This is the fourth in a series of recaps of the original Star Trek episodes. Today's selection: the second regular-season episode, "Mudd's Women". Our story opens on June 6, 1966. Filming completed on "The Corbomite Maneuver" three days earlier, and now the Star Trek production team is ready to begin filming another episode. Thanks to NBC's request for three complete scripts to choose for the second pilot, the production team already had two scripts available to film when the series went into production: Stephen Kandel's "Mudd's Women" and Gene Roddenberry's "The Omega Glory". Everyone agrees that "The Omega Glory" is a pretty weak script, but "Mudd's Women" looks good, and after some rewrites to bring it in line with the current state of the show's concepts and characters, the decision is made to film the episode after "The Corbomite Maneuver". Canadian director Harvey Hart is brought in to film "Mudd's Women".
TEASER Enterprise approaches. Kirk voiceovers, "Captain's log, stardate thirteen twenty-nine point eight. USS Enterprise in pursuit of an unidentified vessel." Close-up of Kirk on the bridge. From offscreen we hear Sulu say, "There he is, sir. Center screen." Cut to the main viewscreen, where a small orange oval object is visible in the starfield, moving slowly from left to right. A shot of Sulu and Kirk as the former adds, "Still trying to run away from us, sir." "Don't lose him, Mr. Sulu," says Kirk as he rises from the Big Chair. "No, sir," says Sulu. We pan left on Kirk as he moves to stand beside the Navigator, Lt. John Farrell. Since "Mudd's Women" has an earlier stardate than "The Corbomite Maneuver", one could easily argue that Farrell is Lt. Bailey's predecessor rather than his successor. Farrell looks rather nervous. Behind Kirk, we see Spock standing at his Library/Computer Station, with Scott next to him. "Earth ship, Mr. Spock?" Kirk asks. "Difficult to say, Captain. We're getting no registration beam from it." "If it is," Scott adds, "he'll soon overload his engines." Cut back to the viewscreen as Spock says, "Sir, he's pushing his engines too hard." Shot of Farrell and Sulu as the latter says, "Changing course again. He's knows we're after him, all right." "Stay with him, Mr. Sulu," says Kirk. At this point, the question that enters my mind is why the Enterprise is chasing this ship. True, if it has no registration beam, it's in violation of the rules governing ship handling, but Spock makes it sound as though they just found this out, and they've already been chasing the ship for some time. "Communications?" Kirk asks Uhura. "I've tried all frequencies, sir," says Uhura, still in a gold minidress. "He refuses to answer, unless he's not receiving us." "Oh, he's receiving us, all right," Kirk says. "Approaching an asteroid belt, Captain," Spock informs him. "Schiller rating three five." "Deflectors on, Mr. Farrell," Kirk orders. "He's seen the asteroids, too, sir," says Sulu. "Stay with him," Kirk orders. "He'll try to lose us in them." Hey, that's the same gimmick Han Solo tried in The Empire Strikes Back. I think Paramount ought to sue Lucasfilm. A shot of asteroids going by on the viewscreen as Sulu says, "If one of them hits him . . . " According to Memory Alpha, the asteroids shown are a re-use of the meteoroids from "The Cage". "Sensor reading on the vessel, Captain," Spock reports. "I make it out as a small class-J cargo ship. And his engines are superheating." Kirk has a decision to make. If he keeps pursuing the ship, he runs the risk that his quarry will be destroyed by an asteroid. If he doesn't keep pursuing, his quarry will get away. Of course, it would help if we knew just why Kirk was chasing this ship in the first place. Kirk decides to try to talk his way out of the dilemma. He turns back to Uhura and says, "Try to warn him. If he loses power now --" Farrell interrupts Kirk to report, "There go his engines, sir." Kirk looks back at the screen. We see the ship is no longer maneuvering. Asteroids continue to fly past. "He's drifting into the asteroid belt, Captain," Sulu reports. "He's had it unless we put our deflector screen around him," says Farrell. "Captain," Scott warns, "if we try, we'll overload our own engines. He's too far away." Kirk has another decision to make. Of course, since he's the one who chased this class-J ship into the asteroid belt in the first place . . . . There's a musical sting before Kirk orders, "Cover him with our deflector screen, Mr. Farrell." Farrell hits a control. "Scotty, Spock," Kirk orders, "stand by in the transporter room." "Aye, sir," Scott responds as he and Spock head for the turbolift. We pan right as Kirk resumes his place in the Big Chair, then continue past him to Farrell, who reports, "We're protecting him, sir. We won't be able to hold him long." We continue to pan over to Sulu, who looks over at the alarm light on the Command Console before saying, "We're overloading, Captain. Engine temperatures climbing." This would actually be a good time to splice in the "overheating engine readout" from "The Corbomite Manuever," but we don't. Instead, we cut to Kirk in the Big Chair as he swallows, then cut to the alarm light before we fade to black.
OPENING CREDITS Starfield and opening notes of title theme. Voiceover by Kirk: "Space, the final frontier." Starfield shifts. Enterprise appears from the left, comes closer. "These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five year mission . . . " First dramatic sting. Enterprise moves past, and we cut to a shot of the ship as it approaches a reddish planet. " . . . to explore strange new worlds . . . " Dissolve to shot of Enterprise orbiting reddish planet. " . . . to seek out new life and new civilizations . . . " Second dramatic sting. Cut to original starfield. " . . . to boldly go where no man has gone before." Enterprise zooms past. Synthesizer version of title theme plays. The words STAR TREK slot down into place. Enterprise zooms past again. STARRING WILLIAM SHATNER. Enterprise zooms past again. ALSO STARRING LEONARD NIMOY AS MR. SPOCK. Title theme crashes to a close.
ACT ONE The cruising Enterprise shot from "The Cage" accompanied by dramatic music. The title "MUDD'S WOMEN" appears. Cut to the main viewscreen on the bridge, where the class-J cargo ship drifts while asteroids fly past. Cut to Kirk as the page whistle sounds. "This is the engine room," an anonymous voice says. "Temperatures are passing the danger line." Perhaps this is Technician Watson from "Elaan of Troyius". It'd be nice to think that he has something to do on the show besides get killed by a traitorous Elasian nobleman. "Our deflector screen's weakening, sir," Farrell reports. "We can't protect them much longer." An electrical crackling sound, and the lights go dim, then come back on again a few seconds later. "That was one of our lithium crystal circuits, sir," Sulu explains. This raises a point that I have never heard any discussion of: why lithium? As per Wikipedia, lithium in its natural state is a highly reactive, soft metal. It tends to combine with elements like chlorine and fluorine to produce lithium salts. It's also used in batteries, which may be why Kandel decided to use it as an energy component. Lithium of course also played a part in the other second pilot script, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", since the Enterprise was able to reach a lithium cracking station on planet Delta Vega at the edge of the galaxy after losing warp power. Do the lithium crystal circuits use cracked lithium from Delta Vega? Was that power pack we saw in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" part of a lithium crystal circuit? So many questions . . . . At any rate, later on in the series the term "lithium" is dropped in favor of "dilithium", which may be a molecule that includes two lithium atoms, or may be a substance that has absolutely nothing to do with lithium apart from the similarity of names. Meanwhile, back to "Mudd's Women". The ship is using its deflector screen to shield the drifting class-J cargo ship from the asteroids, and they've just lost one of their lithium crystal circuits. Kirk hits the comm button on the arm of his chair and says, "Bridge to transporter room. If you don't start beaming that crew over soon --" Close-up of a comm unit on a wall somewhere as Scott says, "They're not answering our signal. There's nothing to lock onto." Another crackling sound and the lights go dim again. Five seconds later, they come back on again. "Another circuit, sir," Sulu explains unnecessarily. Kirk gets out of the Big Chair, walks over to the Library/Computer station, and peers into the sensor scanner. "I'm getting a distress signal call from them, sir," Uhura announces. We move in for a close-up of Kirk's face, lit from below by the sensor scanner, as he says, "Scotty, we're getting a distress signal."
The transporter room. A close-up of Spock's hands as they operate the transporter console controls as Scott says, "We're locked onto something, Captain." Cut to the transporter stage as the transporter beam lights up. Cut to a shot of the transporter console, where Spock is at the controls and Scott is on the side of the console normally manned by a jumpsuited technician. McCoy moves to stand beside Spock as he works the controls. We didn't hear Kirk order McCoy to the transporter room, so his presence here is unexplained. Maybe Spock called him in. Most likely, there was a shot filmed of Kirk calling McCoy that was cut from the final episode. We hear the sound of the transporter in operation. Cut to the transporter stage, seen from a low angle. When the shimmering transporter effect ends, we see a man standing there. He's barrel-chested, wearing dark blue pants, a wide leather belt with a square buckle, a reddish-orange puffy shirt over a black tee-shirt, and a wide-brimmed brown hat with the left side pinned to the crown. He has an earring in his left ear, a mustache with the tips curled up, and a short goatee. He stands on the transporter stage for several seconds while comic music plays. Cutaway shots to the three officers shows them to be rather startled at the sight. "Meanin' no ingratitude, gentlemen," the man says, "but just where is it I find meself?" The accent is a not-entirely-convincing Irish brogue. Whether this was deliberate on the part of actor Roger C. Carmel, or whether he couldn't get the accent right, is a matter for conjecture. "You're aboard the USS Enterprise," McCoy informs him. Stepping down from the transporter stage and looking around, the man says, "Ah, it's really a darn beautiful ship, it is. Really a beautiful ship." He gives the impression of someone who is wondering just how much he could get for it. Suddenly remembering his manners, he says with a faintly apologetic air, "Oh, the name, gentlemen, is Walsh. Captain Leo Walsh." He extends his hand to the Enterprise trio. Spock, ignoring the proferred hand, asks, "How many more in your crew?" Walsh transforms his rejected offer of a handshake into an opportunity to gesture. "Just a few more," he says vaguely. Scott is astonished. "Your vessel's breakin' up, man! If we don't get them over here right now . . . " "Ah, we couldn't be sure ye was a friendly vessel, now, could we?" He's got a point. We still don't know why the Enterprise was chasing his ship in the first place. "Ah, but the three of them will be position right about by now." He turns to look back at the transporter stage, then walks over to take up a position behind the three men. Spock begins the materialisation process again.
On the bridge, Kirk is still at the Library/Computer Station when we hear the crackle and see the lights go dim again. Three lithium crystal circuits down, one to go. "Another lithium circuit," Sulu points out again. Hitting a control, he adds, "Now supplementing with battery power, sir." "Scotty," Kirk asks, "how many of them did you get aboard?" "Only one, sir," we hear Scott answer. "But we've locked onto three more."
Back in the transporter room, we see the transporter beam flickering on and off within the transporter stage. "What's wrong?" wonders McCoy. "I don't know, sir," Scott answers. Huh? Since when does Scott call McCoy sir? They're both department heads, and they both hold the same rank. "With those three lithium crystals gone . . . " "At best," says Spock, "it'll take longer on battery." "Never did trust this thing in the first place," McCoy mutters, giving us our first hint of his dislike for the transporter.
On the bridge, Farrell looks back and says, "There she goes." A shot of Kirk, then a shot of the viewscreen showing the cargo ship flaring up, then back to Kirk as he takes a couple of steps toward the viewscreen. "Asteroid," says Sulu as we watch the cargo ship flare up and vanish. "Hit him dead center."
Back in the transporter room, we can see the stage still flickering as Kirk's voice calls out, "Bridge to transporter room, their vessel has been hit by an asteroid. It's gone. Did you get the crew off?" "Not yet, sir," says Scott, "but we've hooked on to something." Spock brings down the slide controls with a decisive motion. On the transporter stage, three figures coalesce, accompanied by a soft musical sting. Walsh's "crew" consists of three young women dressed in shimmery fashionwear. On the left is a blonde in an ankle-length red dress with a slit skirt; in the middle is a brunette in a floor-length green gown; and on the right is a platinum blonde in a blue minidress with flared sleeves. The three vogue while standing on the transporter stage. Scott and McCoy are agog as the page whistle sounds and Kirk's voice demands, "Kirk to transporter room, report!" Spock looks from one to the other in puzzlement. A shot of the three women standing in a line. A shot of a befuddled Scott. An extreme close-up of the brunette's face, with a look in her eyes that says, come and get it, big boy! A shot of McCoy as he straightens up and smiles. (As Memory Alpha notes, this reaction shot is actually of McCoy in sickbay, wearing his medical tunic. Apparently, Harvey Hart's original shot from the transporter room was unusable for some reason, and there was no retake available. Which explains why they didn't hire Hart to direct any more episodes.) A shot of the first blonde as she smiles. A shot of the three men as Spock crosses his arms. A shot of the three women as Walsh says, "It's all right, darlins, we're in good hands."
Back on the bridge, Kirk is still trying to get a response from the transporter room. Farrell turns and says, "Clearing the asteroid belt now, Captain." "Deflector screens off, Mr. Farrell," Kirk orders. "Let's conserve power."
In the transporter room, the three women have descended from the stage and are now vogueing near the door. "Captain to transporter room," Kirk's voice calls out, "are you reading me or not, Mr. Scott?" It's a good question, because Mr. Scott is grinning like an idiot at the women, clearly oblivious to all else. The platinum blonde gives her lips a little lick. "Bridge to transporter room! How many did we get off?" Scott suddenly realizes that Kirk is talking to him. With an embarrassed glance at Spock, he says, "Oh, uh, um, four in all, sir." "If the captain of that vessel can walk, I want him in my cabin immediately," Kirk orders. Walsh is smiling to himself. "Correction," an angry Kirk amends himself. "I want him there whether he can walk or not. Kirk out." "That fella sounded a mite upset, didn't he?" says Walsh. "Yes," agrees McCoy with a mindless grin, "yes they are." Spock murmers, "Yes," as he looks at McCoy, then asks Walsh, "You're certain this was everyone aboard, Mr. Walsh? No other crewmen?" "Oh, no, that's everyone, all right," Walsh assures him. "But so far as the ladies actually bein' the crew . . . " "You can explain that to the Captain," Spock deadpans. He departs the transporter console to lead Walsh and the women to Kirk's cabin. We watch the women exit, accompanied by burlesque music, then cut back to Scott and McCoy as the former says, "Aye." "Amen to that, Scotty," McCoy replies. (Memory Alpha states that the burlesque music was originally composed by Alexander Courage for this episode’s trailer. They liked it so much that it wound up being used in the episode itself.)
The burlesque music continues as we focus on a technician in a gray jumpsuit climbing up a utility ladder in the corridor outside the transporter room. He suddenly halts his climb and we watch his eyes go booooiiiiiiiinggggggggg as the three women sashay past. "Sure an' these starships are really somethin' marvelous," Walsh is saying to Spock as the women walk down the corridor, leaving a trail of bugging eyes and dropping jaws in their wake. As they enter the turbolift, he continues, "But men'll always be men, no matter where they are. Eh, mister? They'll never take that out of 'em." "Deck twelve," Spock tells the turbolift. (It is established later in the series that Kirk's cabin is actually on deck five.) "You're part Vulcanian, aren't you?" Walsh inquires. Spock makes a sound that apparently signifies assent. "Ah, well then," Walsh continues, "a pretty face doesn't affect you atall, does it? That is, not unless you want it to. You can save it, girls. This type can turn himself off from any emotion." The turbolift stops at deck twelve, and the brunette and platinum blonde exit. The other blonde pauses by Spock and says, "I apologize for what he said, sir. He's so used to buying and selling people --" Walsh cuts her off, saying, "I'll handle the conversation, darlin'." A brief shot of the women walking down another corridor, with a security guard following them. We cut to Kirk in his quarters, writing on a data slate. There's a knock, and he says, "Come." Spock enters, and with a mischievous gleam in his eye, says, "The commander of the transport to see you, Captain." "Good," says Kirk. Turning around, he begins, "Now, if you don't mind telling . . . " He stops dead, and we pan over to the door as Walsh and the three women enter past Spock, who is clearly enjoying himself, unemotional facade notwithstanding. The blonde in the red dress gives Kirk a very friendly, "Hello." Kirk has a certain deer-in-the-headlights expression. "And the ladies?" Kirk asks. "Is this your crew, Captain?" Walsh, standing behind Kirk with his hat in his hand, says, "Well, no, Captain. This is me cargo." An uncertain Kirk swallows, and with a comic musical sting, we fade to black.
ACT TWO A shot of the Enterprise cruising past. Kirk voiceovers, "Captain's log, stardate thirteen twenty-nine point one." (Yes, this is actually earlier than the stardate from the top of the show. A careless mistake on someone's part.) We cut to Kirk's cabin, as Kirk ushers Walsh's "cargo" out. Kirk voiceovers, "We've taken on board from an unregistered transport vessel its captain and . . . and three unusual females. These women have a mysterious magnetic effect on the male members of my crew." (Insert joke about "male members" here.) "Including myself. Explanation unknown at present." Spock follows the women out of Kirk's cabin, and Kirk gets down to business with Walsh. "Well, how the devil am I supposed to know this is a starship, Captain?" Walsh wonders in injured tones as he tosses his hat onto Kirk's desk. "There I am with a cargo of young lovelies, a strange ship comes up alongside. Well, naturally I did my best to evade ye! An' starship captain or no, you exceeded yer authority when ye drove me and mine into a shower of asteroids!" "Your name, please," says Kirk, intent on filling out his report on the incident. "Walsh," says Walsh. "Leo Walsh. You destroyed me ship, Captain." Kirk, with his own ship reduced to a single lithium crystal circuit, is in no mood to listen to Walsh's bluster. "Mr. Walsh, I'm convening a ship's hearing on your actions. Mr. Spock will supply you with any legal information you may need . . . for your defense." "Yer a hard-nosed one, Captain," Walsh growls. "And you're a liar, Mr. Walsh," Kirk responds. "I think we both understand each other." He raises his voice. "Security!" The security guard comes in. "Escort Mr. Walsh to his quarters. Confine him there." Walsh glares at Kirk as he leaves. Kirk smiles.
On the bridge, Spock is sitting in the Big Chair, messing around with some computer tapes, when Sulu and Farrell emerge from the turbolift. Farrell is looking dazed. When he pauses to lean against a bulkhead next to the ship's plaque, Sulu snaps his fingers in front of his face and says, "You're on duty, Johnny. Back to reality." "You can feel their eyes when they look at you," Farrell mumbles as he weaves his way over to the Command Console. "Like something grabbing hold of you." Turning to look at Sulu, he asks, "Have you noticed that?" "I've noticed," says a smiling Sulu. "How I noticed." Scott, who has observed the byplay, comes over to the Big Chair and says, "We're in trouble, Mr. Spock." "I'm well aware of that, Mr. Scott." "One lithium crystal left, and that with a hairline split at the base." "Better rig a bypass circuit." "Can't. We blew the whole converter assembly." If Spock were human, he would sigh. Being Vulcan he just looks like he wants to sigh. He punches the intercom button on the Big Chair. “Kirk here.” “Needed on the bridge, Captain.”
The briefing room, where the three women are clustered together, talking things over. They look worried. A pair of security guards escort Walsh in. All three of the women start plying Walsh with questions, addressing him as “Harry” while doing so. Walsh, whose name is supposed to be Leo, shushes them, saying “Calm down, now.” He turns to the guards and says, “Uh, did ye mind waitin’ outside?” “Sorry, sir,” says the guard on the left curtly. Walsh turns back to the women and says, “Well, now, answer every question they put to you. Don’t lie. Well, you’ve no need to, have you? And don’t submit to a med –“ he breaks off, then adds for the benefit of the guards, “That is, bein’ so healthy, they’ve no need for a medical exam, have they?” The platinum blonde in the blue dress asks, “But what if they ask us about –“ “They won’t,” Walsh interrupts her with a warning look. With another look at the guards, he asks, “Have ye no place to go, lads?” The brunette says, “They’ll notice we’re diff—“ Again, Walsh interrupts. “No, no, no they won’t. You just let Leo take all the hard questions.” He puts a slight emphasis on the name. “Now, don’t be panicking, loves. We’ll get to –“ Now it’s the turn of the blonde in the red gown to interrupt. “Get where? We don’t have a ship, and we’re headed the wrong way, Harry.” “Le—“ Walsh stops himself, then lowers his voice. “Leo. Leo Walsh is me name, darlin’. Don’t forget that.” Raising his voice again, he babbles, “So lovely, so lovely, aren’t they? Ah, if they’ll only think lovely thoughts, if they smile, why, they’ll come out right some which way, now, won’t they?” Really laying it on thick, though whether for the benefit of the guards, the women or himself is a question he might not be able to answer. With shifty eyes and a grin as phony as Piltdown Man, he adds, “Me personal guarantee on that.”
Kirk enters the bridge and makes his way over to the engineering station, where Spock and Scott are staring down at a readout. Spock explains, “The entire ship’s power is feeding through one lithium crystal.” “Then switch to bypass circuits,” says Kirk in an it’s-obvious voice. “We burned them all out when we superheated, Captain,” explains Scott. “That jackass Walsh not only wrecked his own vessel, but in saving his skin –“ “If it makes you feel any better, Engineer,” says Kirk, “that’s one jackass we’re going to see skinned.” “Ah, but it’s frustrating. Almost a million gross tons of vessel depending on a hunk of crystal the size of my fist.” “And that crystal won’t hold up,” Spock, ever the ray of sunshine, points out. “Not pulling all our power through it.” But Kirk knows his first officer. “Well, Mr. Spock?” “There’s a lithium mining operation on Rigel XII. High grade ore, I’ve heard.” Spock always seems to come through with the lithium mining operations, even out on the edge of the galaxy. Perhaps he deliberately arranges the ship’s course so it’s always within close range of one. “Location and distance?” “Mr. Farrell has the course.” Ah, that Spock. “Less than two days travel.” “Make for Rigel XII, Mr. Spock.” “Rigel XII, Mr. Farrell,” Spock relays. “You have the course.”
A shot of the Enterprise cruising past as Kirk voiceovers, “Captain’s log, stardate Thirteen twenty-nine point two.” Cut to the briefing room, where Walsh and the women are seated on one side of the table while Kirk, Spock, Scott, McCoy and Farrell are seated on the other. As usual, Spock is manning the computer terminal. “On board the USS Enterprise, a ship’s hearing is being convened against the transport vessel’s captain. I’m becoming concerned about the almost hypnotic effect produced by the women.” In the briefing room, Kirk says, “This hearing is convened. Stardate thirteen twenty-nine point two on board starship USS Enterprise. Formal hearings against transport captain Leo Walsh. Start computer.” Spock hits a switch on the computer terminal. An oscilloscope appears on the briefing table viewscreen showing a sine wave. Spock says, “State your name for the record.” “Leo Francis Walsh” states Walsh with a faint smile. We see the viewscreen with Walsh sitting to its left. The sine wave scatters as the computer says “Incorrect” in Majel Barrett’s voice. Walsh’s smile vanishes as he glares at the viewscreen. “Your correct name,” says Spock. Walsh looks around nervously and says, “Gentlemen, surely you’re not going to take the word of a soulless mechanical device over that of a real flesh and blood man?” Kirk’s expression says you’re damn right I’m taking the computer’s word over yours, and don’t call me Shirley. Spock actually sighs before he says, “Please state your correct name for the record.” Walsh gives one last flash of bravado before muttering, “Harry Mudd.” “Incorrect,” states the computer. Drinking the bitter cup to the dregs, Mudd mumbles, “Harcourt Fenton Mudd.” “Any past offenses, Mr. Mudd?” Spock asks. The Irish brogue gone along with the last faint hope of passing himself off as Walsh, Mudd insists, “Of course not. Gentlemen, I’m simply an honest businessman.” “Incorrect.” “Blast that tinplated pot,” growls Mudd. “Full data coming on screen,” says the computer, and the sine wave dissolves into a copy of Mudd’s police record. There’s a photo of Mudd, wearing the orange puffy shirt over the black tee-shirt, but with the earring in his right ear. The report reads: POLICE RECORD HARCOURT FENTON MUDD Smuggling. Sentence . . . Suspended. Transport of Stolen Goods. Purchase of Space Vessel With Counterfeit Currency. Sentences: Psychiatric Treatment … Effectiveness Disputed. Future Police Record-Code X731248 DESCRIPTION: Height 6’1”; Weight 240 lbs; Brown Hair and Eyes; Complexion Fair. Any Information Pertaining to Mudd, Please Notify Authorities.
(Memory Alpha notes that actor Roger C. Carmel is actually 6’3”.) “If it can read our minds, too –“ begins the brunette. “They can’t, darling, they can’t,” Mudd assures her. “Just what’s on the records.” The computer proceeds to recite Mudd’s offenses and sentences while Mudd tries to look unconcerned. “Mr. Mudd,” says Kirk, “you are charged with galaxy travel without a flight plan, without an identification beam, and failure to answer a starship’s signal, thus effecting a menace to navigation.” “What, my tiny little ship in this immense galaxy, a menace to navigation?” He gives an unconvincing guffaw. “You’re also charged with operation of a vessel without a master’s license.” “Untrue. I have a master’s ticket.” “Incorrect. Master’s license revoked stardate eleven sixteen point four.” “All right,” Mudd mumbles, before gathering up his courage as he prepares to launch another salvo of BS. “Well, very simply, Leo Walsh, who was to be my captain on this trip, passed away suddenly. I had no choice but to take out my ship me own self, did I? Well, I assumed Leo’s name for this voyage, out of courtesy to him. In memoriam, as it were. Fine, fine man. Alas, gone to his reward.” While Mudd is spinning his tale, the three women start eyeing Kirk’s crew, which proves very distracting to them, to say the least. Kirk manages to avoid being distracted. “Destination and purpose of journey?” “Planet Ophiucus III,” says Mudd. “Wiving settlers.” The last phrase throws Kirk for a loop. “Come again, Mr. Mudd? You do what?” “I recruit wives for settlers. A difficult but satisfying task.” Mudd motions toward the platinum blonde in the blue dress, who responds with a come and get it, big boy! look. Allllllrighty, then. Kirk says, “Data on witnesses.” Spock hits a button, and a wave of light passes over the three women as the computer scans them. “No data,” the computer reports. “Computer,” says Kirk, “go to sensor probe. Any unusual readings?” “No decipherable reading on females. However, unusual reading on male board members.” We pan from McCoy to Scott to Farrell as the computer continues. “Detecting high respiration patterns, perspiration rates up, heartbeat rapid, blood pressure higher than normal.” Harry Mudd has got his grin back. “Uh, that’s sufficient,” says Kirk. “Strike that from the record, Mr. Spock.” “Do you see, gentlemen?” says Mudd, and now he’s got a little of the Walsh lilt back in his voice. “Just as I told you, three lovely ladies, destined for frontier planets to be the companions of lonely men. To supply that warmth of a human touch that’s so desperately needed. A wife, a home, a family. Gentlemen, I look upon this task as a sacred public trust. I’ve devoted me whole life to it.” “Incorrect.” Irritated, Mudd says, “Well, I’m about to start devoting my entire life to it.” “Did these ladies come voluntarily?” Kirk asks. “Well, of course!” Mudd exclaims. “For example, Ruthie here,” he indicates the brunette, whose full name, according to Memory Alpha, is Ruth Bonaventure, “comes from a pelagic planet. Sea ranches. Magda there,” he indicates the platinum blonde, full name Magda Kovacs, “from the Halium experimental station.” “It’s the same story for all of us, Captain,” says the third woman, who is listed in Memory Alpha as Eve McHuron. “No men. Mine was a farm planet with automated machines for company, and two brothers to cook for, mend their clothes.” Cut to Mudd, nodding sympathetically. “Canal mud a foot thick on their boots every time they walked in.” “Fine, Evie, fine,” says Mudd, with a side order of you can shut up now. “No, it’s not fine,” McHuron insists. “We’ve got men willing to be our husbands waiting for us and you’re taking us in the opposite direction. Staring at us like we were Saturnius harem girls or something.” “That’s enough, Evie,” says Mudd with an edge in his voice. “The only charges are against Mr. Mudd,” Kirk assures McHuron. “Illegal operation of a vessel.” Turning to Mudd, he asks, “Do you have any defense to offer?” “Only heaven’s own truth, which I’ve just given you,” says Mudd sanctimoniously. A musical sting, after which Kirk says, “This hearing is closed. Mr. Mudd to be handed over to the legal authorities at our earliest opportunity.” After we get some lithium crystals from Rigel XII to replace the ones we burned out, in other words. McHuron does not look pleased. “And what about us? What happens to us?” Grabbing Kirk by the shoulders, she pleads, “Help us, please, all of us.” There’s an electric crackle and the lights go dim. Kirk tries to disengage himself, saying, “Miss McHuron, if you don’t mind –“ Mudd looks up at the lights with a thoughtful expression. Scott says, “It’s the last crystal, sir. It’s gone.” A page whistle, and Sulu intercoms, “Captain Kirk, engineering section reports our entire life support system is now on batteries.” “Mr. Spock,” Kirk begins, but finds himself still tangled up in blonde. “Miss McHuron, please, would you mind? Mr. Spock, will you contact the miners on Rigel XII? Notify them that we’ll need the lithium crystals immediately upon arrival.” Kirk finally makes it out of the door, followed by the rest of his crew. When Mudd turns around, he’s got a great big grin on his face. “Oh, you beautiful galaxy,” he says to himself. “Oh, that heavenly universe! Why, girls, lithium miners! Don’t you understand? Lonely, isolated, overworked, rich lithium miners. Girls, do you still want husbands? Hmm? Evie, you won’t have to be satisfied with a mere ship’s captain. I’ll get you a man who can buy you a whole planet! Maggie, you’re going to be a countess! Ruth, I’ll make you a duchess! And I . . . “ Mudd looks around the briefing room. “I’ll be running this starship!” He dramatically plants himself in the chair recently vacated by Kirk, leans back, and props his feet up on the table, saying, “Captain James Kirk, the next orders you’re taking will be given by Harcourt Fenton Mudd!” Mudd laughs maniacally, and there’s a comic musical sting as we fade to black.
ACT THREE Enterprise passes by. Kirk voiceovers, “Captain’s log, stardate thirteen thirty point one. Position fourteen hours out of Rigel XII.” The bridge, Kirk in the Big Chair. “We’re on auxiliary impulse engines. Fuel low, barely sufficient to achieve orbit over the planet. Lithium replacements are now imperative.” Lt. Farrell and Magda Kovacs walking along the corridor as he shows her how to work a communicator. “The effect of Mudd’s women on my crew continues to grow, still totally unexplained. Harry Mudd is confined to his quarters under guard.” Sickbay, as McCoy turns off a biobed monitor. We hear a woman say, “May I come in?” McCoy turns, and we pan left to see Ruth Bonaventure posing provocatively in the doorway. An extreme close-up shows her sparkling eyes. McCoy smiles. “Why yes, please do, by all means.” As Bonaventure slinks into the room, she passes by a tech in a green jumpsuit, who finds her captivating. “Connors, are you finished?” asks an irritated McCoy. He gives Connors a get-the-hell-out-of-here gesture. As Connors leaves, Bonaventure looks around sickbay and says, “I was wondering what this place looked like.” She passes by the biobed monitor and sets off its respiration and heartbeat indicators. McCoy is clearly puzzled. Bonaventure walks over to McCoy and casually touches him on the chest as she says, “It’s fascinating.” McCoy is still trying to work out what happened to his monitor. “Would, would, would you walk past my panel again, please?” Bonaventure snuggles up to McCoy and says, “Your what?” It takes a dazed McCoy a couple seconds to say, “My medical scanner.” “Oh, why? You’re not giving me an examination, are you?” Bonaventure leers. “Oh, no,” McCoy assures her, “I wouldn’t try my—“ He stops himself, then finishes, “my judgment. Believe me. Just walk by, please.” She gives him a little whatever-floats-your-boat look and then heads back to the monitor, posing provocatively by it. The indicators light up again. “It’s not supposed to do that,” says a still-puzzled McCoy. “I wondered,” says Bonaventure, as she skanks by the monitor, “will you be examining the miners on Rigel XII?” “Yes, if they need it.” “You mean you haven’t asked yet?” she says as she slinks back to McCoy and starts tracing designs on his tunic with her finger. “Are they in good health and all that?” Between puzzling over the monitor and coping with Bonaventure’s charm attack, McCoy is not at his sharpest. “What?” He momentarily forgets about the monitor as Bonaventure starts running her fingertips over his face. “Oh, yes, they’re in excellent health. All three of them.” “Oh. Three?” As she starts slinking out the door, he asks, “Are you wearing some unusual kind of perfume, or something radioactive, my dear?” “No,” says Bonaventure innocently, “I’m just me.” Looking back at the monitor, McCoy says, “I wonder what makes it do that?”
Kirk’s cabin. Kirk enters, distracted as one might expect with his ship in trouble, then comes up short. “Captain,” a woman’s voice says. We pan over to the bunk, where McHuron is stretched out. She looks at Kirk through that mesh thing that half screens the bunk. “I hope you don’t mind,” she says. Kirk stares at her, mouth agape, before finally saying, “As a matter of fact, Miss McHuron, I do.” McHuron rises from the bunk and explains through the mesh, “I was trying to take a walk and I just . . . I just had to run in someplace. You see, I mean, all your men were looking at me, following me with their eyes.” “Yes,” Kirk says absently, “I’ll have to talk to them about that. “ McHuron looks at him, and he chuckles nervously. “They, uh, don’t do that ordinarily, Miss McHuron, but somehow in your case, and the ladies with you, it’s, uh . . . “ McHuron walks around the mesh, saying, “Well, they’re probably just . . . lonely. I can understand loneliness.” The unspoken question, of course, being, Are you lonely, big boy? “Yes,” Kirk says with that deer-in-the-headlights look in his eyes. Then he comes to and moves away from her as he says, “Yes, uh, now, Miss McHuron, if you don’t mind, I –“ “I suppose,” she interrupts, following him, “I suppose you understand it even more. I mean, having to run a huge ship like this with so much responsibility every minute.” She casually reaches her hands up to Kirk’s shoulders as she continues, “And having to be so careful with all your men looking up to you.” Smiling, Kirk says, “Well, it probably appears more difficult than it is.” “I read once that a commander has to act like a paragon of virtue. I never met a paragon.” Kirk, chuckling, says, “Neither have I.” “Well, of course not, no one is. But some people try to pretend.” She starts stroking his hair. “Um . . . “ “Do you, Captain?” She closes her eyes and leans forward. “M-M-Miss McHuron, I-I don’t –“ Suddenly McHuron breaks off her charm attack as a pained expression crosses her face. “Oh, no,” she mutters. “I just can’t do it. I don’t care what Harry Mudd says. I do like you, but I just can’t go through with it. I hate this whole thing!” She rushes from Kirk’s cabin.
Magda Kovacs moves through the corridor as the burlesque music plays. She glides up to a door with a security guard in front of it. He stands aside in a daze and she enters. We see Kovacs’ reflection in a mirror as she stands in the doorway, then pan left to where Mudd is talking to Bonaventure. “Just three, you’re sure?” “Yes,” Bonaventure answers, “the miners are healthy and fairly young.” Seeing Kovacs enter, Mudd says, “Later, dear, later. Magda, did you get to your communications man?” Kovacs nods. “The head miner is named Ben Childress. The others are Gosset and Benton.” “And they’ve been there . . . “ “Almost three years now,” Bonaventure answers. “Alone.” “Perfect,” says Mudd with a grin. “Perfect. Three of them, and three lovely ladies has Harry Mudd.” Turning to Bonaventure, he adds, “And lithium crystals, my dear, are worth three hundred times their weight in diamonds.” To Kovacs, “Thousands of times their weight in gold.” “But they’ll be down there,” Bonaventure points out, “and we’ll be up here circling a hundred miles above them.” “And there’s a guard outside your door, Harry,” Kovacs adds. “You can’t get out of your cabin.” “No, my dears,” says Mudd, “after one more little job for you, it won’t be Harry Mudd that’s trapped, it’ll be a gentleman named James T –“ He breaks off as McHuron enters in tears. Resting her back against the door, which for some reason doesn’t open again, she says, “I don’t like you! And I’m not very happy with myself, either.” She seems to be short of breath. “Well, I’m not really surprised,” says Mudd. “I’ve seen you noticing the Captain.” “We’re supposed to notice them!” McHuron snarls, then, looking shaky, closes her eyes and leans against the wall. “Oh, Harry, I don’t feel very good. I think it must be near the time.” Dramatic music.
The bridge. Kirk, in the Big Chair with a data slate in his hand, is unhappy. “I asked for a pre-orbital course, Mr. Farrell,” he says as he moves toward the Command Console. Farrell is suddenly shaken out of his daze. He hits a button and reports, “Pre-orbital course locked in, sir.” “That’s the last time I’m giving an order twice, gentlemen,” Kirk growls as he passes in front of the Command Console. “We’re down to battery power. We’re low on that.” “They’ll get us to Rigel XII, sir,” says Scott, “but it’ll be a shaky orbit.” “Just hang us in there long enough to get six crystals, Scotty,” says Kirk. “That’s all we need.” “I’ll get you there,” Scott assures him. As he crosses the bridge, Kirk mutters to himself. “Ridiculous. What are we running here?” He approaches McCoy and asks, “Did you examine Eve?” A pensive-looking McCoy answers, “She refused.” “Well, come on,” Kirk says, “you’re the doctor.” McCoy just gives him a look that says, That’s easy for you to say. Kirk looks apologetic and says, “What is it? Is it that we’re tired and they’re beautiful?” His tone of voice becomes wistful as he adds, “And they are incredibly beautiful.” “Are they, Jim?” McCoy asks. “Are they actually more lovely, pound for pound, measurement for measurement, than any other women you’ve known?” This is a potent argument to use on Kirk, who has known one or two women in his day. McCoy continues, “Or is it that they just . . . well, act beautiful? No, strike that, strike that.” We cut briefly to Spock, who is looking visibly amused by the byplay between the two of them. “What are they, Bones?” Kirk asks with concern. “You mean, are they alien illusions, that sort of thing?” Kirk gives McCoy a noncommittal, “I asked you first.” McCoy ponders for a second, then shakes his head. “No. An alien smart enough to pull this off would be smart enough to keep my medical scanner from going ‘bleep’.” “I don’t follow you,” says Kirk. “I don’t either,” McCoy admits.
Mudd’s cabin. Kovacs is holding a communicator. “Subspace frequency three nine,” she says as she hands it over to Mudd. He takes it, seats himself at the table next to Bonaventure, activates it, and says, “Rigel XII. Rigel XII.” “This is Rigel XII,” the communicator answers. “Come in, Enterprise.” “Well, this isn’t exactly the Enterprise. My name is Harry Mudd. To whom have I the pleasure of speaking, sir?” We pan over to McHuron, who is looking decidedly scruffy.
The Enterprise enters orbit around Rigel XII, a world with a streaky blue and black atmosphere. This may or may not be five planets out from Rigel VII, where Captain Pike had his run-in with the Kaylar. We cut to the bridge of the Enterprise, where Rigel XII is turning on the viewscreen. “Power curve still dropping, Captain,” reports Sulu. “We’ll make orbit, sir,” Farrell adds. “A temporary one.” “Lay in,” Kirk orders. “Computer?” Spock hits a button and answers, “We can sustain this orbit for three days, seven hours.” “More than enough time,” Kirk remarks, tempting fate. “Communications, have a representative of the Rigel XII miners meet us here to discuss our needs. Beam him up first pass over their camp.” He heads for the turbolift as Uhura acknowledges the order.
Mudd is frantically searching through his cabin, while music that can best be thought of as the Tholian Theme plays. That’s right, the Tholian Theme actually dates back to “Mudd’s Women”. We cut to Bonaventure, who is now looking fairly repulsive, as she gasps, “What’s happening? Look at my face!” This raises the question of whether Fred Philips had to use some special “ugly” makeup on her to make her look this way, or whether this is just the way Maggie Thrett looks when there’s no Vaseline on the camera lens. Back to Mudd as he searches through some drawers, then over to Kovacs, who is also looking bad with unkempt hair, harsh lighting and no Vaseline. Beside her on a counter, by the way, is the four-handled vase that once graced Christopher Pike’s cabin. “Give us the pills,” she mutters. Back to Mudd as he continues searching, then a quick look at a weary-looking McHuron before returning to Bonaventure as she continues, “What if someone sees us like this?” Cut back to McHuron, who says, “You’ll never find them, Harry. And if you do find them, you know what they are? A cheat.” Mudd pauses while searching through some clothing long enough to glare at her. “If you care for someone,” McHuron continues, “really care –“ “For whom, Evie?” Mudd interrupts. “For Kirk? You’ll find out that ship’s captains are already married, girl – to their vessels. You’d find that out the first time you came between him and the ship. You’ll see.” “I’m going back to what I was,” snarls Bonaventure. “Ugly!” “I can’t stand myself like this,” echoes Kovacs. Bonaventure confronts Mudd. “Why did you hide them, Harry? Don’t you trust us?” “I didn’t hide them, girl,” Mudd says defensively, “I put them in a safe place in case I was searched.” “Find the pill, Harry,” growls Kovacs as Mudd checks inside the vase. A light bulb goes off over Mudd’s head and he says, “Mattress.” Kovacs and Bonaventure follow him to the bunk as he looks under the mattress, then triumphantly announces, “Yes, here!” He lifts up his hands, and they each take something from him and swallow it. We cut briefly to McHuron as she looks on. We cut back to Bonaventure and Kovacs, who now have rapturous looks on their faces as they stand with their heads tilted back and their eyes closed. Mudd approaches McHuron and holds out an oval silver jewelry case in his hand. “Go on, Eve, take it,” he urges. “It’s not a cheat. It’s a miracle.” We cut to Bonaventure, who is now looking positively orgasmic as she lifts her arms above her head. (The first Star Trek blooper reel shows Thrett’s right breast popping out of her costume during an earlier take of this shot.) We cut to Kovacs as she runs her hands sensuously over her body, looking equally orgasmic. We cut back to the Serpent, er, Harry Mudd tempting Eve with a jewelry case full of something we still can’t see. “For some man who can appreciate it,” he continues, “and who needs it.” McHuron reaches into the case and brings out something small, round and black. Mudd looks back at Bonaventure, who is looking her original gorgeous self with the help of some Vaseline on the lens, then Kovacs who is looking ditto. Mudd smiles. McHuron looks down at her open hand, which holds a small object that sparkles redly like . . . well, an awful lot like that creature from “Day of the Dove”. She finally closes her hand on it and we cut to
Spock holding the burned, cracked remnants of a lithium crystal as he says, “Even burned and cracked, they’re beautiful. Destroying them was a shame.” He hands the crystal to Kirk, who says, “Not at all, Mr. Spock. The choice was burning this lithium crystal or the destruction of another man’s ship.” The buzzer sounds and Kirk says, “Come.” The door to his cabin slides open, and a security guard says, “Sir, mining chief Childress and Mr. Gossett.” “Good. Show them in,” says Kirk. As the two miners enter, he and Spock rise as he says, “I’m James Kirk, Captain of the Enterprise. This is my science officer, Mr. Spock.” Childress is a bald man of about 40 wearing a light gray shirt and a leather vest. Gossett is wearing a high-necked black and brown shirt with no vest, and has slightly more hair. Both could use a shave. “Let’s get right to business,” says Childress. “You want lithium crystals and we’ve got them.” “Fine. I’m authorized to pay an equitable price.” “We’re not sure they’re for sale, Captain,” Childress responds. We see that Kirk is less than pleased to hear this. Childress continues, “We might prefer a swap.” “What did you have in mind?” “Mudd’s women.” We cut to Kirk, who is definitely unhappy. “If we like them,” Gossett adds. “We’d like to have a look at them, of course.” “Right,” says Childress. “Trot ‘em out, Captain. Oh, and Harry Mudd. Either way, I’ve agreed to have him released, charges dropped.” Spock sits himself down. Kirk laughs, and with a smile on his face asks, “Is there anything else?” A stonefaced Childress says, “You’ve got no choice, Captain. You beam a landing party down and you won’t find one blessed crystal.” The smile is gone from Kirk’s face. “No deal.” He sits down and glares defiantly at the two miners. “You’re a long way out in space, gentlemen. You’ll need medical help, cargo runs, starship protection. You want to consider those facts, too?” It’s a good point the Captain makes, and it might have worked if not for the fact that Mudd bursts in at this point with the women in tow, saying, “Come along, ladies, come along!” Shaking Childress’s hand, he continues, “You must be Ben Childress. Come on, now, girls, come on.” Bonaventure plasters herself against Gossett and says, “And you must be Herm Gossett.” “Yes,” Gossett flusters, “I reckon I am.” Childress, looking hungrily at the two blondes, says, “One thing I’ll say for you, Mudd, you’re not a liar. And ladies, you are welcome.” “It’s still no deal,” Kirk insists. The lights go dim. “Conserving batteries, sir,” Spock explains. “Half power.” “I’m told they only have three days of orbit left before they start spiraling in,” Mudd remarks to the miners. He makes some tsk, tsk, tsk noises and continues, “I do hate to see you suffering such a situation, Captain, but truth is truth, and the sad fact is, you will deal with me. Sooner or later, you’ll have to.” Dramatic sting, and fade to black.
The windswept surface of Rigel XII. There are rocks in the foreground, hills in the background, and something that might be snow or might be something more toxic swirling in the air. Kirk voiceovers, “Captain’s log. Transporting down to surface of planet Rigel XII to acquire replacements lithium crystals. Expect further difficulties from miners.” We dissolve to an exterior view of the mining settlement, a futuristic Quonset hut with a pair of turning sensor antennas on top. It looks very cramped and uncomfortable, and you definitely wouldn’t want to spend three years cooped up in it. Kirk, Spock, and Mudd materialize in front of the hut, and immediately find themselves being blasted by the wind. They look around, and it’s Mudd who spots the hut. The three make their way toward it. Inside, there’s a party going on. Kovacs is having a laugh with Benton. Kirk, Spock, and Mudd enter, covered with dust, which they brush off. Childress and Kirk exchange glares. The three newcomers cross the room to where Childress is standing. In the background, we see Bonaventure and Gossett enjoying each others’ company. McHuron is standing unhappily a few feet from Childress, next to a window with a view of the desolation outside. “All right, Childress, you’ve won,” says Kirk. “Now I’ll take the lithium crystals.” Childress, clearly not a man to pass up the opportunity to be an asshole, smirks, “When I have the time, Kirk,” and laughs as he moves past. “Childress—“ “We’re busy, Mr. Kirk,” Childress smirks as he leans against a wall next to McHuron. For her part, McHuron has her eyes on Kirk as he walks away. As Childress starts chatting her up, we see her turn to look out the window. Kirk approaches Spock, who says, “We don’t have the time to spare, Captain.” “You got a better idea?” Kirk growls. McHuron finally turns around to look at Childress as he says, “Blows like that all the time.” We see another shot of the desolate surface, a few twisted black shrubs and some weed patches under a pink sky, and the howling wind. Back to Childress and McHuron, as he continues, “You can get lost a dozen feet from your own doorstep if the wind comes up suddenly.” Shots of Kirk and Kovacs as we hear a hissing sound. “Magnetic storm,” Childress explains. “That means the wind’ll really rip soon.” McHuron looks as though she’s having second thoughts about settling down on Rigel XII. Maybe cleaning canal mud off the floor back on her home planet isn’t looking so bad now. Meanwhile, Kovacs is saying, “Dance with me,” to Benton, an anorak-clad middle-aged man with bristly black receding hair. Like the other two miners, he could use a shave. Kovacs throws her arms around him and the two slow-dance across the floor. Childress, not wanting to be left out of the fun, circles around to McHuron’s side and says, “Would you like to dance?” McHuron, looking rather unwell, gasps out a “No” before she succumbs to a coughing fit. Kirk and Mudd both look on in concern, though doubtless concerned about different things. “No,” she repeats. “I—I’m sorry, I . . . I guess it must be the dust.” “That’s the way it is on Rigel,” says Childress, “all the time.” He’s definitely having second thoughts about McHuron. He stalks away to where Bonaventure is dancing with Gossett, peels her off of him, and swings her around. McHuron is on the verge of tears, while Gossett looks a bit lost. Gossett finally goes up to Benton and Kovacs and says, “Hey.” “Go away,” Benton responds. “I’m cutting in,” says Gossett. “Not on me,” says Benton. Gossett pushes Benton away and starts dancing with Kovacs. Mudd is starting to look alarmed. An angry Benton shoves Gossett away from Kovacs, then the two of them start grappling while Kirk, Spock, Mudd, and Childress move in to try and break it up, and Bonaventure and Kovacs laugh. Childress bellows, “What’s the matter with you?” McHuron, sobbing, lurches across the room to the outside door. “Why don’t you just run a raffle,” she cries out, “and the loser gets me?” She pulls open the door and throws herself outside. Kirk and Spock rush to the door. Childress calls out, “You can’t go out there, you’ll get killed!” “Just have those crystals here when I get back,” Kirk growls as he shakes off Childress’ hand and follows McHuron outside. Spock and Mudd follow him. We hear the hiss of the magnetic storm as McHuron staggers across the surface of Rigel XII and falls. The background music is the same we heard during Kirk’s fight with Mitchell in “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. Kirk follows as McHuron climbs back to her feet and presses on. “Eve!” he calls. “Eve!” We see McHuron stumble along, then cut to Childress as he makes his way through the storm.
The Enterprise orbits Rigel XII. Kirk voiceovers, “Captain’s log. Have transported aboard the Enterprise to implement search with infrared scanners and sensing systems. We cut to the bridge where a concerned Mudd watches Spock, both of them showing signs of wear from conditions on the surface. Spock is looking at some sort of gizmo with a dial on top. Kirk continues, “Magnetic storms on the planet’s surface are cutting down speed and efficiency of our equipment. Search now in progress for three hours, eighteen minutes.” We see Kirk, also looking somewhat battered, turn to look as Farrell says, “Traverse parallel three and four.” “Checking,” says Sulu, “but not getting much.” “Storm is ionizing the atmosphere, Captain,” says Spock. “Getting difficult to probe through it.” “Captain,” says Scott, “this is draining our batteries further. If we only had those crystals—“ “But we don’t,” says an angry Kirk. “I didn’t get any. I should have found a way. Satisfied, Mr. Scott?” “Losing communications with the miners, sir,” reports Uhura. “Magnetic storm seems worse.” “Has Childress reported in yet?” Kirk asks. “No, sir. He and the girl are still missing.” Kirk turns back to Scott and says, “Sorry, Scotty.” Scott gives him an “It’s all right” nod. “How much power do we have left?” “About five hours, sir.”
On the surface of Rigel XII, we see Childress carrying an unconscious McHuron into the Quonset hut. Inside, he carries her over to his bunk and gasps as he sets her down. He looks down at her unconscious form for a moment, then heads over to a wooden bench, lies down, and goes to sleep.
The Enterprise orbits Rigel XII. Kirk voiceovers, “Captain’s log. I’ve expended all but forty-three minutes of power. Ship’s condition—critical.” Cut to Kirk looking weary in the Big Chair. “Search now in progress seven hours, thirty-one minutes. Magnetic storms are easing.” Spock still has his dial gizmo as he taps Sulu’s console and says, “Infrared reading. Check traverse three, grid zero four zero.” “About eleven miles,” says Farrell, “bearing one two one from the mining company.” “That’s Ben Childress’s quarters,” Sulu notes. Good grief, Childress has his quarters eleven miles from the actual mine? No wonder he’s so grouchy. And no wonder they’ve been at it for three years. And no wonder they can’t attract any women, in spite of their wealth. “There’s a heat unit operating there,” Spock reports. “Could be a cook stove.” “Have Mudd meet me in the transporter room,” Kirk orders. “Mudd?” “The name of this game,” says Kirk cryptically.
Childress’s quarters. We see that the heat unit is indeed a cook stove, and Eve McHuron is frying up some food. She has exchanged her red dress for a shapeless green bathrobe, and her hair is kind of frizzy. Childress wakes up, and rises stiffly from the wooden bench. He pauses at the aroma of breakfast cooking, and sees McHuron at the stove. He scratches his head, hitches up his belt, and gives a chair a kick. “I had things where I wanted them,” he grumbles. “I ate some of your food, so I paid with some chores.” Striding over to the stove, he adds, “And I do my own cooking.” He tries to move a frying pan, then gives a brief yelp of pain when he finds out it’s hot. McHuron smiles at his discomforture. She’s supposed to be in a state of post-drug ugliness, but she still looks pretty darn hot even without any Vaseline on the camera lens. “Now, I’ve not laid a hand on you, remember that,” Childress declares, and I have a sneaking suspicion that NBC’s Broadcast Standards insisted on that line being there, to make clear to the audience that Childress and McHuron weren’t fooling around when we weren’t looking. McHuron sneers, “Oh, the sound of male ego. You travel halfway across the galaxy, and it’s still the same song,” as she carries breakfast over to the table. “There, you eat or talk.” Not to be outdone, Childress sneers back, “I guess I’m supposed to sit, taste it, roll my eyes, and say, ‘Ooooh, female cooking again’.” They trade glares before Childress grudgingly sits down and starts to eat. “I’ve tasted better,” he insists, “by my own hand.” I could make some sort of joke here about some other things Childress might prefer by his own hand, but I’m not going to, because I’m better than that. “Well, you’re tasting some of it now,” McHuron volleys back. “I couldn’t scrape three layers of your leavings out of that pan.” “You find me a well, some decent water, then talk.” In her most insultingly “duh” tone of voice, McHuron answers, “Well, why don’t you hang your pan out in the wind and let the sand blast it clean? Or hadn’t you thought about that?” He glares at her and goes back to eating breakfast, but he’s not too proud to give the idea a try. After stringing up some line and hanging his pots and pans from it, Childress returns to his quarters to find McHuron, back in her red dress, amusing herself with some disk-shaped playing cards. She’s holding three in her hand, and the rest are laid out in a pattern on the table, mostly face down. For the record, the three cards in her hand are the seven of diamonds, the seven of spades, and the jack of hearts. As Childress approaches, she picks up the four of hearts and places it on a row of other cards. “It might work,” he admits. He and McHuron exchange wary looks, and the Tholian Theme starts playing again. Finally, awkwardly, he says, “This Solitaire?” McHuron shakes her head. “Double-jack.” Since a quick check of Google doesn’t turn up any references to a card game called double-jack (other than a link to Memory Alpha’s description of McHuron playing it in this episode), I assume Kandel or somebody on the writing staff made it up. This makes two fictional card games mentioned in The Original Series. Childress, at a loss to deal with this woman sitting in his quarters, finally observes, “Red eight ought to go on the black nine.” “Not in double-jack.” Now he’s starting to get pissed. “You’re not only plain as an old bucket, you’re not even good company.” When she doesn’t answer, he says, “Well, what the devil happened to your looks anyway?” “I got tired of you,” McHuron says. “I slumped.” Really pissed now, he stalks over and grabs her by the arms. “Did you hear what I said? You’re homely! I’ve got enough in crystals already to buy queens--by the gross!” He sweeps his hand across the table, scattering the playing cards across the room. Just how far Childress would have gone in expressing his anger will never be known, because at that point the door to his quarters opens, and Kirk and Mudd enter. Childress backs up and says, “I didn’t touch her.” Not quite true, and it’s possible that McHuron has some bruises forming on her upper arms. “Thank heaven you found her,” says Mudd. Was he genuinely concerned for her welfare, or was he just relieved that some valuable merchandise has turned up intact? It seems to be the former, but this is Harry Mudd, after all. “She’s been bubbling with gratitude ever since,” Childress remarks sourly. “Sit down,” Kirk orders Mudd. Mudd does, and so does Childress. Kirk remains standing. “Tell him. Tell him, Harry.” Mudd’s shifty eyes rattle around in his head for a moment before he says, “Ah, yes, well . . . “ “The Venus drugs, Harry,” Kirk prompts him. McHuron’s eyes are on Mudd. “Venus drug?” says Childress. “I’ve heard of it, but . . . it’s not just one of those stories?“ “Oh, it exists,” says Kirk. “Illegally.” “Well, actually, you see,” Mudd starts babbling, “it’s a relatively harmless drug.” He starts fumbling in his clothing, eventually producing the silver jewelry case. “Harmless?” says an outraged McHuron. “Yes, uh, well,” Mudd continues, “what it does is, give you more of whatever you have. Well, with men, it makes them more . . . muscular.” Especially a certain muscle that we’re not allowed to mention on network television in 1966. “Women . . . rounder. Men more aggressive, women more feminine, and--” Kirk interrupts the flow of babble. “He gave it to the women before you met them,” he tells Childress. Childress is looking unhappy as the implications unfold before him. “Does that mean the others . . . they really look like she does?“ Mudd goes into full bullshit mode. “Mr. Childress, I—“ “Is that what it means?” Childress angrily interrupts. “Yes, that’s what it means!” McHuron bursts out. A moment passes before Childress asks, “What happened to my partners?” “They left for their quarters during the storm,“ says Kirk. “They’re married. Subspace radio marriage.” Because you can’t have single women sleeping with single men on network television in 1966. Childress goes for Mudd’s throat, but Kirk shoves him back in his seat. “It was a fraud,” explains Kirk. “They can get out of it.” “If they want to,” Mudd adds, still hoping to see a profit. Childress turns to glare at McHuron. “Why?” “You can’t condemn the women,” says Mudd with uncharacteristic charity. “I can,” Childress declares. “A man goes out and fights, almost dies. We all almost died. We should have, but we didn’t. And now that we’ve got the good life in our hands, you bring us women for wives that—“ “You don’t want wives,” McHuron interrupts. “You want this!” She grabs the jewelry case and picks out three of the pills. They don’t glitter like they did before, but maybe that’s due to the light in Childress’ quarters. “This is what you want, Mr. Childress! And I hope you remember it, and dream about it, because you can’t have it! It’s not real!” She turns her back to the men and swallows the pills. Mudd watches her with an odd look on his face. Kirk’s eyes flick back and forth between Childress and McHuron. There’s a little smile on his face. McHuron turns around, looking reeeeeeal sexy. She looks at Childress, and her eyes are saying, come and get it, big boy! “Is this the kind of wife you want, Ben? Not someone to help you. Not a wife to cook and sew and cry and need, but this kind.” She slinks over and seats herself in his lap. “Selfish, vain, useless. Is this what you really want?” As the trophy wife phenomenon demonstrates, the answer to that question seems to be “yes” for way too many men. “All right, then, here it is.” “Quite a woman, eh, Childress?” says Kirk, still with that little smile. Shatner gives the “eh” that special something that only Canadians can. Childress, still with McHuron in his lap, says, “A fake. Pumped up by a drug.” “By herself,” Kirk corrects him. “She took no drug.” McHuron turns to look at him in surprise. “I swallowed it.” “Colored gelatin.” McHuron looks at Mudd, who explains, “Yes, they took away my drug and substituted that.” A confused McHuron says, “That can’t be.” “There’s only one kind of woman,” Kirk states. “Or man, for that matter,” adds Mudd. “You either believe in yourself, or you don’t.” After a moment’s pause, Kirk continues, “All right, Childress, I’ve gone as far with you as I intend to. I want those lithium crystals, and I want them now.” He pulls out his communicator and signals, “Enterprise, this is Kirk.” “Spock here, Captain,” the communicator responds. “Stand by.” He looks at Childress. “Do I beam down a search party?” A stunned Childress says, “No, the, uh, the crystals are here, and you’re welcome to them.” “Stand by, Mr. Spock. We’re coming aboard with the lithium crystals.” “How many coming, Captain?” “Eve will stay,” says Childress. “The day, at least. We, uh, we want to talk.” “Eve?” says Kirk. She smiles at him and says, “You’ve got someone up there called the Enterprise.” Kirk nods and says, “Two of us, Mr. Spock.” Pulling Mudd up out of his seat, he adds, “Come on, Mr. Mudd.” As they pause at the door to Childress’ quarters, Mudd says quietly, “Don’t you think you could possibly, by accident, arrange to leave me behind here? On this planet, that would be punishment enough.” “I can’t do that, Harry,” says Kirk. “But I will appear as a character witness at your trial. If you think that’ll help.” “They’ll throw away the key,” says an appalled Mudd.
The Enterprise departs from Rigel XII. On the bridge, Kirk is in the Big Chair, McCoy beside him. “That must have been quite a talk you made down there,” says the doctor. “Ever try considering the patent medicine business?” “Why should I work your side of the street?” “I’m happy the affair is over,” states Spock as he walks over. Handing Kirk a data slate, he adds, “A most annoying, emotional episode.” “Smack,” chides McCoy as he thumps himself in the chest, “right in the old heart. Oh, I’m sorry.” Thumping himself on the left side of his ribs, he corrects himself. “In your case, it would be about . . . here.” “The fact that my internal arrangement differs from yours, Doctor, pleases me no end.” Kirk hands him back the data slate as Farrell reports, “Course plotted and all systems in operation.” “Engines engaged,” Sulu adds. “Helm answering.” As Scott enters from the turbolift, we pull back from Kirk and McCoy. “Out of orbit, sir,” says Farrell. “Ahead full,” orders Kirk. “Ahead full, sir,” Sulu acknowledges. McCoy turns and heads for the turbolift as the closing credits come up. DIRECTED BY HARVEY HART. A shot of space as the Enterprise cruises past. TELEPLAY BY STEPHEN KANDEL STORY BY GENE RODDENBERRY
CREATED AND PRODUCED BY GENE RODDENBERRY