Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 17

A Piece of the Action (12 Jan. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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The crew of Enterprise struggles to cope with a planet of imitative people who have modeled their society on 1920's gangsters.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Krako (as Victor Tayback)
John Harmon ...
Sheldon Collins ...
Tough Kid
Dyanne Thorne ...
First Girl
Sharyn Hillyer ...
Second Girl
Zabo (as Steve Marlo)


The Enterprise investigates a planet visited 100 years ago by the U.S.S. Horizon. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down and find themselves in a culture similar to Earth gangs of 1920 Chicago. They are quickly taken prisoner by men in the employ of a mob boss named Bela Oxmyx, who wishes them to give him phasers in exchange for "a piece of the action." When they refuse, Oxmyx puts them under guard. Kirk creates a diversion with a card game called "fizzbin," but without their equipment, the trio must find a way to unite the planet and escape to the Enterprise alive. Written by trekkie4christ

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

12 January 1968 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of several "parallel Earth" plots in the series, contrived to save money by avoiding the necessity for "alien" sets, costumes, and makeup. See more »


One can only assume it was for budgetary reasons that the two thugs who are killed in the opening segment are wearing the exact same suits worn later by two other thugs who are made to give their clothes to Kirk and Spock. See more »


Dr. McCoy: We're trying to help you, Oxmyx.
Bela Oxmyx: Nobody helps nobody but himself.
Spock: Sir, you are employing a double negative.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Ascent (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

Da Federation gets a cut of Forty Percent
17 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OK, here we go...a hundred years ago (funny how it's almost always a clean century back?), a Federation ship, The Horizon, visited this planet and left behind a book about the Chicago mobs of the 1920's. This book is the contamination, as Spock terms it, a bible on which an entire civilization has based its culture on. See, these people are imitative. The concept could be scary, an unsettling reminder of how an entire society of people can be deluded into following a certain doctrine, whether it makes sense or not. Well, whatever turns a profit makes sense to most people. But, the Trek-makers decided to go the comedy route on this one. Most of the humor stems from all the catchy phrases that Kirk and his boys get inundated with during the course of the adventure. They get 'bagged' by Bela, the big boss, almost immediately; they break free, but Kirk is soon put 'on ice' by Krako, the second most powerful goon. Then Tepo gets a ride to Bela's flop while on the other end of his blower. Check? Right!

The whole thing is ridiculous if you step back and look with a fairly objective eye but, by the 3rd act, we're so immersed in the escapades it doesn't matter. Here's Kirk's chance to play God once more, served up to him on a platter: the Federation itself is responsible for this culture getting out of whack years back, so Kirk, rubbing his hands together in anticipation, knows he has a great chance here, a duty really, to rectify matters. A rationalization? Maybe. But, so what? So soon we have 'Kirk-o' and 'Spock-o' dressed to the nines, toting their machine guns, re-organizing an entire culture - not in theory, but in practice; Kirk's a field commander, after all, not some deskbound pencil-pusher. He plays the game of the locals and, because he's Kirk, he plays it better. Speaking of playing games, his creation of the Fizz-bin card game is an instant classic, especially as I could swear that Shatner was ad-libbing the entire scene, changing the rules with each card played. My favorite scene, however, is with Scotty & Krako, their conversation about cement overshoes.

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