Lion of the Blogosphere

Star Trek: TOS, S01E07, Mudd’s Women

With Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd being a recurring guest character on Star Trek Discovery, I thought I’d watch the original TOS episode where he appears.

The Mudd of TOS (who would be ten years older than the Mudd of Discovery) was not a supervillain but just some schlub petty-criminal transporting a cargo of mail-order brides to lonely male colonists.

Yes, that’s right, mail-order brides. Or maybe subspace-radio-order brides. I guess that, in the future, they don’t have OkCupid or Tinder.

Also, in the future, we learn that women are valued only for their looks. And maybe a little for their cooking and house-cleaning skills. Making the future more like the past than the present.

In the future, they’ve somehow lost the secret of easy-to-clean Teflon pots and pans. And although the “litihium-crystal” mines must be highly automated because there are only three miners on the entire planet of Rigel 12, this automation hasn’t extended to robots that can cook and clean for you.

Too bad the miners don’t have a Holosuite. Then they could just go into the Holosuite and have sex with hot babes whenever they want to, without having to deal with them getting ugly or complaining about stuff.

One thing I’m still trying to figure out about the future is whether they have capitalism, or if it has been replaced by a communist technocracy where there’s no need for anyone to have money. In this episode, it seems pretty capitalist. One of Mudd’s past crimes is “purchase of a space vessel with counterfeit currency.” So according to this episode, there’s still currency in the future, and peoples still counterfeit it, so they can buy space vessels they otherwise couldn’t afford.

When Kirk needs lithium crystals from the miners, he tells them that he’s authorized to pay them a fair price. And Mudd tells his bevy of husband-seeking women that lithium crystal miners are rich. So in the future, men will do crappy jobs like lithium crystal mining so they can get rich, so they can afford to buy mail-order brides. I don’t know, it seems a lot easier to just stay on a more civilized planet where your basic-income entitlements include Holosuite time.

The galaxy looks very white and very male in this episode. Beside the token black woman (Uhura) and Asian man (Sulu), everyone else on the Enterprise is a white male, the miners are white, Mudd is white, the mail-order brides are white. Spock may be Vulcan, but he’s also white.

Very white, very male, and yes, very heterosexual. All of the men are bedazzled by the beauty of Mudd’s women. It’s not the Discovery where white male heterosexual humans are a minority of two (Lorca and Tyler).

Mudd’s women are taking illegal “Venus pills” to make themselves look all glamorous and babelicious. But then at the end, Kirk replaces the “Venus pill” with a placebo, and the woman still gets beautiful from taking the placebo. Kirk says “see, beauty is just about believing in yourself.” We need a Kirk to visit planet Earth today in the year 2017 and put all of those plastic surgeons out of business. “You don’t need to spend a fortune on makeup and clothes, just believe in yourself damn it.”

Two other things to note about the future:

1. You can’t fly a spaceship without a spaceship license or filing a flight plan. For those who thought space travel would bring freedom and libertarianism, think again.

2. There are mining planets all over the place. After the planet earth was strip mined, they have to go find new planets to mine to satisfy mankind’s insatiable desire for lithium crystals.

Why did Star Trek Discovery choose this particular TOS episode to memorialize? It’s definitely down there in the bottom half of TOS episodes, maybe even worse than that.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 30, 2017 at EST pm

Posted in Star Trek

27 Responses

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  1. Discovery isn’t memorializing the episode, they’re memorializing the character of Harry Mudd. But then Discovery sucks anyway.

    I wish DSC would stop making references to actual Trek canon. It has nothing to do with Star Trek, why not keep it that way?

    JayMan

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • Beat me to it. It’s Mudd the character they want to memorialize, not the admittedly lame episode.

      Mike Street Station

      October 30, 2017 at EST pm

  2. “Why did they pick this episode to memorialize?”

    I haven’t watched this series at all, but referencing an obscure episode is a good way to win nerd points. Anyone can reference that famous episode with Evil Spock, but referencing an obscure one demonstrates to the faithful that the creators are also true fans.

    Winning over those hardcore, lifelong Trekkies is important to keep a Star Trek series on life support. That gives it more time to win over more of the casual fans.

    A criticism I heard of Enterprise (which I also never watched) is that they didn’t do much with the premise. They could have tied it back more to TOS.

    Wency

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

  3. 1) I think “Star Trek is white supremacist” could be a good meme for us. It’s catchy and is disguised as an SJW talking point. But the gist is that we’re never going to get to Star Trek-style utopia the way we’re going. Star Trek presupposes a world where low-IQ populations are marginalized. Back in the 60s, of course, that seemed so natural that it didn’t need to be specified.

    On paper, a joint white-East Asian hegemony (or perhaps joint white-EA-high caste Indian-Igbo hegemony?) sounds pretty good, but it’s speculative that that works in practice. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    2) despite being one of those creepy blood-and-soil nationalists, I’m also philosemitic. Not Star Trek, though: why aren’t there more Jews in the space future? Seems like there was a token Jewish character once or twice, but nothing’s coming to mind. The Federation is not just white-dominated, it’s also gentile-dominated. Star Trek demographics are like what you’d get if Richard Spencer wrote the initial script, and then they brought in a couple of lazy script doctors who added a couple blacks and a Chakotay for diversity and called it a day.

    3) a Star Trek series where the pharmacist from Juno plays Mudd as a colorful supervillain sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Would have to be a totally different show than the rest of the shambolic mess that is STD, though.

    Greg Pandatshang

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • >why aren’t there more Jews in the space future?

      Bill Shatner, who played Kirk, was jewish.

      Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, was jewish, and his famous hand motion for “live long and prosper” was something he plagiarized from a jewish religious service.

      Walter Koenig, who played Chekov, was jewish.

      TipTipTopKek

      October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • I believe that the guy who played Harry Mudd was Jewish as well.

        But the thing is, back in the 60s and 70s assimilation was all the rage among North American Jews. The memories of World War II were pretty fresh at that point; Israel seemed like a bunch of dreamers in the desert with the Arab knife at their throats; America was 80-90% white and the thought of jumping into the big White melting pot was pretty appealing to a lot of Jews in North America. And the bacon was a bonus.

        So in hindsight, it’s not a surprise that shows like Star Trek didn’t have any obviously Jewish characters.

        sabril

        October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • I meant Jewish characters

        Greg Pandatshang

        October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • But the thing is, back in the 60s and 70s assimilation was all the rage among North American Jews. The memories of World War II were pretty fresh at that point; Israel seemed like a bunch of dreamers in the desert with the Arab knife at their throats; America was 80-90% white and the thought of jumping into the big White melting pot was pretty appealing to a lot of Jews in North America. And the bacon was a bonus.

        No Americans are WASPier than secular American Jews.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • Also, Jonathan Harris played Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space. Not a Star Trek level show granted, but I hated all such shows by the time I was old enough to do algebra.

        Roli

        October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • “No Americans are WASPier than secular American Jews.”

        Well, obviously, they are WASPs, while sec American Jews are imitating them. But we do a damn good imitation. Don’t tell me you figured out Alex Bregman was Jewish before you read his Wikipedia entry! I sure didn’t.

        gothamette

        October 31, 2017 at EST am

    • There are Jews in space:

      Tom

      October 31, 2017 at EST am

    • Vulcans were pretty transparently idealized stand-ins for (German) Jews. They had all the good stereotypes – intellectual, odd but cool traditional culture, and privileged outsider status. The language even sounds like Hebrew – “Sarek”, “pon farr”, “Saavik”, “kunat-kalifi”. Spock is Maimonides in Space.

      Peter Akuleyev

      October 31, 2017 at EST am

    • “The Federation is not just white-dominated, it’s also gentile-dominated. Star Trek demographics are like what you’d get if Richard Spencer wrote the initial script, and then they brought in a couple of lazy script doctors who added a couple blacks and a Chakotay for diversity and called it a day.”

      That was what used to be called “integration” back in the day. Even the far left never envisaged the current creep show nightmare. They thought that with equal rights, and a few anti-discrimination laws, “Negroes” (what the finest leftists used), would assimilate to white norms and differences would fade away.

      Read Lawrence Auster’s archives for the autopsy of this pipe dream.

      gothamette

      October 31, 2017 at EST am

      • There was no religion in Star Trek. We assume by the time that show takes place, Jews became fully assimilated into gentile culture, and everyone lost their religion (except for Chakotay’s Native American religion).

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 31, 2017 at EST am

      • There’s a Jew named Joc Pedersen hitting homers for the LA Dodgers. If that’s not assimilation, what is?

        I mean, Alex Bregman I can see. But a Jew named Joc?

        gothamette

        October 31, 2017 at EST pm

      • Star Trek loves white ethnics, though. Scotty was Scottish, Chekhov was Russian, Picard was French. I guess that isn’t considered cool any more, because I can’t think of more recent examples. But back in the old days, Scotty was exactly the equivalent of having a Jewish engineer named Shlomo who says things like “Meshuganah Captain, the ship, she can’t take it!” or an Italian engineer named Rigatoni, etc. etc.

        Greg Pandatshang

        October 31, 2017 at EST pm

  4. Insane ad for the governor race in VA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYb2ZiQzL4M

    I was really excited cause I thought it was further evidence of how insane the Dems are and that Northam’s internals must be shit if they are trying something this desperate, but it actually wasn’t Northam’s campaign, it was something called the “Latino Victory Fund”.

    Still a window into Leftist lunacy, though.

    Otis the Sweaty

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • An illegal from El Salvador just murdered a Muslim girl with a baseball bat. His name was Darwin. He won’t win any Darwin awards.

      Oops.

      gothamette

      October 31, 2017 at EST am

  5. The Federation is communist but in the TOS era it’s an early stage communism in which they still use currency, “Federation Credits.” I think it’s not till the NG era that credits go away, except for dealing with races outside the Federation. Apparently they need a currency to trade with others. On DS9, all of the shops on the promenade were cash and credit capitalist businesses. Part of Sisko’s job was to encourage a healthy business climate there as part of Bajor’s rebuilding effort post occupation.

    So except for the Federation, the rest of the Galaxy seems to be capitalist economies of some type or another.

    Mike Street Station

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • Yeah, are we sure that Mudd purchased a space vessel with counterfeit currency in the Federation? Maybe he traded fake GPL to a Ferengi.

      Greg Pandatshang

      October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • That implies you could buy a spaceship with cash. Are spaceships that cheap in the future? Sort of used car range?

        Peter Akuleyev

        October 31, 2017 at EST am

  6. “Also, in the future, we learn that women are valued only for their looks. And maybe a little for their cooking and house-cleaning skills. Making the future more like the past than the present.”

    Remind me, what are the other things we value them for in the present?

    Jokah Macpherson

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

  7. While you are at it, you should watch “I.Mudd, “the second classic Trek episode featuring Harry Mudd.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I,_Mudd

    Oswald Spengler

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

  8. For the record, there were rumors, back about 5 or 10 years ago when many more people cared about the “canon” of Star Trek than still care today, (well I guess some people still do) , that in the new series of movies they would get Vince Vaughan (a fairly famous actor, in comparison to most science fiction actors) to play Harvey Mudd – one of the best known non-Federation characters in the Original Series – as a major character in one of the new “canon” movies .

    (I put parentheses around “canon” because at this point, it is just sad and wrong to care about what is or is not “Star Trek canon”, unless you are getting paid to care, no matter how many good moments there have been in the last 60 years or so of Trek entertainment. It is just a collection of stories, like any other collection of stories).

    howitzer daniel

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

  9. 1. You can’t fly a spaceship without a spaceship license or filling a flight plan. For those who thought space travel would bring freedom and libertarianism, think again.

    You do know it’s fiction, right?

    Steve Johnson

    October 30, 2017 at EST pm

    • So?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 30, 2017 at EST pm

      • Let’s be careful, my friends, some day some AI – not one of the better AIs, probably, but not necessarily the most schlubbish of all the schlubs among the less well-tended AIs – may read or watch all that and not know that it is fiction. Seriously! Well, it is fiction, although McCoy always made me laugh when he looked at Spock thinking whatever someone like McCoy would think when looking at someone like Spock, exasperated.

        howitzer daniel

        October 30, 2017 at EST pm


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