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Star Trek: The Next Generation – The High Ground (Review)

This January and February, we’ll be finishing up our look at the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation and moving on to the third year of the show, both recently and lovingly remastered for high definition. Check back daily for the latest review.

The High Ground is a rather earnest issue-driven episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, dealing with one of the big issues of the day: international terrorism. However, the moral ambiguity of terrorism was a decidedly more contentious and controversial issue in early 1990 than the plight of Vietnam veterans explored in The Hunted or the Cold War politics of The Defector.

The High Ground is an allegory for the Troubles in Northern Ireland at a point in time where the Troubles were on-going. 1990 saw a number of high-profile terrorist actions conducted by the IRA. They bombed the London Stock Exchange in July. Using an explosive device, they murdered Sergeant Charles Chapman in May. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for his death. In February 1991, the IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. So this was the context in which The High Ground aired.

And, to be fair, there’s something admirable about the show’s willingness to engage with a controversial issue, even if the end result leaves a lot to be desired.

Holding hands around the universe...

Holding hands around the universe…

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Non-Review Review: The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli is an interesting film. It’s undoubtedly well made, featuring a strong cast and a pretty great script. Being honest, we’ve had more than enough death and destruction amid post-apocalyptic wastelands, so a movie that doesn’t dwell too much on the soulless nihilism of the setting – well, relatively speaking. It’s sort of an action movie response to the after-the-end thrillers we’ve been seeing a lot of in recent years (The Road comes to mind, as does Carriers and Hollywood’s current fascination with zombies). However, the movie comes across as a little too polished and stylised for its own good – at times it seems as if the cast are recording a perfume commercial set amid the ruins of a world that once was.

Have we been down this road before?

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