144: Star Trek TOS Season 1, “Mudd’s Women”

https://youtu.be/fq6Xr2X925k

Matt and Sean talk about how quickly the era rears its ugly head in Star Trek: The Original Series. This episode has some serious cringe, but can the story get beyond it?

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In this episode of Trek in Time, we’re going to talk about how to meet women when you’re a sexist space pig. That’s right, everybody. Welcome to Trek in Time, where we’re talking about every episode of Star Trek in chronological order and talking about what the world was like at the time of original broadcast.

And who are we? Well, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids. And with me as always is my brother, Matt, who is the guru and inquisitor behind the show Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you today?

I’m doing great. As I pointed out before, I’m wearing my That’s Matt TV t shirt so you can’t get confused as to which one of us is Matt and which one of us is Sean.

I should just get a t shirt that just says and Sean. And Sean. Yeah. So as I mentioned, we are going to be talking about space sexism. That’s right. We’re talking about the 10th episode in broadcast order, but the third in shooting order. Mudd’s women from season one of Star Trek, the original series, which means we’re also talking about 1966.

But before we get into that, we always like to visit the mailbag. So, Matt, what have you found in the mailbag for us today?

Alright, well, this week we have quite a few good ones. I wanted to bring up one from PaleGhost69. This is our last episode, the Corbomite Maneuver. Uh, so what PaleGhost said was, I was getting annoyed by the alien doll displaying on the view screen.

I thought it was just lame effects. Imagine my surprise when it was actually a f was fake, and then even more surprised When the child limps, lip syncs, dialogue. I’m still unsure if that alien was actually a child or not. His lines say adult, but he grabs their hands like a child, seeking comfort from Kirk and Bailey.

Enjoying Bone’s snarkiness, though. I thought that was pretty funny because it’s like, yeah, there’s like a little bit of this weird uncanny valley with, uh, little, uh, Howard, lip syncing, I, yeah, part of me, like the, the lip syncing. Yes. I completely understand that it is hard to replace the voice of a person with another person and have it be seamless.

Um, yeah. Although not anymore. I’m sure now we just run an app and it would be perfect. You just take the original person’s voice and change it into somebody else’s voice. But, um, yeah. As far as the childlike quality of having a child actor, I think that that was largely intentional. My interpretation of all of that is that at that moment, Baylok is, is very much meant to present as like, I am childlike.

I am curious and exploring and taking of the hands. For me, that ending, was actually very kind of like powerfully moving of like he’s taking their hands and is leading them through his ship and he’s proud of it. It’s almost like a child saying, do you want to see my fort that I built? It’s got that kind of quality to it.

And I think it’s intentional. So that for me is a big part of the heart of the episode. We also had a comment from AJ Chan. I assumed that you took last week off for Mother’s Day weekend. I figured we were supposed to reflect on the impact of Majel Barrett Roddenberry on the franchise, she is definitely the mother of Star Trek.

She appears in the first pilot, The Cage, plays a motherly figure, Loxana Troi. She’s the ubiquitous voice of the computer. And in Strange New Worlds, it takes two actresses, Rebecca Romijn and Jess Bush, to fill her shoes. I thought that was a nice little call out for Mother’s Day. Just remember, uh, uh, Majel Roddenberry, uh, what impact she had on Star Trek.

And yeah, no, it’s All my fault that we didn’t record that week. I had nothing to do with that. My bad.

Yeah. Uh, then the last comment I kind of want to bring up, it’s kind of a tandem here between PaleGhost and AJ Chan. PaleGhost wrote, Note to the future selves, the next episode is Mudd’s Women. Also consider putting the link to the page in the description. I tried to find it on the Trek in Time website and couldn’t.

And then AJ Chan responded, I agree. I also couldn’t find the list. I also searched TOS episodes by stardate and got multiple sequences depending on the source. I have to apologize for that. It wasn’t the website, but it was buried behind a link that wasn’t obvious. So I’ve put it at the top level navigation on the website stardate order.

You can’t miss it now. Click that and you’ll see it. Um, I am now referencing this to make sure I don’t watch the wrong episode again. So it’s already helping me out. So hopefully that helps. Yeah, this is going to be For the original series in particular, it’s going to be a little back and forth. And then as we get deeper into this, and this is a, this is a happy problem for us to have, and it’s a happy problem that we won’t have for probably three years, but there will be a point where we will be moving from Next Generation Deep, Deep Space Nine, back to Next Generation, back to Deep Space Nine, onto Voyager, back to Deep Space Nine.

We’ll have some swapping out of, of series. In the future, and that stardate order list is going to be important is going to be very important for us moving forward. And I’m looking forward to that back and forth kind of viewing, because that to me is like going to be a really neat tapestry of the show, but that can mean only one thing, which means that it’s time for Matt to tackle the description of the episode and full disclosure, like these are really kind of tricky to create.

Now, if I took the full blown Wikipedia description, Matt. It’s like two pages. So these are whittled down and include some interesting little errors that get left in because of archaic mistakes that people make at times. So good luck. Okay. Mud’s Women is a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk’s spaceship, the Enterprise, pursues an unregistered spaceship.

During the chase, the spaceship attempts to escape, but Enterprise’s shields stop it, leading to the spaceship’s destruction. That’s not actually what happened, but okay. Three women, Ruth Bonaventure, Eve McHuron, and Mo Maoda? I’d say, I’d say, I’d say Moda. Moda? Kovacs? Tomata, Tomoda. Yeah. Are beamed onto Enterprise.

They’re introduced as wives for settlers on Ophiuchus III. A hearing is held, revealing that Kirk’s shipmaster license has been revoked. What? No, that can’t be right, Sean. No, it’s not. No. Mudd’s shipmaster license has been revoked. Typo in the description. And his real name is Harcourt Fenton Mudd. The ship needs new lithium crystals leading to an encounter with a chief miner.

This description is so broken. Is it ’cause you cut things out ? It is, yes. Okay. And Enxander Childress? Yes. Love the name Childress? Yes. A deal is made for the crystals. But Childress reneges. A party is held leading to a conflict between Eve and Childress. Can I just say, the way this is written, it sounds like a fever dream of an episode.

It’s like his shipmaster’s thing has been revoked, and then they hold a party.

Leading to a conflict between Eve and Childress. Eve runs into a magnetic dust storm, and Kirk follows to find her. Kirk then offers to take Eve away, but she declines, choosing to stay with Childress instead. The episode is a mix of adventure, humor, and a glimpse into the soci societal norms of the Star Trek universe.

And a lot of misogyny, but we’ll get to that later. This is the fourth episode in production if you count the original, the original, uh, pilot. It’s the sixth in broadcast order, directed by Harvey Hart, story by Gene Roddenberry, teleplay by Stephen Kandel. It originally broadcast on October 13th, 1966. We have, as always, our main cast, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelly, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Majel Barrett as the voice of the computer, and Grace Lee Whitney.

We have also guest stars, Roger C. Carmel as Leo Walsh, that’s the name he originally gives, and turns out it’s actually Harry Mudd, who we know from discovery, right? This is supposed to be the same character. It’s a little hard to wrap your head around that casting leap, but

man,

if you squint the right way, maybe.

Yeah. Karen Steele playing Eve McHuron. She’s arguably the lead of the three women who is having the most of a moral dilemma around what they’re doing to find husbands. I mean, we’re really boiling down an episode where the entire plot. Is generated because three women want to get married. Um, Susan Denberg and Maggie Threatt.

And I found it interesting in my research to identify the ages of these actresses. Karen Steele was 35 and was playing a over the hill, she’ll never get married, she’s an old maid because she’s space garbage. And Susan Denberg was 22, and Maggie Threatt was 20. Now, they were supposed to be as beautiful as they were, and as youthful as they were, because of the magical, uh, pharmaceutical potion that they were taking.

And That’s all well and good that that’s what’s supposed to be making them youthful, but when they age them up to make them look like, Oh, they’re, they’re not as beautiful as we thought they were. They barely do anything to Karen Steele. They just light her differently. The other actresses are given, very clearly, like, rubber cement on the skin, which creates that puckering effect and creates the age, it’s, it’s very much stage makeup, like, seeing these actresses do this on a stage would have looked like, oh, they’re older women now, seeing it on television just looked like they got some, they got some gooey stuff, that’s not, it’s not doing enough work, the special effects in that regard were not doing enough work, but for poor Karen Steele, She was 35 years old, basically just lit differently, and that was supposed to be it.

And Karen Steele was a character actress from, from this era, starting in the mid 50s, and worked until 1970 on television. She was also in movies. She also did some stage. But if you look at her Wikipedia page, she has Probably just quickly guessing, I’m thinking close to 40 different TV shows that she did one episode or two episodes of.

So she was a, she was very much a character actress. And I found this a little depressing. This show was the sixth from last thing she would do on television. So at 35, she had worked in television starting in the fifties. And at 35, she would only have a handful of shows left afterward. She was in an episode of Flipper, Felony Squad, The Cat, Hogan’s Heroes, and Mannix.

After that, no television credits. So basically done working in television at 35 and playing a role, the entire point of which was. I am too old to be valuable to a man. So, pretty sobering stuff. Originally broadcast on October 13th, 1966. What was the world like at this time? Well, Matt, I don’t have to tell you what mom and dad were dancing to.

That’s right. It was the song Cherish by The Association. And at the movie theaters, this was another week at the number one spot for Dr. Zhivago. So this was, we’ve referred to Dr. Zhivago as the number one film previously, back when the second pilot was the film, was the episode we were talking about. This was close enough in production order to that, that Zhivago had returned again to the number one slot.

And we’ve been looking at the various things on television that would have been competing with Star Trek. These of course included shows like My Three Sons. Bewitched, That Girl, The Dating Game, and Star Trek’s Nielsen ratings for Season 1 topped out at a 12. And to compare that to the various programs that were at the top of the slots were Bonanza at a 29, Red Skelton Hour at a 28, and at a 27, the number three most popular show of the year, a little program called the Andy Griffith Show.

Maybe you’ve heard of it. It starred. Yes, that’s right. If you’re thinking Andy Griffith, you were right. It also starred Ron Howard, which I. I think it’s great. Ron’s younger brother, Clint, was in our previous episode that we talked about. And in the news, it’s a heavy political era in the 1966, late, uh, or mid fall, there were election, uh, In the offing, we talked last week about the consequences of the election.

The GOP was feeling emboldened in late November of 1966 because they had had a good showing and they had gained seats in the House and they had gained some governorships and they thought that things were looking good for them. It, before that election, we have news articles in the New York Times about President Johnson touring the country and giving speeches in which he is trying to attack Republican fear mongering around the direction of the country.

And we would know in 19. 66. The results of the election would lead to, as we got closer to the 1968 presidential election, Johnson decided not to run for another term. He had taken the presidency as a result of JFK’s assassination. He won the election in 1964. He decided not to run in 68. And that of course paved the way for Richard Nixon to win in a very, very strong showing for the Republicans.

On now to our discussion about the episode itself. Well, you might’ve caught a hint of Matt’s and my feelings about this and I’m basing that completely on the fact that I like to think of myself as Like, you can call it woke if you want to, I don’t mind. I try to look at these things in the context of when they were produced.

There are always some things that are just like, okay, yeah, it was a different era. And I also try to, like, people slack of being products of their era. But this episode, I think, shines an uncomfortable light on a real hard truth. As a Trek fan, Gene Roddenberry, in certain ways. As progressive as he was in things around race and gender, there were women on the bridge.

There were women serving at various levels of the crew, but there was always that hint of like, but you’re still just a woman. This is still a man’s world. It’s still a man’s ship. And it’s still a man’s, well, in this one, they’re literally saying it’s a man’s galaxy. And this shines an uncomfortable light on the fact that Gene Roddenberry’s sexism is pretty much on full display.

He was the story creator for this episode. So this is very much of his vision. I kept having uncomfortable flashbacks to an episode we won’t get to for a long time of Next Generation where the Enterprise is supposed to deliver the Bride. To bring peace between two planets and Femke Jansen plays this woman whose entire purpose is to satisfy the needs of whatever man she bonds with and she bonds with Picard, but I kept doing flashbacks to that one.

But that, Sean, that has a purpose though. They’re using that as a way to challenge the idea. This is not doing that. This is purely just, whoa, what is on display right now? It did not age well. Yeah. So, yeah. But I kept that, that, that episode. And I happened to just accidentally have seen that episode recently that was on, like, I was watching Pluto channel for Star Trek and that episode happened to come on.

I didn’t turn it off and it was playing in the background. I was just like, yeah, it’s, I understand. They thought they were doing something progressive, but it’s still so bluff and. But this is a higher degree. This is to a different level. So, we are left then with kind of two things to analyze, I think. We have to kind of dissect, okay, there is the sexism of all of this.

We can also look at what are they doing with character and the relationships between the people on the ship. Because we’re now seeing them getting deeper into understanding who their characters are and what those connections might be. And so there’s that side of it.

I’d like to tackle the uncomfortable side of it first and just talk a little bit about some of the oogie things that are happening to these poor actresses who had to portray their entire reason for being was they were tired of being, they literally were there with Harry Mudd because they had no options for husbands.

Cause they needed a man, Sean. Cause they needed a man. And every time there’s any discussion around the relationships between men and women, it is not having a partner with whom to explore life and grow together. It’s very much a, don’t you want somebody to cook and clean for you? So, and yes, we have the, I mean, some actually very good acting.

Around some very awkward moments, like, you have the sequence where Childress searches for and ends up rescuing Eve, who is lost in the, uh, the storm, the sandstorm. He brings her back to his place, and when he wakes up, she is cooking. And they have this, well, you’re probably going to expect me to like roll my eyes and say, Oh, thank goodness a woman’s cooking.

And then he sits down and he does have that kind of response. And she’s kind of throwing it back at him or like, how come you never cleaned your pot? How, how can you never clean your pans? You’re so smart, but you never thought of just using the sandstorm to do it for you. I like, I like the acting and I like some of the, I think there’s chemistry between those two actors in that moment.

I think they do a really good job. It’s a rare thing in Star Trek. We don’t have any of our main characters on the screen. We have two people we will not see in another episode and they do a good job of bringing these characters to life. What is happening with these characters is not fantastic, but I think the performances of all of the extras in this are actually very, very good.

Like, I, I liked Childress, even though he was an unlikable guy. That’s a neat trick for that actor to have pulled off. Uh, and of course, you have Roger Carmel as Harry Mudd. Mustache twirling, fake accent to begin with. It kind of drops away by the time you get to the end. Yeah, they give up on it. Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s, uh, he is Eye rollingly, swashbuckly, and is probably the closest thing at this stage that the show has toward kind of, you know, It’s almost Star Wars y.

Like, he’s such an overblown character that it’s almost a different type of show, but he still manages to play it in a way that I think fits within Star Trek. So, I think the performances of some of the discomfortable, the uncomfortable aspects is still to be recognized. What did you think about the performances versus I was going to say, let’s back up for a second because you brought up the scene with those two characters.

Why don’t you take your pots out and let the sandstorm do that whole thing? The whole setup of this episode with the whole misogynistic women need a man to have a meaning and life and all that kind of BS was just like, you know, nails on a chalkboard slowly dragging for this entire episode. And that scene hit.

I enjoyed that scene because the scene started to actually challenge that idea. Because it was the only place where it did. Right. It was like they were all objectified the entire episode. These sexy women that men are just drooling over and just like losing their minds over. And in that one scene, that’s not happening.

And what she’s doing is she’s being a companion. She’s showing her intelligence. She’s challenging his intelligence. She’s, Making him, quote, a better man in just some of the things she’s saying. And so what’s kind of coming through the undertone of that whole scene is they’re basically saying it’s not about having a woman to cook for you.

It’s about having a companion, somebody that can be your partner in life. And I was like, that one scene, it was like, why wasn’t that the whole point of the entire episode of like challenging this whole idea? But it was, of course, comes back to the time it was made. Roddenberry clearly has his own antiquated views of women that came through loud and clear in this script.

So that’s why it didn’t happen. But it was like, there was like this inkling there. And I thought the acting was excellent. It was great. Um, I also have to talk about the elephant in the room with Harry Mudd. More like the hair in the room with Harry Mudd. Oh, you noticed, you noticed the tufts? What was going on?

It was, it was like, did they add a prosthetic of hair coming out? Or was the actor actually Harry and they only shaved him down to the, that level? Because like, whatever it was, I don’t care what the choice was. You didn’t shave him far enough. Or you shouldn’t have put the fake hair in there. I don’t care what it was, it was so distracting having this straight line of just like weird hair coming up from under his collar.

Was it supposed to show him being a virile man? It’s like, it was weird. It was distracting. Every time he was on, my wife was laying there on the couch with me while I was watching this. And every time he was on the screen, she was laughing and going, what’s up with the hair? It’s like, I don’t, I don’t know.

It’s a weird choice. They made a very odd choice there. But yeah, his, his performance. I thought it was bad because of the way, like the accent that slowly faded over the episode. If it was deliberate, it would have been like, he’s doing the fake accent for his persona. And then when he’s talking to the women individually, he’d not have the accent.

Or when the gig is up. He just drops the accent. That would have been awesome if they’d done that. But what came across was they started with the accent and by the end it just kind of faded away because nobody cared about it anymore. And it was not an intentional choice. Um, he was chewing scenery like nobody could choose scenery.

And I understand he was supposed to be, you know, This swashbuckling, you know, rogue that you’re supposed to find humorous and like, but he, he was just so over the top for me. It was just kind of like, like, why was Harry Mudd a character that they like loved? I can’t understand. Yeah. It would not surprise me.

And we will see Harry Mudd again. Um, yes, and it would not surprise me if at this point they were looking and maybe even from the network perspective, we’ve mentioned one of the shows that this was competing with was Bewitched and shows like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, um, other programs that would have fit within the pocket of Star Trek’s portion of the television spectrum, fantasy, sci fi, fabulous storytelling on television.

They tended to have a recurring cast of characters that would show up. So you had Bewitched had, like, Eudora, the mother in law or the uncle, and these characters would come in every few weeks and shenanigans would ensue. And I couldn’t help but think, did they see Harry Mudd? As a more than just a couple episodes recurring character, do they think that this was going to be a character who’s going to show up and be the, the, uh, the thorn in Kirk’s side?

And they seem to be working hard to build a kind of rapport between the two of them, almost like we would anticipate seeing Mudd again, where, especially with the ending of Kirk making the, well, I could be a character witness if you think that would help, like, they’d throw away the key, wah, wah, wah, wah, and it ends with a very, it’s an intentionally, like, comedic moment And I couldn’t help but think, like, they saw this as, like, an experiment, I think, to, like, having every four episodes, Harry Mudd’s back, and I can’t help but think that we as an audience, there’s an episode which includes him, which I do actually really, really like, but maybe a bullet dodged because to have Harry Mudd’s show back up again and again and again, Might have been a little trying and I also believe, if I remember correctly, the Trouble with Tribbles episode, I think was meant to be a Harry Mudd episode.

And that they did, that either he wasn’t available as an actor or something happened that kept them from using him again for that episode. So they created a different character for the Trouble with Tribbles, which for the Star Trek universe is a healthier universe. It’s better for Kirk and company to be going.

Where no man has gone before and did not run into the same guy again and again and again. That would have been like, wait, where have you gone? Just around the same planet, like a couple of times. Can I, can I bring up a character that was added to this episode? We’ve joked about how like, there’s no red shirts yet.

But, like, for some reason, the navigator chair is cursed, and, like, the navigator in the first episode, he gets killed, the navigator in the second episode, he gets left behind on the ship. Now we have a new navigator, who could have been a family member of ours, and his name was He’s an offshoot of our family, yes.

It’s Mr. Ferrell, and he’s an awkward, tall, lanky dude with buggy eyes, doing weird stuff, and it was like, why did he get cast? I thought there was something about him that was really off putting, and I’m really curious to see, because I don’t remember. Does he continue for a few episodes or does he just mysteriously disappear too?

I believe he is going to be like maybe in one or two episodes in the future. Okay. He is not. Yeah. So more Mr. Ferrell. I don’t think Mr. Ferrell is going to be there recurring. And, and I had the same thought you did, which was like, okay, so this is supposed to be my great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandson.

Is that. Does that make sense? Exactly. Which, sadly, I thought, physically, it kind of worked. Um, from that angle. It kind of worked. Yes. So, one of the aspects that this show puts forward, and I think it puts it forward in one scene in particular, where it’s really like, like, here was a plot opportunity, and then they just completely just like, doodly, doodly, doodly.

It’s not the focus of the show, was, I felt like a different version of this would have been about drug addiction. Oh yeah. Because you have these three women who there is an aspect to the drug that they’re taking that goes beyond simple physical beauty. It is doing something to them and again, tying it in with what would strange new worlds do with this?

I feel like strange new worlds would tie this in with the whole eugenics, like this is doing something to you genetically that’s manipulative. So even though it’s a temporary effect, it’s illegal. And I like to, in my head canon, that’s what I’m doing with that drug is like tying it to that. They have a physical response to this that goes beyond simply like, thank goodness I’m now beautiful again.

It goes into a, they are jonesing. They are coming down off of something and they need it. And it is, he is feeding them this. With a kind of, it’s a mixture of manipulative and caretaking. Like he is abusive to them in a kind of emotional way. And still also resembles, he does have this kind of like, Oh, I know you need it.

So I am looking for it. Like I’m not withholding it. I just can’t find it. And then he finds it and he shares it with them. But then it’s still very much this like, and because I have this power over you, you will do whatever I say. Um, he’s their pimp. Yeah. So do you, I mean, he literally is, that is the entire basis of the episode, Space Pimp taking these women to space miners.

I also love the fact that in this future, they are still toying with the idea. And this is something that Roddenberry would not let go of, even early seasons of Next Generation. The idea that people were going off into space to become miners meant, therefore, they would live right on the edge of decrepitude.

Like, they’re space miners, so they’re out there living, and they are living in tents, it looks like, and it looks like barely surviving. Like, the worst kind of survival. And I’m like, this is supposed to be What? The 24th century? They’re wealthy. Like, these are supposed to be They have high tech mining equipment and they can’t, like, have shelters that actually look like nice, solid structures.

But they also talk about how much money they’ve got. Yeah. They couldn’t afford to build themselves a nice little house. On that planet. It’s like, come on. It’s like you’re talking about all the money you’re making from this lithium stuff. It’s like, come, come on, . Yeah. And they also talk about like the necessity of lithium.

And at this point they’re calling it lithium. They’re not calling it di lithium. The d lithium, the dye would be added a few episodes from now. Um, but that’s effectively what they’re talking about. They’re talking about the lithium crystals and the necessity of those. And they are talking as if these men will never see another person unless somebody just happens to come by or there happens to be a cargo.

Pick up. If a place has a lot of a thing, I mean, that’s, that was the entire basis of like, what created San Francisco. A gold rush. Thousands upon thousands of people moved to that area and like, this wouldn’t be three guys on a planet. It would be an entire, there’d be a society there. It would be, it wouldn’t be living like this.

The logic of this makes no sense because it’s these crystals are used to make the ships. If it’s, if it’s that important to Starfleet, there would not be three dudes on a planet. There would be hundreds of people working that facility and it would be a totally built out facility. It wouldn’t be random ships stopping by every once in a while.

You’d have a constant stream of massive ships hauling that stuff away back to go to Starfleet to put these crystals into ships. It makes no sense. It’s like, there’s no logic to any of this. And I don’t want to be taking a dump on Roddenberry, because when we get to Next Generation, if everybody’s memory is clear, the first season or two of Next Generation at times is unwatchable.

And it’s because Roddenberry’s fingers were so in the pie. And then when Roddenberry started to take a step back and other writers started to take charge is when Next Generation really took off. Um, this episode to me is just, it’s It’s an example of that next generation stuff. It’s like Roddenberry was way too involved in this.

He should have been relying on some of the other writers that write some of the best shows of the original series. Should have been like Roddenberry shouldn’t have been writing anything. He should have taken a backseat because oof, this whole episode. I didn’t like it. I didn’t know. I did not like this episode.

Yeah. Yeah. I mentioned at the beginning that it was 10th in broadcast. That was a mistake. That was a archaic comment from our previous episode about the Corbomite Maneuver. This is actually 6th in broadcast, the 4th in production. So I’m wondering if it’s not a case of they didn’t put this early, and I don’t think it was because of, I have a feeling like when they looked at the shows next to each other, when they had the Corbomite maneuver, they didn’t put this one next to that.

And I wonder how much of this was like, okay, we will have gotten a bit of an audience after five episodes. We can drop this one and then, and cause this isn’t feeling like it actually is doing anything. It is barely doing anything in the form of. The character relationships on the ship, and it’s not even particularly well written from that perspective.

We get a Kirk who in a moment of, again, they’ve had a couple of these in the previous episodes, Kirk goes off the handle a little bit at his crew. He’s a little short tempered. And so he gets into Scotty’s face and he’s just like, if you’ve got a better idea, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then he comes back a moment later, just like he did with McCoy, the previous episodes, he apologizes.

And so I think that is pretty much the closest we get to like showing the building relationship between him and Scotty showing Sulu, uh, helping Ferrell in the same way that he had helped the previous. Navigator. So we’re seeing Sulu is given lines and more opportunities to reveal that he’s a trustworthy guy.

He’s a friend to the people on the ship. He is also just like every other man in this episode. I mean, every male actor was, except for Leonard Nimoy, was supposed to drool over these women and all of them take turns of staring dumbly at the space. It’s, it’s really weird. I don’t know. I’m uh, did I miss something in the episode where they explain why men behave this way?

Is there something about the drug that like gives pheromones off that causes this? I have a feeling, I have a feeling there was something on the cutting room floor. Yeah. The closest they get is just conversation. Just because they’re pretty women doesn’t mean that men would act like this. It’s like, it should have been something like, this medicine also like, gives off pheromones that make men just behave wildly.

It’s like they didn’t do anything like that. Yeah. I have a feeling there may have been something on the cutting room floor because they were laying clues that something was going to come. They had Harry Mudd said when they first got on the ship, don’t let them do medical scans of you. He then, when we see one of them go in front of the medical scanner, the scanner which is off, turns on and registers something.

And then you have, for me, one of my favorite conversations in the episode, Kirk and McCoy talking and they’re speculating, like, there’s gotta be something about these women and they’re doing it in a very casual way. Where they’re not even really aware of how important the conversation they’re having is.

And I really like the way it was structured. I thought it was very natural, very well written. And the fact that they’re like, it’s crazy how these women are that attractive and McCoy is like, there’s gotta be a reason I thought we were headed. And it has been a long time since I saw this episode. This is one of those episodes that if it pops up in a repeat or on TV, I don’t.

Watch it. So as a kid, I would have watched this a number of times, which explains my terrible attitude toward women. Uh, as a kid, I would, I watched this any number of times it was on. So I was familiar with the episode, but I didn’t remember on this watch through, I was like, Oh, we’re heading toward a third act discovery

by McCoy, where he’s going to be like, this drug activates various transmitter things in the brain, in the women that sends out a signal and it sends, it’s kind of on the electromagnetic magnetic spectrum. So you end up with, it affects the medical sensor and we’re all picking up on it. It’s like it is creating a resonance effect in our perception so that they are magnetic to us.

And I thought that’s what we were going to head toward some sort of magical doohickey description of this is what that does or something just chemical like you mentioned pheromones. It just like heightens the pheromone release. To a degree that it overwhelms, it overwhelms a male response. That would have, I think, been helpful.

It was, I feel like something like that was probably cut for time. There were too many breadcrumbs leading up to that for it not to have been there. And when it wasn’t there, it was a little bit like, Bleh. Like, and then you have, on top of that, the magical, let’s make them believe in themselves by giving her a placebo.

Okay. And she turns, she turns back into beautiful, they, they, somebody screws that light bulb back in, and suddenly she’s beautiful again, and then it’s like, well, joke’s on you, loser. Because that wasn’t really the drug. You’re actually beautiful. And yeah, it was the message. Yeah. So bad. Like, so it’s all about, there’s only one kind of woman in the galaxy, the type that believes in herself or one kind of fan for that matter.

It was like, that you just need to smile more, Sean. That’s yeah, exactly. It’s like, I’m like, that’s where you’re planting your flag. That’s the end result of all this. Not the avoid manipulative men. Uh, who try to convince you, you need to be something for the male gaze, avoid pigeonholing yourself, have your own aspirations and dreams, find somebody who believes in you as much as you believe in them, like, none of that, it’s literally just like, you’re beautiful if you think you are.

And I will, I will say, as, as, as it doesn’t pay off, cause they’re making it look like there’s something else going on here and they never pay that off. I really did enjoy. Spock leading the women around the ship because he’s watching McCoy lose his mind. He’s watching all these people lose his mind. And then when he escorts them to the captain, he stands there at the door and you can, before they even walk in the room, he’s got a look on his face that is saying, I can’t wait to see what happens now.

Cause like he’s waiting for this, these women, he’s like, he’s can’t wait to see what Kirk does when they come in. And it’s so funny to me because it’s like, he knows. He knows, like everybody’s losing their mind. What’s Kirk gonna do? Yeah, and then he even has the coy, sassy Spock look over his shoulder as he’s leaving.

He’s just like,

And it is, it’s little things like that that I can see like, okay, the relationship building is clear now. They’re like, Kirk’s relationship to Spock is unlike his relationship to anybody on the ship, except for perhaps McCoy. His relationship to Scotty is one of, he’s dependable and reliable, and Scotty knows that he can work under this captain, and not be, Put in a position of having to do something beyond his ability, even as Kirk calls him a miracle worker, and puts him in the, you don’t have time for that Scotty, I need it in five minutes or less, this is critical life and death, Scotty wants to

achieve the goals that Kirk has, that’s evident in that little relationship moment that they had where Scotty gets chewed out and then the apology and just gives him a knowing little nod and a little smile. Like, like, no worry. Like, I understand you’re under pressure. It’s like, I like those moments. If you sucked the entire plot out of this and gave me just five minutes of just them having interactions, I think that would be a better episode.

It’s, it’s hard to watch and it’s hard to, I mean, we’ve talked now for 40 minutes about it, but it’s kind of hard to talk about because it doesn’t feel like there is anything here. In my notes, I wrote down this episode almost feels like it was about something like, cause it is, the main focus of it is so dated that it leaves us in a place of, it’s not actually about a thing.

So it’s, it’s an unfortunate experience. And in the spirit of the podcast, Trek in Time, this is very much a product of the 1960s. This is, like, we made this. Like, our society made this. And so I think that’s important to remember is keep pushing for progress and keep looking for progress, but also recognize it hasn’t been that long.

Since things like this were broadcast and children were watching it and they were walking away understanding that our heroes help women be women by finding men. And that’s, that’s a tough one. So next time we’re going to be talking about the original series episode, The Enemy Within. Once again, I point you to our website where we have the Stardate Order list.

I point you to the words that just came out of my mouth. The enemy within, and I invite everybody to jump into the comments and share what they think the enemy within will be about, wrong answers only. If nothing else, jumping into the comments and simply saying, don’t forget, it’s the enemy within, if that’s the only comment you leave, you’re helping The viewers stay on target.

So thank you so much for your comments. We really do appreciate them. We love reading them and we love responding to them. Before we sign off, Matt, is there anything you want to share with our viewers about what you have coming up on your main channel? Yeah, I’ve got a video out now about some new solid state battery technologies that are very close to kind of coming out in the next year or two.

Really exciting stuff. Really cool technology. It’s been a long time in the making. Sounds good. As for me, you can check out my website, seanferrell. com. You can find out more about my books and writing there. You can also just go directly to whatever bookseller you want to. My books are available everywhere, including your local bookstore, your public library, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Just check it out wherever you’d like. If you’d like to support the show, please consider leaving a review, leaving a comment. Don’t forget to subscribe. Don’t forget to share us with your friends. All of those are great, easy ways for you to support the podcast. If you’d like to more directly support us, You can go to trekintime.

show, click the Become a Supporter button there. It allows you to throw some coins at our heads. We appreciate the welts. And then we get down to the business of talking about the crew. And when you support us that way, you also automatically become a member of Out of Time. You’ll become an Ensign, which means you will get our spinoff program Out of Time, in which we talk about things that don’t fit within the confines of this program.

It might be other Star Trek, like, I think we’re going to be recording an episode of Out of Time soon, and we might be talking about Discovery, which is coming back in its final season right now. So we might talk about that, even though it’s not within the timeline, but it’s in Out of Time, so it’s fine.

All of that really helps support the show. Thank you so much, everybody, for taking the time to watch or listen, and we’ll see you in the next one.

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