Star Trek Episode Review: Mudd's Women (1966)

Synopsis: While chasing an unmarked cargo ship through an asteroid field, Kirk (William Shatner) overextends the ship's systems and leaves the Enterprise limping with a dangerously low power supply. To make matters worse, the captured captain from the other ship, Harcourt Fenton Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) brings aboard three beautiful women with an unnatural ability to make human men desire them.

Review: I wasn't sure I would like this particular episode, mostly because, from the description at least, it sounded like it would be a little campy. And, to be honest, when the episode first started and the three women (Karen Steele, Susan Denberg and Maggie Thrett) and the crew members in the transporter room, minus Spock (Leonard Nimoy) started drooling over them, I was concerned my suspicions would be confirmed. However, as it turns out, this was actually a halfway decent episode.

I think the thing I liked most about this episode was the mystery surrounding the women. Yes, they were beautiful. But, there was obviously something else going on and I did find myself curious about what that was. I wasn't sure if they would turn out to be robots, aliens or there would be some other explanation as to why men were attracted to the point they couldn't act normal around them. Not to mention, Mudd's "business" of finding wives for lonely colonists didn't quite seem legit.

I also liked the added drama created by the Enterprise slowly dying because of Kirk's ill-advised decision to save Mudd's ship while risking his own. While there was no doubt in my mind he would find a way to save the ship, the time limit did add a little something extra.

My only real problem with this episode was the unexplained absence of the female crew members. I know the ship isn't just men, yet Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) and the other females that would normally be prominently displayed were noticeably MIA (though I'm pretty sure I caught a glimpse of Uhura at the very end of the episode).

I also found I wasn't a big fan of that advanced lie detector they were using when interviewing Mudd. It admittedly had potential, but without an explanation about how it works, it really does lose something. Not to mention, if they had that technology during Kirk's time, why wasn't it still around during the Star Trek: The Next Generation era? There were a few STNG episodes where that would have come in handy.

Final Opinion: The episode does have some flaws but, overall, I thought the mystery surrounding the women made it worth watching.

My Grade: B


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