Harry Mudd proved to be a popular character on Star Trek
Though Roger C. Carmel only appeared in two live-action episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, the character he embodied, Harcourt (Harry) Fenton Mudd was extremely popular with both the viewers and NBC. According to Heavy.com, D.C. Fontana even invited the original creator of Mudd, Stephen Kandel, to write another episode that contained the character for The Animated Series. That ended up being “Mudd’s Passion.”
But before Kandel wrote that episode, the idea for a Harry Mudd series was pitched to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, but it never made it past his desk. According to Roger Carmel, who spoke with Starlog Magazine, Roddenberry told him NBC had wanted to know if he would develop a spin-off series with Harry Mudd. It would have been a “space pirate, intergalactic con-man kind of thing.” And that was the first time Carmel had heard about the idea.
Roger C. Carmel knew nothing about the Star Trek spin-off with Harry Mudd
Carmel discovered NBC’s idea accidentally when he was speaking with Roddenberry at a going away part for Herb Solow. Roddenberry told Carmel it was a shame the series thing hadn’t worked out for him. And when Carmel questioned him, Roddenberry explained what had been pitched. He went on to say that “the artists didn’t have time to develop it.”
When Carmel learned what had happened, he was shocked and called it “a blow.” But he did say he didn’t blame [Gene], but it would have been a great chance for him to star in his own spin-off series. Carmel was supposed to reprise his role in a first season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the actor passed away before filming could start.
A Harry Mudd series would have been different than anything that was on television, especially considering Mudd wasn’t technically a hero and virtually all of TV at the time had a hero. Having a con-artist as the lead in a primetime television show could have been interesting if not a little eccentric. Rainn Wilson took over the role of Harry Mudd for the first season of Star Trek: Discovery so if there is any future interest in a series, that could be a possibility as his portrayal of the character was just as popular as Carmel’s.