Lovable scoundrel Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel) returns following his debut appearance in the first-season episode "Mudd's Women," this time as the leader of a race of helpful (and leggy) androids. Mudd tries to take control of the Enterprise, but soon finds that the androids have plans of their own. This is one of Trek's few purely comic episodes, and it hits a nice level of whimsy as Kirk and the crew fight android efficiency with good old human illogic. "I, Mudd" also sets a benchmark achievement for the Star Trek design crew: It called not just for beautiful women in revealing costumes, but for beautiful twins in revealing costumes. Truly a tough one to top, cheesily foreshadowing the "Fembots" of Austin Powers infamy. --Ali Davis
"The Trouble with Tribbles"
It's time to face one of the great questions of the television age: Is "The Trouble with Tribbles" really as good as everyone thinks it is? You bet. While the story might be a little slower than many of us remember, the episode is deservedly beloved for writer David Gerrold's witty, mildly acerbic script, and the way the cast took to heightened comic possibilities against network resistance. (Heavens! Comedy on a science fiction show?) Stanley Adams is delightful as the huckster Cyrano Jones, who gives a trilling furball called a tribble to Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), who brings it aboard the Enterprise and watches it reproduce... and reproduce... and reproduce. Soon, hundreds of tribbles are in every part of the ship, making Captain Kirk (William Shatner), already grouchy about guarding a mere grain shipment from Klingons, even grouchier. There's no question that Gerrold made a major contribution to Trek culture with this show, setting a tone that Star Trek has visited again and again, including the feature film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and sundry episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager. --Tom Keogh