The High Ground (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
|"The High Ground"|
|Star Trek: The Next Generation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 3|
|Directed by||Gabrielle Beaumont|
|Written by||Melinda M. Snodgrass|
|Featured music||Ron Jones|
|Cinematography by||Marvin Rush|
|Original air date||January 29, 1990|
Set in the 24th century, the series follows the adventures of the Starfleet crew of the Federation starship Enterprise-D. In this episode, a crew member of the Federation Starfleet starship USS Enterprise-D is taken hostage by terrorists who hope Federation involvement will help them win concessions for their cause.
The crew of the Enterprise is sent on a mercy mission to deliver medical supplies to the war-torn non-affiliated planet Rutia IV, in the middle of a decades-long conflict with rebel separatists called the Ansata. The Enterprise crew cannot intervene in the conflict itself, internal to the planet, because to do so would violate the Prime Directive. While Chief Medical Officer Dr. Crusher, Commander Data, and Lieutenant Worf relax in a cafe, a bomb goes off in a public plaza, injuring many bystanders. Dr. Crusher attempts to tend to the wounded bodies against Captain Picard's suggestion to return to the ship, but her efforts are interrupted when she is abducted by a man using an unknown method of teleportation. After being denied the use of the Enterprise's superior firepower to seek and destroy the Ansata's base of operations, Alexana Devos, the head of Rutian security, orders severe interrogation of all known Ansata sympathizers, an act that the Enterprise crew find immoral. Without new information from Devos, the Enterprise crew investigate the teleportation technology and find that it is used to shift between dimensions, allowing the Ansata rebels to bypass even force fields. The investigative team, which includes Wesley, lets Picard know that they need to observe more of the teleportations to be able to pinpoint the location of the base.
At the Ansata base, Crusher learns her abductor is Kyril Finn, the leader of Ansata. Crusher refuses to eat or otherwise cooperate with Finn. After several hours, Finn lets Crusher out of her restraints and requests that she help treat their wounded. Crusher discovers that the "Inverters", the Ansata teleportation technology, cause irreversible damage to the user's DNA, and that many of Ansata's sick are due to excessive use of the Inverter. Finn admits that the Inverter is their only advantage against the Rutian government. After more hours pass, Finn believes that the Federation, by providing medical aid, is working with the Rutian government and launches an attack on the Enterprise, despite Crusher's requests to avoid harming her son. The Ansata manage to plant a bomb on the Enterprise warp engine. It is quickly transported into space by La Forge, but the distraction is enough to allow Finn to appear on the bridge and abduct Captain Picard. With Picard as his captive, Finn uses the Inverter to come to Counselor Troi on the Enterprise and demand the Federation become involved in mediating the dispute, returning to the planet before security can arrive. Picard, learning of Crusher's situation, tells her to continue to work on gaining Finn's confidence to hopefully end the dispute peacefully.
Data and Wesley are able to use Finn's appearance to locate the Ansata base, and Commander Riker and Devos assemble their forces. After they transport into the base, the combined forces are quickly able to quell the resistance. Finn, as a last resort, attempts to execute Picard, but Devos kills him. It is her conclusion that if Finn remained alive, his imprisonment would spark more resistance, while being killed in battle will only elevate him to martyr status and reduce the violence in the short-term. When a young Ansata member attempts to exact revenge on Picard, Crusher is able to convince him to drop his weapon, which Riker notes is a sign that there may be more fruitful discussions to resolve the issue in the future.
In his study of instances when terrorism has worked, Data notes that Ireland was unified in 2024. As a result, this episode was not originally shown by the BBC in the United Kingdom, which had been the victim of numerous terrorist attacks by the IRA, for many years. It was not broadcast in the Republic of Ireland by the Star Trek rights' holder, RTÉ, during the programme's run on that channel, though UK broadcasts were received there. Initial UK airings were edited when shown on satellite channel Sky One. The episode was broadcast unedited in May 2006 on Sky One and finally shown unedited on BBC Two during the third season's repeats after midnight in September 2007.
The episode was released with Star Trek: The Next Generation season three DVD box set, released in the United States on September 3, 2002. It was released in high-definition Blu-ray in the United States on April 30, 2013.
- Gallagher, William (November 8, 2011). "German TV lifts ban on "Nazi" Star Trek episode". Radio Times. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Caldwell, Johnny (April 14, 2007). "Star Trek predicts a united Ireland". BBC News Online. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
- "BBC Two - Star Trek: The Next Generation, Series 3, The High Ground". Bbc.co.uk. September 29, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Beierle, Aaron (July 2, 2002). "Star Trek the Next Generation – Season 3". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- Miller III, Randy (April 30, 2013). "Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016.
- Beresford, Jack (August 19, 2019). "The banned Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that predicted a united Ireland by 2024". The Irish Post.
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