Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

A takeover leads Kirk to his old nemesis, Harry Mudd.



Spock and Dr. McCoy are walking through the corridors of the USS Enterprise, where they encounter Crewman Norman, who joined the Enterprise crew only 72 hours before. McCoy mentions that Norman is odd and unemotional; for some reason, Spock hasn't noticed. Norman makes his way into auxiliary control, where he knocks out Jordan, the crewman on duty and activates the override.

Norman lurks outside auxiliary control

Norman lurks outside auxiliary control

On the bridge, Lieutenant Sulu reports a course change whereupon Captain Kirk sends security to auxiliary control, but to no avail. Sulu tries to override the course change, but fails.

Norman then breaks into the emergency manual monitor and engineering section, knocks out much of the engineering crew, and jams the controls. A dazed Scott hails the bridge and informs Kirk that the intruder is in engineering. Later, Norman emerges from the turbolift onto the bridge and announces he is in control – any attempt to alter course will destroy the ship. He then says "we" don't intend harm to humanoid life, but rather require the ship, and opens up a panel in his abdominal region, revealing himself to be an android.

Act One[]


Norman's handiwork

Norman announces that he's locked the controls and that they will arrive at their destination in four solar days. He then promptly shuts down in front of the bridge's turbolift.

"Captain's log, stardate 4513.3. After having been taken over by an android, the Enterprise has been underway at warp 7 for four days. Now, we are entering orbit around a planet which has never been charted."

Four days later, the Enterprise enters orbit around an uncharted planet. Norman wakes up and announces that Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, and Chekov must beam down, or he will destroy the engines, stranding the Enterprise in orbit forever.

Alice series

King Mudd the First

The planet is Class K, which means that it can be adapted for life with the help of a large amount of machinery. They are ushered into the presence of Harry Mudd, sitting on a throne and drinking from a goblet, who declares that he rules the planet as "Mudd the First." He declares that Kirk and crew must stay for the rest of their lives on the planet, now also named Mudd.

Act Two[]

Harry Mudd is surrounded by androids, who for the most part are a slew of beauties – 500 in the Alice class alone. He implies that these androids, each of which wears around her neck a badge bearing a number, can provide for him anything he wants.

Mudd goes on to explain his presence on the planet. He had been sent to prison by Kirk and company after his last encounter with the Enterprise crew and the affair on the Rigel mining planet. After his escape, he had been employing himself by illegally reselling patents. He was caught selling a Vulcan fuel synthesizer to the Denebians and, upon being informed of Mudd's deception, sentenced to death on Deneb V; fortunately for him he was able to steal a ship and get away despite being shot at. After drifting aimlessly for a while, he found himself on his planet.

The problem is, of course, that he has gotten bored, but the androids won't let him go unless they can provide more Humans for them to study. Kirk and his crewmates are there because he told the androids to go and get a starship, so the crew could stay and he could leave.

Mudd then demonstrates to Kirk and McCoy an android replica of his shrewish wife Stella, kept in a darkened alcove which lights up when Mudd opens the sliding doors. Mudd shows how he amuses himself by telling her to shut up whenever he likes, thereby finally getting the last word with his wife.

The androids bring them to a recreation area, where they reveal that they were made by the Makers, a humanoid race from the Andromeda Galaxy. Their home planet's sun went nova and only a few exploratory outposts survived. After the androids leave the room, Spock surmises that the number of androids and their interactions are such that they cannot operate independently. He concludes that there should be a central control system which guides the entire android population.

Barbara series

The "Barbara series" of robots

Spock finds what appears to be a central control room. Norman is there, now wearing a white jumpsuit with a number badge reading 1, but he will not tell Spock much about the controls – saying he is "not programmed to respond in this area".

Kirk and Uhura are being shown the Barbara series of robots by Mudd and Alice. Uhura asks how long they last; the answer comes back – 500,000 years. Plus, they can put a Human brain in the android – effective immortality. Uhura seems to respond well to this idea.

Kirk choking Mudd

"They're all down now."
"Are you out of your mind?! You can't beam down an entire crew of a spaceship!"

Back in the recreation room, Scott is forcefully brought down to Mudd by the androids. He is the last of the Enterprise's personnel to be brought down; androids are now completely running the ship.

Act Three[]

Because the androids can provide whatever the crew wants, Kirk is worried his crew will be tempted. Chekov, for example, is being serviced by two Alice androids, and seems to be enjoying it a great deal, noting that "this place is even better than Leningrad." Scott, on the other hand, is quite interested in their engineering facilities.

Leonard McCoy hypos Harry Mudd

Mudd gets knocked out

Kirk and his crewmates are planning to escape – Uhura and Chekov seem to be enjoying it there, but Kirk snaps them out of it. An Alice comes in and promises anything to make them happy, and Kirk says he can't be happy without their ship. Alice doesn't respond to this very well; she asks Norman (who is not present) to coordinate, and promptly leaves.

Imaginary dance

Imagination trumps logic

Mudd is saying goodbye to the androids when Kirk comes in to have a chat with him. To no-one's surprise but Mudd's, the androids won't let him leave. The androids then reveal their plan: to "serve" Humans until they become completely dependent upon the androids. "Their aggressive and acquisitive instincts will be under our control. We shall… take care of them."

Act Four[]

Spock figures out that Norman coordinates the androids, for two reasons: first, there is only one Norman, but many of the others, and second, when Alice was confused earlier, she asked Norman to coordinate. They decide to target Norman with insane logic in an attempt to overload the central control.

Kirk embraces Uhura

"Uhura… beautiful!"
"I half believed it myself!"

They decide to provide an escape attempt, because the androids will be expecting one. They knock Mudd out – over his vehement protests – and then tell the androids he will die without a trip to the Enterprise for treatment. Uhura then pretends to betray the crew for immortality.

At this point, the crew puts their real plan into action. They engage in a surreal pantomime for two of the Alice androids in order to confuse them. The androids cannot rationalize the conflicting and illogical inputs and suspend operation.


Mudd reacts in horror as he realizes the full extent of his "parole".

Elsewhere, Spock tries to nerve pinch another Alice, but it has no effect. He then causes two other Alice androids to freeze up by telling one he loves her, but the other he hates her. The androids can't deal with this, as they are identical in every way – it is illogical to love one and not the other.


Harry Mudd finds himself surrounded by three android copies of his wife Stella at once!

When this seems to work, they decide to take down Norman. After a series of over the top speeches, android imitations, pantomimed deaths and explosions and other silly antics, a recitation of the Liar's Paradox ("Everything I say is a lie. I am lying." Am I a liar or not?) finally overloads Norman, whose head starts smoking, and causes the remaining androids to shut down. The androids are reprogrammed to their original function of making the planet productive.

Enterprise crew on Mudd

"Goodbye, Harry. Have fun."

Mudd is left on the planet for an indeterminate amount of time under a type of "parole" as an example to the androids of a Human failure and that a special android has been programmed to see to his needs as an incentive to work with the androids and not exploit them.. He is quite happy with his sentence – the androids can provide him with whatever he wants.However, his enthusiasm fades when he is accosted by another android copy of Stella; like the previous one, it is programmed to harangue and annoy him as much as possible; unlike the previous one, he has no control over it, and his repeated commands "Shut up!" are ignored. To his horror, he is quickly surrounded by two more copies, and is now being harangued by three wives at once. Then he sees the number badge on one of the copies – 500 – meaning there are that many copies of Stella sharing the planet with him, and possibly more – and cries out to Kirk, begging to leave the planet with them. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise bid Mudd a cheery farewell and continue on their mission.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"He's probably terrified of your beads and rattles."

- Spock to McCoy, on why Norman has avoided his medical appointments

"Spock, you're going to love it here. They all talk just the way you do."

- Mudd, describing the planet's androids

"Harry Mudd, you're a liar and an outlaw and in deep trouble!"

- Kirk, upon meeting Mudd again

"Do you know what the penalty for fraud is on Deneb Five?"
"The guilty party has his choice. Death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging–"
"The key word in your entire peroration, Mr. Spock, was– 'death'. Barbarians!"

- Harry Mudd and Spock

"She urged me on into outer space. Not that she meant to, but with her continual, eternal, confounded nagging– Well, I think of her constantly. And every time I do, I go further out into space."

- Mudd, on his wife Stella

"Harcourt Fenton Mudd, where have you been? What have you been up to? Have you been drinking again, you miserable sot! You good-for-nothing–!"

- Android Stella Mudd and Harry Mudd

"This place is even better than Leningrad!"

- Chekov, after learning that Mudd programmed the Alice androids to function as Human females

"It's a beautiful lady, and we love her."

- Kirk, describing the Enterprise to Alice 471

"You may be a wonderful science officer, but believe me, you couldn't sell fake patents to your mother! "
"I fail to understand why I should care to induce my mother to purchase falsified patents."

- Mudd to Spock, as Kirk and Spock devise an escape plan

"Next, we take the Alices on a trip through Wonderland."

- Kirk, on the next phase of the escape plan

"Logic is a little tweeting bird, chirping in a meadow. Logic is wreath of pretty flowers that smell bad. Are you sure your circuits are registering correctly? Your ears are green!"

- Spock, as he confuses Norman

"I love you. However, I hate you."
"But I am identical in every way with Alice 27!"
"Yes, of course. That is exactly why I hate you. Because you are identical."
[The Alice androids overload and freeze up]

- Spock, as he confuses Alice 210

Norman collapses under the weight of lies

"You offer us only well-being."
"Food and drink and happiness mean nothing to us. We must be about our job."
"Suffering, in torment and pain. Laboring without end."
"Dying and crying and lamenting over our burdens." (with McCoy) "Only this way can we be happy."

- McCoy and Scotty

"What is a man but that lofty spirit, that sense of enterprise, that devotion to something that cannot be sensed, cannot be realized but only dreamed! The highest reality."

- Kirk, after Scott plays dead

"I am not programmed to respond in that area."

- Kirk's final words to Norman as the android shuts down


- Mudd to Kirk upon finding out his parole is subject to the supervision of 500 copies of the Stella Mudd android

"Now you'll find yourself back among us illogical Humans again."
"Which I find eminently satisfactory, Doctor, for nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical Humans."

- McCoy and Spock, before leaving the planet

Background information[]

Story and production[]

  • 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. [1] 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. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 85)
  • David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite on this episode. One of the significant changes he made, at Gene 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. [2]
  • Clocking in at approximately five minutes and 35 seconds, this episode's teaser is the longest in the original series.


Alice series

Twins and their false doubles

  • 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. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 85)
  • 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. He brought the two girls to meet producer Gene L. Coon and associate producer Robert H. Justman. While they inspected the girls, Coon had to hold the wild cat (named Marlon), which consequently scratched him with its claws and tore his entire shirt. The girls were deemed unsuitable for the role. [3] (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp 332-333)
  • One of the blooper reels offered a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the sequence where the crew dances to the imaginary music. The blooper reel clip featured actual music, specifically the theme to the Desilu/Paramount series Mannix.
  • The TOS Season 2 blooper reel contains a blown scene from this episode in which Harry Mudd declares his androids have taken control of the Enterprise. In the aired scene, William Shatner grabs Roger C. Carmel by his tunic, as if ready to throttle him. In the blooper, Shatner reaches up and grabs Carmel's mustache and as Carmel laughs, apparently surrendering with arms raised, Shatner turns and grins at the camera, his eyebrows waggling.


Props and costumes[]

Nanopulse laser device

Norman's advanced nanopulse laser device


  • This episode marks George Takei's last appearance in the series until "Return to Tomorrow". During his nine episode absence, Takei was on the East Coast filming The Green Berets.
  • 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 the series.
  • Michael Zaslow, who plays Jordan in this episode, previously played Darnell in the first season episode, "The Man Trap".



  • According to Walter Koenig, NBC considered making a spin-off series detailing the comical adventures of Harry Mudd after the success of this episode. 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. [4] However, Mudd appears in the cartoon version of Star Trek up to his usual tricks, and is also the main character in the Star Trek: Short Treks episode, "The Escape Artist".

Remastered information[]

"I, Mudd" was the sixth episode of the remastered version of The Original Series to air, premiering in syndication on the weekend of 14 October 2006.

Aside from the standard CGI replacement footage of the Enterprise, this episode most notably featured new effects shots of the planet Mudd (now a planet with a ring system), as well as a revision to the footage of Norman revealing his android circuitry.

The next remastered episode to air was "Arena".

Production timeline[]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring

Guest star[]



Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt double[]


advice; Alice in Wonderland; alloy; amusement; android; android body; Andromeda Galaxy; antiseptic; appointment; argument; area; assumption; attendant; auxiliary control; badge; bag; barbarian; baseball; bead; beauty; behavior; beryllium; bird; "birds in a gilded cage"; "bloody"; "Bones"; branch; brain; bread; cage; captivity; catcher; central control complex (aka central control, central control system, central locus); choice; circuit; civilization; cogwheel; comfort; command personnel; communications officer; computation; computer facility; con man; Constitution-class decks; contact; control center; conversation (aka discussion); course; craftsman; creature; custody; cybernetic device; dance; danger; death penalty; decree; degree; Deneb V; Denebians; Denebian patrol ship; Denebian spaceship; destination; detention; detonator; device; devil; dimension; directional master controls; doctor; dozen; dream; ear; electrocution; emergency manual monitor; emotion; entrepreneur; estimate; eternity; evil; exploratory outpost; explosive; eye; facility; fear; floor; flower; fondness; fraud; free-enterprise system; freedom; friend; fuel synthesizer; fuse; galaxy; Gargantua; gas; gilded; golf; Grayson, Amanda; green; hall; hanging; happiness; harm; hate; hive mind; hour; Human being (aka Humanity or Human); humanoid; hundred; idea; immortality; Impersonating a Starfleet officer; impression; induced self-destruction; industrial technique; instinct; intellectual property; intruder; intruder alert; jail; job; K type; knowledge; Kulak; law; leaf: Leningrad; liar; liberty; library; lie; life support systems; logic; lord; love; machine; malfunctioning; main navigational bank; Makers; Makers' homeworld; Makers' homeworld sun; mashie; matter-antimatter pod; meadow; meeting; medi-robot; medical officer; medical problem; memory; mercy; microvision; Milky Way Galaxy; mind; mistake; model; motive; Mudd; Mudd androids; Mudd, Stella; music; nagging; nanopulse laser; navigator; nourishment; nova; officer; opinion; opportunity; orbit; outer space; "out of your mind"; outlaw; outpost; overeating; overload; override control; owner; pain; parabolic intersection; paradise; parole; partnership; patent; patrol; phaser; physical exam; pitcher; place; planet; pleasure; pointy-eared; population; police; power; pragmatic; pressure dome; primer; private property; programming; pruning; purgatory; quantity (aka amount); quarters; question; rattle; reality; relay center;replica; representative; research; research facility; research laboratory; Rigel mining planet; risk; robot; rock; root; royalty (fee); sabotage; science officer; scientist; Scots language; security alert; self-renewing plastic; sense of humor; sentence; series; shrine; singing; skeleton; slap; smile; social order; solar day; sot; space; species (aka race); specimen; speed; spirit; Starfleet; starship; story; stubborn; surface; swindler; tampering; technical information service; "thereby hangs a tale"; thief; thing; thinking machine; thought; thousand; threat; titanium; toad; tolerance; transporter beam; tree; trick; trigger relay/trigger mechanism; truth; universe; vice; vote; Vulcan; Vulcan nerve pinch; "watch your tongue"; weapon; weight; well-being; wife; "women and children first"; Wonderland; word; workshop; wreath; year

External links[]

Previous episode produced:
"The Deadly Years"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2
Next episode produced:
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
Previous episode aired:
Next episode aired:
Previous remastered episode aired:
"The City on the Edge of Forever"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired: