Star Trek (1966–1969)
23 user 6 critic

A Piece of the Action 

The crew of the Enterprise struggles to cope with a planet of imitative people who have modeled their society on 1920s gangsters.


James Komack


Gene Roddenberry (created by), David P. Harmon (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Anthony Caruso ... Bela
Vic Tayback ... Krako (as Victor Tayback)
Lee Delano ... Kalo
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
John Harmon ... Tepo
Sheldon Collins ... Tough Kid
Dyanne Thorne ... First Girl
Sharyn Hillyer Sharyn Hillyer ... Second Girl
Buddy Garion ... Hood
Steven Marlo ... 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


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

12 January 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Piece of the Action See more »

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Did You Know?


No stardate is actually logged in the episode. A stardate of 4598.0 appeared in Bjo Trimble's Star Trek Concordance, apparently using an earlier script version, and the fotonovel provides a closing stardate 4598.7. See more »


When Kirk is explaining the rules to the made-up game of Fizzbin, he says that two Jacks are half of a Fizzbin, but if he got a third Jack he would have a Shronk and would be disqualified. He then turns over the next card - a third Jack - and exclaims how 'lucky' the other player is to get this. Suddenly, it is now a good card and the other player seemingly doesn't remember hearing a few seconds earlier that receiving a third Jack would disqualify him. However, as Kirk is improvising the game as he goes along, it is equally likely that Kirk (in character) simply forgets his own rules, which makes the scene even funnier. See more »


Capt. Kirk: [adopting a Chicago gangster accent] Now, you cooperate wid us and, uh, maybe we'll cut choo in for a piece o' dee action.
Spock: A minuscule... A very small piece.
Jojo Krako: How much is that?
Capt. Kirk: That's, uh...
Capt. Kirk: [dropping the accent] We'll figure it out later.
Jojo Krako: Thought you guys had laws! No interference!
Capt. Kirk: [accent on] Who's interferin'? We're... takin' over!
Capt. Kirk: [to Spock] Check?
Spock: Right.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


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

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User Reviews

More Realistic than you'd Think!
9 May 2009 | by stxyn922See 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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