Ben Childress was a male Human civilian in the 23rd century. He was the chief miner of a lithium mining company that he and his partners established in 2263 on Rigel XII. Fantastically rich, as was any successful lithium miner at that time, Childress was self-assured, almost overconfident. Despite his wealth, he lived in a small, simple pressure dome eleven miles away from the company.
In 2266, the USS Enterprise was forced to divert to Rigel XII to replace its lithium crystals. Prior to Kirk's official contact, Harcourt Fenton Mudd contacted Childress and arranged his own deal: Mudd's women, if the miners liked them, and Mudd's freedom in exchange for the crystals. Childress, and his partner Herm Gossett visited Kirk in his quarters to present these terms. What Childress did not know then was that Mudd had given his women the Venus drug to enhance their appeal.
Kirk started to remind Childress just how far away from civilization he and his partners were, but Childress' reply was interrupted by the arrival of Mudd's women, who quickly enchanted Childress and Gossett. Despite Mudd's having kept his word, Kirk had difficulty securing the crystals; Childress had the upper hand and knew it. Later, the Venus Drug wore off and Childress discovered Eve McHuron's true appearance. While being initially disappointed by Eve's true appearance, he was also impressed with her domestic skills and ability to problem solve. For instance, she suggested putting a dirty pan on a line out in the sand storm to clean it. Becoming disenchanted with her situation, she ran away. Kirk and Childress went out into the storm to find her. When they returned with her, Eve and Childress agreed to talk out the their problems. After these events that culminated in the revelation of the Venus drug, a chastened Childress provided the required crystals. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")
Background information Edit
Ben Childress was portrayed by Gene Dynarski.
In a revised story outline for "Mudd's Women" (dated 23 July 1964), Childress had the first name "James" and was described thus; "About forty, broad shouldered and hard-muscled, Childress is as rough-chiselled as the forbidding planet, contemptuous of physical discomfort, as hard on himself as he is on his men. He is a born leader, blunt to the point of roughness, sure of himself and of the power given him by the richness of this claim of rare crystals so necessary to space travel."
In the final draft script of "Mudd's Women" (dated 26 May 1966), Childress had the first name "Ben" and was described as "a big, powerful, driving kind of man... weathered... pounded... but a winner... on guts [....] Ben is, basically, a man of simplicity... you give him an apple and he gives you a nickle... give and take... two and two makes four... This is not to say he is of low intelligence... anything but... but the self same [elements] that drove him out of 'civilization' and permit him to survive as a prospector/miner are the self same ingredients [...] that confuse and frustrate him." In the same script, he was also referred to as being "a few years" older than Gossett and they, along with Benton, first met Mudd's women on the surface of Rigel XII, rather than on the Enterprise.