In a delightful Easter egg found in the animated series “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” fans are given a clue about the fate of the infamous Star Trek villain, Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd. Played by Roger C. Carmel, Mudd appeared in several episodes of the original series and even made a murderous comeback in “Star Trek: Discovery.” However, it is “Lower Decks” that provides a glimpse into Mudd’s post-criminal life, as Captain Freeman visits a bar named after him. This intriguing detail raises questions about Mudd’s path to redemption and whether this bar is the first or the last of his business ventures. With Mudd’s complex history, the possibilities are endless, and fans can only hope for more information in future episodes of “Lower Decks.”
Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd
Introduction to the character
Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd is a well-known character in the Star Trek universe, appearing in various series and films. He is often portrayed as a comedic criminal buffoon, known for his swindling, smuggling, and other criminal endeavors throughout the quadrant. Despite his mischievous nature, Mudd’s character adds a unique and entertaining element to the Star Trek universe.
Appeared in original and animated series
Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd made his first appearance in the original Star Trek series in 1966. He appeared in the episodes “Mudd’s Women” and “I, Mudd.” These episodes showcased his various criminal activities, including his role as a seller and transporter of mail-order brides in “Mudd’s Women” and his possession of an android-replicating machine in “I, Mudd.” Mudd’s character brought a lighthearted and comedic element to the show, although some of his episodes were criticized for their sexism.
Mudd also made an appearance in the animated series, with actor Roger C. Carmel reprising his role. Mudd’s appearance in “Mudd’s Passion” showcased his encounter with pheromonal crystals that caused people to fall in love temporarily. This episode ended with Mudd being apprehended and forced into rehabilitation therapy, marking the last appearance of Mudd in the traditional Star Trek timeline.
Role in ‘Mudd’s Women’
In the episode “Mudd’s Women,” Mudd played the role of a seller and transporter of mail-order brides. These women, who hitch a ride on the Enterprise, are artificially made more attractive through the ingestion of a miracle pill that temporarily transforms them into models. The episode later reveals that the pills are placebos and that the true beauty lies within. Mudd’s involvement in this episode showcased his swindling nature and his interaction with the crew of the Enterprise.
Role in ‘I, Mudd’
In the episode “I, Mudd,” Mudd is seen in charge of a planet populated by androids. He uses an android-replicating machine to surround himself with attractive women and even creates clones of his nagging ex-wife. This comedic episode ends with Mudd being abandoned on the same planet with multiple clones of his ex-wife, all nagging at once. While the episode received criticism for its sexism, Mudd’s character added a touch of humor to the show.
Mudd in ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’
Mudd’s name lives on
In the “Star Trek: Lower Decks” episode “The Inner Fight,” set a century after Mudd’s appearances in the original series, it is revealed that Mudd’s name has lived on. Mudd’s character has left a lasting impact, resulting in the opening of a series of bars where seedy criminals gather. This continuation of Mudd’s legacy in the form of Mudd’s bars adds an interesting layer to the character’s story.
Mudd’s Bar in ‘The Inner Fight’
Captain Freeman, played by Dawnn Lewis, visits a Mudd’s Bar in “The Inner Fight.” This further confirms the presence of Mudd’s influence in the Star Trek universe, as his name and establishments continue to survive and remain significant even in the distant future depicted in “Lower Decks.” The concept of Mudd’s Bar raises questions about Mudd’s posthumous reputation and the ongoing presence of his character in the Star Trek universe.
Mudd in ‘Star Trek: Discovery’
Played by Rainn Wilson
In “Star Trek: Discovery,” set approximately ten years before the original series, a younger version of Mudd is portrayed by Rainn Wilson. Unlike the comedic character in the original and animated series, this version of Mudd is more insidious and murderous. Mudd’s portrayal in “Discovery” showcases a darker side of the character, as he discovers a time-travel widget and uses it to repeatedly murder people before the timeline resets.
More insidious and murderous
The portrayal of Mudd in “Discovery” significantly deviates from his previous depictions. This version of Mudd is not just a comedic criminal buffoon but a dangerous and shrewd individual. His ability to manipulate time and commit multiple murders demonstrates a level of cunning and malice that was not explored in the previous iterations of the character. Mudd’s presence in “Discovery” adds a thrilling and suspenseful element to the series.
Time-travel widget and multiple murders
Mudd’s possession of a time-travel widget allows him to carry out a series of murders, killing the same people repeatedly before the timeline resets. This reveals a dark side to Mudd’s character that was previously unseen. His use of the time-travel widget showcases a more strategic and calculated approach to achieving his goals, making him a formidable antagonist in “Star Trek: Discovery.” This iteration of Mudd’s character provides a fresh and captivating take on the beloved character.
Mudd’s attempt to go straight
Appearance in ‘Mudd’s Passion’
In the “Animated Series” episode “Mudd’s Passion,” Mudd is introduced to pheromonal crystals that cause people to fall in love temporarily. This episode showcases a different side of Mudd as he unwittingly becomes involved in a love-induced chaos. However, Mudd is eventually apprehended and forced to undergo rehabilitation therapy. This marks a significant development in his character’s story and suggests an attempt to reform his criminal ways.
Presumed therapy and success as a business owner
Following his encounter with rehabilitation therapy, it can be presumed that Mudd made efforts to lead an honest life. The therapy and the experiences he went through likely had a profound impact on him, leading him to turn away from his criminal past. Mudd’s subsequent success as a business owner adds credibility to his attempt to go straight, as he strives to make a living through legitimate means.
Surviving bars as seedy hangouts for criminals
Despite Mudd’s attempts to reform, it is revealed in “Star Trek: Lower Decks” that his bars continue to serve as seedy hangouts for criminals. This suggests that Mudd’s illicit background catches up with him even after his death. The survival of Mudd’s bars as criminal hotspots reflects the lasting impact of his character and legacy within the Star Trek universe.
Mudd in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
Mentioned in the 2012 film
Mudd is mentioned in the 2012 film “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which exists within its own continuity known as the Kelvin-verse. While Mudd does not appear on screen in this film, the mention of his name indicates his presence in this alternate timeline. This reference adds an intriguing connection between the Kelvin-verse and the original Star Trek universe.
The mention of Mudd in “Star Trek Into Darkness” establishes his existence within the Kelvin-verse continuity. This separate timeline offers different possibilities and developments for the character of Mudd. While the specifics of Mudd’s role in the Kelvin-verse are not explored further, his mention suggests that he maintains his criminal tendencies in this alternate timeline.
The ‘Mudd Incident’ and random vessel on the Enterprise
In “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the writers introduced the concept of “the Mudd Incident” to explain the presence of a random vessel on the Enterprise. This incident served as a means for Captain Kirk to acquire a non-Federation ship for a rogue-like mission. Although the exact details of the Mudd Incident are not elaborated upon, it indicates that Mudd’s presence and activities have had far-reaching consequences, even in alternate timelines.
Mudd’s age and potential future
Roger C. Carmel’s age during ‘The Animated Series’
Roger C. Carmel, the actor who portrayed Mudd, was in his mid-thirties during the filming of “Star Trek: The Animated Series.” If we assume that Mudd is around the same age, it suggests that he had many years ahead of him at the time of his arrest and subsequent rehabilitation. This opens up the possibility for various developments and adventures in Mudd’s life.
Speculation on Mudd’s lifespan
Given the advanced quality of medicine in the Star Trek universe, there is no reason to assume that Mudd did not live well into his old age. With access to futuristic medical technologies and treatments, it is conceivable that Mudd could have lived into his 120s or 130s, especially if he had truly been rehabilitated. This speculation poses intriguing questions about Mudd’s potential experiences and endeavors after his appearances in the original and animated series.
Possibility of rehabilitation and honest business endeavors
If Mudd’s rehabilitation was successful, as many diplomacy-minded Trekkies might assume, it is plausible that he spent a considerable amount of time engaging in honest business endeavors. The experiences and therapy he underwent could have facilitated a meaningful transformation in his character, allowing him to lead a fulfilling and law-abiding life. While the specifics of Mudd’s post-rehabilitation journey are unknown, the potential for his rehabilitation and reformation offers an optimistic outlook for the character.
The character of Harcourt Fenton ‘Harry’ Mudd has made a lasting impact on the Star Trek universe, appearing in multiple series and films. From his comedic portrayal in the original and animated series to his darker and more dangerous version in “Star Trek: Discovery,” Mudd’s character has evolved and provided unique elements to the Star Trek narrative.
While there are still uncertainties surrounding Mudd’s future and the timeline of his establishments, such as Mudd’s Bar, there is a need for more information from “Star Trek: Lower Decks” to fully understand the character’s ongoing influence. Mudd’s legacy as a criminal buffoon, his attempt at rehabilitation, and the potential for honest business endeavors present intriguing possibilities for the future of this beloved and entertaining character.