Second Union

Second Union

STAR TREK REWIND: “More Tribbles, More Troubles”

“We could always throw tribbles at them.”

I have a little bit of a story to tell. It was Summer in 1989 and I went to the RKO Video on the Upper West Side. There was an event with Star Trek: The Animated Series being released for the first time on VHS video, and none other than James Doohan was there as a tie-in to the release to sign autographs and answer some questions. Most people wanted to know if we would see a Star Trek VI. Doohan confirmed for me that the contracts were signed and the cast was ready to go. He also signed my Star Trek V paperback novelization and I purchased the first tape in the wave of releases to follow. The tape contained this episode, “More Tribbles, More Troubles” and “The Infinite Vulcan.” Mr. Doohan was a true gentleman and nice old man.

The Enterprise is on its way to Sherman’s Planet to deliver a new grain called Quintotriticale (a “five-lobed hybrid” of wheat and rye, apparently) when Klingons attack. In the midst of an intense firefight with Captain Koloth’s superior ship with stasis fields, Scotty beams over Cyrano Jones (Stanley Adams reprises his role) and a small assortment of tribbles. These are “safe” tribbles; little pink balls of fluff genetically engineered not to breed but to gain weight. You can see where this is going. Jones found a natural predator for the tribble called a “glommer” to keep his population down. McCoy confirms that the tribbles are sterile, but Kirk is more worried about the new stasis weapon the Klingons are using. Meanwhile, the tribbles are getting bigger from eating the grain and the glommer isn’t much help.

The episode has the same beats as the show that inspired it, including the undesired transport of tribbles to the Klingon ship. The Klingons reveal that the glommer is of their own construction and Jones stole it for his own use. When the Klingons attempt to destroy the big, fat tribbles, it results in mountains of smaller tribbles, but McCoy figures out a way to prevent them from getting larger. It seems like writer David Gerrold just dashed off a quick sequel to his beloved original episode complete with variations on themes and the same kind of humor that was pervasive through the show’s second season. This is a cute sequel to “The Trouble with Tribbles,” but it’s nowhere near as clever as Deep Space Nine’s “Trials and Tribble-ations.”

Twice a week, Star Trek Rewind explores the Star Trek universe. From Archer to Janeway, Kirk to Picard, and Georgiou to Sisko — boldly read what no one has read before!

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