Star Trek episode 'banned' for 34 years after it predicted Irish reunification in 2024 following terror campaign

4 March 2024, 16:26

Star Trek episode 'banned' for 34 years after it predicted Irish reunification in 2024 following terror campaign
Star Trek episode 'banned' for 34 years after it predicted Irish reunification in 2024 following terror campaign. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

A Star Trek episode that made reference to 'Irish unification in 2024' following a successful terror campaign is still banned in the Republic of Ireland it has been revealed.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Series three, episode 12 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, entitled Higher Ground, was released in 1990 but did not air amid the febrile political situation on the island of Ireland at the time.

The character Data, known for his blunt analytical skills, but lack of emotional intelligence, recounts a terror organisation abducting a member of the Federation Starfleet starship USS Enterprise-D.

Data, played by Brent Spiner, then cites "Irish unification in 2024" as an example of violence helping achieve political aims.

In light of the episode's reference, the episode has only been aired on Irish television network RTÉ once in 34 years.

Star Trek: Next Generation
Star Trek: Next Generation. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Star Wars and Gremlins actor dead following ‘massive heart attack’ aged 64

Read More: O2 Academy Brixton to reopen 16 months after deadly crush killed two people

The BBC meanwhile finally gave approval for the episode to air in the UK in 2007 - 17 years after the episode's release. However it buried Higher Ground in a 2.40am graveyard slot and has not been repeated since.

Sky, however, chose to air the episode in 1992 but without the line referencing Irish unification.

In the episode, Data asks protagonist Jean-Luc Pickard whether terrorism can be an effective way to achieve political change.

"Yes, it can be," Picard responds, "but I have never subscribed to the theory that political power flows from the barrel of a gun.

“These are questions that mankind has been struggling with throughout history. Your confusion is only human.”

As well as Irish unification, Data cites Mexico's independence from Spain and a fictional event as examples of violence achieving political aims.

Minister of Finance Caoimhe Archibald (centre) with First Minister Michelle O'Neill (right), Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, February 29
Minister of Finance Caoimhe Archibald (centre) with First Minister Michelle O'Neill (right), Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, February 29. Picture: Alamy

The episode's writer Melinda M Snodgrass said the story deliberately resembled the situation in Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

She said she wanted to explore the idea that one person's freedom fighter is another's terrorist.

"These are complicated issues," she told the BBC. "And when do people feel like their back is so much against the wall that they have no choice but to turn to violence? And is that actually ever justified?

"I think what I wanted to say was: if we're talking and not shooting, we're in a better place."

The episode's prediction gained attention from Star Trek fans after Northern Ireland elected its first republican first minister this year.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Nearly 18,000 police officers were hired virtually by forces, prompting fears of another Wayne Couzens, LBC can reveal.

Nearly 18,000 police officers hired without face-to-face interviews by forces prompting fears of new Wayne Couzens

Lee Anderson's wife has been suspended by the Conservative party after being allegedly spotted campaigning for her husband's party Reform UK.

Lee Anderson's Tory councillor wife suspended from party after appearing to campaign for Reform in Ashfield

Election 2024 Decision Notes Alaska Wyoming

Biden wins Wyoming’s caucuses as eyes turn to Alaskan democrats

Hormuz incident

Iranian forces seize container ship near Strait of Hormuz

Russia Ukraine

Ukraine military chief warns of ‘significantly’ worsening battlefield situation