6 – Mudd’s Women

Grade: C+

 Mudd's Women
(1966) on IMDb


The Enterprise has been chasing a rogue ship, and it heads into an asteroid belt. Shortly before the ship is destroyed, Mr. Scott beams aboard Harry Mudd and three women. Mudd turns out to be untrustworthy and the three women cast a spell on the entire crew.


Harry Mudd is one of the shadiest and most interesting of the Star Trek villains. He remains a fan favorite, despite the fact he is only in two Original Series episodes, plus one from the Animated Series. If they’d had the Internet back then, he probably would have been in even more episodes because the writers and producers would have known about his popularity before the series was completely cancelled. But even though he is a great villain, this episode contains some of the cheesiest scenes in the series.

The story turns out that Mudd gives these women a substance called the Venus drug, which makes them irresistibly beautiful to men. Without it, they become ugly. He wants to sell these three women to some lonely men. So this really is a pretty campy episode, and I don’t particularly like it. Star Trek is famous for having broken gender stereotypes (and racial ones also), but here’s an episode that relies on the most annoying stereotypes in existence. The miners don’t really want wives, and the women seem only too happy to be what the men want them to be. Maybe that’s why I don’t really like this episode that much, despite the interesting characters.

One of the scenes that I find pretty annoying was near the end, with about 3 minutes left. Kirk has to reveal the moral of the story when one of the women becomes beautiful without the help of Mudd’s Venus drug. I’ve always preferred the “show, don’t tell” method of storytelling. I don’t need someone like Captain Kirk to tie a bow on the episode and hand it over on a silver platter.

Of Note

Lt. Uhura wears a yellow uniform in this episode instead of a red one, for some reason. Captain Kirk’s reputation certainly precedes him, but oddly enough, he doesn’t chase women in this episode. Apparently, his character hadn’t been quite established yet.