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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Krako (as Victor Tayback)
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John Harmon ...
Sheldon Collins ...
Tough Kid
Dyanne Thorne ...
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Zabo (as Steve Marlo)
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Storyline

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

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12 January 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the episode, planet Sigma Iotia II looks different than in the rest of the episode. See more »

Quotes

Dr. McCoy: How are you with primitive radio equipment?
Spock: Very simple. Amplitude modulation transmission. Simply adjust the frequency, throw this switch. The Enterprise should answer.
Radio Voice: That was the Jailbreakers with their latest recording on Request Time, brought to you by Bang-Bang, the makers of the sweetest little automatic in the wor...
Spock: [switches radio off] Fascinating.
Dr. McCoy: And very simple.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Enterprise: Horizon (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Realistic than you'd Think!
9 May 2009 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

A few months after I moved to Japan to teach English in the late 90's, I was starting to get a bizarre Star Trek Deja Vu. Rather than wearing Kimono and wooden clogs and all the traditional stuff they show in the guidebooks, everyone, EVERYONE, wore Western clothing that was all slightly offkilter. Western boots with high spiked heels, 10-inch platform shoes, died blonde or orange hair, T-shirts with English messages that made no sense, a predilection for uniforms, black business suits that belonged to morticians, ubiquitous high skirts and stockingless legs for women between 6 and 40, to name just a few examples. I was especially taken aback by the commonplace adoption of English words into Japanese that were used, pronounced and spelled wrong dozens of different ways. A friend of mine held out his hand in a light drizzle and said to me, "Look, Penny Rain, like in the Beatle song."

Finally I said to myself, "Now, this is a highly imitative Alien culture." Then I thought, "just like the Iotians in 'A Piece of the Action.'" For the next ten years, I kept my sanity only by imagining myself in the Reality TV version of "A Piece of the Action II." I've often wondered if the author of this script-- was it D.C. Fontana?-- had visited Japan. But really, when Old Commodore Perry first landed in Japan in 1853, crew members reported finding blueprints of devices and weapons pilfered from the ships for sale in the local markets. It could easily have been blueprints of Federation-issued phasers. Talk about your highly imitative Alien cultures.

I think the creators of this episode were right to make it a comedy-- it IS a comedy!-- and if the clowning around in pinstripe suits and tommy guns --I remember Fizzbin well!-- eclipses the core anthropological idea, so be it. Its still one of Star Trek's Classics, and it still makes me chuckle whenever I think of it.

And remember, all Japan wants is a piece of OUR action.


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