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Star Trek The Animated Series: Mudd's Passion

Mikey Heinrich and Billie Doux discuss The Animated Series episode, "Mudd's Passion."

Mikey Heinrich:
"I'd like to pitch an idea for a Star Trek script."
"OK, let's hear it."
"Nurse Chapel buys some space roofies, uses them on Spock, and everybody thinks it's charming."
"Hmm. Needs more zing."
"She buys them from Harry Mudd."
"Keep going..."
"When we find Harry Mudd, he's in the middle of proving that he's totally willing to have sex with a hypnotic lizard, on stage, in front of a group of horny miners, if that's what it takes to close a deal."
"I like where this is going..."
"Some of the miners are badgers."
"BINGO! This will in no way be problematic in the future. Please take this sack of money."

At least that's how I imagine things went.

To be fair, it's really more accurate to describe it as a love potion and not roofies. It's not a million miles from the Buffy episode "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," except that when everyone else gets affected by the love spell they just flirt with each other in super-cringey ways instead of all dogpiling on Nurse Chapel.

That might have been an unfortunate way to phrase that.

I don't know, I thought this one was kind of fun, in an admittedly "A lot of this hasn't aged very well" sort of way. Mudd's doing his basic Mudd things, but he doesn't feel like he outstays his welcome in this one. It actually feels like just about the right amount of plot for the running time, which is something they struggled with. The detail that after the love potion wears off you have to balance things out with an even longer period of hating that person is an interesting touch, and made for a nice close to the episode.

I could never really find it in myself to care about Christine Chapel's feelings for Spock, but this was a pleasant enough episode. I do think they could have done more with the rest of the crew being affected, that felt like a bit of a missed opportunity.

What do you all think?

Billie Doux: Well, I was again happy that they stuck with one particular plot, even if they again simply revisited an original series episode but with added rock monsters. And Leonard Nimoy's reading of Spock's lines was particularly good. I laughed more than once, mostly because of him. The whole roofie thing wasn't anywhere near as offensive as it could have been because instead of an orgy of sex, we got dancing, music, and McCoy boasting about his exploits, followed by massive hangovers. Some love potion, huh?

There was plot confusion for me, though. They're interstellar cops now, sent to pick up a single con man? Did the drug work, or didn't it? Was it hit or miss? If the method was to rub yourself with the drug and then touch the object of your affection, why did they toss a bunch of them into the rock creature's mouth? Why was Christine wearing a phaser in Sick Bay?

And I noticed that Arex suddenly had three hands, M'ress had a hand with three fingers, and the rock creature had three eyes. Whatever that meant.

I really loved Kirk and Spock with their arms around each other, though. And points for using the word "ineluctable" in a kid's cartoon. I had to look it up.

Oh, and Mikey, I absolutely loved your script pitch.

Mikey: :) Yeah, I thought that them being sent to serve an arrest warrant was kind of odd, too. I sort of head canoned it as someone in Starfleet being aware that Kirk had dealt with Mudd before and passing the buck on him. Still strange though. Similarly, I just assumed that Mudd assumed that the potion doesn't work and so had never even bothered to try it. You're right however that that was pretty muddy – no pun intended in how the script treated the drug.

Having thought about your point that the crew really just hung out like they were at a frat party trying to get laid, I've decided that this one is more like the Buffy episode "Band Candy." Because I'm apparently determined to have this one resonate with Buffy.

This week's moment of cringe: McCoy describing how he saved "that pretty little Uhura." No, Bones. Just no.

I also had to look up "ineluctable."

Is this the planet Scribble?

Billie: It also reminded me of "The Naked Time." It was much closer to everyone getting drunk and losing control than succumbing to a love potion. Which was the plot of "Elaan of Troyius."

Mikey: Oh, now I'm sad that they didn't include my beloved Kevin Riley in this one. He could have sung his Christine song!

Billie: Ratings? I'm probably going to go with my usual two out of four hangovers. Spock did make me laugh.

Mikey: I'd have to say six out of ten sexy hypno lizards.

I do also want to add some solid respect for Mudd's "proof" that the potion worked being, "Hey, look how unattractive I am."

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