Star Trek is well-known for its controversial episodes, but one in particular led to the end of a career.
Star Trek: The Original Series covered heavy topics for its time period, and one in particular was “Patterns of Force,” the 21st episode of the second season. The episode was banned in Germany from 1968 until 1995 due to its depiction of Nazi uniforms that looked a lot like the real things. And the actress who portrayed Daras in the episode had a big problem with two items that were added to the costume she had to wear—a swasticka arm band and a hat pin with the same insignia.
Velora Noland, who passed away on March 27, 2022, was the daughter of German artist Franz Baum. Baum and Noland’s mother, Abby Beveridge married in Germany in 1934 but fled in 1939 to escape Nazi rule. Noland was born two years later in California. Her family’s past had a big impact on her, and when she accepted the role in “Patterns of Force,” she didn’t know the swasticka arm band, a picture of which can be seen here, and hat pin would be added to her costume.
The one Star Trek episode shamed Velora Noland into leaving the industry.
When Noland was cast, though she might have known about the general plot of the episode, she had no way of knowing about the complete costuming. In fact, according to her IMDB page, the swatstickas were not part of her attire when she went in for the costume fitting. Instead, they were added just before filming began on the first day.
Because she had already been cast as Daras, Noland was forced to continue the role while wearing the arm band and the hat pin. She was ashamed because of what they represented and regretted her involvement with the episode. As a young actress appearing on a successful television series, she might not have felt like she could express her reluctance to wear the insignia or perhaps she did voice it and was overruled.
“Patterns of Force” aired in February 1968, but Noland left her career behind in January 1968. She had only one additional credit to her name after the episode and then became a writer and a photographer.