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Star Trek - The Trouble with Tribbles

episode 2.15
Raumschiff Enterprise - Kennen Sie Tribbles?

USA 1967
produced by
Gene L. Coon, Gene Roddenberry (executive) for Desilu, Norway Corporation/NBC
directed by Joseph Pevney
starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, William Schallert, William Campbell, Stanley Adams, Whit Bissell, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Michael Pataki, Edwin Reimers, Walter Koenig, Charlie Brill, Paul Baxley, David L. Ross, Guy Raymond
written by David Gerrold, created by Gene Roddenberry, music by Jerry Fielding

TV series
Star Trek, Classic Star Trek, Star Trek (original crew), Tribbles

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The Enterprise receives a distress call from an outlying space station, and Captain Kirk (William Shatner) is more than a little puzzled when upon arrival he learns that the distress call was actually sent by Federation Under-Secretary Nilz Baris (William Schallert) who needs the Enterprise's crew for nothing better than to protect a certain kind of grain for Sherman's Planet, a planet of only strategic importance in the Cold War against the Klingons. Of course, the situation intensifies some when a Klingon ship commandeered by Captain Koloth (William Campbell) arrives at the station as well, but apart from the occasional barroom brawl, Kirk has the situation under control, despite Baris' constant complaints. Enter inter-galactic trader Cyrano Jones (Stanley Adams), who has the latest novelty in his repertoir: Tribbles - pretty much living fur balls one likes to pet and who make soothing noises. And being the businessman that he is, Jones gives one Tribble to Lt Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) for free, to start a trend - and starting it he does, as the Tribbles multibly by the hundreds, and soon are everywhere on the ship, and on the space station. And they eat all of Baris's grain - and die, because the grain was poisoned. But not due to Kirk's negligence but by Baris's right hand man (Whit Bissell), who with the help of Tribbles (who hate Klingons) can be identified as a Klingon spy.

And the Tribbles? Scotty beams them aboard the Klingon ship that's presently leaving the station, just before she goes into warp speed.


Ok, the Tribbles probably define alien creation at its laziest - they're just fur balls, nothing more, and yet they have become some of the most beloved (non-humanoid) Star Trek creatures, and almost a bit of a cultural phenomenon. Now this seems slightly odd of course, but upon watching this episode it's easy to see why: Basically, this is Classic Star Trek at its best, a light-footed sci-fi romp with all the regulars at their best, some eccentric guest characters, witty dialogue and a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour, action in all the right places (even if it's nothing more extravagant than a barroom brawl), and tension immanent in the framing situation. It's really hard not to love this one!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD