Behind the scenes on “Mudd’s Women”

It’s so frustrating when you find out that even some of the problematic elements about episodes like “Mudd’s Women” were raised at the time and ignored. This is from These Are The Voyages: TOS Season 1 by Marc Cushman with Susan Osborn:

Roddenberry liked Justman’s frankness [RE: ‘Mudd’s Women’], but many of the latter’s ideas concerning this script were ignored. Case in point: Justman said:

‘I would like to see Ben finally say that he DOES want Eve as she is, and vice versa. I have a feeling that we may have left this fact unresolved for the audience. I’d just like to see Ben finally crumble and admit that he has been wrong and indicate strongly how much he wants Eve.’

This change was made, but only after Eve transformed back into beautiful, thereby losing the whole point of Justman’s recommendation.

Actually this book illuminates a lot about the behind the scenes atmosphere on TOS, and particularly around this episode:

Science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, working in the offices at this time on his script for the upcoming ‘The City on the Edge of Forever,’ found [Maggie] Thrett to be the most alluring of Mudd’s women. Mary Black recalled, ‘Harlan came into John’s office after one of his many visits to the set and announced to John that he had ‘really hooked up’ with ‘Maggie Treat.’ And John started laughing and said, ‘Harlan, her name is not Maggie Treat; her name is Maggie Thrett.’ And Harlan says, ‘Well, it just goes to show you the difference between you and me. To you, she’s a threat; to me, she’s a treat’

Just goes to show again that despite their best efforts, the show’s creators weren’t totally able to think past 1960s attitudes when they were making TOS.

Find my review of “Mudd’s Women” here.

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