Thursday, February 12, 2015

Star Trek Favorites: The Trouble with Tribbles

Felicitations Trekkies and welcome to Day 4 of Star Trek Favorites. I have chosen to stay within the confines of Season 2 because I have always found some of the most entertaining episodes in the series here. Some were fraught with mystery or a disturbing, hidden menace while others made me laugh. From the writing to the performances, Season 2 truly shines on but what do you do when your show revolves around the importance of grain and potential sabotage? Why you simply add a fuzzy creature to distract you from political agendas and cowboy brawls. This is The Trouble with Tribbles.

Totally not wearing pants under this table.

Starfleet official Nilz Baris (William Schallert of The Patty Duke Show, In the Heat of the Night, Santa Barbara, Innerspace and Bag of Bones) of space station designate "K 7" is near the Klingon Empire's neutral zone and Sherman's planet of which both the empire and Starfleet have claims over. Mr. Baris is in charge of the distribution and allocation of a new genetically engineered grain known as Quadrotriticale. According to Starfleet science it will be able to produce food supplies in gross in virtually any environment. A misuse of the disaster emergency channel establishing a disaster had not occurred. Mr. Baris informs Kirk and Spock that the Enterprise is at his fingertips to respond with how high to his command of jump.

A Klingon battle cruiser is in orbit of K7 declaring their right to shore leave and recreation. Captain Koloth (William Campbell of Love Me Tender, Cannonball, Dementia 13, Star Trek: Judgement Rites and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) of the Klingon Empire is representing his government's claim for the planet for shore leave. Meanwhile in K7's bar, a grifter or peddler Cyrano Jones (Stanley Adams of Breakfast at Tiffany's Highschool Big Shot, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Lillies of the Field, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask and The Great Gundown) is introducing one of his favorite marks to a life-form known as a Tribble. These creatures replicate asexually and can breed into infinite numbers provided they have enough food.

You have angered my dance belt, Kirk.  For that, I will blow you out of the stars.

Scotty, Chekov and some of the rest of the Enterprise are told be on their best behavior while on shore leave while Koloth's men lead by his second-in-command Korax (Michael Pataki of Broadside, Batman. Five the Hard Way, The Flying Nun, Superdome, The Amazing Spider-Man, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers) gets a little pickled and taunts our Starfleet boys into a donnybrook that Scotty himself throws the first punch.

With the tensions high on both sides, Koloth and Kirk are at their wit's end while Baris is frustrated with the whole scenario, gripes and complains even further when the Tribbles have been mass breeding as Spock and McCoy attempt figure out how to stop their breeding cycles or slow it as they are all over the ship.

Will the Klingons be able to lay claim to the planet? Will the grain be any use to them? Will Starfleet reprimand Kirk for allowing too many fuzzy wuzzies dominating his ship?

Now a few bits of trivia for this episode. To create the one Tribble to move on its own the prop supervisor bought a battery powered toy dog, stripped it down the mechanical works. Recovering it with fur they had several ones of this same toy dog that the railing of the bridge the toys were so loud the dialogue had to re-recorded and looped. James Doohan (Scotty) insisted on doing his own stunts in the big barroom brawl. The working title of this episode was "A Fuzzy Thing Happened to Me..." Eight takes is how many times Shatner had to be bombarded with Tribbles from the hatched storage compartment which were dumped on him by the production team. He should be grateful it wasn't some sort of fluid instead.

You get one more hair in my drink, I will gut you like trout.