'Star Trek: Discovery' Cast: Original Series Character Harry Mudd Is Back

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The Discovery, designation NCC-1031. CBS Television Studios

Harcourt Fenton Mudd, more commonly known as Harry, appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series and one of Star Trek: The Animated Series. Now, the interstellar conman, sex trafficker and petty criminal will appear in Star Trek: Discovery (DSC), the upcoming series set in the decades before the USS Enterprise NCC-1701’s famous five-year mission. While the character was originated by Roger C. Carmel (he voiced Cyclonus in The Transformers , if that helps), Mudd will be played by Rainn Wilson (y’all know him from Backstrom, right?) in the new Trek series.

Not much is yet known about the plot of Star Trek: Discovery’s first season, but it seems to involve a diplomatic tussle between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, possibly over a valuable alien fungus, of all things. But wherever there’s a chaotic, lawless zone or the chance for outrageous profit, you can bet Harry Mudd is sticking his snout in it.

Mudd first appeared in Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Mudd’s Women,” wherein Captain Kirk thwarts his plan to sell women to the lovelorn inhabitants of a mining colony. In accordance with the sexual politics of 1966, Mudd’s sex trafficking was played as broad comedy, aided by Carmel’s goofball performance as well as Mudd’s puffy shirt and gigantic, pirate earring. Later episodes would see Mudd and the Enterprise crew teaming up to defeat some evil androids and Mudd finally getting arrested for peddling illegal love potions. Mudd’s grifting ways and fast-talking patter made him a favorite in Star Trek novels and comics, though later attempts to reintroduce him in other Star Trek series (and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home!) never quite worked out.

What role Wilson’s take on Mudd will have in Star Trek: Discovery is an open question, but it’s likely the ol’ skeezeball will be up to something terrible for laughs.

Star Trek: Discovery is still in production and doesn’t yet have a premiere date.

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