Rainn Wilson’s Harry Mudd To Appear In More Than One Episode Of ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

Two months ago CBS announced that Rainn Wilson would be taking on the role of Harry Mudd in Star Trek: Discovery. And last week we reported he was already in Toronto filming. But it turns out he’ll be making more than just one appearance; according to the July issue of the official Star Trek Magazine, Wilson will be in “multiple” episodes of the first season.

As noted in our recent editorial, the new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery presented the show as very serious, focusing on the drama. Casting Rainn Wilson (best known as Dwight Schrute on the comedy The Office) to play Mudd indicates that we can look forward to some lighter moments too.

Rainn Wilson speaking at SXSW in Austin, TX in March

Having Mudd return is familiar territory for Trek. Harcourt Fenton Mudd, played by veteran character actor Roger C. Carmel, was one of the few characters to recur on the original series. The lovable rogue first appeared in the sixth episode of the first season (“Mudd’s Women”) and showed up again in the particularly wacky eighth episode of the second (“I, Mudd”). He then popped up in the animated Star Trek (“Mudd’s Passion”).

Harry Mudd has already shown up three times in Star Trek

Bringing Harry Mudd in for a prequel show presents no conflict with Star Trek canon. While it was clear that Mudd met Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise for the first time in “Mudd’s Women,” it was also established that he already had a reputation and a record of multiple misdeeds, according to the Federation. Perhaps on Star Trek: Discovery we will get some of the specifics on his smuggling charges and other offenses.

Harry Mudd’s file from “Mudd’s Women”

Sullivan talks up working with Star Trek vet

Another little tidbit from Star Trek: Discovery popped up on Twitter on Wednesday night. Discovery actor Anthony Rapp (who has been binge-watching his way through Star Trek) was asked by a fan about his views on the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Darmok.” After replying that it was one of his favorites, Supervising Producer Ted Sullivan, who is currently overseeing an episode in production in Toronto, chimed in noting how much he is enjoying working with the writer of that classic TNG episode. 

Joe Menosky joining the Discovery team was first revealed here at TrekMovie last June. Menosky has true Trek cred, and the most Trek experience of any of the writers or producers who have been tapped for the show. He started on Star Trek: The Next Generation, where he was a story editor and producer, and wrote some of the show’s classics, like “First Contact,” “Time’s Arrow,” and “Darmok.” He wrote a handful of Deep Space Nine episodes, then came back full force for Voyager, serving as a producer and writing or co-writing 36 episodes, including the memorable two-parters “Future’s End,” “Equinox,” and “Year of Hell.” Menosky is also the writer that started putting the number 47 into scripts, so we shouldn’t be surprised if that little inside tradition will be carried into Discovery.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

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Maybe this will be a darker and grittier Harry Mudd.

If they play him like they did in Mudd’s Women, he will be fine. Where they went wrong with it was “I Mudd”. Mudd is Trek’s Han Solo, and make no mistake, Han shot first.

I understand the Han shot first reference…he killed Greeto and Greeto didn’t shoot at him at all (unlike the special edition which made no sense)

But that metaphor confuses me in this context. What do you mean exactly? I know you don’t mean Han came first because there was at least a ten year difference there. I’m certain that’s not what you meant I just was looking for clarification to what you actually meant.

Maybe you meant that he was Harry was written right the first time?

I don’t know if you’re being sarcastic but I do agree. I found the original Mudd akin to a villain from the old Batman TV show.

Well, the original did have a twirlable mustache and he did do time in the Federation’s Arkham. They do have the opportunity to spare the younger version any of that with minimum handwaving for the canonistas.

Well, by Gumm … the original Mudd (Roger Carmel) actually WAS a villain on the old “Batman” TV show! (Check out the Green Hornet 2-part crossover!)

I’ve enjoyed Rainn Wilson’s work on The Office (as well as his turn as a troubled undertaker on Six Feet Under), but while he’s a funny guy it’s hard to see him portraying a larger-than-life, Falstaffian character like Harry Mudd. (IWhat makes Wilson’s characters amusing is that, if anything, their repression and conformity make them feel smaller than life.) As with much of Discovery, seeing if they can pull this off will doubtless be as interesting as any of the stories themselves.

Everything about this show is just so bizarre. It’s like a reimagining/reboot/cafeteria prequel/political statement.

Sounds awesome!

I’m not sure if you’re being facetious or not, but if you aren’t, I agree.

It’s the OP who’s being sarcastic, ie: describing it that way because he thinks it’s terrible. I however, so far like what I see.

It’s been known for a while that he would be in several episodes.


Pretty sure Ted Sullivan was just responding to Anthony Rapp talking about “Darmok” pointing out that DSC’s Menosky wrote “Darmok,” not that they were presently shooting an episode Menosky wrote.

fair enough, we changed that bit. Menosky is certainly working with Ted, but may or may not have written the specific episode they are all shooting this week

Anthony, Dear boy. You’re back! Good to see you.

Harry Mudd may very well be the most overrated character in the 50+ years of Star Trek. I just don’t get his appeal.

Me, neither! Harry Mudd is usually described — as he is in this article — as a “lovable rogue,” and personally, I find nothing lovable about him. I thought Roger C. Carmel played the character superbly, but I didn’t see anything LOVABLE about him.

Agree with you both. I wonder when the reference to him as a “lovable rogue” first came about? Compared with “villains” of the past 25 years or so, I get it, but as a character he has a pretty mean, nasty and selfish streak to him.

Perhaps Harry’s lovability stems from his being married?

When you look at the first episode with Mudd, “Mudd’s Women,” he’s basically a pimp/human trafficker. I don’t like that episode for that reason. Women should not be trafficked [duh].

However, I didn’t see that episode on first run — I first “met” Harry Mudd in “I, Mudd,” and he was amusing because his selfishness and narcissism totally worked against him in the end. Imagining him trapped with 1,000 iterations of Stella for the rest of his life — served him right! Ha!

I don’t think I’d call him a “lovable rogue,” exactly.


Re: lovable

So, you are saying his wife, Stella, was mail-ordered too?

As for his being a pimp, I’ll admit the drug aspect sure made it seem so. But I got the idea that, like most things about him, the drugs were a con too, and I took it to be that it was all placebo effect as the women all were fine on their own, i.e. there were no actual drugs just placebos.

His plans were very convoluted but whether the drugs were real or not it did seem his actual plan was to get one or all of the women married rich and then use their husband(s) resources to keep him supplying their “drugs” for whatever he could take them for?

Have to agree on this one, I was never a fan of the character. But I am a fan of Rainn Wilson, so maybe there’s hope ;)

Agreed agreed agreed .. the lovable rogue would be Cyrano Jones. He appeared two times: TOS and the animated series. I Mudd was a very strange episode, especially the scenes with his wife Stella??? But I too like Rainn Wilson..so it just brings more star power to this interesting group of actors.

I wonder if people confuse the two because they were rotund and “jolly” talkers.

I do think *Cyrano* is a “lovable rogue.” Invite him to dinner, then count the silverware


Re: Rotund

Thanks for reminding that those are two reasons why I’m so puzzled when some keep saying things like a Kirk in his dotage having the build of the 86yo Shatner is unbelievable?

Thank you. Hate that character. I could never watch the episodes with him in its entirety.

Mudd almost made a 4th appearance. In STIII they originally wanted McCoy to try to hire Harry to get off of Earth & back to Genesis but the actor was very ill at the time so instead we got the guy I call “ferengi prototype 1”.

That’s to coin a phrase, ‘fascinating’ – do you have a source for that tidbit?

That’s very interesting. But his absence lead to one of my favorite lines from STIII:
“How can you deaf with ears like THAT?”

Por supuesto! Of course their going to use him again. You’ve got something fun, go back to the toy box and dig it out again.

Well, maybe Mudd is… a sort of expert concerning the edge of Federation Space. Would make sense, wouldn’t it?

You mean, like… Neelix? LOL

@pah — lets hope not

Sorta kinda… basically a dude who might’ve had dealings with people and cultures about whom the Federation just doesn’t know a whole lot. Only in this case he’s a self-centered trickster instead of an annoyingly friendly… rodent…

As I’ll be looking on this show as being set in a ‘parallel universe’ to TOS, I’m more than fine with whatever way this Harcourt Fenton Mudd is written. I’ll look forward to seeing how what the latest writers have in store for this dodgy character, and I’m sure that Raine Wilson will give a good interpretation of him.

Ted Sullivan and Joe Menosky on the island.

Shaka, when the walls fell.

Roger C Carmel was in his mid thirties during TOS, although I thought he looked older. Rainn Wilson is 51. Since Discovery is set 10 years before TOS, a younger actor may have been a better choice. But, I suppose that won’t be the biggest visual continuity issue between TOS and Discovery! I’m looking forward to how they integrate his character into the story.

Dang, had no idea Rainn is in his 50s! He looks good for his age though.

Yeah. Rainn looks younger than he really is, and Roger Carmel looked older than he was during the TOS episodes, so maybe it won’t be too big of a stretch. It’s probably worth it to see “Dwight” in Star Trek — a combination of two of my favorite shows!

Agreed the appearance of age is more important than actual age. Older actors play characters younger than themselves all the time. I’m sure it will be fine.

Boy that’s awfully picky. This is why I repeatedly refer to these kinds of fans as “nitpicky whiney fanboys.”

Get Sarah Silverman as Stella!

Her character was irritating in Voyager!comment image

I’d have gladly put her up against that tree.

Agreed, she’s pretty cute actually

She’s too pretty. My choice is Jane Lynch.

They do Mudd right – private trader dealing with the good, bad and ugly of the frontier; set up a bit of Han Solo on the frontier; show some colony life and private research beyond the comfort of the core Federation home worlds (sometimes beyond Starfleets ability to protect) and you set up exciting TOS spin offs that aren’t just rehashes.

IMDB lists him in 9 episodes. If he’s going to appear that frequently, they’ll have to rethink the character some because as he was portrayed, he was too much of a doofus to be anything but irritating at that frequency. He’ll have to be smarter and more dangerous. This could work.

Never could stand the character in the original series. He is the jar jar binks of Star Trek. Not even Neelix was that annoying.

Mudd was in the second episode of Star Trek Aurora, which is an amazing fan made effort, probably much better than this will be.

Given what we heard about the possibility that these Klingons are ancient (also evidenced by the Egyptian-inspired motif seen in photos and the trailer), perhaps treasure hunter/opportunist/plunderer Harry Mudd is the catalyst responsible for either awaking the ancient Klingons or for instigating the conflict that draws in Starfleet. That could explain why he is going to be in multiple episodes.

Bring on the fem/liberal/gay Trek. Yawn.

Hey, we get it that you hate women and gays, as well as the liberals who don’t. But why make your confusion so public?

Wrong, I just hate you.

Yawn,Bob. Yawn, indeed.

And yourself, as all conservative cucks do.

I gonna go on a limb and say you love Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Is “bob” your name or you job at parties?

I guess I haven’t been paying as close attention as I should, or else I completely forgot reading that Joe Menosky is involved with the DSC writing team. I’m REALLY happy to know this now. After Fuller’s departure, it’s nice to know that at least one member of the writing team has experience writing Star Trek for television. With all due respect to the other team members, that is. I’m looking forward to DSC.

To Scotty: “Here’s Mudd in your aye!”

I was always a bit disturbed by the implication that they use “psychiatric treatment” on criminals. I realize this is part of Roddenberry’s whole utopian vision (no jails, etc.), but it sounds like the abuses of the Soviet Union.

I personally hope they take Mudd in another direction. I don’t see the point of just rehashing the same character from TOS. I wasn’t a huge fan of Mudd but I am or Rainn Wilson so I hope they do something new and interesting with the character. Of course that would make the canon fans upset but then again, that’s the problem a show like this runs into when doing a prequel.

Harry Plinkett,

This is going to be a younger Mudd so it would be utterly ridiculous if he was EXACTLY like the older one, i.e. after “psychiatric treatment”.

True, I forgot about that. However the effectiveness was disputed so who knows how different he really was?

Harry Plinkett,

Re: effectiveness was disputed

But remember this was BEFORE Van Gelder exposed the corrupt Federation Penal Psychiatric Division experiments on Tantalus V, and Kirk and Spock exposed the inmates running the asylum at Elba II.

I said “ugghh” earlier. I meant at the character of Mudd. No offense intended to the actor playing him.

I’ve thought for some time that Jack Black would be a great Mudd. It’ll be interesting to see Rainn Wilson’s take on the ol’ pirate/con-man.

They could get Jack for Cyrano Jones. Lol

Forget Harry Mudd. Bring in Cyrano Jones! ;-)