Ah, that intergalactic pimp and no good swindler, Hartcourt Fenton Mudd, deftly portrayed by Roger C. Carmel. Mudd has always been one of my favorite Trek characters. As the story goes, he’s trying to take three women and marry them to lonely husbands, and of course, profit form it. Even though that isn’t specified in the script, you’d be a fool not to assume that’s what he’s after.
This was one of the stories that was being considered to be the second Trek pilot. With the raciness and sometimes raunchiness (by 1966 standards) of this story, I am fairly confident that this was never actually going to be made as the second pilot. Nor would it be considered an appropriate series premiere or an early series episode. I think airing it 6th is a good decision by all involved. At this point, you’re familiar with the characters, who they are, what they do, and a plot like this is just the different kind of story that all Trek series would come to be known for over the years.
In other words, play out your more typical stories first and then go for the “way out there” stories.
So, what would I have thought then? I honestly would have thought the story was a bit hokey, but overall it’s passable because of the character interaction that is going on. The guest cast certainly drives this show, especially Maggie Thrett as Eve. She deserves major props for playing the most outspoken of the three women in this story. It should be put on the record that a story like this was very much of it’s time and would never fly as-is on today’s shows.
As you probably know, this isn’t the first appearance of Hartcourt Fenton Mudd, we’ll catch up with him again real soon. Even in 1966, you had a feeling that it might be a recurring character.
Next Week, androids appear for the first time!