Banned TV Moments That Fans Can't See

By Sarah Norman | August 24, 2023

Conspiracy - Star Trek: The Next Generation

There's a sense of forbidden allure that comes with things that are banned or hard to come by. Whether it's a banned book, a censored movie, or an episode of a popular television show that was pulled from the airwaves, there's something about the unattainable that makes it all the more desirable. And while censorship may seem like a thing of the past, the truth is that there are still plenty of examples of episodes of popular television shows that were banned or are now hard to see because they were pulled from the airwaves after their initial run.

From the controversial and the offensive to the just plain bizarre, these episodes represent a side of television history that we don't often get to see. So, if you're a fan of television and want to explore some of the shows that have been deemed too hot for TV, then read on. We've compiled a list of some of the most banned and hard-to-find episodes of popular television shows, and we're inviting you to join us on a journey into the dark and fascinating world of TV censorship.

test article image
(Paramount Domestic Television)

Star Trek: The Next Generation, the beloved third installment of the iconic Star Trek series, takes place in the latter third of the 24th century, where Earth is a part of the United Federation of Planets, and the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) embarks on a journey to explore the Alpha quadrant. In the season one episode "Conspiracy," after meeting with a fellow captain, Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise uncover a conspiracy involving high-ranking Starfleet officers possessed by parasitic aliens preparing to invade the United Federation of Planets. However, the uncut version of "Conspiracy" was kept off of the BBC due to its rather uncharacteristic graphic depiction of a man exploding, which resulted in a highly edited version being aired by the BBC in 1991.

Home – The X-Files

test article image

The X-Files, notorious for its seedy dealings of government conspiracies and extraterrestrial life, had already laid out a veritable feast of gore and revulsion for its viewers. But in the sordid and sickening episode, "Home," the show managed to outdo itself, delivering one of the most appalling hours of broadcast television in history. Mulder and Scully's investigation of the murder of a mutated infant leads them to a small, isolated town, where they encounter the Peacock family: a group of twisted, inbred farmers who engage in unspeakable acts of debauchery with their quadruple amputee mother, all in the name of perpetuating their cursed bloodline.

Rife with repugnant depictions of sex and violence, "Home" is like a gruesome spectacle that you can't look away from, no matter how much you might want to. Fox initially banned the episode from ever being aired again due to its overwhelming shock value, but fans protested, and it was eventually brought back, becoming a highlight of the series. Much like the infamous horror classics, The Last House on the Left and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, "Home" is just as enthralling as it is unnerving, and it's a wonder that it was ever allowed to see the light of day.