Star Trek : Mudd’s Women

November 17, 2014 in Guest Blogs, Star Trek by GuestBlogs

A Guest Blog by Mindless-Droid

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This week’s classic Star Trek episode is Mudd’s Women. The Enterprise pursues a small ship into an asteroid field. The ship refuses to stop and burns out its engines. Kirk orders the Enterprises deflectors to cover the ship and in doing so burns out the ship’s Lithium crystals. Before the Enterprise loses power and the other ship is destroyed by an asteroid Scotty beams the ship’s Captain and three of her “crew” aboard.


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The ship’s crew are three women who have a hypnotic effect on the Enterprise crewman. It’s later learned that the women are taking a drug to make them more alluring. Leo Walsh aka Harry Mudd is an intergalactic scoundrel who is taking his “crew” to be wives for the settlers of Ophiuchus III. Kirk imprisons Mudd as the Enterprise loses its last crystal. With just enough power left Kirk sets course for Rigel XII home of a Lithium mining colony. Mudd on the other hand has plans of his own and secretly contacts the miners making a deal with them to exchange lithium crystals for Mudd’s women and Mudd’s release. Kirk refuses at first but with the Enterprise losing power and in danger of burning up in the atmosphere he relents.

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Mudd and the women are beamed down to the surface and Childress the lead miner forgets the plight of the Enterprise. Eve dissatisfied by the situation flees the compound into a violent dust storm. Kirk tracks her down and discovers the truth about the Venus drug. Kirk tells Childress of Mudd’s deception as Eve has lost her beauty. Kirk give Eve a fake version of the drug and she becomes beautiful again. Kirk explains that the placebo effect has given Eve her self-assurance and it’s her inner beauty that shows through. Eve and the others decide to stay on Rigel. Childress provides Kirk with the crystals and Mudd is arrested to face his charges.

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This is a mixed bag episode for me. Harry Mudd is one of Trek’s most entertaining characters and the only guest character to appear in multiply episodes. Mudd answering questions at his hearing is fun as he seems to actually believe his lies. The interaction between Kirk who is having none of “Leo’s” BS and Mudd who just keeps trying to talk his way out of everything is priceless. Although Mudd does have a point about his tiny ship being a menace to navigation. The reveal at the end that it is not the drug that makes the women beautiful but their inner beauty is a nice way to end the episode.

On the other hand there are quite a bit of things that don’t fit the 23rd century and several plot holes in the episode. How about a quick list the whole idea of someone selling off wives even though they are willing participants in the enlightened time of Star Trek just doesn’t fit. The Enterprise crew being so undisciplined just because of a pretty face. Mudd going on after the hearing with his plans as the two red shirts stand there besides being cannon fodder I guess they can’t hear either. Then there’s the obviously vital Lithium mining colony on a desolate and dangerous planet manned by only three people.

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Some interesting things in this episode. Mudd calls Spock a Vulcanian and the crystals being referred to as Lithium instead of Dilithium as this was early on and not every term or technology was settled on. The last scene on the bridge we also learn that Vulcan anatomy is different from that of humans and we get one of the first little bit of Spock and McCoy’s verbal jousting. This episode was in consideration to be the second pilot but the network had reservations about the plotline. Finally no red shirts are harmed in this episode.