Starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy
Guest Stars: Roger C. Carmel, Karen Steele, DeForest Kelley, Maggie Thrett, Susan Denberg
Directed by Harvey Hart
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)
Notorious smuggler Harry Mudd is captured and beamed aboard the Enterprise, along with three gorgeous women with a strange hypnotic power over the male members of the crew.
Roger C. Carmel and his trademark curled mustache made just two appearances as Harry Mudd during Star Trek's three year run, but brought the comical rogue to such wonderful life with the aid of Stephen Kandel's well-written dialogue for the character, that he's become one of Trek's more memorable guest stars. He's perfectly charming in a plot more serious than in his follow-up appearance in the episode I, Mudd. Mudd's introduction here coincides with one of Gene Roddenberry's more transparent messages within the series on the subject of illegal drugs, but effectively delivered with clever makeup and lighting effects. This is also the episode that introduces dilithium crystals as the source of the starship's power, although they're referred to simply as "lithium" this time. My thanks to Dan Day Jr. for pointing out that one of Mudd's women is played by Susan Denberg, the Playboy model who was showcased in Hammer Films' Frankenstein Created Woman, and not redubbed in the episode as she was in that film.