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Star Trek TOS - Season 2 - Episode 08

Star Trek TOS - 2x08 - I, Mudd

Originally Aired: 1967-11-3

Synopsis:
A takeover leads Kirk to his old nemesis, Harry Mudd. [Blu-ray] [DVD]

My Rating - 1

Fan Rating Average - 5.11

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 42 7 9 8 11 17 16 37 15 21 19

Filler Quotient: 3, bad filler, totally skippable.
- Technically Mudd will recur, but all episodes which feature him suck, so they can all be considered bad filler. On top of that there's a scene early in the episode in which Mudd's backstory has to be explained to Chekov, so it isn't necessary to watch Mudd's first episode to understand what's going on in this one.

Problems
- Harry Mudd had the entire crew of the Enterprise beamed down to the planet. How exactly did they get back up to the ship with no one up there to operate the transporter?

Factoids
- This episode establishes that the Federation has a patent system.
- Chekov makes a reference to Leningrad in this episode, but in 1991, many years after the episode aired, the name of the city was restored to St. Petersburg. Since Star Trek takes place in an alternative timeline which diverges presumably before the 1990s, it's conceivable that the city was never renamed back to St. Petersburg in Star Trek's timeline.

Remarkable Scenes
- Mudd revealed to be behind the androids' treachery.
- Mudd: "Knowledge, sir, should be free to all."
- Androids: "Why should we leave you?" Kirk: "Because we don't like you!"
- The various crewmembers being enticed into staying.
- The crew acting ridiculous to confuse the androids.

My Review
Once again we have androids trying to acquire power and once again Kirk talks a computer to death to resolve the plot. The badly acted androids offered little in the way of intrigue and the recurrence of the Harry Mudd character is most certainly not an asset to the story either. The ending was perhaps the most irresponsible one so far given that Kirk marooned Harry Mudd, a citizen of the Federation on an alien planet. This exposes Mudd to possible unknown dangers in the future, it prevents him from standing trial for his crimes, and also possibly even arms Mudd with an escape route if he can find a way to some day manipulate the androids. Moreover once again Kirk makes no effort to study or harness the android technology, preferring instead to act as though both the androids and Harry Mudd never existed. Then again given how terrible a story this was I think I could live with pretending these androids and Harry Mudd never existed too.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Simon on 2012-06-21 at 5:28am:
    You missed a factoid: type K planets only support life on the surface in pressurized domes with life support systems - or words to that effect.
  • From Peter Collins on 2015-03-13 at 7:35am:
    I think you're a bit harsh on this episode in that it's just a bit of fun, as TOS was prone to. Something that marks it as 'of its time' is the horribly sexist portrayal of Mudd's nagging wife.
  • From jd_juggler on 2015-03-23 at 8:56am:
    I disagree that this is a "skippable" episode. Roger C. Carmel was a funny guy, and his character actually had a personality, which is not necessarily a given among TOS villains. As for the problem of getting back on board the enterprise, remember that after Norman et al. were defeated, the androids were reprogrammed, and presumably that included the androids that were aboard the enterprise.

    Here are a couple of problems, though. McCoy and Scotty were both amazed and delighted at the level of medical and engineering technology (respectively), but there was no mention that they took any of the technology with them. Uhura pretended to be sold on the idea of an android body, but wouldn't it have been a good idea to have one created and standing by (not yet activated) and ready to be "moved into" when your natural life is nearly over? This is assuming, of course, that androids aren't going to turn out like Roger Korby, but since they were made with a different (and presumably superior) technology, that shouldn't have been a deal breaker.

    It also amuses me that these androids apparently can serve as sexual surrogates, no doubt with great skill. Having a few of those around would be handy.

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