Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 8

I, Mudd

Aired Unknown Nov 03, 1967 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
165 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Enterprise is taken over by a group of androids who are working for Kirk's old nemesis, Harry Mudd.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • The crew of the Enterprise are forced to an uncharted planet run by Harry Mudd and his androids.

    Taking it's title from "I, Claudius" and "I, Robot", this lighthearted episode boasts the first (and for TOS, the last) major guest star to return to reprise a previous role. Roger C. Carmel again shines as the boylike scoundrel, Harry Mudd, working with another subpart script that leans on the actors' talents to succeed.

    Taking place largely off the ship and inside a facility represented by stage sets, the episode is a precursor to the third season. It begins an absurd idea. (An android rather easily taking over the Enterprise after enlisting in Starfleet, getting posted on the Enterprise, and gaining access to critical systems). It continues with the plot summed up with a line or two of dialogue. (Androids want the Enterprise crew to stay on their planet). And it closes with the Enterprise crew members making fools of themselves before an over the top gag-like ending. It's like a combination of "Spock's Brain", "Plato's Stepchildren", and "Whom God's Destroy", made before any of them existed. (Perhaps Roddenberry showed this episode to third season producer Fred Freiberger and said, "Give me a whole season just like this!")

    And yet Shatner and Carmel make it all worth watching, hitting each comedic beat just right. As the story develops into a farce, it's like watching a talented community theatre group playing theatre games. (Richard Tatro is also quite good as Norman, nailing an android persona twenty years before Brent Spiner would follow suit).

    There's no depth or sense to it all, and I'd hate to think what someone who had never seen Star Trek before would think of it all, but as an offbeat episode it works well enough to get by.

    Harry Mudd returns for his final appearance in the Animated Series episode "Mudd's Passion".

    Remastered Edition: With the original version having no new effects (borrowing the red planet from "The Man Trap" and using stock footage of the Enterprise), there's little to fix here. Nonetheless, CBS Digital gets a little fancy, redesigning Norman's computer innards (and better matching its surroundings to the actor's skin tone) as well as replacing "big red" with a ringed planet.

  • In the right mood, this is a romp!

    Yes, this episode is borderline on campy, and even the writing has Kirk saying "up until now it's all been fun" to justify the more serious turn...

    But the actors ensure it doesn't become camp.

    As always, Roger C Carmel excels as Mudd - who needed an episode in the third season, with writers that could work with his strengths (since "Mudd's Women" is the more powerful and more effective episode). His scenes with his wife Stella, immortalized in android form as instructed by his definition of her to the other androids, are definitely right out of 1950s humor, and one cannot help but to feel sorry for her - even if she's an android! What compelled her to marry Mudd in the first place, since she ends up calling him a good-for-nothing drunk all the time? His rogue charm?

    Kirk presses Mudd for an explanation over the lack of male androids, and Mudd is clearly stammering. Especially given how big Norman's "power cable" is behind the budget-saving sweatpants, more male androids are clearly needed. :)

    In many ways, it should be given a lower score, but the actors are definitely having enough fun with it to make it a memorable-in-a-good-way episode.

    Not to mention the base plot of "computers taking over humans", which is a running theme in TOS's tenure.

    Get out a bottle of wine, a couple of friends, and enjoy. But the only thing you should take seriously is the CGI they put in - that looks great, especially how they replaced Norman's chest unit with blinky lights instead of an old gearbox... impressive stuff. Especially on blu-ray, and the budget accorded.moreless
  • Name an adolescent clothing line after him, but don't bring Mudd back

    Didn't producers think fans had enough of the bland and irritating Mudd the first time around? I was surprised to see how high the reviews here went for Round 2 of Mudd and his droids/wives. Beyond the plots for both this and Mudd's Women, I can just never get past Mudd himself. He is altogether revolting and transparent, possessing no visible redemptive charm.
  • Harry Mudd rears his head again in his part as a rogue rascal. You know what's coming.

    This isn't a deep Star Trek episode or even an outstanding one, but it's a bit of a relief after a string of serious ones that can sometimes be a little much.

    It's a better episode than "Mudd's Women" and I found myself less annoyed with Mudd this time than the first time.

    The actors acting like identical androids are interesting to watch since you can tell they aren't identical and some are shorter, taller, thinner, fatter. It's part of the fun in an episode that is light and silly.

    The weird behavior they use to confuse the androids is slightly amusing. Overall it's an ok episode to watch, though probably not a prime candidate for rewatching.

    The Uhura play at betrayal before the audience is let in on it is a nice touch.

    Predictable, but an enjoyable break in a way.moreless
  • Horrible all-over

    The crew's behavior in this whole episode was idiotic and stupid. First the landing party come across the planet full of Androids. So guess who they meet again ? THE ANNOYING and Ridiclous HARRY MUDD. If Mudd does noy want to Kirk and his crew to leave his planet, that is his choice and kirk ant the others have no right to try to bully Mudd for the leaving advice. Then Kirk and Flint get into a fight over Rayna which was just stupid. And last Spock uses a Vulcan mind touch to erase Kirk's memories of Rayna. What's the big deal? Kirk's lost women he fell in love with before (Edith keeler, Miramanee) and Spock did'nt use any mind touch. What makes Rayna any different? Plus we all know Kirk's only love is his ship. This was a totally ricidulous episodemoreless
Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Mr. Spock

DeForest Kelley

DeForest Kelley

Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

William Shatner

William Shatner

Captain James Tiberius Kirk

Richard Tatro

Richard Tatro


Guest Star

Alyce Andrece

Alyce Andrece

Alice #1 through 250

Guest Star

Rhae Andrece

Rhae Andrece

Alice #251 through 500

Guest Star

Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols

Lt. Nyota Uhura

Recurring Role

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Walter Koenig

Walter Koenig

Ensign Pavel Chekov

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Even in the digital remaster, there's a noticeable "shimmer" in the scene where multiple Alices stand beside Harry. Just before the camera cuts to Spock, the middle Alice on the right hand side wobbles noticeably.

    • Although Alyce Andrece is credited as Alice #1-#250 and Rhae Andrece is credited as Alice #251-#500, this is not consistent with their appearances in the episode. For example, the final grand pageant of nonsense and illogic is attended by Alices #3 and #11 (standing side by side in the same shot with no special effects) who accordingly should both be impossibly played by the same actress.

    • Norman is behind Uhura and Chekov, but when Harry Mudd walks up to Spock, Norman is now behind android 2 and Spock.

    • When Norman knocks out the man in the control room you can see the man move over a little.

    • The crew eventually figures out that Norman is the central processing unit, head android, and the guy who directs all the other androids. So how did they get along while he was off infiltrating the Enterprise?

    • When the two Alice androids come into the room to watch the crew give their illogical performance, they are standing straight-legged until the very end when they shut down - then they instantly between shots raise their heels and show off their legs.

    • When Alice 3 and 11 conk out, their ID badges go off - in all other cases where the androids deactivate, the lights go on permanently.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Harry Mudd: Kirk, I'm no scientist.
      Kirk: No, you're an irritant. You'll stay here and provide a first-class example to the androids of a human failure. They'll learn by close observation how to avoid ones like you in the future.
      Harry Mudd: How long?
      Kirk: As long as you continue to be an irritant, Harry. It's up to you.

    • Kirk: Oh, there's one more thing. We've programmed a special android attendant to take care of your every need. She'll help you find an incentive to work with the androids and not exploit them.
      Harry Mudd: I call that unexpectedly civil of you, Captain.
      Kirk: Yes.
      Stella 1: Harcourt! Harcourt Fenton Mudd, what have you been up to? Have you been drinking again? You answer me!
      Harry Mudd: Shut up.
      Stella 1: You miserable, conniving toad!
      Harry Mudd: I order you, shut up!
      Stella 1: Going out all night and giving me silly stories!
      Stella 2: Harcourt!
      Harry Mudd: Aaahhh!
      Stella 2: Harcourt Fenton Mudd, you've been overeating again, and drinking!
      Harry Mudd: Kirk, you can't do this. It's inhuman!
      Stella 2: You need constant supervision. My work's cut out for me.
      Stella 1: Harcourt!
      Stella 500: Have you ever seen a worm in alcohol! You're on a regular schedule!
      Harry Mudd: No. Number 500?

    • Alice 471: Which wants and desires of yours are not fulfilled?
      Kirk: We want the Enterprise.
      Alice 471: The Enterprise is not a want or a desire. It is a mechanical device.
      Kirk: No. It's a beautiful lady, and we love her.

    • Mudd: I do the telling on this planet, Kirk old boy! You do the listening!

    • Spock: Whatever method we use to stop them, we must make haste. They have only to install some cybernetic devices aboard the Enterprise, and they'll be able to leave orbit.
      McCoy: How do you know so much?
      Spock: I asked them.
      McCoy: Oh.

    • McCoy: Well, you must be very unhappy, Mr. Spock.
      Spock: That is a human emotion, doctor, with which I am totally unfamiliar. How could I be unhappy?
      McCoy: Well, we found a whole world of minds that worked just like yours. Logical, unemotional, completely pragmatic. And we poor, irrational humans whipped them in a fair fight. Now you'll find yourself back among us illogical humans again.
      Spock: Which I find eminently satisfactory, doctor. For nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans.

    • Norman: But there was no explosion.
      Harry Mudd: I lied.
      Norman: But...
      Kirk: He lied. Everything Harry tells you is a lie. Remember that. Everything Harry tells you is a lie.
      Harry Mudd: Now, listen to this carefully, Norman. I am lying.
      Norman: You say you are...lying, but if everything you say is a lie then you are telling the truth but you cannot tell the truth because everything you say is a lie but you lie, you tell the truth, but you cannot for you lie. Illogical. Illogical! Please explain. You are human, only humans can explain their behavior. Please explain.
      Kirk: I am not programmed to respond in that area.

    • Harry Mudd: Now listen, Spock. You may be a wonderful science officer, but, believe me, you couldn't sell fake patents to your mother.
      Spock: I fail to understand why I should care to induce my mother to purchase falsified patents.

    • Chekov: What a shame you're not real.
      Alice 322: We are real, my lord.
      Chekov: Oh, I mean, real girls.
      Alice 118: We are programmed to function as human females, lord.
      Chekov: You are?
      Alice 118 and 322: Yes, my lord.
      Chekov: Harry Mudd programmed you?
      Alice 118 and 322: Yes, my lord.
      Chekov: That unprincipled, evil-minded, lecherous kulak Harry Mudd, programmed you?
      Alice 118 and 322: Yes, my lord.
      Chekov: This place is even better than Leningrad!

    • Kirk: Well, opinions?
      Chekov: I think we are in a lot of trouble.
      Kirk: That's a great help, Mr. Chekov. Bones?
      McCoy: Well, I think Mr. Chekov's right. We are in a lot of trouble.
      Kirk: Spock? And if you say we're in a lot of trouble...
      Spock: We are.

    • Spock: You went to substantial risk and effort to bring a starship here. Logically, you must have a compelling motive.
      Harry Mudd: Spock, you're going to love it here. They all talk just the way you do.

    • Harry Mudd: Well, of course, I left.
      Kirk: He broke jail.
      Harry Mudd: I borrowed transportation.
      Kirk: He stole a spaceship.
      Harry Mudd: The patrol reacted in a hostile manner!
      Kirk: They fired at him!
      Harry Mudd: They've got no respect for private property--they damaged the bloody spaceship!

    • Harry Mudd: Do you know what the penalty for fraud is on Deneb Five?
      Spock: The guilty party has his choice: death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging...
      Harry Mudd: The key word in your entire peroration, Mr. Spock, was d-d-death! Barbarians!

    • Chekov: You know this man, Captain?
      Kirk: Do I know him? Harcourt Fenton Mudd, thief...
      Harry Mudd: Oh, come now.
      Kirk: ...swindler and con man...
      Harry Mudd: Entrepreneur!
      Kirk: ...liar and rogue!
      Harry Mudd: Did I leave you with that impression?
      Kirk: He belongs in jail. Which is where I thought I left you, Mudd.
      Harry Mudd: And thereby hangs a tale, yes.

    • Norman: There is a word. Among us, there is no corresponding meaning. But it seems to mean something to you humans.
      Kirk: And what is that word?
      Norman: "Please."

    • Harry Mudd: You see, gentlemen, behind every great man, there is a woman... urging him on. And so it was with my Stella. She urged me on into outer space. Uh, not that she meant to. But with her continual, eternal, confounded nagging ... well, I think of her constantly. And every time I do, I go further out into space.

    • Norman: Your species is self-destructive. You need our help.
      Kirk: We prefer to help ourselves. We make mistakes, but we're human. And maybe that's the word that best explains us.

    • Kirk: All right, Harry, explain. How did you get here? We left you in custody after that affair on the planet Rigel.
      Harry Mudd: Yes. I organized a technical information service--bringing modern industrial techniques to backward planets, making available certain valuable patents to struggling young civilizations throughout the galaxy.
      Kirk: Did you pay royalties to the owners of those patents?
      Harry Mudd: Well... actually, Kirk, as a defender of the free-enterprise system, I found myself in a... in a rather ambiguous conflict as a matter of principle.
      Spock: He did not pay royalties.
      Harry Mudd: Knowledge, sir, should be free to all!

    • Kirk: What is man but that lofty spirit, that sense of ... enterprise. That devotion to something that cannot be sensed, cannot be realized, but only dreamed. The highest reality!

    • McCoy: They're perfect. Flawless, mentally and physically. No weaknesses, perfectly disciplined. No vices, no fears, no faults. Just a sense of purpose.

    • Harry Mudd: Human beings do not survive on bread alone, you poor, soulless creature, but on the nourishments of liberty. For what indeed is a man without freedom, naught but a mechanism, trapped in the cogwheels of eternity.
      McCoy: You offer us only well-being.
      Scott: Food and drink and happiness mean nothing to us. We must be about our job.
      McCoy: Suffering and torment and pain. Laboring without end.
      Scott: Dying and crying and lamenting over our burdens.
      McCoy and Scott: Only this way can we be happy.

    • Norman: We cannot allow any race as greedy and corruptible as yours to have free run of the galaxy.

    • Spock: (attempting to confuse the androids) Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad. Are you sure your circuits are registering correctly? Your ears are green.

  • NOTES (5)


    • Title
      Referencing Isaac Asimov's short story collection I, Robot, first published in 1950. The nine stories included introduced Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics," and the First Law of Robots, "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." is obliquely referenced here (it is not known if Norman is bluffing or not).

    • Kirk: We take the Alices on a trip through Wonderland.
      Kirk references Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The book relates a lost little girl's fanciful journey through a topsy turvy land filled with characters whose behaviors and ideas defy logic and sense.