Banned TV Moments That Fans Can't See

By | March 10, 2023

The High Ground – 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.

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(Paramount Domestic Television)

In the world of science fiction, anything is possible, even the depiction of real-world conflicts and controversies. And yet, even in this realm of limitless imagination, some topics remain too hot to handle, as demonstrated by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The High Ground."

In this provocative installment, the Enterprise crew finds themselves embroiled in the ethnic conflict of a distant planet, a thinly-veiled analogue to the real-world Troubles in Northern Ireland. And yet, it was a seemingly innocuous line about Ireland's reunification following "a successful terrorist campaign" that proved too much for the BBC, who promptly banned the episode from airing.

For fans of the show, this decision was a reminder of the power of science fiction to tackle complex and difficult issues, even as it entertains and provokes. And yet, it was also a reminder of the ways in which even the most daring and boundary-pushing shows can still find themselves at the mercy of the media gatekeepers, who hold the power to decide what is and isn't fit for public consumption.

A Room at the Top - The Brady Bunch

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(ABC)

Lloyd J. Schwartz, the director of the beloved Brady Bunch, spilled some juicy behind-the-scenes details in his tell-all tome, Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete Story of the Brady Bunch. In one sizzling chapter, Schwartz reveals how the on-screen chemistry between Maureen McCormick and Barry Williams was quickly turning into a raging inferno that threatened to scorch the entire set. In the fourth season episode "A Room at the Top," a seemingly innocent scene called for the duo to engage in a harmless conversation on Marcia's bed. But even the cool, collected Schwartz couldn't contain the palpable sexual tension that crackled between the two stars. Schwartz wrote:

The problem was that this episode was being shot at the height of the sexual tension between Barry and Maureen, When Barry sat down on the bed and started to talk to his TV sister, it became romantic, even steamy. I couldn’t print a scene in which a brother and sister were obviously hot for each other.