Customer Reviews: Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 21, Episodes 41 & 42: I, Mudd/ The Trouble With Tribbles
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on July 30, 2002
Neither of these episodes could be taken seriously if your life depended on it, and they know it. They're just pure fun.
"Tribbles" must have been a working vacation idea for the cast, who get to spread their comic wings for a change - and pretty well, at that. Shatner has always had a flair for comedy, and does a fine job here. Leonard Nimoy was always a natural straight-man, and very funny whenever he got to display offense at injured pride - his best moment in this one is being caught responding to the cuddly loveableness of the furry little title beasties. James Doohan also proves to have a fine flair for the funny, and gets ample opportunity to prove it, upholding the fine honor of Starfleet to Klingon barbarians in a bar-fight, and greater pride in the honor of the Enterprise, itself - at Captain Kirk's expense. The always entertaining William Campbell, seen in the title role of "The Squire of Gothos" the preceding season, guest stars here as a snidely prissy Klingon, and Stanley Adams is more enjoyable than usual in his standard fat Falstaffian fool/con man role.
"I, Mudd" finds the Enterprise again encountering another con-man of its past acquaintance, Harcourt "Harry" Fenton Mudd, who is even more Falstaffian than Stanley Adams. Harry's gotten himself made into a king - on a planet he can't leave! The inhabitants are all directionless androids, built long ago to serve their makers, who fled millennia ago after discovering paradise wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Harry's enjoyed the endless schmorgasbord of brothel delights the mechanical lassies among them have to offer, but is restless to con and swindle his way across the galaxy again. In an effort to escape, he has the androids' leader, Norman, hijack the Enterprise to his planet, planning to give its crew to the androids in place of himself - but the androids plan to keep Harry, too, and additionally to use the Enterprise to go about the solar systems looking for other races they might "help." How does one beat such ruthless machine logic? Why, by a pure assault on reason, of course, which manifests itself in Monty Python-ish silliness, that is highly entertaining to watch.
"I, Mudd" benefits from the clever casting of sexy twins Alyce and Rhae Andryce as same-model identical androids, enabling them to double and triple for each other in convincing fashion. The set design is minimalist and effective. A very funny cameo appearance by the shrewish harridan Mrs. Harry Mudd is worth the price of admission, alone.
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on February 23, 2001
Both of the episodes on this DVD are among the most humorous from the original 79 episodes of the original Star Trek series. Roger Carmel as "Mudd" is the classic con artist and charleton. In "The Trouble With Tribbles" we find out about yet another "entrepeneur", Cyrano Jones, who unleases the adorable, yet highly prolific tribbles upon Deep Space Station K-7 and the Enterprise! Both of these episodes are fun to watch even if you are not a Star Trek fan. The humor in them is timeless, and the legacy of these is everlasting. A keeper for the Trekker, or non-Trekker alike!
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VINE VOICEon April 26, 2001
Volume 21 of Paramount's DVD release of Classic Trek features two popular episodes which emphasise humor over drama, both of which make excellent use of the supporting cast.
"I, Mudd" features Roger C. Carmel, reprising his role as Harry Mudd from the first season episode "Mudd's Women." Carmel plays the role more broadly here than in the earlier story, but that's appropriate given the more comedic writing in the script. This episode features another instance of Kirk (with the help of the crew) using logic/illogic to destroy a computer brain. William Shatner and the supporting cast members at times appear as if they're a zany cross between a Vaudeville troupe and Improv theatre.
"The Trouble with Tribbles" needs no introduction. This episode has consistently topped Trekker's lists of all-time favorite episodes. The gentle humor here is in contrast to the more slapstick approach of "I, Mudd." This story was revisited in Deep Space Nine's 1996 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." Hopefully, that installment will be available on DVD soon. Again, the supporting cast is used more fully here than in most episodes.
Both of these storylines were also revisited in the animated Star Trek series ("Mudd's Passion," and "More Tribbles, More Troubles"). Hopefully, these will be made available on DVD as well.
Paramount has done a good job of resorting the picture and sound here. There are several opticals of the Enterprise and Space Station K-7 filmed specially for this episode. The clarity of these newer shots contrasts with stock footage of the Enterprise, which is considerably grainer.
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on October 5, 2002
Volume 21 contains two classics from the original series that showcase the lighter side of the Star Trek universe. Both however are excellent classics.
I, MUDD features the return of space rougue Harry Mudd to the Trek universe. Kirk meets up with his old nemesis on an unknown planet when taken their by androids. On the planet thousands of androids do Mudd's every bidding however they won't allow him to leave! So Mudd lured the crew to the planet by placing an android on the Enterprise however the androids refuse to let Mudd leave even after the crew is trapped. Therefore it's up to the crew to team up with Mudd and blow the androids minds with illogical behaviour. This episode is definetly one of Star Trek's funnier moments. The whole acting illogical bit has to been seen to be believed especailly Spock's bit. Roger C Carmel does a great job as Mudd. I love the bit with his wife Stella it's hilarious. I, MUDD is a quirky yet comical outing for the crew of the Enterprise and it's one of season two's most beloved episodes.
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES needs no introduction. It is an undisputed classic and by far the funniest Star Trek episode around. When the crew arrives at Space Station K7 to find out that Kirk's job is to watch over "wheat", things begin to get hairy especially when Cyrano Jones shows up with a handful of fluff balls known as tribbles that reproduce like mad and eat everything. And when you add Klingons to the mess you have Cpt. Kirk having a tough day. This episode is quite entertaining and really lives up to it's reputation as being a classic. The cast was really good in this especially Kirk, Scotty, Chekov, and Uhura. The supporting cast was great too. I always liked William Campbell's (the Squire of Gothos) klingon Cpt. Koloth. I thought he did a good job. Some scenes here are great especially the bar room fight between the crew men and the klingons. THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES is one of my favourite Star Trek episodes ever and it is a true classic.
Overall I highly recommend this DVD maybe even more so than the others. It contains to classics from the second season. I,MUDD is great but THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES sells this baby! Highly recommeded!
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on July 9, 2002
This is definitely the "comedy" volume of TOS, containing as it does two of the funniest episodes in the series.
I, MUDD: Roger C. Carmel returns as that lovable rogue Harcourt "Harry" Fenton Mudd, still causing trouble. Again surrounded with beautiful women, this time of the android persuasion, Harry has proclaimed himself king of a planet inhabited only by himself and willing androids. Trouble starts when the androids bring the Enterprise to them and announce their plans to take over and enslave humanity! Another one of the "Kirk versus the computer" episodes, but this is one of the best, with the crew performing an outrageous pantomime to short circuit the androids. Spock's definition of logic is classic! Like Harry, my jaw dropped when I saw that there were 500 Stellas!
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES: From Kirk versus the computer to Kirk versus a stuffed-shirt Federation bureaucrat, both popular themes in TOS. This time around, he wants a shipment of "wheat" (or a variety thereof), guarded, and Kirk chafes at the supporting role in this. When you mix in bar room brawls with Klingons and a loving little animal that eats everything in sight and breeds beyond belief, the laughs never stop. To this day, I still get cracked up each time William Campbell's Klingon bows to Kirk each times he leaves the room.
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What can be said about these epsiodes that already hasn't been said before. The energy and comedy of the original cast and the comic timing of Shatner, Nimoy and Kelly are incredible.
I MUDD: This is a great showcase for the late Roger C Carmel. He was wonderful in playing the character Harcord "Harry" Fenton Mudd, that this was the one episode they wrote for him after his other stellar performance in MUDD WOMEN. Funny and excellent example of how Star Trek can take a serious subject and make it entertaining and funny.
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES: Simply - David Gerold at his very best. Filled with Tribbles, Klingons and attitude this romp to save "Wheat" is histerical. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy shine in this one too!. William Campbell comes back (He was Trelane in THE SQUIRE OF GOTHOS in an earlier epsiode) but this time as the Klingon Captain to yet again be at odds with Captain Kirk.
All the supporting cast get their shinging moments in each film. Espeically, Chekova nd Uhura. (Koenig and Nichols)
This is a must DVD to have for evry original Star Trek fan! Write me, tell me what you think.
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on December 26, 2015
My wife and I recalled this episode from the late 70's, a time of much less sophisticated stories, scripts,and productions. Seeing it again reminded us of how far we've come in our expectations of television programming. It was worth seeing again just for that experience, but sorry to say we won't order any other "old" Star Trek episodes. It did inspire us to ponder what forms of in-home entertainment might be available 40 years from now.
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on April 26, 2014
i think this one gives insight into how technical advancements can almost suddenly transform into our keepers instead of the other way around.These androids begin to study humans in a cold dispassionate way and determine to become the overlords of the galaxy. This giving them the authority to decide what they consider best for all of us but they do come to be deposed and disabled from this by their weakness discovered by their inability to understand illogic. It's a fun take on the monsters that humanity creates and the ethical considerations that must be seen.
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on June 3, 2001
Two back to back side-splitting episodes guarenteed to leave you laughing. In "I, Mudd", Roger C. Carmel returns at the intergalatic rogue Harry Mudd...the humor never ends, everyone has a blast. (including a fake blast that'll have you rolling on the floor!) "The Trouble With Tribbles" introduces the fuzzy little creatures that would become an overnight smash. The grain bin full of Tribbles dumping on Kirk is priceless!
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Time has not always been kind to the original Star Trek, certainly not in light of its special effects or sometimes labored drama. But as camp, some episodes still work, and in this DVD we have two of the most indomitably comic.

"The Trouble with Tribbles" is deservedly well known for its writing and comic aspects. Even those who thought William Shatner a bit insufferable will take pleasure in seeing him tormented by sneering Klingons and prissy Federation bureaucrats, and, in the climax, subjected to a shower of tribbles when he opens a cargo bin over his head. (Apparently the cargo sequence took several re-takes, so his put-upon look is probably quite real). Nichelle Nichols, as Uhura, gets a role in which she finally does something besides open a hailing frequency, we get treated to a Klingon imitating Scotty's Scots accent, and Scotty gets to brawl instead of fix things -- the scene afterward where Kirk has to discipline him is one of the more touching moments in the first series.

"I, Mudd," of course, is Monty Python meets Falstaff, as other reviewers have noted. Leonard Nimoy gets a John Cleese kind of turn as a not-so-straight man ("I fail to see why I should induce my mother to purchase falsified patents," in an icily comic tone). Roger C. Carmel gets the role of a lifetime in Harcourt Fenton Mudd, exceeded only by the actress playing his android wife Stella Dear. Scotty and Dr. McCoy do a rather jaw-dropping duet. And Walter (Chekhov) Koenig gets to perform Gene Roddenberry's underrated choreography.

Worth it.
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