Star Trek

Season 2 Episode 8

I, Mudd

Aired Unknown Nov 03, 1967 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • 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.