(written from a Production point of view)
|TOS, Episode 2x12|
Production number: 60341
First aired: 3 November 1967
Remastered version aired: 14 October 2006
|←||42nd of 80 produced in TOS||→|
|←||37th of 80 released in TOS||→|
|←||6th of 80 released in TOS Remastered||→|
|←||37th of 728 released in all||→|
| Written By|
|←||Arc: Harry Mudd (2 of 3)||→|
Harry Mudd, now ruler of a planet of androids, captures the Enterprise and attempts to imprison Kirk for revenge.
Spock and Dr. McCoy are walking through the corridors of the USS Enterprise, where they encounter Crewman Norman. McCoy mentions that Norman is odd and unemotional; for some reason, Spock hasn't noticed. Norman makes his way into auxiliary control, where he knocks out the crewman on duty and activates the override.
Norman then breaks into the emergency manual monitor and engineering section, knocks out much of the engineering crew, and jams the controls. Norman gets to the bridge and announces he is in control – any attempt to alter course will destroy the ship. He then opens up a panel in his abdominal region, revealing himself to be an android.
Norman announces that he's locked the controls and that they will arrive at their destination in four days. He then promptly shuts down in front of the turbolift.
- "Captain's log, stardate 4513.3. After having been taken over by an android, the Enterprise has been underway at warp 7 for four days. Now, we are entering orbit around a planet which has never been charted."
The planet is Class K, which means that it can be adapted for life with the help of a large amount of machinery. They are ushered into the presence of Harry Mudd, who declares that here he is Emperor: Mudd the First. He declares that Kirk must stay for the rest of his life on the planet, now also named Mudd.
Harry Mudd is surrounded by androids, who for the most part are a slew of beauties – 500 in the Alice class alone. He implies that these androids can provide for him anything he wants.
Mudd goes on to explain his presence on the planet and tells them that he had been sent to prison by Kirk and company after his last appearance. After his escape, he had been employing himself by illegally reselling patents. He was caught and sentenced to death on Deneb V; fortunately for him he was able to steal a ship and get away. After drifting aimlessly for a while, he found himself on his planet.
The problem is, of course, that he has gotten bored, and the androids won't let him go. Kirk and his crewmates are there because he told the androids to go and get a starship, so the crew could stay and he could leave.
Mudd then demonstrates an android replica of his shrewish wife Stella; he amuses himself by telling her to shut up whenever he likes.
The androids bring them to a recreation area, where they reveal that they were made by a humanoid race from the Andromeda Galaxy (presumably not the Kelvan Empire). Their home planet's sun went nova and only a few exploratory outposts survived. After the androids leave the room Spock, surmises that the number of androids and their interactions are such that they cannot operate independently, and there should logically be a central control system which guides the entire android population.
Spock finds what appears to be a central control room. Norman is there, but will not tell Spock much about the controls; he is "not programmed to respond in this area".
Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are being shown the Barbara series of robots. Uhura asks how long they last; the answer comes back – 500,000 yrs. Plus, they can put a Human brain in the android. Uhura seems to respond well to this idea.
Back in the recreation room, Scott joins the crew, the last of the crew to be brought down. Androids are now running the ship.
Because the androids can provide whatever the crew wants, Kirk is worried his crew will be tempted. Chekov, for example, is being serviced by two Alice androids, and seems to be enjoying it a great deal. Scott, on the other hand, is quite interested in their engineering facilities.
Kirk and his crewmates are planning to escape – Uhura and Chekov seem to be enjoying it there, but Kirk snaps them out of it. An Alice comes in and promises anything to make them happy, and Kirk says he can't be happy without their ship. Alice doesn't respond to this very well; she asks Norman (who is not present) to coordinate, and promptly leaves.
Mudd is saying goodbye to the androids when Kirk comes in to have a chat with him. To no one's surprise but Mudd's, the androids won't let him leave. The androids then reveal their plan: to "serve" Humans until they will become completely dependent upon the androids. "Their aggressive and acquisitive instincts will be under our control. We shall... take care of them."
Spock figures out that Norman coordinates the androids, for two reasons: first, there is only one Norman, but many of the others, and second, when Alice was confused earlier, she asked Norman to coordinate. They decide to target Norman with insane logic in an attempt to overload the central control.
They decide to provide an escape attempt, because the androids will be expecting one. They knock Mudd out – over his vehement protests – and then tell the androids he will die without a trip to the Enterprise for treatment. Uhura then pretends to betray the crew for immortality.
At this point, the crew puts their real plan into action. They engage in a surreal pantomime for two of the Alice androids in order to confuse them. The androids cannot rationalize the conflicting and illogical inputs and suspend operation.
Elsewhere, Spock tries to nerve pinch another Alice, but it has no effect. He then causes two other Alice androids to freeze up by telling one he loves her, but the other he hates her. The androids can't deal with this, as they are identical – it is illogical to love one and not the other.
When this seems to work, they decide to take down Norman. After a series of over the top speeches, android imitations and pantomimed deaths and explosions, a recitation of the Liar's Paradox ("Everything I say is a lie. I am lying." Am I a liar or not?) finally incapacitates Norman and, with him, the remainder of the androids.
Mudd is left on the planet for an indeterminate amount of time under a type of "parole". He is quite happy with his sentence – the androids can provide him with as much of whatever he wants as he likes – until he learns that he has to share the planet with at least three and possibly up to 500 copies of his wife. Furthermore, he has no control over them and they are programmed to harangue and annoy him as much as possible.
"He's probably terrified of your beads and rattles."
- - Spock to McCoy, on why Norman has avoided his medical appointments
"Spock, you're going to love it here. They all talk just the way you do."
- - Mudd, describing the planet's androids
"She urged me on into outer space. Not that she meant to, but with her continual, eternal, confounded nagging... Well, I think of her constantly. And every time I do, I go further out into space."
- - Mudd, on his wife Stella
"Harcourt Fenton Mudd, where have you been? What have you been up to? Have you been drinking again, you miserable sot! You good-for-nothing thing!"
- - Stella Mudd
"This place is even better than Leningrad!"
- - Chekov, after learning that Mudd programed the Alice androids to function as human females
"It's a beautiful lady, and we love her."
- - Kirk, describing the Enterprise to Alice 471
"You may be a wonderful science officer, but believe me, you couldn't sell fake patents to your mother! "
"I fail to understand why I should care to induce my mother to purchase falsified patents."
- - Mudd to Spock, as Kirk and Spock devise an escape plan
"Next, we take the Alices on a trip through Wonderland."
- - Kirk, on the next phase of the escape plan
"Logic is a little tweeting bird, chirping in a meadow. Logic is wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad. Are you sure your circuits are registering correctly? Your ears are green!"
- - Spock, as he confuses Norman
"What is man but that lofty spirit, that sense of ... enterprise."
- - Kirk, after Scott plays dead
"I am not programed to respond in that area."
- - Kirk's final words to Norman as the android self-destructs
"Now you'll find yourself back among us illogical Humans again."
"Which I find eminently satisfactory, Doctor, for nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans."
- - McCoy and Spock, before leaving the planet
Story and production
- The title is a possible reference to I, Robot, Isaac Asimov's 1950 android-themed short story collection, I, Claudius, a 1934 novel by Robert Graves about the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius (the 1976 BBC production of which featured Patrick Stewart), or lines from Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 novel Cat's Cradle, which detail the creation myth of Bokononism: "I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done."(citation needed • edit)
- The first draft of the script devoted more attention to Norman's act of diverting the Enterprise to Mudd, with the crew only arriving at the end of the second act.  After an examination revealed Norman as an android, Scotty expressed an urge to take Norman apart – quickly adding that it was "nothing personal." Norman understood. (The Star Trek Compendium)
- David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite on this episode. One of the significant changes he made, at Gene Coon's request, was to get the crew on to the planet by the end of the first act. Other notable contributions were the gag of the five hundred identical female robots, and more material relating to Stella. Coon offered to submit the script for arbitration so that Gerrold would receive credit and residuals. However, Gerrold declined as he felt it would be stealing from Stephen Kandel, who had created Harry Mudd. 
- Using identical twins for each android "series" aided the photographic-effects budget for the episode. With imaginative use of twins and split screens, as many as six of one model were shown at once, while two of the same model required nothing but an additional costume. This ultimately gave the illusion of a planet of thousands of androids. (The Star Trek Compendium)
- While searching for identical twins to play androids, casting director Joseph D'Agosta found two young girls (apparently prostitutes) walking on Hollywood Boulevard with their pet wild cat. He brought the two girls to meet producer Gene L. Coon and associate producer Robert H. Justman. While they inspected the girls, Coon had to hold the wild cat (named Marlon), which consequently scratched him with its claws and tore his entire shirt. The girls were deemed unsuitable for the role. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp 332-333)
- "I, Mudd" featured one of the few hand-held camera shots in the series, as the crew dances to the imaginary music. One of the blooper reels offered a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of this sequence. The blooper reel clip featured actual music, specifically the theme to the Desilu/Paramount series "Mannix".
- The TOS Season 2 blooper reel contains a blown scene from this episode in which Harry declares his androids have taken control of the Enterprise. In the aired scene, William Shatner grabs Roger C. Carmel by his tunic, as if ready to throttle him. In the blooper, Shatner reaches up and grabs Carmel's mustache and as Carmel laughs, apparently surrendering with arms raised, Shatner turns and grins at the camera, his eyebrows waggling.
- This episode, which used string-and-brass melodies to capture both the humor of the situations and Kirk's serious intent, was composer Samuel Matlovsky's only Star Trek assignment. (The Star Trek Compendium)
- Besides Matlovsky's cues, the episode also used recycled music from various episodes by Fred Steiner and Gerald Fried (most notably "Catspaw"). A short segment from George Duning's score for "Metamorphosis" can also be heard when Chekov laments on Mudd's planet being "better than Leningrad".
- The piece of equipment found in Norman's lab and workshop would be recycled for future episode, appearing in the corridors of the Enterprise. Parts of the device that contained the nanopulse laser were later seen in Dr. McCoy's lab.
- This episode marks George Takei's last appearance in the series until "Return to Tomorrow". During his nine episode absence, Takei was on the East Coast filming The Green Berets.
- Shatner had put on quite a bit of weight by the filming of this episode. Just as some of the production team were about to put unflattering profile photos in his mail, he increased his workout schedule and began to trim down.
- With the exception of those actors who played members of the Enterprise crew, Roger C. Carmel was the only actor to play the same character in more than one episode of the series.
- This episode further establishes the time frame of Chekov's assignment to the Enterprise. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we learn that Chekov was aboard when "Space Seed"'s events took place. His question to Kirk, "You know this man, captain?" tells us he was definitely not aboard when Harry Mudd made his first appearance.
- This episode marks one of four times Kirk is able to "talk a computer to death". This skill is also used in "The Changeling", "The Return of the Archons", and "The Ultimate Computer" (with an honorable mention going to "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", in which Kirk's arguments get Ruk the android so riled up he suicidally attacks Korby).
- According to Walter Koenig, NBC considered making a spin-off series detailing the comical adventures of Harry Mudd after the success of this episode. They assigned Gene Roddenberry to develop the idea, but being busy with Star Trek and other projects, he didn't have time for it, and the series was never conceived.
Aside from the standard CGI replacement footage of the Enterprise, this episode most notably featured new effects shots of the planet Mudd (now a planet with a ring system), as well as a revision to the footage of Norman revealing his android circuitry.
- The next remastered episode to air was "Arena".
- Story outline: 23 March 1967
- Story outline by Stephen Kandel: 20 April 1967
- First draft script: 23 May 1967
- Teleplay: 25 June 1967
- Revised final draft teleplay: 4 August 1967
- David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite of this episode.
- Filmed in mid-August 1967.
- Score recording: 22 September 1967.
- Original airdate, 3 November 1967
- Rerun airdate, 5 April 1968
- First UK airdate: 27 July 1970
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1986
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 22, catalog number VHR 2357, 2 April 1990
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.4, 7 April 1997
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 21, 24 April 2001
- As part of the TOS Season 2 DVD collection
- As part of the TOS-R Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Richard Tatro as Norman
- Alyce Andrece as Alice #1 through 250
- Rhae Andrece as Alice #251 through 500
- James Doohan as Scott
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- George Takei as Sulu
- Walter Koenig as Chekov
- Kay Elliot as Stella Mudd
- Mike Howden as Lt. Rowe
- Michael Zaslow as Jordan
- Bobby Bass as an engineer
- William Blackburn as one of Mudd's androids
- Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
- Tom and Ted LeGarde as the Herman series
- Jeannie Malone as Yeoman
- Bob Orrison as an engineer
- Colleen and Morreen Thornton as the Barbara series
- Tamara and Starr Wilson as the Maisie series
- Unknown performers as:
alloy; Alice in Wonderland; Amanda; android; Andromeda Galaxy; antiseptic; Auxiliary Control; baseball; beryllium; "Bones"; central control complex; cogwheel; communications officer; death penalty; Deneb V; Denebians; Denebian patrol ship; Denebian spaceship; detonator; directional master controls; emergency manual monitor; explosive; fraud; free-enterprise system; fuel synthesizer; fuse; Gargantua; golf; glowing badge; Grayson, Amanda; hive mind; Human being; induced self-destruction; Intellectual property; K type; Kulak; Leningrad; life support systems; logic; lord; main navigational bank; Makers; mashie; matter-antimatter pod; medi-robot; medical officer; microvision; Milky Way Galaxy; Mudd; music; nanopulse laser; navigator; patent; pressure dome; physical exam; primer; Rigel mining planet; robot; royalties; science officer; self-renewing plastic; solar day; Starfleet; titanium; trigger relay/trigger mechanism; Vulcan; Vulcan nerve pinch
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