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Trivia / Star Trek: The Next Generation S1 E3 "Code of Honor"

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  • Cast the Runner-Up: James Louis Watkins, who plays Hagon was the runner-up for Worf.
  • Creator Backlash/Old Shame: Several of the cast members have expressed regret over the episode, particularly regarding the Darkest Africa aliens.
    • Wil Wheaton has claimed this can be blamed entirely on the episode's director, who was such a horrible racist—including insisting that the aliens all be played by black actors, when nothing about their appearance was specified in the script—that he got replaced later in the shoot.
    • Staff writer Tracy Tormé was not pleased with the "1940s tribal Africa" theme of the aliens, and because the combat scene towards the end of the episode resembled the Kirk versus Spock fight in the Original Series episode "Amok Time".
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    • Maurice Hurley said that it 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."
    • In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2012, Patrick Stewart agreed with fans that considered the season 2 episode "The Measure of a Man" to be "the first truly great episode of the series," stating that the first season "had several quite weak episodes"; regarding 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."
    • Jonathan Frakes apparently tried to get the episode removed from syndication altogether, and he referred to it 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 would have been embarrassed by was that horrible racist episode from the first season... 'Code of Honor,' oh my God in heaven!"
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    • In a 2012 interview with trekmovie.com, Brent Spiner recalled, "It ['Code of Honor'] 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."
  • Recycled Script: Katharyn Powers, the co-writer of this episode, would later reuse this story for the Stargate SG-1 episode "Emancipation." Considering "Emancipation" featured Asians rather than Africans (like the original script for "Code of Honor") and a more blatant feminist message, one wonders if "Emancipation" represents her idea for how "Code of Honor" was supposed to turn out. For the record, "Emancipation" is about as highly regarded an SG-1 episode as "Code of Honor" is a Next Gen episode.
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  • Troubled Production: One of the two original writers took his name off it after it was heavily rewritten, and that was before the director they hired chose to populate the aliens of the week entirely with African-American guest actors, whom he proceeded to treat like garbage (though apparently he didn't treat the main cast a whole lot better). Eventually Gene Roddenberry decided enough was enough and canned the director, leaving the first assistant director to pick up the pieces for the remainder of the shoot—which just happened to include the episode's big action sequence. Not to mention that many of the writers felt Roddenberry's rewrite put it beyond any chance of salvation. He had supposedly told one of the two original writers, on another episode, that the Enterprise doesn't fire warning shots—only to add a scene in this episode where it did exactly that.
  • What Could Have Been: An original story concept by Kathryn Powers and Michael 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 Tellis and had Lutan as 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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