Star Trek: The Original Series

"Mudd's Women"

1.5 stars

Air date: 10/13/1966
Teleplay by Stephen Kandel
Story by Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Harvey Hart

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

By way of emergency beam-out, Scotty rescues galactic scoundrel Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) and his mysterious passengers—women who have a hypnotic effect on men—but these people are all obviously hiding something. The plot centers around some dilithium miners who agree to purchase these women from Mudd in exchange for dilithium crystals the Enterprise needs.

Shatner's retrospective comment about "Mudd's Women" explains how "daring" the episode was for NBC in 1966, and how the fact it was even made remains a small miracle because of its implicit topics of prostitution and drug addiction. Well, maybe that's true, but that doesn't make it a good show. Carmel's amusing turn as Harry Mudd is fine and well, and attractive women have always been a Star Trek staple, but the story for "Mudd's Women" is simply not interesting enough to withstand the passage of time—assuming it was ever good in the first place. Given the episode's "payoff" of either choosing a beautiful but useless woman to hang perfunctorily at one's side, or a woman who cooks and cleans, the options seem equally unflattering today. Shatner claims this episode became a fan favorite, but not this fan's.

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Next episode: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

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74 comments on this post

Jacbob T
Wed, Mar 14, 2012, 11:21am (UTC -5)
Well, I have started to watch this episode many times, never to get past Mudd's court martial. In the end Kirk makes a bad choice, and is only able to save his ship because the miners fell for one of his speeches. Eh okay. I still am not sure of what the point of this one was. One popcorn.
Fri, May 11, 2012, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
A snoozefest. The best you can say about this ep is that it got us the infinitely better "I Mudd" a season later. Roger Carmel does the scumbag part perfectly, but the writing just stinks on this one. Music was pretty good though.

Biggest plot hole = Mudd explains his plans in the presence of a security guard. And the guard just sits there. *shakes head*

1 star from me.
Fri, Jun 1, 2012, 8:04am (UTC -5)
I think every now and then SOT has some POV problems. We really don't need or want to see what's going on with characters who aren't our own beloved crew...we really just want to see how the crew deals with each other while dealing with the crisis. I know that GR had some other agendas, but ST is always strongest when it keeps its focus where it belongs.
Sat, Aug 11, 2012, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
I'd love to have a talking computer that kept repeating to me the word INCORRECT, every single time.

Speaking of which, what was the point of that computer scene, other than to establish that Harry Mudd was a scoundrel?
Thu, Jan 10, 2013, 3:49am (UTC -5)
The direction was very stylish, warm.
close shots from below of spock ,scotty etc
trying to solve the dilithiium problem, or mccoy and kirk trying to solve the problem of "the women", establish the warm repore between characters very early in the series. Performances excellent all round(well used close ups). Hart's direction excellant, but justman didn't like him(?)...he went one day over schedule.
The story is thin..but thats not the point of this episode. very enjoyable. Many episodes were not directed nearly so well, and many stories were much worse.
Mon, Feb 11, 2013, 12:35am (UTC -5)
I took away that the message of the episode was that beauty is what you make. Believe in yourself, and you'll be just fine. You don't need shallow products or whatever to create some phony sense of self-esteem.

Mudd described the drug as "taking what you have and giving you more of it."

In the end, when Eve took the fake drugs, but still became beauty, it was sort of an obvious way of saying that she was beautiful because she believed in herself rather than relying on some drug.

I think it was really relevant when you realize that most women on television in those days (and even today) tended to be oversexed nymphos with thick layers of makeup and beauty products.

Yeah, I know, that sounds kind of lame. I'm slightly annoyed by myself typing this, but that's what I took from the episode, at least.
Mon, May 6, 2013, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
I'll give this one a little slack, considering how early it was in the series' run.

That said, the ending is just hokey (believe in yourself and your eye makeup will instantly return!). Plus, the fact that the lights on the Enterprise dimmed every time a crystal blew seems pretty unlikely. TOS wasn't known for its good science, but this episode makes the ship seem a lot more rickety than it should. It's not the only episode that does that, though.
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 10:27am (UTC -5)
I tried very hard to not get annoyed with this episode. I failed.

The makers of Star Trek (and ts fans) always make the claim that they were (are) ahead of their times.... ell in THIS episode they've proven that when it comes to women and male/female relationships, they are stuck in 19th centiry thought patterns and ideas. Sometimes it's disheartening to see how backwards the authors of those shows were in that area - something the writers of the TNG era have proven yet again in the abysmal "Code of Honor" (Yar: "of course I am attracted to ". Head, meet wall.

Clueless. Just clueless. Backwards and disappointing coming from a bunch of SCIENCE FICTION writers. Apparently their "forward" way of thinking did not include relationships between the sexes (or women in general).

Kirk saved this episode, as he is wont to do :)
Sat, Sep 14, 2013, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Sorry about the tyos in my comment above. I hope it is comprehensible. I *was* annoyed. lol
William B
Sat, Jan 4, 2014, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
Spock helpfully sums this up at the end: "I'm happy the affair is over. A most annoying emotional episode."

I mean, I disagree about the "emotional" part. More later, perhaps.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 9:09am (UTC -5)
In this episode you have would-be "trophy wives" looking for rich men. Remember, this was still a time when women were often perceived as attending college only to get their MRS degree, that is, to find an educated young man to marry. Now, by today's standards, cooking and cleaning may seem like demeaning roles for a woman to aspire to, but contrast that with the trophy wife, who is only there to be a pretty ornament, pretty but empty. In the end, the miner sees her as more than just am ornament. There's also the idea that a large part of beauty is attitude, and that is quite true. I think it's a better episode than it often is given credit for, but I am judging it by 1966.
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
I kind of liked what it ended with: that beauty comes from believing in yourself. Though it's a bit odd, as whatever way you look at it, it was conveyed with makeup tricks, and belief in oneself doesn't apply makeup and fancy hairdos. But I get what they were *trying* (badly) to say.

Unfortunately it took an ungodly amount of cringe-worthy sexism to get there. All in all, not exactly a favourite.

Spock suggested a few emotions like enjoyment, though he's never struck me as hardline non-emotional as Data.
Wed, Apr 2, 2014, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
One thing I like about this review board is that by reading what others see, it sometimes opens my eyes to a way of seeing a story I hadnt thought of.

I always saw it as beauty comes from the inside and still do, just never thought of it from the angle of prostitution. Which this is.

It is not an overly entertaining ep and i never liked mudd, but it does address enough about the human condition that id want to watch again. 2.5 popcorns for me.
Sarah M
Mon, Aug 4, 2014, 12:34am (UTC -5)
I'm usually pretty good at viewing TOS as a product of its time when it comes to the way it uses female characters. It tries more than most productions of its era did, and it generally let its real characters, like Uhura and Chapel, be functional, competent members of the crew who did necessary jobs aboard a star ship. Even having women on board the "Enterprise" was something of a revolutionary idea at the time, so props for that, and I can deal with the T&A and occasionally shallow characterization of Kirk's chick-of-the-week.

I'm not giving "Mudd's Women" a pass, though. And even if you put aside the gender stupidity, the plot is almost non-existent and Mudd is pretty annoying. 1.5 stars is about right.
Mon, Sep 8, 2014, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Among the other problems with the episode I just didn't think those women were anything to lose your head over. Were they pretty? Sure. Were they Orion slave girl sexy? Not so much. I never got how they could cause such a fuss.

Like someone else said above, the best gift of the episode was the set up for "I, Mudd."
Wed, Nov 26, 2014, 2:29am (UTC -5)
I thought this episode was one of those bad, but entertaining, ones. I like Mudd as comic relief (esp. during the little trial scene with the obstinate computer chiming "INCORRECT". The "police record" is amusing too - it looks so '60s. Like they couldn't have white text on a black background to make it look like something from the future? Oh well, cost-cuts and oversights like that are forgivable.

It's somewhat harder to forgive the overt sexism of all the guys ogling at the women, but it's not nearly as bad as some Star Trek episodes. ("Turnabout Intruder" comes to mind as a particularly one-legged and stupid example, with the idea that women STILL cannot be Captains of vessels in the 23rd Century as "stand-in" for 1960s workplace sexism).

I chuckled a little when Sulu's guiding one over-smitten crew member back to his place on the bridge, and tells Spock that he HAS noticed the women. And yet he's so much more calm and seemingly far less affected than the rest of them? Nice cover, George, I mean, Sulu. :p

Also, one thing that the episode never explains: Why DID the presence of one of Mudd's women cause the medical scanner to "boop-boop" weirdly? I hadn't seen this full episode before, so I thought for sure the drugs they were taking were causing their bodies to create fields that interfered with the ship's functions, causing it to lose even more power. But this Venus drug just gives you "more of whatever you have". Does that include more gut bacteria, more electricity, more energy burning producing more heat, duplicate organs, more excrement? LOL.

And the ending is pretty cheesy. "Think of yourself as beautiful on the inside and you'll have perfect makeup and a neat hairdo on the outside just like that!" But I guess that's about the best that 1966 TV can do for talking about body issues and self-esteem.

Anyway, your rating is fair. It's a good hour for some giggles, but it's not a very good episode.
Tue, Apr 7, 2015, 10:10am (UTC -5)
In today's anti-male pro-female sentiments, it is easy to be dismissive and derisive against Mudd's Women. People seem to fail to see the point of Eve's pivotal speech at the end; a woman who contributes to marriage by cooking, cleaning and "cry and need" is not necessarily oppressed and subservient as we are now taught nowadays, but an equal partner in a relationship with a man. A real wife is irreplaceable. Trophy wives on the other hand, is far from being empowering. She only have her beauty to rely on and beauty fades with age.
Tue, Apr 7, 2015, 10:20am (UTC -5)
This blog have a more interesting view on Mudd's Women, that I think this review do not give the episode much credit for:
Sun, Jun 19, 2016, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Whenever Trek fans talk about Roddenberry's Star Trek "vision" when discussing Trek they don't like, they should remember this episode. Star Trek had 2 pilots and for both of them Gene wanted to make this episode.

This episode is how he wanted to represent Trek to the network and world at large. A show about sexism, selling people, and muddled messages about beauty.

Star Trek is not Gene's vision, it's the result of all the people who worked on it and reigned Roddenberry in when he went a little too far. Look at TNG Seasons 1 & 2 when he had more control, they were pretty bad.

Star Trek lives and dies by the people at the top, and their ability to accept input from those under them.
Wed, Jul 6, 2016, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
I think this episode is a bit better than it's usually given credit for, although it's still not all that great. Yes, its message is kinda muddled (har har) with that last scene showing that beauty is inside you, as long as your inner beauty magically creates makeup. But I still enjoyed it some extent.

For one thing, I really like the fact that this episode shows space to be a frontier. In TNG, everything is kinda sterilized. Bashir and so many others in DS9 made comments about how they were at the edge of civilization or whatever in season 1, but seriously Bajor wasn't really roughing it. Here though, the mines are clearly dangerous, unpleasant, and with few niceties. Eve described her homeworld as nothing but hard work and no prospects. This isn't a perfect sterilized utopia. Making the utopia in TNG is hard work, dirty, and requires people willing to give up the finer things in life. If it wasn't for those hard working miners, the Enterprise would be adrift in space. It's a tiny factor, but I like it. As crude as these people are, they're necessary. And out on the frontier, there are realities that people back home in their comfortable cities might find uncomfortable. Like the idea that women with no prospects might be willing to become, essentially, mail-order brides, and that men who live in the middle of nowhere with no women around might be willing to accept mail-order brides.

You may call it sexist, and a horrible situation, but this episode never passes judgement on it, merely shows that hardships exist out here, and some concepts take a back seat to cold, hard facts. It is an unpleasant situation, but again, these people are the lifeblood of the Federation and are the ones building the utopia we wanted.

And when looked at with that perspective, Eve comes off as an interesting, strong character. She wants a better life for herself, and thinks at first her only option is to essentially become this empty, pretty face. But despite that, she refuses to give up her integrity when Mudd suggests she seduce Kirk to get what she needs. She wants to be more than just a trophy wife. Again, people may complain that she's just offering to cook and clean and that's demeaning, but that's not what that scene shows. She has a practical solution to the cleaning problem the miner has; she shows she is smarter than him in some aspects. More importantly, she shows that she can complement him, be a true partner rather than a shallow one. It wasn't shown perfectly well, but I liked what they were doing there.

Unfortunately, these bright spots were harmed by an inconsistently plotted episode, with plenty of problems that other people have pointed out. I mean, Mudd was fun, and it was good to see Kirk frustrated, but all the little details just added up, and the story was inconsistent enough to survive them.
Fri, Jul 22, 2016, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Never mind any ST aspects here. This is classic misogynistic sixties Americana. In fact not even, because the gender stereotypes here were so entrenched no one even thought of it as misogyny. This ep should go into a sixties TV time capsule. It's a hoot Just for that and I adore it. ( PS I'm a woman!) The most priceless thing is McCoy going gaga over the green eyed one.
Sun, Sep 11, 2016, 1:47am (UTC -5)
Spot-on review. Maybe because I'm viewing this series in 2016 as a woman, but it really bothers me how the female crew members and guest stars are being handled so far in the run. The beautiful 'Mudd's women' render the otherwise smart, decent male crew members as ogling idiots was ridiculous. The resolution, that the miner had to choose between a beautiful, 'vain' woman or a pleasing, dutiful housewife may have been reflective of the times, but not at all relatable today. Also, still not happy with the portrayal of the female crewmembers. If not for referring to Uhura as Lietenant, you'd think she's an office assistant or secretary.
Sun, Jan 8, 2017, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Why is this not relevant to today? Why is it unflattering by today's standards s other commentators have said? Just look at the Kardrashian trash and clones women are anything different today (in the media - not in the real world which is always greyer than it is represented). And women still do the chores mentioned and still hack with rich men for money nothing has changed. Women have been strong in the past women are strong today. Women have been weak in the past women are weak today.

The central message at the end that you can only be the person you want to be if you believe in yourself will always be true.
Tue, Jan 17, 2017, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
The weakest of TOS episodes to date (chronological order of Season 1 airing). Not a good portrayal of women -- certainly not ahead of it's time. A couple of good things about the episode is Carmel's acting of the criminal Mudd and Kirk's acting (it's good when he blows up at Scotty and then has to apologize).
I guess the episode isn't entirely useless if it makes the point that beauty comes from within and you don't need to take a drug to feel beautiful (or whatever the point is).
But one of the things that I will always say drags down an episode is when it portrays the crew as being unprofessional (being completely mesmerized by woman). And what about the loose end of one of the women tripping up McCoy's medical scanner?
"The Way to Eden" adopts a similar plot and is a worse episode.
For me, 1.5/4 stars -- as I say, the worst of Season 1 so far.
Sun, Mar 26, 2017, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Ok, I first saw this as a kid of 7. And then I went on to revisit it throughout my adult life. So my perception of it has changed through the intervening time period. But I really love this episode. And most of it comes down to the performance of Rodger C. Carmel. He really nailed the part of the con man (space pimp?) that when push came to shove was compelled to do the right thing. His performance was truly over the top and I think it made the episode. The other great performance was given by Karen Steele as Eve. She had the best lines in the whole show, "Oh, the sound of male ego. You travel halfway across the galaxy and it's still the same song." And later in her final scene (After she thinks she took the Venus drug). "Is this the kind of wife you want, Ben? Not someone to help you. Not a wife to cook and sew and cry and need. But this kind. Selfish, vain, useless."
Wow! What a line. You mean women can actually be selfish, vain and useless? You wouldn't ever have the question come up on tv of today. Women have a halo around themselves now. But 50 years ago political correctness had yet to be born.(Borne?) You could admit the obvious. That such women exist. And having the bad luck to be married to one is a one way trip to hell. Or as I have heard it said, "Marriage isn't a word. It's a sentence."
In short I thought this to be a standout episode. As a kid I loved the planet scenes because it really tried to give the impression of an outpost on a dangerous planet. As I matured into adulthood I could appreciate the commentary concerning the human condition and the relationship between men and women. And the notion that in a few hundred years out in space it will still be a struggle for us to understand each other.
And for Beth that objected to the men ogling the was a plot device. The Venus drug had made them almost irresistible to most men. So yeah, there was going to be a fair share of ogling.
Fri, Mar 31, 2017, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
Already commented. Rewatch thoughts:

Oh god the 3 of them in the transporter room gawping like horny 13 year olds D:

I still see this as a classic "Spock irony" episode. He's overtly mentioned several times as being emotionless, and yet expresses emotion more than we've seen so far. He doesn't drool over the women as heavily, but he still does, you can see it quite a lot.

Sexism wise, it's hard to know what to think as if you try and mention such things nowadays you can very easily get dismissed as SJW (which I think is a much worse thing. I'm a bit leftist, that doesn't mean I'm an authoritarian nutjob who just reverses sexism and racism). It makes me cringe a whole lot, but I like how Eve rises above it and is just an individual. One comment tried to suggest this episode as proof Star Trek wasn't Rodenberry's vision because he wanted to do this as a pilot, but really I think it was progressive enough for its time.

As an aside with the HD remaster, Mudd's scenes often seem to be of a lower quality. Odd.
Also the HD makes the "magic pill gives you makeup" thing all the more obvious (along with all the makeup they slapped on Shatner himself!)
Trek fan
Mon, Sep 18, 2017, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
A good but not top-drawer episode with a thought-provoking message about illusion versus reality in romantic relationships. I would give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars. Particularly enjoyable is the introduction of Harry Mudd, a rare human scoundrel in a franchise that often pretends humans have evolved beyond baser instincts. Roger Carmel is fun to watch here and even better in the hysterical "I Mudd."

I'm astounded at all of the self-righteous and anachronistic accusations of "sexism" and "misogyny" leveled at "Mudd's Women" in this thread. As someone remarked above, the kinds of women our pop culture holds up for girls in advertising remain the "Venus drug" types, making this episode more relevant than ever. People today go through all kinds of plastic surgery and cosmetics to present a false image to potential mates, making the drug use of "Mudd's Women" seem far less dated than we who assume our times are so much more enlightened may think.

But let's consider two more facts: 1. This is actually a science fiction take on the well-known Western trope (Sarah Plain and Tall, anyone?) of the mail-order bride, and it presents the practice (including all the tropes of lonely frontiersmen and government explorers) in a primarily negative light. Lots of people in this thread seem to have missed this essential context for the story, which clearly *subverts* the notion of trophy wives rather than glamorizing it. We may view the story's take on mail order brides as prostitution, since Harry addicts the women to a drug and then pimps them out for marriage, but the women here (like mail order brides) seem to choose this path out of hopes for a better life and it's really a story with cowboy origins. 2. This same darn story was done on TNG -- all way into Season 5, long after Roddenberry died -- in far more offensive fashion as "The Perfect Mate," in which a woman (Famke Janssen) is not only being pimped out as a mail order bride to avert a war, but has literally had her own personality suppressed in order to adapt herself to the man she mates. Pcyhologically, that's deeply offensive stuff, but but readers here seem more willing to excuse the dozens of sexist episodes on TNG (too many episodes to count, really, throughout all seven seasons), DS9 (pick any Ferengi show for starters), and Enterprise (that Orion slave girl episode "Bound" in particular) which strike me as less excusable given their supposedly more enlightened era. To lambast "Mudd's Women," which actually satirizes and sends up the male ego in addition to offering a forward-thinking woman (and she's entitled to cook if she wants to!) in Eve, seems awfully unfair to me in comparison. Voyager, despite the initial appearance of Seven of Nine in a catsuit, actually has the cleanest record on gender equality of any show -- but I would actually rank TOS second in that regard since it was actually *ahead* of its times rather than behind them like TNG/DS9/Enterprise.

Once we get past the unfair ideological criticism of "Mudd's Women," we find a bemusing comedy (albeit not as funny as other TOS comedies) that delivers a meaningful message at the end ala "Shallow Hal" with Jack Black. But it's more thought-provoking than a gross-out Hollywood comedy, it features a great scoundrel of a villain in Harry Mudd, and it offers some well-acted sendups of the supposedly advanced crew going gaga. The message about the illusory nature of drugs, delivered far better here than in the TNG Seasson 1 take with Yar's speech to Data, also comes in a surprisingly palatable way that complements the message that facing reality with self-confidence is always the best way to live -- and I like the twist at the end in how Kirk tricks Eve into displaying the self-confidence we've seen bubbling under the surface throughout the story. Some really nice moments for Kirk, Spock, and McCoy here, but Eve's story at the center of the show (she's the one who ultimately undoes Harry) remains fairly compelling to me. And the confrontations between Harry and the crew are always fun to watch in his two TOS episodes and TAS appearance.

To conclude, this is an entertaining and touching episode, and it really worries me when modern viewers are so willfully ignorant of a story's context that they can't distinguish a satire of male ogling from ogling for its own sake -- that they don't realize the TOS male cast is basically winking at the camera when they make themselves look so dumb here. There are times when TOS uncritically accepted the gender roles of its times, and I really wish Uhura had taken command in the captain's absence prior to the Animated Series, but "Mudd's Women" doesn't deserve the opprobrium it is receiving in this threat.
Wed, Sep 20, 2017, 1:42am (UTC -5)
This was a good dramatic episode that explored really interesting issues , as Jammer says - about prostitution and drug addiction, and I would woman's rights and opportunities. This was 'Wagon Train to the Stars' Star Trek - a bit slow - but nonetheless I thought the drama was pretty intense, especially when you find out the women were there 'by choice' - of course in a Western that is often the only 'choice' a woman has.
Just another fan
Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 11:41am (UTC -5)
I thought Skeptical and Trek Fan raised very interesting points. Today, people object to Eve offering to cook and clean. But I think the chores weren't the point. The man was lonely and looking for a partner--a real partner, and so was she. Eve soon proved she had real contributions to make. And the miner showed he wasn't that narrow-minded, considering Harry tried to pull a fast one on him.

But if the drug just enhances what you already have, then the effect on the men in the crew didn't make much sense. McCoy asks Kirk about it, Are they really more beautiful than any other women you've ever seen, or do they just act beautiful? But there it is. I think most agree that the message is inconsistent, even though it does make some strong points in the end.

I have more problems with later Trek episodes, which should be progressing in their portrayal of women given that decades have passed between shows, but are falling woefully short. I have commented on this in Enterprise. In TNG, The Perfect Mate claimed that male metamorphs (aliens who could change their personality and mannerisms to suit their partners) were common but a female was born only once in 7 generations (if I remember correctly). But of course we see only a female metamorph in the episode because that's what the writers or the higher ups want to show us. I might have liked to see a male metamorph! That would have seemed truly alien to us. :)

Trying to address relationships between the sexes is a topic filled with potential landmines, so I have to give them props for even trying. The actors portraying Eve and Harry Mudd were particularly strong, but because of the inconsistencies in the story/direction, I reduce it to 2.5 stars.
Peter Swinkels
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
While initially amusing the story become difficult to follow, at least to me. Did anyone else have trouble making out what the actors said at times? Normally I can understand English (second language) fine... Oh well.
Fri, Feb 16, 2018, 11:05am (UTC -5)
@Moonie - "Clueless. Just clueless. Backwards and disappointing coming from a bunch of SCIENCE FICTION writers. Apparently their 'forward' way of thinking did not include relationships between the sexes (or women in general)."

Science fiction writers had nothing to do with this. The only one to blame for this sexist Old West re-tread was the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself. This was one of his original story ideas in the proposal for the series. Not exactly unexpected when you read about Roddenberry's REAL attitudes toward women.

"Wiving settlers?" Puh-lease!
Wed, Oct 17, 2018, 10:30am (UTC -5)
"Is this the kind of wife you want, Ben? Not someone to help you. Not a wife to cook and sew and cry and need. But this kind. Selfish, vain, useless."
It's strange to find these lines for whom Gene Roddenberry himself is credited as writer of this episode. Him having a reputation as chasing girls and using the 'cast couch'. So actually he is a fan of the dolly type or "trophy wife" as the vain, beautiful but useless woman is referred to in the comments. Does he question his own motives here? Does he like to depict men as weak victims of their testosterone, easy to manipulate and means himself?
And I was aghast at the attitude of those miners. They would simply look on when a whole star ship of their species (and home world) would perish just because they could not get their deal agreed upon; dilithium crystals for Mudd's women. Does Kirk not have authority to force them if the life of his crew is at stake? If he has the authority to do a trial hearing on Mudd's past and intentions? Obviously he acts also as law enforcement in such situations, and where no regular local administration is present. He could have searched the mining facilities - and would have found the crystals, as the miner says at the end they are right there and don't need to be mined first.
As for the mail order bride - it still is existing. And there is still the type of women who was once called a "golddigger" who has the main goal to trap a rich guy and that's all she wants for a good life, using her beauty and various little helpers to emphasize the effect. So basically that is a timeless phenomenon. In the Sixties, in our years, and possibly in the future Star Trek is depicting. A continuum. As you can't change human nature (hope so).
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Kudos to Trek Fan for the best and most thought provoking analysis of this episode. You are spot on.
Sat, Mar 9, 2019, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Carmel is great as the pretend swashbuckling pirate,and the premise is interesting, is the pill real?? or have they just convinced themselves to believe they are beautiful??
Sun, Mar 10, 2019, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Watching and commenting:

--The Enterprise is pursuing a ship that won't respond. They beam a man with the world phoniest Irish accent, and three lovely ladies, aboard. He calls the women his cargo. Sigh.

--I'm confused what the man, Leo/Harry is being accused of - ah, no flight plan, no license, being a danger. He says the women are going to be frontier wives. This actor playing Mudd is quite the showman. The women are really turning on the sexy sultry sexy sultriness.

--The Enterprise desperately needs lithium crystals. The ladies desperately need their miracle beauty pills. I desperately need to leave the 1960's and return to the 21st century.

--The old lithium crystals are still beautiful, says Spock - though they're cracked and no longer useful. I think this gives us a clue as to the theme of the show - the nature of beauty, usefulness, and the way need alters perception.

Some silliness, but Ok '60s fare.
Bobbington Mc Bob
Thu, May 2, 2019, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
I highly recommend watching this episode whilst drunk. The bit with the pans in the wind and the sand is especially fun. There can't be a scene in the whole of Star Trek like it.
Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 11:54pm (UTC -5)
Dumbest aspect of this episode — aside from its gender politics:

These women, without the pills, were just... regular looking. Maybe a bit tired. Any 13 year old YouTube beauty vlogger today could have Kardashian-ified them with the "right" makeup to achieve virtually THE SAME results as they got with those "magic crystals." And if that weren't enough, a visit to a good dermatologist for the equivalent of a few dermal filler or botox injections later... done.

Besides, much of what made those women so "beautiful" then was that they wore sexy, form-fitting dresses, has their hair expertly styled and flattering makeup. If they missed a few nights sleep, didn't wear make-up or brush their hair, and wore messy old clothes, they wouldn't look that fancy-hot.

Plastic surgery already existed in the 1960s. Surely, by the timeframe TOS is set in, any woman in the Federation probably only has to wave a wand over her face, drink some kind of rejuva-juice, or apply a cream from a jar no more special in their time than Ponds or Nivea were in the 1960s. Thus, those crystals of Harry Mudd's would have attracted little to no value or interest in that era—no more than any other average beauty treatment of the day.

Meanwhile... if these rich miners on their remote planet really just wanted "trophy" wives to stand around, look hot, and have sex with them—not also true and loving companions—surely the techno-aesthetic advancements in sex-bots by that time would have offered sufficient and indestructible models for that purpose.

Harry Mudd has always been, to me, among the more irritating of Trek guest-star characters. That he should be given TWO episodes in the original series... lord. At least on the android planet he had that wacky interplay with the Enterprise crew that offered some amusement.

And speaking of the androids... it would have worked better if those 2 Mudd episodes were combined—with Mudd instead pimping out the "Alice" series beauties to lonely men throughout the galaxy!
Tue, Nov 12, 2019, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Sorry if I missed it, but when I scanned the comments made so far, I didn't see any that noted Spock's line about halfway through the episode as he holds the cracked dilithium crystal: beautiful, even when burned and broken. That line was written into the script for a reason, and Nimoy delivers it very well.

I can see how crystals would appeal to a Vulcan's sense of beauty, as an example of mathematically precise order. For a Vulcan, order has power; order IS power. To see such power pushed beyond its limits is heartbreaking, in as real a way as a Vulcan's heart can be broken.

Eve is a logical woman, making a pragmatic decision based on the precise equation of her life. She finds Mudd and his "cheater" drug distasteful, but the calculation is clear: If she stays on her home planet, there will be no family except her muddy-booted brothers. Mudd offers the only way she can seek a better life.

But pretending to be stupid pushes her past her limit. She is a crystal burned and broken, yet a wise man will see her beauty.

I'm a feminist, and there is much in this episode to make me uncomfortable. (I'd swear the original had a line from Mudd about the drug making men "more intelligent," because it gives you "more of what you have.") But the characters of Eve and Childers have always felt very real to me. I have long imagined a scene many years later, when they've been married quite a while, and Eve sends one of their kids to hang up the dinner pots to be sandblasted. I see them as a couple getting married because it seemed the logical thing to do, through the years learning to love each other.
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 12:04am (UTC -5)
Is it not a pretty sexist comment? First, comparing her to a thing and then basically saying: "Well, she is broken but still nice to look at." Meaning that physical beauty is the most important attribute of women while also comparing her to an object.
I mean context and all but phew...
Peter G.
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 11:50am (UTC -5)
I think Trish's interpretation is a very interesting one. I haven't watched the ep in a long while but maybe I'll try to make the effort sometime soon.

@ Booming, no, I don't think it's fair to attribute to Spock's comment that he's talking just about the aesthetic of the crystal as being its value, i.e., that the women are beautiful because, like objects, they have a certain look. It seems rather to mean the opposite, that *despite* their aesthetic they are beautiful, meaning their beauty does not derive from their aesthetic appearance. It would almost seem to be a thesis for the entire episode (i.e. that faking their outward beauty is sort of an insult to their real beauty; that fakeness embodied by Mudd himself).
Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 9:45pm (UTC -5)

As for comparing them to an object, the character speaking the line about the crystal (Spock) is not doing that; he is just talking about the crystal. The screenwriter, I believe, is drawing such a comparison, but not because one that says women are just rocks.

It is the nature of metaphors to compare things that are not alike, by highlighting some way(s) they ARE alike, so it is no insult for a human to be metaphorically represented by an object, especially an object that makes men rich, is a source of great power and is beautiful even when it seems burned out.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 3:04am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.
It's of course impossible to say what was in the heads of writers. I have a problem with the objectification.

I have to watch the episode again but still as Peter and you admit it is objectification.
In the 60s it is was quite common to objectify women (it is still pretty common today) and objectification is normally about dehumanizing. You said that you are a feminist. Objectification or dehumanization is about lessening the humanity of a group or person. It is a way of controlling people. One could of course argue, as you do, that it is objectification but objectification in the most positive form, still using beauty as the dominant attribute clearly shows the bias of the time.

We shouldn't forget what Spock says: "beautiful even when burned and broken." Let's take a step back and really see this as basic a possible.
A man is holding an object and compares this object to a group of women who are in a sense burned and broken by another man and the most important feature that still remains for the commenting man is:" These women are still beautiful". It is true that it is a powerful material but he fails to mention that.

Being a feminist maybe you know this paper already but I thought I post it anyway. I haven't read completely though but I know some of Nussbaum's work and found her arguments always interesting and often illuminating.
And here the faaaar shorter (not really) summery on wiki
Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:35am (UTC -5)
@ Booming,

I think you had a very skewed idea of what objectification is. It is *not* any old use of metaphor or simile. "You are radiant like the sun" is a simile, and does not lead us to "He's comparing her to a bunch of lifeless gasses!" One may say things like "you're a swan", which should not lead us to "he's comparing her to aquatic fowl with minimal IQ!" And likewise "like this crystal, you may be broken but are still beautiful" cannot be taken to mean "we may as well stuff her into the ship's engine."

Having a feminist bone to pick is seemingly affecting your judgement on what things mean. There is literally no conceivable possibility that in this context Spock is "lessening the humanity of a group or person", or "controlling people", with the small proviso that in-universe he does in fact think humans are inferior to Vulcans.
William B
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 9:49am (UTC -5)
I am confused. Is there any indication that *Spock, in universe*, was deliberately making any comparison between the crystals and the women? I thought that Spock was genuinely just literally talking about the crystals. Unless I'm mistaken, any subtext (problematic or not) is on the part of the writers, drawing thematic parallels between scenes, rather than the character of Spock himself being conscious of this metaphor.
Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:18am (UTC -5)
@ William B,

That's a good point. I was at any rate responding to Trish's idea that Spock and/or the writers were knowingly making a metaphoric comparison and I've been taking that at face value. It's entirely possible Spock would intend a nuanced overview (which he has done on occasion), but it's true that we don't even necessarily need to assume he's doing that.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G
Again I haven't seen the scene and was just writing about Trish's interpretation. Trish writes that she made the connection when Spock makes the comment the crystal.

I doubt that you have any deeper understanding of the scientific concept of objectification and I will not discuss it with you because I too have only a very superficial understanding of the term. I find it strange though that you cannot see that the episode is about how men control women. I quote from Jammer:"he plot centers around some dilithium miners who agree to purchase these women from Mudd in exchange for dilithium crystals the Enterprise needs."
In the episode women are literally for sale. They are objects to be used by men. I could continue but I don't want to.

Following up on you inability or unwillingness to see how any of this could relate power structures, control and to your accusations of me having a feminist bias. Well, we know on what side of these debates you always fall on. I find it therefore questionable who has the bone to pick here.
Peter G.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 11:14am (UTC -5)
@ Booming,

I don't think you realize it but your reponse is a dodge to what I said above. That being said:

"the scientific concept of objectification" is not a thing, because objectification is not a scientific term. Further:

" I find it strange though that you cannot see that the episode is about how men control women."

I find it strange that you think I cannot see what the episode is about, since my comment is about Spock's remark, not about the episode. Or are you saying that any character who says any thing "represents" the episode in its entirety? And even if they occasionally do, and even if we do take Spock's comment to be a redux of the episode's themes, I find it even stranger that you automatically jump to it being negative towards women.

Let's recap: the episode is about how a gross guy is selling women. The fact that he's gross should already be a giveaway. Then we find out that there's a dirty secret, which is that they're being seen as physical objects and sold as such. And this is supposed to be a bad thing. Worse, we're shown that even decent men are affected by that exterior show, which opens up the question of the temptation to objectify women. But then it goes even deeper and suggests there may be a mutually agreeable way to get past the nasty side of the marriages and find some way for them to be good, and then we can look at Spock's comment in that context (taking for granted I'm remembering it correctly!). It's an episode doing the opposite of objectifying women - it's about how doing that is a trap that is harmful for all involved. So to take Spock's comment within that context and assume he's objectifying women, on the grounds that the episode is "about how men control women", is really off-base.

Now I'm totally open to considering a case where an episode really fails in its attempted message or theme, or was bungled in some way, but this episode is *not* about how bad men are, with Spock being yet another example of it.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.

Objectification is not a scientific term? Why do you say these things? It seems very illogical. Is it this combative lawyer side of yours that you talked about? We have you and then we have Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the university of Chicago who also taught at Brown and Harvard. You think that objectification/dehumanization is not a scientific term, she thinks it is. To clarify. If somebody writes a scientific paper about using a word in certain way then it is a scientific term. The question is then how accepted it is in the scientific community in describing a phenomenon. I really don't know what else to tell you. That's like very basic scientific methodology. What you Yanks would call methodology 101.

It is like the fifth time that you accused me of pushing an ideology. So for the fifth time I don't know much about Feminist theory, my field of expertise is in quantitative studies ,statistics and so on. I'm not really interested in Feminist theory. Trish said that she is a feminist so I provided her with a paper which might interest her because it relates to the issue. If she isn't interested in it. No harm done. If you had read the paper you would know that Nussbaum talks about different forms of objectification.
Why does this trigger you so much?

So here it comes again, I was referring to the interpretation Trish made. I never said that it was intended by the character as sexist. In an episode about women being traded for crystals Spock picks up one of those crystal and calls it beautiful even when it is broken. I think that is a very unfortunate comment. That is all I said about the scene in question. I wasn't talking about the episode in general or about Spock being bad. I'm not saying that Gene Roddenberry is bad. I'm just saying that objectifying women in that context leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth. TOS was pretty progressive for it's time in it's portrayal of women so all things considered still pretty sexist from today's viewpoint. I know context is king. You don't have to tell me for a sixth time.

"Now I'm totally open to considering a case where an episode really fails in its attempted message or theme"

Yeah what is the message again?
To quote Jammer:"Given the episode's "payoff" of either choosing a beautiful but useless woman to hang perfunctorily at one's side, or a woman who cooks and cleans, the options seem equally unflattering today."
I mean the miners still get the women. The Enterprise gets the crystals. Shouldn't the miners be punished in a moral sense at least for wanting to participate in sexual slavery? The episode doesn't seem to think so.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
William is correct.

Spock, in the episode, spoke solely of the crystals when he said that line.

This does not, however, change the fact that when we look at this statement within the greater thematic context of the episode, it doesn't look good. We can't fault Spock on this, but we most certainly CAN fault the writers.

The problem here, at any rate, isn't the mere comparison between a person and an object. It's the nature of the comparison. Peter says that it hints at some kind of "inner beauty"? Perhaps. But what kind of inner beauty, exactly, are we talking about here? At no time, not even once, does anybody refer to Eve and co. as actual people in their own right. Everybody, including the women themselves, just expects them to play the traditional role of a housewife (or worse).

So yes, that's a pretty bad case of objectification.

The most maddening thing here is that the writers obviously intended this episode to deliver some kind of woman empowerment message (as Kirk said: "you either believe in yourself or you don't"), but they botched it so badly that it just makes you cringe. This, really, is the worst form of prejudice: The kind that people hand out without even realizing what they are doing.

Definitely one of the worst episodes of TOS.
(the idea that Gene Roddenberry actually thought this episode was a worthy candidate for being the TOS pilot truly boggles the mind)
Jason R.
Thu, Nov 14, 2019, 7:03pm (UTC -5)
"Objectification is not a scientific term? Why do you say these things? It seems very illogical. Is it this combative lawyer side of yours that you talked about? We have you and then we have Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and ethics at the university of Chicago who also taught at Brown and Harvard. You think that objectification/dehumanization is not a scientific term, she thinks it is"

I think you may have confused Peter G. with me. But since lawyers are now science experts according to you you'll take my professional word for it that "objectification" in this context isn't a science term.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 12:32am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
My bad. You are the combative lawyer. I don't consider most lawyers scientists. There are exceptions like law professors.
I can only repeat what I said to Peter. I'll not take your word for it. Yours is a nonsensical statement. There is no Swiss high council of scientific terms. Nussbaum tried to define the term by seven characteristics. One can apply the term to the discussed situation.

Omicron put it in words far better than mine. Hopefully his analysis made more clear what I wanted to say.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Can anybody please enlighten me as to the *point* of this entire debate on whether objectification is "a scientific term" or not?

Objectification is what it is. And it seems like both sides of this discussion have a pretty good idea what that word means:

Booming: "Objectification or dehumanization is about lessening the humanity of a group or person"
Peter: "It is *not* any old use of metaphor or simile"

Both 100% correct.

So why, again, are we debating the question of scientific definitions? Who the ****-ing cares, whether a word is a "scientific term" or not, when we all agree on its usage? The only thing that matters, is whether a given definition (academic or not) is USEFUL in helping us to understand the concept at hand.
Jason R.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Booming I have got to agree with Omicron that it doesn't much matter either way in this context. But maybe it's the lawyer in me but I just can't let it pass when people say things that make no sense to me.

Let me confess I just don't know what "scientific" means in this context. Science is a methodology whereby one studies the universe through hypothesis and experimentation.

I honestly don't see how that relates meaningfully to a term that is essentially metaphorical - nobody literally "objectifies" anybody so what we are talking about is how a person treats or relates to another person *like an object* rather than a person.

Again, how would that metaphorical description of some human behaviour relate to "science" in this context?

I mean I guess you could somehow say that it relates to the study of human societies through anthropology or something. You could design experiments I suppose to test some hypothesis about sonething called "objectification" in human societies. By that logic you could say "asshole" is a scientific term too :) Almost any metaphorical description of human behaviour would be.

Are you saying because some smart person at Harvard used the term that makes it "scientific"? Did she actually claim this was a science term? If so would you mind providing a quote from her so we can understand what you are talking about?

I mean as Omicron asks: why are we even arguing over this? You know I don't deny that men objectifying women is a real thing....
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 8:23am (UTC -5)
@ Jason R.
"Let me confess I just don't know what "scientific" means in this context. Science is a methodology whereby one studies the universe through hypothesis and experimentation."
Incomplete. You forgot theories which are essential. A theory consists of a core and a periphery. To build the theory core you need Axioms and basic definitions. The periphery consists of hypothesis and rules on how to measure parts of the theory.

What Nussbaum does with her definition of the term objectification is proposing a framework for the concept. Now it would be about finding methods how to test/operationalize and create hypothesis or to criticize/improve to concept.

I guess the concept of objectification as defined by Nussbaum could be used in Anthropology, Sociology, Political science, Law as you say yourself. But as I said I don't know much about the topic. Maybe Objectification is already part of a theory or used in some way. I don't know. I just know the sociological concept and knowing is half the battle. ;)
(I hope "barely knowing" is a quarter of the battle)

So that's why I'm so puzzled and that is mostly what I am when you or Peter say that Objectification is not a scientific term/concept. It's like if I said that Pacta sund servananda has nothing to do with legal principles. How would you react to that? I'm just confused. *confused smiley*

"If so would you mind providing a quote from her so we can understand what you are talking about?"

Here is the complete text. The concept itself is on page 257.
If I apply this concept then yes. In that situation Spock objectifies women and as Omicron so eloquently explained shows an unfortunate bias on the side of the writers.

"Are you saying because some smart person at Harvard used the term that makes it "scientific"?"
Well it depends on how it is used but if it is conceptualized in a useful way then yes it may sound strange but this is how a term would start it's voyage to become an accepted scientific concept.

English often makes it difficult to express myself correctly. Especially when we are discussing complex topics. So please excuse any misunderstandings that arise from my imprecise phrasing.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 9:57am (UTC -5)
@ Booming,

I don't want to continue a trollish back back and forth on this point, and sorry to everyone else to have taken up the space with this. Here's the bottom line: you're using the word "scientific" in the way you always do, which is to make some kind of authoritative claim on a thing that puts you above all of us because you're a "scientist" and therefore what you say is beyond dispute. What I like about this site is people are generally willing to hear alternative viewpoints, so when I read:

"I doubt that you have any deeper understanding of the scientific concept of objectification and I will not discuss it with you because I too have only a very superficial understanding of the term."

Basically all this does is shut down conversation for no other reason than to assert authority. Granted, in this context you also shut yourself out of the conversation as well, but from my side it's a bunch of baloney designed to sound impressive. I have a background in the hard sciences, though no doubt not as much as Omicron or William B, but I know when the term "scientific" is being thrown around frivolously and when it's not. Yes, any subject can be studied scientifically, and no, that does not mean any term automatically because a "science" term that only "scientists" have the authorirty to discuss.
Peter G.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Sorry, last sentence should read "...does not mean any term automatically *becomes* a "science" term..."
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 10:35am (UTC -5)
@ Peter G
And what hard science might that be? Also why do you first say that you don't want the trollish back and forth to continue which you started by the way and then continue with it anyways?

I explained a scientific concept. You insulted and accused me and then without any backing said that it is not a scientific concept.

"Basically all this does is shut down conversation for no other reason than to assert authority. Granted, in this context you also shut yourself out of the conversation as well,"
I just said that after you insulted me and accused me of pushing an ideology and for whatever reason that Objectification isn't a scientific concept that I will not discuss it with you any longer. I never said that you are forbidden from discussing it which I couldn't enforce anyway.

I do have the right to not discuss something with you if it is my believe that it would not be a discussion that I would find interesting, don't I?

I will listen to this now for about 10 hours.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Let’s try not to ruin a great discussion with pedantic arguments. There are always words that have technical meanings known only to certain professionals yet are still used in the common vernacular. If you’re using the technical meaning of the word, please take the time to explain it, otherwise you might just assume everyone is using the laymen’s meaning.
Fri, Nov 15, 2019, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
Man, I turn my back for a minute, and my metaphorical interpretation of a line in a script blows up into an enraged argument about social justice and definitions of words.

It reminds me of a recent conversation with a friend of mine who has recently been diagnosed as being on autism spectrum. After she read a list of common symptoms, she asked me flat out if she was "literal." I told her yes, she always had been. She asked for examples, so I gave her one. Turned out she wasn't looking for information. She was willing to accept her diagnosis, as long as it was just a label, but on hearing that she actually did have its symptoms, she became defensive as if she were under attack. There was no way to really explain to her what she was "missing," because, well, she was missing the ability to understand what it was.

I'm thinking there may be some folks in this discussion who are also on the spectrum. That's not an insult, or an accusation, or anything that has to be defended against. Just an observation.

I suggest dropping it, guys. There's no point in an argument about this. Some people here see the metaphor, some don't. Sometimes, you just have to take it on faith that others who seem to be saying something crazy are saying it because they see something to which you are blind.
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 1:42am (UTC -5)
@ Trish
I guess you are right. Maybe you would still provide a somewhat longer explanation of your view of the scene. Men tend to be more autistic and communication based on simple text can easily lead to misunderstandings. I really try to be less aggravating but obviously failed here.

I hope our little chest bumping doesn't discourage you from participating in this forum. Peter, Jason, William, Omicron, Chrome and maybe a few others we all somewhat know each other so old conflicts have a sadly a tendency to flare up in every new debate. ;)
Peter G.
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 10:18am (UTC -5)
I once promised Jammer to not react to certain behavior. In the spirit of this I will ignore Peter from now on until the end of time.
Sat, Nov 16, 2019, 6:52pm (UTC -5)

"Here's the bottom line: you're using the word 'scientific' in the way you always do, which is to make some kind of authoritative claim on a thing that puts you above all of us because you're a "scientist" and therefore what you say is beyond dispute."

Not true.

You've been here for quite a while now, so you probably know how I hate it when people try to pull that "I'm the big expert and you are all stupid" stunt. You also know that I've called several people on pulling this kind of sh*t.

But here, Booming hasn't done anything wrong.

So leave the guy alone, will ya?

Also, if you are so eager to discuss the original topic of objectification (with or without a direct relation to the TOS episode), why aren't you doing that? Nobody is stopping you.

"I'm thinking there may be some folks in this discussion who are also on the spectrum. That's not an insult, or an accusation, or anything that has to be defended against. Just an observation."


You diagnose a bunch of strangers on the internet with a mental deficiency just because they have a different perspective on things than you? And then you say that it isn't something to be defended against?

I've known these people here for many months, and I assure you that none of them have any problem in understanding metaphors. Speaking of which: Why would a person who doesn't get metaphors, be interested in an allegorical sci fi show such as Star Trek?

I also think that your statement does a great disservice to any autistic people who might be writing on this site. There are probably quite a few of them here, given the high incidence of autism in geek culture. And they certainly don't need to hear the kind of gross generalizations you've made (while some autistics indeed have a problem with metaphors, there are plenty of others who get them just fine).
Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 7:55am (UTC -5)
"But here, Booming hasn't done anything wrong.

So leave the guy alone, will ya?"

Booming's not a guy.

Booyah. First time for everything.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Care to explain that last remark, Jason?

Because I don't recall Booming ever telling us his/her gender.

I'm also wondering what - exactly - you are so happy about here. First time for *what*, exactly?

(I have a pretty good guess regarding what this is about. I hope to God that I'm wrong).
Jason R.
Sun, Nov 17, 2019, 11:42am (UTC -5)
"Care to explain that last remark, Jason?

Because I don't recall Booming ever telling us his/her gender."

Someone corrected me last time when I referred to her as a he.

"I'm also wondering what - exactly - you are so happy about here. First time for *what*, exactly?"

I am usually the one getting corrected for assuming things re pronouns. It was my first chance to correct someone else for a change :)

(I'm curious now, what did you think I meant??)
Sun, Apr 26, 2020, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
Just wanted to put down some thoughts on Star Trek Continues episode "Lolani" -- and "Mudd's Women" might be the most appropriate place to do so...

Another episode where I'm super-impressed how well they've recreated TOS -- not just the costumes, sets, music, vibe etc. -- but also the issue being addressed, that of slavery and each person being much more than a nobody. Perfect for a TOS.

Definitely very watchable throughout, didn't not find the acting an issue -- granted trying to live up to the TOS cast would be the most difficult task. Pretty well-written tale as well with only a few minor questionable areas, but those are in the kinds of things TOS would do as well such as allowing the Orion slavemaster & Lolani to roam around on the ship, Scotty showing Lolani his command station. So there's the usual (and surprising to me) sloppiness of the crew.

Interestingly, the episode fills in some Orion cannon. ENT left things off with the females controlling the males, but here there's talk of a revolution and now the men are in charge and the females are still bought and sold although they certainly don't control the men -- just whatever kind of stuff...

2.5 stars for "Lolani" -- the episode leaves a hopeful message, after something of a tragic loss. I was reminded of ENT's "Cogenitor" which is a much more powerful episode involving a suicide. Another solid achievement for Star Trek Continues.
Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Turns out Jammer’s review of Mudd’s Women is much more lame and superficial than he want you believe the episode is.
Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 9:37am (UTC -5)
@KL, I see what you're saying.

@Jammer definitely has a problem with a certain type of episode - DS9's "Let He Who is without Sin" or ENT's "Precious Cargo". Mudd's Women.

But I guess that's to be expected. A lot of people have trouble with seeing women fully embrace sexual situations.

People usually cover it up by saying that their wife doesn't like it, or they wouldn't want to watch it with their daughters. But the truth is, seeing Jadzia and Leeta be sexual in "Let He Who is without Sin", or Padma Laxmi get down and dirty with Trip in "Precious Cargo", or having Mudd's women trade on their sexual power, is just too much for some people to handle.

It is what it is.
Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -5)
"@Jammer definitely has a problem with a certain type of episode"
Don't want to white knight Jammer here but these episodes are just plain terrible. The women in Mudd's women are basically sex slaves. It is human trafficking and not really condemning it at the end. It is more like:"treat your mail order slave with respect." Yikes.

I don't think that Jammer had a problem with Jadzia or Leeta being sexual, that episode is just fluffy nothingness and Padma Laxmi is an acting quantum singularity that no episode could overcome. She is an astonishingly beautiful women who nobody dared to tell that she cannot act.
Fri, Nov 6, 2020, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
@Booming, I think if you go back and watch the three episodes, Mudd’s Women, Precious Cargo, and
Let He Who Is Without Sin, and also re-read @Jammer’s reviews, you’ll want to revise that comment.

Take DS9 first. @Jammer’s review has a real problem with all that eye candy. He wrote at the time, "The "story," such as it's called, is something I would probably expect to see on Baywatch. It serves as little more than filler between shots of people hanging around the beach.”

Yeah, cause no one ever goes to the beach to enjoy themselves - to see and be seen. That’s what people do.

Take a long weekend, @Booming, and drive down to the Mediterranean beaches. People enjoy the good life. It is healthy and fun. But it makes certain folks very uncomfortable. I suspect those folks have more in common with the Essentialists - far more than they would care to admit. Vegas is filled with these types, always trying to save you.

People who are in the early stages of a relationship, will often "go away" to see how well things fare, and to find out if they can have fun when they are out of their day-to-day. High drama is often part of the equation. Fraiser did a great gag on this one, when it turns out he and his new lady friend have reserved the beach cabana next to his ex-wife Lilith!

@Jammer seems to have a lot of the same problems with Precious Cargo.

Padma Laxmi was already thirty two when the episode aired, but it would still be a couple years before she married Salman Rushdie. And then they divorced just a few years later. There is an old saying, no matter how beautiful she looks, someone somewhere is tired of her shit. At the time, Padma may have been the perfect person to play that role. By all accounts she has grown into a lovely human, now that she is hitting 50. But 20 years ago: that too was a real phase of her life. In many people's lives.

Being Enterprise, the show had its own uniquely bad take on the dynamic. And Trip, as pleasant as he was, is no Han Solo ("whatever you say, your worshipfulness”). But I suspect that, what should have been an ordinarily bad 1 1/2 star episode, was rated as zero by @Jammer for reasons having to do as much with the reviewer as with what was reviewed.

Mudd’s Woman is no different. And, @Booming, if you go back and actually watch it, you’ll see that the miners had absolutely nothing to do with them being there. They did not mail-order these women.

@Jammer wrote on Let He Who is Without Sin, "I was actually embarrassed watching this show.” I suspect that says as much about the viewer as what is viewed, and is ultimately a huge factor in the final ratings for these three episodes. It is good to recognize your own biases and how they might make you see what isn’t necessarily there; something imagined. I’d say “something projected,” but why put people on the defensive.

Finally, there is no need to “white knight” @Jammer. I’ve been reading his reviews for two decades, and commenting on his site since day 1, when he opened comments 13 years ago ( ). @Jammer is one of the best members of the Trek community, and makes an invaluable contribution by hosting us at his site. I have thanked him for that many, many times over the last decade-plus.

That doesn’t mean we can’t disagree.

The key is to do so within the IDIC framework of our beloved show. There is enough room here for people as varied as libertine cross-dressing Quark on one end of the spectrum, to kill-joy prudes like Worf before that tight ass has had his morning prune juice.

All are welcome. Especially if they look anything like Padma Laxmi :-)
Sat, Nov 7, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
" He wrote at the time, "The "story," such as it's called, is something I would probably expect to see on Baywatch. It serves as little more than filler between shots of people hanging around the beach.” "
You are basing a lot of opinion on very little text. Baywatch was not about people going to the beach, it was about silicone powered women in bathing suits and was extremely shallow. He doesn't even mention women being almost naked in your quote. your motion is rejected, good sir. Rejected! (Sometimes I'm channeling a british judge)

Case number 2
"At the time, Padma may have been the perfect person to play that role." That is a misconception. Only because she is basically a beautiful princess doesn't mean that she can play one. Jammer's critique of the episode has nothing to do with appearances or female sexuality. He hates it for being useless cliched filler.

" if you go back and actually watch it, you’ll see that the miners had absolutely nothing to do with them being there. They did not mail-order these women."
True but the mail order slaves are for another colony and when the miners have something the enterprise needs to survive they blackmail mudd and the enterprise into giving them the women for the crystals. So they did not order them but they are certainly willing to buy them. And the women, happy little dodo's that they are, even after being freed want to stay with their literal buyers. And they served happily ever after.
Again Yikes.

" It is good to recognize your own biases and how they might make you see what isn’t necessarily there; something imagined. I’d say “something projected,” but why put people on the defensive."
Good advice for everybody, eh?

Going back to your initial charge.
" A lot of people have trouble with seeing women fully embrace sexual situations."
Mudd's women is about female sex slaves being happy with their fate. Precious cargo is about a kidnapped princess being happy with her fate as princess. I guess "let he who is without sin" is about people embracing/enjoying their sexuality but Jammer never comments on female sexuality in any of these reviews. He tells us that he likes Farell and Laxmi's appearance. What you also fail to see is that Enterprise had a Risa episode which got 3 stars.

I think you have created this view based on very, very little and none of the quotes you provided strengthens your case.

"There is enough room here for people as varied as libertine cross-dressing Quark"
That is an episode I very much despise for being transphobic or misogynistic. I'm never quite sure which. I have female hormones in my body, now I'm vain and insecure.

I personally always felt like if Roddenberry had gotten his wish then everybody would have sex in any way form and shape.
Lawrence Bullock
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
Interesting to view all the different comments. I watched this episode when I was ten, in 1965, and enjoyed it, probably not for any other reason than some young fellows were interested in rather carnal things then. Through the filter of time, more experience and evolution, one does see the cracks in the story, winces at moments, doesn't find there's much to recommend, but that old nostalgia filter kicks in and you're ten again, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. In other words, each to their own. I'd give it two stars.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 12:10am (UTC -5)
I can't help but notice that several commenters here are simply insisting that these three girls are being sold or at best prostituted. And not just merely sold but sold into slavery. There is absolutely nothing in the episode that supports this conclusion. The story states that they are being voluntarily transported by Mudd to be the wives of some men in another star system.

The only deception is the fact that they have been given a drug by Mudd that enhances their beauty. And the women go along with it because they know their prospects for marriage are low because of their lack of beauty.

If anything this is a comment on the fact that women overwhelmingly seek riches when husband shopping. And men seek youth and beauty when wife shopping.
But of course we all know that rich men can sometimes be assholes that are control freaks and trophy wives are frequently selfish, vain and useless. So this episode is telling us we will all be better off if we don't set out sights so high.

Of course Mudd expects to be paid for his transport of the women. Presumably his original intent was to extract a fee for transporting the women to their husbands before the Venus drug wears off and then take his spaceship and "didi mau." But that plan is all shot to hell when he tries to evade the Enterprise and ends up destroying his ship. So he has to cook up a plan B from outer space. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) And he does so when he hears that the Enterprise is headed to Rigel to buy lithium crystals. Why not marry off the women to the rich miners there?

So he asks the women, "Do you still want husbands?" Again definitive proof that the women aren't being sold but married.

It amazes me that commenters here can have such an agenda that they insist, without the slightest bit of on screen proof, that the women are prostitutes or sex slaves. They are not. They are potential wives. I guess they found the mail order bride aspect distasteful so they attempt to put their own spin on the story. I myself found the mail order bride aspect somewhat distasteful but that doesn't mean I automatically get creative license to completely change the plot and paint it different than it is. And also, please don't forget. This was 1966. Half the shows on tv were Westerns. And mail order brides is an old Western trope. They were probably just trying to appeal to their audience and pull in a few Gunsmoke and Bonanza fans.

Of course, if you want to continue to insist that the women are prostitutes the only logical avenue for that line of reasoning is to admit that marriage is itself a form of prostitution. I mean I could certainly see how one could make the argument that marriage is the most lucrative and socially accepted way for women to prostitute themselves. But considering the feminist bent of some of the posters here I suspect that might be a little to much reality to deal with at one sitting. So I will let the matter rest.

And as for the commenter that said if the story had continued they could see Ben and Eve marry and gradually learn to love each other. That is precisely what I myself would imagine. They both realize that they had their sights set too high and that companionship might be more important in a relationship that physical beauty or money. So instead of looking for the flaws in each other they look for the good.

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