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"Star Trek" The Trouble with Tribbles (TV Episode 1967) Poster

Trivia

The scene in which Kirk is buried in an avalanche of tribbles took eight takes to get right. The tribbles were thrown into the hatch by members of the production crew. The crew members were not sure when to stop because they were unable to see the scene. This is why additional tribbles keep falling on Kirk one by one. William Shatner can be seen looking perplexed as to why more tribbles keep falling on him.
To create the one tribble moving on its own, the prop supervisor bought a battery powered toy dog and stripped it down to the mechanical works. Once recovered with fur including the toy legs, the prop moved on camera along the railing on the Enterprise bridge without wires or external assistance. The toy was so noisy all the dialogue in the scene had to be looped with ADR (re-recorded after shooting).
The pile of tribbles near the end of the episode was actually created by gluing tribble props around a large wire frame which Kirk (William Shatner) then stood in the middle of to give the illusion of mass numbers. In reality there were only five hundred tribbles made.
Tribbles have made subsequent appearances in numerous different versions of Star Trek, including important plot focuses in Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996), and cameo appearances in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and even Star Trek: Enterprise.
James Doohan insisted on doing his own stunts in the barroom brawl.
The noises that the tribbles make were a combination of dove coos, screech owl cries and air escaping from balloons.
According to David Gerrold's The World of Star Trek, Tribbles would be around the set for some time afterward, allowing for occurrences such as what was mentioned earlier or popping up in various other places as well for some months after the production of the episode.
Writer David Gerrold tried to pitch a sequel to this episode during the third season. But producer Fred Freiberger rejected it because he did not like the comedic tone of this episode. Gerrold's idea eventually became an animated spin-off, Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973).
George Takei does not appear in this episode. For much of the second season, he was filming The Green Berets (1968). Many scenes written for Sulu were switched over to Chekov.
This episode nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1968 Science Fiction Convention.
According to Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda's text commentary on this episode for the second season DVD set, the last fresh footage of the Enterprise was done for this episode. In every episode to follow, the shots of the ship were all stock footage.
William Shatner recalled the great enjoyment all the cast had filming this episode. He noted, "The trouble we had with 'Tribbles' was [to] keep your straight face. It was just a lot of fun."
During the famous "bar fight", careful observers will note that while tables are broken, all the chairs remain intact. The tables were studio property: the chairs were rented, and if damaged would have to be paid for.
William Campbell (Koloth) recalled that, after this episode was aired, his neighbour's son consequently addressed his wife as "Mrs. Klingon".
The line in which Spock says that Kirk heard what Baris said, but could not believe his ears, was lifted directly from a Mad Magazine spoof of Star Trek (titled Star Blecch) that had just been published.
According to Bjo Trimble, this episode is based upon the short story, Pigs Is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler.
Writer David Gerrold intended to play the crewman who is with Scott and Chekov when the barroom brawl breaks out, but the role went to stuntman Paul Baxley instead.
This is the first time in the series the Klingon language is mentioned. It is called "Klingonese" in the script and the DVD-subtitles, however actor Michael Pataki began to laugh at the end of the word, and cut himself off before finishing his consonants, so the word is heard as "Klingonee."
The working title for this episode was "A Fuzzy Thing Happened to Me...".
The storyline greatly resembles one subplot in The Rolling Stones, a 1952 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Gene Roddenberry and Heinlein made an undisclosed copyright agreement before The Trouble With Tribbles aired. Heinlein conceded to David Gerrold that both he and Gerrold possibly "owed something to Ellis Parker Butler", author of the short story "Pigs is Pigs". See also Star Trek: Charlie X (1966) and Star Trek: Operation - Annihilate! (1967), which have strong Heinlein similarities.
The bar set, including the bartender's costume, is recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), with slight modifications, mostly in decoration.
Captain Koloth pronounces his race, "Clingans". As in Bob Clingan, Gene Roddenberry's inspiration for the Klingons.
In the bar set, recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), many tribbles were made out of carpet as background. Most visible versions were made from off-cut fur garments as revealed in book to accompany episode. The tribbles that move had mechanical toys placed inside them.
The producers of the Remastered Edition insist all shots of the station and ships are brand-new and not reused from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996) as had been rumored. Comparisons reveal no space shots were reused.
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.
William Schallert appeared at one of the earliest Star Trek conventions, finding the rewarding, and also confusing. Schallert recalled encountering many fans in person, who would react by calling and addressing him as Nilz Barris, and at the time he had completely forgotten the name of the character he played.
This takes place in 2268.
There is much discussion of tribbles consuming the ship's resources, but no one ever appears to feed them. In fact, only one is shown eating - in the bar. Nor is there any indication of tribbles producing any kind of waste products.
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This is listed as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" of Star Trek (1966) in the 2008 reference book "Star Trek 101" by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.
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When Dr McCoy figures out that the tribbles are in a perpetual state of being pregnant, this marks one of the very first instances on American TV of the use of that word.
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Initially Leonard Nimoy was not a fan of the episode as he felt it to be frivolous. Its deepening reputation as one of the classics of The Original Series as the years went on helped him change his mind.
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In some scenes (and if you watch in high definition), a coffee stain is clearly visible on Spock's velour shirt. Leonard Nimoy spilled his cup of coffee during lunch and there were no other costumes available for him.
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Mr. Lurry is played by Whit Bissell, who played Lieutenant General Heywood Kirk in the TV series "The Time Tunnel."
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The original title was "You Think You've Got Tribbles...?"
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The inspiration for the design of the tribbles came from a fluffy keyring.
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When the bartender buys the Tribble, and Uhura asks how much HE would be selling them for, he says he "paid 6 credits and would like a "reasonable " profit, say 10%," so he says he will sell them for 10 credits. A 10% markup would be 6.6credits.. not 10.
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