I went into this episode thinking it was a different episode. You see, there are two episodes featuring Harcourt Fenton Mudd, a serious one, and a silly one. Well, what we get here is the serious one. And of course, spoilers!
Season 1, Episode 6: Mudd’s Women
Original Air Date: October 13, 1966
Planet: Rigel XII
Featured Alien: None
Main Cast: Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Sulu, Uhura
Main Guest Characters: Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Roger C. Carmel), Eve McHuron (Karen Steele), Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett), Magda Kovacs (Susan Denberg), Ben Childress (Gene Dynarski), Herm Gossett (John Kowal), Benton (Seamon Glass), Farrell (Jim Goodwin)
Things I Noticed
Talk about a lot of guest stars. This is the first time we get to see Harcourt Fenton Mudd, the con man. He went by the name Captain Leo Walsh.
There’s another uniform change. This time, Uhura was wearing yellow. But this was one of the earliest episodes made, and was considered for the second pilot episode.
As we move on, we see an asteroid belt. Now, I blame the digital remake of this scene. There were too many asteroids. Asteroid belts are not that dense. You’re unlikely to ever see an asteroid as you pass through a belt.
This is also the first time we hear about lithium crystals. As we all know, dilithium crystals are used in starships. But since this is an early episode, I don’t think they’d established dilithium crystals as the focal point for matter and antimatter streams. I have the technical manual. I know how it works.
Mudd has a rather hairy neck. It’s a bit odd.
In the transporter room, this is the first time we hear about McCoy’s distrust of transporters.
I’d like to know how Mudd knows Spock is only part Vulcan, or as he says, Vulcanian.
I’d also like to know why there was a sine wave on the monitor during the lie detector test.
The police record on Mudd is somewhat humourous. Of course, no metric. Looks like a typed card with a colour mugshot. I love being able to pause to see things like this.
The women’s lives were basically described as being women who did the cooking and mending clothes on farm worlds, merely doing traditional women’s roles. Very outdated, and I wouldn’t have thought they’d be like this in the 23rd century.
Mudd says the lithium miners are rich. I thought money was not a factor in Star Trek. At least in Starfleet, they don’t need it.
I find it humourous that Mudd thinks he could buy the Enterprise and become Kirk’s commander. You can’t buy a Starfleet ship and command its crew. That’s like some rich con man buying an American aircraft carrier and assuming command of its crew.
Mudd says lithium is worth hundreds of times more than diamonds and thousands more than gold. Didn’t know they were trade commodities in the 23rd century.
The mining camp’s doors look like giant styrofoam blocks, not rock. Incredibly low tech for the 23rd century, including pans and wood furniture. The outside of the quarters are futuristic-looking, but the inside is like a cave. Weird.
I have issues with the mining camp’s attitude and willingness to collude with Mudd, basically holding the Enterprise hostage. Wouldn’t that result in the arrest and charging of the miners? I mean, they’re Federation citizens betraying the Federation’s military.
They have circular playing cards. Maybe they exist today, but I haven’t seen them.
So, a placebo can actually make someone’s appearance and skin condition change within seconds? Wow.
Another classic, especially with Mudd. He’s made the two episodes he’s in fun. I enjoyed this episode, though it wasn’t incredibly strong. There were so many things in this episode that made me question whether it’s supposed to portray the 23rd century. Star Trek was quite progressive for the 1960s, but it’s so incredibly outdated, especially regarding the attitude towards women. It handles race as being something that’s completely accepted. There are no racial issues. However it still treats women as being the “weaker sex” and objects for men’s desire.
Regardless, I still enjoyed the episode. Of the main characters, Kirk was the focus. Spock was a secondary focus, but it was mostly Kirk, Mudd, the women, and the miners. People criticise Shatner’s acting all the time, but I thought he was good in this episode. For one thing, he completely resisted the women! Amazing!
What did you think about this episode? Do you notice how women are treated in Star Trek? Let me know what you think in the comments below.