The first season of Star Trek: Discovery, the first televised Star Trek production in over a decade, has busied itself with an exploration of the fascinating period preceding the Original Series.
Dark twists on established tropes, modern retellings, and juicy tidbits to add to the existing canon have all been high priorities for Discovery thus far. The decision, then, to bring back one Harcourt Fenton Mudd, intergalactic conman and generally conniving slimeball, for a recurring role in the show’s debut season was somewhat mystifying.
Sure, it worked out fine, the episode including his re-introduction was strong in itself, and Rainn Wilson’s portrayal was entertainingly devious. The problem is that the vast history of Star Trek, like space itself, is full of inspiring wonders and mortal perils. You could draw the name of a Star Trek villain out of a hat and still likely end up with a more intriguing option to explore than Harry Mudd. He’s the villain no-one particularly asked to see again, and as a result the reaction to him was decidedly muted.
Discovery didn't exactly lay an egg with Mudd’s return, but there were so many potentially better options to delight Trek fans. How incredible would it have been to see these guys portrayed in Discovery as an introduction to the prequel setting?