The Enterprise is chasing after a cargo ship which appears to be trying to avoid them by refusing to accept hails and not taking them on at all. Trying to escape through a asteroid field the small ship overloads its engines. Kirk orders the enterprise to extend its shields to protect the craft until they can beam the crew onboard. This pretty much does the Enterprise in, as all but one of the lithium circuits in the engines are destroyed in the attempt to save this small craft.
They beam just one of the four occupants of the craft off the craft first who not only looks a bit like a pirate with an earring to match and a very fake Irish accent. He introduces himself as Leo Walsh and the craft is destroyed. However they hold the other three people in the transporter memory, and they are able to bring them aboard. The other three people are all women and stunning beautiful women at that. All of the men in the transporter room except Spock are instantly smitten with the three woman and can’t take their eyes of them.
Spock takes the four of them to Kirk’s cabin with them knocking all the male members of the crew for six as they walk past them. Walsh them tells Kirk that far from being his crew the three woman are his cargo. He is delivering them to the lonely settlers of Ophiuchus III to be their wives. Kirk confines them to quarters and convenes a hearing for Walsh.
Meawhile the Enterprise is pretty much fucked after rescuing the crew burning out all of the lithium crystals and Spock mentions that there just happens to be a lithium mine on Rigel XII where they can get replacement for the burned out circuits. They have just enough power to get there so Kirk orders them to set course there.
During the hearing Walsh is unmasked as the felonious Harcourt Fenton Mudd who has a long list of crimes to his name apart from the allegations of travelling without a flight-plan, refusing to respond to hails etc.
The remaining lithium crystal fails so the ship is now running on reserve power One of the girls Ruth approaches McCoy in the sick bay and he notices a rather strange reading when she steps in front of it, when he has stopped drooling that is.
After hearing about the ships rendezvous with a mining colony Mudd steals a communicator and arranges for the three woman in exchange for lithium crystals. When they see the woman they immediately agree to all of Mudd’s requests. Kirk is not happy with this bargain but is forced to beam down with Mudd and the woman to get the lithium that is required for she ship.
The head miner is so transfixed with one of the women Eve and forgets about the deal for the lithium. Eve however has been having second thoughts about the whole thing and when the men start fighting over the other two girls she runs away onto the planets storm ridden surface. Kirk and the head miner chase after her.
Kirk discovers that Mudd has been given the women an illegal drug to make them irresistible to men as they considered to be not as attractive without it.
Kirk tricks Eve into making her believe that she has taken the drug and when her beauty and confidence returns he told her of his ruse and the fact that it wasn’t the drug that made her who she was, but herself. Kirk is given the lithium that he needs and the women remain on the planet but they take Mudd with them despite him asking to be accidentally left on the planet.
Apparently this episode was one of the three episodes that were considered for the second pilot for the show and you can see why they never bothered picking it as the show would have died a death there and then and no more episodes would have been made.
The highlight of the episode has to be the performance of Roger Carmel as Harry Mudd who is not so much villainous as mischievous. He always has a plan up his sleeve and is always out for himself and what he can get but he is kind of likable and is not exactly evil, more a pain the arse, who you would rather not have on board the ship for that long as things are bound to go missing when he is around.
The women are well cast in that they are all very beautiful but only one of them really has any character and that is Eve and her character basically just wants a man to look after and do his every bidding. It is also hardly surprising that they cast a playboy playmate as one of the women.
The episode also seems to suggest that women are only irresistable to men if they take a drug that makes them look gorgeous and that for the majority of the time they are complete mingers with hair lips and giant pimples and no teeth and also that all women want is a man to cook for and clean for and are basically not good for anything else. This idea came from the mind of Gene Roddenberry and he is a typical sixties man when it comes to his attitude to women in general if this episode is anything to do by.
There isn’t that much of a plot to speak of in this episode and lots of time is spend just following the women around the ship showing what effect they have on all the male crewmembers and taking long lingering shots of their arses and also slow pans up and down their bodies in their rather tight outfits.
Other than that, the episode is quite forgettable.