Lion of the Blogosphere

Star Trek: TOS, Season 2, “I, Mudd”

This is the second episode with Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd. Mudd has someone escaped the authorities and lucked into being the lord of a planet of 200,000 robots willing to serve him, including many beautiful female robots. It is hinted that the robots are available for sex.

This episode was actually a lot more enjoyable than the first Harry Mudd episode (which I previously reviewed). It’s better because it’s a lot funnier. In fact, maybe this is the second-funniest episode of the series (with, of course, the funniest being “The Trouble with Tribbles”).

This episode also raises some interesting questions about what humans are supposed to do in a post-scarcity future when robots are available to do all of the work and provide any sort of pleasure desired. And then, what if the robots decide to take over, for the good of humanity? Because the robots were programmed to serve humanoids, and then they decide their new human masters are too greedy and corrupt to be running things, it’s better for the robots to be in charge!

However, I have to give this episode a huge downvote for how Kirk and crew defeat the robots. With one of his infamous logic bombs! Yes, Kirk, by acting illogical, literally causes the robots’ brains to become fried! Yes, you actually see smoke coming out of the head robot’s head. Just like what happened to Landru in “Return of the Archons” as well as innumerable other TOS episodes.

Isn’t there any alien race in the universe capable of building a supercomputer that doesn’t blow up when Kirk induces cognitive dissonance in it? Try doing that with Siri or Alexa, I guarantee it won’t work.

Furthermore, Spock makes a lot of completely illogical conclusions. “To function as they do, each android mind must be one component of a mass brain linked through a central locus.” Sorry Spock, that doesn’t make any sense. Anyone with common sense would build redundancy into the system and not make the whole thing dependent on a single “central locus.” He may have been right, but that’s only because Gene Roddenberry told the writers that Spock is always right because he’s a lot smarter and more logical than us humans.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 5, 2017 at EST pm

Posted in Robots, Star Trek

5 Responses

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  1. I did try the liar’s paradox with Siri. She (yes her voice is a female Aussie) didn’t understand what I was saying and asked if I would like a web search on it. So not as smart as a Mudd android. The Mudd android did understand the paradox.

    Mike Street Station

    November 5, 2017 at EST pm

  2. Let’s cut to the chase: Did Kirk, or Gary Seven, nail Terri Garr?


    November 6, 2017 at EST am

  3. I don’t know why you keep pushing post scarcity. They have a whole arm of Starfleet growing food. The colonial division seems to take tremendous casualties throughout the Original Series. Kirk’s brother gets killed by those weird flying things that infect Spock. Cestus 3 is wiped out by Gorns because they don’t even bother to see if the space and planet are claimed by other aliens. The Federation claims to be peaceful but they use a lot of “gunboat diplomacy”. Spock almost dies because when its time to mate with his “wife” T-Pring, they want a show of force with FOUR starships to “celebrate” a new Federation member. Gee a show of FORCE. So peaceful. Why are they growing all this food? How exactly does that magic box that “replicates” food work? Do you have to stick food in there?
    Harcourt Fenton Mudd is only one of two independent operators that do not directly work for Starfleet or the Feds. They BOTH get arrested. Some free society. The other guy gets arrested because Tribbles eat some grain. Yeah OK. The fact a Klingon agent put them there, DOESN’T EVEN MATTER. Capitalism and Free Enterprise seem like they are AGAINST THE LAW.

    • I thought Cyrano Jones was arrested for illegally trafficking in harmful animals/life forms (i.e. tribbles). Even in a fairly libertarian society that seems like a reasonable law to have on the books.

      Peter Akuleyev

      November 6, 2017 at EST am

      • Yeah those tribbles were a killer. Killer tribbles purring people into a stupor. Even Spock almost loved those furballs. I’m surprised they didn’t dust off the death penalty for that heinous independent merchant without any rank in the Starfleet at all. In a Starfleet space station no less.

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