Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) – The Naked Now and Code of Honor

Captain’s log: stardate 41209.2

The Naked Now was written by D.C. Fontana and John D.F. Black. It originally aired on 5 October, 1987.

I’m divided on this episode, and since its early days for the series, I’m willing to give it a lot of leeway. But I honestly think they should have waited until a little later in the series, or at least in the season.

Sure it pays homage to the Original Series episode Naked Time, but it’s supposed to show our characters acting out of character. Unfortunately, at this point in the series, we don’t necessarily know what is out of the ordinary for the new crew. We only know it is, because we are told it is, and they act like they are drunk.

When investigating a ship that may have just blown its entire crew out into space after receiving some strange transmissions, Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Tasha (Denise Crosby), Geordi (LeVar Burton) and Data (Brent Spiner) are infected, and spread it through their own crew.

With the Enterprise tumbling towards a star, and certain death seems imminent, not only does Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) need to find a cure, they have to get Wesley (Wil Wheaton) out of Engineering where he has barricaded himself.

It’s a simple episode, it gets the homage to Original Trek out of the way, but it’s not as strong a story as it could have been. We also get the next in a long line of rotating Chief Engineers.

There are some nice moments, Picard’s wave to Crusher, Tasha’s seduction of Data.

It’s obvious the series is trying to find the way the characters and actors fit together, while creating a vision and series that will entertain.

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Captain’s log: stardate 41235.25

Code of Honor aired on 12 October, 1987 and was penned by Katharyn Powers and Michael Baron. This is a Tasha Yar story, but it’s still not done as well as it could be. There is a lot of floundering and finding of their way in Season 1.

This is a terrible episode, it looks racist, and everything about it is just horrible. Happily Next Gen gets a lot of their worst episodes out of the way pretty quickly. It’s stunning to think that the series wouldn’t have lasted long enough to get good had it started today.

The Enterprise arrives at Ligon II in the attempt to get a much needed vaccine. Upon arrival, the planet’s leader, Lutan (Jessie Lawrence Ferguson) is taken with Yar and her demonstrations aboard the Enterprise.

In a surprising move, Lutan kidnaps Yar, and then when his wife takes exception with Lutan’s claims that Yar will be his First One, challenges Tasha to a fight to the death.

Can Picard and the rest figure a way to appease the Ligonian sense of honor and still secure the vaccine?

It may have been better had this episode not been created, or at least not had all the Ligonians cast as African-Americans. It’s simply terrible, and should probably be forgotten. I’ll take a Spock’s Brain over this anytime.

Next week, the Human Adventure continues…

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