Star Trek (TAS) “Mudd's Passion” (part 6 of 7)
Cut to the eye of the gigantic rock creature, shifting back and forth. A tremor shakes the ground. Mudd looks up to see the rock creature has reared up, exposing its worm-like body, with two claws for hands, and three eyes, and very sharp teeth.
Yes, it’s the latest installment of “giant creature menaces the characters”, a running theme throughout all episodes of TAS. Just like with krazy krewmembers Arex and M’Ress, it was no longer cost-prohibitive to depict wild stuff like giant monsters. So naturally, they went way overboard with it, and stuck giant creatures into roughly 15 of the 22 episodes.
But the funny thing is, that when William Shatner was later directing Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, his shooting script contained a scene almost exactly like this one, with Kirk being pursued by a giant rock monster. The idea was scrapped when Shatner realized how idiotic the rock monster costume looked, but it just goes to show: no matter how silly TAS was, it was never any sillier than a lot of live-action Trek. In fact, one could theorize that “Mudd’s Passion” was the main inspiration for that scene in The Final Frontier, which in turn was the main inspiration for a scene in Galaxy Quest where Tim Allen also gets menaced by a giant creature made out of rock.
Anyway, the giant rock creature roars, and I love how they show Chapel just nonchalantly walking away from the shuttle, mere moments before the creature brings its giant claw down on it. Yeah, you don’t want to hurry, or anything. It’s just your impending doom, is all.
The creature chases after Mudd and Chapel, tossing down the crushed ruins of the shuttle mere inches from them. Kirk and Spock, taking time out from being very good friends, come a-running. Mudd’s Flask Phaser has suddenly become an old-school TOS phaser, and I’m not sure where he got that from. He fires on the creature, and Kirk and Spock fire on it, too. But this doesn’t appear to do what could be considered to be, in the layman’s parlance, “any good”.
The rock creature flails around, and happens to wake up another big rock creature nearby. Yes, there are two rock creatures now, and plenty of love crystals left. Can you guess where this is going?
Meanwhile, Spock grabs Nurse Chapel by the shoulders. “Darling, are you alright?” She makes a face of the stunned variety, because she had no idea all these crazy love hijinks were going on while she was being held hostage by Mudd. That’s the thing about being kidnapped. You always miss out on the best stuff.
Then Harry yells at Kirk to beam them out. Kirk contacts the transporter room, but it appears no one is paying attention to his desperate call for an emergency beam out. Wanna know why?
Seriously, you’ll never guess, so I’ll just tell you: There’s a couple slow dancing [!] in the transporter room to some really tacky ’70s faux-Brazilian jazz Muzak. It’s so tacky, it makes me want to puke just listening to it. The name of this tune is “The Girl from Ipecac”, I believe.
Unfortunately, the transporter crewmen are lost in the rapture of the dance, which means that the landing party is on their own, left to fend for themselves with Louis Prima influences. The rock creatures advance on them, while Spock holds Chapel tightly, and man, just when you thought the insanity had already hit the fan, they have this exchange:
| Spock: Don’t worry. You’ll be safe, darling.
Chapel: Oh yes, Spock! Oh, how wonderful!
Well, she’s currently got about ten seconds to live, before a giant rocky claw smashes her into pink mulch, but I guess those will be the happiest ten seconds of her life. The rock creatures are getting closer, so they all hide behind an outcropping. Kirk again tries to hail the Enterprise with no luck. Then, abruptly, he says, “Spock, can’t you take your hands off her?” [!] And you know deep down he’s thinking And put them on me! My dear friend!
Spock is indignant. He replies, “That’s my affair.” Indeed it is. Or it will be, if you play your cards right.
Kirk yells, “I think we should get a few things straight!” And those things which are currently not straight? Kirk and Spock. Spock begins to respond just as combatively, when suddenly it hits him. They’re both under the influence of Mudd’s love potion. Hmm, you think? You mean, it’s not every day that you go off on missions to satisfy your irrational lust? You don’t fight with your captain over a woman all the time?
Kirk agrees, and Mudd is astonished that the love potion actually works. Wonder quickly turns to outrage when he realizes he was selling a genuine love potion to the Heavy Metal Minors for “a miserable 300 credits!” Well, Harry, who’s fault was that, exactly?
And now, it’s time to return to the Enterprise for more evidence of the potion’s effectiveness. Although, at this point, does anyone really need more proof? No matter, let’s continue.
In this installment of Pseudo-Drunken Mack Daddy Moments, we find our very own Dr. Leonard H. “Pimp Hustla Original Gangtsa’s Gangsta” McCoy sitting on what looks like a bus bench. His arm is wrapped around a sumptuous lady brunette redshirt, and he says, “Did I ever tell you about the time I saved Captain Kirk’s life? Or Spock’s?” The time? Which time would that be, exactly? Oh, I know! Was that on the same episode where Scotty performed miracle repairs on the ship?
Lady Redshirt just shakes her head, and McCoy goes on, “And my dear friend Scotty. And that pretty little Lt. Uhura!” Damn, I had no idea that McCoy wanted to get up in Uhura’s business. But then again, who didn’t?
“If the Enterprise had a heart,” McCoy says, “I’d save her, too. Now, let’s talk about your heart, my dear.” Oh my God. He is smooth. But really, does that come as a surprise? To anyone? This is the last we’ll see of McCoy in this episode, so I guess this bit was included solely to leave us safe in the knowledge that McCoy is gonna get some. Yes, someone has to say it: Tonight, Bones gets to bone it up.