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Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 26, Episodes 51 & 52: Return to Tomorrow/ Patterns of Force

11 customer reviews

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(Jun 19, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

"Return to Tomorrow," Ep. 51 - Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Ann Marshall allow noncorporeal beings to inhabit their bodies so that these aliens can prepare androids for themselves. But one entity secretly plans to remain in Spock's body. "Patterns of Force," Ep. 52 - On a routine check of planet Ekos, nuclear missles are fired at the U.S.S. Enterprise. Kirk and Spock investigate and find the planet is controlled by latter-day Nazis.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols, Bill Blackburn
  • Writers: Gene Roddenberry
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: CBS Paramount International Television
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005BCK7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,151 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 26, Episodes 51 & 52: Return to Tomorrow/ Patterns of Force" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. B. Curtis on June 20, 2001
This DVD is very good. Picture quality is excellent, but I did notice one possible problem with the sound in the episode "Patterns of Force". About 43 minutes in, when Kirk is trying to get Gill to respond, Kirk slaps Gill, but no slap sound can be heard. I also have this episode on VHS, so I know that there should be a slap sound. There is one other sound problem I noticed 2 minutes later when one of the Nazi guards is banging on the door to the booth where Kirk and Gill are. You don't hear the cound of the banging on the door. That sound is also on the VHS tape, but not the DVD. I have e-mailed Paramount Home Video about this but haven't heard back from them. I would be interested in knowing if anyone else had this same experience.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jared Insell on October 27, 2002
Volume 26 of the Star Trek DVD collection contains two more excellent episodes from the second season. Both the episodes here are very well written and are classics!
RETURN TO TOMORROW has some wonderful acting performances by the cast which tends to overshadow the story. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Dr.Ann Mulhall (played by Diana Muldaur) discover a lost race of beings on a distant planet. The only surivivors left of this race are Sargon, his wife and Henoch (an old enemy of Sargon's). The aliens ask for the use of Kirk, Spock, and Mulhall's bodies to construct robot structures for themsleves to live in. In return the beings will give the Enterprise crew all the advanced knowledge they possess. Things work at first but Henoch decides he likes Spock's body and turns against Sargon in order to keep the vulcan's body. Now it's up to Kirk and Sargon to try and get Spock back into his own body! RETURN TO TOMORROW has some memorable performances particularily by Diana Muldaur whose character was excellent and I thought she should have been a regular on the show. With all do respect to Nichelle Nichols and Majel Baret but I don't know if they could have pulled this performance off. This episode really brought out the fact that Star Trek lacked a strong female role indeed, and perhaps Dr. Ann Mulhall was the character the series needed. Unfortunetly her character was never used again and Muldaur only returned in the third season as a different character. RETURN TO TOMORROW is a very good Star Trek episode and it's priceless to see Kirk's bonding with Sargon because we get to see Wiliam Shatner overreacting at his best.
PATTERNS OF FORCE is one of my favourite Star Trek episodes and I am amazed at how many reviewers have lamb-basted this episode.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frederick Baptist on December 9, 2006
After a major slump in episode quality which lasted the previous few episodes, we get a major quality improvement here with this volume which for those of you who are picking which volumes to collect, this would fall under the "nice-to-have but not essential" category. In "Return To Tomorrow", we get an alternative take on the origin of humanoid life in the galaxy. Now the "founding fathers" require human hosts temporarily while they produce android hosts for their "spiritual essences". What's bewildering is why these guys didn't think of this idea while they still had corporeal bodies but they had to wait half a million years for the Enterprise but I guess this is one of the reasons why this is the weaker of the two episodes here and is overall an average episode at best.

The second episode, "Patterns of Force" is the stronger episode here and shows why the Prime Directive is so emphatically expounded by the Federation when yet again well intentioned but misguided members of Starfleet institute plans that go horribly awry. We already know that the cell phone was inspired by the communicators but I also noticed in this episode at the beginning what appeared very much like a plasma tv set! I wonder if that was inspired by Trek as well!

To conclude, one good episode combined with an average one makes this a 4-star volume which is nice to have but not essential if you are picking volumes to collect.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Hank Drake VINE VOICE on July 25, 2001
Volume 26 of Paramount's complete reissue of Classic Trek contains one of the series' finest stories, coupled with an episode which never should have been made.
Star Trek has touched upon the concept of non-corporeal life before, but in Return to Tomorrow the issue is more fully explored. Sargon's race is a cross between the Talosians and the Organians. Kirk's pep talk in the briefing room has been lampooned in the movie Free Enterprise--but it is actually well acted, well written, and encapsulates everything Star Trek is about. Diana Muldaur, who would later appear during the second season of The Next Generation, makes her first appearance here. The voice of Sargon was supplied by James Doohan, Trek's best all-around vocal talent.
Patterns of Force is a standard action-adventure story which never should have made it past the first script-reading. Setting the story in an alien version of Nazi Germany offered no historical lesson, and only served to rub salt into what was then a rather fresh wound. By using Nazi Germany as the historical example for this story, the writer has managed to trivialize both the Nazi regime and the Holocaust almost as badly as Hogan's Heroes did. In addition, the handing of the historical parallels is fatuous, substituting the phrase "final decision" for "final solution" and "Zeon" for "Zion." (This remains the only Trek episode to be banned in Germany.) One wonders how William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, both of whom are Jewish, felt about the dubious proposition of donning Nazi uniforms and participating in such fluff. Kirk's "lesson" at the end of the episode, to the effect that the problem with the Nazi's was not that they were evil, but rather that "power corrupts," is dead wrong.
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