"Code of Honor" is one of my favorites. It was pretty cool having a cast of majority dark-skinned individuals....but after the whining of alleged racism - primarily from white viewers - we never really saw a planet that was majority dark-skinned again. We only got a mention of the Ligonians in "First Duty."
Of course, no one had problems with planets that had aliens visibly portrayed by white individuals in the franchise after that episode.
Some of the cries of racism are - which are, ironically, racist cries themselves are:
*"They're too tribal!" (So, basically, South Americans, Africans, and Asians still in tribes today better civilize themselves!)
*"How dare that black Lutan have an interest in white Tasha Yar! That's racist!" (Of course, no one has a problem with every Asian woman being paired with a white male in the Trek franchise, but it's a problem when a black male is opposite a non-black woman).
(That's the problem when you have primarily white males behind the scenes, rather than a diverse group, calling the shots).
I would have liked to have seen the Ligonians in a more stronger story in later seasons...but, alas, in the Berman-era even the extras were primarily white - just look at Enterprise.
"Lonely Among Us" is another favorite I watched a few days back. And, Data mimicking his idea of Sherlock Holmes was hilarious...
I have a few from Season 1 I will be watching...
I thought it would have been a great episode if the Ligonian culture would have been portrayed as other advanced cultures usually were (like in The Wounded, or The High Ground).
The story could have still worked out with some changes.
If I remember correctly, Lutan was interested in Yar, but she was also attracted to him.
I think somewhere down the line, they just really didn't think of how racist the episode would appear to be in the final product.
I haven't seen 'The High Ground' or 'The Wounded,' but yeah, you remember correctly: There was a mutual attraction between Yar and Lutan. Nothing wrong with that; it's not racist. Of course, those who have issues with interracial relationships involving black people are the ones racist. Black people can have relationships with people who are non-black. For example, I like Eurasian girls.
Trek, overseen primarily by white males, doesn't have a problem with Asian female/white male relationships, so there shouldn't have any problem with black male/non-black female relationships.
However, I think you're forgetting: A teleplay not strongly written doesn't equal racism just because an episode features a predominantly black cast or features black cast members or a black cast member. If that were true, we could possibly point to racist teleplays in how Geordi LaForge was depicted. For example, every other character was able to have healthy relationships, except Geordi. As aforementioned, there was no problem with the writers/producers putting yet another Asian woman in the Trek franchise with a white male in "Data's Day," but they had to write Geordi with failed relationships with everyone except an alien that was visibly portrayed by a black woman in 'Aquiel' - and even that lasted one episode.
And, everyone seems to handle themselves in hand-to-hand combat, yet Geordi seems to be a wimp.
Well I think the problem is that most of the time, Trek has been written to appeal to white males. So Geordi's relationship attempts are always with white chicks, simply because they are eye candy for the "supposed" majority viewer (MHO anyway).
From an in-universe perspective, I kept wanting to scream at Geordi "hello?? hello?? you're blind you idiot!! stop going after the hottest looking women on the ship!! Go for a more homely gal that feels good and you're set!
I thought Aquiel was a great episode, and I think they made her a black girl because the necessity of of the episode to do a serious love story required suspension of disbelief, and nobody was going to believe that the typical hot females he was going after would actually fall in love with him. So the writers came up with someone more in his league. I don't think it was necessary for them to make her black though. She could have been a more homely white chick.
I also remember clearly that another black girl (an Ensign) was crazy about him, and he kept shrugging her off. That girl was cute, and again, Geordi is fucking blind! His tastes in women should NOT be based on visual cues!
I also love both "The Royale" and "Masks". Another favorite of mine that I think is less than popular is "Thine Own Self". I generally enjoy any Data-centric episode, but that one is offbeat enough to stand out.
"Thine Own Self" suffers from the Troi bridge officer test B-story. I really like the Data portions of it.
The Data story was great except for the end. It would have been cool to have the people from that village find out what he really was. Man, that would have opened a can of worms, one that would have been cool to have a follow up on. Transporting him out of the ground secretly was a cop out IMO.
The Troi stuff was lame, as every story about her usually was (except maybe "Face of the Enemy"). She smugly goes to Data at the end "You may call me..Commander now".
So much for humility.