Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Next Generation 1x4 "Code of Honor"

This is one of those episodes that absolutely should be stricken from the record.  It's one of those episodes that's so bad it's embarrassing, and to many fans actually represents the whole of the first season of The Next Generation.  It's at the very least at the top of a steep learning curve that resulted in far better material later on.

If care to know what this travesty actually features, it's almost worth a look for the way it reflects back on other Star Trek material, an officer being thrust into a duel to the death on some alien world.  There are plenty of those.  This one does not need to be viewed to complete that collection.  Picard ends up visiting a world with such bad African stereotypes even Marvel Comics' Black Panther wouldn't want anything to do with it.

Long story short these guys become obsessed with Tasha Yar, who at this point is the character the series least knows how to handle.  As portrayed by Denise Crosby, she's the soft-spoken security officer whose rotten past makes a far more interesting character, but is asked to fill a role she's not suited to, basically the surrogate Kirk (even though Riker, or perhaps just increasingly so as the season continues, is also in that position, though he's also initially conceived as a surrogate Decker, as in The Motion Picture Decker, with Troi being his Ilia).

Anyway, it's an ill-fit for Yar, for the episode, for the season...Best left overlooked.  This is the first of several episodes to have that distinction from the season, unfortunately, and because of this, each subsequent new Star Trek series is assumed to require a certain amount of developing time, which is only really necessary in Deep Space Nine, as Voyager and Enterprise are both pretty confidently themselves from the start.  But because of material like this, some fans will just never be convinced.

franchise * series * essential * character

Memory Alpha summary.


  1. Not their finest hour. I remember there was a big thing about the implied racism. This was the first time a predominantly Black race was shown and they have them lusting after a white woman. I didn't see it that way, but the show redeemed itself with many other great minority races.

    1. I don't think it was so much that they were jonesing for the white chick so much that they were so blatantly African and primitive, and the implication was that Africans were pretty much just as primitive.


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