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Guest Andrew98

Code Of Honor

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But... but... what about the "MISTER DATA THE FRENCH LANGUAGE FOR CENTURIES ON EARTH REPRESENTED CIVILIZATION" rant? :( lol No, seriously, the episode is insanely bad and 'frankly embarrassing' ( :P )... but then there's me who always finds something note-worthy because of Jean-Luc, so, never mind me. But even I wonder if the "playing nothing" idea wouldn't have been the actual better one...

When the actors were handed that particular script? I'd bet they all wanted to 'play nothing'.... :laugh:

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But... but... what about the "MISTER DATA THE FRENCH LANGUAGE FOR CENTURIES ON EARTH REPRESENTED CIVILIZATION" rant? :( lol No, seriously, the episode is insanely bad and 'frankly embarrassing' ( :P )... but then there's me who always finds something note-worthy because of Jean-Luc, so, never mind me. But even I wonder if the "playing nothing" idea wouldn't have been the actual better one...

When the actors were handed that particular script? I'd bet they all wanted to 'play nothing'.... :laugh:

I would FULLY trust Sir Patrick to throw a script on the ground and be like "I am NOT going to appear in this kind of an episode" and the others look at each other and nod and then do the same. Too bad this didn't happen... it was too early in the first season, I guess. They didn't know each other very well yet and Sir Patrick was too busy growling at everyone who came too close to his captain's chair and be like:

tumblr_lyh6wj6EwP1qd5tdto5_250.gif

I doubt they'd have accepted such a script later in the series, though. I mean REALLY, the whole thing IS one big pile of WTF.

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Pretty hard to defend this episode. It was like a throwback to the Censored Eleven Loonie Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. It also borrowed heavily from a much better 'Amok Time' episode. It was too much even for Roddenberry, who canned director Russ Mayberry near the end of production on this episode. This was the worst of the worst of TNG.

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Pretty hard to defend this episode. It was like a throwback to the Censored Eleven Loonie Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. It also borrowed heavily from a much better 'Amok Time' episode. It was too much even for Roddenberry, who canned director Russ Mayberry near the end of production on this episode. This was the worst of the worst of TNG.

Certainly direction was a flaw too, but a larger part of it was the script really. I'm sure the director did what he could with the script (I'm not sure how accurate those reports that he was a racist were), but the characters and the overt racism that permeates the script of that episode (however unintentionally) is what really sunk it, IMO. This is probably the one ST-TNG I have not watched again since it debuted over 25 years ago...

Sounds like Roddenberry was playing the producer game and passing the blame on that one.

Edited by Sehlat Vie

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The whole episode is incredibly slow.

There's at least 5 log entries where Picard or Riker just reports what any intelligent viewer could deduce from watching what was going on. - It's like early TOS episodes like The Enemy Within in that respect; "yes, ok, we get it already, we're not stupid!"

The plot is extreemly thin and is just a very basic kidnap-and-rescue story punctuated by far too much waffle and padding.

It's also completely devoid of any tension; especially when you consider this was the 3rd episode and nobody really knew anything about the characters yet to care whether they lived or died.

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Juuuust finished putting myself through this dreadful episode. (I'm rather proud now.)

So, where to begin? It is horrible, awful and then some, I am in absolute agreement with the majority of the Trek fandom on this one. I still can't believe they actually allowed such an episode to happen, but then, it is done and there is nothing we can do to change that. There are quite a few WTF moments in this one, such as scenes like the one in which Jean-Luc actually orders to throw a few torpedos at the atmosphere of the planet in order to show them what the Enterprise is capable of. (They already knew that, and besides, one torpedo would've been enough, why waste perfectly good torpedos like that, and really, it is kinda WTF for Jean-Luc to resort to such a macho course of action if you think about it.) And then there's the whole endless "honor" thing. We GET it that "Honor is everything", there's no need to hit us over the head with the concept over and over and over again.

I won't even touch the whole racism undertone, because everything has already been said about this.

Now, let's put the dreadful plot and the racism issues aside for a second and we are left with a few scenes that are actually quite enjoyable. For one thing, we have what I call "The Fugly Horse" scene in which Jean-Luc gives Lutan that little Chinese horse statue thingy and Lutan is all like "A most... thoughtful gift. We are pleased." while all he's really saying is "WTF IS THIS FUGLY THING GET IT OUT OF MY SIGHT", looool. Also, the scene in which Tasha demonstrates how she fights. It's a nice introduction into the holodeck being "used for many other things, too" (whatever Jean-Luc means when he points that one out is left entirely up to everyone's imagination, haha).

Then, of course, we have the wonderful classic Grumpy Picard moments of "Is the whole ship deaf?!" and the "French language incident", both of which I've mentioned here and elsewhere more than once and don't need to elaborate again. Same goes for the Macho!JLP scene in which he walks up to Lutan and Hagon in that seriously weird way (if his uniform had pockets I'm sure he'd have put his hands into them) and sits down and is all like "she is a rather lovely female - macho, macho, me". It's so out of character that I never know whether to laugh or cry. I get it that he does it because he needs to find out what exactly Lutan is planning, but still, it's so obviously fake.

And can we just appreciate how easy it is for Jean-Luc to switch tactics and his entire behavior pattern? First he rants and rages at Lutan for taking Yar and when his officers point out that he basically won't accomplish anything by doing that and that he should simply ask to get her back, he becomes polite and nice but clearly still has a knife behind his back. "As for her?!" "Politely, captain." I really like how this scene shows that he completely trusts Riker's and Data's judgment already.

SPEAKING OF WHICH... the scene in which Riker is "very much against" the idea of Jean-Luc beaming down. Aaaaaaaaaah! Can we say OTP or OTP? XD It's so adorable how he raises his index finger and is all like "But I warn you, if you get hurt, I'll put you on report, captain." THE WAY HE SMILES AT HIM, I can't.

And how about another (always overlooked but quite interesting and relevant) pairing - Picard/Yar? I love how he smiles at her when he tells her that "you have nothing to prove here, Lieutenant" and how generally concerned he is about her safety and how he tries to make sure she knows that. Awwww. (There is another, much more open scene in "Hide & Q", but this episode certainly has its share of Picard/Yar, too.)

By the way, speaking of het pairings, I really love Hagon and Yareena together, I think it's cute how she realizes that Hagon is the one who deserves to be her first one and how she is all like "GTFO Lutan", lol. And can we talk about the LOOK ON JEAN-LUC'S FACE when she says "Then I will have you as my number two" to Lutan, Jean-Luc has a REALLY hard time not to laugh. Seriously, it's only a brief second but his face is priceless in that moment.

So, where does all this leave me rating-wise? This episode is definitely one of the worst TNG episodes out there, and yet there are these little adorable scenes that I just mentioned. (This is a general dilemma that I face with more than just one season 1 episode, by the way.) It is bad, it never should have been made, it embarrasses the entire cast these days - and yet, and yet... decisions, decisions... I'll settle for a 3/10.

The favorite quote of the moment award goes to Lutan for his outraged "SHE IS NOT DEAD!!!" rant - that moment gets me every single time, lmfao! It's unintentionally funny somehow. I don't even know.

My favorite Jean-Luc moment award goes to the scene in which he starts rambling about the Prime Directive in front of Data, Troi and LaForge. I just love how he then stops talking and is all like "I'm sorry, this is becoming a speech", Troi then says "You're the captain, sir, you're entitled" and he answers "Hmm, not entitled to ramble on about something everyone knows - carry on". I think this is one of the most adorable JLP moments on the entire show and I really hate that it comes from this bad episode, lol.

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Because this episode is so shockingly offensive (as Dorn & Burton called it, "Planet of the Black People"), with a 'plot' is a crude remake of TOS' "Amok Time" (where two characters fight to the death until one of them fakes their death) and for the fact that there are gaps in story logic all over the place (gaps you could fly a galaxy-class starship through)? I stick to my initial rating; this one is a big, fat, turban-wearing, stick-wielding ZERO.

And I will even go so far as to call it "Worst TNG ever."

Again, it's not even entertainingly bad (like "Lonely Among Us" or "Justice"....)

Edited by Sehlat Vie

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I guess I'm simply too much in love with Jean-Luc and adorable scenes with him make up for a LOT of plot holes in my book - if this wasn't the case, I'd have probably given it a zero as well. ;)

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I guess I'm simply too much in love with Jean-Luc and adorable scenes with him make up for a LOT of plot holes in my book - if this wasn't the case, I'd have probably given it a zero as well. ;)

You're absolutely incorrigible. :laugh:

I loved what Michael Dorn said about the episode when he saw it (and he wasn't even in it); "They had transporters and advanced medicine.... yet the men still had sticks for weapons!!" He and LeVar Burton also laughed at the way Lutan says, "You will have no vaccine, no Lt. Yar!" The way Lutan pronounces the word 'vaccine' is more like the old black slavery dialect, sounding like 'vassine.' A subtle bit of racism I didn't even catch when I first saw it; it's rather how slaves in movies are often depicted as pronouncing the word 'master' as 'massuh' (the stereotypical black-American patois; see Jar Jar Binks).

Racism aside, the episode is simply awful. Even in 1987, it was ridiculously outdated; Lutan and his people look like a 1940s stereotype of 'angry African tribesmen.' I remember watching it and feeling my jaw just hit the floor from utter disbelief. If all of S1 had been this bad? I probably wouldn't have stuck around for S2 at all....

Edited by Sehlat Vie

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I know I'm a biased-because-in-love-with-JLP pain in the butt, I've been like this for ten years now. :P

It has indeed always baffled me why Lutan and his people have TRANSPORTER technology but no phasers and apparently also no starships of any kind, at least we don't see any. I doubt they have them, they're more concerned with land and honor and ancient traditions. Also, if they don't have starships, then they're technically a pre-warp civilization and weeeeeeeell, hello, Prime Directive. (They do seem to know that the Federation exists, though... why? Who established first contact with them? And why? If they really don't have warp-driven starships, then this was actually a violation of the Prime Directive. Why was this done? We just don't know.) My guess is that the writers themselves were stuck between making them as "backwards African-like" and therefore as offensive as possible and making them fit into the 24th century without giving them starships because that would have been too much and would have made them too strong an opponent and it would also have distracted from all the racism and sexism that was going on. They only gave them their own transporter technology because they needed it as a plot device so that Lutan could abduct Yar, methinks.

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They had transporters and advanced medicine.... yet the men still had sticks for weapons!!"

They could have been like the Klingons.. they had the technology, but because of their precious honour, they fight more ritualistically.

If all of S1 had been this bad? I probably wouldn't have stuck around for S2 at all....

Nobody would have done!

If all of S1 has been this bad the series would have been very quickly cancelled.

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I couldn't really sit through this episode. I found it pretty boring. It did seem pretty class-less depicting a planet of all black people as like 1300s Africa. I can understand the irritation and rage over it... Having said that...

This planet isn't the only one depicted that way in TNG. The Ba'ku were all white people that looked like they belonged in a by-gone era too. Same thing for those Irish colonists from Up The Long Ladder. Is it possible that this planet the people were advanced but they rejected certain technology? IDK. I haven't seen the episode all the way through.

Didn't TOS have an episode where there was a planet with a copy of the Roman Empire (but they had some modern technology)?

I'm not defending the primitive way they depicted a colony of black people. If there racist intent behind it (that director that got fired was racist no?), then it was unacceptable and very un-trek like.

I'm just curious as to why it's unacceptable to have them depicted as more culturally behind but the other examples were ok?

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I couldn't really sit through this episode. I found it pretty boring. It did seem pretty class-less depicting a planet of all black people as like 1300s Africa. I can understand the irritation and rage over it... Having said that...

This planet isn't the only one depicted that way in TNG. The Ba'ku were all white people that looked like they belonged in a by-gone era too. Same thing for those Irish colonists from Up The Long Ladder. Is it possible that this planet the people were advanced but they rejected certain technology? IDK. I haven't seen the episode all the way through.

Didn't TOS have an episode where there was a planet with a copy of the Roman Empire (but they had some modern technology)?

I'm not defending the primitive way they depicted a colony of black people. If there racist intent behind it (that director that got fired was racist no?), then it was unacceptable and very un-trek like.

I'm just curious as to why it's unacceptable to have them depicted as more culturally behind but the other examples were ok?

'Up the long ladder' was a pretty moronic episode too, but they were making fun of the Irish nationality, not their race. The Ba'ku only had the one small settlement with only a handful of people iirc so its lack of diversity is a bit more forgivable. Yes, TOS did an episode in which tech was like modern Earth but the Roman empire never went away. Our Roman Empire had plenty of minorities in its borders, I'd assume that one did too, although it's been a while since I've watched it.

I thought that 'Code of Honor' had more blatant racism, the director (or the writers) are making fun of black people by depicting them in a backwards way, not just a specific nationality. Their culture was supposed to be a punchline, like 'haha a black planet, can you imagine? I bet they hit each other with sticks, practice polygamy, and abduct and trade wives like livestock!' but it fell flat with a more intelligent ST fan audience than they were targeting with this garbage.

As for the Prime Directive concerns, they broke it in Justice just by visiting and arguably in Angel One as well. In Season One the writing definitely struggled, and I think much of that had to do with Roddenberry's interference.

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The Ba'ku were all white people that looked like they belonged in a by-gone era too.

Agreed.

And that was one of (many) reasons INS sucked the sweat off a dead donkey's nuts. The 'aliens' looked like a California commune, circa 1973....

I thought that 'Code of Honor' had more blatant racism, the director (or the writers) are making fun of black people by depicting them in a backwards way, not just a specific nationality. Their culture was supposed to be a punchline, like 'haha a black planet, can you imagine? I bet they hit each other with sticks, practice polygamy, and abduct and trade wives like livestock!' but it fell flat with a more intelligent ST fan audience than they were targeting with this garbage.

Agreed (again).

The fact that they had transporters and advanced medicines, but still puffed out their bare chests and carried STICKS, for chrissakes. They looked ridiculous. And the Geoffrey Holder-style accents were just embarrassing. For those of you too young to know who Holder was, he was a bald black actor from Trinidad who, in the '70s, did a lot of cliched villains or Louisiana voodoo-priest type roles; he is best remembered for the Bond movie, "Live and Let Die" (1973) and a string of 7-Up commercials...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tAiEFhNHZk

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OK, tried to watch this again tonight (BBC-A is finally airing S1 remastered in HD) but....

73141-omfg.jpg

.... I couldn't do it.

I quit after the opening credits.

I told myself I was going to try to see past this episode's molasses-thick racism for any redeeming value, but...

ts2woodyicant.gif

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Watched this on Netflix this morning as I'm giving some early episodes a new look as Netflix has the remastered versions running (so nice to see clear planetscapes on TNG) and I had to laugh because during the fight scene I noticed for the first time (though I shouldn't be surprised) that there are several shots where you can tell Denise is replaced by a stuntwoman. Just found it funny because it caused me to flashback to TOS and all those fight scenes with Kirk where you can tell quite obviously it's not Shatner. Maybe it is because of the better picture quality I noticed. I'm probably the only one to say this, but I actually don't mind this story (I don't consider it good or bad). I actually find it more sexist (though Angel One takes the cake on that one) than racist.

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