Jammer's Review

Star Trek: The Original Series

"I, Mudd"

***

Air date: 11/3/1967
Written by Stephen Kandel
Directed by Marc Daniels

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

An android commandeers the Enterprise, taking it to a planet inhabited by androids—which is also where the devious Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) now resides. Prohibited from leaving the planet by the androids unless he finds them new subjects to observe, Mudd intends Kirk and his crew to replace him. Unfortunately for Mudd, the androids decide to still prohibit him from leaving, finally forcing Kirk and Mudd to team up in an attempt to escape.

"I, Mudd" is a lighthearted comic romp featuring the lively scoundrel in a far more entertaining episode than "Mudd's Women" from season one. Mudd and Kirk's verbal jousts are right on target; Mudd's handy-to-muzzle "wife android" is a funny gag; and an ending where Kirk & Co. engage in ultra-bizarro behavior to overload the androids with illogical slapstick and circular reasoning is amusing through its desire to go for broke. Goofy, yes; believable, not really—but I laughed, and that's the only test probably required in this case.

Previous episode: Catspaw
Next episode: Metamorphosis

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5 comments on this review

Strider - Tue, Jun 19, 2012 - 9:56am (USA Central)
Why is it always so easy to take over the Enterprise? I mean, even Harry Mudd can just an android to snatch command away from Kirk. It just shouldn't be that easy.
Moonie - Fri, Nov 15, 2013 - 3:11pm (USA Central)
I'm finding it really, really difficult to get through season 2. Sigh.

Chris - Thu, Feb 6, 2014 - 11:47pm (USA Central)
I, Mudd was just late 60's sexist tripe. I didn't laugh once because it was ridiculous in a badly written kind of way.
redshirt28 - Wed, Apr 9, 2014 - 9:39pm (USA Central)
Usually one has to be in the presence of others to feel embarrassment, I was embarrassed at myself just to be watching it alone. The slapstick sequence was the worst trek ever produced, actors/characters nearly desroyed any credibility for me to continue enjoying this show.
I kindly give this zero stars.
William B - Mon, Aug 4, 2014 - 4:59pm (USA Central)
I'm more with Jammer on this one than the commenters. Definitely the episode is sexist, particularly in the contrast between the method of seduction for Chekov (hot chicks forever!) and Uhura (you can be a hot chick, forever!). However, while obnoxious, I think the sexism in the portrayal of the androids themselves comes straight from Mudd himself, who is a scoundrel whose self-worth is tied to how many women he has around him whom he can treat as objects. Mudd is viewed as a lowlife, and one who is easily and quickly recognized by the androids as a poor specimen of humanity. The "seduction" of McCoy and Scotty, on the other hand, is through technology -- labs, engineering -- and so there is some breadth in the android society giving them what they want.

I enjoyed the lightheartedness with which the crew launched their assault of irrationality on the androids, and I think there was some amount of meta-joke in there somewhere -- the way they point their fingers and make phaser whirring sounds, for instance, is only marginally more difficult to accept as "real" than the plastic guns with low-quality special effects they normally do. But anyway, creativity, humour and play are useful weapons against the threat of technological servitude, right?

The episode is inessential; we've already had a look at what 24th century pimp/bastard Mudd is like ("I, Mudd"), episodes about massive computer control ("Return of the Archons"), Kirk Outsmarts The Computer With Logical Paradoxes ("The Changeling"), the crew is stranded on an apparent paradise and has to give it up for freedom! (lots...I guess "This Side of Paradise" most notably) and so on. But I find it fun -- a low 3 stars seems fair to me.

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