When writing the Earth Science SE question Why don't iron meteorites on Mars rust or oxidize? Why are they shiny? I wrote

Is it known why? Have they landed so recently that oxidation hasn't had the time to make much change, or are they sandblasted clean as Karen Steele's character Eve McHuron told Kirk to do with a dirty cast-iron skillet on the storm-plagued planet Rigel XII.

but I am remembering this from my after-school viewing of Star Trek re-runs in the 1970's and memory being what it is the image of an actual skillet hanging from a line in the wind in the TOS episode Mudd's Women may or may not be accurate. I think that Eve's line after being asked to "do the dishes" was something like Why don't you take them outside and let the sand blast them clean?

  • 2
    How do you know what substance the skillets handing on the line are made of? Looking like metal or iron is not proof that they are metal or iron. This is supposed to be 2 or 3 centuries in the future of when the episode was made, and the materials of household items can change a lot in centuries of rapid technological progress. In fact many skillets today are coated with materials advertised as non stick materials. Mar 26, 2020 at 16:57
  • @M.A.Golding Not to mention that most skillets sold now are aluminum or stainless, and titanium camping pots aren't hard to find. None of which materials were common a single century ago.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Mar 27, 2020 at 12:19
  • 1
    "The Making of Star Trek" talks about the challenge faced by the properties department, to come up with "futuristic" stuff to which the audience still could relate. Sometimes they just gave up on "futuristic," like when they used a salt shaker from the studio cafeteria as a prop in "The Man Trap." (The actual, functioning, artsy salt shakers that they bought for that episode became the little glowing gadgets that Dr. McCoy would wave over his patients to diagnose medical conditions.) Mar 27, 2020 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


Eve McHuron (played by Karen Steele) was actually talking to Ben Childress (played by Gene Dynarski), one of the miners. They were in an isolated hut (possibly his) after he rescued her when she took off into the sandstorm after the argument in the main habitat. They were discussing the taste of the food she cooked for him when the topic turned to the layers of crud left on his unwashed kitchen implements.

MINER: You find me a well, some decent water. Then we can talk.

EVE: Well why don't you hang your pan out in the wind and let the sand blast it clean? Or hadn't you thought about that?
  source: Me. I listened to the episode and typed out the dialogue.

Shortly after this exchange there is an exterior shot showing the miner hanging the dirty pots and pans outside on a makeshift clothesline.

enter image description here

  • 3
    That shot of him hanging up the pans, and his reluctant admission to nobody in particular that, "it might actually work," is pretty close to the heart of the episode. One of the very best of ToS. Mar 27, 2020 at 14:28
  • RIP Gene Dynarski (1, 2, 3)
    – uhoh
    Apr 26, 2020 at 4:12
  • 1
    I've quoted and borrowed from your answer here, thanks again!
    – uhoh
    Jun 3, 2021 at 22:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.