Episode of the Week : Mudd's Women

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Botany Bay, Jan 28, 2014.


Rate "Mudd's Women"

Poll closed Feb 4, 2014.
  1. 1

    0 vote(s)
  2. 2

    1 vote(s)
  3. 3

    2 vote(s)
  4. 4

    5 vote(s)
  5. 5

    7 vote(s)
  6. 6

    6 vote(s)
  7. 7

    4 vote(s)
  8. 8

    2 vote(s)
  9. 9

    0 vote(s)
  10. 10

    0 vote(s)
  1. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 23, 2004
    shores of Australia
    Each week we're having a look at a TOS episode, going through the series in production order. Please rate the episode out of ten, and have your say below. I'll record the scores each week and save them so we can rank TOS in order of popularity.

    This week : Mudd's Women
  2. mach7

    mach7 Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 2, 2012
    I give it a solid 7.

    Lithium crystals and goofy "magic" drug not withstanding.

    A solid Kirk and Spock outing, A great teaser, and Roger C. Carmel's Mudd really raise this episode.

    The McCoy character is Still forming, but coming along nicely.

    A nice music score and competent direction work well.

    Not my favorite, but eminently watchable.
  3. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    For me it's a "4." Not one of Star Trek's finer outings. There's more than a little sexism to be found here, and the magic drug belongs in a children's tale, not a series that was allegedly targeting an adult audience.

    On the technical side, the episode suffers from editorial sloppiness. For example, the editors were forced to use a shot of McCoy in sickbay as a close-up for the first transporter room scene. Not only do the backgrounds not match, but McCoy is in two different costumes. This apparently happened because the director, Harvey Hart, decided to "cut in camera." That's fine if your Alfred Hitchcock, but it causes problems when you're a director-for-hire on episodic television.

    On the other hand, Hart's sense of composition is quite good, but since it came at the price of going a day over schedule, it's not hard to see why he wasn't asked back.
  4. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Feb 12, 2011
    Taking up space
    This has its moments ;), but it's an indication of where "average" is. In fact, it even dips down below average, for example with the conceit that Eve could actually physically change her appearance. Either that or it's just a shamelessly over-the-top exaggeration for effect.

    I do, however, like that Eve is actually helpful and constructive in her suggestions about (and I can't believe I'm actually about to praise the episode for this) doing the dishes. (Full disclosure: I'm the one who does the dishes at home by hand, most of the time.) Plus, I like the sniping that results when she begins to stop looking beautiful. It's not Leave It To Beaver.

    With the message that women are more than just lovers or sex objects, the episode's heart is at least more or less in the right place, in the end, but gah! what we have to go through to get there.

    Some of the edits with McCoy in a different costume and the women suddenly shifting in position aren't things that I find that easy to forgive.

    I like hard-nosed early Kirk, not that I dislike the friendlier later Kirk, but it's still nice to have a contrast in his portrayal.

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 30, 2001
    I'd give it a "5". Moderately entertaining but nothing special.
  6. ToddPence

    ToddPence Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 18, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Including giving herself an eyeliner job by sheer force of will.
  7. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Men marrying women just for their looks. Women marrying men just because they're rich. Coloured gelatin and a lot of soft-glow lighting make a woman what she is.

    And No Janice (I view that as a bad thing).

    I do quite like Eve though. I'll give it a 5.
  8. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jun 27, 2011
    As far as "lithium" goes did any Starfleet officers call it lithium or just Mudd ? If just Mudd a simple explanation is that like many people today he gets technological details wrong.
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    "Lithium" is all over the episode, I'm afraid.

  10. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 9, 2012
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    It isn't a favorite, and probaby Trek's first mis-step IMO.

    If I am feeling charitable, I might chalk it up to GR wanting to give the studio what they wanted: a western in space. Whereas Star Trek did usually tend to err more towards Horatio Hornblower for inspiration, "Mudd's Women" is a story that could have easily been told on any conventional western with very little re-writing required.


    Absolutely. This episode's "message" isn't exactly very wholesome. :shifty:
  11. feek61

    feek61 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Nov 25, 2011
    The Sunshine State
    For me a bad episode. Some interesting early series things in it but I only give this one a 2. One of the worst first season episodes (for me).
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 17, 2005
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    it's obvious the production people knew what the message was, since even Bill Theiss's costume sketches were labeled "space hooker".

    Thank goodness this wasn't the second pilot or we all wouldn't be here talking about the show today.
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

    Oct 8, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    Without "Where No Man Has Gone Before," I doubt NBC would have even pulled the trigger on shooting the second pilot.

    (To provide a bit of background, NBC paid for the development of three scripts for the second pilot, which were, "The Omega Glory," "Mudd's Women," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before.")
  14. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 21, 2013
    Sitting in Kirk's command chair
    A little too whimsical for me.... I give it a six.
  15. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 24, 2004
    5. Slow and boring. It's almost like someone had a rejected script for a Western around and changed a few things to make it into a sci-fi script.
  16. Runetouch

    Runetouch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 22, 2014
    5. I didn't like it at all, and it had quite a lot of casual sexism as well.
  17. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Goo goo goo joob Moderator

    Feb 4, 2002
    Sitting in a nutmeg garden waiting for the sun
    If the title of the episode had been "Space Hookers!", it would easily go up a point or two....

    Ye gods! :eek: We are indeed lucky we even have a series to talk about today....
  18. Green Shirt

    Green Shirt Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 1, 2005
    Hart's direction was the highlight of an average (at best) episode. There were many good shots, and not just of the ladies.
  19. ssosmcin

    ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 2, 2002
    Owing to the scale of the series and the deadlines, I imagine, there are a lot of really sloppy errors in editing and sound in these early episodes. The Man Trap, Charlie X (“when I came aboard!”) and Mudd’s Woman especially had some really awful edits. The mismatched shots of McCoy, Spock’s and Kirk close ups from other episodes, and the damned ADR. The teaser is half looped. Nimoy’s delivery changes depending if it was on set or in the booth.

    Spock ADR Normal Tone: “Sensor reading on the vessel. I make it out as a small class J cargo ship…”.

    Spock on set, half asleep: “and his engines arrrrrrrrrrre superheating…”

    An “eh” episode, but fantastic music. God I love having the Original Series Soundtrack Collection…
  20. Push The Button

    Push The Button Commodore Commodore

    Feb 21, 2013
    Smithfield, Rhode Island USA
    The "McCoy wearing different shirts" problem also happens in one of the bridge scenes in The Corbomite Maneuver.

    As for this episode, I give it a 6. Harry Mudd was a great character, but his second-season comeback should have been in The Trouble with Tribbles where he could have easily replaced Cyrano Jones, instead of in the dreadful I, Mudd.