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Monday, September 8, 2014

Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 6: "Mudd's Women"


An unidentified ship flies erratically (rather like it's flying through air instead of a vacuum), flies into a asteroid belt. Enterprise puts deflector shield around self and other ship at risk of engine. They manage to beam aboard an Irish pirate looking chap, Harcourt Fenton Mudd, aka Leo Walsh*, aka Harry Mudd, and his "cargo": three women the Enterprise crew find irresistible. Mudd, wanted for a number of charges, is transporting wives to settlers. Mudd is to be transferred to authorities with no certain destination for the women. The women are upset... until they learn that the ship is without dilithium crsytals and must pick up new ones from a mining planet where there will be single men to marry.

Analysis with spoilers:
Mudd is elated. Apparently, whom the "ladies" marry is unimportant. Because Mudd doesn't want them medically examined, one suspects they are not real, perhaps aliens.

The ladies pour on charm on the officers to get information they need.  Mudd calls down to the planet, Rigel XII, to have miners deal crystals for women and Mudd. Women start to turn uglify without pills.

One gal--the one who refused to dupe Captain Kirk because she may be in love with him--is disappointed over the Venus drug game.  When they arrive on planetside, the miners fight which woman they want.  She runs out.  The balding miner rescues her, but he's disappointed--largely in her attitude.

Kirk plays a second trick--no more Venus drug--fakes handing it to the woman, and she becomes beautiful. See quote, which probably tried too hard to be quotable.  Only "one kind" ends up in an either-or, which suggests two kinds. Maybe the writer means that you're not a real man or woman if you don't believe in yourself. However, this doesn't explain the real changes the Venus drug made on the women--aging and splotches.  It doesn't explain, either, how medical scanner behaved strangely. Are they real women?

What really happened to Walsh is also an unresolved mystery. That Kirk never follows this up, allies and jokes with Mudd toward the end suggests that Kirk does not consider this worth investigating.


  • Kirk: There's only one kind of woman.
Mudd: Or man, for that matter.
Kirk: You either believe in yourself or you don't. 

  • Spock: The fact that my internal arrangement differs from yours, doctor, pleases me to no end.
Stephen Kandel and Gene Roddenberry.  Kandel apparently wrote several teleplays from Wonder Woman to MacGyver.

  1. First use of deflector shield. Has it been used elsewhere?  I don't recall its mention.
  2. "Leo Walsh" is actually the name of who was supposed to fly the ship. 
  3. First use of a lie detector. According to Mudd, the detector only knows what it knows, but why did it not suggest the true answers itself? Why doesn't it not know about the women? The extent of its database is unclear.
  4. First friendly repartee between Spock and Doctor McCoy. They've bickered before, though.
  5. Mudd appears again in Season 2, Episode 8: "I, Mudd"

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