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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 30 2012, 04:47 AM   #31
Dream
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Just imagine if Roddenberry had still been in his prime, if his handlers hadn't driven the other co-developers away -- or if he'd had the sense to step back and let Justman, Fontana, and Gerrold run the show. What we got would've been very different, but it could've been a genuinely good show in the same vein as TOS. Although one can question whether a show like that would've really succeeded in the '80s and '90s.
But Roddenberry was very reluctant to put in too much TOS into TNG. Vulcans were pretty much ignored, the Chief Engineer position wasn't suppose to be important, the Security Chef position was given to a main cast member, and any hints to TOS characters were discouraged with the exception of the Naked Now Kirk reference.

I just wanted them to do a sequel to TOS not do TOS all over again with different characters. TOS was great for the 60s, but TNG need to develop its own identity.

Dale Sams wrote: View Post
Perhaps he's referring to the fact that Chakotay was a generic fictional Indian rather than being based on any authentic culture. Although the reason they did that was to avoid the risk of misrepresenting or offending a real Native American culture.
That never bothered me. It wasn't like they hit us over the head over the fact that Chakotay was a generic Indian every episode.

They really could have done a better job with Janeway though. They made her a little too perfect for me, probably wanting to avoid offending anyone since she was the first female Trek Captain with her own series.
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Old December 30 2012, 05:08 AM   #32
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Dream wrote: View Post
But Roddenberry was very reluctant to put in too much TOS into TNG. Vulcans were pretty much ignored, the Chief Engineer position wasn't suppose to be important, the Security Chef position was given to a main cast member, and any hints to TOS characters were discouraged with the exception of the Naked Now Kirk reference.
But I'm not talking about specifics like that. I'm talking about the same creators applying their recognizable style and approach to new ideas. There's bound to be some similarity there, just as there are similarities between Buffy and Firefly or between The West Wing and The Newsroom. Creators can evolve and take on new challenges and new ideas, yet still have a consistent voice and employ certain recurring patterns or themes.

Heck, if Gerrold had had free rein with TNG, it might've been nearly as much a deconstruction of TOS as Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica was a deconstruction of TNG and Voyager. The last chapter of Gerrold's The World of Star Trek was all about what TOS failed to do and how he thought it could be improved on, and a lot of those ideas ended up in the TNG series bible (notably leaving the captain behind on the ship while others went into danger). So there's no question it would've been fresh and different. But with Justman and Fontana working on it too, there would still have been some stylistic continuity with the original. And we might've heard musical contributions from more TOS composers than just Fred Steiner, since Justman was the one who'd hired the composers for TOS and brought Steiner back for "Code of Honor." (Steiner's score is a large part of what gives the episode such a TOS flavor.)
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Old December 30 2012, 07:20 AM   #33
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?


The fact that his personality seemed to be Native American cliches?
Yup. That's pretty much it. Typical, "ooooh you're Indian, tell me all about your spirituality!"

But the above comment about not hitting us over the head every ep is true also I suppose. Could have been worse.
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Old December 30 2012, 07:39 AM   #34
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

JirinPanthosa wrote:
It's kind of ironic that the third episode of Stargate was exactly the same way. Tribal Mongolians kidnap Carter. Only they end up trading for her. And then at the end Carter has to end up fighting the tribal leader, proving she is a strong, blonde, short haired, badass female.

Both the third episode of their series. Both in the running for worst in series. Both with very similar plots.
The similar story elements are not so surprising -- Katharyn Powers co-wrote "Code of Honor" and wrote "Emancipation."

They are both abysmal episodes often considered the nadir of each respective series, too. Not a great line on her resume.
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Old December 30 2012, 08:01 AM   #35
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Dale Sams wrote: View Post

The fact that his personality seemed to be Native American cliches?
Yup. That's pretty much it. Typical, "ooooh you're Indian, tell me all about your spirituality!"

But the above comment about not hitting us over the head every ep is true also I suppose. Could have been worse.

How?

Sorry, bad stereotype joke. Couldn't resist.
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Old December 30 2012, 08:11 AM   #36
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Yareena mainly wore elegant, colorful dresses that would've been just as likely to show up on any other woman Bill Theiss designed for (though a lot less skimpy than the female outfits he's famous for).
Actually, the Bluray conversion shows how skimpy her outfits were. One top is totally sheer except for the silver fabric pattern:

http://tng.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x...nor_hd_211.jpg

Theiss still had it.
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Old December 30 2012, 09:43 AM   #37
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

It was racist. It portrayed blondes in a bad light.

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Old December 30 2012, 09:58 AM   #38
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Tres_Kings wrote: View Post
It was racist. It portrayed blondes in a bad light.

Don't you mean it portrayed Tasha Yar in a bad light?
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Old December 30 2012, 10:47 AM   #39
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Hahahaa - I stand corrected!
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Old December 30 2012, 03:09 PM   #40
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

There are so many folks here who will defend anything based on things that don't even exist. I posted a while ago that this episode was racist, and I had fans coming in saying "Why would you assume the entire planet's population is black?". To which I said "because.... we didn't see one single non-black native on this planet?"

Yeah. You 'might' be right that there may be a non-black native on the planet, but here's the problem. This isn't about the episode dealing with racism, this is about the episode itself being made with racist intentions. Despite portions of the script detailing that the inhabitants are not all black, the director specifically wanted ALL OF THE PLANET'S INHABITANTS to be portrayed by black people. To add even more outlandishness to this episode, it also features this 'technologically advanced humanoid race' as primitives who solve conflicts through open death matches, customs that allow for kidnapping and stereotypical african accents.

I find Gene's decision to fire the director of this episode a bit ironic because even he wasn't immune to mis-portraying his own views. For someone who preached and insisted that mankind be portrayed in a super perfect positive light, he sure dropped the ball when a woman possessed Kirk utters this line "It is better to be dead than to live alone in the body of a woman."
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Old December 30 2012, 03:50 PM   #41
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Honestly I never got why this episode has so many apologists. It's not like anyone's trying to crucify the franchise over it, and I'm glad the franchise didn't crash and burn because of this. But let's face it, they did screw up here and it could've been easily avoided. Let's just all admit it and move on.
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Old December 30 2012, 04:05 PM   #42
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

Harvey wrote: View Post
JirinPanthosa wrote:
It's kind of ironic that the third episode of Stargate was exactly the same way. Tribal Mongolians kidnap Carter. Only they end up trading for her. And then at the end Carter has to end up fighting the tribal leader, proving she is a strong, blonde, short haired, badass female.

Both the third episode of their series. Both in the running for worst in series. Both with very similar plots.
The similar story elements are not so surprising -- Katharyn Powers co-wrote "Code of Honor" and wrote "Emancipation."

They are both abysmal episodes often considered the nadir of each respective series, too. Not a great line on her resume.
"Emancipation" is completely ridiculous in the way it portrays Mongols. The idea that they would've sequestered and marginalized their women is ludicrous. A horse nomad society doesn't have the luxury of keeping half its population isolated and uninvolved in society. Everyone has to be mobile and able to carry their weight. Traditionally, nomadic pastoralists like the Mongols have had far more gender equality than sedentary agrarian or urban societies, because they've had to. Mongol women were trained in combat and participated in political decision-making.

Sure, one could argue that these are Mongols who've been living on an alien planet for centuries and diverged from the original culture, but the episode showed that they still lived as nomads, so there's no way sequestering their women would be viable.

Also, there's the ludicrous inconsistency of showing a society that insists on veiling its women yet dresses Carter in an outfit that shows off a huge amount of cleavage. It doesn't work that way.



Jeyl wrote: View Post
This isn't about the episode dealing with racism, this is about the episode itself being made with racist intentions. Despite portions of the script detailing that the inhabitants are not all black, the director specifically wanted ALL OF THE PLANET'S INHABITANTS to be portrayed by black people.
On the other hand, before TNG, humanoid aliens were almost always played by white people. When I first saw "Code of Honor," I found it refreshing that they'd finally broken from that pattern. Now when I look back on it, I see the problems with how it was done, but at the time it felt like progress. At least we weren't being shown a whole galaxy of white people anymore.


To add even more outlandishness to this episode, it also features this 'technologically advanced humanoid race' as primitives who solve conflicts through open death matches, customs that allow for kidnapping and stereotypical african accents.
I dispute the assumption that any of those things are "primitive." First off, African accents are not primitive, and it's offensive that you'd imply that they automatically are. People don't have to speak with an American or British accent to be advanced. There are plenty of advanced, prosperous urban populations in Africa where they do indeed speak with African accents.

Vulcan was portrayed as using death matches in "Amok Time," and nobody's ever accused them of being primitive. In fact, the modern furor over "Code of Honor"'s racial problems has obscured the fact that when the episode first debuted, the main source of fan outrage was the extent to which it felt like an imitation of "Amok Time."

Moreover, plenty of modern cultures employ institutionalized violence, executions, war as a political tool, etc. It's naive to treat the societal acceptance of violence as in any way "primitive." The Roman Empire was the most advanced and sophisticated civilization in the West prior to the Renaissance, and it had institutionalized blood sports. If anything, primitive societies were generally more peaceful toward their own members than more "advanced" societies have tended to be.

The same goes for kidnapping -- there's nothing about it that equates with primitivism specifically. Kidnapping is big business for organized crime in many Latin American countries. These things are bad, yes, but it's invalid to call them primitive. They're part of many modern, advanced societies.


I find Gene's decision to fire the director of this episode a bit ironic because even he wasn't immune to mis-portraying his own views. For someone who preached and insisted that mankind be portrayed in a super perfect positive light, he sure dropped the ball when a woman possessed Kirk utters this line "It is better to be dead than to live alone in the body of a woman."
But Janice Lester was insane. It doesn't make sense to assume that her words were meant to represent the truth. She was meant to be twisted and deranged because she couldn't accept being a woman, because she hated what she was. True, there was a lot of chauvinism in the episode -- the idea was that a woman aspiring to do a man's job was irrational and that she should instead be content with the roles available to women. But choosing that particular line as representative of what Roddenberry actually believed is simply wrong.
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Old December 30 2012, 08:26 PM   #43
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

If you argue Chakotay is racist you should also be making the same claim for Bashir.

...He's Arabic, right? Did they, perhaps, think the character would not be likable if he had an Arabic accent or showed any signs of having an Islamic background?

Of course that's not what they were thinking. That's just how they wrote the character, and he happened to be given an Arabic name because the actor is from an Arabic background. Chakotay's spiritualism stuff is more an effect of lazy research.

But if Earth is one unified government, then the human population should be about 1/4 Asian and 1/4 Arabic, no?
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Old December 31 2012, 04:47 AM   #44
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
But if Earth is one unified government, then the human population should be about 1/4 Asian and 1/4 Arabic, no?
I don't see what one government has to do with racial/ethnic makeup of the planet.

Here's roughly how it breaks down today:
Asian 54%
East Asian 24% (Korea, Mongolia ,China, Japan)
South Asian 21% (India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal)
Southeast Asian 9% (Cambodia, Bruma, Philippines, Malayasia)
Black 15%
White 15%
Hispanic 8%
Middle Eastern 8%

Unless population trends radically changed in the intervening centuries, Star Trek's representation of the human animal is basically backwards. We should see two Kaikos for every Miles and Benjamin.
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Old December 31 2012, 04:48 AM   #45
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Re: Was Code of Honor racist?

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
If you argue Chakotay is racist you should also be making the same claim for Bashir.

...He's Arabic, right? Did they, perhaps, think the character would not be likable if he had an Arabic accent or showed any signs of having an Islamic background?

Of course that's not what they were thinking. That's just how they wrote the character, and he happened to be given an Arabic name because the actor is from an Arabic background. Chakotay's spiritualism stuff is more an effect of lazy research.

But if Earth is one unified government, then the human population should be about 1/4 Asian and 1/4 Arabic, no?
Stereotypical potrayal of American Indians on TV as being spiritual is rampant and well-known. I didn't say Chakotay was racist. Just one more guy on the great wheel of stereotypicalness.

As someone else said, it wasn't in your face. And I would say on a list of his defining characteristics, "Being a spiritual Indian" is about 4rth or fifth. But it is there.

Maybe I shouldn't have said, "Don't get me started on Chakotay" as if he were worse than what happened in "Journey's End" (The TNG ep). He isn't.
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