The banned controversial Star Trek: Next Gen episode that promised a united Ireland


Staff Member
4 Jun 2021
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I never imagined that Star Trek would feature in the politics section, but yet here it is. Because this had been censored, I didn't even know about the censorship until I saw this article.

The controversial episode is The High Ground, (season 3, episode 12) because it referred to the troubles in Ireland. Just checked the Paramount+ app and it's on there, but I'll have to watch it to see if it's still censored. If you get to watch it first, do let us know if the censored bit is in there now.

ST:TNG is still my favourite Star Trek series of all of them, but they're all good. Voyager felt like an upgraded ST:TNG, the same, but better tech. The holographic doctor and his humorous lines was its best feature.

The High Ground screenshot.jpg
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When sci-fi writer Melinda M Snodgrass sat down to write Star Trek episode The High Ground, she had little idea of the unexpected ripples of controversy it would still be making more than three decades later.

"We became aware of it later... and there isn't much you can do about it," she says, speaking to the BBC from her home in New Mexico. "Writing for television is like laying track for a train that's about 300 feet behind you. You really don't have time to stop."

While the series has legions of followers steeped in its lore, that one particular episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation has lived long and prospered in infamy.

It comes down to a scene in which the android character Data, played by actor Brent Spiner, talks about the "Irish unification of 2024" as an example of violence successfully achieving a political aim.

Originally shown in the US in 1990, there was so much concern over the exchange that the episode was not broadcast on the BBC or Irish public broadcaster RTÉ.

I think Ireland will eventually reunite and I look forward to it since people are stronger together and there's way less strife. Just look at how awful all the bombings and violence from the IRA were before the Good Friday agreement. All that disappears when people are united.



Web Diva
Staff Member
13 Apr 2022
2,163 (2.82/day)
Fascinating! I didn't know that STNG had a censored/banned episode. Also interesting the writer picked unification of Ireland in 2024 too. Now I'll have to look up that episode and watch it. We have TOST series on DVD but hadn't invested in STNG DVD's.

We always anxiously awaited new episodes every week with STNG....such a space opera, but I loved the language, the actors and space encounters. The Klingon involved episodes might have been my top fav's....well, I liked them all!
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