Why not tribbles like Klingons


Description of the episode

Stardate: 4523.3
Kirk and Spock are in the Enterprise conference room discussing the Sherman planet, which has long been the cause of fights between the Klingons and the Federation as both parties file ownership claims. According to the Organia peace treaty, however, the planet is to be awarded to the party that presents the better development concept. While Kirk and Spock are discussing the planet, which is difficult to cultivate, the Enterprise receives an emergency call from the K-7 space station. Since the station is near the Klingon room, Kirk flies there immediately at top speed.

Once at its destination, however, the Enterprise does not find anything that looks like a danger. Kirk contacts Mr. Lurry, the station manager. He invites him and Spock for a conversation.

The captain and his science officer meet Mr. Lurry and Nilz Barris, the development manager of the Sherman project and his assistant Arne Darvin. Apparently there is no emergency on the station and Kirk is pissed off at Barris, who initiated the emergency call. However, Barris wants Kirk to deploy guards to guard a few tons of quadrotriticale, a special type of grain that is well suited to the Sherman planet. Kirk doesn't even think about assigning more than 2 men to this task. He and Barris get into a violent argument about it.
Kirk gives the crew of the Enterprise the opportunity to take a vacation on the space station. Chekov and Uhura use this for a shopping spree. In the bar of the station they meet Cyrano Jones, a trader who is trying to talk the bartender about some goods. The bartender is not interested, but when Jones pulls a small furry animal named Tribble out of his pocket and Uhura is immediately enthusiastic about the cute creature, the bartender Jones buys some Tribbles. The dealer meanwhile gives Uhura a Tribble as a promotional gift. She takes the animal with her on the Enterprise.

Kirk now receives a message from Admiral Fitzpatrick, who orders that Barris be supported in any form. At the same moment a Klingon ship approaches the space station. The red alarm that has been called out can quickly be called off again, since the Klingons came with peaceful intentions. You want to go on vacation to the space station, as the organic peace treaty provides. Kirk can't do anything about it, but he sets a guard for every Klingon on the station. The captain also sends Scotty to the station as a minder, although he is not very enthusiastic about it.

Uhura's Tribble has now increased, she now has many small Tribbles that she distributes among the crew. McCoy also takes a Tribble to the infirmary to examine it.

In the meantime there are further arguments between Kirk and Barris and when Kirk goes to the infirmary because of a headache he finds that McCoy's Tribble has already increased again. The doctor has no idea how the animals do it, apparently the more food they get, the more they reproduce.

On the space station, the Klingon Lieutenant Korax tries to provoke the Enterprise crew. He pokes at the absent Captain Kirk. Chekov tries to beat up the Klingon, but Scotty holds him back. It is only when Korax calls the Enterprise a rusty bucket that the chief engineer feels his honor has been hurt and a wild brawl begins between the Klingons and the members of the Enterprise crew.
After the fight ends, Lurry is forced to ban both crews from the station.

Kirk gives his officers and men a lecture and gives room arrest.

Meanwhile there is a completely different problem on the Enterprise: The Tribbles have now multiplied so much that you can find them all over the ship. They even frolic in the captain's chair.
Kirk returns to the station with Spock and takes on Cyrano Jones, but he is not aware of any guilt and Kirk ultimately has no choice but to let him go. Barris now has the suspicion that Jones is a Klingon spy, which Kirk and Spock now consider ridiculous again.

In the Enterprise's lounge, Kirk realizes that the Tribbles are already sitting on the food, apparently they got into the food distributors through the air ducts. Kirk and Spock realize that this could also happen at the station with the grain stores, since there are similar air shafts there. The two beam to the station and actually have to find out that there is no more grain in the granaries, only tribbles. McCoy has since found out that the only time the Tribbles stop reproducing is if they are not given anything to eat. While Barris is furious, Spock finds that most of the tribbles in the granary are dead. McCoy examines a carcass.

On the space station, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Cyrano Jones, Barris, Darvin and the Klingon Captain Koloth gather, who expects Kirk to apologize for the brawl. McCoy found out that the grain was poisoned and the Tribbles died because of it. The Tribbles are quite sensitive to Arne Darvin and since Jones can report that the creatures like all people except Klingons, McCoy investigates Darvin and finds that he is a Klingon spy. He poisoned the grain and the Tribbles thwarted his plans. Koloth meekly beams back to his ship and leaves the space station while Darvin is arrested by Barris.

For Cyrano Jones, Kirk has another special task: He is allowed to catch all the tribbles that move on the station.

Back on the Enterprise, Kirk doesn't find a single Tribble anymore and Scotty confesses that he beamed the fur balls onto the Klingon ship.


Next to 1.25: Horta saves her children is "Do you know Tribbles?" probably one of the most famous Star Trek episodes ever. Even people who otherwise have little to do with the original series know and appreciate the episode. And not without reason.

For the second time ever, the original series tries a pure comedy. The first attempt 2.08: The trained ruler left a lot to be desired. But David Gerrold, who, as with the episode mentioned, was responsible for the script, has learned from his mistakes. "The trained ruler" failed mainly because the framework was simply too thin to convince or to guarantee an entertaining 45 minutes. The humor usually quickly became silly. In "Kennen Sie Tribbles" the humor works much better and the original background story ensures that in contrast to 2.08: The trained ruler never gets bored.

The episode is very funny from the start, but it doesn't peak until the Tribbles flooded the Enterprise.

All actors offer their best and are allowed to live out their comedic talent to the full. Regular director Pevney, here already in his 13th directorial work, demonstrates a great sense of timing and talent for comedies.

The verbal exchange of blows between Kirk and the Federation Commissioner Barris also provides funny scenes. The situation is also successful, in which Scotty explains to the perplexed captain that he did not start the fight because Korax insulted the captain, but because he called his beloved Enterprise a rusty bucket.
Also excellent is the scene in which Kirk drops into his command chair and promptly lands on a squeaking tribble and of course the scene in which the captain is buried under hundreds of tribbles and another one falls on his head from the open flap .

Kirk is again the focus of the episode and this time one can almost feel sorry for him. First he is entrusted with a mission that he finds humiliating for his ship, then he has to let himself be annoyed to death by the choleric bureaucrat Barris and he also has problems with the Klingons. As if that weren't enough, he also has trouble with his people, who would rather defend the honor of the Enterprise than that of their captain, and in the end he is buried under a lot of dead tribbles himself. William Shatner delivers a wonderful performance as a stressed and annoyed Kirk in this episode. That the comedy works is due in large part to his convincing work.

Spock and McCoy fans get their money's worth especially in the scene in which the two argue about the sense or the use of the tribbles.

You can also learn a few things about Scotty here. After his rather unsuccessful vacation in 2.14: The wolf in sheep's clothing, the chief engineer has had enough of vacation for the time being. Apparently he prefers to bury himself in one of his technical newspapers. Scotty's pride in the Enterprise is particularly evident here. He sees the ship as his child, so to speak, and then accordingly loses self-control when Korax insults the ship.

In this episode, Chekov can once again present his obsession with Russia. Everything from the quadrotriticale to various proverbs is a Russian invention. But that makes him the only character who gets on your nerves a little bit in the long run in this episode.

Uhura also has some bigger scenes this time. She is the first to buy a Tribble and bring the cute little animals to the Enterprise.

Also in this episode Harry Mudd was originally intended for the trader character, but the actor was not available and so the character was renamed Cyrano Jones. His appearance shows the resemblance to Mudd quite clearly.

Barris is the typical Federation bureaucrat as we know him from many other episodes. He appears arrogant and unsympathetic from the start and, of course, gets his fat in the end when it turns out that he had a Klingon spy as an assistant the whole time.

The peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingons, which was concluded in episode 1.26: Battle for Organia, is mentioned again.

Captain Koloth was supposed to return to the series in the fourth season, but the early end of the series ruined these plans. William Campbell was allowed to embody Koloth again in DS9 episode 2.19: The Blood Oath. Koloth and his crew is similar to Kras in 2.11: In the name of the young Tiru of the more human Klingon type. They lack the oriental look that shaped the Klingons in 1.26: Battle for Organia.

There is a reunion in this episode with Lieutenant Galloway, who appears again after a long absence.
Screenwriter David Gerrold also wrote episode 2.08: The trained ruler. Gerrold also wrote the story for 3.21: The Cloud City. His writing career began with Star Trek. He later also wrote two scripts for the animated series and was involved in the initial planning for the follow-up series "The Next Generation" (where he threw in the towel early on after not getting along with Roddenberry). Gerrold also wrote many Star Trek novels.
It was directed by regular director Joseph Pevney.

The German version was produced by ZDF. Almost all of the scenes cut by ZDF have now been restored and reinserted. However, some small scenes are still missing, including the one in which Uhura distributes her tribble breeding among the crew, as well as part of the scene in which Cyrano Jones is accused of being a spy by Baris.
In addition to the cut scenes, a whole series of small changes were made to the dialogues in the German version, but this time they are not really serious or wrong. In some cases, they even add to the episode's cheer this time around.
The Enterprise flies in German with Sol 15 times faster than the Warp 10 limit actually allows.
For the DVD version, the last missing scenes were also synchronized and inserted.

The effects of the episode are extremely successful. For the first time you can see a space station. It was implemented well.
The Tribbles can also convince. Some have even been made that can move.

The story of the Tribbles found a worthy continuation in DS9 episode 5.06: Always the burden with the Tribbles.

But taken on its own, this episode is an extremely successful, entertaining comedy in Star Trek guise. A highlight of the 2nd season.