The Short Treks mini-episodes that CBS have been releasing in the run-up to Star Trek Discovery‘s second season have been a little bit up and down in terms of quality. “Calypso” was light years ahead of the rest of them, but even the most forgettable has shone a light into a corner of the Trek universe that doesn’t normally get an airing. Now, we’ve got a look at the next (and final) mini-episode, set to feature everyone’s favorite slimy space-crook, Harry Mudd.
Mudd was one of the more iconic foes from The Original Series. His creation was sparked by the writers’ concerns that audiences wouldn’t be able to relate to the fears caused by their more outlandish villains and so decided to pit the crew of the Enterprise against what amounts to a sleazy salesman, but in space. After years as just a memory, Mudd turned up back on Discovery (now played by Rainn Wilson) and it’s his adventures that we’re set to see in “The Escape Artist.”
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The trailer up above shows Mudd in typically insouciant mode, with what I assume to be bounty hunters listing his many crimes, topped off with an indignant “and you slept with my sister!” This (and the 70s rock soundtrack) make “The Escape Artist” look a lot like it’s the Trek universe trying their best to emulate Guardians of the Galaxy. That isn’t such a bad thing (though I can hear Trekkies’ indignant howls at the notion right now), and if they’re going to push the stylistic envelope, Short Treks is certainly the place to do it.
Personally, I hope we get to see more of Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season. Sometimes the crews of these ships can seem a bit squeaky-clean, so having a genuinely gross-ass dude like him hanging around makes for a nice contrast, wouldn’t you say?