Movies - TV
Star Trek: The Next Generation's Most Controversial Episode Explained
By WITNEY SEIBOLD
The “Star Trek” franchise may be about fantastical space exploration, but many pieces of media under the "Trek" name also tackled social and political issues through the use of metaphorical plots that reflected real-life conflicts. Unfortunately, one episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was censored for referencing politics.
“The High Ground” episode aired in 1990, and follows a terrorist fighting for his people’s independence, a situation that paralleled events in Northern Ireland at the time. The 1920 Government of Ireland Act divided the island into Ireland and Northern Ireland, a decision that sparked decades of division, violence, and civil conflict known as The Troubles.
In a questionable moment from the "Trek" episode, Data (Brent Spiner) asks Picard (Patrick Stewart) why terrorism is condemned, since it is often successful in changing oppressive governments, citing the fictional "Irish Unification of 2024." UK TV banned the episode until 2007, but Data’s speech was still omitted in Irish broadcasts.