Star Trek: The Animated Series

"More Tribbles, More Troubles"

2.5 stars

Air date: 10/6/1973
Written by David Gerrold
Directed by Hal Sutherland

Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan

While escorting a shipment of grain to a colony where it's needed to avert a famine, the Enterprise encounters a Klingon battle cruiser in Federation space firing on a scout ship. They rescue the scout ship's passenger, one Cyrano Jones (Stanley Adams, reprising his role from TOS), whom Kirk immediately suspects as having provoked the Klingons in some way. Meanwhile, the Klingons, under the command of Kirk's adversary Koloth, open fire on the Enterprise with an experimental new weapon that renders the ship immobile and defenseless.

After the Enterprise evades the Klingons, Cyrano boards the Enterprise with a new version of the tribbles, which don't reproduce, and which he expects will be a raging success compared to their endlessly multiplying predecessors. He also possesses a creature called a "glommer," a tribble predator that disposes of excessive tribbles by eating them.

With the Klingons still out there, Kirk now has to complete his original mission of delivering the grain, while fending off the Klingons and whatever it is Cyrano Jones might have up his sleeve. But these tribbles, rather than multiplying, grow exponentially larger, especially once they start eating the grain stored in containers in the corridors of the ship.

"More Tribbles, More Troubles" has all the plot pieces it needs to be a fun comic romp, and they're even probably in the right approximate alignment. But what it doesn't have is the comic timing to support it. This is where you really lose the impact of comedy by having such limited animation in the place of what would probably be funny reaction shots and actors elevating the material. (And this series' tendency for pauses and dead air also doesn't really play into this sort of episode, either.) I didn't dislike the spirit of this episode, but the jokes are far too tame (Kirk keeps pushing increasingly larger-sized tribbles off the captain's chair) and I didn't laugh even once. And that's unfortunately a problem for a would-be comedy.

It's interesting that this was the first of the TAS episodes produced, but the fifth to air, given its tie-backs to TOS and the familiarity fans had with the tribbles and the guest characters. Either the creators wanted to get the series out the door on its own terms first, or something on the calendar indicated it was better to hold onto this one until further into the series' run.

Previous episode: The Lorelei Signal
Next episode: The Survivor

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6 comments on this post

Elizabeth Palladino
Sat, May 27, 2023, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
I don't know...I mean, hey, it's tribbles...why don't I love this episode? It's not really terrible, but it's not funny, and it lacks charm. One thing that drove me crazy the first time I watched it--and it bothered me tonight again--is why are all the tribbles pink? I mean., hey..big, fat pink tribbles gorging on the grain and getting bigger and fatter all the time, to the point where even the glommer--kind of a cute, orange, walking octopus--can't eat them. The repartee between Cyrano Jones, Kirk, and the Klingon Kolath is mildly entertaining, sort of, and the plot itself follows logically and makes sense. It 's just that it kind of plods. There isn't much sparkle. Oh, har-har, Kirk can't sit on his chair because a big fat huge pink tribble is there. I'd watch this one for completion, and watch The Trouble with Tribbles (TOS) and Trials and Tribble- ations (DS9) for fun stories that work much better and don't have Pink Tribbles.
Sun, May 28, 2023, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Another charming episode with a well-thought-out plot and vintage humour. It was originally written with the intention of airing in TOS S3, so it happens quite shortly after "The Trouble With Tribbles." It's actually remarkable how much is packed into a 1/2 hr show and the pacing, albeit quick, never felt rushed.

Cyrano Jones is a good guest character, and he's apparently capable of genetic manipulation to prevent the tribbles from breeding, not to mention engineering a species to kill tribbles.

The various parts fit together well with the Klingon stasis weapon not being that useful ultimately, but it is noteworthy that Spock says the giant tribbles are just as capable of neutralizing a ship as the stasis weapon is.

The humour is amplified with the Klingons appearing initially to want to destroy the Enterprise to get Cyranon Jones, though Kirk doesn't know why. It's also funny when the tribble killer runs away from the giant tribble. There are humorous scenes with Kirk having to push an increasingly large tribble out of his captain's chair. Overall, another wonderful TAS experience that smartly plays off a TOS classic.

Sun, May 28, 2023, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
The reason for the pink Tribbles, as well as some other garish color choices, was apparently that up until this episode unbeknownst to anyone was the fact the art director for the series was color blind. Far as he knew, those Tribbles were brown.
Black Oatmeal
Mon, May 29, 2023, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
I believe that turned out to be an urban legend, Nolan. There was a book about TAS released a couple of years ago and I either learned that that was not true or perhaps I heard it from an interview with the author.

Dude just liked pink I guess.
Theta Sigma
Sat, Jun 3, 2023, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
I liked this episode fine once I accepted that it just wasn't going to be as funny as 'The Trouble with Tribbles'. It's an enjoyable romp and the fat tribbles are a fun idea (I did get a chuckle out of one of them stealing Kirk's chair!) It's probably one of the episodes I enjoyed the most from this show really, though that's not saying too much.

Also, I can imagine the weird pink coloring throughout the series being to make certain things stand out more and be more appealing to kids.
Trek fan
Mon, Jun 12, 2023, 10:02pm (UTC -5)
Three stars for me: I’m a sucker for tribbles and it’s fun to see what feels like a lost (animated) sequel to one of the best TOS episodes, with many of the same characters. I enjoyed the glimmer and the tribbles getting bigger. Nowhere near a classic, but a silly and respectably fun follow up.

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