Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Escape Artist redirects here; for the occupation, please see escape artist.

Con artist and thief Harry Mudd, in chains and at the mercy of a bounty hunter, tries every trick at his disposal to keep from being turned over to the authorities.


A Tellarite bounty hunter, Tevrin Krit, purchases prisoner Harcourt Fenton Mudd from a female bounty hunter before she beams away and departs. Mudd pleads his innocence, only to have Krit bring up the United Federation of Planets' charges against him – and reward for his capture.

Orions guard and monitor Mudd

Mudd continues to plead for his freedom, recalling a variety of similar instances he has found himself in – with Klingons, Orions, and other aliens.

Mudd's pleas unsuccessful, Krit approaches the Federation starship USS De Milo and requests to have the two beamed aboard.

It is revealed that this Mudd is one of many androids that the actual Mudd, having been in disguise as the female bounty hunter, has sold to various bounty hunters. Back on his ship, the real Mudd prepares to sell another android, continuing this scheme.

Memorable quotes

"Your enemies will be positively green with envy... greenER... so to speak."

- Harry Mudd, to the Orion guard

"If I had any money, I'd be sipping jippers on a beach somewhere!"

- Harry Mudd, multiple times

Background information

"The Escape Artist" teaser image using footage from "Choose Your Pain"

  • The episode's title, synopsis, and airdate were announced on 20 September 2018. [1]
  • The usual main title theme, as played in the opening credits sequence, and end credits theme were altered for their inclusion in this episode. They were subsequently released in the soundtrack collection Star Trek: Discovery - Season 2 (subtitled the "Disco Version" and "Lounge Version" respectively), along with a musical cue from this installment. Entitled "Many Mudds", this cue can be heard when Tevrin Krit (and the episode's audience) realizes there are numerous Mudd androids.

Mudd's distinct blue jacket with gold epaulets (2268)

  • One of the Mudd androids collected aboard the De Milo is wearing a similar blue jacket with gold epaulets to the one he wears in TOS: "I, Mudd".
  • This is the third Tellarite Harry Judge has played. He had previously played the Tellarite Admiral Gorch and his mirror counterpart in several episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.
  • Regarding whether the audience had ever seen the real Mudd, Mudd actor and short director Rainn Wilson told "I think we've been seeing the real Harry Mudd throughout. We certainly see him at the end of this episode. But I think it would be fun to have future episodes where you don't know if you’re seeing Mudd or a duplicate Mudd running around the universe. That would be really interesting." [2]
  • The accusation of "penetrating a space whale" appears to place the events of the short after DIS: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" (assuming that unlike the time crystal trick, Mudd had not used the gormagander gambit before). An Andorian space helmet identical to the one used by Mudd in that episode is also present on his ship.
  • This episode marks the first mention of latinum chronologically (excluding time-traveling Ferengi), and the only time it is seen used by the Federation internally: a Tellarite bounty hunter hoping to receive a bounty in latinum from a Starfleet ship.
  • This episode was the first official Star Trek production written by long-time fan Mike McMahan, who would later go on to create and produce Star Trek: Lower Decks. Prior to this installment, he wrote the satirical reference book Star Trek: The Next Generation - Warped.
  • The trailer for this episode featured the Blues Saraceno song "Bad Man."

Links and references



Uncredited co-stars


android; bat'leth; beach; bounty hunter; camera; close quarters combat; code of conduct; cruiser; cudgel; D-756; disguise; disintegration beam; DNA; De Milo, USS; duke; durf; Federation credit; "God damnit"; gormagander; hand weapon; homicide; homunculus; jipper; kindred spirit; The Kiss; kitchen implement; Klingon; latinum; lavatory; lime; moon; Mona Lisa; mopping; Mudd's ship; Nataraja; Orion; Orion language; overkill; pig; regicide; replicant; resistance; scanner; Shiva; slept with; smuggling; space whale; Starfleet; targ; Tartus IV; tax; Tellarite; Tellarite merchant ship; Tevrin Krit's sister; Tevrin Krit's son; treasure ship; United Federation of Planets

External links

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"The Brightest Star"
Star Trek: Short Treks
Season 1
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