Jul 29, 2020
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.