New Mission Log: Code of Honor

code_of_honor

The Mission Log Podcast continues its journey through every episode of Star Trek. And, we mean every episode. This week, they take a look at TNG’s “Code of Honor”, a mission of mercy to Ligon II that goes wrong for the Enterprise.

Mission Log 099 – Code of Honor

The Enterprise is sent to negotiate with a lower-tech planet for a life-saving vaccine. Sounds harmless right? Wait until you see it. This week, John and Ken put Code of Honor into the Mission Log.

code_2

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matt b
August 14, 2014 10:27 am

I enjoy these conversations every Saturday morning now ! great stuff!

CmdrR
August 14, 2014 10:59 am

After Encounter at Farpoint, which was pretty impressive.

Then, we got The Naked Now… then this oh-so-subtle story.

Strike Two!

Thank the Great Bird of the Galaxy the series eventually got better.

Trekbilly
August 14, 2014 11:13 am

Terrible episode!! And racist!! Lol!!

ados
August 14, 2014 11:46 am

my least fav of all time..hands down

Plum
August 14, 2014 11:57 am

As bad as the Irish one. I can’t figure out how the writers, and everyone else, didn’t see what a whopping joke this concept is. The conflict of the story is a culture clash, which the crew has to overcome to gain it’s goal. That’s it. But the subtext, if ya wanna call it that, is hopelessly asinine.

CmdrR
August 14, 2014 12:07 pm

4 – Rats. You had to mention the Irish one. I was gonna say, “Well, at least it’s not as bad as the ‘Just Say No to Drugs’ ep later this season… Wow. It was a really hard beginning for TNG.

Jared
August 14, 2014 12:15 pm

The thing is though … I do like the costumes.

LogicalLeopard
August 14, 2014 12:16 pm

I’m black, and perhaps I can’t really speak much about this episode, because I was 9 years old when it first aired, and wouldn’t have caught anything. Of course, watching reruns while the series was running, I would have seen it many times afterward, but I don’t think it ever offended me. I mean, I can clearly see that its hamfisted and stereotypical, and weird with the outfits, but I think it gets points for doing a few inventive things. The women owning property instead of the men was interesting. The people weren’t savages either, they had advanced technology, just not on par with the Federation And the best part about it was they actually managed to outsmart the crew of the Enterprise with a believe a transporter trick that they weren’t familiar with.

It could have done away with many of the standard tropes and the acting quality – Why not just project them as normal American English speaking people without feigned accents? With maybe different clothes as well. But like I said, I didn’t think it was overtly offensive, and I don’t think it’s such a bad episode.

Legate Damar
August 14, 2014 12:56 pm

Can’t we just pretend this episode never happened? I don’t know how offensive it is, but it is really stupid.

Julius Caesar
August 14, 2014 12:59 pm

Were the accents all feigned? Lutan’s sounds real, the others might have been trying to emulate him.

JR
August 14, 2014 1:35 pm

Remember… there was a writer’s strike at the time… and it showed… most of the way through season 2! Most episodes were pretty bland. It was not until the third season when I began to say… Now this is Star Trek!

Vultan
August 14, 2014 1:36 pm

Whew boy, at least the Irish one had some charm—and clones! This one is just painful to watch.

pilotfred
August 14, 2014 2:06 pm

Thank goodness this was not made in 2001 or it would of been cancelled quicker than enterprise

Fining an
August 14, 2014 2:22 pm

Not a good episode.

ironhyde
August 14, 2014 3:28 pm

Say what you will about this episode, but Data’s scene with Geordi still holds one of the biggest laughs I’ve ever had in Trek and one of Data’s best character moments.

“A man goes to a store to buy some kidneys. He says to the shopkeeper, “I’d like a pound of kiddillies, please.” The shopkeeper says to him, “You mean kidneys, don’t you?” The man says, “I said kiddillies, diddle I?”

lol

Bird of Prey
August 14, 2014 3:46 pm

Mission Log and other reviewers make a point that this episode would not be regarded as THAT bad if it weren’t for the unfortunate casting and costumes.
And while I agree with that, I think you could also give a similar argument coming from the other direction:
Showing a planet wherein the the majority of the population doesn’t look like the Caucasian variety of Earth-people is perhaps not really worst idea per se, because it helps diminish the impression that most people (humans and aliens) in the Trek-universe are white – something that clearly isn’t the case in real life, if you look at this world’s population as a whole. What makes this bad though is only the execution, with the Ligonians’ portrayal evoking racist stereotypes ect..

JR
August 14, 2014 5:08 pm

Remember, there was a writer’s strike at the time… and you can tell… the stories from season 1 and 2 were pathetic. When season 3 started, I could finally say: “Now that is Start Trek!”

Captain Pike
August 14, 2014 5:25 pm

Really loving the Mission Log podcasts. Keep up the fine work John & Ken!

GBOG
August 14, 2014 5:48 pm

The show got better because the Great Bird of the Galaxy was even more hands off.

wi-kiry-lan
August 14, 2014 7:44 pm

I always thought it was ridiculous to call this episode racist. Not every planet should look like it has white aliens with 2 black extras. And some *gasp* might even have some culteral differences with western civilization.

Jack
August 14, 2014 8:13 pm

The ’88 writer’s strike wasn’t at the start of that first season — this episode, like the bulk of those from season one, was just bad, period.

CmdrR
August 14, 2014 8:14 pm

15 – “I’d like a pound of kiddillies, please.”

I think you’ve transcribed it correctly.
It’s one of several times that Data uses a contraction during Season 1, even AFTER he pointed out his difference from Lor. (There’s another beaut’ in “We’ll Always Have Paris” when one of the Datas cries out, “Oh, it’s me!”

Ha!

Jack
August 14, 2014 8:54 pm

I don’t think it’s just the casting that makes it racially icky — it’s that they’re inferior dummies… and that they all look like extras from Coming to America.

Patrick Shirley
August 14, 2014 11:12 pm

It’s been ten years since I’ve seen this episode. I don’t remember what I thought about the racial aspects but I do remember that I thought Tasha Yar was really wimpy for a supposed badass who survived growing up on a planet whose defining trait was rape gangs.

ironhyde
August 15, 2014 1:11 am

22. CmdrR – good point. It does have contractions. Although, I look at it as Data transcribing a conversation. If he were told to repeat in court what two people said, I doubt he would correct contractions. It would be more of a reply of sound, than an actual use. Ya?

Jonboc
August 15, 2014 4:23 am

I can’t believe that some are suggesting that an alien society with alien ways on their own alien world, should have better fashions. Really??

Michael Hall
August 15, 2014 6:41 am

Never understood all the antipathy towards this episode, myself. It’s a full-throttle attempt by TNG to be TOS–specifically, second season TOS–right down to the Federation/alien culture clash (and attendant moralizing), the Fred Steiner score, and climactic fight to the death. It’s all quite silly, of course, but it has a certain goofy charm, and at the very least it’s not dull. Not TNG’s best by a long shot, but you could do a lot worse.

ados
August 15, 2014 7:01 am

27…name one worst…

star trackie
August 15, 2014 7:28 am

I will…Shades of Gray. The Royale. Sub Rosa…so many, but I gotta stop there, getting a little sick.

matt b
August 15, 2014 7:29 am

“Angel One”; “Shades of Grey” is the worst! That’s two worse for me. Although I agree that “Code of Honour” is a bad episode in it’s own right and definetly in the bottom five worse episodes made for TNG over the seven seasons.

Duane Boda
August 15, 2014 7:58 am

Should be renamed….Code Of Total Lameness

LogicalLeopard
August 15, 2014 8:17 am

Julius Caesar: Acting! *L* IMDB says regarding the actor that played Lutan, “Jessie Lawrence Ferguson was born on June 8, 1941 in The Bronx, New York, USA.”

LogicalLeopard
August 15, 2014 8:25 am

20. wi-kiry-lan – August 14, 2014
I always thought it was ridiculous to call this episode racist. Not every planet should look like it has white aliens with 2 black extras. And some *gasp* might even have some culteral differences with western civilization

26. Jonboc – August 15, 2014
I can’t believe that some are suggesting that an alien society with alien ways on their own alien world, should have better fashions. Really??
********************************************

The charges of racism come in when you have a planet populated by black people who have accents similar to those of some African peoples, and a futuristic dress that resembles some African dress. Comparing that to other episodes, where you see mostly white humanoids, there are no exaggerated accents. You don’t end up on a planet populated with people wearing clogs that have accents resembling Dutch. The closest you have to that is the Irish episode, and I think they actually were descended from Irish people, so they had a reason for what they did. No problem with having an all African American cast, but why couldn’t they speak with regular American accents like the other aliens? Why the clothing choices?

LogicalLeopard
August 15, 2014 8:28 am

29. star trackie – August 15, 2014

I remember not liking Royale the FIRST time I saw it! *L* I dont’ really remember Shades of Gray. Sub Rosa is a stinker too. Who cares about Crusher’s grandma?

Steven Maines
August 15, 2014 9:56 am

I think the big problem with the Irish episode is how they were portrayed as always drinking.

LittleLebowski
August 15, 2014 10:08 am

In the future, all clothing must be made of sparkly metallic fabrics. If anything dates S1 TNG, it’s the often goofy, neo-60’s, Theiss Titillation Theory costuming decisions.

That and the weird tendency for mandatory planetary costumes / haircuts. And how fashion never changes. Where’s the alien equivalent of that one dude who still thinks wide-lapel polyester suits are in?

Thorny
August 15, 2014 11:24 am

11. JR…

The writers strike was a year later. Only the first half of Season 2 was really impacted by the strike,

matt b
August 15, 2014 1:29 pm

35.

Well they do traditionally enjoy a good tipple actually. I should know l – I have a friend from Ireland.

Digsnutrek
August 15, 2014 1:52 pm

Star Trek TNG is overrated.

Trekbilly
August 15, 2014 5:07 pm

““Angel One”; “Shades of Grey” is the worst! That’s two worse for me. Although I agree that “Code of Honour” is a bad episode in it’s own right and definetly in the bottom five worse episodes made for TNG over the seven seasons.”

Could not agree more! Hated those too…hated Home Soil and Justice too. Pretty much the only year one episodes I liked are Farpoint, The Last Outpost, Conspiracy, Heart of Glory, Skin of Evil, and The Neutral Zone…

Trekbilly
August 15, 2014 5:08 pm

The Fred Steiner score was the ONLY thing good about this episode! Wish he had done some more episodes of TNG…

starfall42
August 15, 2014 5:29 pm

“Shades of Gray” barely even counts as an episode. It was just a clip show to bring the writers strike delayed 2nd season to a quick and cheap close. It didn’t even air until July.

Whether you think it was racist or not, pretty much everyone in the cast hated it. The director was replaced halfway through filming, though I’ve only heard rumors as to why.

Danny Johnson
August 15, 2014 8:01 pm

Never thought it was racist, but not TNG s finest moment.

wi-kiry-lan
August 15, 2014 10:49 pm

@33

why – because its space Africa!

heck I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if this was the #1 favorite episode there (regular Africa that is). admittedly I’m basing that on how I was told speedy Gonzalez is Mexico’s favorite looney tune character by a friend from there. but here the PC folks hate him.

Paul
August 16, 2014 12:12 am

It’s just another of those alternate history planets Star Trek got famous for. After a “planet where everybody died” and a “planet where Roman Empire never fell” and a “planet where women rule”, we got a “planet where Africans managed to develop a modern culture”. I don’t think the creators had any racist intent, they merely recycled a refused script from the 60s.

@33 – you mean like Troi speaking with perfectly normal American accent? ;)

NCC-73515
August 16, 2014 5:20 am

The Royale and Sub Rosa were not so bad. Saw my first TV corpse in The Royale, and was always scared of it when I saw the episode again… (OMG, now they get up that floor, oh noooo, now they’re gonna pull back the blanket, aaah!)
And Data was funny when he played with manipulated dice XD
The end of Sub Rosa was creepy, when mommys corpse rises from her grave!

tronic307
August 16, 2014 12:24 pm

Ah, early TNG. Trying too hard to be TOS, but I kind of appreciate it for that.

Hat Ric
August 16, 2014 1:31 pm

An aside: The rate of new articles posted on TrekMovie has slowed significantly.

Uh-oh. Hope nothing’s wrong again.

Phil
August 16, 2014 10:48 pm

Well, I did mention a couple weeks back that a flurry of activity isn’t anything to get excited about. We’ve seen it before, then everyone goes on hiatus for six months….

Hat Rick
August 17, 2014 1:32 pm

Well, there’s always reruns. (I.e., re-looking at the posts that are already up.) And mega-threads. (The result of posting messages on the most recent thread notwithstanding its increasingly elderly status.)

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