Star Trek: Mudd’s Women
It’s straight into action as the Enterprise burns out its batteries in hot pursuit of a cargo vessel. Already Mudd’s Women promises to be an exciting episode, and believe me, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
The Enterprise beams aboard a flamboyant character dressed like Huggy Bear’s chubby uncle. As it turns out, this is not entirely inappropriate. He introduces himself as Leo Walsh, and is shortly joined by three extraordinarily sexy space girls. Woah, Nellie! No wonder the male members of the crew are distracted. As a viewer, I’m distracted. This is my kind of Trek.
Hooray! It’s beige uniform day on the Starship Enterprise! It’s funny how different Uhura looks in the beige version of her usual mini-skirt outfit. It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust, but I like it.
Interviewed by Kirk and Co, the Enterprise’s lie detector reveals that Leo is really a criminal called Mudd (not a surprise to anyone who read the episode title). He’s basically an intergalactic dating agency, matching rich men to beautiful women. What he gets out of the deal is never discussed, and leaving it unsaid adds an element of mystery to the story.
By a happy coincidence, the Enterprise’s nearest refuelling station is a planet inhabited by just three rich miners (…and nobody else). So, just to clarify, we have three sexy ladies looking for lonely rich men and three lonely rich men looking for sexy ladies. What are the chances?
All of a sudden, the ladies catch a dose of the ugly. Fortunately Mudd has a supply of sexy pills, which clears the problem right up. Phew.
The miners beam aboard to negotiate with Kirk for the fuel crystals. Kirk offers them money but they demand space girls as payment instead. Makes sense to me, but Kirk refuses. This is somewhat baffling because the girls do want to go to the mining planet, and the men do want the ladies. The reasons behind Kirk’s objections are unclear. Clear as Mudd you might say. F’nar.
The ladies go to the planet anyway leaving Kirk with no bargaining chips. Eve, one of the space girls, realises that her pills are starting to wear off and, after being rejected by miner Ben, runs out into the storm. She finds the cave where he lives, makes him breakfast, and then gets ugly.
Kirk shows up with the pills. Eve takes one and becomes hot again. Brace yourself for a story twist. Kirk reveals that she had actually taken a placebo. It was just a peanut M&M. The sexy was inside her all along.
Despite the fact that he had rejected her when she looked plain, and the fact that she had deceived him, Eve and Ben the Miner choose to stay together. I always hoped those kids would work things out.
So we have three marriages. The women marry the men for their money and the men marry the women for their looks. The words “happily ever after” don’t exactly spring to mind. Mudd’s Women leaves us with an uneasy feeling that three women have essentially been bought and left with some very dodgy men on a harsh planet and nowhere to actually spend their money. Creepy.
William Shatner as James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
DeForest Kelley as Leonard H. McCoy
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott
Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
George Takei as Hikaru Sulu
Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd
Karen Steele as Eve McHuron
Susan Denberg as Magda Kovacs
Maggie Thrett as Ruth Bonaventure
Gene Dynarski as Ben Childress
John Kowal as Herm Gossett
Director: Harvey Hart
Teleplay By: Stephen Kandel
Story By: Gene Roddenberry