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STAR TREK :
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES - 4 Slimes
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 5 January 2003.

The Characters:  

  • For regular cast members, please see the main page for Star Trek.
  • Neils Baris - The Undersecretary of Agricultural Affairs for the Federation and none too happy about it either.
  • Darvin - This would be Mr. Baris' little toady. Hop toad! Hop for your life!
  • Capt. Koloth - Jovial Klingon ship commander, but Kirk knows the only happy Klingon is one plotting against you.
  • Cyrano Jones - Rotund trader who brings the first tribbles to the space station.
  • The Tribbles - They are, for all intents and purposes, cats without heads, legs, or tails!
  • The Bartender - He could really use a vacation. Preferablly to a planet where the only life is reptilian.
  • Mr. Lurry - Commander of space station K-7. He looks forward to a time without tribbles, an undersecretary, Klingons, or Kirk.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Kirk and Spock are testing Chekov's knowledge while the Enterprise is enroute to space station number K-7. The station is near Sherman's planet, a disputed world that both the Federation and Klingon Empire are attempting to develop (the winner gets the planet). The impromptu quiz is interrupted by a Priority One distress call from K-7. The ship instantly goes to battle stations and full speed. The crew expects to find the base under Klingon attack, but, when the Enterprise arrives, nothing is wrong. Kirk beams over to chew some butt.

The only problem (so far) aboard K-7 is the presence of Mr. Baris and his toad. The Undersecretary is worried that someone will do something to the hoard of Quadro-Triticale. For those who do not know about Quadro-Triticale, the impressive sounding stuff is a hardy, blue-colored wheat. The misuse of a Federation distress call leaves Kirk a little upset. He insults Mr. Baris at every opportunity and makes a point of ridiculing the agricultural official. Despite the hostile atmosphere, Spock refuses to appear anything besides absently amused. Of course, that is normal for the Vulcan.

A positive aspect of the wheat protection mission is that members of the Enterprise's crew can visit the space station for shore leave. Uhura is in the bar when she witnesses the owner and Cyrano haggling over tribbles. The seedy trader magnanimously bequeths a round cat upon Uhura. She immediately falls in love with the creature.

Other members of the ship's crew do no fare as well on their liberty. The main problem is Klingons. Yes, Klingons! For some reason the Federation government agreed to let Klingon ships use K-7 for shore leave. As a result, several rowdy Klingons goad Mr. Scott into starting a fight in the bar. The chief engineer was doing fine, he even prevented Chekov from throwing a punch, then the Klingon threw a low blow by insulting the Enterprise. Instigators can say anything they want about the Captain, but speak poorly of Scotty's beloved maiden and he will knock your block off.

By the way, it turns out that an angry Scotsman is more man than a Klingon can handle.

Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk is becoming steadily more annoyed with the tribbles. The furry horrors breed - a lot. McCoy conducts some experiments and discovers that the creatures are born pregnant and reproduce at a fantastic rate. Soon the ship's bridge is awash in purring furballs. Heck, the tribbles even find their way inside of the food processing machines! (They are also seen stuck to the walls.) I cannot figure out why someone, like Kirk or a Klingon, does not commit RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TRIBBLES! Especially since the tribbles hate Klingons. (Plot point! Everyone look at the plot point!)

The tribbles do become a major problem when they invade the storage compartments that contain the Quadro-Triticale. Spock is the first to deduce that this may have happened, but the Captain is wise enough to open an overhead bin. The mewing shower of chubby tribbles buries Kirk! Then, to add insult to (ego) injury, an offscreen stagehand pelts Shatner with furballs while he argues with Baris. Spock observes that a number of the tribbles are dead and Bones, in usual fashion, scans them before uttering his signature line.

What killed the poor tribbles? The grain was infected by a virus that inhibits the digestive system! Who did it? Why, it must be a Klingon! Not any ordinary warrior, because Kirk had security watching them. The perpetrator is a Klingon spy and only a significant plot point could ever expose him. Following that resolution, the primary effort turns to ridding the Enterprise of tribbles.

I would like to point out that tragedy was averted by the tribble control measures. What if the Enterprise had run out of food? Would the tribbles have developed a taste for living human flesh? "Captain's Log: *PAUSE* The rest of my crew is dead *PAUSE* and my phaser is empty. *PAUSE* I can hear them chewing *PAUSE* through the door. *PAUSE* Oh, God! NOOOOO!" (The sounds of mewing and fabric ripping, then silence.)

Things I Learned From This Show: 

  • Russians invented or discovered far more things than history books would have us think.
  • Vulcans like to pet furry things.
  • A group of Klingons is known as a "swarm of Klingons."
  • Scotch is clear, like water.
  • It is hard to tell a live tribble from a dead tribble.
  • Surprisingly, a soft ball of fur is an effective torture device.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 8 mins - If I had one of those machines... ...I would drink more than I do already.
  • 11 mins - Forshadowing, heavy art thou hand.
  • 18 mins - Like the chubby ones, don't you Kirk?
  • 25 mins - He may be a big guy, but if he keeps this up then death is a possibility.
  • 36 mins - What joker has been using superglue on the tribbles?
  • 39 mins - Hahahaha! Somebody is chucking them at Shatner!

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note tribbles1.wav Kirk: "How close will we come to the closest Klingon outpost if we continue on our present course."
Chekov: "One parsec sir. Close enough to smell them."
Spock: "That is illogical, ensign. Oders cannot travel through the vacuum of space."
Green Music Note tribbles2.wav Kirk: "Captain's Log - stardate forty-five, twenty-three, point three. Deep space station K-7 has issued a priority one call. More than an emergency, it signals near or total disaster. We can only assume the Klingons have attacked the station. We're going in armed for battle."
Green Music Note tribbles3.wav Mr. Baris: "I want all available security guards. I want them posted around the storage compartments."
Kirk: "Storage compartments? Storage compartments?"
Darvin: "The storage compartments containing the Quadro-Triticale."
Kirk: "The what? The what?"
Green Music Note tribbles4.wav Uhura: "Ohhh it's adorable! What is is?"
Cyrano: "What is it? Why, lovely lady, it's a tribble."
Green Music Note tribbles5.wav Scotty: "The Klingons called you a 'tin-plated, overbearing, swaggering dictactor with delusions of godhood!'"
Kirk: "Is that all?"
Scotty: "No sir, they also compared you with a Denebrian Slime Devil."
Kirk: "I see."
Scotty: "And then they said that you were..."
Kirk: "I get the picture, Scotty."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Cliptribbles1.mpg - 2.3m
This is the point where Kirk is finally sick and tired of the limbless, headless cats that are infesting his ship. It is also the point where Spock finally deduces that the tribbles might have found the Quadro-Triticale.

(Spock is always logical, but sometimes his timeliness sucks.)

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Canadaphile
It must be said ...

[Ogre voice]

NEERRDS!!!

[/Ogre voice]

Sorry, couldn't resist.
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #2. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by BoyScoutKevin
I can't say enough good things about this episode.
A great villain in William Campbell as Koloth. He would later play the same character on Star Trek: Deep Space 9.
One of the best comedic bar brawls, I have ever seen.
A great line from Captain Kirk (William Shatner), when Mr. Barris (William Schallert) accuses the good captain of taking the project too lightly. "I regard the project as extremely important, Mr. Barris. It is you I regard lightly." Just ROTFL!
And, if one has seen the episode of Star Trek: Deep Space 9,
where the crew of Deep Space 9 goes back in time to the time of this episode, then one knows who was really pelting Kirk with furballs, and it wasn't a stagehand, but, I won't say more then that. Enjoy!

a
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #3. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Landroo
In the sequence where Uhuru first 'meets' a tribble,
how many times does Cyrano Jones use the phrase "lovely (little) lady"?
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Nico
I just saw DS-9 episode "Trials and tribble-ations" which takes time during this same episod with parts of the original episod in it.
nice :)
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by radioman970
I must say up front I'm a rabid fan of this show.  Not the kind that dresses up and goes to conventions (although that might be a fun time).  I grew up with Shatner and the rest.  Nostagia is overwelming with this show for me.  I also think it was wonderfully made.  Still trying to get them all on DVD (stupid money grubbing Paramount!!).  

Anyway, Tribbles is one I've seen too many times.  It's slightly overrated by fans IMO.  Still a good time.  

Fans call "Spocks Brain" the worst episode of all.  

Brain, brain...what is brain?!

:)  But I like it too for some reason.
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #6. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Johnny
Alright, I'm not a fan of Star Trek at all; the only reason I happened to see this episode was because it's my fathers favorite episode and he made me watch it. Let me tell you, I LOVE IT. It is so freaking groovy. Watch it!
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by john
nerds .. sure, why not.  I don't try to hide my geekiness in the closet.  I grew up watching the old trek.  I remember they did a sequel to this on the 70s cartoon.
Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Amanda (a.k.a Shadowgurl1019)
I think this episode is the sadest thing in the universe. Worce than Garfield. Worce than Cat in the hat.
(EVIL VOICE)
Soon these movies shaw pay!
(Evil laugh)
Sorry. Play too much video games latly
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