A general rule with “Star Trek” shows is that they get off to a rocky start, and it’s often not until around the third season that they hit their stride.
There is a strange exception like the original series or “Strange New Worlds”, but the rule remained true for “The Next Generation”, “Deep Space Nine”, “Voyager”, “Enterprise”, “Discovery” and “Picard “. The result is a first two seasons that are generally mixed.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation,” for example, had some great ones, including “Conspiracy,” “The Measure of a Man,” and “Q Who.” There were also cringe-inducing duds like the “Shades of Grey” music video (victim of that year’s writers’ strike).
Almost on par with this episode and the legendary “Sub Rosa” from the last season, is the third episode of the show’s first season – “Code of Honor”. The episode sees Lieutenant Tasha Yar fighting for her life after the ruler of Ligon II wanted to take her as his new bride (by asking Tasha to kill his current wife and inherit her property).
Multiple confusing creative choices led to an episode full of racial stereotypes that were poorly dated even at the time, as well as incredibly misogynistic and sexist language (the original plan would have been a reptilian race with a samurai-style influence). The cast has discussed the episode in the past in a negative light, including franchise mainstay Jonathan Frakes who said in 2007 that he hoped to see the episode removed from reruns and home video.
Sixteen years later, at a time when many shows have pulled controversial episodes from their streaming libraries due to derogatory content inside, Frakes is repeating that call.
Speaking to TrekMovie this week, he said it was surprising the episode hadn’t already been taken out of rotation. When told the episode was still available on services like Paramount+ and Hulu, he was reportedly a bit shocked:
“It’s now. But I was told, or I felt like he rubbed so many people the wrong way that he was fired. I think they should take him out of rotation I think now is the perfect time to make that kind of – no matter how small – making that kind of statement would be fabulous.
When the interviewer suggested the episode stick around but with a disclaimer, Frakes reportedly only partially agreed/