New Mission Log: 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.





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

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.

Terrible episode!! And racist!! Lol!!

my least fav of all time..hands down

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.

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.

The thing is though … I do like the costumes.

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.

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

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

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!

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

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

Not a good episode.

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?”


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..

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!”

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

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

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.

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.

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!”


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.

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.

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?

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??

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.

27…name one worst…

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

“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.

Should be renamed….Code Of Total Lameness

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.”

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?

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?

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

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?

11. JR…

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


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

Star Trek TNG is overrated.

““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…

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

“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.

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


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.

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? ;)

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!

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

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

Uh-oh. Hope nothing’s wrong again.

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….

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.)