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New Mission Log: Code of Honor August 14, 2014

by Kayla Iacovino , Filed under: Mission Log Podcast , trackback

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

LISTEN: MISSION LOG PODCAST

 


 

Comments

1. matt b - August 14, 2014

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

2. CmdrR - August 14, 2014

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.

3. Trekbilly - August 14, 2014

Terrible episode!! And racist!! Lol!!

4. ados - August 14, 2014

my least fav of all time..hands down

5. Plum - August 14, 2014

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.

6. CmdrR - August 14, 2014

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.

7. Jared - August 14, 2014

The thing is though … I do like the costumes.

8. LogicalLeopard - August 14, 2014

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.

9. Legate Damar - August 14, 2014

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

10. Julius Caesar - August 14, 2014

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

11. JR - August 14, 2014

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!

12. Vultan - August 14, 2014

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

13. pilotfred - August 14, 2014

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

14. Fining an - August 14, 2014

Not a good episode.

15. ironhyde - August 14, 2014

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

16. Bird of Prey - August 14, 2014

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..

17. JR - August 14, 2014

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!”

18. Captain Pike - August 14, 2014

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

19. GBOG - August 14, 2014

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

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.

21. Jack - August 14, 2014

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.

22. CmdrR - August 14, 2014

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!

23. Jack - August 14, 2014

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.

24. Patrick Shirley - August 14, 2014

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.

25. ironhyde - August 15, 2014

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?

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??

27. Michael Hall - August 15, 2014

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.

28. ados - August 15, 2014

27…name one worst…

29. star trackie - August 15, 2014

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

30. matt b - August 15, 2014

“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.

31. Duane Boda - August 15, 2014

Should be renamed….Code Of Total Lameness

32. LogicalLeopard - August 15, 2014

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.”

33. LogicalLeopard - August 15, 2014

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?

34. LogicalLeopard - August 15, 2014

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?

35. Steven Maines - August 15, 2014

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

36. LittleLebowski - August 15, 2014

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?

37. Thorny - August 15, 2014

11. JR…

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

38. matt b - August 15, 2014

35.

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

39. Digsnutrek - August 15, 2014

Star Trek TNG is overrated.

40. Trekbilly - August 15, 2014

““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…

41. Trekbilly - August 15, 2014

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

42. starfall42 - August 15, 2014

“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.

43. Danny Johnson - August 15, 2014

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

44. wi-kiry-lan - August 15, 2014

@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.

45. Paul - August 16, 2014

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? ;)

46. NCC-73515 - August 16, 2014

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!

47. tronic307 - August 16, 2014

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

48. Hat Ric - August 16, 2014

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

Uh-oh. Hope nothing’s wrong again.

49. Phil - August 16, 2014

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….

50. Hat Rick - August 17, 2014

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.)

51. Hat Rick - August 17, 2014

One nit-picky little comment, a la Phil Farrand (who in ancient times wrote the famous Nitpicker’s Guides to various Trek incarnations): The segmented walls in the cargo bay photograph above is so obviously set-like it’s charming. It reminds me of the walls used in TOS, which I believe were similarly designed for flexibility purposes.

They also remind me of the removable partitions used in convention halls. (Which they might have been, actually, and repurposed for use on sets.)

52. James - August 17, 2014

@51 – I love those Phil Farrand books. A true obsessive!

I remember how down everyone was on TNG in its first few years. Now, much is made of it and seen many see through rose-tinted spectacles. Episodes like this one I just watch for the nostalgia.

53. Hat Rick - August 17, 2014

I enjoy all Trek, and I do mean all. Even “Sub Rosa” and the episode where Warp 10 turned people into lizards or whatever. Even “Spock’s Brain,” even.

The quantity of great Star Trek is so large that it makes misfires more than tolerable. In fact, I would argue that simply having new-build Star Trek (even below-average Star Trek) on TV is reassuring in itself because it’s always a reliable indicator of good, great, or truly sublime Star Trek. It becomes like the humming of a warp engine in the background — strangely comforting.

The fact that there’s no new Star Trek being produced on TV, conversely, produces the opposite feeling.

Reruns of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT, on the other hand, are somewhere in the middle along that spectrum. I’d like to think that every hour of every day, someone, somewhere, is being converted into a Trekkie by a Trek show, great or small.

And yes, I miss Phil Farrand’s books. He’s long moved on, but for a while there, they were such fun to look forward to. I have them in storage somewhere and I’ll look for them when I am able.

54. LogicalLeopard - August 18, 2014

45. Paul – August 16, 2014

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

*********************************

Troi is a very good exception to that rule. When I was younger, I couldn’t figure out what was going on with her. *LOL* But I really applaud Marina Siritis’s attempt at an accent, especially when considering that she is from a race which really doesn’t have to do a lot of speaking amongst one another. It would be fascinating to think about how that came to be. Is it derivative of her father’s accent and maybe some other influences?

But back to my point, Troi’s accent kind of illustrates the point. It becomes remarkable when people use accents, because the grand majority of the aliens don’t. Neither do the humans, actually. One could say LaForge doesn’t have an accent, because he maybe wasn’t raised in Somalia, but Picard is the sore thumb. Growing up in France, in a pretty technologically and culturally secluded environment, and he has a British accent.

But these Ligonians have a noticeable accent, and that accent is noticeably reminiscent of the actors’ real heritage. It’s the equivalent of having a planet of blondes (like that one pleasure planet) speaking with Swedish accents, or a planet of Asians having a Mandarin accent.

55. LogicalLeopard - August 18, 2014

44. wi-kiry-lan – August 15, 2014
@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.

******************************

There’s a big difference there. Speedy Gonzales is Mexican. So it stands to reason that many Mexicans might like the character. Especially if it’s dubbed to remove “fake” Mexican accents with real Mexican accents, treated with respect.

But Africa is a continent. Maybe they like it for the same reason black people in America like shows with black casts – you don’t often see them. But as for the accents and clothes, well, you’re dealing with so many different cultures and languages, you can’t really say how it would be received.

*LOL* I love the phrase “Space Africa” though. Hmmnnn…..if Bob Orci is listening, I wonder what the chances are to showcase African cities in the an upcoming Star Trek movie.

56. LogicalLeopard - August 18, 2014

46. NCC-73515 – August 16, 2014
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!
**********************************

*LOL* Thanks for reminding me of why I never liked The Royale

57. Steven Maines - August 18, 2014

38. Matt

I was being a bit cheeky. I do hate stereotype, but heck, I am from the South. We are one big stereotype…all to ourselves.

58. Jack - August 18, 2014

They make an interesting post in the podcast that the casting and, especially, the accents and the costumes aren’t in the script.

it’s great to see that many black actors on Trek, but I can see how it seems a little disturbing now. I thought it was weird then, and I was 10.

And, no, the script wasn’t let over from the 60s. The writer did another version for Stargate later on.

okay, and hasn’t Sirtis said she was originally doing a (“sort of Israeli”) alien accent she made up? it kind of fades to normal U.S.-ish by later seasons, until she suddenly has a UK accent in First Contact.

59. Jack - August 18, 2014

*interesting point (not post)

60. Jack - August 18, 2014

PS. I hated The Royale. I stopped watching the show entirely early in Season 3, and then happened to be home one Friday night with nothing to do and caught The Best of Both Worlds Part 1… and then watched faithfully until Season 6 or 7.

61. Hat Rick - August 19, 2014

Day 5.

The conditions are rapidly deteriorating as our water runs out. Still no sign of new articles. Morale is declining although Harrison tries his best to make jokes and act the clown.

Something about Harrison doesn’t sit well with me. He says that’s his real name, but still and all….

The sun is beating down on us and the desert stretches on forever. Wesley says he’s glad we’re not in a lifeboat because he’d be the first to be thrown overboard or eaten. We laugh.

Day 6 diary entry to follow.

62. falcon - August 19, 2014

Hmm, stories about a stereotypical African tribe with a twist … stories about a matriarchical society (Angel One) … heavy-handed stories about drug abuse … I have to admit there might be a dozen TNG episodes that I thought really stood out as “Star Trek” and as science fiction (“Yesterday’s Enterprise” and “The inner Light” being two of them), but most of them were retreads from TOS or poor concepts to begin with (Enterprise visits [fill in the blank] and encounters a [fill in the blank] society that [threatens the Enterprise/threatens a crew member/is in danger of extinction/is being attacked by a neighboring planet] and Captain Picard/Cmdr. Riker/Dr. Crusher/Wesley must [save the day/negotiate a truce/make a personal sacrifice]) … you get the idea.

Back in the day I loved TNG because it was the only Trek on TV. Now, I look back at the episodes, especially the early ones, and I cringe.

63. LogicalLeopard - August 19, 2014

58. Jack – August 18, 2014
They make an interesting post in the podcast that the casting and, especially, the accents and the costumes aren’t in the script.
*********************

Hmmnn…very interesting. So who is the guilty party, I wonder? The director and the costume designer? The producers?

***********************

it’s great to see that many black actors on Trek, but I can see how it seems a little disturbing now. I thought it was weird then, and I was 10.

And, no, the script wasn’t let over from the 60s. The writer did another version for Stargate later on.

okay, and hasn’t Sirtis said she was originally doing a (“sort of Israeli”) alien accent she made up? it kind of fades to normal U.S.-ish by later seasons, until she suddenly has a UK accent in First Contact.

*************************

*LOL* She did, didn’t she? I thought it was kind of funny, It was like, “Oh who cares anymore!”

64. Yanks - August 19, 2014

This is back when TNG was trying to be TOS.

A racist copy of Amok Time.

How do we make Tasha able to win a fight? Oh, lets reverse the roles!

What a crap episode.

TNG was lucky they had no competition. (I’m glad they didn’t)

65. JERRY - August 20, 2014

In all fairness, the aliens in “A Piece of the Action” sounded exactly like Italian mobsters, and some of the Ekosians from “Patterns of Force” had German accents.

66. Who cares - August 21, 2014

I have heard the complaints about the “space african” episode here for many years. Never really got what was so bad about it. At least it is better than the “space Indians” episode of TOS, or the Nazi Planet, or the Mob Planet, or Miri, etc.

PS. The guys on the Mob planet didn’t just sound like Italians, most of the major ones were actors known for playing Mobsters, just like the guys who played the mobsters in the DS9 episode with the “Easter Egg” in the program for Vic’s lounge.

67. Damian - August 21, 2014

Probably the worse episode of TNG. I don’t believe they were being intentionally racist. Naïve probably is a better word for it. I’ll watch it when I’m watching TNG from a completest standpoint, and it has it’s Star Trek moments.

68. Gabriel Koerner - August 21, 2014

One interesting little thing this podcast forgot to mention… this is the only episode of the series that Michael Dorn refused to participate in, for obvious reasons.

69. Yanks - August 24, 2014

Good for Dorn!!

70. Li'l Shat - August 26, 2014

This episode makes me think nostalgically of the death of Yar (spoiler, sorry).

She has an entire holodeck hologram which she’d prepared ahead of time for every star of the crew.

Now THAT was amazing, given how short a time they’d known one another.

Data I could understand because they were intimate once (although she was under the influence at the time). But the rest of them? Wow. I want to make a hologram like that for my cats.

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