Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 15

The Trouble with Tribbles (29 Dec. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 1,389 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

To protect a space station with a vital grain shipment, Kirk must deal with Federation bureaucrats, a Klingon battle cruiser and a peddler who sells furry, purring, hungry little creatures as pets.

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Cast

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Edwin Reimers ...
Admiral Fitzpatrick (as Ed Reimers)
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Charlie Brill ...
Paul Baxley ...
David L. Ross ...
Lt. Galloway (as David Ross)
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Storyline

Having received a Priority One distress call from an outlying space station, the Enterprise arrives to find they've been summoned there by a Federation commissioner merely to protect a shipment of seeds meant to sow wheat on Sherman's planet. The planet is also coveted by the Klingons, who are taking shore leave at the station. The trouble arises with tribbles - small furry creatures that seem to multiply without end. Their fortuitous presence, however, reveals both a problem with the wheat and a traitor on the space station. Written by garykmcd

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29 December 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite this episode's popularity, producer Robert H. Justman wrote in his book "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" that he never liked this episode. Justman felt that the humor was too over-the-top and the show became a parody of itself. See more »

Goofs

When Kirk and Scott discuss the fight aboard the space station, Kirk says, "What caused it, Scotty?" Right at the beginning of the next shot, we can see him clearly repeating the line, but we don't hear his voice saying it a second time. See more »

Quotes

Arne Darvin: [referring to Jones] You can't deny he's disrupted this station.
Capt. Kirk: People have disrupted stations before without being Klingon agents. Sometimes, all they need is a title, Mr. Baris.
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Connections

Referenced in King of the Hill: The Trouble with Gribbles (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Consistently enjoyable episode that has a good story, great sense of humour and nobody taking it seriously even once
6 May 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Enterprise respond with all speed to a priority 1 distress call on a space station but Kirk is far from impressed when he learns that the call was signalled by Undersecretary for Agriculture Baris to guard some storage compartments of a new wheat hybrid. Reluctantly, Kirk agrees but only assigns two guards, giving his other available staff shore leave on the station. The importance of the grain is brought home to him though when Starfleet command him into action and the Klingons turn up on the station for "shore leave". With all these pressures on him, peddler Cyrano Jones selling a strangely enchanting creature called a Tribble doesn't even show up on his radar.

I rarely review specific episodes of TV series but for Star Trek I thought I would locate this specific episode and watch it with a critical eye because this tends to be the one that most casual Trek viewers quote as their favourite. Watching it again I can understand why because it is a fine example of the gentle humour that makes the majority of casual viewers enjoy the series. So while we may not always like the clunking moral messages and so on, the humour is what makes it an enduring piece of entertainment. With "Tribbles" the whole story has been written with his humour running deep throughout it and everyone has their tongues in their cheeks throughout with a narrative that is wonderfully silly and fun.

The cast mostly react really well to this lack of action and drama. Shatner wears a great air of weary disbelief about everything and he has plenty of great lines – particularly when mocking Schallert's Baris. He is not a great actor but he shows a real comic touch here and I was rolling with laughter as he stands up to his chest in Tribbles being pelted from above by them while delivering his lines. Nimoy enjoys himself too with lots of "raised eyebrow" moments while Kelley, Nichols, Doohan and Koenig all get good material. Adams hams it up but within the context of this episode it works really well.

A fantastic episode then. It does depend on how you view Star Trek as a franchise because I'm sure many will see this silly episode as a low point but for me personally it is tremendous fun, had me regularly laughing out loud and left me feeling like I had been really entertained.


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