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"Star Trek: The Next Generation" Code of Honor (TV Episode 1987) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
Gene Roddenberry fired director Russ Mayberry because he objected to the casting of African-American actors as the Ligonians who portrayed to be a primitive race.
At the 2013 Toronto Comic Con's "An Evening With the Cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation", Michael Dorn (who is not in this episode) referred to this episode as "the worst episode of Star Trek ever filmed" to agreement from the rest of the cast and the crowd.
This is only 1 of 2 STTNG episodes in which Michael Dorn does not appear, which is ironic as the theme of duels, honor, etc, perfectly suits the Worf character. The other is Star Trek: The Next Generation: Haven (1987).
In a 2012 interview, Brent Spiner recalled, "It was just a racist episode. Maybe not intentionally but it felt that way and looked that way. It was the third episode so it was fortuitous that we did our worst that early on and it never got quite that bad again."
According to Wil Wheaton, the cast was very unhappy doing this episode because they hated the script. Wheaton also claims that he heard that director Russ Mayberry acted in a racist manner toward the African-American actors.
Jonathan Frakes referred to the episode as a "racist piece of shit". At a 2007 science fiction convention in Toronto, Canada, he told the audience, "The worst and most embarrassing and one that even Gene Roddenberry would have been embarrassed by was that horrible racist episode from the first season... Code of Honor, oh my God in heaven!"
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2012, Patrick Stewart agreed with fans that considered Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Measure of a Man (1989) to be "the first truly great episode of the series", stating that the first season "had several quite weak episodes"; referring to this episode in particular he said, "I can think of one very early on that involved a race of black aliens that we all felt quite embarrassed about."
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Star Trek: Voyager (1995) actor Garrett Wang said this episode "stinks" to which LeVar Burton agreed, adding "without question", at a Star Trek panel at DragonCon 2010.
Director Russ Mayberry was fired by producer Gene Roddenberry before filming was completed. Assistant Director Les Landau finished directing the episode, uncredited.
According to Wil Wheaton, 'if the cast wasn't arbitrarily decided to be African-American, the idea of the episode being racist or non-racist wouldn't have been an issue'.
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The only Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) episode mentioning an opening stardate that ends with 2 numbers after the decimal. The opening stardate is given in a XXXXX.XX format, whereas it is given with an XXXXX.X format in all other episodes. However, 13 minutes into Star Trek: The Next Generation: Datalore (1988), Picard again uses a XXXXX.XX stardate.
In this episode, the floor of the holodeck is not yet covered by the familiar pattern of yellow stripes on black background; instead, the floor is covered by grey carpet.
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The blue razor prop that La Forge used to shave was later seen, again as a razor, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Sword of Kahless (1995) - which, coincidentally, was directed by LeVar Burton.
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Some of the cast, including Jonathan Frakes, sought to prevent the episode from being re-aired.
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Data uses several contractions in this episode.
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Julian Christopher (credited as James Louis Watkins) who played Hagon later played a Cardassian overseer in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine second season episode "Tribunal", credited as Julian Christopher.
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Captain Picard showed pride in his French heritage in this episode. This character quirk was only repeated in the following episode Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Last Outpost (1987) before being removed from the character
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Doctor Crusher is seen wearing an antiquated wristwatch when she is reviving Yareena in the transporter room.
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Characteristic white lamps, consisting of several tubes in different shapes are seen on Ligon II for the first time. They later re-appear on many planets, like on Angel I, Risa, Cardassia and the first Founders' homeworld.
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Special care was taken to include a Ligonian logo into many set pieces. The hexagonal shape consisting of three diagonal stripes and a small circle is seen on walls, doors, the vaccine box and the weapon boxes. The hexagonal shape is also echoed in the shape of doors, windows and the weapon wall in the large open courtyard.
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The Ligonian gongs were later re-used in the Temple of Akadar in Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Perfect Mate (1992).
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Tracy Tormé was embarrassed by what he called a "1940s tribal Africa" view of Africans in the episode.
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The novel Dark Mirror establishes that in the mirror universe, when the ISS Enterprise-D arrived at Ligonia and the Ligonians tried to make the Enterprise-D crew follow their rituals, they simply sterilized the planet's southern continent which forced the Ligonians into cooperating with the Empire's demands.
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Michael Rider can be seen for the first time after his scene from Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Naked Now (1987) was deleted. He later reprised this role in the episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation: Haven (1987) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Reunion (1990).
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The ivory-like sticks the Ligonians use to show approval or to applaud are later seen again in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Frame of Mind (1993), where an illusionary Tilonian inmate plays with them.
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In this episode, the entire humanoid population of the planet is portrayed by African-American performers. In the teleplay, however, only Lutan's guards were specifically written as being African.
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An original story concept by Powers and Baron called the Ligonians Tellisians, a reptilian species with a culture similar to the Japanese samurai and a warrior caste called the Kadim. This story concept also named the planet Ligon II Tellis and Lutan was the captain of a Tellisian ship. He met the Enterprise-D crew on a shore leave planet where ritual fightings were held and kidnapped Tasha on this planet where she had a fight with Lutan's son. The concept also featured a reference to James T. Kirk who once fought against Lutan's grandfather. Yareena's uncle, the king, was poisoned by Lutan and the away team of the Enterprise-D was imprisoned. In this prison they met the Tellisian Hinun, a nephew of Lutan who assisted in their escape.
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Maurice Hurley said that the episode was "a good idea, but the execution just fell apart. Again, if you take that script and if the actors had been told to give it a different twist, that show would have been different. But it became too baroque and fell apart. But the concept of having a guy say 'I have to have somebody kill my wife and this is the person' is a good idea."
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At the 50th anniversary "Star Trek" convention in Las Vegas in August 2016, fans voted this the second worst episode of the "Star Trek" franchise after Star Trek: Enterprise: These Are the Voyages... (2005).
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This takes place in 2364.
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One of the lamps, a spherical type was recycled from Scarface (1983), and later reused on Angel I in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Angel One (1988) and on the first Founders' homeworld in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Search: Part 2 (1994). Another one was recycled from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), where it appeared in the San Francisco bar. Another type of these lamps also appeared on Babylon 5 (1994).
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Stuntman Bernie Pock later worked as stunt double for William Shatner on Star Trek: Generations (1994).
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Stuntwoman Sharon Schaffer previously worked as stunt actress on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
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The Ligonian glavin appears in later episodes such as _Reunion_ and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cost of Living (1992), slightly repainted, in Worf's quarters as a Klingon hand-weapon.
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Karole Selmon (Yareena) also worked as a Starfleet officer at the Star Trek: The Experience theme park attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton.
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According to Robert Legato, 80 visual effects shots were used in this episode.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Katharyn Powers is also responsible for the very similar Stargate SG-1: Emancipation (1997). Both episodes feature a female officer being abducted and later participating in a fight to the death which both parties survive. Furthermore, both are widely considered to be among the worst of their respective series.
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Contains spoiler for later in the first season) This episode is similar to Star Trek: Amok Time (1967) as, in each episode, a member of the series' main cast (and the Enterprise's senior staff) is forced into fighting in ceremonial combat to the death (Tasha vs. Yareena and Spock vs Kirk, respectively). Both episodes also feature a character (Lieutenant Yar and Spock) that later dies but returns in some form in their respective series (Tasha Yar dies in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Skin of Evil (1988) but returns in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Yesterday's Enterprise (1990) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994) ; Spock dies in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) before being resurrected in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)).
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This episode is similar to Star Trek: Amok Time (1967) and Star Trek: Enterprise: United (2005), as, in each episode, a member of the series' main cast (and the Enterprise's senior staff) is forced into fighting in ceremonial combat. Both this episode and Star Trek: Amok Time (1967) before it (in which Spock is forced to fight Captain Kirk) feature two characters (Lieutenant Yar and Spock) who both later died but returned in some form in their respective series (Tasha Yar dies in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Skin of Evil (1988) but returns in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Yesterday's Enterprise (1990) and Star Trek: The Next Generation: All Good Things... (1994); Spock dies in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) before being resurrected in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)).
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See also

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