22008 "Mudd's Passion"

(airdate: November 10, 1973)

Writer: Stephen Kandel
Director: Hal Sutherland

Harry Mudd: Roger C. Carmel

Stardate: 4978.5

Captain's Log: The Enterprise heads to the planet Motherlode, tracking down Harry Mudd. He's there selling a love potion to the miners, but when the miners learn Mudd is tricking them, Mudd gives himself up to Kirk and Spock. While in the brig, Mudd convinces Chapel that his love potion is genuine, and that she could use it on Spock. She grudgingly agrees to do so, but as she takes the potion she briefly feels faint, allowing Mudd to steal her ID card and phaser. Chapel tries the potion on Spock, but it doesn't work, and when she goes back to confront Mudd, he's escaped. Chapel tracks him down to the shuttlebay, where they briefly struggle, breaking more of Mudd's love potion crystals in the process, before he overpowers her and takes her as a hostage in a shuttle to the uncharted planet below. When Spock learns that Chapel has been kidnapped, he becomes irate - apparently the potion did work after all, and he's determined to rescue his "love". Kirk and Spock beam down to retrieve Mudd and Chapel, but they can't beam back because the crystals that were broken in the shuttlebay got into the air filtration system and have temporarily incapitated the crew. The landing party avoids being killed by two giant rock creatures, as they wait for the effects of the potion to wear off on the crew. They do and the Enterprise beams the landing party back - just in the nick of time.

Whoops!: Why, other than for plot reasons, is Chapel carrying a phaser while talking to Mudd? And whose idea was it to build a brig that opens directly onto a corridor (rather than into a different room), and with no guards on it? And what exactly does Mudd do to Chapel, when they're struggling in the shuttlebay, that allows him to so easily overpower her?
     The landing party comes up with a desperate plan to use Mudd's remaining love crystals on the two rock beasts, trying to delay the creatures attacking long enough for the Enterprise to come down from the effects of the potion and beam the party up. So when contact finally is reestablished, why does the landing party decide to go through with their plan, rather than just getting immediately beamed up?

Alien Love: Mudd's love potion causes a number of the crew to become romantically interested in each other, including Spock and Nurse Chapel (in what would prove to be the final outing of that plotline), Dr. McCoy and an unnamed red-haired operations lieutenant, and perhaps most notably, Scotty and M'Ress. (M'Ress notes that Scott is "very attractive for a human".)

Library Computer: Motherlode is a yellow planet in the Arcadian system, home to a heavy metal mining colony with many advanced buildings and equipment. The miners we see include humans [presumably] and bear-like humanoids [the term "Ursinoid" showed up on the episode's storyboards and has subsequently stuck] with large fangs and lots of fur. The miners are wearing teal overalls with black collars and a light blue medallion. Motherlode is not part of the Federation and thus does not recognize Federation law.
     Harcourt Fenton Mudd was last seen on the robot planet ("I, Mudd"), but he managed to escape by stealing a vehicle. He then traveled to Ilyria VI ("a charming planet, an innocent and friendly populace"), where he sold the inhabitants the Starfleet Space Academy, netting enough credits to be able to travel to Sirius IX. There, he obtained a love potion from someone and then turned around and sold it to a thousand inhabitants, who immediately became ill upon using it, due to their unusual biochemistry. [This suggests that the person he swindled out of the potion in the first place wasn't actually an inhabitant of Sirius IX.] Mudd then traveled to Motherlode, where he was charging three hundred credits per love potion crystal, and he was using a Rigelian hypnoid, posing as a woman named Lora, to help sell his con. This is where the Enterprise picked him up again. Mudd is dressed largely the same as the last time we saw him, but his shirt is white now, instead of blue. In his past, Mudd had sold the natives of Omega Cygni their own ocean, and he had conned two miners on Ophiucus Six out of a year's supply of dilithium crystals with fake Federation vouchers. Mudd has previously undergone rehabilitation therapy (as also mentioned in "Mudd's Women").
     A Rigelian hypnoid is a small, furry pink animal with six legs (three on each side), a long tail, and a long snout. It can project an illusion to make it look like something else (in this case, a blonde woman named Lora). As Lora, the hypnoid could speak [thus implying either intelligence or sophisticated mimicry].
     The love potion Mudd was selling were kept in small light blue crystals [or possibly just clear glass - the animation makes it difficult to tell which is actually intended]. The crystals are filled with a liquid that, when rubbed into the skin, creates feelings of love in the first person that person touches. [Well, not the first person, because otherwise Mudd would be helplessly in love with Chapel - so there's probably a slight delay before they take effect. Also, Mudd claims that it only creates feelings of friendship for same-sex contact, but as he doesn't believe the potion even works in the first place, we should probably take this with a grain of salt. That said, everyone seems very laidback and friendly while under the influence of the potion, so it probably just intensifies whatever tendencies you already have.] The initial effect is somewhat strong - it causes Chapel to nearly collapse, for instance - but it soon passes. When contact is made, those affected feel intense positive feelings for a short while [probably an hour or two, based on how much time seems to pass], followed by a longer-lasting period of distaste, as well as symptoms similar to a hangover (such as an aversion to loud noises). The potion could be atomized, and breathing it in produced the same effects. The potion worked on (at the minimum) humans, Vulcans, Edosians, and Caitians.
     Relatively close to Motherlode was a previously uncharted binary star system with a class M planet. (This was a rare occurrence.) The planet was yellow-orange from orbit, while the surface [or at least the part we see] was a rocky desert. The atmosphere at the surface was 800 millbars and breathable, with a gravity of 1.2 and a hot but acceptable temperature. The Enterprise's sensors detected no evidence of intelligent life, but there were gigantic rocky creatures living on the surface. One of them had three yellow eyes, two stubby forearms ending in pincers, and a long snake-like torso. The other was bipedal, with two yellow eyes and a large pointed forehead, a long tail and two smaller forearms, each with four fingers. When under the influence of Mudd's love potion, these two creatures did not get along.
     Arex knows how to play a special [presumably Edosian] stringed instrument, resembling a lute. This instrument has two separate sound holes and 20 strings. One appears to play it by fretting the strings with one hand and strumming across both holes with two other hands.
     The Enterprise shuttlebay contains a number of vessels, including two shuttles with rounded, pointed bows, one of which has the registry NCC-1701/12; a standard shuttlecraft, registry NCC-1701/9; a small vessel with nacelles sticking up above the body of the ship [this might be Carter Winston's ship, from "The Survivor"]; and a shuttle that looks like a cousin of the standard class F shuttle, just somewhat elongated, with the registry NCC-1701/4. [So similar but not quite identical to the vessels seen last time, in "Once Upon a Planet".] NCC-1701/12 was destroyed by a rock creature on the unnamed planet's surface.
     Starfleet personnel carry ID cards with them, which they can use to access areas of the ship (such as the shuttlebay). Chapel's ID includes the number NI-596, with MT21Z below it in smaller type. [Could this be Chapel's personal ID number?] The right side of the card has a large "12 M" printed. [Security clearance level, maybe? This is pure speculation, though.]
     Apparently people can still sue each other. [Mudd threatens to sue Kirk, with Kirk replying, "I'll see you in court".]

Final Analysis: "It worked! And I was selling those crystals to lump-headed miners for a miserable three hundred credits." The final animated sequel isn't particularly deep or demanding, but it is good fun. And it's good to see Harry Mudd back to being a more dangerous (though not irredeemable) foe - the way he manipulates Chapel and temporarily escapes custody is a welcome return to the "Mudd's Women" characterization, rather than the more neutered "I, Mudd" version.

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