Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, Episode 12

The High Ground (27 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 862 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 6 critic

While visiting a planet under civil war, Dr. Crusher is taken hostage by an opposing faction of the planet's ruling government.



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Title: The High Ground (27 Jan 1990)

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Episode cast overview:
Alexana Devos
Kyril Finn
Fred G. Smith ...


When most away-teams are visiting the Ruthian planet under civil war since 70 years between two continents, Dr. Crusher is taken hostage while attending local wounded by an Ensata (western continent) autonomist faction of the ruling government which uses terrorist techniques such as bomb attacks. Her son Wesley Crusher is assigned to Lieutenant Worf's technology team, and spots radiation traces indicating the use of life-threatening dimension shift techniques abandoned by Federation research because of the health toll, which fit perfectly the Ruthian government's nightmare, 'inverters' used by the Ensata revolt to dodge all scans. Her keeper Kyril Finn, the Ensata leader, shows the great need for medical aid their side is not getting from the Federation, alas the inverter causes DNA warping she can't treat, and explains how he hopes to make the Federation end the bloody conflict at last. Discussions and attacks go on... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

27 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to a line from Data, in reference to the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Reunification of Ireland in 2024, the episode was originally banned in the UK and Eire, not airing in the usual running order on BBC television. In 2006, it showed on Sky One (who had assumed the broadcast rights) with the 'offending' line edited out. It was eventually shown unedited on BBC2 in September 2007 in the after-midnight repeat slot. See more »


The away team that beams into the terrorists' underground lair to rescue Capt. Picard and Dr. Crusher is led by Cmdr. Riker. With Picard taken hostage by the terrorists, Riker is in effective command of the ship. As such, his position is on the bridge and not heading an away mission. (This point would be made clear in "The Best of Both Worlds" (#3.26), when Riker tries to take command of the away mission to rescue Picard from the Borg and Counselor Troi reminds him that his duty is on the bridge.) See more »


Doctor Beverly Crusher: What happened to them?
Kyril Finn: It's the inverter. It's given our cause a new life, but... it asks for our lives in return.
See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Its parallel to today is obvious.
16 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

It's obvious that this episode is based on various terrorist organizations of the day--such as the IRA and PLO. This isn't surprising, as all the Star Trek franchises have a history of making episodes with contemporary parallels.

In this episode, the Enterprise is visiting the Ruthian planet--a place which has been plagued with terrorist attacks for many, many years. It seems that the Ensatan separatists want their own homeland and they seem willing to do just about anything to bring about this change--including kidnapping Dr. Crusher. But there is another reason for taking her prisoner, as the Ensatans are experiencing serious genetic damage due to their use of dimensional shifting--a practice long abandoned by the Federation since it will eventually kill those who use it.

Naturally the Enterprise want the Doctor back but they also don't want to be picking sides or get pulled into the conflict. Unfortunately, the Ensatans don't see it that way and soon are targeting the Enterprise and its crew.

Overall this is a decent episode, though some might be offended at the moral relativity. In other words, terrorists and those fighting them in this one are basically the same. This is sometimes true...sometimes not in real life. But its message is compelling nevertheless.

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