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Template:MAIUT middle
In the Harry Mudd Template:Arc middle
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SummaryEdit

The Enterprise is hijacked by an android who has been posing as Mr. Norman, a recently assigned crewman. The android seals off engineering and redirects the ship to an unknown planet at Warp 7. Any attempt to undo his tampering will likely destroy the ship. The planet is discovered to be populated with other androids.

When the crew arrives at the planet, Captain Kirk discovers that Harcourt Fenton Mudd, an outlaw whom Kirk has encountered previously, is the apparent "ruler" of the androids. Having previously escaped incarceration for his crimes, Mudd explains that he crashed his spaceship on the planet, and the androids took him in. He says that they are very accommodating, but refuse to let him go. During his stay, Mudd has acquired thousands of android women as servants as well as an android version of his estranged wife Stella, which nags Mudd incessantly until being commanded to "shut up", at which point she deactivates.

The androids tell Kirk they were built by a people from the Andromeda Galaxy, but their creators were destroyed by a supernova, and the robots were left to fend for themselves. First Officer Spock discovers there are over 200,000 of these androids that may be controlled by some as yet unseen central operator.

Mudd orders the androids to beam up to the Enterprise to fetch the rest of the crew. The crew are rounded up and brought down; Ensign Chekov finds a pampered existence by the service of hundreds of beautiful android women to be not such a bad idea. Even Lt. Uhura is impressed when she finds that she can live forever in an immortal android body. In the meantime, Mudd plots to escape by taking over the now-deserted Enterprise, but is stopped from carrying out his plans by the androids.

The androids finally reveal their plan. They tell the Enterprise crew that they believe humans are too destructive and flawed and should be kept under control. The androids plan to leave their planet by means of the Enterprise and will expand and take over the galaxy.

Spock notices that almost all of the androids exist in numbered sets and series. There are many "Alices", "Oscars", etc., but only one Norman. Spock speculates that Norman is the central coordinator and the crew should concentrate on him when attempting to escape. They tranquilize Mudd and explain to the androids that he is ill and they must return to the Enterprise in order to save his life. The androids are about to authorize the request, but Lt. Uhura reveals that this is a ploy to escape. This apparent betrayal is then shown to be part of the plan; a ruse to provide the androids with the "escape attempt" they presumably expect.

The crew then engage in clownishly silly activities in an attempt to confuse and overload the Norman android. Illogic causes the androids to go into lockup loops, insensible to further input. Mudd and Kirk pose Norman the Liar paradox, where Kirk claims everything Mudd says is a lie and Mudd declares that he is lying. Unable to resolve this contradiction, Norman shuts down. Without a controlling leader, the other androids freeze up. This allows them to be reprogrammed to return to their original task of making the planet habitable and productive.

Mudd is indefinitely paroled to the android population {as an example to the androids of human failure}, a prospect which he finds acceptable - even enjoyable - until he discovers to his horror that not only has the nagging android Stella been reprogrammed not to respond to his command to "Shut up!" but there are now at least 500 copies of her.[1]

Errors and ExplanationsEdit

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic TrekkersEdit

RuminationsEdit

  1. Surprise that Data hasn't visited this planet. He might be able to share technology with these androids. Kirk most probably imposed a VERY strict quarantine order for the entire system.

Plot OversightsEdit

  1. First of all, how did Norman get assigned to the Enterprise? Yes, there are ways by which he could assume someone‘ s identity and reprogram the records to align with his statistics, but the show never offers one clue on how Norman actually accomplished this. Norman is an expert with computers, and probably created false assignment orders.
  2. Throughout the episode, whenever the androids want to sidestep a question, they say, “l am not programmed to respond in that area." For instance, when asked by Kirk who sent him to commandeer the ship, Norman responds with this statement. Yet Norman knows who sent him. Therefore, Norman’s statement is a lie. He has the knowledge and the ability to relate that knowledge to Kirk. To be truthful, Norman would have to say, “I am programmed not to respond in that area." They probably mean they are either unable or unwilling to answer.
  3. - During the course of the show, the crew discovers that Norman is the head android and directs the activities of the others. If Norman is the director, what did all the other androids do while he was off hijacking the Enterprise? They were most likely operating under Norman's deputy, preparing to receive their 'guests'.

Equipment OdditiesEdit

  1. Evidently Norman made several good adjustments to the warp drive system. In “Arena,” Spock comments that a sustained warp seven would be dangerous, but in this episode the Enterprise flies at warp seven for four days. He probably enhanced the safety systems
  2. Just after Norman explains the origin of the androids, two of the Alice series invite Kirk and company to peruse the planet's facilities. They speak their last sentence in unison, except for one word. One of the Alices says, "You are free to visit them," while the other one says, “You are free to use them.This could be an indication of latent individuality. [N 2]
  3. Alter receiving too much irrational input, Alice 3 and Alice 11 conk out. Interestingly enough, the lights on their ID badges do not stay on as did those of all the other androids who conked out.The light emitters could have burned out.

Continuity and Production ProblemsEdit

  1. The outfit that Harry Mudd’s ex-wife wears is very similar to the one Martha Leighton wears in The Conscience of the King. Possibly a standard outfit for female civilians.

Nit CentralEdit

Plot ErrorsEdit

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, April 17, 1999 - 5:17 am - Just how did Norman leave the planet Mudd to get to the Enterprise anyway? Were there spaceships left over from the days of the creators? Did they repair Mudd's vessel? Why did Mudd tell them to hijack a Starship instead of some other less attention grabbing vessel? The androids probably repaired Mudd's ship in secret, without telling him, and used that.
  2. Just because the crew can't do anything about navigation, why don't they send a message to Starfleet? Norman could have disabled long range communications.
  3. Was it just me or did Kirk seem overly familiar with Mudd? They almost acted like friends instead of two people who only met once before. Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 7:02 am - Harry Mudd is one of those people you're instantly familiar with, like Sir John Falstaff. He has a larger than life personality.
  4. Mudd never did explain how he got out of prison for the events of Mudd's Women. He explained the Technology Exchange which got him in trouble on Deneb V, but I don't see how that could get him out of prison. For all we know, he may have been able to talk his way out of a prison sentence, especially in light of his assistance in acquiring new power crystals for Enterprise.
  5. Mudd is flying away from Deneb V, his ship is damaged and flies into unmapped space. Does this mean that Mudd has been farther than the crew of the Enterprise D, since they only went as far as Deneb IV? (Farther under their own power anyway.) The name Deneb may apply to multiple star systems.
  6. How would immobilizing the androids get the ship back? Earlier Kirk was upset that there was no one aboard the Enterprise because then there would be no way to get back. (Sounds like a design flaw to me. The engineers should have created some kind of remote control for the shuttle bay doors and possibly the transporter.) However, when Kirk and company succeed in deactivating the androids, wouldn't they have the same problem? The androids on the ship should be just as disabled as the rest of the androids on the planet. If Kirk and company couldn't find a way of reactivating the androids under their control, then Kirk and company would be stuck on that planet, as they didn't know for certain that they could reactivate the androids when they decided to do it..Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 7:02 am - As you can see in the last scene, the androids have been reactivated and the crew is leaving. Therefore, the androids must now be following the crew's orders. I would assume that the crew asked the androids to beam them back up to the ship.
  7. MattS on Thursday, May 13, 1999 - 12:54 pm - Boy, Kirk really likes to make himself, judge, jury, and executioner. As in Space Seed, Kirk seems to demonstrate that starfleet captains are permitted to maroon whoever they like wherever they like. mf on Friday, May 14, 1999 - 2:18 pm - In Space Seed. McCoy pointed out that Kirk had the authority. Besides, he really was giving Khan a choice. Here, I got the impression he'd already been in touch with Starfleet by the end.
  8. John A. Lang on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 11:13 pm - At one point, Spock says to an Alice droid, "I love you" and to the other, "But I hate you"...ummmmmm...aren't "LOVE" and "Hate" emotions, Mr. Spock? ScottN on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 11:29 pm - He didn't really love/hate them. He was merely trying to confuse them.
  9. RevdKathy on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 12:34 pm - Mudd must have had a ship to reach the planet.. did it crash? In which case, how did Norman get off the planet? As stated above, The androids probably repaired it in secret
  10. How did Norman then get posted by Starfleet to the Enterprise... has Mudd waited the years it would take Norman to pass through the Accademy? (He's wearing a striped sleeve, so he has rank too.) Or does he have some way of fooling the Starfleet database into believing he's a bona fide member of the personnel? And how did the rest of the androids cope for so long without him while he's on the Enterprise, if he's their central control?... couldn't Mudd have run amok in Norman's abscence? See the The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers section above.
  11. Given the wonderful research lab and technical centre they have, couldn't the androids just have built themselves a ship? There may not have been enough time or resources. Besides which, any ship built by the androids would have likely been seized for analysis before Norman could hijack Enterprise.
  12. If this is their first contact with humans... what's in their library? The collected history and literature of the next galaxy.... I sure hope Kirk remembered to download a copy before he left! They probably provided Kirk with a copy as a thank-you for helping them with Mudd.(Assuming, of course, that the androids would allow such advanced knowledge to leave the planet at all!)
  13. stephen on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 1:41 pm - Why grab the Enterprise? He was ordered to impersonate the first starship crewman he saw, who happened to be an Enterprise crewman on leave. Wrong – McCoy explicitly stated that Norman was assigned to Enterprise.
  14. Why'd Stella marry Harry? She's something of a con artist herself, and they kept getting in each other's way and on each other's nerves. She probably didn't give him any choice! (It would certainly explain a lot of things about him!)
  15. What did the androids do for the million years before Harry came? - Cataloging that planet's biological and geologic features and resources, experimenting with organic and inorganic compounds, developing technical gadgets and gizmos in preparation for whoever made them, to come back and use the planet. But whoever made them didn't come back. They may have been wiped out.
  16. kerriem. on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 3:08 pm - Nice for Norman that the crewman in question happened to resemble him so closely! And what about the security scans that surely must be part of life on a starship - voice, retina, even thumbprint? Sure, Norman could have retrofitted himself...but where and how? The androids may be sophisticated enough to fool some sensors. In any case, Norman has steadfastly refuse to submit to a medical for the three weeks between his arrival on board, and the start of the episode.
  17. kerriem. on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 8:10 pm - If they are as technologically advanced as a million years would allow...howcum no interest in travelling to other worlds until they met Mudd? At the very least, they should have achieved warp drive and been visiting local star systems.stephen on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 6:13 pm - They either used Mudd's ship or somebody else crashed there and that ship was used. Or they used a ship used by the creators. They were programmed to wait on that one planet until their creators came back, but they never did. Something must have happened to make them disappear.

Continuity ErrorsEdit

  1. John A. Lang on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:25 pm - This is the only episode in which Spock's nerve pinch doesn't work! Rene on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:31 pm - I believe Spock's nerve pinch didn't work in Assignment: Earth either.
  2. John A. Lang on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 1:14 am - Harry Mudd is missing the earring he had in Mudd's Women. Either it was confiscated when he was arrested, or he chose to get rid of it.

Internet Movie DatabaseEdit

Character errorEdit

  1. Chekov says he's been in Leningrad. The show's writers did not anticipate that the Russian city of St. Petersburg would drop the name Leningrad centuries before Mr. Chekov was born. This could possibly be a reference to Leningrad Oblast, the industrialised province in which St. Petersburg is located, with the name being retained to preserve knowledge of the city's history.

ContinuityEdit

  1. When android Norman first comes on board the Enterprise and starts to take over the Engineering section, there's a red-shirt crew member who's presumably about to dive from the upper platform area onto Norman, but he's going in a direction AWAY from the android. Yet in the split second jump cut, he lands directly on top of Norman. The red-shirt is probably doing this to stop Norman from realising what he's about to do.

Revealing mistakesEdit

  1. Acne scars on Norman, an android. Probably added to make him appear human, as part of his plan to hijack Enterprise.

Plot holesEdit

  1. The androids beamed up to the Enterprise to send Scotty back on the planet, however there was no other android aboard to operate the transporter, just the crew members who wouldn't authorize (de)materializing without approval from the active captain. They may have been able to activate the transporter remotely for the beam up.

NotesEdit

  1. David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite.
  2. Listed under Revealing Mistakes on the IMDB entry.

SourcesEdit

  1. I, Mudd at Wikipedia


The Original Series Season 2
Catspaw I Metamorphosis I Friday's Child I Who Mourns for Adonais?I Amok Time I The Doomsday Machine I Wolf in the Fold I The Changeling I The Apple I Mirror, Mirror I The Deadly Years I I, Mudd I The Trouble with Tribbles I Bread and Circuses I Journey to Babel I A Private Little War I The Gamesters of Triskelion I Obsession I The Immunity Syndrome I A Piece of the Action I By Any Other Name I Return to Tomorrow I Patterns of Force I The Ultimate Computer I The Omega Glory I Assignment: Earth