Just How Bad *IS* Harry Mudd? (TOS & Discovery)

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Maurice, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    The excellent Star Trek The Webcomic recently started a Harry Mudd story titled "Mudd Slide" (link), and in the comic's blog a poll was put up asking readers if they thought Harry Mudd was a murderer, given things he said on TOS and actions perhaps implied. Given that he's going to be brought back on Discovery, I thought it would be interesting to see what people thought about the same question.

    The poll is here (link) on the comic's blog if you want to chime in in addition to posting here. But I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on the topic.
     
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  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I discount "I, Mudd", because it was flat terrible.

    Mudd was trafficking women, drugs and seemed to have no issue allowing the Enterprise to spiral down to Rigel, killing 400+ people.

    Not sure how he can be seen as anything other than a bad guy.
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I don't think anyone would discount him being a "bad guy". After all, the topic is "How Bad *IS*" not "Is He Bad".

    Is there a difference between standing by and letting something happen and actually sticking a knife in someone? Did he, as the linked poll asks, actually kill Leo Walsh to use his ship? Is Harry capable of flat out murder?
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I always thought Leo Walsh was an alias. I should probably revisit "Mudd's Women" sometime soon. :eek:
     
  5. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Gravissime Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Harry's rap sheet suggests a history of non-violent fraud offenses and paper crimes, motivated perhaps by behavioral or personality disorders. A con man, just as Roger C. Carmel (brilliantly over-) played him. So I don't see him as a cold-blooded murderer.

    A black-comedy treatment of the circumstances of Captain Walsh's demise could be interesting. Especially if Mudd had the right kind of foil; a rogue half-Vulcanian, perhaps.
     
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  6. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    From Mudd's Women:
    MUDD: All right. Well, very simply, Leo Walsh, who was to be my captain on this trip, passed away suddenly. Well, I had no choice but to take out me ship me own self. I assumed Leo's name out of courtesy to him. In memoriam, as it were. A fine, fine man, alas, gone to his reward.

    It's possible that Mudd and Walsh were partners or that Mudd simply knew of Walsh and stole his ship when Walsh passed away quite suddenly. Perhaps Walsh was killed by someone other than Mudd and Mudd simply took advantage of the situation.
     
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  7. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    His height is listed a little short, there. Roger C. Carmel was at least 6'4".
     
  8. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Sex trafficking. Enough said.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Running a dating site hands-on, you mean?

    (I doubt misquoting Carmel's height was an innocent mistake, a case of not knowing in time who was gonna play Mudd etc. It's more a symptom of the times: villains get the short stick, heroes get boosted in height, women get younger and so forth, plausibility be damned.)

    I think Mudd's two TOS appearances and his TAS one together leave plenty of room for treating him as an affable character whose crimes are a matter of interpretation, generally victimless and often moderated by the fact that he isn't in control despite very much wanting to be. Btu there's also room for revealing his possible ruthless side - it's not as if he needed to go particularly violent or evil in order to pull off his TOS and TAS schemes, after all. He could have plenty left in his spacious sleeve...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    The preamble to the poll on the comic's blog includes this...
    So how bad is bad? Is there a level of illegality that even Mr. Mudd won't sink to?
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And that's all biased beyond silly. Human trafficking? Oh, yeah, taxi drivers are such a despicable lot - they should immediately be gunned down, or at least forced to pay us for getting trafficked instead of taking payment. Willing to let Kirk's baby burn? That's all Kirk's doing - he wrecked his ship while trying to wreck Mudd's. All Mudd is saying is "sooner or later", and if Kirk wants to torch his ship, that's his choice.

    I'd rather suspect Kirk of having Walsh assassinated so that he could entrap poor Harry...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  12. GNDN18

    GNDN18 Gravissime Premium Member

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    When you consider what Kirk did to poor Mr. Hengist—that trumped-up, fact-free show trial to save his friend, the murderous Montgomery Scott—you might be onto something.
     
  13. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mudd was officially 6'1". Much like warp factors, middle initials, and British/French accents; height measurement scales have been altered over the years.
     
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  14. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I'm convinced that Leo Walsh was just Mudd's fake ID he used to get a master's licence, seeing as his own was revoked. He never killed anyone. He's a crooked businessman and scam artist, not a murderer.

    Neither is he a human-trafficker by any modern definition. Kirk asks him point-blank if the women are there of their own free will and they admit that they are. Mudd's crimes in "Mudd's Women" are all about unfiled flight plans and improperly licenced vehicles. He's a small time criminal at best.

    In the end Kirk doesn't even take him seriously, jokingly offering to be a character witness at his trial. So if Mudd really was a big deal murderer/slave trader/pimp, I'm sure Kirk would have dealt with him a bit more harshly.

    --Alex
     
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  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I never understood why anyone could think that "Mudd's Women" was about human trafficking. Harry knew there were a bunch of lonely miners who wanted wives, and so he found some women who wanted husbands and set the two groups up for a chat. In what way is that trafficking? Matchmaking, sure, but that's legal.

    I mean, nobody seriously thinks Here Come The Brides was trafficking, right? That's the same thing. The Mercer Girls weren't victims, and neither were the women in this episode. As @Albertese pointed out, they were absolutely willing participants. They weren't being forced. They could have backed out at any time.

    As for Leo Walsh: I agree that it must have been fake (as was the ridiculously over-the-top accent). Harry IS a con artist and surely has access to fake IDs.

    And...drugs? Gimme a break. :rolleyes: Anybody who thinks Harry was a drug dealer clearly didn't finish the episode. The Venus drug was FAKE!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OTOH, if Mudd's any good at what he's doing, he could well play "harmless Harry" to the hilt and hide his prowess with the sonic knife...

    There's more potential to a lying scumbag like this than there's to the straight guy Cyrano Jones, that is, more hidden potential. It's not as if TOS or TAS would have established Baltar-style cowardice as a basic Mudd trait - if he's afraid in "I, Mudd", it's for a good reason.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Captain of the USS Averof

    Captain of the USS Averof Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, selling counterfeit controlled substances carries the same punishment as the drug you claim you were selling. For instance if you are selling a kilo of sugar to somebody and telling them it's cocaine, you can be prosecuted for selling cocaine.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/08/us/bonnaroo-fake-drugs/index.html
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Okay, now that's just weird.
     
  19. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Was it Fake? I understood that Mudd had the real deal and that he revealed to Eve in the end that Kirk had confiscated his and replaced it with colored gelatin.

    OTOH, Kirk's fakes seemed to have the same effect on Eve, so maybe the Venus Drug is mostly placebo anyway; the powdered rhino horn of the 23rd Century.

    --Alex
     
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No, I'm fairly sure that Kirk didn't substitute one version of the drug for another. There never was a "real" Venus drug - it was always just a placebo.