Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mudd Wresting!

Star Trek. I haven’t watched it since the late 80s. It’s been Remastered. Now it’s being Re-viewed.

“Mudd's Women”

Space scoundrel Harry Mudd is introduced here pedaling a trio of space brides in space!

On the CGI front, instead of the original weird light-blip-thing, they gave Harry Mudd an actual twin-nacelled spaceship in the beginning to get smashed by the asteroids. They also had a new matte painting to augment the miners' settlement, which looked pretty cool.

I really liked the photography in this one, specifically the scenes on the bridge. Harvey Hart was the director and I wished he'd done more episodes. They used a lot of low angles in shots, and even some handheld stuff like when Kirk comes out of the elevator and walks over to Spock and Scotty. That must have been a strong cameraman as they didn't have very lightweight equipment back then.

This is one of three episodes bug-eyed Mr. Farrell was in. Sorry, but I never liked this guy. I don't think I've ever seen Roger C. Carmel in anything but Star Trek - maybe an episode of Adam West's Batman. I really liked Carmel in "serious mode" at the end with this exchange of dialogue:

Kirk: Quite a woman, eh, Childress?
Childress: A fake...pumped up by a drug.
Kirk: By herself. She took no drug.
Eve: I swallowed it.
Kirk: Colored gelatin.
Mudd: Yes, they took away my drug and substituted that.
Eve: But that can't be.
Kirk: There's only one kind of woman.
Mudd: Or man, for that matter.
Kirk: You either believe in yourself or you don't.

Carmel's tone of voice with those two lines was really mesmerizing, without the usual histrionics of the character. I wished I'd seen him in more serious roles.

I must say I very much enjoyed Nimoy's "naughty" Spock character in these early episodes. He was never more so than in this one - often smiling, sometimes luridly so, and his posture was also looser, giving him a much lighter air about him. I love it when he takes Mudd and the women to Kirk's quarters for their first meeting. Spock is loving the "problem" that he's dumping on Kirk! I guess Dax on DS9 was in a similar mold, but to see someone like Leonard Nimoy who often played such tightly controlled people (like his Paris on Mission: Impossible) break out and just have fun with it would have been something to see.

Scotty in this episode was The Man! He kept his cool even though the LITHIUM crystals were popping like kettle corn. Kirk even blows up at him at one point and he just takes it in, says nothing, then a moment later Kirk apologizes and Scotty just nods his head and smiles a slight smile. Scotty was The ICE Man. Too bad Harry Mudd rubbed off on him because later in the series Scotty looses his head over the least little thing, "My alarm clock is flashing 12:00! THE SHIP CAN'T. HANDLE. THE. STRAIN!" (The Ice Man melted.)

When Harry is explaining to Childress what the Venus Drug does - it gives you more of what you already are - it reminded me of the Bill Cosby bit about people getting drunk and they excuse it because it just makes them more of what they are, and Cosby says, "Yeah, but what if you're an asshole?"

Disclaimer: Star Trek is Copyright 2009 and a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios, Inc. No infringement of those rights is implied.

Thanks to for the Star Trek screencaps.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, you've knocked another one out of the park!

    Ensign bug-eyes. Kirk: "Stop staring at me you've those bug-eyes. Sorry about the bug-eyes thing I'm gonna be in my bunk for a while..."