Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Star Trek: TOS 2.12 - I, Mudd

Review 40 - Episode 41

The One where Harry Mudd comes back

Ah yes, Harry Mudd. I despised him and his first episode when I watched it last season. So I wasn't exactly crying out for a follow up. But, surprisingly, this is actually quite good fun and Harry's quite likable. The key difference is that Kirk's a match for him this time and can go toe to toe with him in the verbal stakes and mind games. Before, he was totally overpowered and was left looking weak.

So the episodes split into 3 parts really, all daft, but lets skip through them quickly. A crewman takes control of the Enterprise and steers the ship to an unknown planet who turns out to be an android. This is quite effectively done and reminds me of a TNG episode when Data takes control of the ship, so I wonder if this was an inspiration. How he got on the ship or found the Enterprise and falsified crew records etc. is best left in the dark as it makes no sense.

We then find out Mudd has sent the android to steal the Ship, maroon the crew and he will go off and see the galaxy. This doesn't really bother the crew as their every whim is met and any pursuits or interests are in abundance. This leads to plenty of nice scenes, mostly with Chekov, who is really the bad boy of Trek in these days, the one you suspect would be smoking round the corner of engineering and having sly tea breaks. Kirks interactions with Mudd and his crew are quite enjoyable and funny to watch.

The rest of the episode is...bizarre. To make the androids self destruct, Kirk and crew start acting surreal so they cannot compute what they see. What follows is 20 minutes of improv drama dadaism, off the wall acting and some of the strangest Trek scenes ever filmed. It's so weird that it actually works, but beyond my mere words to describe. You really have to see it.

Poor Sulu is left again at the helm and has been shunted to the side in favour of the 6 others. Throwaway episode really, but worth watching for the surreal improvising.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 119/200

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