According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Spectre of the Gun : I, Mudd : The Trouble with Tribbles.
In the Harry Mudd story arc, the story sequence is
Mudd's Women : I, Mudd : Mudd's Passion.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
The City on the Edge of Forever : I, Mudd : Arena.

Summary

A new crew member named Mr. Norman turns out to be an android. He sabotages the Enterprise and alters the ship's course to an uncharted planet. After beaming down the landing party find themselves among thousands of androids, who are led by the only human denizen, Harry Mudd. It is Mudd's intention to leave the planet, and he has brought the Enterprise crew there as a replacement, because it is the androids' desire to serve. The androids, however, have other plans.

They suddenly refuse to obey Mudd and plan to take over the human civilization, which would gradually become totally dependent on their services. The humanoids work together to disable them, using their best weapon, absence of logic. After they have found out that Norman is the control center, they focus their efforts on confusing him, playing absurd theater until he is finally disabled. Kirk allows Mudd to stay on the planet, but not before creating at least 500 new androids modeled after Mudd's wife, who keep nagging Harry.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Ruminations

  1. Surprise that Data hasn't visited this planet. He might be able to share technology with these androids. Kirk most probably imposed a VERY strict quarantine order for the entire system.

Plot Oversights

  1. First of all, how did Norman get assigned to the Enterprise? Yes, there are ways by which he could assume someone‘ s identity and reprogram the records to align with his statistics, but the show never offers one clue on how Norman actually accomplished this. Norman is an expert with computers, and probably created false assignment orders.
  2. Throughout the episode, whenever the androids want to sidestep a question, they say, “l am not programmed to respond in that area." For instance, when asked by Kirk who sent him to commandeer the ship, Norman responds with this statement. Yet Norman knows who sent him. Therefore, Norman’s statement is a lie. He has the knowledge and the ability to relate that knowledge to Kirk. To be truthful, Norman would have to say, “I am programmed not to respond in that area." They probably mean they are either unable or unwilling to answer.
  3. - During the course of the show, the crew discovers that Norman is the head android and directs the activities of the others. If Norman is the director, what did all the other androids do while he was off hijacking the Enterprise? They were most likely operating under Norman's deputy, preparing to receive their 'guests'.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Evidently Norman made several good adjustments to the warp drive system. In “Arena,” Spock comments that a sustained warp seven would be dangerous, but in this episode the Enterprise flies at warp seven for four days. He probably enhanced the safety systems
  2. Just after Norman explains the origin of the androids, two of the Alice series invite Kirk and company to peruse the planet's facilities. They speak their last sentence in unison, except for one word. One of the Alices says, "You are free to visit them," while the other one says, “You are free to use them.This could be an indication of latent individuality. [N 2]
  3. Alter receiving too much irrational input, Alice 3 and Alice 11 conk out. Interestingly enough, the lights on their ID badges do not stay on as did those of all the other androids who conked out.The light emitters could have burned out.

Continuity and Production Problems

  1. The outfit that Harry Mudd’s ex-wife wears is very similar to the one Martha Leighton wears in The Conscience of the King. Possibly a standard outfit for female civilians.

Internet Movie Database

Character error

  1. Chekov says he's been in Leningrad. The show's writers did not anticipate that the Russian city of St. Petersburg would drop the name Leningrad centuries before Mr. Chekov was born. This could possibly be a reference to Leningrad Oblast, the industrialised province in which St. Petersburg is located, with the name being retained to preserve knowledge of the city's history.

Continuity

  1. When android Norman first comes on board the Enterprise and starts to take over the Engineering section, there's a red-shirt crew member who's presumably about to dive from the upper platform area onto Norman, but he's going in a direction AWAY from the android. Yet in the split second jump cut, he lands directly on top of Norman. The red-shirt is probably doing this to stop Norman from realising what he's about to do.

Revealing mistakes

  1. Acne scars on Norman, an android. Probably added to make him appear human, as part of his plan to hijack Enterprise.

Plot holes

  1. The androids beamed up to the Enterprise to send Scotty back on the planet, however there was no other android aboard to operate the transporter, just the crew members who wouldn't authorize (de)materializing without approval from the active captain. They may have been able to activate the transporter remotely for the beam up.

Nit Central

Plot Errors

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, April 17, 1999 - 5:17 am - Just how did Norman leave the planet Mudd to get to the Enterprise anyway? Were there spaceships left over from the days of the creators? Did they repair Mudd's vessel? Why did Mudd tell them to hijack a Starship instead of some other less attention grabbing vessel? The androids probably repaired Mudd's ship in secret, without telling him, and used that.
  2. Just because the crew can't do anything about navigation, why don't they send a message to Starfleet? Norman could have disabled long range communications.
  3. Was it just me or did Kirk seem overly familiar with Mudd? They almost acted like friends instead of two people who only met once before. Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 7:02 am - Harry Mudd is one of those people you're instantly familiar with, like Sir John Falstaff. He has a larger than life personality.
  4. Mudd never did explain how he got out of prison for the events of Mudd's Women. He explained the Technology Exchange which got him in trouble on Deneb V, but I don't see how that could get him out of prison. For all we know, he may have been able to talk his way out of a prison sentence, especially in light of his assistance in acquiring new power crystals for Enterprise.
  5. Mudd is flying away from Deneb V, his ship is damaged and flies into unmapped space. Does this mean that Mudd has been farther than the crew of the Enterprise D, since they only went as far as Deneb IV? (Farther under their own power anyway.) The name Deneb may apply to multiple star systems.
  6. How would immobilizing the androids get the ship back? Earlier Kirk was upset that there was no one aboard the Enterprise because then there would be no way to get back. (Sounds like a design flaw to me. The engineers should have created some kind of remote control for the shuttle bay doors and possibly the transporter.) However, when Kirk and company succeed in deactivating the androids, wouldn't they have the same problem? The androids on the ship should be just as disabled as the rest of the androids on the planet. If Kirk and company couldn't find a way of reactivating the androids under their control, then Kirk and company would be stuck on that planet, as they didn't know for certain that they could reactivate the androids when they decided to do it..Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 7:02 am - As you can see in the last scene, the androids have been reactivated and the crew is leaving. Therefore, the androids must now be following the crew's orders. I would assume that the crew asked the androids to beam them back up to the ship.
  7. MattS on Thursday, May 13, 1999 - 12:54 pm - Boy, Kirk really likes to make himself, judge, jury, and executioner. As in Space Seed, Kirk seems to demonstrate that starfleet captains are permitted to maroon whoever they like wherever they like. mf on Friday, May 14, 1999 - 2:18 pm - In Space Seed. McCoy pointed out that Kirk had the authority. Besides, he really was giving Khan a choice. Here, I got the impression he'd already been in touch with Starfleet by the end.
  8. John A. Lang on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 11:13 pm - At one point, Spock says to an Alice droid, "I love you" and to the other, "But I hate you"...ummmmmm...aren't "LOVE" and "Hate" emotions, Mr. Spock? ScottN on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 11:29 pm - He didn't really love/hate them. He was merely trying to confuse them.
  9. RevdKathy on Sunday, August 05, 2001 - 12:34 pm - Mudd must have had a ship to reach the planet.. did it crash? In which case, how did Norman get off the planet? As stated above, The androids probably repaired it in secret
  10. How did Norman then get posted by Starfleet to the Enterprise... has Mudd waited the years it would take Norman to pass through the Accademy? (He's wearing a striped sleeve, so he has rank too.) Or does he have some way of fooling the Starfleet database into believing he's a bona fide member of the personnel? And how did the rest of the androids cope for so long without him while he's on the Enterprise, if he's their central control?... couldn't Mudd have run amok in Norman's abscence? See the The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers section above.
  11. Given the wonderful research lab and technical centre they have, couldn't the androids just have built themselves a ship? There may not have been enough time or resources. Besides which, any ship built by the androids would have likely been seized for analysis before Norman could hijack Enterprise.
  12. If this is their first contact with humans... what's in their library? The collected history and literature of the next galaxy.... I sure hope Kirk remembered to download a copy before he left! They probably provided Kirk with a copy as a thank-you for helping them with Mudd.(Assuming, of course, that the androids would allow such advanced knowledge to leave the planet at all!)
  13. stephen on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 1:41 pm - Why grab the Enterprise? He was ordered to impersonate the first starship crewman he saw, who happened to be an Enterprise crewman on leave. Wrong – McCoy explicitly stated that Norman was assigned to Enterprise.
  14. Why'd Stella marry Harry? She's something of a con artist herself, and they kept getting in each other's way and on each other's nerves. She probably didn't give him any choice! (It would certainly explain a lot of things about him!)
  15. What did the androids do for the million years before Harry came? - Cataloging that planet's biological and geologic features and resources, experimenting with organic and inorganic compounds, developing technical gadgets and gizmos in preparation for whoever made them, to come back and use the planet. But whoever made them didn't come back. They may have been wiped out.
  16. kerriem. on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 3:08 pm - Nice for Norman that the crewman in question happened to resemble him so closely! And what about the security scans that surely must be part of life on a starship - voice, retina, even thumbprint? Sure, Norman could have retrofitted himself...but where and how? The androids may be sophisticated enough to fool some sensors. In any case, Norman has steadfastly refuse to submit to a medical for the three weeks between his arrival on board, and the start of the episode.
  17. kerriem. on Friday, November 23, 2001 - 8:10 pm - If they are as technologically advanced as a million years would allow...howcum no interest in traveling to other worlds until they met Mudd? At the very least, they should have achieved warp drive and been visiting local star systems.stephen on Saturday, November 24, 2001 - 6:13 pm - They either used Mudd's ship or somebody else crashed there and that ship was used. Or they used a ship used by the creators. They were programmed to wait on that one planet until their creators came back, but they never did. Something must have happened to make them disappear.

Continuity Errors

  1. John A. Lang on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:25 pm - This is the only episode in which Spock's nerve pinch doesn't work! Rene on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 - 1:31 pm - I believe Spock's nerve pinch didn't work in Assignment: Earth either.
  2. John A. Lang on Thursday, May 17, 2001 - 1:14 am - Harry Mudd is missing the earring he had in Mudd's Women. Either it was confiscated when he was arrested, or he chose to get rid of it.

Notes

  1. David Gerrold did an uncredited rewrite.
  2. Listed under Revealing Mistakes on the IMDB entry.


The Original Series Season 2
Catspaw I Metamorphosis I Friday's Child I Who Mourns for Adonais?I Amok Time I The Doomsday Machine I Wolf in the Fold I The Changeling I The Apple I Mirror, Mirror I The Deadly Years I I, Mudd I The Trouble with Tribbles I Bread and Circuses I Journey to Babel I A Private Little War I The Gamesters of Triskelion I Obsession I The Immunity Syndrome I A Piece of the Action I By Any Other Name I Return to Tomorrow I Patterns of Force I The Ultimate Computer I The Omega Glory I Assignment: Earth
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