Thursday, 26 June 2008

Star Trek: TOS 2.13 - The Trouble With Tribbles

Review 41 - Episode 42

The One with the fur balls

Rightly considered as possibly Treks finest comedy hour, what really shines through is the chemistry and instinctual comic timing of the regulars. it's hard to imagine this story in any if the other series and it probably speaks volumes that DS9 is the closest to pull it off.

There is no simple A story here, but lots of threads that overlap each other and come together naturally for a satisfying end. The only thing I would say is that though on first glance this appears to be an ensemble episode, it's actually only Kirk and Scotty who have the main scenes. Everyone else really just has some excellent one liners.

The Enterprise is summoned to DS-K7 to protect grain from possible Klingon sabotage. And there are tribbles on board, multiplying. I think this episode really shows what a fine comedy actor Shatner is. Never mind Captain of a star ship, his first, best destiny is in this line of work as shown in more recent years such as Boston Legal and films. But he is very subtle here and his putdowns to Baris are hilarious.

The barroom brawl is also a masterpiece in comedic scripting with Scotty showing restraint up until the Enterprise insult. The debriefing is just as much fun, with Kirks realization that insults about him were not the ignition.

The rest of the cast, bar Sulu who is AWOL now for a few episodes for some reason, all have good lines, but never really individual scenes. Spock is always with Kirk, Chekov with scotty, Bones and Uhura together. It doesn't really matter, but it's amazing that you never really notice until you think about it, and that is surely a sign of good scripting.

The final scenes, with the poisoned tribbles falling on Kirks head is one of the most iconic images in Trek and the way it brings the storylines together, including the kilingons, is excellent.

Nothing bad to say about this episode.


Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 124/205

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