Sunday, March 10, 2019

Ashbery Trek

“Are you wearing some unusual kind of perfume, or something radioactive, my dear?”

Sounds like something from a John Ashbery poem. It’s Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley) speaking, in the Star Trek episode “Mudd’s Women” (October 13, 1966), which aired last night on MeTV. I know next to nothing about Star Trek, but I know a good found line when I hear it.

The answer to the question, spoken by Ruth (Maggie Thrett), a mail-order bride of sorts: “ No, I'm just me.” This episode has guest star Roger C. Carmel as Harry Mudd, who might be called an entrepreneur, or space pirate. The puffy shirt and earring give it away.

comments: 6

Fresca said...

My show! My show!
That's a great line and I love that you isolated it.

That's one of the worst episodes, though––a real time capsule of social ickiness:
Mudd is a human trafficker, selling women to men who work on a desolate mining planet, and these women are supposed to be worrying about their self-esteem?!?
"Am I pretty enough to be a sex slave?"

Good news:
Mudd gets a fitting comeuppance in a later episode, "I, Mudd", when he's set himself up as lord of androids who do his every bidding, only to end up trapped with his multiple clones of his hateful ex-wife, who bullies him.

Michael Leddy said...

It was awful indeed. We tuned in late (after giving up on SNL) and quit before the ending. I didn’t realize that Mudd was engaging in human trafficking, though in retrospect it seems obvious that bringing women to a distant planet to be wives would be human trafficking. (It was late, and confusing!)

Michael Leddy said...

P.S.: I’m surprised to learn that Wikipedia says Carmel is best known for this role. (And not for his role on The Mothers-in-Law?)

Sean Crawford said...

To defend my show:
To me they were more wives, as per the frontier mythos, than sex slaves, since the latter are for maximum profit through maximum turnover of customers, while the women don't share in the profit.

For me "wives" reminds me, as the miners might have known, of the European folklore that sexual monogamy is contrary to nature.

How queer: Your blog has mentioned Star Trek, yet you aren't flooded by fans!

Michael Leddy said...

To say nothing of my mentioning John Ashbery. :)

The Arthurian said...

Star Trek?
If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
It's insidious.
Just like the Federation.