Friday, September 16, 2016

Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS) - Episode 43. The Trouble with Tribbles


Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS)

Episode 43. The Trouble with Tribbles

Story, Script & Trivia


Episode 43. The Trouble with Tribbles

Season:    2
Air Date:    1967-12-29
Stardate:    4523.3
Writer:    David Gerrold
Director:    Joseph Pevney
Guests:    William Schallert, William Campbell (Klingon Commander Koloth), Stanley Adams, Whit Bissell,

Michael Pataki, Charlie Brill, Ed Reimers, Guy Raymond, Paul Bradley, David L. Ross
The Enterprise is called to Deep Space Station K7 by a priority 1 distress call. The space station and planet are in a quadrant disputed between the Federation and Klingon Empire. The quadrant was the site of the battle of Donatu 5, which occurred 23 years ago. The terms of the Organian peace treaty were that the Sherman's planet would revert to whichever side could manage it most efficiently.

Kirk is furious after the distress call issued by Nilz Baris, Undersecretary in Charge of Agriculture in this quadrant and person in charge of the development of the planet's development, turns out to have been without justification. In fact, Baris just wants someone to guard the quadrotriticale grain (a four-lobed high yield variety) bound for Sherman's Planet. Baris's assistant is Arne Darvin, and Mr. Lurry is the manager of the space station.

A Klingon ship arrives at the space station and requests that its crew be granted shore leave. Kirk tells the Klingon leader Koloth that he can bring members of his crew down 12 at a time, but that he will provide one security guard for each Klingon which beams down.

Meanwhile, the intergalactic trader Cyrano Jones gives Uhura a trilling creature called a tribble. She brings it to the Enterprise, where it promptly begins reproducing. Jones also tries to sell tribbles to Klingons on the Station, but the tribbles respond by emitting high-pitched yelps. Trouble breaks out between Klingons and members of the Enterprise's crew, also on shore leave, when one of the Klingons compares Earthers to Regulan blood worms. This infuriates Chekov, who then becomes more upset when the Klingon goes on to call Kirk a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated, dictator with delusions of godhood. However, Scott holds Chekov back, even after the Klingon calls Kirk a Denebian slime devil. However, when the Klingon calls the Enterprise a sagging old rust-bucket which is designed like a garbage scow, Scott punches him, precipitating a bar room brawl. When Kirk questions his crew, no one admits to starting the fight. However, when Kirk questions Scott alone, he admits that he started the fight, and also reveals that he refrained from fighting while Kirk was being insulted, but was forced to take action when the Klingons insulted the Enterprise.

The tribbles begin proliferating throughout the Enterprise, and Kirk even accidentally sits on one while taking a seat in his command chair. Kirk orders Uhura to clean the tribbles off the ship, and beams down to the space station to confront Cyrano Jones. However, since the only animals it is illegal to transport are dangerous ones (and tribbles are not dangerous), Kirk can do nothing.

After Kirk finds that tribbles have spread aboard the Enterprise through air vents, he becomes concerned that they may have infested the grain storage lockers on the space station as well. His hunch proves correct, and opening the overhead storage bin produces a rain of tribbles on Kirk's head. Spock calculates that 1,771,561 tribbles are likely to exist on the station, assuming each tribble has a litter of 10 every 12 hours over a period of 3 days. However, Spock notes that, inexplicably, many of the tribbles are dead.

When the station transporter room is being cleared of tribbles, one of them yelps at Baris's assistant Darvin. Kirk verifies that tribbles coo for humans (and even Vulcans; "obviously the tribbles are very perceptive creatures," according to Spock), but yelp for Klingons. He then asks McCoy to perform a tricorder scan of Darvin. McCoy verifies that Darvin is a Klingon, and also reveals that the grain was poisoned. Darvin admits to being a Klingon agent and to be responsible for poisoning the grain. Darvin is arrested, Kirk tells the Klingons to leave Federation territory, and Jones is ordered to pick up every tribble on the space station, a task which Spock estimates will take 17.9 years.

Luckily, another freighter can be diverted to provide replacement grain for Sherman's planet. However, this does not solve the problem of de-tribbling the Enterprise. The tribbles are finally removed from the Enterprise when Scotty transports them aboard the Klingon ship. While the tribbles may not enjoy their new home, the Klingons will definitely not enjoy their new passengers. Note: Mr. Lurry was originally written in script as Commander Lurry. Admiral Fitzpatrick was originally written in script as Admiral Komack.


Deep Space Station K-7
now within sensor range, Captain.
Good. Mr. Chekov, this flight is supposed to provide
both experience and knowledge.
How close will we come to the Klingon outpost
if we continue on course?
1 parsec, sir.
Close enough to smell them.
Odors cannot travel through the vacuum of space.
I was making a little joke, sir.
Extremely little, Ensign.
Mr. Spock, immediate past history of the quadrant?
Under dispute between the two parties
since initial contact.
The battle of Donatu-5 was fought near here
23 solar years ago. Inconclusive.
Analysis of disputed area?
Undeveloped. Sherman's Planet
is claimed by both our federation
and the Klingon empire.
We have the better claim.
The area was first mapped
by the famous Russian astronomer Ivan Borkov almost --
John Burke.
Burke, sir?
I don't think so. I'm sure it was --
John Burke was the chief astronomer
at the Royal Academy in Old Britain.
Oh, Royal Academy.
Oh, well ...
is the rest of your history that faulty, Ensign?
Key points of dispute?
Under terms of the Organian Peace Treaty,
one side must prove
it can develop the planet most efficiently.
Unfortunately, though the Klingons are brutal and aggressive,
they are most efficient.
Once Peter the Great had that problem. He --
Kirk here.
I'm picking up a sub-space distress call.
Priority channel. It's from Space Station K-7.
Go to warp factor six.
Code one emergency. That's a disaster call.
Red alert. Many our battle stations.
All hands.
Space -- the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its five-year mission --
to explore strange new worlds ...
to seek out new life and new civilizations ...
to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Captain 's Log, Stardate 4523.3.
Deep Space Station K-7
hasissued apriority one call.
More than an emergency,
it signals near or total disaster.
We can only assume
the Klingons have attacked the station.
We'regoing in armed for battle.
Main phasers armed and ready, sir.
But ... there's nothing there.
Just the station.
Priority one distress call,
and it's just absolutely peaceful.
Lieutenant Uhura, break sub-space silence.
Aye, sir.
The channel's open, sir.
Space Station K-7,
this is Captain Kirk of the Enterprise.
What is your emergency?
This is Mr. Lurry, manager of K-7.
I must apologize for the distress call.
Mr. Lurry, you issued a priority one distress call.
State the nature of your emergency.
Uh ... well, perhaps you better beam over.
I'll try to explain.
You'll try to explain.
You'd better be prepared to do more than that.
Kirk out. Mr. Spock, I'll need your help.
Lieutenant Uhura, see that the transporter room
is standing by.
Aye, sir. Transporter room, stand by.
Mr. Lurry, if there's no emergency,
why did you issue
a priority one distress call?
That was my order, Captain.
Captain Kirk, this is Nilz Baris.
He's out from earth
to take charge of the development project.
That gives you the authority
to call a defense alert?
Mr. Baris is the Federation Under secretary
in Charge of Agricultural Affairs in this quadrant.
That gives him the authority.
This is my assistant Arne Darvin.
And this is my first officer Mr. Spock.
Now, Captain, I want all available security guards.
I want them posted around the storage compartments.
Storage compartments? Storage compartments?
The storage compartments
containing the quadro-triticale.
The what?
What's ... quadro-triticale?
Wheat. So what?
Quadro-triticale is not wheat, Captain.
I wouldn't expect you or Mr. Spock
to know about such things,
but quadro-triticale is a rather --
Quadro-triticale is a high-yield grain,
a hybrid of wheat and rye.
A perennial, also, I believe.
Its root grain, triticale,
can trace its ancestry
back to 20th century Canada --
Mr. Spock, you've made your point.
It's the only earth grain
that grows on Sherman's Planet.
We have several tons on the station.
It's important it get to Sherman's Planet safely.
Mr. Baris thinks
that Klingon agents may try to sabotage it.
You issued a priority one distress call
for 2 tons of wheat?
Of course, Captain, I realize --
Mr. Baris, you summoned the Enterprise
without an emergency.
You'll take full responsibility.
What do you mean?
Misuse of priority one channels
is a Federation offense.
I did not misuse the priority one channel.
I want that grain protected.
Captain, couldn't you post a couple of guards?
We have a large number of ships passing through.
It would seem a logical precaution.
The Sherman's Planet affair
is of extreme importance to the Federation.
Kirk to Enterprise.
Enterprise here.
Secure from general quarters.
And beam down two, and only two, security guards.
Have them report to Mr. Lurry.
Authorize shore leave for all off-duty personnel.
Yes, Captain.
Kirk out.
How dare you authorize a mere two men
for a project of this importance?
Starfleet Command --
I have never questioned
the orders or the intelligence
of any representative of the Federation ...
until now.
Summoning a starship on a priority A-1 channel
to guard some storage compartments.
Storage compartments of wheat.
Never the less, Captain,
the Klingons would not enjoy
seeing us successfully develop Sherman's Planet.
I guess not.
You didn't waste time taking your shore leave.
How of ten do I get shore leave?
She wants to shop, and I thought I would help.
Oh, excuse me. Excuse me.
Mr. Chekov, what do you make of this?
Oh, quadro-triticale.
I've read about this,
but I've never seen any.
Does everybody know about this wheat?
Not everyone, Captain.
It's a Russian invention.
I don't want any.
I told you before, and I'm telling you again --
I don't want any more spike and flame gems.
Thanks to you,
I have enough to last a lifetime.
How sad for you.
You won't find a finer stone anywhere.
But I have something better.
Surely you want some ...
Antarian glow water.
I use that to polish the flame gems.
You're a difficult man to reach,
but I have something
from the far reaches of the galaxy.
Surely you want --
Not at your price.
What is it? ls it alive?
May I hold it?
Oh, it's adorable.
What is it?
What is it?
Why, lovely lady, it's a tribble.
A tribble?
Only the sweetest creature known to man,
excepting, of course, your lovely self.
Oh, it's purring.
Listen, it's purring.
It's only saying that it likes you.
Are you selling them?
That's what we're trying to decide right now.
My friend, 10 credits apiece
is a very reasonable price.
You can see for yourself
how the lovely little lady
appreciates the finer things.
1 credit apiece.
He won't bite, will he?
Sir, transporting harmful animals
from one planet to another
is against regulations,
or weren't you aware of that?
Besides, tribbles have no teeth.
All right. I'll double my offer -- 2 credits.
Twice nothing is still nothing.
If you're not gonna take him, I'm gonna take him.
I think he's cute.
4 credits.
Is that an offer or a joke?
That's my offer.
That's a joke.
You're an honest man.
I'll tell you what I'm going to do --
I'm going to lessen my price to 8 1/2 credits.
You're talking yourself out of a deal, friend.
6 credits. Not one more.
7 1/2.
All right, you robber. 6 credits.
When can I have them?
Right away.
What are you selling them for?
Let's see, little lady.
6 credits. Figure a reasonable markup
for a reasonable profit --
Say a 10% markup --
10 credits.
I'll sell you this one.
He's eating my grain.
That'll be 10 credits.
That happens to be my sample. I'll do with it as I please,
and I please to give it to the lovely lady.
Oh, I couldn't ...
could I?
I insist.
What are you trying to do, ruin the market?
Once this lovely little lady
starts to show this precious little darling around,
you won't be able to keep up with them.
Yes, what is it?
Message from Starfleet, Captain.
Priority channel.
Admiral Fitzpatrick speaking.
Put it on visual, Lieutenant.
Captain Kirk?
Kirk here.
It is not necessary to remind you
of the importance to the Federation
of Sherman's Planet.
The key to winning this planet
is the grain quadro-triticale.
The shipment of it must be protected.
Effective immediately,
you'll render any aid and assistance
which Under secretary Baris may require.
The safety of the grain and the project
is your responsibility.
Starfleet out.
Now, that's just lovely.
But not totally unexpected.
Captain Kirk! Captain Kirk!
Yes, Lieutenant, what is it?
Sensors are picking up a Klingon battle cruiser
rapidly closing on the station.
Go to red alert.
Notify Mr. Lurry.
[Alarm Sounds]
What is the position of the Klingon ship?
100 kilometers off K-7.
It's just sitting there.
I have Mr. Lurry.
Put him on visual.
Aye, sir.
Mr. Lurry, there's a Klingon warship
hanging 100 kilometers off your station.
I don't think the Klingons will attack.
Why not?
Because the captain of the Klingon ship
is sitting right here in my office.
Cancel red alert.
We'll beam right down.
Security, cancel red alert.
Captain 's Log, Stardate 4524.2.
A Klingon warship
is hovering only 100 kilometers
from Deep Space Station K-7
while its captain waits
in the station manager's office.
The irintentions are unknown.
Ah, my dear Captain Kirk.
My dear Captain Koloth.
Let me assure you that my intentions are peaceful.
As I've already told Mr. Lurry,
the purpose of my presence
is to invoke shore leave rights.
Shore leave?
Captain, we Klingons
are not as luxury-minded as you earthers.
We do not equip our ships with --
How shall I say it?
We have been in space for five months.
What we choose as recreation
is our own business.
I might also add
that under terms of the Organian Peace Treaty,
you cannot refuse us.
Yes, well, I don't make those decisions.
Mr. Lurry is in charge of those matters.
Captain, may I speak to you?
I don't want them here,
but I don't have the authority to refuse.
While I have the authority to act,
I'm going to use it.
My dear Captain Koloth,
you may bring your men down on shore leave,
but only 12 at a time.
And for every man you bring down here,
I shall have one security guard.
There will be no trouble.
Captain Kirk,
there's been no formal declaration of hostilities
between our two respective governments,
so naturally our relationship
will be a peaceful one.
Let's both take steps to keep it that way.
Of course.
Another technical Journal, Scotty?
Don't you ever relax?
I am relaxing.
How long have you had that thing, Lieutenant?
Since yesterday, Doctor.
This morning, I found out that he --
I mean she had had babies.
Well, in that case, you got a bargain.
You running a nursery, Lieutenant?
Oh, Captain.
Well, I hadn't intended to, sir,
but the tribble had other plans.
Did you get this at the space station?
Yes, sir.
A most curious creature, Captain.
Its trilling seems to have a tranquilizing effect
on the human nervous system.
Fortunately, of course,
I am ... immune to its effect.
Do you mind if I take one to see what makes it tick?
All right, but if you're going to dissect it,
I don't want to know.
I won't harm a hair on its head --
wherever that is.
Seeing as you're giving them away,
can I have one?
Well, sure, why not?
I think they're old enough.
Go ahead.
Bridge to Captain Kirk.
Kirk here.
Mr. Baris is on channel "E" to speak toyou, sir.
Pipe it down here, Mr. Chekov.
Aye, sir. Mr. Baris is coming on.
What can I do for you?
Kirk, this station is swarming with Klingons.
I wasn't aware, Mr. Baris,
that 12 Klingons constitutes a swarm.
Captain Kirk, there are Klingon soldiers
on this station.
Now, I want you to keep that grain safe.
Mr. Baris, I have guards around the grain.
I have guards around the Klingons.
The only reason those guards are there
is because Starfleet wants them there.
As for what you want ...
it has been noted and logged. Kirk out.
Captain, may I ask where you'll be?
Sick bay with a headache.
Hi, Jim.
What do you got for a headache?
Let me guess -- Klingons? Baris?
Both. How many of these did Uhura give you?
Just one.
But you've got, uh, 11.
You noticed that, huh?
Here. This ought to take care of it.
How do they ...
I haven't figured that out yet,
but I can tell you this much --
Almost 50% of the creature's metabolism
is geared for reproduction.
Do you know what you get
if you feed a tribble too much?
A fat tribble.
No. You get a bunch of hungry little tribbles.
Well, Bones, all I can suggest ...
is you open up a maternity ward.
All you men going on shore leave, stay in groups.
Avoid trouble with the Klingons.
I'll tell them, sir.
Aren't you going on shore leave, Scotty?
Why, no, sir.
I want you to go on shore leave.
Make sure everybody stays out of trouble.
But, Captain ...
Aye, sir.
Scotty, enjoy yourself.
Ah, friends, can I offer you
a charming little tribble?
Uh, no, thanks.
Oh. Perhaps one of you other gents?
Ah, friend Klingon.
Can I interest you in a harmless tribble?
Get it away from me.
I'm sorry. I can't understand it.
I've never seen them act this way before.
Get out of here with that parasite.
He's only a harmless --
Take it away!
Ah, my good friend.
How would you like to enter another little transaction?
A tribble for a spot --
A tribble.
A tribble?
Uh ... uh ...
a tribble.
When are you going to get off that milk diet?
This is vodka.
Where I come from, that's soda pop.
This is a drink for a man.
It was invented by a little old lady from Leningrad.
The earthers like those fuzzy things,
don't they?
Oh, yes.
Well, frankly,
I never liked earthers.
They remind me of Regulan blood worms.
That Cossack.
Easy, lad.
You ought to be more forgiving.
I just remembered.
There is one earth man
who doesn't remind me of a Regulan blood worm.
That's Kirk.
A Regulan blood worm
is soft and shapeless,
but Kirk
isn't soft.
Kirk may be a swaggering,
overbearing, tin-plated dictator
with delusions of godhood,
but he's not soft.
Take it easy, lad.
Everybody's entitled to an opinion.
That's right,
and if I think that Kirk
is a Denibian slime devil,
well, that's my opinion, too.
Don't do it, and that's an order.
You heard what he called the captain.
Forget it.
It's not worth fighting for.
We're big enough to take a few insults.
Now, drink your drink.
Of course,
I'd say that Captain Kirk deserves his ship.
We like the Enterprise.
We -- we really do.
That sagging old rust bucket
is designed like a garbage scow.
Half the quadrant knows it.
That's why they're learning to speak Klingoni.
Mr. Scott.
Laddie, don't you think you should ...
rephrase that?
You're right.
I should.
I didn't mean to say
that the Enterprise should be hauling garbage.
I meant to say
that it should be hauled away
as garbage.
Captain 's Log. Stardate 4525.6.
A small disturbance between the Klingon crew
and members of the Enterprise crew
has broken out aboard Space Station K-7.
I am forced to cancel shore leave
for both ships.
I want to know who started it.
I'm waiting.
Freeman, who started the fight?
I don't know, sir.
All right.
I know you. You started it, didn't you?
No, sir, I didn't.
Who did?
I don't know, sir.
"I don't know, sir."
I want to know who threw the first punch.
All right. You're all confined to quarters
until I find out who started it. Dismissed.
Scotty, not you.
You were supposed to prevent trouble, Mr. Scott.
Aye, Captain.
Who threw the first punch?
Um ...
I did, Captain.
You did, Mr. Scott?
What caused it, Scotty?
They insulted us, sir.
Must have been some insult.
Aye, it was.
You threw the first punch.
Chekov wanted to, but I held him back.
You held --
Why did Chekov want to start a fight?
Um ... well, the Klingons, sir ...
Is this off the record?
No. This is not off the record.
Well, Captain, uh ...
the Klingons called you, uh ...
a tin-plated, overbearing,
swaggering dictator with delusions of godhood.
Is that all?
No, sir. They also compared you
with a Denibian slime devil.
I get the picture.
Yes, sir.
After they said all this,
that's when you hit the Klingons?
No, sir.
No, uh ... I didn't.
You told us to avoid trouble.
Oh, yes.
Well, I didn't see
that it was worth fighting about.
After all, we're big enough to take a few insults.
Aren't we?
What was it they said that started the fight?
They called the Enterprise a garbage scow ...
I see.
And ...
that's when you hit the Klingons?
Yes, sir.
You hit the Klingons because they insulted the Enterprise,
not because they ...
Well, sir, this was a matter of pride.
All right, Scotty.
Oh ...
Scotty, you're restricted to quarters until further notice.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, sir.
That'll give me a chance
to catch up on my technical journals.
What's the matter, Spock?
There's something disquieting about these creatures.
Don't tell me you've got a feeling.
Don't be insulting, Doctor.
They remind me of the lilies of the field.
"They toil not, neither do they spin."
But they seem to eat a great deal.
I see no practical use for them.
Does everything have to have
a practical use for you?
They're nice, soft, and furry,
and they make a pleasant sound.
So would an ermine violin,
but I see no advantage in having one.
It's a human characteristic to love little animals,
especially if they're attractive.
Doctor, I am well aware of human characteristics.
I am frequently inundated by them,
but I've trained myself to put up with anything.
I don't know much about these little tribbles yet,
but there's one thing I've discovered.
What is that, Doctor?
I like them ...
better than I like you.
They do have one redeeming characteristic.
What's that?
They do not talk too much.
If you'll excuse me, sir.
Dr. McCoy, would you mind coming up to the bridge?
Lieutenant Uhura,
how did all these tribbles get on the bridge?
I don't know, sir.
They do seem to be all over the ship.
Dr. McCoy.
Yes? Did you want to see me, Jim?
Don't look at me.
The tribbles are breeding.
If we don't get them off this ship,
we're going to be hip deep in them.
Explain that.
The nearest thing I can figure out
is they're born pregnant,
which seems to be quite a timesaver.
I know, but really ...
and from my observations,
it seems they're bisexual,
reproducing at will.
And, brother, have they got a lot of will.
Captain, I'm forced to agree with the doctor.
I've been running computations on their rate of reproduction.
The figures are taking an alarming direction.
They're consuming our supplies
and returning nothing.
But they do give us something, Mr. Spock.
They give us love.
Cyrano Jones says a tribble
is the only love that money can buy.
Too much of anything, Lieutenant, even love,
isn't necessarily a good thing.
Yes, Captain.
Have maintenance clean up the entire ship,
and then ...
contact Mr. Lurry and tell him
I'm beaming down.
Aye, aye.
Have him find Cyrano Jones and hold him.
And get these tribbles off the bridge.
Aye, aye, Captain.
Captain Kirk, I'm mystified
at your tone of voice.
I've done nothing to warrant such severe treatment.
Oh, really?
Surely you must have realized what would happen
if you removed the tribbles
from their predator-filled environment
into an environment where their natural multiplicative proclivities
would have no restraining factors.
Of cour -- What did you say?
By removing the tribbles from their natural habitat,
you have removed the cork from the bottle
and allowed the genie to escape.
If by that, you mean do they breed quickly?
Of course. That's how I maintain my stock.
Breeding animals is not against regulations,
only breeding dangerous ones,
and tribbles are not dangerous.
Just incredibly prolific.
Precisely, and at 6 credits a head,
uh, well, that is, a body,
it mounts up. Now if you'll excuse me.
You should sell an instruction manual with this.
If I did, what would happen
to man's search for knowledge?
Well, I must be tending my ship. Au revoir.
Go ahead, sir. Tell him.
Captain Kirk,
I consider your security measures a disgrace.
In my opinion, you have taken
this important project far too lightly.
On the contrary, sir.
I think of this project as very important.
It is you I take lightly.
I am going to report fully
to the proper authorities
that you have given complete access
to this station
to a man who's probably a Klingon agent.
That's a serious charge. To whom are you referring?
To that man who just walked out of here.
Cyrano Jones?
A Klingon agent?
You heard me.
I heard you.
He couldn't believe his ears.
What evidence do you have against Mr.Jones?
My assistant has kept Mr.Jones
under close surveillance for quite some time,
and his actions have been most suspicious.
He was involved in that altercation
between your man and the man from --
Yes, yes. What else?
I checked his ship's log.
He was within the Klingon's sphere of influence
less than four months ago.
The man's an independent scout.
It's quite possible he's also a Klingon spy.
We have already checked on the background
of Mr. Cyrano Jones.
He is a licensed asteroid locator and prospector.
He's never broken the law,
at least not severely.
For the past seven years,
with his one-man spaceship,
he's obtained a marginal living
by buying and selling rare merchandise,
including, unfortunately, tribbles.
He is after my grain!
You have any proof?
You can't deny he's disrupted this station.
People have disrupted stations before
without being Klingon agents.
Sometimes, all they need is a title, Mr. Baris.
Unfortunately, disrupting a space station
is not an offense.
Now, if you'll excuse me,
I have a ship to tend to. Au revoir.
My chicken sandwich and coffee.
This is my chicken sandwich and coffee.
I want these off the ship.
I don't care if it takes every man we've got.
They're into the machinery, all right.
They're probably in all the other food processors, too.
Probably through one of the air vents.
Captain, there are vents of that type
on the space station.
And in the storage compartments.
This is Kirk.
Contact Manager Lurry and Nilz Baris.
Have them meet us near the storage compartments.
We're beaming down. Come on, Spock.
What's wrong?
Plenty, if what I think happened has happened.
Is that door secure?
Yes, sir. Nothing could get in.
Good. Open it.
It's not working, sir. Seems to be stuck.
Here. Let me try it.
They seem to be gorged.
Gorged? On my grain?
Kirk, I am going to hold you responsible.
There must be thousands of them.
Hundreds of thousands.
That's assuming one tribble,
multiplying with an average litter of 10,
producing a new generation every 12 hours
over a period of three days.
That's assuming they got here three days ago.
And allowing for the amount of grain consumed
and the volume of the storage compartment.
Kirk, you should have known.
You are responsible for turning
the development project into a disaster.
Mr. Baris --
And I'm through being intimidated, Kirk.
You have insulted me, you have ignored me,
you've walked all over me.
You've abused your authority,
and you've rejected my requests.
And this -- this is the result.
I'm going to hold you responsible.
I'll hold you in irons ifyou don't shut up.
Jim, I think I've got it.
All we have to do is quit feeding them.
We quit feeding them, they stop breeding.
Now he tells me.
Captain ...
this tribble is dead.
And so are these.
A lot of them are dead.
A lot of them are alive.
They won't be for long.
The logical assumption is something's in the grain.
Yes. Bones, I want the tribbles,
the grain, everything analyzed.
I want to know what killed these tribbles.
I haven't figured out what keeps them alive yet.
If I find out anything, I'll let you know.
That isn't going to do you any good, Kirk.
This project is ruined,
and Starfleet is going to hear about it.
And when they do,
they'll have a board of inquiry.
They will roast you alive.
I am going to be there
to enjoy every minute of it.
Until that inquiry, I'm still the captain.
I want two things done.
First, find Cyrano Jones,
and second ...
close that door.
Really, Captain Kirk,
I must protest this treatment.
Ah, Mr.Jones, with an armful.
A few questions.
Captain Kirk!
What do you want?
An official apology
addressed to the Klingon high command.
I expect you to assume full responsibility
for the persecution of Klingon nationals in this quadrant.
An apology?
Yes. You've harassed my men.
You've treated them like criminals.
You've been most uncourteous, Captain Kirk.
If you wish to avoid a diplomatic incident --
No, Kirk. You can't let him.
That will give them the wedge they need
to claim Sherman's Planet.
More than the word of an aggrieved Klingon commander
would be necessary for that.
Mr. Spock,
as far as Sherman's Planet is concerned,
Captain Kirk has already given it to us.
Well, we'll see about that,
but before I take any official action,
I'd like to know Just what happened.
Who put the tribbles
in the quadro-triticale?
What was in the grain that killed them?
Captain Kirk,
before you go on, may I make a request?
Can you get those things out of here?
Hold on a minute.
I thought you said tribbles liked everybody.
They do. The last time I saw one act this way
was at the bar.
What was in the bar?
Klingons. Him, for one.
You're right, Mr.Jones.
They don't like Klingons.
But they do like Vulcans.
I didn't know you had it in you.
Obviously tribbles are very perceptive creatures, Captain.
Mr. Baris, they like you.
Well, there's no accounting for taste.
They don't like you. I wonder why.
Heartbeat is all wrong.
His body temperature is --
Jim, this man is a Klingon.
A Klingon?
I wonder what Starfleet Command
will say about that.
What about the grain, Bones?
Oh, yes. It was poisoned.
Yes. It's been impregnated with a virus.
The virus turns into an inert material
in the bloodstream.
The more the organism eats,
the more inert matter is built up.
So after two or three days,
they couldn't take in
enough nourishment to survive.
They starved to death.
In a storage compartment full of grain,
they starved to death.
That is essentially it.
Darvin, you going to talk?
I have nothing to say.
I poisoned the grain! Take them away.
And the tribbles had nothing to do with it?
I don't know. I never saw one before,
and I hope I never see one again.
I'm certain that can be arranged, Darvin.
If you'll excuse me, Captain.
Captain Koloth ...
about that apology.
You have six hours to get your ship
out of Federation territory.
No. No.
You know, I think I could learn to like tribbles.
Well, Captain, I suppose I'm free to go now.
No, you're not. There's something I want to show you.
You know what the penalty is
for transporting an animal harmful to human life?
Captain, one little tribble isn't harmful.
Captain, you wouldn't do a thing like that to me,
would you?
Would you?
The penalty is 20 years
in a rehabilitation colony.
Captain Kirk -- friend, friend Kirk,
surely we can come
to some sort of mutual understanding.
After all, my tribbles did put you wise
to the poisoned grain,
and they did help you to find the Klingon agent.
You saved a lot of lives that way.
There's one thing you can do.
Pick up every tribble on the space station.
If you do that,
I'll speak to Mr. Lurry
about returning your spaceship.
That would take years.
17.9 to be exact.
17.9 years.
Consider it Job security.
Captain, you're a hard man.
All right! All right!
You'll do it?
I'll do it.
Captain, Starfleet was able to divert that freighter.
Good. That means Sherman's Planet
will get its quadro-triticale
only a few weeks late.
I don't see any tribbles around here.
And you won't find a tribble
on this entire ship.
How did you do that?
I cannot take credit for another man's work.
Scotty did it.
Where are the tribbles?
Oh, um, Captain, it was really
Mr. Spock's recommendation.
Of course. Spock.
Based on computer analysis, of course,
taking into account the possibilities of --
Gentlemen, I don't want to interrupt
this mutual admiration society,
but I'd like to know where the tribbles are.
Tell him, Spock.
Well, it was Mr. Scott
who performed the actual engineering.
Mr. Scott.
Where are the tribbles?
I used the transporter, Captain.
You used the transporter?
Where did you transport them?
Scott, you didn't transport them into space, did you?
Captain Kirk, that would be inhuman.
Where are they?
I gave them a good home.
I gave them to the Klingons.
You gave them to the Klingons?
Aye. Before they went into warp,
I transported the whole kit and caboodle into their engine room,
where they'll be no "tribble" at all.

Episode Trailer

Episode Trailer


Episode 43. The Trouble with Tribbles

Cyrano Jones cannot pronounce the word Klingon correctly. He constantly says "Klingin" instead of Klingon.
When Koloth is requesting that the tribbles be removed from the room, part of his goatee (on his left side) disappears.
What exactly was Kirk planning to do if the tribbles didn't eat the grain when he checks the bins? It's an overhead door - if he'd gotten it open it would have cascaded down onto him.

The scene in which Kirk is buried in an avalanche of tribbles took eight takes to get right. The tribbles were thrown into the hatch by members of the production crew. The crew members were not sure when to stop because they were unable to see the scene. This is why additional tribbles keep falling on Kirk one by one. William Shatner can be seen looking perplexed as to why more tribbles keep falling on him.
33 of 33 (Trivia Rating)

The pile of tribbles near the end of the episode was actually created by gluing tribble props around a large wire frame which Kirk (William Shatner) then stood in the middle of to give the illusion of mass numbers. In reality there were only five hundred tribbles made.
25 of 25 (Trivia Rating)

To create the one tribble moving on its own, the prop supervisor bought a battery powered toy dog and stripped it down to the mechanical works. Once recovered with fur including the toy legs, the prop moved on camera along the railing on the Enterprise bridge without wires or external assistance. The toy was so noisy all the dialogue in the scene had to be looped with ADR (re-recorded after shooting).
25 of 25 (Trivia Rating)

Tribbles have made subsequent appearances in numerous different versions of Star Trek, including important plot focuses in Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996), and cameo appearances in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) and even Star Trek: Enterprise.
22 of 22 (Trivia Rating)

James Doohan insisted on doing his own stunts in the barroom brawl.
21 of 21 (Trivia Rating)

According to David Gerrold's The World of Star Trek, Tribbles would be around the set for some time afterward, allowing for occurrences such as what was mentioned earlier or popping up in various other places as well for some months after the production of the episode.
18 of 18 (Trivia Rating)

The noises that the tribbles make were a combination of dove coos, screech owl cries and air escaping from balloons.
17 of 17 (Trivia Rating)

This episode nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation at the 1968 Science Fiction Convention.
16 of 16 (Trivia Rating)

During the famous "bar fight", careful observers will note that while tables are broken, all the chairs remain intact. The tables were studio property: the chairs were rented, and if damaged would have to be paid for.
23 of 24 (Trivia Rating)

William Shatner recalled the great enjoyment all the cast had filming this episode. He noted, "The trouble we had with 'Tribbles' was [to] keep your straight face. It was just a lot of fun."
23 of 24 (Trivia Rating)

Writer David Gerrold tried to pitch a sequel to this episode during the third season. But producer Fred Freiberger rejected it because he did not like the comedic tone of this episode. Gerrold's idea eventually became an animated spin-off, Star Trek: The Animated Series: More Tribbles, More Troubles (1973).
15 of 15 (Trivia Rating)

George Takei does not appear in this episode. For much of the second season, he was filming The Green Berets (1968). Many scenes written for Sulu were switched over to Chekov.
15 of 15 (Trivia Rating)

The bar set, including the bartender's costume, is recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), with slight modifications, mostly in decoration.
15 of 15 (Trivia Rating)

According to Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda's text commentary on this episode for the second season DVD set, the last fresh footage of the Enterprise was done for this episode. In every episode to follow, the shots of the ship were all stock footage.
14 of 14 (Trivia Rating)

William Campbell (Koloth) recalled that, after this episode was aired, his neighbour's son consequently addressed his wife as "Mrs. Klingon".
21 of 22 (Trivia Rating)

According to Bjo Trimble, this episode is based upon the short story, Pigs Is Pigs by Ellis Parker Butler.
13 of 13 (Trivia Rating)

Writer David Gerrold intended to play the crewman who is with Scott and Chekov when the barroom brawl breaks out, but the role went to stuntman Paul Baxley instead.
19 of 20 (Trivia Rating)

This is the first time in the series the Klingon language is mentioned. It is called "Klingonese" in the script and the DVD-subtitles, however actor Michael Pataki began to laugh at the end of the word, and cut himself off before finishing his consonants, so the word is heard as "Klingonee."
19 of 20 (Trivia Rating)

The line in which Spock says that Kirk heard what Baris said, but could not believe his ears, was lifted directly from a Mad Magazine spoof of Star Trek (titled Star Blecch) that had just been published.
19 of 20 (Trivia Rating)

The storyline greatly resembles one subplot in The Rolling Stones, a 1952 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. Gene Roddenberry and Heinlein made an undisclosed copyright agreement before The Trouble With Tribbles aired. Heinlein conceded to David Gerrold that both he and Gerrold possibly "owed something to Ellis Parker Butler", author of the short story "Pigs is Pigs". See also Star Trek: Charlie X (1966) and _"Star Trek" (1966) {Operation - Annihilate! (#1.29)}_, which have strong Heinlein similarities.
16 of 17 (Trivia Rating)

The working title for this episode was "A Fuzzy Thing Happened to Me...".
16 of 17 (Trivia Rating)

In the bar set, recycled from Star Trek: Court Martial (1967), many tribbles were made out of carpet as background. Most visible versions were made from off-cut fur garments as revealed in book to accompany episode. The tribbles that move had mechanical toys placed inside them.
15 of 16 (Trivia Rating)

The producers of the Remastered Edition insist all shots of the station and ships are brand-new and not reused from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Trials and Tribble-ations (1996) as had been rumored. Comparisons reveal no space shots were reused.
18 of 20 (Trivia Rating)

Despite this episode's popularity, producer Robert H. Justman wrote in his book "Inside Star Trek: The Real Story" that he never liked this episode. Justman felt that the humor was too over-the-top and the show became a parody of itself.
13 of 14 (Trivia Rating)

William Schallert appeared at one of the earliest Star Trek conventions, finding the rewarding, and also confusing. Schallert recalled encountering many fans in person, who would react by calling and addressing him as Nilz Barris, and at the time he had completely forgotten the name of the character he played.
8 of 8 (Trivia Rating)

Captain Koloth pronounces his race, "Clingans". As in Bob Clingan, Gene Roddenberry's inspiration for the Klingons.
15 of 17 (Trivia Rating)

This takes place in 2268.
10 of 11 (Trivia Rating)

This is listed as one of the "Ten Essential Episodes" of Star Trek (1966) in the 2008 reference book "Star Trek 101" by Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann.
3 of 3 (Trivia Rating)

Mr. Lurry is played by Whit Bissell, who played Lieutenant General Heywood Kirk in the TV series "The Time Tunnel."

Tags: #startrektos50thanniversary #startrektos #StarTrek50 #startrek #MrSpock #captainkirk #StarTrekBeyond #tribble #uhura #McCoy #williamshatner #Chekov #sulu #LeonardNimoy #nbc #television #tvshow #scifi #sciencefiction #StarTrekDiscovery #gobeyond #stardate #enterprise

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