Trials and Tribble-ations

Trials and Tribble-ations
"Trials and Tribble-ations"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Sisko (right) meets Kirk on the bridge of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701).
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 6
Directed by Jonathan West
Teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
René Echevarria
Story by Ira Steven Behr
Hans Beimler
Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Featured music Dennis McCarthy
Production code 503
Original air date November 4, 1996 (1996-11-04)
Guest stars
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List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Trials and Tribble-ations" is a fifth season episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It has an average fan rating of 4.7/5 on the official Star Trek website and was written as a tribute to the original series of Star Trek, in the 30th anniversary year of the show; sister series Voyager produced a similar episode, "Flashback." It is widely held to be one of the best episodes of the series, ranking as the best DS9 episode on[1]

It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, as "The Trouble With Tribbles" had been in 1968. ("The Trouble With Tribbles" lost out to "The City on the Edge of Forever" that year.)


The episode sees the crew of DS9 travel into their past, and encounter the events of the original series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles." The crew interact with events of that episode, meeting James T. Kirk and visiting the original Enterprise by means of modern special effects technology which allows the DS9 actors to be inserted into footage from the original episode.

Agents Dulmer and Lucsly (anagrams for the X-Files agents Mulder and Scully), from the Department of Temporal Investigations, interrogate Captain Sisko of Deep Space Nine as to why he and his crew aboard the USS Defiant travelled to the year 2268, to Deep Space Station K-7. While the crew was there, they foiled an assassination attempt on Captain James T Kirk of the USS Enterprise by the resentful Klingon ex-agent Arne Darvin.


  • Making a cameo appearance as an Enterprise crew-member is David Gerrold, who wrote the original "The Trouble with Tribbles" episode for the original series and helped develop Star Trek: The Next Generation; Gerrold can be seen in the corridor on the Enterprise (crouching down, with silver hair) as O'Brien and Bashir first discover the Tribbles have gotten aboard ship. Gerrold wrote the character of Ensign Freeman into the original episode with the intention of playing the part himself.[2] However, Gene Coon nixed the idea, saying Gerrold was too skinny. Paul Baxley, William Shatner's frequent stuntman, was cast in the role. Paul Baxley being William Shatner's stuntman is referenced by Bashir's and O'Brien's mis-identifying Freeman as Kirk in the K-7 bar.
  • Charlie Brill, who played Arne Darvin in the original Star Trek: The Original Series, returned to play the same character in this episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. According to a text commentary written by Mike Okuda on the DVD version of the episode, the producers were ambivalent on choosing whether to do a return to "The Trouble With Tribbles" or "A Piece of the Action" when they happened to chance upon Brill sitting in the same restaurant that they were discussing the planned tribute.
  • Between the original episode and DS9, the appearance of Klingons had changed radically (their design had originally been altered for Star Trek: The Motion Picture). When Bashir and O'Brien ask Worf why 23rd Century Klingons look so different, he will only tell them "They are Klingons, and it is a long story." Bashir and O'Brien ponder possible causes - genetic engineering, mutated viruses - both of which were later shown to be correct in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Affliction". Worf stops the discussion by saying "We do not discuss it with outsiders". Contained in the 'Special Features' of the region 2 box set of DS9 season 5, the producers are seen to comment that the joke at the Klingons' expense was as much for plausibility's sake as for the purpose of humor, claiming "any explanation we could come up with would have been ridiculous!"
  • The Klingon D-7 battle cruiser, never seen until the third season, appears in rich detail in rendezvous movement with Station K-7 (the only time a Klingon ship was seen, before the third season of the original series, was a multi-colored "wedge shape" in "Friday's Child"). The K-7 station and the Enterprise also have richer exterior shots.
  • While the majority of scenes showing the original cast came from "The Trouble With Tribbles", Sisko's last scene on the Enterprise bridge (in which he speaks with Kirk) made use of the final scene from "Mirror, Mirror", in which Kirk meets Lt. Marlena Moreau, the counterpart of his love interest from the Mirror Universe. Kirk's smiling reaction shot to Sisko was originally a display of guarded interest in his universe's Marlena. Lieutenant Uhura's stunned look of recognition in the background of the shot is still visible, although her expression can be interpreted as showing fascination with "Lieutenant" Sisko.


  1. ^ Episode Guide, Top Episodes[1]
  2. ^ David Gerrold (1973). Trouble with Tribbles: The Birth, Sale, and Final Production of One Episode. Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-23402-2. 
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine DVD set, volume 5, disc 2, selection 2.

External links

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