Star Trek: The Next Generation

“Code of Honor”

0.5 stars.

Air date: 10/12/1987
Written by Katharyn Powers & Michael Baron
Directed by Russ Mayberry

Review Text

Absolutely terrible. "Code of Honor" represents a period when bad TNG wasn't bad TNG, but instead bad TOS. In an attempt to negotiate the acquisition of a much-needed vaccine to cure a deadly plague, the Enterprise crew has dealings with the Ligonians, who value customs of ritualistic honor above all else. Play ball and respect their customs, or no vaccine. Now there's an evolved sensibility. And a premise that leads to an idiotic plot.

One of the rituals involves the kidnapping of Lt. Yar by Lutan (Jessie Lawrence Ferguson), who is quite taken by Yar's presence as a Strong Woman (or some such). Picard must subsequently figure out how to get Yar back without offending the Ligonians and losing the vaccine. It's about here where Lutan's wife demands Yar participate in a fight to the death.

The story requires unwavering endurance to sit through, moving at glacial pace and inviting ridicule at nearly every scene. It employs every cliché in the TOS rulebook, including Goofy Alien Customs, a Hand-to-Hand Fight to the Death, Clever Captain Trickery, and Silly Gender Roles Played Stupidly. The fight to the death is particularly inept; stunt sequences have rarely looked so cheesy. One of Trek's worst episodes.

Previous episode: The Naked Now
Next episode: The Last Outpost

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152 comments on this post

    I was watching Stargate re-runs a while ago and saw 'Emancipation', where Carter is kidnapped and forcibly married to a local warlord. The plot reminded me a lot of Code of Honor, so I looked it up:

    It was written by Kathryn Powers. Not only did she think this story was worth writing, she thought it was worth writing again!

    I'm sure when I was 16 (ish) watching this for the first time and being so pleased their was a new Trek series I thought all the first seasons episodes were great.
    I didn't last 20 minutes when this was on TV the other week.
    Dross of the highest order. I think half a star is generous.

    I didn't find this ep spectacularly bad (unlike "Justice"). It was a fail, but not an *epic* fail. I'd describe it as just "there", just like "Encounter at Farpoint" (although EAF was ahead of this ep by miles, of course).

    That said, this is a pretty bad ep. Without going into details, it basically screamed "TOS ripoff" throughout. And the stale acting by most of the ensemble did not help things at all. When Tasha was beamed off, Picard just casually went "Shields up, red alert" and walked out like nothing much happened. If this were a TOS ep, there would have been dramatic music, a focus on Kirk's shocked face for a few seconds to give the audience time to realize what just happened, then he would have yelled "RED ALERT, BATTLE STATIONS!" and ran out of the room as fast as he could.

    But it's no use nitpicking relatively little things like this, when the whole script leaves much to be desired. I can't believe that the writer was responsible for another ep just like it (Simon's comment above). 1 or 1.5 stars.

    Better explanation: The problem I had w/ the Tasha kidnapping scene was, it was basically too rushed. But that's just like singling out a small dent in the hull of a starship after a warp core breach. Next, please.

    Couldn't agree more with Jammer. This is terrible. In fact, this is the worst TNG episode I've seen so far (Up to ep 5 of Season 2), for all the reasons said above, and even more: The actress of Tasha Tar is particularly bad at her paper.

    At this point everyone is a bad actor, but she's in the leading role of bad actors, and an episode centered around her didn't do any favor.

    Oh, and I dont need to tell you how BORING "Code of Honor" actually is. Talk about a bad start for a new show.

    I saw this episode again today (after I last saw it some 15 years ago), and I actually quite enjoyed it. I know the episode has an extremely bad reputation, but overall, I found it to be rather entertaining and it is perhaps the best emulation of TOS ever made (not that that should be a goal in itself). I loved some of the dolly shots and the musical score. I also loved the little scene between Geordi and Data about telling a joke, and even the character developement of Picard accepting Wesley as a part of the crew was executed really well. The ultimate ending (where Lutan learns his first wife is not really dead, and her decision afterwards) was mediocre, I will admit that, but overall, I think everyone should give this ep a second (or thirteenth?) chance.....

    Middle of October 1987, and surely for many Science Fiction fans, this was an unwelcome early taste of Turkey. Difficult to add much to Jammer's review- this was sufficiently bad that the series might well have been cancelled after the First ten episodes had it been airing today!

    The scenes involving Yar are initially not as bad as the later ones. I liked the exposition on how the holodeck worked as a concept. However the scenes involving Crosby/ Sirtis when discussing Lutan's obvious attraction for Yar are beyond cringeworthy. Jesse Ferguson, memorable as the self-loathing Black Cop from 'Boyz in the Hood' (subsequent to this I think) plays the role in hammy, entirely inappropriate fashion. The guest Actors playing his henchman and wife are if anything,even worse.

    Surprisingly Wil Wheaton is proving weak but far from the weakest link here. Crosby ad Sirtis are far poorer in ths episode, and to make Crosby the lead in the third episode was a 'Bridge too far'. As 'The Snob' says, there's a good scene with Data and Geordi and Patrick Stewart is pretty reliable, but overall this merits it's less than stellar reputation -1star....

    What a pile of crap! Enterprise should have just left when Ligonians kidnapped Tasha :P That would be awesome. I mean, she is such a terrible actor. Especially, when that Ligonians guys (I wonder how they managed to get technology like teleporting) brought their vaccine thing, Tasha jumped in front of them like retard and grabbed it instantly before it reached her captain...

    Bad writing, bad acting, cheesy music.

    It wants to be big, but it falls all over the place.

    First off, kudos to Jesse Lawrence Ferguson puts in a scene-stealing performance at every turn. His presence makes the story far better than what it otherwise would have been, regardless if the guest cast were black, white, brown, or neon green. His confidence as an actor, and vocal cadence, are admittedly magnetici and he rises above how one-dimensional his role is. The role of Lutan is, obviously, as much cliched as anyone else's, however.

    The other saving grace is how the Geordi/Data relationship is nailed from the get-go. One can't say that about many things in TNG's early days, but for the Geordi/Data double-act, they got it right.

    Now, the story is one big walking cliche.

    Picard's use of blowing up torpedoes around the planet is something Kirk would not be stupid enough to do.

    Yar's holodeck stuff was good, but the assumption all women would consider Lutan (or any male in general) to be "their type" is indeed cringe-worthy and off-kilter. I want to like it, since Troi is trying to trip Yar up and be more than the usual "I'm saying what's already obvious to you, captain and to you viewers as well" but somehow it doesn't work. B+ for effort, and Marina Sirtis looks like she's enjoying the dialogue since it's not the samey-lamey claptrap...

    Even Picard accepting Wesley was decently handled.

    All in a story that is otherwise one big warp bubble of a cliche.

    In Blu-Ray, this story looks VERY impressive.

    I'd give it 2 stars. "Justice" is readily the worst excuse of an episode, which is a shame...

    Sure, this is a bad episode but I don't feel it's the worst in season 1, surely 'Justice' or 'Angel One' should hold this honour.

    I enjoyed the campy nods to TOS, and didn't get the mild racism.

    Imagine this on a darker show... I don't think Captain Picard would be sitting around (was it a whole day?!) thinking Tasha Yar was A-OK. Anyhow, that was my main story related gripe.

    2 stars from me.

    I thouht actor Jesse Lawrence Ferguson was a campy delight as Lutan. His enunciation made an otherwise forgettable bit of dialogue one of my favorite quotes from TNG:

    "Then you shall have NO treaty, NO vaccine, and NO Lieutenant YAH!"

    Is it just me or has anyone else thought to themselves while watching this - why don't they just beam Tasha up after she's abducted? When Picard and his party beam down to the surface and he makes the demand to see Tasha to be sure she's all right, the guards bring her in and she's still got her combadge.

    Couldn't the Enterprise have simply locked on to her com signal and beamed her up straight away?

    I mean, I realize this is a Roddenberry episode and all but that just seems like a real oversight.

    Just saw this episode for the first time in almost a decade due to recently purchasing the first season on blu ray. Unfortunately, it has become shockingly apparent as to why I have stayed away from it for all these years. This is not TNG. It is a crummy rip off of TOS, executed without any of the charm or humour of its predecessor. It is littered with stereotypes (verging on racism), and features one of my least favourite characters in the Star Trek universe, Lt. Tasha Yar. (I was so glad when they finally killed her off in Skin of Evil). Your review basically hit the nail on the head, Jammer, except that I would not give it the reward of even half a star. Finally, I wish to give my accolades to the blu ray which manages to make even a terrible episode like this look great.

    To me, this is probably the worst episode of TNG. I couldn't put "Shades of Grey" anywhere near it -- "SoG" is simply pointless and difficult to get through, not also offensive (though we'll see when/if I rewatch that).

    My girlfriend cheerfully pointed out how ridiculous it is that we learn at the end that "all women train" for the possibility of a life-or-death fight, to the point where Yareena [whose name is really similar to Yar's, weirdly] is nearly on the same level of strength as Yar, and yet the men are still shocked that a woman can be strong.

    I do think the worst part of this episode -- and it's an episode with many "worst parts" -- is Yar's reaction to the whole thing. This is a woman who grew up on a world where she had to, as we learn in the previous episode, run away from and dodge rape gangs, but she somehow swoons at the notion that her kidnapper wants to marry her and needs to have Troi drag that out into the open in order to realize how her attraction is clouding her judgment. What? At the episode's end, Yar seems almost to consider marrying Lutan, dismissing it as being too "complicated" rather than dismissing him on the basis of having kidnapped her and manipulated her into a kill-or-be-killed situation. It's possible Yar doesn't know that he did it all because he wanted his wife's land, but she should maybe be able to figure out that that is part of what happened. Troi seems to act as if Yar's attraction to Lutan is normal, rather than framing it as some kind of Stockholm Syndrome-type psychological defense mechanism, the latter of which would have made some kind of sense.

    But anyway, the overt racism of the Tribal African tone (reportedly, the original script didn't call for an all-black cast; that was the director's decision and he got, understandably, fired -- but too late), the nonsensical plot, the casual sexism, the silly sets and costumes, the constantly shifting definitions of "honour" to mean "whatever the plot requires the Ligonians to do at this given moment," etc. It is baaaaad.

    like most first season episodes, this episode was all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Not that anyone's acting is Emmy material but Denise Crosby as Yar is at it's worst. "Troi , you tricked me!" Star Trek as a franchise has always been a little too self congratulatory about it's racial diversity. It might be true of the regular cast but rarely were they any guest stars of color. So I'm especially dismayed that the one time they actually use black guest actors it's just to play on African cliches with shameless abandon. Why not just call the episode Black Snake Moan?

    Absolutely cringeworthy. When Yar said "of course I am attracted to Lutan!" I just about wanted to smack her. Or rather the writer who came up with that.

    I wonder if an actor has the power to tell a writer that they just can't SAY their lines because they're utter bullshit. I can't blame Denise Crosby for being bad in that episode, because, let's face it, her script was crap.

    One more sign that They Just Didn't Care to add to the pile: when Yar is abducted, NOBODY reacts to it with the least bit of surprise. I'm guessing this was because Yar and her abductors were filmed separately from Troi and Picard for the shot, but the way it comes off, it looks like Yar's abduction was pre-arranged by both sides with only Yar herself not in on it.

    Also, the ending is total bull: somehow Yareena's momentary death annuls her marriage but not her property ownership. But then again everybody was probably fed up with Lutan by now so they all just went along with it.

    I watched this for the second time today with an open mind and I can't believe how bad it is. Tasha spent her adolescence dodging rape gangs, so why would she be attracted to a kidnapper? In real life that actually could be a response - lots of people who endure sexual abuse fantasize about rape - but I don't give the writers enough credit to have thought of that, and if they did, they're sick f***s. Beyond that, there is no Prime Directive issue here. If aliens kidnap a crew member, beam them back. Anyway, this isn't a primative world. They have transporter technology ffs. The whole thing is just a terrible mess that's better off forgotten. I agree with Jammer's rating. I give it a half star for camp value. I would give it another half star for all the sexy men, but the racism used in depicting them makes it kind of hard to enjoy the eye candy.

    One of my favorite episodes.

    When I first saw this, I was pretty intrigued that they had a planet of dark-skinned aliens - being a dark-skinned individual myself - and I wished that they'd revisited the Ligonians in a later episode. (Not too mention, this episode featured Tasha Yar, who I had a crush on at the time).

    While it could have been stronger, being that that 1st season episodes were a bit shaky, I would give this episode a 3 out of 5 stars.

    It's easy to criticize this episode, one could focus on the wooden plot (and plot holes) and write paragraphs. One could criticize the cheesy acting, such as Lutan's ridiculously over-the-top emoting. That's not what makes this episode so bad.

    This is a Minstrel Show, plain and simple. I believe the audience is meant to laugh at the primitive nature of this "native" space culture, and that's not what Star Trek ever has really been about. I was pretty offended watching this, and I'm still surprised that this was greenlit and filmed.

    The only way this episode could possibly be defined as a success is as a subversive comedy. Other than the offensiveness, the only emotion I felt watching this was stupified bemusement. When Lutan said "then you shall have no treaty, no vaccine, and no Lieutenant Yar!" I admit I laughed, and laughed hard. Some definitely campy moments.

    Side note: extremely distinctive old-school Star Trek music for this episode. Truly a VERY evocative score.

    1 star if taken seriously, 3.5 stars if viewed through John Waters's eyes.

    In tune with TOS, the climactic hand-to-hand is totally lame, as bad as the Gorn fight, except that Tar seems to be facing off with a Prince/Rik James hybrid. Hysterical.

    Why is everyone so down on this episode? The men marry the women and get all their lands and possessions and if the husband wants another woman then they can fight to the death on some jungle gym bars. They are light years ahead of the ferengi.

    But when tasha was asked if she wanted to take lutan and she replied "there would be complications" I wanted to see the missing scene where Picard goes up to Riker and says "this is our security chief? Can I fire her yet?"

    Oh this is bad. Horribly bad. I'm not going to sit here and think of a reason to forgive this episode for how bad it is. A rotten apple is a rotten apple and it doesn't matter if it's not "quite as rotten" as another rotten apple. It doesn't matter if a mouse can find a tiny bite on it that's yummy.

    While the previous episode was campy at times, yet entertaining, this one is overtly-campy, offensive, and boring. Any comparisons to TOS on it's supposed homage to "campiness" is incorrect. TOS was campy as in it is a product of its time. And their were MANY episodes of that show that came no where even CLOSE to this schlock.

    Yes there were a couple of surprisingly good scenes and the scenery chewing from Jesse Ferguson was pretty awesome. It still isn't worth scraping out of the bottom of the barrel. Plop the lid back on and bury this one please.

    Zero stars.

    Warning: This comment contains spoilers for upcoming episodes.

    When I watched TNG as a child, I liked Yar a lot. She seemed like a tough, but also nice person to me, and I was sad when she got killed. Having rewatched all the episodes featuring her, I have to admit that the character does not hold up that well, though she might have developed in a better direction if Denise Crosby had stayed along for the next season.

    "Code of Honor" might very well be the worst TNG episode, and I don't think it is necessary for me to add my reasons for hating it. On my recent rewatch I was baffled as to why this strong, independent person would not simply punch Lutan in the jaw and get out of there. However, thinking about the episode again after having watched the rest of the season, it seems much more in line with Yar's character for me.

    In other first season episodes, as well as season 4's "Legacy", it is revealed that she grew up without parents, abused drugs and had to protect her sister (as well as her kitty cat) while fleeing from rape gangs.

    This has obviously affected her perception of the concepts of sexuality and family. This has already been shown in last week's "The Naked Now", where she confided in Troi that she is unhappy with her own unfeminine appearance, seduced Data (the only person on the ship without any feelings) and afterwards told him to never speak of it again. In "Justice", she apparently wants to present herself as particularly promiscuous and kinky when she tells the whole bridge crew how the people of Rubicun III "make love at the drop of a hat - any hat".

    In this episode, she seriously considers marrying a man who kidnapped her, and whom she admires for his raw masculinity and "I take what I want" attitude. And in "Hide and Q", Yar breaks down in the face of imminent death and confides in Picard that she sees him as some kind of father figure, which is immediately turned into a sexual direction by her (I think her words were something like "Oh, if you weren't my captain...").

    So simply judging from the first season, we can assume that Yar is deeply disturbed in her understanding of sexuality. She dresses up as hot as she can, only to bed the one person whose only requirement for sex is the command "start intercourse subroutine", and who by design can not attach any feelings to the experience. And when it comes to relationships, she longs for a mate who is a strong father figure, who will care for her and tell her what to do.

    This is an interesting parallel to Riker, who also grew up without parents (well, his father was still alive, but he wasn't around much and cared more for his career than for his son) and has promiscuous sex with as little strings attached as possible, while striving for the admiration of a father figure (Picard) and the caring, warmness and understanding of a mother figure (Troi).

    I'll be honest. After watching these idiots roll out a red carpet and the leader show up, I immediately deleted this episode off my DVR. As Jammer said, this is not only bad TNG it's bad TOS.

    Agree with all the negative reviews here. This is about as bad as Trek ever gets, right up there with Spock's Brain, The Way To Eden, and Shades of Gray... I was 16 at the time. As an avid Trek fan, I, like so many others I would imagine, was just so excited to have Star Trek back that I didn't even realize how bad this episode was. I'm rewatching all of the episodes now on Amazon Prime, and didn't last 5 minutes on this one before skipping right to the next episode... Sad that Enterprise got the negative fan reaction that it did. I bet many of those fans that didn't seem give Enterprise a chance forget, selectively I suppose, how bad many of TNG's first season episodes were.

    Never understoody why some people say it is racist. I used to joke they went to planet Africa, but thought it was a good venue for black actors and also it made them bad guys rather than patronize them.
    That said it is rather weak (1-1/2 stars for me), but ok when judged in the context of 1st season.
    In regards to Adara's point about Tasha dodging rape gangs wouldn't be attracted to an abducter...while her planet HAD rape gangs it is never asserted that a rape gang actually caught her.

    Definite TOS flavour here in the direction and score, and an early run out for the classic Prime Directive vs noble imperative set up. Perhaps surprisingly given the reaction of others I didn't find overwhelmingly awful - although the final hand to hand combat scene is a shocker. Troi's psych-babble is already beginning to grate - "Captain, let me help you" "Is there a way out of this?" "No". Gee, thanks. And Wesley...

    But the nice little set up between Geordi and Data provides some compensation. 2 stars.

    I don't think there's anything particularly racist about this episode. It's just a very weak story ineptly told. It doesn't help that Yar is the central character in the story and there's just nothing compelling about her in the slightest. I guess for the 1980's this was supposed to be the archetype for the "bad ass" female character, but it's just weak sauce to me. Yar brags about her incredible Federation combat training, but she looks like any generic 5'6" 130 lbs woman with a bad 80's haircut. Is she supposed to be some kind of Amazon warrior? Is that why Yutan wants her? Or is Yar supposed to be a sex symbol? (I never found Crosby attractive, even back when I was watching the show as a kid and later as a teenager) Either way, just lame. Incredibly lame.

    Half a star is very harsh, Jammal. I've been rewatching this show from the beginning on Blu-ray (I have not watched these episodes since 2002, when the DVDs came out). With only a vague memory of how these early episodes play out, I'm finding them quite a lot more enjoyable than I thought I would. I'd give this episode 2 stars (or 2 out of 5 on my preferred 5 star scale). It's ordinary, sure, but not terrible. Simply put, I was entertained. One thing - I found it odd that Yar admitted to finding the leader attractive, though. I didn't think there was anything that stood out about him. Perhaps once I get around to watching the later seasons of the show again, I'll have to re-assess my ratings here. I'm still debating whether this is a 1.5 or 2 star episode....

    The first time I watched this I got the Impression that the 1st season of Tng would be old TOS scripts. (I mostly wasn't wrong) God that fight was dumb Kirk fighting the Gorn made more sense and was at least more entertaining. I love that they just let that one guy who caught the gauntlet die but not the 1st wife. Tasha falling in love with Sultan scene chewer was just plain stupid.

    I can't believe the Ligonians ever developed space travel considering they still have ritualistic battles to the death and their guards seem to prefer melee weapons to phasers.

    These is as deliciously cheesy as original and for that reason it's a great laugh - the best part may well be Wesleys jumpers - where can I get one of them!

    This episode is worse than the episodes from other series you gave zero stars to. I don't see how this one earns half a star.

    A man watches this episode and thinks it's crap.
    He says to his friend, "It's utter crappilies."
    His friend says, "You mean crap don't you?"
    The man says, "I said crappilies, diddle I ?"

    When you task yourself to watch through all TNG episodes in sequence, episodes like this are a real challenge.
    It makes me wonder how TNG survived the first season.

    @Rob - I'm glad they didn't but if I was the head of Paramount when this episode aired I would have cancelled them on the damned spot.

    Everyone has pointed out this feels a LOT like a bad TOS episode, but what surprised me that it's not just the story, but the direction as well-those cutaways, the repeated shot of Enterprise orbiting the planet, the music-if I didn't know better, I would think this was a deliberate parody.

    Anybody found the jokes in the first half REALLY weird and out of place? These people are having lighthearted banter, arguing over silly bullshit, while their security officer is kidnapped by a bunch guys they know are sexually attracted her and right after-hell, I think in the same scene-they are talking about how important the vaccine is and how many lives are at stake. It just makes them look like a bunch of assholes.

    And what's up with how during the fight, Lutan interrupts and orders that his wife will get her glove back? Yeah, I guess he can violate the rules on the grounds of "I'm in charge, I can do whatever I want", but I thought his whole plan was to get her killed so he can get her stuff?

    Oh, and you gotta love that scene between Crusher and Picard. "This is extremely important, millions will die if you don't get the vaccine, you need to take this seriously! Oh, and could my fifteen-year old son spend some time on the bridge please? Thanks :-)"

    Tasha Yar:

    She cries
    She's ogled
    She's kidnapped
    She stands around uselessly
    She moralizes against drug use
    She gets zapped by a castoff skin.

    Her best moment was her pursuit of data in "Naked Now" - fanservice I suppose, but at least that interlude showed her as an interestinglydamaged human with a will of her own.

    This episode was one of her lows. But... Good for laughs 30 years later!

    This episode made no sense. The aliens admire Yar because of her ability to fight, supposedly unique for a female, yet they have a custom that's over 200 years old that involves two women fighting to the death?

    Wesley on the bridge at ops? In what military organization would that be allowed? A kid, or any untrained officer for that matter? No way. Was that why Worf was missing from the episode--to give Wesley a place to sit?

    And Riker takes over as head of security? He'd be the next one in line for that? Really?

    The joke scene with Data and LaForge was the only redeeming thing in it.

    It almost seemed like the script was written by a checklist: kidnapping, vaccine, negotiations, fight sequence, etc.

    The quality of the first couple seasons is appalling. It's truly amazing what the series was able to evolve into, given it's beginning episodes.

    I agree with Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, the latter of whom called this nothing but a "racist piece of s**t" and tried to get it pulled from syndication as embarrassing and damaging to the overall reputation of the franchise. It's openly offensive - racist and sexist and prehistoric in its thinking. Though that may not have been intentional it's none the less the result and author's intent, or lack thereof, doesn't mitigate what this is. On top of that, it's clunky and dull with a poor and stilted plot, pointless violence, embarrassing titillation peppered throughout, and contains awkward, bizarre dialogue. Reportedly the entire cast involved hated making it and no one defends it. It's the worst episode of any Star Trek series and some of the worst television I've seen. The less it's remembered, the better and serves only as a lesson of what not to do. I'd rather watch shades of gray a dozen times than even think about this one, let alone watch it.

    Arguably the worst Star Trek story installment ever.

    Other episodes have failed for hokey ideas (Way to Eden) or ridiculous plot contrivances (Spock's Brain) or execution (Threshold), but this one is all of those things with a generous dollop of inexplicable racist African savage/strongman stereotyping.

    The unsubtle biggotry may have been passable in 1966, but 21 years later? Inexplicable. Unconscionable. Embarrasing. It may be the sole episode that would have benefited from network broadcast standards oversight.

    No way this episode gets made today.

    The racism and sexism in this episode is terrible, but I find it a bit harsh to give it only half a star. Because objectively, the story has a certain wit to it. How Picard uses the "until death do us part" rule of marriage to let the black woman die, and then revive her - which effectively nullifies her marriage - is not entirely unclever. It's a TOS-like solution, to be sure.

    What I actually liked about this episode is to see how Starfleet officers have to deal with backwards societies like these in order to obtain a much needed vaccine, for example. It is a somewhat believable scenario. What's no doubt insulting is how black people are stereotyped to be backwards like this - the episode could've been saved if they had just used white actors. I would have given it 2 stars with white actors. It should also be noted that episodes like "Angel One" are equally terrible when it comes to sexism. Because in "Angel One", it is insinuated in the end that the men on the planet will grow to be more masculine in the future because that's how the natural course of evolution goes. In other words, the matriarchy is shown to us to be less evolved than the patriarchy it will be superseded by. A terribly sexist message: Men will take their rightful place in the end.

    I don't want to sugar-coat "Code of Honor", but at least it bears some realism. If you think of the cheesiness of the Edo, for example, who live in a paradisical fantasy garden (episode "Justice"), I'd much rather see a believable alien society like here.

    One star from me.

    I saw a video from a Trek convention where Garrett Wang was asked if he'd watched TNG before taking the role on Voyager, and he said not really because:

    - The first time he tried watching it, the episode was "Code of Honor."
    - A year or so later, others told him that the show had gotten a lot better and he should give it another chance. So he did, and came upon a repeat of "Code of Honor."
    - When he took the Kim role, he was given tapes of some TNG episodes to watch to familiarize himself with it. The first episode on the tapes? "Code of Honor."

    (Burton seemed to be in full agreement that the episode was terrible.)

    I think it's been 17 years since I saw even part of this episode, but in addition to the racism and sexism, I remember a lot of very cheesy background music, and having the plot hinge on two people fighting a duel was pretty dumb.

    Actually Squirrel that might explain why Harry Kim was so terrible on the show haha.

    " I agree with Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frakes, the latter of whom called this nothing but a "racist piece of s**t" and tried to get it pulled from syndication as embarrassing and damaging to the overall reputation of the franchise. It's openly offensive - racist and sexist and prehistoric in its thinking"

    It felt much more sexist than racist to me. I understand why a lot of people find it very racist. It might even actually be very racist.

    But the sexist bullcrap would have been very easy to eradicate from the episode. The racist stuff, you would have just had to make This Week's Planet of Hats a bunch of caucasians, just like pretty every other Weekly Monopersonality Humanlike Aliens. If you randomly picked a race or ethnicity and then randomly picked an alien species from a Trek episode, and replaced said white alien species with that race or ethnicity, odds are 50/50 you just made an episode look racist.

    Which isn't to say that it's not racist, but every option seems a bad one.
    * Make different alien species different races - gonna look racist
    * Make every alien species white - looks racist
    * Make every alien species mixed just like earth - doesn't hold up

    On the other hand, making most alien species both male and female holds up better and shouldn't be so damn hard to avoid the horrid sexist cliches.

    MMM you sort of touch on the catch 22. If they refrain from making any alien race dark skinned it comes across as arbitrary and conspicuous in of itself. If they do choose to make an alien race dark skinned then any perceived negative trait attributed to that race, either overt or implied, would inevitably be considered evidence of racism.

    This means that the only option is to assiduously avoid ascribing negative traits to a dark skinned alien race - which is again an arbitrary decision and arguably one that denies dark skinned actors the full range of roles white actors enjoy. Or more likely, to simply never present a dark skinned alien race, which leads to the accusation that black actors are being unfairly shut out in favour of white ones.

    For the record, I found nothing particularly villainous about the Ligonians as they were portrayed. I suppose much of the criticism of the episode centres on the sense of primitiveness they exude, which isn't really valid either since they clearly have transporters and other advanced technology. Or perhaps it's their culture of honour? Is that a black stereotype? I'm not sure it is. Is it because they are male dominant and black people are perceived as male dominant? Again, unclear since the women are stated to own the property in their society. It is all rather fuzzy to me.

    On the balance, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint a cogent explanation of the episode's supposed obvious "racism".

    My personal view is that this conclusion is actually a reflexive response to the fact that the alien race is dark skinned and not portrayed in a uniformly and unambiguously positive light.

    For me, "Code of Honor" is among the better episodes in a list of "worst Next Gen episodes" list. (I like it better than "Justice," for instance).

    As others have pointed out, it definitely has the feel of an Original Series episode but with Next Gen characters. Specifically Season 2 of TOS.

    As for the racism: I'm trying to do a lot of self-examination these days and see the world through eyes other than white American male. But in the end, that's what I am, and I really didn't feel that racism vibe others feel -- then or now.

    I took the Ligonians to be a loose derivation of an older Asian culture, the Mughal Empire perhaps, but played with black actors instead of brown ones. It didn't strike me nearly as racist as Jar Jar Binks or the trade villains in "Phantom Menace." Those immediate jumped out to me as bad stereotypes. The Ligonians -- they just came off to me as another typical Season 1 effort than didn't pan out well.

    I think the easy solution in that instance was to hire actors of various skin pigments.

    Just watching this again and I noticed something. Not weighing in on the racist/sexist discussion, my observation is far more important: At the start, why did they get beamed into the cargo bay instead of the transporter room??

    To those asking why people call this episode racist: because it employs outdated stereotypes of African backwardness and savagery. The aliens are literally all Black and are given traits that mirror real life racist stereotypes. That's why this is so offensive.

    @MMM I don't understand why you think it wouldn't hold up to cast a group of people from mixed racial backgrounds as the alien species. That appears to be an easy fix.

    Terrible episode that had me shaking my head several times and struggling to get through it. Yes, very early TNG was still trying to be TOS instead of forging new territory. This episode somewhat reminded me of a shit version of "Elaan of Troyius".

    We expect TNG to use prosthetics for aliens, which TOS didn't -- we can give a pass to TOS (60s, low budget) but not to TNG. But what really sucks about the episode is how lame the plot is, how stupidly it unfolds, and some poor writing/acting for Crosby.

    I even think the PD issue is incorrectly dealt with here. This race may not have warp capability but it has it's own transporter technology and is savvy enough to make a vaccine that the Enterprise can't. Yes, they have their stupid code of honor and bizarre rituals but this is not a primitive "pre-warp" race. I guess I have an issue with how this race is conceived.

    I have no issue with this race being deceptive in that Lutan wants the land that his wife has and covets Yar -- why did she say she was attracted to Lutan?? Does she have shit for brains?? Should this race have a belief that a fight to the death is required -- in some respects they are very advanced, but in others, still barbaric/backward. Then I guess I would have an issue with one of TOS all-time great episodes and a personal favorite "Amok Time". Hmmmm...

    The episode spends way too much time planning for this battle which is very poorly played out -- it was ridiculous to watch. But, like in "Amok Time" the Enterprise has a plan to revive the loser/dead.

    We get some snippets of Data's development -- humor and his budding friendship with Geordi. The android is still also learning to give Riker/Picard what they need and to not piss them off by displaying his encyclopedic knowledge.

    1 star for "Code of Honor" -- will go down as one of the worst TNG episodes. Brainless, pointless, and just a poor representation of what TNG should be. Just watching it, it was impossible to take it seriously.

    I don't think this episode is racist necessarily, after all they are supposed to be aliens from another planet, so what they look like shouldn't really matter.

    It's just that it's so terrible. Just awful.

    I think anyone defending it may be a TNG fanboy. I think it's probably the worst episode of ST ever made.

    Zero stars.

    I kept waiting for Lutan to offer everyone a 7-Up.

    “No treaty, and no caffeine! … Never had it, never will!”

    I couldn't bring myself to finish this episode. On top of the overt racism (which is undeniable), the plot is extremely boring. We get a Tasha Yar episode, and let's face it, she's not really capable of leading an episode by herself.

    I think her "strong woman" role is too overplayed and just feels a little awkward, especially when Lutan covets her because of her strength.

    Hilariously bad episode and fairly typical of the early period of TNG when they were trying to rehash TOS themes and stories. The fight scene would have been immeasurably improved if they had use the music from the TOS Roman gladiator episode (was it called 'Bread and Circuses'?).

    You guys are the racist, whenever you see a black guy on the screen, you always find something to be mad about, why not just enjoy the freaking show for what it is?

    @MMM I don't understand why you think it wouldn't hold up to cast a group of people from mixed racial backgrounds as the alien species. That appears to be an easy fix. }}

    any particular alien species, sure.

    every single one of them having an earthlike mix of skin tones, no.

    plus then we wouldn't have, say, Orions or Bolians or Children of Tama (for the longest time I had no idea what race the actor playing Dathan was - turns out it's Captain Terrell from ST2).

    does that clarify what I was trying to say better?

    This is another sorry ep. If I had been the lady-scorned, I'd have sent Lutan to the slave market in order to teach his big, fat self a lesson in loyalty!!

    I found this piece of crap to be insulting to both white and black people.

    Speaking of Yar, the way she treated so far in the series of TNG, could have been the reason she wanted out of the damn thing and place. Denise was probably treated badly on the set and around the studio. Of course, Sirtis could have done any number of things to be ugly to the Yar character as she had been invited by Majel Roddenberry to live with them since she was in the USA all alone and broke by the time she landed the role of Troi. It is very easy to spot how people are treated by watching the expressions whoever they have to play off in scenes. Try it if you don't believe me. As a matter of fact, I never liked Sirtis, she is not a good actress and until a couple of years I could not figure out her heritage.....she is Greek. But she doesn't actually look Greek. She is probably Jewish-Greek which is what you HAVE to be in Hollywood if you want to be an actor.

    Take that as racist if you want to but you will be making mistake to think that way because the truth is the truth.

    A terribly misunderstood and underated episode. Very bold of TNG to show To show that African people can also travel to the stars and establish their own civilizations.

    @Omar-that's an interesting thought. It does show a culture based on Earth's African nations that has technology and still keeps their heritage

    I think that’s a very charitable spin on the episode and maybe it’s what the writers intended (although the production history says otherwise). Unfortunately, that vision is marred by heavy and unflattering 19th century colonial African stereotypes. If you want a really positive African character in this show, Geordi is there fully-clothed and ready to roll.

    Google "Afrofuturism" and you'll find plenty of great works of science fiction exploring the future of African culture. That is not what is this is.

    3 stars. I thought it was a fun entertaining little standalone

    I enjoyed this one. It’s sooooo 80s. The match was tense and exciting. And I liked lutan being a big loser no yar. No wife. No land. And now second husband.

    TNG could have done something bold here and have Tasha decide to stay with Lutan and come back to Ligon II in a later episode.

    Stay with the man who kidnapped her? Yeah, I don't think that would have been a good idea.

    @Luke - Lutan did not kidnap Tasha. On his world he exhibited respect and admiration for her. Tasha even admitted she was attracted to him but the episode failed to explore that element of the story.

    Me club woman and take her away. Woman love me later. Me like episode.

    Are you saying Africans are no more than cave people? Shame on you. Code of Honor bothers people who can't accept the reality that Africans built the first civilizations on Earth.

    I watched "Code of Honor" on Netflix the other day and really enjoyed. Don't get all the hate for it. I think it was bold story and represents the best the Star Trek. Liked the 90's vibe to it as well.

    “Liked the 90's vibe to it as well.”

    It’s more incredible is they managed a 90s vibe in 1987. What bold prescient visionaries!

    "Side note: extremely distinctive old-school Star Trek music for this episode. Truly a VERY evocative score." — Dave in NC (Wed, Jul 2, 2014)

    And that would be because it was composed by "old-school" TOS composer Fred Steiner. "Code of Honor" was his one and only scoring contribution to TNG.

    I just got done watching CODE OF HONOR. It is not racist. This is an episode about women. The women own the land, and the men have the duty to watch and look over the land(security, that's why Lutan is so fascinated by Yar, because she's a woman who can defeat his right hand man, aka, the 2nd). If the woman decides to choose another "first one", the male gets kicked aside. Therefore, the woman does have the ultimate power.

    I don't think you're entirely wrong but I think your post displays the limits of speaking of "aboutness" in these totalizing terms. Whatever interesting points it might make about gender have difficulty landing because of how the episode was cast and presented on the level of costume and stagecraft. Perhaps to a blind spectator it might not register as racist, but to those of us with vision, certain things are hard to look past.

    How the episode was cast is not relevant to the social/gender issues it presents. Race is a total non-factor here and I am frustrated by those who think CODE OF HONOR is a racial episode when race or skin colour is not discussed or mention at any point in the episode.

    Television is an (audio)-visual medium, which means that decisions about lighting, composition, stagecraft, costuming and casting constantly affect the topics presented within it. Now, if you framed your line of inquiry along the lines of "It's unfortunate that the episode's casting (etc.) choices mean that the points it's trying to make about gender can't land," that would make a certain amount of sense. But simply to say, "How the episode was cast is not relevant" is simply wrong. It is. It always is. Because, again, visual medium. And there is no way an episode of an American television series where the villain is a big black guy lusting after a white blonde is ever not going to be about race.

    Note as well as that race/ethnicity is mentioned through the episode: American Indians, the Ming Dynasty, the status of Frenchness, etc.

    The gender aspects of CODE OF HONOR should be overshadowed by issues of race especially when is race is never even mentioned in the episode.

    Some people may not realize this but Star Trek is a racist program when it comes to people of African descent. And who created Star Trek? A white man did so this is no surprise.

    We shall review the facts:

    The original television series - The one African character, Uhura is nothing more than a telephone operator and note how she sits at the BACK of the bridge. She also protrayed as an object of lust.

    Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The first Star Trek film released in 1979 features no new African characters which is odd considering that by the 23rd Century there will be over 6 billion Africans on Earth and less than a billion white people. Yet the Enterprise crew appears to 99.9% white.

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – This is one of the most despicable and racist of the Star Trek films. An African Starfleet captain played by the late Paul Winfield is captured by an evil white man and controlled like house slave with an alien slug placed in his brain. Later, after failing his “master”, Winfield’s character kills himself in shame for failing to serve the commands of his white master.

    Star Trek: The Voyage Home – We learn in this film that the Federation of Planets (which is supposed to be diverse union of many races) is led by a white alien.

    Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country – An African Starfleet Admiral played by the late Brock Peters is portrayed as being an evil, untrustworthy character.

    Star Trek: The Next Generation – This new series has African actors play characters who are either blind (Geordi La Forge) with the temperament of a house slave or violent aliens such as Lieutenant Worf.

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Star Trek manages to redeem itself somewhat with the character of Benjamin Sisko. The series begins with an evil pale alien creature refusing to help Sisko save his wife but at the end of the series it turns out his character is not really African at all but some kind of alien puppet whose fate is controlled by beings who appear to be white women.

    Star Trek: Insurrection – In this Star Trek film, the Enterprise comes across and defends an all-white race who are being attacked by a darker skin tone people.

    Star Trek: Nemesis - At the end of this film, Picard selects another white male to be his First Officer.

    Maybe it's because I've spent decades living in Third World, ex-slave colonies, or maybe because I like TOS, but I've always found "Code of Honor" to be a fascinating episode and one of the best from season 1.

    The aliens in "Code" are tribal, chauvinistic, superstitious, ritualistic and technologically inferior to the Federation. Throw in countless "African" tropes, and you have a portrayal which many deem to be racist. But Picard addresses this himself in the episode: the aliens are just like ancient humans, he reminds us, and if another culture had violently imposed its customs upon what now passes for contemporary enlightened cultures, then these smug, enlightened cultures would themselves be deemed backwards.

    England, for example, is less sexist and homophobic than many of her ex slave colonies. She has gone through various gay rights, civil rights and women's rights movements. And so in some aspects, we can say she is more progressive than many of her ex colonies. Many of her ex colonies in the Caribbean, for example, have yet to have spawned women's rights movements (and so are deeply patriarchal/sexist) or decriminalize homosexuality.

    Pointing this out is not racist. Saying that Saudi Arabia's stoning of gays, or that Zimbabwe's genital mutilation of women, is "savage", is not racist, once there's an understanding - like Picard alludes to - that the progress proudly touted by something like the British Empire is a result of a bevy of things (imperialism and the stability it affords the oppressor etc) which had the knock-on effect of destabilizing and stymieing the very places the British Empire deems itself superior too.

    And I mention the British Empire because Trek itself grew out of 18th and 19th century British nautical fiction and non fiction (and later, the early works of Melville, like Typee and Omoo); island romances in which heroic captains and their first mates discovered new routes, cultures and made first contact with strange inhabitants (often portrayed in racist ways). What makes Trek interesting is the way it offers a liberal re-imagining of these nautical tales. What if Actually Good People landed on those foreign shores?

    So when I see this episode, I don't quite see a racist caricature of Africa and Africans. I see a Federation that is relatively enlightened only because this alien planet hasn't gotten over whatever socio-historical sh*t its still working its way through. It's a episode with Space Zimbabwe and Space Geordie. Mugabe and Neil Tyson Degrasse. (If anything, the racist caricature in this episode is the Federation, with its squeaky white/American cast.)

    Beyond all this, the alien race is one of the more interesting ones in Trek: the women hold property and power, but are subservient to men within certain realms; a strange blend of patriarchal and matriarchal power unique in SF.

    The coolest thing, though, is the way Picard has to solve the episode's dilemma (acquire a vaccine and rescue a kidnapped crewman), whilst also kowtowing to the alien's customs and culture. This is a deeply respectful, tactful and tactical Picard, and its fun and original watching him try to maximize his outcome (studying primitive weapons and alien laws) whilst also remaining within strict "politically correct" frameworks. He wants to diss these aliens for being idiots, but also respects their culture and respects Fed protocols. It's a really interesting bind he finds himself in.

    Less well handled is a rushed, arguably sexist plot which tries to say something about Tasha's attraction to "hyper masculine men". But she gets a neat fight scene (very TOS), and the episode's sets, matte paintings and set designs are some of the best in TNG.

    This episode was also the first time we see the holodeck used for fight-training, and its a cool scene: you begin to get a sense of the Federation as an enlightened organization which puts as much emphasis on the body as the mind; a holistic enlightenment, part Gandhi, part Bruce Lee.

    Oh I enjoyed this one. It was completely in the style of TOS. And yet, it amused. I think though that part of that was nostalgia for my original viewing of TNG.

    I am starting to see the gelling of the TNG way - where the captain and crew arrive with all their good wishes and are stymied by those pesky otherworld types.

    It is true though that stand alone episodes start to grate (already) having just gone through a wonderful binge watch of DS9 for the first time.


    I couldn't find a single positive review of this episode online. Everyone thinks its absolute junk at best, racist and sexist at worst, including the cast and crew. I watched it again - 2nd time in about 2 weeks - and for me it still feels like an excellent episode.

    It feels like one of those 1800s-1930s Orientalist Adventures, or a 1930s Colonialist Tale like Gunga Din, the white explorer dealing with the Strange Natives, but as told by a liberal or with an anthropologist's non-judgemental tone. Indeed, the aliens here, despite being extremely low tech, have Picard on the ropes for most of the episode. Their little plan is quite clever, and elaborately thought out, and its interesting to watch the high-tech Federation repeatedly bested by such a low tech people. I can't think of another episode in Trek which quite does this.

    The episode also feels like "Who Watches the Watchers", in the sense that its packed with anthropological/sociological discussions (and nice allusions to Native American Indian honor practices). Hardly deep, but by 80s TV standards its interesting to watch this alien's cultures practices repeatedly discussed. Its also nice to see the Federation adjust its approach to these practices, not something we often see. The underrated episode, "The Ensigns of Command", did something similar, the crew forced to kowtow to the customs of the Sheliak.

    The tempo of the episode is also great. Picard is pensive and thoughtful throughout, always brooding in shadowy corners. He ensures that every action is discussed, and nothing rushed without consideration. The way he and his crew run a risk assessment on a fight scene feels almost subversive, everything deliberately drawn out and hyper-analysed by a bunch of pajama wearing space-sociologists. I've also noticed that Troi, in season 1, is actually at her most useful. The character's integrated fairly well into most of the season 1 scripts, and is often providing good advice.

    Seen in HD, the lighting and set design here is also above all the other "planet of the week" planets in season 1. Everything's bathed in a slightly golden shadow, the skies are a nice shade of red, with stark black trees silouetted against them, and the episode's new matte painting recalls some kind of Arab temple, or Orientalist art; you can almost imagine Picard as a 19th century East Indian Company merchant entering the lair of some African tribal leader in the hopes of forging some wacky-ass trade deal for the Empire (which is basically what he does; Picard's after foreign goods in this episode, after all). There are some allusions to "Requiem for Methuselah" too, both Kirk and Picard forced to kowtow to planetary leaders in order to get a life-saving vaccine.

    Sorry, Jammer. I disagree. This is a FIVE STAR episode. It soars in ambition and devotion to Star Trek's history and mythology and traditions.

    Steven Crowder does a series called "Change my mind." The vibe I got from this episode still stands. Borderline racist and misogynistic. I used the word borderline because you can give reasonable explanations for it but you can't escape it.

    Watching in canon order, going from the last episode of TOS where we learn women can't be starship captains (and TOS' horny gender politics in general) to this, episode 3 of TNG, where Starfleet's bad attitude toward females has been passed off to Planet Africa, is a jarring and hilarious experience.


    Boring, silly . . . especially disliked the portrayal of Yar as someone who would "of course" be attracted to the "manliness" of the overbearing and ooky Lutan.

    The fight scene was extremely hokey.

    Seeing the start of the Data-Geordi bond was one of the few plusses.

    I'd forgotten how slow TNG is to get going.

    Looking forward to better eps ahead.

    @Beeba How would race not being mentioned somehow mean it's not racist? What? Anyway, women own land, but Lutan is still the one in charge and considers women "pleasant but unimportant" and wanted to make Yar his first wife just as she made him her second husband. Rhe ep's potrayal of women, where they would fall for their kidnappers and fight for them is an issue, but I would say firmly secondary to the potrayal of all black planet Tribal Africa style.

    I hope the new Picard series revisits this episode. It would be interesting to see how this society has progressed since the 1980s.

    Been rewatching season of TNG and this episode is not that bad. Obviously the series was still raw and finding is way but Code of Honor is not the monster some people make it out to be.

    “Code of Honor” suffers from the same dramatic problems that VOY’s “Prime Factors” (a much better episode) did.

    Having a “Code of Honor” is morally neutral. A Code has no inherent normative value. Code of Honor tried using the Ligonian code to cut off debate between the characters. Too much screen time was given to Troi’s explaining what codes were valued and why and how much... instead of an honest dramatic exploration that would cause an audience to care.

    Picard, by allowing himself and the crew to be hamstrung by the code, was, per “Who Watches the Watchers,” sanctioning false beliefs. Or at least respecting them to such an extent that he put a member of his crew in physical danger. The Captain’s duty is supposed to be safeguarding the lives of his crew, no? Or does the Prime Directive demand a different result, as the script demands? Anyway, all the talk about the code is like someone forever reciting the books of the book as proof of that person’ s piety, without that person having actually read any of those books. Similarly, in Prime Factors, Tuvok said he made the decision to use the space-folding technology because “Logic” dictated that he do so. He didn’t explain what tenet of logical science was used to come to the decision that the Captain was compromised. Saying “logic” ad nauseum doesn’t explain or excuse an act (and stifles good drama), just by saying someone’s “Code” explains characters’ decisions without having to mak these decisions dramatically interesting.

    What a truly awful, dreadful episode. It probably wouldn’t be considered so offensive had it been cast differently, however it wasn’t so it comes across as racist. The plot is nonsensical and stupid. The customs and traditions are insipid. And the climactic fight is lame, as well as the solution. Nobody really comes across well here. Easily the worst of the season.

    🤟 (which represents 1/2 of 🖖)

    As much as I like the episode. It's definitely a slog to get through this one. First of all, the ceramic horse is Tang Dynasty (with sancai glaze) not Song Dynasty. It falls in the period 618-907. So even Data is wrong on this one at the get-go and all mention of the 13th century is hooey. I wish we could move ahead a couple of seasons so that Geordi could be given the line: "Wait a minute Data, I saw one of those horses when I visited Utopia Planetia once; they're usually dated to the 10th century or before!" To which Data would reply, "I will perform a diagnostic of my positronic matrix." (Stage direction: Data head tilt with android pain wince) - " you're right, Geordi, Lore must have deceived me when he gave me that intro course on Chinese sculpture."

    The episode actually has an assortment of good scenes and should not be expunged from memory. One of the difficulties is that Lutan is not written as having a code of honor that anybody really respects.

    The second difficulty is that once the horse thing is introduced, nothing is done with it. This is a real missed opportunity.

    Why upon receiving the horse does Lutan not say something like "What is this maahvelous creature? We have nothing like it on our world. I don't understand it but as is gesture of your friendship, I will try to be worthy of it."

    But all of the ideas become a muddle.

    The focus should have been on the horse (linked to both masculinity and counting coup). Lutan should have been written with an honor system in which his counting coup against potential friends and allies was eventually admitted to have been a mistake. Then Lutan could return the horse to Picard at the end, poignantly and resign from over-weening pride and regain some of the honor he had lost.

    This ep is so terrible and ridiculously stereotypical and insane.

    Decent Data/Geordi work but sheesh.

    This fight for the coronavirus vaccine is an early fart in the car that would herald the dynamic that would follow. Mainly, that Stewart was such a presence that he he would soon nudge the attempted Neo-Kirk that was Riker right off to the side.

    At least it's not boring. If you are going to make a subpar TNG ripped off of TOS, you could do worse than Amok Time. Lots of little details to look at. I think they made an effort here, even if it had bizarre choices.

    Data calls Geordie his friend twice in their adorkable kiddlies scene. For some reason I thought their closeness developed later.

    And Troi is much better an advisor to the King -- I mean Captain -- than as a therapist with office hours. We should have seen her more like this.

    Yar has mental scars and damage to bear when it comes to men. Not just Lutan, but also Picard. This could have made a great character arc, had she stuck around. She didn't seduce Data, of all people, for no reason. She has a weird sexual daddy vibe with Picard. I can see her lusting after Lutan. She definitely had sex with at least one person on the planet of the Edo, and knowing them it could have been an orgy with everyone at "play."

    The single episode that I refuse to rewatch is Too Short A Season. It's mean spirited and spends all its time with guest actors who lack the gravitas to make it a compelling character study. It's too uncomfortable to watch. I'll take Code of Honor or Shades of Grey anytime over that one.

    @Jill - I agree with much of what you say. Code of Honor is unfairly maligned.

    Code of Honor

    TNG season 1 episode 3

    “We are aware of many of your planet's achievements, and its unique similarity to an ancient Earth culture we all admire.”

    - Picard

    2 1/2 stars (out of 4)

    As @petulant said in the “Naked Now” thread, Tasha really was the most interesting character during these first few episodes of TNG. Right from the beginning in “Encounter” we learn that Tasha comes from a planet very different from your typical Federation paradise,

    TASHA: I grew up on a world that allowed things like this.

    We learn in the next episode, “Where no one has gone before” that Tasha’s planet also had roving rape gangs. And of course we saw just last week in “Naked" that when Tasha gets a little bit tipsy, what she really wants is a good fuck.

    So “Code of Honor” is very naturally a Tasha episode. All in all, the episode is roughly in line with the quality we see in the first four episodes of the series. But with a few tweaks, it could have been so much more.

    Riker tells us at the beginning of the episode that “not only are they closely humanoid, but their history has remarkable similarities to ours.” This is the same old old TOS trope of near-Earth conditions. The show should have simply made this Tasha’s home-planet.

    And it should have been Tasha explaining to Picard how best to deal with these people - her people. How best to take advantage of that culture of honor to get her back.

    Take the following conversation, which would have worked much better if it was Tasha explaining things,

    TROI: We believe it would be preferable if the Captain led this away party.

    DATA: Agreed, sir. Their customs concerning guests make it much preferable.

    RIKER: And I'm very much against that idea. Lutan is clearly a liar, and devious. Counsellor Troi has admitted she believes he's capable of killing. It is my duty to keep the Captain from danger, sir.

    DATA: Except that Ligonian custom makes it clear that a visiting leader becomes an honoured guest. Not us, not second in command, him.

    TROI: And the custom requires that Lutan should die rather than violate that.

    RIKER: Yes, it seems reasonable put that way.

    Imagine it was written this way instead, only slightly different,

    TASHA: I think the Captain should come down to the planet to get me. Our customs concerning guests make it much preferable.

    RIKER: I'm very much against that idea. Lutan is clearly a liar, and devious. Counsellor Troi has admitted she believes he's capable of killing. It is my duty to keep the Captain from danger.

    TASHA: Except that our customs makes it clear that a visiting leader becomes an honoured guest. Not you, Commander, only the Captain. Our customs require that Lutan should die rather than violate that.

    RIKER: Yes, it seems reasonable put that way.

    What I really like is that at no time does Tasha seem the least bit concerned about her safety. She is so at ease with her situation it is amazing!

    PICARD: Have you been treated well, Lieutenant?

    TASHA: Fine, Captain but they're showing some signs of wear.

    Also, thanks to @Van_Patten for pointing out how incredible the Lutan actor was in the Boyz in the Hood. His scenes across from Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. as well as Laurence Fishburne (from The Matrix) are out of this world!

    It’s a shame TPTB didn’t allow the actor to dial his menace all the way up to 11. Alas, those depths were never really attempted after TOS.

    Finally, as so many have said (@The Snob, @DPC, @Diamond Dave, @Rahul, @Springy, @Silly), it is great to see Geordi and Data share a friendly moment that will grow into one of the cornerstones of the series. As @Jill Florio says, Data calls Geordi “friend” twice. It is a joyful scene.

    And @DPC points out, this is the first time Picard deals with Wesley the right way,

    PICARD: Is the whole ship deaf?! Sit down over there, young man. Temporarily.


    In fact I agree with @Jill Florio’s entire write up. “Code of Honor” is never boring and always included when I re-watch the series. It might not be great, but it has loads of wonderful touches, like the applause-sticks, that show this episode was not just slapped together, but loving constructed. I, for one, appreciate the effort.

    Which eyes shall I use here.

    A racist episode, as a white male 60 year european I am not the best person to judge but I would not argue against someone of colour claiming it.

    Sexistic, yes.

    Having eliminated the two above hinderneses. I liked it :-)

    @Kevin Nostrand, not five stars but good.

    Standalone, funny side stories, and although sexistic, women are taking their placess.

    There was some great stuff in the episode that’s often forgotten because so many don’t like to watch it.

    When Yar demonstrates the holodeck, Lutan responds in alarm “You can create people? Without a soul?” That would have been an interesting perspective to build a plot on. Or maybe flesh this one out.

    And Data, with his early strong lack of tact:
    DATA: That's from an obscure language called French. Counting coup
    PICARD: Mister Data, the French language for centuries on Earth represented civilisation.
    DATA: Indeed? But surely, sir — (Riker cuts him off)

    There are things I enjoyed about this episode: the essential diplomacy nature of the core plot (it very much reminded me of Fleming’s ‘You Only Live Twice’ where Bond had to be prepared for the very different culture and interpersonal language of the Japanese), the android-establishing nature of Data’s conversations with Geordi and Picard, the careful way that the Enterprise team had to tiptoe around the Ligonian customs without breaking the PD...

    What let it down so badly was not specifically related to this episode, but how shockingly poor some of TNG is compared to TOS: Crusher is terrible compared to McCoy (just doesn’t have the charisma or personality), Denise Crosby is an appalling actor, Wesley Crusher... well I scarcely need to repeat how irritating that character is. Etc.

    As for this episode, the worst aspect was the fight scene - absolutely awful. The rest of it - the comparative lack of dramatic tension, Ferguson’s deliciously camp delivery, the heavy borrowing from TOS - I can forgive.

    Not a truly great episode, but not a truly poor one either. I sat through it without wanting to switch off. 2 stars.


    Yes, Marina Sirtis is Greek, and does look it I believe. But she is actually London Greek by birth and upbringing.

    I like this episode. Very upbeat and I like how showed how people could fight in the future.

    It amuses me to no end that Netflix selected scenes from this episode showing the Ligosians appearing aboard the Enterprise as the preview for STNG when you select the series. Someone has a sense of humor.

    why they not like this episode? Appears to be a realistic and fair depiction African Chinese hybrid civilizations. I appreciate the efforts made here to be bold and not be afraid to show that African Americans can develop advance civilizations. It is a timely message.

    Top trolling, Tomas. Did you set yourself a personal goal of writing a post that makes Booming's contributions here look mature?

    Kisses Toma, thanks for letting me live rent free in your head. say hi to the ulcers. ;)

    I am not trolling, Tomalak. I have no problem with idea of advanced African civilizations. Perhaps you have a privileged perspective.

    This episode should honestly just be deleted from Netflix as it does Star Trek more harm than good. I can't imagine, as a young viewer, continuing to watch the series after this garbage.

    "This episode should honestly just be deleted from Netflix as it does Star Trek more harm than good. I can't imagine, as a young viewer, continuing to watch the series after this garbage."

    Someone at Netflix has a sense of humor because last I checked when you linger on TNG the automatic preview for the series on Netflix is a scene from Code of Honor :)

    Netflix is rather odd about what they keep and what they don't. They axed an episode of Community in which Ken Jeong was made up as a drow elf, because it was too close to blackface, but left alone an episode in which Chevy Chase was *literally* in brownface, and an episode in which Chase and Joel McHale dressed up and performed like an old-school minstrel show, with afro wigs and white gloves.

    Is this episode actually racist? I guess it would depend on the definition of racist. It feels uncomfortable in that it feels like maybe a 1930's cliched depiction of a white person's impression of an African tribal culture. Something like that, I don't know.

    And that's probably what happened, considering the script didn't call for an all black cast, the director decided on that and the director was FIRED for being racist to all the black actors he hired!

    Nobody's in black face or anything overt, but there are reasons it makes people uneasy.

    BTW, the original director being fired was a prime reason this was so clunky, particularly the fight scenes. The assistant director had to take over and he wasn't at all experienced.

    There's also an astonishing bit of victim blaming here, aside from the bizarre notion of Tasha "wanting" Lutan but it being inconvenient:

    PICARD: Did you have any idea, Lieutenant, that Lutan was suddenly going to announce that he wanted you for his First One?
    TASHA: No, sir.
    PICARD: Tell me what you know about this?
    TASHA: Nothing, sir.
    TROI: But it was a thrill. Lutan is such, such a basic male image and having him say he wants you

    What the hell? They are literally saying "but you actually wanted to be kidnapped, didn't you?"

    It seems like Picard's questioning was tactful and appropriate-- apparently Tasha and Lutan came directly from the holodeck when Tasha was abducted, so he has no idea what happened there. But Troi's insinuation is outrageous.

    BTW, no, I don't believe this episode had anything to do with why Crosby quit. Her complaint was she was underused. In this particular (and early) episode, she was featured with a large beefy role. While the episode was clunky, the role was still solid. Later it became mostly "hailing frequencies open" etc etc.

    And I doubt the granddaughter of Bing Crosby can complain too much about how hard it is to break into Hollywood.

    She literally never met her grandfather, and says that she only saw him at the trial that resulted when he tried to cut her mother off of child support payments.

    "Is this episode actually racist? I guess it would depend on the definition of racist. It feels uncomfortable in that it feels like maybe a 1930's cliched depiction of a white person's impression of an African tribal culture. Something like that, I don't know."

    Agreed.....not racist....just dumbed-down to the point of being so trope-heavy that it causes the viewer embarrassment. The 1930's is about right....taking into account that the '30's was still mired in the earlier accounts of Sir Richard Burton.

    I think the more troubling aspect is the believe that even an technologically advanced african-like society has to be primitive and tribal in some way. Same with that black panther movie. They are super advanced but the leader is elected by hand to hand combat to the death. That is not a good method to select your leader. :)

    Tomas said: "Appears to be a realistic and fair depiction African Chinese hybrid civilizations. It is a timely message."

    lol, I don't know if that joke was intentional or not.

    I have never met anyone who likes this episode, but it's unironically one of my favorites. It reminds me of Orientalist adventures from the 1930s, 1940s, where a some White Commander visits Africa or Asia and has to outsmart the locals and their customs. I feel the episode is aware of its heritage, and subverts all its racist tropes, but that the casting and costuming causes people to miss this.

    Ignoring whether the episode is good or not (or racist), I think its a very good one in terms of lighting, mood and set design. The remastered version of the episode also adds a few neat FX touches. It's also a special episode, in the sense that it's one of TNG's first "planet of the week" adventures.

    "They are super advanced but the leader is elected by hand to hand combat to the death. That is not a good method to select your leader. :)"

    I personally favour the star fire wheel - the "winner" gets vaporized and his clan gets to lead.

    lol, I love that ridiculous fight. It's literally two babes forced into a neon cage-fight. It's so trashy. It's like a TOS episode with a extra 200 dollars on the budget.

    I would say, though, that the lead up to that silly fight is quite good (when Tasha selects her weapons, and when Picard has a quiet talk with her). The episode also has a lot of very good little Picard moments, and he's quite ambassadorial throughout.

    Booming said: "I think the more troubling aspect is the believe that even an technologically advanced african-like society has to be primitive and tribal in some way"

    When you put it in those terms, it does seem like a racist episode.

    I'm half British, so I was exposed to lots of old, racist adventure films about the British Empire rolling up on African tribes, or Indian villages, or Middle Eastern sheiks. Think all the stuff that influenced the trashy B-movies that influenced Indiana Jones.

    So my framework for this episode has always been: this is an enlightened version of pre-war racist adventures. Instead of the racist British soldiers, you have Picard. Instead of patriarchal natives, you have a kind of matriarchy. Instead of low-tech tribes, you have a technologically advanced culture.

    And the alien culture always seemed a hybrid to me; there are samurai and Chinese motifs throughout, and a key plot point is based on a Native American practice ("counting coups"). I agree, though, that the African motifs do ultimately overwhelm this all.

    "I think the more troubling aspect is the believe that even an technologically advanced african-like society has to be primitive and tribal in some way. Same with that black panther movie. They are super advanced but the leader is elected by hand to hand combat to the death. That is not a good method to select your leader. :)"

    100% agreement on that. As I was writing, images of the movie Black Panther came to my mind too. Such stuff goes beyond mere trope usage, it is also, at its worst, a simplistic repackaging of content to quickly manufacture epics. In the Avenger movie Infinity War the conflict is placed within 400 meters of the capital of Wakanda so that that advanced nation can nobly defend Earth using Zulu battle formations from the late 19th century.

    It's not the first time African warfare cinematic content was brazenly repackaged for use in Starship Troopers, the battle at Whiskey Outpost, Planet P was a direct translation of massed regiments attacking defenses at Rorke's Drift (1879) as portrayed in the movie Zulu. Nice to know that valiant Zulu warriors were just fodder to be translated into arachnids that time around.

    "Starship Troopers, the battle at Whiskey Outpost, Planet P was a direct translation of massed regiments attacking defenses at Rorke's Drift (1879) as portrayed in the movie Zulu. Nice to know that valiant Zulu warriors were just fodder to be translated into arachnids that time around."
    Isn't that a nice inversion of the movie Zulu? The Humans in Starship Troopers are the bad guys. That is why they are wearing Nazi uniforms. :)

    "Isn't that a nice inversion of the movie Zulu? The Humans in Starship Troopers are the bad guys. That is why they are wearing Nazi uniforms. :)"

    Even as a teenager I thought it was obvious that the humans were not only fascist villains but likely the asteroid attack was itself a false flag orchestrated by the government.

    But to this day so many seem to think that movie was just some space shoot em up.

    I might add the movie 300 has a similar vibe and structure to Starship Troopers .

    Let's not compare the poor Paul Verhoeven who is a great director with Zack Snyder who is at best a director. ;)

    With Verhoven we know it was intentional that the humans were basically fascists right down to Gestapo uniforms.

    Admittedly 300 is a little murkier. But you have to admit the parallels are there. I would even call 300 a soft ripoff of Starship Troopers with the Spartans as fascist and the Persians as basically monstrous villains in a Spartan propaganda story (in the form of a pre battle campfire tale versus a series of video snippets like in Starship Troopers).

    Like in Starship Troopers Snyder kind of tips his hand with the opening monologue with the baby scull pit.

    Interesting connections between Germany and Sparta.
    The whole relationship is completely cross-fertilized. Spartans are a model for Prussia; Prussian virtues inspire a militaristic Germany; the Nazi party arises within Germany and as Paul Cartledge puts it seizes the Spartan "brand" to regenerate its society. Starship Troopers adopts the fascist brand with uniforms of German styling and a Laconic hero. "300" projects an ostensibly fascist message simply by depicting Spartans at all, almost unavoidably.

    I was aware of what Starship Troopers was intended to be. but it nevertheless is a rocking space shoot 'em up.

    It was a bit weird that the director expected people 50 years removed from WW2 to get the N*zi references. A film director could easily be well versed in 30s/40s German propaganda film techniques but most of the audience wouldn't recognize it at all.

    "A film director could easily be well versed in 30s/40s German propaganda film techniques but most of the audience wouldn't recognize it at all."

    You pose an interesting question. Would a modern audience get the visual references to Riefenstahl? Maybe not, but it's hard to miss all that feldgrau, and insignia on Sgt. Zim's cap. Of course Raiders of the Lost Ark and its follow-ons probably did a lot to rekindle awareness of the look of '30s-era German fascism in the 1980's. The Last Crusade even threw in the book-burning and who can forget the line (said after Indy gets belted in the face by jack-booted member of the Waffen SS ) :"That's how we say goodbye in Germany." Although, even that stuff is now chronologically ancient and might be lost on persons born after 2000.

    In the TNG episode, 'Too short a Season,' the German WWII look inspires (even if tie-dyed) the uniform of governor Karnas of Mordan IV, and I think the actor Michael Pataki (earlier of Tribbles fame, where he expressed that the Enterprise should be hauled away "as garbage") really sells the 'fascist boss type.' Again, the high collar and rank insignia support the historical reference to the German police state.

    People definitely still recognize such references. Using fascist-style uniforms to make a point is an extensively-used and familiar TV trope.

    The Regorians from the Orville are another example.

    This Star Trek tale evokes the image of Fay Wray and King Kong from the 1933 film. I read this film as another allegory about the anxiety of whiteness, especially related to campaigns of lynching and castration carried out against African Americans. The film King Kong thus belongs to the tradition of Birth of a Nation, which first put on the silver screen blackface images of African American men attacking virginal blondes in traumatic violation of imaginary national and race identities. When the airplanes arrive to shoot down Kong and save the white goddess, we can hardly forget the ride of the Klansmen who come to the rescue of the white South in Griffith's film. Here we have Picard and his forces taking a similiar course. Yet the sympathy of the film for Kong arguably opens up an opportunity for critiquing racism.

    Honestly, I don't normally complain about your star ratings, but I think half a star is a little too generous for this travesty, no stars might be more appropriate. Even Shades of Gray is more enjoyable, it at least has some decent clips from other episodes! Hell Threshold is definitely the worst episode of Star Trek in general as far as I'm concerned, but I still owe it for giving me a lot of great conversations with other fans, which is more than I can say for this uninteresting, tedious tripe.

    I would also say that Threshold insulted nothing but viewer intelligence, which is a lot less damaging than the racist and sexist garbage in this episode.

    Yep...I'd say zero stars tho. I don't throw this term out very much, only when it's just undeniably true.....this episode is horribly racist and sexist and on top of all that it's boring and incredibly lame

    I think I noticed the blatant racism of this episode when I first watched it as part of a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon on cable TV in early 2003. Namely the whole Yar-Lutan thing (you know, black man lusting after white woman with a bestial mentality, the thing that I, a white woman myself, have found problematic since I first heard of it).

    What gets me though is why all this talk about the sexism (either for or against) Tasha Yar and racism against Lutan and his second (in command/family? I don't know. One time watching this episode in full was MORE than enough for me). But nothing said about the racism AND sexism both AGAINST Yareena throughout. I'd be glad to explain more about the misogynoir of having BOTH the hyper-sexual/jealous black woman AND the angry black woman stereotypes rolled into one single character for this episode

    ))I hope the new Picard series revisits this episode. It would be interesting to see how this society has progressed since the 1980s.((


    Picard does return to Ligon II - well, he *thinks* it's Ligon III, but in actuality it's Ligon II, which shifted orbit after the *real* Ligon III blew up. The planet is now a devastated wasteland, its surface pitted and scarred. Lutan is understandably very angry at the Federation, and seeks revenge.

    The worst episode of Trek, period. More in line with a racist 19th century novel like Heart of Darkness than progressive and optimistic futurism. I'd gladly watch "Sub Rosa" over this one, and even "Profit and Lace".

    Zero stars.

    I’m not reading a zillion comments myself, but if you’ve made it this far, kudos.

    Did anyone mention the utterly cringe political (ie not ACTUAL) correctness?

    In the future see, women will be able to beat up large men with ease... and we will kiss black peoples asses non stop,

    Oh crap!! The future is now!


    "In the future see, women will be able to beat up large men with ease... and we will kiss black peoples asses non stop,"
    Ok, new rule Kobra: From now on commenting first, then huffing glue.

    @Projekt Kobra

    To your point -- I recall there was this show or (event of some kind) on Canada's national broadcaster CBC (I think) about well-to-do white women voluntarily submitting themselves for some kind of "real-world education" from black women. Whatever it was, it was getting roundly criticized ...

    Kind of reminded me of how during the George Floyd riots some police officers would kneel in front of protestors (some who had probably just torched buildings etc.). Ridiculous.


    How much FOX news must one consume before one is triggered into seeing "Code of Honor", an episode that for decades was accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes, as pro-woman propaganda that hates white people and trains its audience to submit to black people?


    Not sure. I don't watch FOX news.

    I don't see "Code of Honor" as "pro-woman propaganda that hates white people and trains its audience to submit to black people" -- don't know what you're watching these days to come up with such a theory.

    You have to be understanding towards Rahuloccio. He just wants to be a real white boy.

    I'm going to continue my tirade of walking back some of my previous criticisms of Denise Crosby. I think this is her biggest story in S1, and if you look at her various lines, there's not much meat on there. The most human and vulnerable thing she gets to say is that 'of course' she's attracted to a man who comes across to this humble viewer as being vulgar and ungraceful. The idea that all women would naturally be attracted to this guy, which is presented as a flat fact, is a bit of a horror. What were they thinking? What was poor Crosby to do in these scenes where she's supposed to be flattered and attracted to him? It's really an impossible situation, sabotage to the actor for sure.

    Take this example:

    PICARD: Did you have any idea, Lieutenant, that Lutan was suddenly going to announce that he wanted you for his First One?
    TASHA: No, sir.
    PICARD: Tell me what you know about this?
    TASHA: Nothing, sir.
    TROI: But it was a thrill. Lutan is such, such a basic male image and having him say he wants you
    TASHA: Yes, of course it made me feel good when he. Troi, I'm your friend and you tricked me.
    TROI: Only so you'd think about it, completely and clearly.

    Either the scripting is nonsense of the director completely misunderstood whatever it was supposed to mean. The way it's played Deanna frankly tells Tasha what she felt, Tasha openly admits it, then says she was tricked. What was the trick? I suppose it was that Deanna didn't really use her empathy to know Tasha's feelings, but just said it tactically to see if Tasha would admit it. If so the point was lost, and the issue of friendship coming into it becomes a random left turn in a scene that isn't even about that anyhow. If they wanted us to entertain the possibility that Tasha might be going into the fight because she actually wanted Lutan, that should have been discarded conceptually the moment they did the actual casting for Lutan. It's so illogical as it stands that it's hard to even know what they're talking about here. Seriously, how was Crosby supposed to play any of these scenes?

    The one sort of nice thing in the plotting is that Picard's plan at the end, to abduct Lutan's wife, and then Lutan himself, cannot possibly be objected to because a firm point has already been established that their culture respects bold actions, especially those involving capturing something or someone valuable. This is an underwritten element because Picard is in fact being diplomatic in this method of undermining Lutan's plan in using their own customary actions to do it. The least the scripting could have done was have the new leader say as much, that he respected Picard's boldness and that all honor was satisfied. But instead of showing us that Picard cleverly used their code of honor to his own ends, as Lutan had done, it ends up being a rather muddy and indistinct wrap-up.

    I was okay with the episode. The key is to think of the aliens from Ligon 2 as aliens that have their own culture. Don't try to find deeper meaning. "The curtains were blue" meme comes to mind. I could go on and on but i won't.

    The ending bothered me more than it did anyone else that posted a comment. It was mentioned that millions would die on Styris IV if they didn't get the cure as soon as possible. Not a single person seemed to be bothered with them traveling at warp 3 to their destination with millions of lives at stake, instead of warp 9.

    If you hate the tropes of Trek, then you should likely hate all Trek. Specifically TOS. Jammer appears to have written his review years after the first airing. So he is joining a chorus years later who already dislike the episode. If he had written a review at the time, he would likely have praised it.

    Let’s use the Discovery argument. After all, aren’t you just glad that there is more Trek out there? Or, who are you to be a gate keeper? All Trek is conspicuously badly written and produced, ya’ll. If you want good TV, go watch a better show like Babylon 5, one that deserves a much wider audience.

    They should have just taken the vaccine by force. How casual everyone is OK with a crew member, or their "friend" as Deanna put it, risking their life, or million of people potentially suffering and dying from a disease, for that prime directive nonsense, is insane and absurdly unbecoming. I think the millions of people dying are more important. That's why I have always said Troi's empathy is fake, she is only portrayed to have so much "compassion" when the show requires it in the storyline and not when the situation obviously calls for it. And the dillydallying along at Warp 3 when it's so urgent is also laughable. Why do they go less than Warp 9 anywhere? Even if it would wear out the engine, why not Warp 7-8 everywhere? This is why although the sci-fi is the best in TNG, I can't stand it because the characters are such phoney, self-righteous, weird hypocrites.

    This episode is racist in as much as it portrays an accurate example of a primitive society and the actors who play said society happen to be Black. The nod about women being the property owners is something you actually see in tribal societies in the Amazon for instance.

    @Chudleigh Jones
    "This episode is racist in as much as it portrays an accurate example of a primitive society and the actors who play said society happen to be Black. "

    I had a few seminars with our poor siblings at the Anthropology institute and let me just say that this by no means an accurate portrayal of a primitive society.

    1. It is not a primitive society. It's spacefaring society that for some reason stuck to primitive traditions and power structures around landownership which makes no sense.

    2. Women own all the land but men control it after marriage. Idiotic. No society has ever worked that way for obvious reasons. There is a famous example from Europe that followed a more realistic version of this nonsense. Sparta. In Sparta women controlled the economy, in other words the land, because in Spartan society women could not only own land, they also managed it and when the husband died before them, which happened quite often, wives would not only own their own land but also get the land of their husbands and their daughters would inherit. Not the sons. That wasn't seen as a problem by the men because Spartan women were mostly behaving like men. Athenians saw Spartan gender relations as a horrible perversion (Athenian women were pretty much living like women under the Taliban).

    3. Men can have several wives. This is building idiocy on a foundation of nonsense. Why would the owners of the most important property (land) ever fight with one another to the !death! because of a man?? In Harems their were vicious power struggles to become first wive of for example the Ottoman Sultan, but that was done because the first wive got special privileges, her children were save and her family would benefit through titles, posts and land grants. It wasn't about vanity or bragging rights and it certainly wasn't encouraged by the Sultan. Let's be real here, Roddenberry was a living a very unconventional life including polyamory. He probably got a huge kick out of writing and making this.... thing.

    4. It is racist. To quote a somewhat known Youtuber:"You didn't see it but your brain did."
    a. The very first all-black spacefaring society is really for no reason stuck in hunter gatherer cultural norms that barely exist in subsaharan Africa today.

    b. Why are there no people with different skin tones? Nobody who looks differently ever wanted to live there? The scenario presented clearly shows that Ligonians are not only accepting people of different skin tones but are actively courting them. In this case Tasha.

    c. The black man lusting after and desiring to own a blonde haired white woman calls to mind imagery used in "the birth of a nation".

    So what impression leaves the first all-black society. They are primitive, they are cruel, they are a threat to white women.

    I don't know what drug Roddenberry was on as he wrote this (he used so many drugs) but boy oh boy. No wonder many protested the all-black casting, including sjw extraordinaire Jonathan Frakes. His name often comes up in these cultural and societal issues. He seems like a really upstanding guy. As Jammer so poignantly put it" "Code of Honor" represents a period when bad TNG wasn't bad TNG, but instead bad TOS." Amen.

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