22001 "More Tribbles, More Troubles"

(airdate: October 6, 1973)

Writer: David Gerrold
Director: Hal Sutherland

Cyrano Jones: Stanley Adams

Captain Koloth: James Doohan

Stardate: 5392.4

Captain's Log: The Enterprise is escorting two robot ships full of grain destined for Sherman's Planet when it encounters a Klingon ship, commanded by Captain Koloth, in Federation space attacking a small vessel. The Klingons have a powerful new weapon that immobilizes the Enterprise, but Kirk is able to use one of the grain ships to drive the Klingons off. The occupant of the small vehicle is revealed to be Cyrano Jones, who has brought along a cargo of tribbles. These tribbles have been genetically engineered not to breed, and Jones was attempting to hawk them on a Klingon planet. Koloth damaged the robot ship in the encounter, so all the grain is brought aboard the Enterprise. Koloth comes back, demanding that Jones be turned over; Jones stole a genetically engineered tribble predator, called a glommer. Koloth attempts to immobilize the Enterprise again, but Kirk counters by beaming tribbles (now grown to gigantic size after gorging themselves on the grain) to the Klingons' engine room. Jones agrees to return the stolen glommer, and McCoy works out a way to safely deal with all the tribbles.

Whoops!: A lot of animation problems this time around: Scotty's temporarily a captain (and we get a number of brief shots of the mustachioed Lt. Kyle operating the transporter), while at 16 minutes in the door of the turbolift behind Cyrano Jones is oddly misaligned slightly, with the gaps in the cel for foreground elements (the railing) particularly apparent. But the most obvious moment happens at 19:33, when Koloth appears in front of the Enterprise viewscreen, making it look like he's actually standing on the bridge (an obvious misordering of the various elements). And this is the first occurrence of the most celebrated of Animated Series errors: director Hal Sutherland was partially colorblind, which led to a number of elements being rendered in glorious pink instead of a more sedate grey: in this case, it's the tribbles. And speaking of the tribbles, in "The Trouble with Tribbles" we saw them shrieking every time a Klingon was near them, yet here they're content to trill happily in their presence.
     The stardate on the DVD packaging erroneously gives the stardate as 5329.4.

Classic Lines: Kirk: "You sold tribbles on a Klingon planet?" Jones: "Well, I didn't know it was a Klingon planet."
     Uhura, after Spock announces that the Enterprise is completely disabled: "Well, we could always throw rocks."

Cringe Lines: This episode contains possibly the most extreme instance of Shatner pauses ever: "I.....think.....we know...that...man..."

Library Computer: Captain Koloth is in command of a Klingon [D7-class] battlecruiser [called the Devisor in the script, but named onscreen as (probably) the IKS Gr'oth in the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations"], which has the Klingon emblem on its right wing [as previously seen in "Elaan of Troyius", although here it's been rotated 90 degrees, so that the longest point points toward the bow of the ship], along with three other Klingon symbols [possibly letters]. Captain Koloth is still accompanied by Korax ("The Trouble with Tribbles"). The Klingons in this episode are all seen wearing light purple tunics over black, instead of the dull gold of the original series. [This may be related to Hal Sutherland's color blindness.] His ship has a powerful new weapon equipped: a kind of projected stasis field, which could disable a ship's matter/antimatter generators and all higher-order field and warp functions, including phasers and photon torpedoes (although communications and remote control of robot ships remained unaffected). This weapon looks like a sustained blue/white circular beam, and multiple beams can be fired at the same time in different directions; however, this field requires a enormous amount of energy, and while it is in use the attacking Klingon ship is also immobilized. This, combined with the long recharge rate of the field, means that this weapon isn't as fearsome as initially feared.
     Cyrano Jones has moved on from cleaning up Space Station K-7 [maybe; he says he managed a short parole and that he then got some help, but it's not clear if he's actually finished cleaning up K-7 yet], but is continuing to eke out an existence as a trader. He's seen here piloting a one-man scout ship of common Federation design, which looks like a white streamlined craft, with a sensor dish in the front and two warp nacelles extending above the vessel near the rear. Cyrano Jones genetically reengineered tribbles not to reproduce [and with the side effect, it seems, of turning them all pink], and was selling them to various colony worlds; however, he hadn't dealt with their propensity to eat, and so they grew larger and larger as they gorged themselves on food, essentially forming tribble colonies. A shot of neoethylene broke the colonies down into their component tribbles, and reduced their metabolic rate as well. According to the Enterprise's computer files, Jones was in violation of three Federation mandates and 47 local ones.
     Cyrano Jones was being pursued by Koloth for an act of ecological sabotage; Jones sold tribbles on a Klingon planet and then stole a genetically-created tribble predator known as a glommer. The glommer is a red creature with four spindly legs, a dome-shaped body with spikes jutting out the top, and two eye-stalks, which fed by jumping atop a tribble and essentially swallowing it whole. This glommer was the first of its kind, and without it the Klingons couldn't create another.
     The Enterprise was escorting two robot grain ships to Sherman's Planet, which had been struck by crop failures and subsequent famine. The grain ships contained a seed grain, quintotriticale, that was necessary for the colonists' survival. The grain ships were flat, with a prominent section extending down from the main plane and a smaller section extending up at the same point, about a third of the way from the bow of the ship. Two warp nacelles extended from either side of the back section of the ship. The registry of both ships was NCC-G1465 [or possibly NCC-61465 - the lettering is a bit indistinct; incidentally, while it's probably the result of an animation reuse, this is the first time two ships are seen with the same registry]. Both ships were disabled by Koloth's vessel.
     Planetary surfaces aren't covered under space salvage laws.

Final Analysis: "There's no such thing as a safe tribble." It's nice that they got Stanley Adams back to do Cyrano (although it does make you wish the budget could have extended to William Campbell as well), but this first direct sequel to an Original Series episode is a bit of a tired retread - we get tribbles causing problems, Cyrano Jones being a rogue, Klingons making threats, even a new version of triticale. The script has its moments, and there's an undeniably light touch being applied here that's quite welcome, but this sequel is ultimately underwhelming.

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