The 1968 episode titled “Patterns of Force” got the ax in Germany and was barred from airing in the country for decades until 1996. What could Kirk (Shatner) and Spock (Nimoy) possibly have done to deserve such a fate? Well, as it turns out, “Star Trek” wasn’t always so subtle with its commentary.
“Patterns of Force” finds our intrepid heroes visiting an alien world ruled by a Nazi-like regime — already not a favorite theme in Germany. The uniforms are extremely similar to Nazi apparel, down to the smallest details. The leader of this world is gearing up his people for genocide with hateful propaganda. Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly did to German censors.
Of course, the Enterprise crew saves the day — after all this is “Star Trek”. But this was a case where the story hit a little too close to home for Germany, who was not ready to boldly go back into that particular piece of earthly history until the ’90s when they lifted the ban. It’s still surprising that a show as popular, well-intended, and optimistic about the future as “Star Trek” would fall victim to cancel culture in any galaxy.