seals it for me. ;)

I’m not saying the show was exclusively liberal by invoking JFK, but just pointing to some historical parallels that I find interesting.

As much as I like Sisko and DS9 (can’t speak much for Janeway), I don’t think many of the characters created for the later series had that kind of individual inspiration in mind, drawing from any side of the political spectrum, or really anyone at all in particular. I might be wrong, but I get the sense they were thought up at a producers’ meeting and that’s about it. Probably why they could be really bland compared to TOS. It seems to me that the later characters didn’t really get interesting until they took on lives of their own, usually like 3 seasons into the show when the writers had finally developed their own kind of mythology.

38. Ron - May 26, 2007

#19: And given the number of people who have responded *positively* since then, all I can say is, draw your own conclusions. BTW my surprise was directed toward Anthony’s rather curt dismissal of my comments, not any sort of negative reaction by talkbackers, which was hardly unexpected.

Taking at face value your additional comment that Altman’s intentionally offensive slap at conservatives was justified because this rather silly episode actually had “serious political overtones” (I assume you mean something a little deeper than “Nazism = evil” which I think we’ve all figured out by now), what exactly did his remark bring to the table in terms of analyzing or discussing them?

39. Robert Bernardo - May 27, 2007

Another nice, straight-forward review. Thumbs up!

40. Luke - May 27, 2007

Can’t you just write a review without sneaking in all kinds of irrelevant prejudices?

I mean come on, what’s wrong with B-wings?

41. Doug L. - May 27, 2007

re 38:

What I thought was interesting about it, and it’s just my take, was that the speech John Gill gives while under drugs (please forgive me here, I’m not trying to stir anything up, but think it’s a very interesting parallel) is to me a stylistic match to any number of GW speeches since 9/11. Extrememly heavy on propaganda, light on detail, and littered with words (can’t remember exactly right now) like pride and honor and the enemy etc.

As I watched this episode for the first time in years, easily the first time since GW has been in office, I was stirred by the similarity. This type of speech is designed to do a very simple thing… Stir national pride in a time of war or a time leading to war. That may mean different things to different people and I’m not trying to cast any aspersions on anyone.

I think this is a very powerful episode. I think that’s largely what this episode is about – being blinded by one voice, not asking questions…, and I think it’s an interesting topic to debate, and I’m guessing Mark Altman saw the same thing i did and felt the need to say something about it.

Doug L.

42. Dom - May 27, 2007

Whoa! People are being touchy on both sides, regardless of their ‘politics.’ Mr Altman’s review was really quite straightforward and the ‘politics’ made me shrug. There was nothing preachy there.

What I find bizarre in the post-review talkbacks is that more time is spent berating the reviewer’s personality/politics/sexuality/humanity/writing ability/sentence structure than anything he or she has said. I’ve gotta ask . . . are some of these people writing in the talkbacks ***jealous***? Mark writes a review and you haven’t been asked, so let’s stab him in the back?

It’s fucking pathetic! If you don’t want to read one of these reviews because you have some issue with the fact that the writer has been asked, then don’t post here! Yeah, a lot of sci-fi forums are overrun by preachy people. I’ve never found that with this site. But these review talkbacks are leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth!

43. Lord Garth Formerly of Izar - May 27, 2007

I promise to root out the Zeon swine in this thread!!!!!

44. Dennis Bailey - May 27, 2007

#23: “National socialism is all about the power of the state. Neocons are wary of the power the state. The reviewer did more than digress.”

No, Fred, traditional conservatives are wary of the power of the State. Neocons are hypocrites who are more than willing to extend the power of the State to launch pre-emptive wars against other nations as long as *they* are the ones in charge.

Senator Barry Goldwater would be calling for investigations and impeachment right now.

Mark likes “Patterns Of Force;” I think it’s a waste of an hour. As I recall, this one ran on NBC the very evening that I was finding out that the practice of kissing a girl was far more fun than I had even imagined it would be – so for the first time in memory I missed “Star Trek.” When I caught the episode in re-runs some years later, I had no regrets. ;)

45. Gsmarty Pants - May 27, 2007

#42

“What of the parallels? Do we want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory because people who have never served and don’t have a clue want to tell the military commanders how to do thier job?”

This sounds a lot like, I don’t know, GWB (me gusta el blow y la cerveza… donde esta mi jet fighter?) and Vice President Cheney (“I had other priorities”) to me. Not to mention Paul Wolfowitz and a number of other people who pushed to fight this war the WAY it is being fought. Almost all of them, to a man, chickenhawks dreaming war in their civilian offices and halls of academe.

Yes, there are many on the left who profess to be devout pacifists and they’ll be against any conflict on that principle alone. Speaking for myself, I am not one of those people, even if I disagreed with going into Iraq in particular in the first place, and still think it’s a colossal mistake because we’ve ended up creating what it was we thought we were trying to destroy – foreign terrorists using Iraq as a giant training camp. Mission un-Accomplished on that one. Hussein being a loathesome piece of sh!t of a guy alone also wasn’t enough justification for attacking a country which had nothing to do with 9/11, either. We should have maintained our focus in Afghanistan, where bin Laden actually was hiding. By going into Iraq we’ve given him a powerful recruiting tool for angry, young Muslims who are now primed for becoming even more radicalized against us. If you think the world is screwed now, give it another generation or so of this. We’ve played right into his hands and this is not where we want to be. I don’t understand how this is not a valid criticism. Even reading that most basic of texts, The Art of War, will make it clear how poorly planned this was from the beginning. (The chaper “Planning a Siege” comes to mind.)

The new war we’re fighting bears little resemblence to the Total Wars of the past, and continuing to use those strategies inappropriately is what many on the “left” (really? The left is 70% of the country? some of those people have to be conservative to some degree) find distressing. That kind of large scale strategy worked in the past because we were targetting things like the war-machinery producing industries of Germany and Japan, for instance. We were out to cripple entire nations, because it was entire nations that the US and our Allies were justly fighting. And when we beat them, we had far more troops occupying Germany in the aftermath than we ever had in Iraq, and the Germans weren’t trying to suicide bomb us, either.

This war needs to be fought much more covertly and almost by definition relies primarily on a strong foreign intelligence apparatus to find out WHO is planning, going to plan, could be planning, a terrorist act. This new type of “war,” to put it simply, should be fought primarily with intelligence agents and military special forces units, not B-52s and shock and awe. We should be thwarting the violent plans of radicalized people, bringing them to actual justice when possible, and killing them in battle when necessary. A war is also won on the battlefields of hearts and minds, and wielding our impressively mighty club while doing little else to effectively bring others to our side is what is going to spell our defeat, as easily as being a nation of Quislings. The proper path is somewhere in between, with policies and tactics from both “sides” being utilized. Speak prudently and carry a silenced sniper rifle, I say.

The above strategy of cooperation could have easily gained international traction shortly after the 9/11 attacks, but in the subsequent months the Administration squandered the good will directed towards us from every corner of the globe. We could have had eyes and ears everywhere, and the fight against terrorists could have had a truly international scope. Instead we decided to go it alone (the coalition of the willing was obviously little more than a fig leaf) and we are where we are today. Where it’s only going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

Please, in the future, don’t make the mistake of painting everyone on the left as a bunch of longhairs on a peacenik freakout. It’s a strawman if there ever was one, and it does nothing to illuminate the places where we could actually agree. You know, the areas where we could actually make progress rather than continuing to shout at each other like we’re all on Crossfire. It only contributes to the atmosphere of divisiveness that pervades our discourse, more so than some clumsily constructed throwaway line in a Star Trek review. It’s also not very American in and of itself to brand your fellow citizens cowards and traitors (or for us lefties, meatheads and blowhards, I guess) for speaking their minds. The pacifists have their right to the position, and they should be respected for sticking to their guns, even if the majority of Americans, left and right, don’t share the same hard and fast perspective against armed conflict. If we don’t want them making policy, we won’t elect them to office. As it should be in a democracy.

And the last time I checked, none of the mainstream Democratic candidates advocate complete withdrawal and leaving Iraq “to its own devices.” Even when we are finally able to leave, we’re going to have to maintain a reserve in the region, and we’ll likely continue to have basing rights in Iraq for decades afterwards as well.

There was an article even yesterday that said White House officials are mulling pulling 50% of our people out by mid-2008, and setting up a situation there similar to what we have in South Korea. On it’s face, given our predicament, this actually seems like a very reasonable option to me, and I would have to support Bush on such a measure if it still seems practical when, and if, it’s officially proposed. And that’s a lot coming from someone who once yelled “shame!” at the White House a few years ago. Mainly for them being so stupid about all this, not just because there was a war going on. The guy wasn’t home, though, so I know he didn’t hear us.

Fight smarter, is all most of us are really saying. (Govern smarter, too!) But somehow any criticism of the President and his policies has been conflated into treason against the whole country, which simply could not be further from the truth. Someone’s been poisoning the well, and all of us, on both “sides,” are the victims. Let’s not play into someone else’s trap yet again.

46. Gsmarty Pants - May 27, 2007

Hmmm, the really long #42 by someone else (not Dom) I was responding to earlier seems to not be there anymore. If my previous post is therefore deemed irrelevant, please feel free to trash it. It has little to do with Star Trek or Patterns of Force. ;)

47. TRUTH QUIRK PART DEUX! - May 27, 2007

Well, I’ll be damned, my post was delted in it’s entirety, guess I’ll have to repost it and come back to Gsmarty pants comment, when I have a little more time to waste. Amazing, censorship on a Trek site? Yep, seen it before, I’m sure it wont be the last time.

I’ll get to the fight smarter comments, after people have a chance to read the deleted post of mine. Why do the liberals get to comment, but the conservatives get their posts deleted?

FYI See below. I’ll be back.
What of the stirring speach that FDR gave after Pearl Harbor, after he delayed going to war because many on the left said. “We don’t need to get involved, we don’t need to go to war.” After many in Hollywood and in the Democratic Elite, of America and other countrys actually tried to curry favor with Hitler?

The parallel I find most profound is the denial, by the left, that we are already at war. The left didn’t want to go to war in WW II, Korea, or Veit Nam. And Like Veit Nam, the lefties are actually screaming for us to get out and blaming the President, just liek they blamed Nixon. People seem to forget that JFK got us into Veit Nam and Nixon got us out.

“Only Nixon could go to China.”

Look at the parallel today, Clinton had every opportunity to do something about Bin Laden and in fact had him offered up on a silver platter, by the CIA on several separate occasions, but did nothing. Clintons own forgien advisor told him for 5 years that “Hey, this Bin Laden guy is really up to somethng….” What did he do? Bomb and empty textile factory, while getting a Lewinski.

Then you have the left saying things like “I voted for the war, before I voted against it, or that the war is a “Bumper Sticker.” Clinton II voted for the war, but doen’t want to fund the troops.

In WWII, Veit Nam and currently, the left protest while guys like myself and other Vets and current military actually go over there and put our lifes on the line, for this country, freedom and so you have the right to sit in your glass and ivory tower and throw stones at us, and call us baby killers and spit on us and denegrate us. If it were not for the troops and men of substance that stand for what they believe in and do what is neccesary, at all costs, you would be speaking German, or Japanese, or you might be living under a real dictatorship.

The difference between now and Veit Nam is simple. These people are already here and they want to kill us and if we don’t finish this thing, they will come here in droves and what has happened on 9/11 and in Spain and in France and in England will be nothing compared to what they will do here.

Just like WWII we need to have the guts to finish what we start and not let the liberal loon and the press open this country up for defeat.

After 9/11 everyone had the same intelligence. EVERYONE! Germany, Great Brittian, France, Russia, Australia, but what do we hear? Bush lied.

I’ve served overseas and I’ve been to these countrys, these people want to kill us and they are not playing games.

What of the parallels? Do we want to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory because people who have never served and don’t have a clue want to tell the military commanders how to do thier job?

If we pull out to soon, you will see unparalleled devastation in the US.

Think about it, 5 years and no subsequent attacks. Every plot foiled.

Yeah, Bush is doing a hell of a job!

Reminds me of a certain hard charging Captain, that meet the enemy head on, instead of standing on a soap box.

I think one of the greatest lesons this episode teaches, above all else. If you don’t learn from History, you’re bound to repeat it and by God this country is doing the same thing it did before. Getting bored, upset at the lack of progress, wanting to pull out early….Unfunded mandates….

48. TRUTH QUIRK PART THREE! - May 27, 2007

46. Gsmarty Pants – May 27, 2007
Hmmm, the really long #42 by someone else (not Dom) I was responding to earlier seems to not be there anymore. If my previous post is therefore deemed irrelevant, please feel free to trash it. It has little to do with Star Trek or Patterns of Force.

Of course it’s gone the liberal Nazis deleted it, but I brought it back. I’m not stupid, I know how the Trek sites work, so I save everything to clipboard and Word Perfect. Kinda tired of having to retype everything.

49. TRUTH QUIRK PART FOUR! - May 27, 2007

I think one of the greatest lesons this episode teaches, above all else. If you don’t learn from History, you’re bound to repeat it and by God this country is doing the same thing it did before. Getting bored, upset at the lack of progress, wanting to pull out early….Unfunded mandates….

50. Gsmarty Pants - May 27, 2007

48

“Of course it’s gone the liberal Nazis deleted it, but I brought it back. I’m not stupid, I know how the Trek sites work, so I save everything to clipboard and Word Perfect. Kinda tired of having to retype everything.”

Hey, dude, I don’t run the site, but when I saw your post gone, I offered mine up for sacrifice too. Anthony should just dump mine anyway just because it’s waaaayyyyy long, like yours is too. We’re both really long. High five.

Unfortunately we’re both also really irrelevant, as we’re not talking about Star Trek anymore. I think that’s the criteria more than anything for deletion of posts. We may as well be spamming, when you get down to it.

I do agree with you on the JFK/Nixon thing – JFK was an interventionist…. and so was Kirk. Another reason I like the JFK in space analogy. It was a different kind of liberalism back then, at least among those in the establishment, I suppose. Hey I managed to squeeze a little Trek into this one.

51. Anthony Pascale - May 27, 2007

beleive it or not I do not read all these posts, but I deleted what I thought was spamming. 5 posts repeating the same stuff seemed excessive…now he is up to 7 or 8. I do not like spamming and I really dont give a rats what side of any political divide you sit on. mark\’s comment was a throway silly laugh line and not worth the diatribes of politics that I see here.

but since he brought it up thats fine if you want to waste your time, but no more spamming I really hate that…if you made your point move on.

but I think you are all wasting your breath

52. Milou - May 27, 2007

Re #47 – oh dear…

I was going to try and answer the verious points that you made in your diatribe but I won’t since it’s completely irrelevant to Star Trek and also I suspect from the tone of your polemic that you’re not open to reason.

I’ll refrain therefore to merely stating that, in my opinion:

1. “’I’ve served overseas and I’ve been to these countrys, these people want to kill us and they are not playing games.” – If you’re an example of the quality of American military personnel then it’s hardly surprising that “those” people want to kill you; and

2. You appear from your post to probably be incapable to reasonable debate and possibly quite deranged. My apologies but there you are…

Meanwhile back to this episode. – what amused me was that our Federation historian used the Nazis as an example of an ‘efficient’ system to base a society on. Amusing simply because the Nazi state was in fact vanything but efficient, the government comprising a multitude of overlapping organisations whose leaders were continually struggling with each other for power and which viewed each other’s operations with a great deal of suspicion. Presumably what’s known of pre-WW3 history got a bit-mangled byt the time of the 23rd century :)

53. Gsmarty Pants - May 27, 2007

51

Understood. I’m curious to read his response since I tried to engage more than denigrate, but I know I’ve violated the semi-moratorium on hardcore political discussion in the comments sectiosn, so I will gladly leave my end of this to rest. I actually kind of feel dirty for having done it to begin with, and I do apologize for contributing to the stray.

I still think John Gill was watching Hogan’s Heroes instead of going to class, though.

54. TRUTH QUIRK PART FIVE! - May 27, 2007

My entire point was that we need to not remake the same mistakes, but intstead need to learn from history. That does seem, to me at least, to be a theme of this episode and is highly relevant.

No, #52, I am not derenged and when I was speaking of “US” I was speaking of anyone not a fanatical muslum extremist. I’ll let the rest of your post slide and consider the source.

Anthony, it was never my intention to spam, merely reply to the left and give another oppinion.

You know, IDIC.

55. Dom - May 28, 2007

Well, I’m definitely not on the ‘liberal’ side of any debate, but I found the review really quite innocuous. Who’d’ve thought we’d have thousands of words expended on stuff utterly unrelated to the review!!

Methinks there are hair-trigger people out there who are simply itching for a fight and wanting to take offence over anything that comes past!

56. Ron - May 28, 2007

Looks like the left are trying to rally using the usual tactics (“incapable to reasonable debate,” conservatives are “deranged,” et. al.). Nice, guys. What’s next, calling us Nazis? Oh, wait…anyway:

A brief reply to #41: I greatly appreciate the reasoned and reasonable reply. I disagree with the specifics – while I suppose Gill’s speech could bear a superficial resemblance to some of the “patriotic” speeches the administration has offered in recent memory, the context and content are vastly different. Is national pride really that bad of a thing in a time of war? But anyway, your point about the political overtones is accepted.

I’m left to wonder how Altman’s remark really addressed such topics, but I’m going to drop it and move on to bigger and better things. I’ve got Shore Leave recorded and I’m sure there’ll be no end to the controversial topics to be found there. =)

57. Joe - May 28, 2007

You’ve lost me as a reader thanks to the unnecessary political jabs in this review. A shame, this site was a very promising source for new Trek news, until it persisted in irrelevant political talk.

58. Jeff - May 28, 2007

Besides making gratuitous references to contemporary politics, the review confuses the warring factions in the episode: the Ekotians were the Germans, and the Zeons (cf. “Zionists”) were the Jews.

59. Gary Seven - May 28, 2007

Anthony,

If I understood your previous writings correctly, I thought you had a “no-politics” policy on the threads. I thought that was a good policy, because the threads can deteriorate into almost completely non-Star Trek (see above).
Did I understand your policy correctly, and if so , what has happened?

60. Ron - May 29, 2007

#59: I’m not a site editor nor am I speaking on their behalf, but based on what I’ve seen here such a policy (if it exists or ever existed) apparently does not apply to the articles themselves. And when such articles take gratuitous and offensive shots at one group or another, well, those groups are going to respond, and talkback degeneration proceeds from there. Anthony can delete postings on a mass scale and drive away his audience, or leave them (relatively) alone and let the conversation take its course. The best course of action would have been to avoid the gratuitous attack in the first place, but that didn’t happen, so the best you can hope for is that everyone handles the resulting political discussion with a measure of civility and intelligence. Some of us managed it (#41), some of us didn’t (#52).

61. Feminism & pop culture hits : The Hathor Legacy on Dexter, and Cupidsbow on fanwork — Hoyden About Town - April 27, 2009

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