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Old January 30 2014, 10:58 PM   #25
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Location: Fairfax, VA
Re: Episode of the Week : Mudd's Women

A common conceit for science fiction space operas of the early days of television was to recycle stock western plots and tropes, and transfer them to the setting of outer space. As ground breaking as Star Trek was as a series, it was certainly not going to be immune to this phenomenon, especially in the early days of the program. And so “Mudd’s Women” gives us standard western trope number 127 - the “wiving settlers” story.
This particular epiosde’s biggest contribution to the canon is of course, the introduction of one of classic Trek’s most iconic non-regular characters - Roger Carmel’s Harcourt Fenton Mudd, intergalactic rogue and confidence swindler. In both of the original series stories he appears in, Carmel’s character transcends the story.
Not to denigrate “Mudd’s Women” - it is a solid and competent entry if far short of being a classic. Good material, some light character moments and a positive message at the end. Guest star Karen Steele does a good job as Eve. Perhaps the episode’s biggest shortcoming is the lack of any real action, with the “oh no, Eve is lost in the storm” crisis failing to adequately fill this area. First instance of Trek using soft lighting to make women look more feminine - a trick which will be used several times more in the first half of this season.
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