Star Trek – Mudd’s Women

by Alan Rapp on July 14, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Trek – Mudd’s Women
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Star Trek - Mudd's Women

Chasing down an unregistered starship refusing to answer their hails, the U.S.S. Enterprise and her crew are unprepared for what they find aboard. “Mudd’s Women” introduces Harry Mudd, the captain of the ship with an unusual cargo of three exceptionally beautiful young women (Karen Steele, Maggie Thrett, Susan Denberg) for whom the less-than-reputable space trader is attempting to arrange marriages which would be beneficial to them and lucrative for Mudd.

Tracking down the ship and rescuing Mudd and his women destroys three of the crucial lithium crystal circuits aboard the Enterprise forcing the ship off-course and to Rigel XII to acquire emergency replacements. Seizing on the opportunity to keep himself out of jail, Mudd bargains with the miners aboard the station arranging for each of their marriages and his own guaranteed freedom to be part of any trade the group makes with Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew for the desperately-needed crystals.

Although it foreshadows the unusual relationship between Mudd and the three women, it takes the episode some time to reveal just what the trader is feeding them to enhance their beauty making them even more precious to colonists and engineers living in relative isolation across the galaxy. The revelation that the drug, the Venus pill, is responsible for the beauty initially dismays the miners who eventually come to an understanding with the women and make the best of the situation when they realize the woman are beautiful without the drug’s enhancements.

Harry Mudd’s first appearance (he would return again in Season Two with an equally harebrained scheme) showcases the idea that although life on Earth may have evolved that doesn’t mean all the humanoids the Enterprise encounter share those more noble beliefs. Although its effects are temporary, the episode doesn’t point out any actual harmful effects of the Venus pill (other than over-reliance on its properties) introducing an intriguing idea of ever-long-lasting beauty to female characters in the Star Trek universe which, unfortunately, neither the episode nor series does much to explore the possible ramifications of such a drug becoming public knowledge.

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