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I, Mudd

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EPISODE
I, Mudd
Mudd and Stella
Attribution
Series: The Original Series
Written by: Stephen Kandel
Directed by: Marc Daniels
Novelization in: Mudd's Angels by James Blish & J.A. Lawrence
Production information
Episode no.: 2x12
Production no.: 6149-41
First aired: 3 November 1966
Chronology
Date: 4513.3 (2267)


SummaryEdit

Mr. 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.

On the bridge, 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 Emergency Manual Monitor and Engineering, 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.

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.

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 he is the Emperor of the planet, Mudd the First. He declares that Kirk must stay for the rest of his life.

Mudd is surrounded by androids - 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; we learn 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 - he is 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 Harry 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.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

Pavel ChekovJordanJames T. KirkRoger LemliLeonard McCoyHarry MuddStella MuddNormanRoweMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhura

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class)

Races and culturesEdit

HumanVulcan

States and organizationsEdit

OtherEdit

Alice seriesandroidAndromeda GalaxyAnnabelle seriesberylliumClass KDeneb VLeningradMaisie seriespressure domeOscar seriestitaniumTrudy series

AppendicesEdit

Related storiesEdit

TimelineEdit

published order
Previous episode:
The Deadly Years
TOS episode produced Next episode:
The Trouble with Tribbles
Previous episode:
Catspaw
TOS episode aired Next episode:
Metamorphosis
Previous story:
Mudd's Women
Mudd's Angels
MuddsAngels
Next story:
The Business, As Usual, During Altercations
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Beneath the Skin
Pages 8-11
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Previous Adventure:
The Deadly Years
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Previous Adventure:
The Deadly Years
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Case of the Colonist's Corpse
Previous Adventure:
Mudd's Women
The adventures of
Harcourt Fenton Mudd
Next Adventure:
Mudd In Your Eye

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