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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.