★★★1/2 November 3, 1967 Season 2 Episode 8
If you want to see where we are…and you missed a few…HERE is a list of the episodes in my index located at the top of my blog.
This show was written by Gene Roddenberry, Stephen Kandel, and David Gerrold
It’s a comic turn for guest star Roger C. Carmel. This was Carmel’s second appearance as Harry Mudd, a futuristic enterprising con man and he thinks he’s found heaven. I think this sequel was better than the one that Carmel did originally, Mudd’s Women.
In an attempt to get revenge on the Enterprise, he plans on having a planet of robots take the entire crew prisoner in order to serve them–whether they want it or not. The robots feel that the human race is very chaotic and must have the robots run their lives for their own good (they might just be on to something here). So, thousands of robots are ready, willing, and able to cater to humans’ every need. That reminds me of computers and cell phones.
My favorite scene was with Chekov. Chekov contemplates being with two such androids as he realizes they were programmed by a man as depraved as Mudd. The look on his face is priceless.
The resolution here is a bit corny (plus it was used before) but the concepts brought up are undeniably fascinating and really do the Mudd character justice. The entire crew has to act illogically and even Spock joins in on the fun.
It’s not a great episode but is a humorous one. Like I said before…I do think it’s much better than the first one with the Mudd character. The ending is poetic justice also with Mudd.
Gene Roddenberry really liked the character. Carmel was slated to reprise his role as Harry Mudd in a first-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but died before filming started. He was in the 1973 Star Trek: The Animated Series in the episode of Mudd’s Passion. The animated series of Star Trek with the original cast is worth tracking down!
The character Harry Mudd returned to Star Trek Discovery played by Rainn Wilson from The Office. He was in two episodes in the first season…the 1st Choose Your Pain (2017) and Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad (2017). He also appeared as Mudd again in “The Escape Artist” in Star Trek Short Treks released in 2019.
Rainn Wilson: I read about it in the paper that they were going to reboot Star Trek at CBS/Paramount. Bryan Fuller was the original creator [of Star Trek: Discovery] and I met with Bryan and some other folks. I said, “Hey, just so you know, I want to throw my hat in the ring.” I love Star Trek. I’d love to be a part of this somehow. I don’t know what that looks like. I’m not sure I want to move to Toronto for years. I’m not sure I want to sit in a chair and get makeup put on for two hours every morning. Because that’s brutal, what Doug [Jones] does, but it’s amazing. And then I didn’t hear anything and things came and went, and up and down. And and then, fortunately, they gave a call, “What about Harry Mudd?” It was fantasic!
During the filming, casting director Joseph D’Agosta was in a panic because he needed at least two female identical twins and couldn’t find any suitable for the show. Then one night while driving home he saw Alyce Andrece and Rhae Andrece walking down a street. D’Agosta literally pulled up beside them, jumped out of his car and told them that they were going to be on television! (In some tellings of the story Gene Rodenberry is substituted for D’Agosta, but Steven Whitfield’s “The Making Of Star Trek” confirms it was D’Agosta.)
A third-season appearance of Harry Mudd was planned but axed due to the producers’ desire to move away from comedy episodes. However, Roger C. Carmel would reprise the role of Mudd as a cartoon voice in Star Trek: The Animated Series: Mudd’s Passion (1973). Mudd was considered for a return during the Star Trek movies in the 1980s, but Carmel’s failing health nixed that.
This was Roger C. Carmel’s favorite Star Trek episode.
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 Star Trek the Original Series.
According to Walter Koenig, NBC considered making a Harry Mudd spin-off show after the success of “I, Mudd.” 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.
David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite on this episode. One of the significant changes he made, at Gene L. 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.
This episode marks George Takei’s last appearance in the series until Star Trek: Return to Tomorrow (1968). During his nine episode absence, Takei was on the East Coast filming The Green Berets (1968).
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.
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, Marlon. He brought the two girls to meet producer Gene L. Coon and associate producer Robert H. Justman. While they inspected the girls (who were ultimately deemed unsuitable for the role), Coon had to hold Marlon, which consequently scratched him with its claws and tore his entire shirt.
At approximately 5 minutes and 35 seconds, this episode’s teaser is the longest in the original series.
As a result of its unusual use of several pairs of twins, this episode was featured in an article in TV Guide for the week it aired.
The piece of equipment found in Norman’s lab and workshop would be recycled for future episodes, appearing in the corridors of the Enterprise. Parts of the device that contained the nanopulse laser were later seen in Dr. McCoy’s lab.
The body suits worn by the male androids were later reused on Bele and Lokai in Star Trek: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1969).
The Maisie series and the Barbara series androids are wearing costumes left over from Star Trek: Mudd’s Women (1966), worn by Karen Steele and Maggie Thrett respectively.
Although ‘I, Claudius’ may be an inspiration for the title, a more likely source is Isaac Asimov’s ‘I, Robot’.
The title, referring to the absurd “king” of the robots, spoofs the 1934 Robert Graves historical novel “I, Claudius,” about the fourth emperor of the Roman Empire, who ruled between Caligula and Nero.
The Trudy series android is wearing a costume worn by an Argelian woman in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967).
Stella Mudd is wearing a dress (with slight modifications), which was seen on Martha Leighton in Star Trek: The Conscience of the King (1966).
Near the end, Dr. McCoy says, “It’s worked so far, but we’re not out yet.” This line was sampled on the song “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy)” on Information Society’s titular 1988 album.
Although there are 500 Alice models, we only see fifteen or sixteen. In order of appearance, they are: 1, 2, 66, 99, 19, 263, 118, 322, 471, 210, 27, 11, 3, 73 and 500. The number of the Alice that throws Scott into Kirk’s group is too far away to read (although it does seem to be a double-digit figure.)
The Annabelle series android is wearing the costume originally worn by Marlys Burdette in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967).
This takes place in 2268.
In his review of this episode in ‘The Star Trek Compendium’, author Allen Asherman states that many of the actors had great difficulty keeping their composure while filming. However, actor Richard Tatro (Norman) had successfully performed his scenes without ever breaking character.
Roger C. Carmel would later voice the G1 Decepticon Stunticon leader Motormaster in the animated series ‘The Transformers’ (1984.)
When an android takes control of the Enterprise, Kirk and his crew spend four days traveling at warp speed to an uncharted planet. When they beam down they find none other that Harry Mudd, the apparent ruler of the planet made up entirely of androids. It turns out there is one major problem with Harry’s idyllic existence: the androids who serve him hand and foot simply won’t allow him to leave. Kirk and Spock devise a way to disable the androids but have their own special plans for Harry.
William Shatner … Captain James Tiberius ‘Jim’ Kirk
Leonard Nimoy … Mister Spock
DeForest Kelley … Doctor Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy
Roger C. Carmel … Harry Mudd
Richard Tatro … Norman
Alyce Andrece … Alice #1 through 250
Rhae Andrece … Alice #251 through 500
James Doohan … Lieutenant Commander Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott
Nichelle Nichols … Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
George Takei … Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Walter Koenig … Ensign Pavel Chekov
Kay Elliot … Stella Mudd
Mike Howden … Lt. Rowe
Michael Zaslow … Jordan
Bobby Bass … Android (uncredited)
Bill Blackburn … Android (uncredited)
Marlys Burdette … Female Android (uncredited)
Roger Holloway … Lt. Lemli (uncredited)
Ted LeGarde … Herman Series (uncredited)
Tom LeGarde … Herman Series (uncredited)
Jeannie Malone … Yeoman (uncredited)
Bob Orrison … 1st Engineer (uncredited)
Eddie Paskey … Lieutenant Leslie (uncredited)
Colleen Thornton … Barbara Series (uncredited)
Maureen Thornton … Barbara Series (uncredited)
Starr Wilson … Maisie Series (uncredited)
Tamara Wilson … Maisie Series (uncredited)
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