Star Trek: The Original Series

“I, Mudd”

3 stars.

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

Review Text

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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45 comments on this post

    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.

    I'm finding it really, really difficult to get through season 2. Sigh.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    I love William B's use of "assault of irrationality." That's what it was.

    Just to see the crew burst into a Cossacks dance ritual for a few seconds was worth one star. I low 3 stars from me too.

    Absolutely tedious. Watching Kirk and company merely confuse the androids to death was like watching high school improv. How could androids understand that humans were illogical and irrational but yet so easily mind-f*cked by them? I felt like I was the one whose brain would short out.

    A plain zero from me. Even worse than the first Mudd episode, it fails on every level, I don't want to summarise because it would take hours and would be pointless. It's just plain bullsh*t and nonsense from start to finish. On top of that, it's so tedious, it just won't end. It feels longer than any Star Trek feature film.

    This is rock bottom, one of the very worst moments in Star Trek history, and that's saying something.

    I would rate this one at two stars, somewhat fun but far from great.

    this eposide was at least somewhat plausible, unlike most TOS episodes, st least the writers came up with a decent story that was possible-ish.

    What looses it points is :

    VERY much sexism, one thing I generally hate about TOS

    Kirk outsmarts the computer [TM] AGAIN!! please that gets old to fast!

    and again they destroy one species.. and a perfect opportunity to actually learn something (more advanced = new gadgeds + prime directive)

    Now reviewing all TOS in the proper sequence I had my doubts if I really shoud watch another Mudd story. I did not like the first one so much. Luckily I did. I had 50 minutes of funny entertainment. A complete contrast to the Domesday machine. Still it worked. It is good that not every episode tries to be comic but every now and then something in this style is refreshing.

    Sexsistic, yes ! But it is funny and partly reflect the time in which is was created.

    What really puzzled me was how they came back on the ship again. As I understand someone must man the Transporter and all staff was transferred to the planet.

    Well, from a purely nostalgic point of view, this was one of my favourite episodes when I was a kid watching the re-runs in the 80's. As an adult I'm currently re-visiting each episode with fresh eyes and it's remarkable to realise how much goes over your head in your youth! ;) :D Yes, this is a silly episode but somehow fun and let's not forget that TNG, DS9, Voyager episodes etc...did sometimes also have their moments of comic relief too - thank goodness! :D

    Okay ... okay ... it's silly and all that but really, how can you hate an episode with the line:

    "Scotty! Scotty's dead! He had too much happiness; but now he's happier because he's dead!"

    I give it 3 out of 4 just for that.

    This was hilarious. Not "good" in a strict sense but so ridiculous that I'd recommend it. I feel like it went through a cycle where it was amusing when it came out, then became dated and "bad-bad", and now is "good-bad" due to the campiness and ludicrous dialogue. The acting throughout was hysterical by the whole cast - including the regulars and the guest actors. I love the earnestness of TOS, as well as each episode's attempt to tell a unique story. The fact that the episode is trying to be lighthearted and funny makes puts this in a separate class from something like "Spock's Brain", which I always felt like I was laughing at rather than with.

    I'm not really seeing the value of this episode. I think William B's thoughts are closest to mine: it's a retread of episodes as to make it "inessential" as he said. There are only two unique items here and neither one works I think. The first (well, second) is the farce at the end. Humor is often in the eye of the beholder, so if you thought it was funny, so be it. I wasn't exactly laughing through it. For one thing, why was it so, well, choreographed? The purpose was to act illogical, and they didn't have much time to do it. Are you really telling me that Kirk planned out all the bizarre little items down to the smallest detail, like the bizarre bomb skit or Bones and Scotty doing a little curtsey? Doesn't it make more sense to just tell everyone to act illogical on their own and hope to confuse as many fembots as possible that way? It seemed a little too cute for my taste. The other aspect of it that bugged me was that, interspersed between all the farce, there were a few speeches that almost seemed earnest, regarding mankind's desire to be free and to work, even if it meant struggling at times. You'd think this was the theme of the episode, but it was placed smack dab in the middle of a giant display of illogic and was treated as part of the illogical farce. What are you trying to be, profound or silly? It struck me that they were trying to do both at the same time, and thus it was just awkward to watch rather than reaching either of the two goals.

    The other aspect that stood out to me simply wasn't well fleshed out. And that was the android's stated means of conquering the universe by serving humanity. It's a good story, and could be used to great effect. While This Side of Paradise considers the perils of utopia, that episode showed simply a "natural" utopia. Norman's conquest here made utopia seem more sinister, more akin to Brave New World than This Side of Paradise. Which is interesting, since it runs up against Roddenberry's TNG-style utopia. After all, the utopian ideal is much the same: between the replicaters and the holodeck, we can have everything we could ever want. All that machinery is there to serve us. So would we then, in the Roddenberry utopia, end up being "conquered"? Maybe, but the episode brings up the idea and then runs away from it so fast that we never really explore that plot element. It would have been better than spending more time with Mudd's harping wife, that's for sure.

    @ Skeptical,

    I believe the point of the episode is this: that paradise for humanity comes as a result of focusing on humanity, not on machines. Mudd's moral 'crime' here is wanting technology to serve him so that he doesn't ever have to do anything for himself, whereas the Trek vision says that technology should free man up so that he can improve himself. Mudd doesn't want to improve himself; he wants to wallow in luxury. To some extent I think this is a real question to be asked of humanity in the face of technological paradise: wouldn't some people prefer, exactly as Mudd does, to be little better than pigs at the trough rather than spend their new leisure productively? This episode doesn't address how to deal with that possibility, but does strongly suggest that there is something inherently dangerous in using technology as a way to surrender our will. This is a theme touched upon in various science fiction stories, such as Dune for instance. Mudd does exactly that, and the episode plays out as a cute display of what happens when human beings take a back seat to machines; it not only renders them powerless, but also makes them more like machines as well.

    As for the ending where illogical behavior breaks the computer, I'd like to think that the energetic display is meant to play as a piece of human creativity at work, which serves as a counterpoint to the slovenly Mudd whose greatest desire is to never have to think. Purely logical statements are easy to come up with; to play a mix of logic and illogic requires thinking on your feet and inventing, like a comedian. The power of the creative mind is, indeed, the ultimate refutation for anyone who thinks the greatest joy would be a life of sloth.

    Oh sure, you could make that argument, that technology can be liberating or captivating depending on how you use it. But my point was that the episode didn't bother exploring that concept, which I thought was more interesting than anything else that was shown. For example, both Bones and Scotty were tempted by advanced technology on the surface, allowing them to improve themselves in their fields. Which sounds like something that is a worthwhile goal, but wasn't in this situation. These and other contrasts weren't explored to the extent that I thought they should have been. Hence why I thought the episode was weak.

    I don't think "I, Mudd" is Shakespeare, but at the same time I do recognize that science fictions writers often use the premise itself to do the talking, rather than shoehorning their message into the actual dialogue so that it's spelled out for the audience. The very fact of a guy wanting an army of slave-robot-vixens at his beck and call and ended up enslaved by it speaks for itself. The style of the piece is more farce than anything, and my family always viewed it as a fun episode. But I guess my point is don't confuse the style with the substance. It can play as silly and not 'address' the issues it contains directly, but that doesn't mean the issues aren't there to be seen.

    This was one weird episode. I thought it was quite silly. But it is very different from almost every other TOS episode. If the main purpose is to show a different side of the cast (humor), even then I don't think it works ("...Tribbles" is far superior). The idea that being served by technology and mankind stagnating when not having freedom wasn't well developed. I think there is a point to this episode but it is lost amid all the stupidity.
    Harry Mudd is an entertaining character but the whole episode, I felt, was being acted tongue-in-cheek. Kirk never really seemed truly angry at Mudd. It was more like seeing an old friend.
    The ending with overloading the androids with logic is a low point for Trek. What is it supposed to prove?
    I guess it's a question of taste. Others might find a nugget of value in "I, Mudd" but I don't. I give it 1.5/4 stars -- what's entertaining is Mudd, the premise and story for the episode is very weak. A forgettable episode.

    Entertaining/funny, it's not an episode to be taken with too much seriousness, I assume it was written with the intent to be mocking than thought provoking- some episodes are written to be serious, some not, and this one wasn't.
    If it was, it would focus more on the Androids plot to "control" the human race, and how that despite given everything the crew wanted, to not have personal freedom is basically prison, much to the confusion of the androids. I liked that aspect of the episode although it did not explore it more, it gives the option for plenty of room for interpretation and thinking, which I like.
    It looked like the actors had banter filming it, and Kirk just looked stressed out the entire episode, Spock was a cheeky mofo, and McCoy just behaved like he was drunk most the episode, which was funny to watch imao.

    I can see why people don'tlike it because of its sexist undertones, Mudds character is a prick anyway, thats why its extra sexist this episode, but I decided i didn't care and to just enjoy the outdated humour and sillyness of it all

    This is a really fun episode, perhaps a bit drunken in its humor but undeniably winning in the cast's willingness to go for broke. I love episodes that showcase the main regulars (including Uhura, Chekov, Scotty) by letting them cut loose as part of the landing party -- and this one, like many Season Two episodes, does a great job of that chemistry building we see throughout the ensemble pieces of this season. It also brings back Harry Mudd, an enduring human scoundrel (rare on Trek) who was referenced in "Into Darkness" and now recurring as a guest on "Discovery." I give "I Mudd" 3 or 3 1/2 stars.

    What more can I say? This is an episode that depends on the audience liking the characters enough to go with the flow. It's not as effortlessly comedic as the sublime "Tribbles" or even "A Piece of the Action" later this season, but it's a fun little ride that gives us lots of classic character moments. The Cossack dance and imaginary phaser scenes are part of a surreal sequence that only works here because of the go-for-break execution by the cast. I for one dig it. And I don't understand, as an earlier commenter remarked, how anyone could think this episode is sexist when Mudd -- the source of all the sexism of the android society -- is so clearly a figure of ridicule not to be taken seriously. If you want to see *real* sexism, presented without any irony or humor, watch the gender relations on "Game of Thrones." But perhaps we tend to excuse our own generation too readily; the 1960s were far less reactionary in many ways than what we see on TV in "historical drama guise" today.

    Completely silly and dated, but there is a message hidden in the madness. Harry Mudd is an immoral pig and a slave to robots and machines. As another commentor here hinted at: the scenes where Kirk and crew disable the robots with their display probably shouldn't be too easily dismissed as implausible nonsense. Hint: Mudd is easily overwhelmed by the unexpected.

    For all the above commenters denouncing this episode as being sexist (kudos to the one who pointed out that what else would you expect a dirtbag like Harry Mudd to do but turn a bunch of the androids into animatronic blowup dolls), I must make an additional evidently needed observation, and I think the late George Carlin said it best that if he could autofellate himself, he'd never leave his house. Apply that principle to a lone man marooned on a planet full of androids capable of the right modifications and I ask you: What would y'all do? Although I concede that this argument would be a lot more sympathetic if Mudd has only sexed up one of them, not unlike Flynt did in "Requiem for Methuselah".


    I think that's what a lot of people are missing from this and the fact that those androids are not people, they are a hive mind. They have no sex but the one we choose for the bodies, even then, they lack reproductive and so on. So people viewing these things as anything other than things are already incorrect.

    Secondly, yes, this is a pretty insightful episode. You have too look, listen, and understand what was going on. Kirk early on even said, why would anyone want to leave this paradise. Well, it inhibits humans and takes away anything to keep them from going forward. Someone above said that it would've been awesome for Bones and Scotty because they have advanced technology for them to experiment. My question to all of you is, why? You're held captive and everything you want is at your whim. There's really nothing to gain. So no, it's pretty bad.

    To go on with that, Mudd is a scummy person. I wouldn't say he's borderline narcissistic and greedy. Even he wanted to leave. There was someone else above me that said he wanted to stay but his whole mission was to get out and have Kirk take his place. Mudd thrives on bamboozling and conning. I'm sure he gets a rush off of it and would become incredibly bored in his predicament if he were to stay. Obviously, with such a sexist guy, he's going to make attractive androids. It's a reflection of that character. Just to kind of repeat myself, they are robots.

    It was also a fun episode. Watching them act out everything was great and entertaining. Androids don't understand emotions or acting really so it being really cheesy made it even better. They took a gamble and won. I would've done it if it were me and staying there. I'd rather be exploring space, ya know?

    Anyways, it was a great episode regardless of what people thought this episode represented.


    Wonderfully silly but Im still trying to figure out how norman got aboard the enterprise.

    Requisite sexy lady times 1,000! They were all over the place, but this time they were overwhelmed by Kirk's cleverness instead of his bedroom eyes and wandering hands.

    The Kirk Outsmarts the Machine part (again!) was extra stupid, with the antics reminding me of that painful DS9 episode, Move Along Home.

    I did like how they screwed over Harry by making copies of his shrewish wife, at the end. Just think of the Wrath of Kahn had been The Wrath of Harry, instead. :)

    Average TOS fare.

    Well, this one definitely worked better when I was 6.
    Harcourt really doesn't do all that much to earn his reputation as Star Trek's Hilarious Clown that the series wants him to be. And I don't necessarily blame the actor for that. Norman, on the other hand, was pretty well acted, a solid robo-antagonist given the material.

    The two sisters who play the Alices are actually credited as 'Alice #1 through 250' and 'Alice #251 through 500', respectively. That was the biggest chuckle I got out of the episode this time around.

    Have to concur with all of you who liked this episode - it was 50 minutes of good entertainment!

    The last 15 minutes is handsomely executed by the whole cast. And in general it was nice to see Uhura getting more screen time as well as hearing Chekov delivering yet another outrageous Mother Russia line, "This place is even better than Leningrad!" XD

    Mudd is actually a somewhat likeable character thanks to Roger Carmel's pompous portrayal; and even though it was meant to be funny, I couldn't shake the feeling that it indeed was inhuman to leave him on the planet with 500 nagging wife androids. Uncharacteristically cruel punishment by Kirk & co.

    II I/II of IV

    I can't count how many times I've seen this (or any other) Trek episode, but for some reason tonight was the first time I thought about how it is an example of Trek's recurring attempt to convince itself that life as it has worked out is the best of all possible worlds, and it would actually be bad to change things, even (or especially) the tough things.

    It's often presented as a struggle against the rigid order imposed by technology, as in this episode where the humanoids have to argue to death the androids that want to conquer them by waiting on them hand and foot, or in "Return of the Archons" where Landru's "peace and joy" stagnates a society, much as Vaal stagnates the primitives in "The Apple." But it's also there in "The Paradise Syndrome"; thought Kirk is unspeakably happy among the quasi-Indians, his salvation is to return to the ship, rather like Picard returning to the Enterprise from a lifetime on a planet long dead.

    I'm almost starting to wonder if any episode ISN'T about "this is the best of all possible worlds, so embrace your hardships; they're better than happiness."

    I'm not one to believe that message myself. Oh, sure, striving to overcome hardship has a certain value, but paradise would sure be nice.

    Trish said: "I'm not one to believe that message myself. Oh, sure, striving to overcome hardship has a certain value, but paradise would sure be nice. "

    That was more a TOS trope, and a common trope found in the science fiction of the era. And so - typical of the zeitgeist of the time - Kirk's always railing against tyranny, fascists, hippies, techno-authoritarians, commies, utopians, with a kind of vague conception of 1960s, ruggedly individualistic western democracy covertly held up as the best of all worlds.

    A strong skepticism of technology also runs through TOS. Cribbing from 1940s-50s science fiction, it promotes the idea that too much technology, and too many creature comforts, leads to stagnation, a kind of blind stupor, minds no longer challenged. In this way it flirts with a kind of Darwinian worldview (the old fascist credo, "hard times make better men"), but gets away with it because the Federation ultimately comes across as fairly egalitarian. Struggle is fine when you're base comforts are comfortably met.

    TNG tends to be far less tech and/or utopia phobic. Indeed a lot of TNG plots reverse the messages of TOS plots. Men don't go crazy when granted power, androids are friendly, people infected with technology become better people etc. The skepticism of tech was still there (The Game, the Borg), but generally more even handed.

    I agree, Trent. TNG is more friendly to tge idea of utopia, and even tries to present the Federation as fairly utopian.

    I, Mudd

    Star Trek season 2 episode 8

    "Knowledge, sir, should be free to all."

    - Harcort Fenton Mudd (1967)

    "Information wants to be free”

    - Stewart Brand (1984)

    3 stars (out of 4)

    There are a few lines in this highly enjoyable hour that show that not only is Intellectual Property alive and well in Kirk’s time, but that there is no exception to paying royalties even to help “backward planets”, and the penalty for selling unauthorized use of a Patent on some planets is death - something that would have been horrendous at the end of the 1960’s when this episode first aired, and equally horrendous today, 50 years later.

    To wit,

    MUDD: I organised a technical information service bringing modern industrial techniques to backward planets, making available certain valuable patents to struggling young civilisations throughout the galaxy.

    KIRK: Did you pay royalties to the owners of those patents?

    MUDD: Well, actually, Kirk, as a defender of the free enterprise system, I found myself in a rather ambiguous conflict as a matter of principle.

    SPOCK: He did not pay royalties.

    MUDD: Knowledge, sir, should be free to all… . I sold the Denebians all the rights to a Vulcan fuel synthesiser.

    MUDD: Do know what the penalty for fraud is on Deneb Five?

    SPOCK: The guilty party has his choice. Death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging.

    MUDD: The key word in your entire peroration, Mister Spock, was, death.

    The key word is death.

    Needless to say, Kirk does not turn Harry Mudd over to the Denebians for execution. But he leaves Mudd at the end with a fate perhaps worse that death, henpecked for the rest of his life by a automaton version of his nagging wife. Actually, 500 copies of his nagging wife. The phrase “kill me now” was invented for just such a torture.

    One of the few things Discovery has gotten right is Harry Mudd. Played 50 years later by the always-enjoyable Rainn Wilson, in that prequel Mudd has a key line that featured prominently in the trailers for the episode,

    "Have you ever bothered to look out of your spaceships down at the little guys below? If you had, you'd realize that there's a lot more of us down there than there are you up here. And we’re sick and tired of getting caught in your crossfire.”

    Harry Mudd is a thief and a con man. And he’s not wrong. What kind of ridiculous world would stop a backward planet’s progress just because they hadn’t paid IP rights to the vulcans?

    The other interesting scene is chocolate obsession, Uhura, who shows a soft side for the fem-bots:

    ALICE 263: These are our Barbara series. The body is covered with a self-renewing plastic over a skeleton of beryllium-titanium alloy.

    KIRK: Very impressive.

    UHURA: I should say so.

    Yes Uhura, you should say so ;) As Chekov might say, this place is even better than Leningrad!


    @Skeptical, I think the point you raise is really the heart of the episode. There is scene where Kirk discusses with Spock, quite genuinely,

    SPOCK: Perhaps of more concern is the fact that this android population can literally provide anything a human being could ask for in unlimited quantity.

    KIRK: Yes, I know. That's what worries me. How will my crew react in a world where they can have everything they want simply by asking for it.

    And just to answer the question, we get TNG twenty years later :-)

    As to @Skeptical’s conversation with @Peter G., I think of Scotty and Bones are a lot like the boy Harry (!!!!!) in TNG’s "When the Bough Breaks” who really likes the sculpting tool.

    It is very cool to be able to do something you never thought you could. That’s what tools allow us to do.

    For a man who likes to build and create and explore - like Scotty or Bones, or the boy Harry in TNG - access to such a facility can be as enticing as the sex-bots were to Chekov, or eternal youth was to Uhura. The episode does a good job of showing that temptation means something very different to different men and women.

    The only one immune to the temptations on offer was Kirk. Because Kirk was not lying when he said that the only thing he wanted was the Enterprise. “It's a beautiful lady, and we love her.” Oh, indeed. We saw Kirk’s unique immunity to temptation in the wonderful season 1 episode "This Side of Paradise” (wonderful post @Trish!).

    @Peter G., I would disagree to some extent that this episode is “not Shakespeare.” During the play-within-the-play where Scotty dies, his long drawn out death soliloquy instantly brought to mind Bottom’s speech in Midsummer’s Night Dream where he enacts the death of Pyramus:

    Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
    Now am I dead,
    Now am I fled;
    My soul is in the sky:
    Tongue, lose thy light!
    Moon, take thy flight!
    Now die, die, die, die, die.

    - Midsummer’s Night Dream, Act V scene I

    And here’s Scotty’s rendition:

    SCOTTY: Goodbye, cruel universe.

    I don’t know about you, but I was amused!

    @ Mal,

    One small detail I would contest is that the episode is really saying anything about the death penalty. It's a comedy, and they're injecting some scary-sounding consequences to that Harry can quake in his boots, and more importantly, so that we can see how severe the laws are that he's *still* willing to break to make a buck. In other words his desire to con people even exceeds the common sense of caring about his own safety. He's a nut, essentially.

    As a side point, I expect that Deneb Five isn't a Federation planet, and as a non-member it having the death penalty doesn't say anything about Trek values. The Klingon in Trouble with Tribbles references a "Denebian slime devil" which I assume means the Klingons visit that planet, which in turn means that it's not a Federation planet but rather non-aligned. There's also this quote from TAS which I found in Memory Alpha:

    "An Academy of Science on Deneb V was dedicated in 2270. The crew of the USS Enterprise represented the Federation at the ceremonies. "

    By sending a delegation to represent them at a ceremony, it almost certainly shows that it's not a Federation world. Otherwise the Federation would already be there :)

    After an intriguing start, Mudd appeared. I stopped watching.

    The androids' plan to conquer humans by waiting on them hand and foot is the most plausible in all of Star Trek.

    I've always enjoyed this episode, surprised to see so many sticks in the Mudd here who hated it.

    TOS usually got the humor aspect spot on. This episode shows it. "A Piece of the Action" was funnier though.

    "Scoundrel," Jammer?! Come on, he's an "entrepreneur!" But I kid.

    I wouldn't call this a great classic, but it was so damn entertaining and I laughed a lot--good enough for Jammer and me!

    Roger C. Carmel's performance as Mudd-the-First was *so much better* than his stint in "Mudd's Women." There he was obnoxious and annoying. But here, maybe because of the different type of script, he has a much-improved, more madcap handle on the character.

    The way this all is set up, I don't think we're meant to take "I, Mudd" too seriously. But as @Peter G and @Trent talked about above, Star Trek is again saying something here about how "A cage is still a cage, Jim," and how humanity is not quite ready for paradise as there's more truth and necessity in struggle. It even makes the neat little point of how in this one case, a man who *doesn't* have an idiotic smile on his face (Norman) is damned suspicious (smiles being a running philosophical gag on Star Trek at this point). And of course, it's another example of Star Trek questioning our relationship with technology.

    Speaking of technology, all those female androids were absolute smokeshows--talk about paradise! (Mudd: "I have a fondness for this particular model, Mr. Spock, which you, unfortunately, are ill-equipped to appreciate.") Now these are sentient AI's that I can get behind, as long as they *stay* "beautiful, compliant and obedient!"

    Kirk's explanation of his strategy to escape the androids' grip is priceless, and he should be an expert on this with all his previous experiences of making powerful computers short-circuit: "We must use wild, insane, irrational logic!" Because they don't have any Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez videos on economic policy available, they put on a bunch of goofy summer-camp skits. It's always fun to see this cast cut loose, and the presentation was cringingly absurd but still got some hearty laughs from me.

    I loved that Mudd created that one android of his nagging wife as well. I tried to read something noble into this--maybe Mudd subconsciously knows that he needs at least one way of keeping himself in check. Maybe deep down that's still true, but more likely, apparently he just wanted the satisfaction of being able to tell her to shut up and having it actually work this time. I had to laugh at Mudd's ultimate punishment ("F--Five hundred?!?!") I agree with @Sleeper Agent -- this is just existentially cruel and unusual! Damn, Kirk, you'd better hope Mudd never escapes from this place; I'd fully understand him going completely Captain Ahab on you.

    Guess how many fucks I give that this episode is sexist (or as @Maq puts it above, "sexsistic"--which is a much better word that I simply must start using). Believe me, it adds to the fun here. It probably didn't play too well during the 1970's-80's rerun days, but watching sexy/sexist tropes of this 1960's sort in 2022 is wonderfully retro in a refreshing, mind-freeing way. This is like a South Park version of Star Trek -- if it offends you, I'm glad.

    Best Line:
    Chekov -- "This place is even better than Leningrad."

    Leningrad? HA! As if! (I know, I know--1960's)

    My Grade: B

    I disagree with most of the people making comments. I, Mudd. this is one of my very favorite Star Trek episodes. The ending is just fabulous where they leave him with 500 copies of his wife Stella. But also the way they get number one Norman to implode by Spock saying, "Everything I say, is a lie." And then McCoy says, "he's lying" is simply terrific. And I love the silliness. And.Mudd is such a terrific comic character. Reminds me of uncle Arthur in bewitched. what I also don't get is that apparently no one else has noticed that the concept of the cylon in Battlestar Galactica is taken directly from this Star Trek episode. just FYI.: my very favorite episode is city on the edge of forever; the enemy within, and the trouble with Tribbles are also favorites. I am a woman with an advanced graduate degree. And I still enjoy that episode just like I enjoy bewitched and I dream of Jeannie even if they are somewhat sexist. I grew up in the 60s and this was the way women were portrayed. It isn't a question of right or wrong. It just is. but this is also supposed to be entertainment and people need to not take it so seriously and thank goodness women are no longer portrayed as they were in leave it to Beaver, father knows best, and all those other diabetes inducing TV shows

    I still want to know how they got back to the Enterprise.

    Of the TOS episodes with humor as their dominant element (maybe Shore Leave, Tribbles, A Piece of the Action), this one is the weakest entry. I, Mudd ends up more sophomoric than witty and sophisticated. I'm half surprised Harry doesn't tell Stella,"Bang! Zoom!" Even so, it's more watchable than many Season 3 eps. I'll say 1.5 stars, maybe 2 on a good day.

    It’s hard for me to dislike this episode on any meaningful level, it’s pretty much just zany fun. Also anything in which the people involved are clearly so fucking committed is something that deserves some respect just on principle.

    Is it silly? Oh my, yes.
    Is it entertaining? Also yes.
    Is it funny? Meh.
    Is it sexist? Probably. Kinda. Maybe.
    Is it any good? Well, It’s complicated.

    I find it very interesting that the theme of rejecting paradise is so prevalent so far in this season. The first season had a lot of that going on too, and heck the pilot episode was basically the temptation of Pike. Very recurrent idea. But here you also have the specific rejection of technology, or more precisely the pampering effects of technology. Even Mudd, who one might expect to be content with a lifetime of instant gratification, seeks to escape into the more dangerous unknown.

    Although it was incredibly ridiculous, I quite enjoyed the absurdist improv bit they deployed against their android oppressors. It’s an interesting inversion of the cliche to use irrationality as a weapon against logic as opposed to using circular logic as a weapon against itself. And Spock's “I love you. I hate you.” gambit was great.

    Overall not a great episode, but also not a waste.
    2.5/4 shrewish nightmare bots

    It would have been very amusing to see Chekov and the 2 android babes have a frenzied and wild threesome! Better than Lenningrad!

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