(written from a Production point of view)
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, 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 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.
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.
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.
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. 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; 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.
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 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 yrs. Plus, they can put a Human brain in the android – effective immortality. Uhura seems to respond well to this idea.
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.
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.
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 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 in every way – 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 overloads Norman and causes the remaining androids to shut down.
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. He is quite happy with his sentence – the androids can provide him with as much of whatever he wants as he likes. However, his enthusiasm fades when he learns he share the planet with at least 500 copies of his wife, Stella. Furthermore, he has no control over them and they are programmed to harangue and annoy him as much as possible. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise bid Mudd farewell and continue on their mission.
"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–!"
- - 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
"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
"'Kirk, YOU CAN'T DO THIS! IT'S INHUMAN!"
- - 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
Story and production
- Possible inspirations for the title include:
- I, Robot, Isaac Asimov's 1950 android-themed short story collection, the title of which was itself inspired by…
- "I, Robot", Eando Binder's 1939 short story with an android hero, which had been adapted for TV in 1964 with Leonard Nimoy in a supporting role.
- I, Claudius, a 1934 novel by Robert Graves about the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius (the 1976 BBC production of which featured Patrick Stewart). Like Mudd "The First" in this episode, the subject of I, Claudius is also a despotic ruler who views himself in a more flattering light.
- Lines from Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 novel Cat's Cradle, which detail the creation myth of Bokononism: "I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done." (citation needed • edit)
- 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. (The Star Trek Compendium)
- 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. 
- Clocking in at approximately five minutes and 35 seconds, this episode's teaser is the longest in the original series.
- 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)
- 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.  (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.
- This episode, which used string-and-brass melodies to capture both the humor of the situations and Kirk's serious intent, was composer Samuel Matlovsky's only Star Trek assignment. (The Star Trek Compendium)
- Besides Matlovsky's cues, the episode also used recycled music from various episodes by Fred Steiner, Gerald Fried (most notably "Catspaw") and Sol Kaplan (excerpt from "The Doomsday Machine" score during the scene where Uhura "spoils" the "plot" to get back on board). A short segment from George Duning's score for "Metamorphosis" can also be heard when Chekov laments on Mudd's planet being "better than Leningrad".
Props and costumes
- The piece of equipment found in Norman's lab and workshop would be recycled for future episode, appearing in the corridors of the Enterprise. Parts of the device that contained the nanopulse laser were later seen in Dr. McCoy's lab.
- A large number of costumes are reused from previous installments. The Annabelle series android, played by Marlys Burdette, is wearing the same costume she originally wore in "Wolf in the Fold"; while the Trudy series is wearing a costume worn by another Argelian woman in the same episode. The Maisie series and the Barbara series androids are wearing costumes left over from "Mudd's Women", worn by Karen Steele and Maggie Thrett respectively. Stella Mudd is wearing a dress (with slight modifications), which was seen on Natalie Norwick in "The Conscience of the King".
- The body suits worn by the male androids were later reused on Bele and Lokai in "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield".
- 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".
- This episode further establishes the time frame of Chekov's assignment to the Enterprise. In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, we learn that Chekov was aboard when the events from "Space Seed" took place. In this episode, his question to Kirk, "You know this man, captain?" tells us he was definitely not aboard when Harry Mudd made his first appearance in "Mudd's Women".
- 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).
- 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.  However, Mudd appears in the cartoon version of Star Trek up to his usual tricks, and is also the main character in a Short Trek episode, The Escape Artist.
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".
- Star Trek is... series proposal by Gene Roddenberry: 11 March 1964 – mentions story idea "Reason"
- Story concept "I, Mudd" by Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon: 5 December 1966
- Story outline by Stephen Kandel: 23 March 1967
- Revised story outline: 20 April 1967
- First draft teleplay: 31 May 1967
- Second draft teleplay: 25 June 1967
- Revised draft by Roddenberry: 21 July 1967
- Final draft teleplay by David Gerrold: late-July 1967
- Revised final draft by D.C. Fontana: 4 August 1967
- Additional page revisions by Coon: 7 August 1967, 8 August 1967
- Filmed: 11 August 1967 – 21 August 1967
- Day 1 – 11 August 1967, Friday (Quarter Day) – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Emergency manual control, Engineering, Corridors, Turbolift
- Day 2 – 14 August 1967, Monday – Desilu Stage 10: Int. Entrance room, Throne room
- Day 3 – 15 August 1967, Tuesday – Desilu Stage 10: Int. Throne room
- Day 4 – 16 August 1967, Wednesday – Desilu Stage 10: Int. Throne room, Lounge
- Day 5 – 17 August 1967, Thursday – Desilu Stage 10: Int. Lounge; Desilu Stage 9: Int. Control center
- Day 6 – 18 August 1967, Friday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Control center, Workshop
- Day 7 – 21 August 1967, Monday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge, Auxiliary Control Center
- Score recording: 22 September 1967
- Original airdate: 3 November 1967
- Rerun airdate: 5 April 1968
- First UK airdate: 27 July 1970
Video and DVD releases
- Original US Betamax release: 1986
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 22, catalog 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
- As part of the TOS-R Season 2 DVD collection
Links and references
- Richard Tatro as Norman
- Alyce Andrece as Alice #1 through 250
- Rhae Andrece as 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 Enterprise engineer
- William Blackburn as Herman series
- Marlys Burdette as Annabelle series
- Roger Holloway as Roger Lemli
- Ted LeGarde as Herman series
- Tom LeGarde as Herman series
- Jeannie Malone as Enterprise yeoman
- Bob Orrison as Enterprise engineer
- Colleen Thornton as Barbara series
- Morreen Thornton as Barbara series
- Starr Wilson as Maisie series
- Tamara Wilson as Maisie series
- Unknown performers as
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- "I, Mudd" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "I, Mudd" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "I, Mudd" at Wikipedia
- "I, Mudd" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
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