Harry Mudd, now ruler of a planet of androids, captures the Enterprise and attempts to imprison Kirk for revenge.
Spock and Dr. McCoy are walking through the corridors of the USS Enterprise, where they encounter Crewman Norman. 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 the crewman on duty and activates the override.
Norman then breaks into the emergency manual monitor and engineering section, knocks out much of the engineering crew, and jams the controls. Norman gets to the bridge and announces he is in control – any attempt to alter course will destroy the ship. He then opens up a panel in his abdominal region, revealing himself to be an android.
Norman announces that he's locked the controls and that they will arrive at their destination in four days. He then promptly shuts down in front of the 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."
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, who declares that here he is Emperor: Mudd the First. He declares that Kirk must stay for the rest of his life on the planet, now also named Mudd.
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 can provide for him anything he wants.
Mudd goes on to explain his presence on the planet and tells them that he had been sent to prison by Kirk and company after his last appearance. After his escape, he had been employing himself by illegally reselling patents. He was caught and sentenced to death on Deneb V; fortunately for him he was able to steal a ship and get away. After drifting aimlessly for a while, he found himself on his planet.
The problem is, of course, that he has gotten bored, and the androids won't let him go. 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. He then demonstrates an android replica of his shrewish wife Stella; he amuses himself by telling her to shut up whenever he likes.
The androids bring them to a recreation area, where they reveal that they were made by a humanoid race from the Andromeda Galaxy (presumably not the Kelvan Empire). 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, and there should logically be a central control system which guides the entire android population.
Spock finds what appears to be a central control room. Norman is there, but will not tell Spock much about the controls; he is "not programmed to respond in this area".
Kirk, Uhura and Chekov are being shown the Barbara series of robots. Uhura asks how long they last; the answer comes back – 500,000 yrs. Plus, they can put a Human brain in the android. Uhura seems to respond well to this idea.
Back in the recreation room, Scott joins the crew, the last of the crew to be brought down. Androids are now running the ship.
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. Scott, on the other hand, is quite interested in their engineering facilities.
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.
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 will become completely dependent upon the androids. "Their aggressive and acquisitive instincts will be under our control. We shall... take care of them."
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.
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.
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 – it is illogical to love one and not the other.
When this seems to work, they decide to take down Norman. After a series of over the top speeches, android imitations and pantomimed deaths and explosions, a recitation of the liar's paradox ("Everything I say is a lie. I am lying" Am I a liar or not?) finally incapacitates Norman and, with him, the remainder of the androids.
Mudd is left on the planet for an indeterminate amount of time under a type of "parole". He is quite happy with his sentence – the androids can provide him with as much of whatever he wants as he likes – until he learns that he has to share the planet with at least three and possibly up to 500 copies of his wife.
"They have no sense of humor -- they arrested me!"
(mock pity)"Oh, I find that shocking..."
"Worse than that; do you know what the penalty for fraud is on Deneb V?"
"The guilty party has his choice; death by electrocution, death by gas, death by phaser, death by hanging–"
"Mr. Spock – the key word in your entire peroration was... d-death. Barbarians!"
- - Mudd and Spock
"What could I do? I... left."
"He broke jail."
"I acquired transportation–"
"He stole a spaceship."
"The patrol acted in a hostile manner–"
"They fired on him."
"They've got no respect for private property – they damaged the bloody spaceship!"
- - Mudd, explaining his "departure" from Deneb V... with Kirk translating
"I think we're in a lot of trouble"
"Well, thats no help. Bones?"
"I think Mr. Chekov is right we are in a lot of trouble."
"Spock, and don't say we're in a lot of trouble."
- - Kirk,Chekov,McCoy,Spock
"This, gentlemen, is a shrine, to the memory of my dear wife, Stella."
"No, no, no – merely deserted. You see, gentlemen, behind every great man, there is a woman urging him on. And, so it was with my Stella. She urged me on into outer space– not that she meant to, actually, but with her confounded, eternal, continual nagging – (recovers) I think of her constantly; and every time I do, I go further out into space."
- - Harry Mudd
"That's very interesting– you leave your wife, but then bring her along."
"I had the androids construct an exact replica of Stella, so that I could gaze upon her... and rejoice in her absence. Gentlemen – attend: (clears his throat) Stella, dear."
(mechanically at first) "Har-court! Harcourt Fenton Mudd! Where have you been? What have you been up to? Nothing good, I'm sure – well, let me tell you, you lazy, good-for-nothing–"
(winding down) "– thing, thing, thing..."
(laughs) "Marvelous! I finally have the last word with her... and with you."
- - McCoy, Mudd, and "Stella"
"Now, would you please leave us?"
"Why should we leave you?"
(strained)"Because we don't like you. Now, Boop-boop-boop-boop!"
- - Kirk and Androids
"Scotty, I ordered you to stay behind!"
"Aye, sir – and I stayed, until that female Gargantua threw me into the transporter beam!
- - Kirk and Scott
"What a shame you’re not real."
"We are real, my lord."
"Oh, I mean real girls."
"We are programmed to function as Human females, lord."
"Yes, my lord."
"Harry Mudd programmed you? "
"Yes, my lord."
"That unprincipled evil-minded lecherous kulak Harry Mudd programmed you?"
"Yes, my lord."
"This place is even better than Leningrad."
- - Chekov and the androids
"Now listen Spock, 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 and Spock
"We want the Enterprise!"
(light blinking) "The Enterprise is not a want or desire it is – a mechanical device."
"No, it's a beautiful lady and we love her!"
(blank stare) "Illogical. Illogical. All units relate, all units. Norman, coordinate. (focusing on Kirk) Unhappiness does not relate; we must study this."
- - Kirk and Alice
"Next, we take the Alices on a trip through Wonderland."
- - Kirk
"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
"Everything Harry tells you is a lie -- remember that! Everything Harry tells you is a lie!"
"Now listen to me carefully, Norman laddie; I - am - lying!"
"You lie, but if everything you say is a lie then you must be telling the truth, but you cannot be telling the truth because everything you say is a lie... you lie, you tell the truth, you– Illogical! Illogical! Please explain! You are human! Only humans can explain their behavior! Please explain!"
(mockingly) "I am not programmed to respond in that area..."
- - Kirk and Mudd, delivering the final coup de grace to Norman using the old Greek Liar's Paradox
- The title is a possible reference to I, Robot, Isaac Asimov's 1950 android-themed short story collection, or I, Claudius, a 1934 novel by Robert Graves about the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius.
- Imaginative use of twins and split screens give the illusion of a planet of thousands of androids in this episode.
- The piece of equipment against the back wall of Norman's lab will show up later in the corridors of the Enterprise. Several other pieces of hardware, including the "nanopulse laser" will show up as bits of high-tech devices later.
- "I, Mudd" features one of the few hand-held camera shots in the series, as the crew dances to the imaginary music. One of the blooper reels offers a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of this sequence.
- This episode is probably the only time we hear Spock whistling.
- In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we learn that Chekov was aboard when "Space Seed"'s events took place. His question to Kirk, "You know this man, captain?" tells us he was definitely not aboard when Harry Mudd made his first appearance.
- This would be George Takei's last appearance in the series until "Return to Tomorrow".
- Shatner had put on quite a bit of weight by the filming of this episode. Just as some of the production team were about to put unflattering profile photos in his mail, he increased his workout schedule and began to trim down.
- Dr. McCoy's line, "It's worked so far, but we're not out yet" is used in the Information Society's song, "What's On Your Mind".
- "I, Mudd" was the sixth episode of the "remastered" version of The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication on the weekend of 14 October 2006 and most notably featured new effects shots of the planet Mudd from space (in this version a ringed planet) and of Norman's inner circuitry.
- This episode marks one of four times Kirk is able to "talk a computer to death". This skill is also used in "The Changeling", "The Return of the Archons", and "The Ultimate Computer" (with an honorable mention going to "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", in which Kirk's arguments get Ruk the android so riled up he suicidally attacks Korby).
- Alice is insensitive to the Vulcan nerve pinch (she calmly asks Spock if there is a significance to that gesture when he slowly tests the pinch on her). That makes her, with colonel Gary Seven, one of the few humanoids to be insensitive to the Vulcan pinch. The fact that she is a highly robotic android reduces her merit however.
- Her response to the neck pinch – "Is there some significance to this action?" – would be repeated by Kelinda in "By Any Other Name".
- Chekov comments that "this place is even better than Leningrad," which is an anachronism (although it was not so during the filming of the episode). St. Petersburg was named Leningrad from 1924 to 1991, when its original name was restored.
- Story outline, 23 March 1967
- Story outline by Stephen Kandel, 20 April 1967
- First draft script: 23 May 1967
- Teleplay, 25 June 1967
- Revised final draft teleplay, 4 August 1967
- David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite of this episode.
- Filmed in mid-August 1967.
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1986.
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 22, catalogue number VHR 2357, 2 April 1990.
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994.
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 2.4, 7 April 1997.
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 21, 24 April 2001.
- As part of the TOS Season 2 DVD collection.
Links and References
- Richard Tatro as Norman
- Alyce Andrece as the Alice #1 through #250
- Rhae Andrece as the Alice #251 through #500
- James Doohan as Scott
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- George Takei as Sulu
- Walter Koenig as Chekov
- Kay Elliot as Stella Mudd
- Mike Howden as Lt. Rowe
- Michael Zaslow as Jordan
- Bobby Bass as an engineer
- Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
- Tom and Ted LeGarde as the Herman series
- Bob Orrison as an engineer
- Colleen and Morreen Thornton as the Barbara series
- Tamara and Starr Wilson as the Maizie series
- Unknown actors as:
- Loren Janes as Richard Tatro's stunt double
Alice series; android; Andromeda Galaxy; Annabelle series; beryllium; Class K; Deneb V; emergency manual monitor; induced self-destruction; Maisie series; Mudd; Mudd, Harry; pressure dome; Mudd, Stella; Norman; Oscar series; titanium; Trudy series
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