Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Animated Series, Season 1: More Tribbles, More Troubles

Airdate: October 6, 1973
1 of 22 produced
5 of 22 aired


Escorting a shipment of quinto-triticale grain to Sherman's Planet, the Enterprise comes across a Klingon battle cruiser in hot pursuit of a small Federation craft. Much to the surprise and chagrin of the crew, they discover that an old friend, Cyrano Jones, has run afoul of an old enemy, Koloth, over an old menace: the tribble.

No, friend Kirk, this model cannot be used as a toupee!



This episode is another in the "TOS Follow-Up" category. This time, writer David Gerrold revisits his own Tribble concept and offers a continuation to the story. Yet again, we need to get grain to Sherman's Planet, which kind of calls into question why there is a colony there in the first place. Key antagonists Koloth and Cyrano Jones are revisited, though only Jones retains his voice actor (Doohan does a mediocre job on Koloth).

I really liked the neat ship designs on the grain freighters and Jones' cruiser, and we get nice detail on the  Klingon ship, which would be seen in the TMP model later in the decade. This is just what TAS can offer us over TOS. The "new klingon weapon" seems pretty similar to the Romulan weapon from TOS.

As far as the story, it was generally enjoyable without knocking my socks off. This time, we get genetically engineered hyper-growth tribbles instead of born-pregnant tribbles. We also get a geneticaly engineered tribble predator. The punchline of the episode is pretty similar, with tribbles being beamed to the Klingon ship (again, calling into question their use of shields. I liked very much that there was a conference room scene in which expository dialogue and arguments were delivered. Some of the line deliveries were a little silly, especially Shatner's. The fact that we can't see human actors kind of hampered the jokes, which were decent.

Overall, I'd give this a 4. It's the quintessential TAS "sequel," which maintains the tone of its predecessor. It doesn't blow me away with originality, but it's a pleasant way to extend a good feeling. Better line readings and the presence of William O. Campbell might have edged this upward.

Kevin: This outing is not quite as good as the original episode, but there's still a lot here to recommend it. Some of the jokes were a little cheap and the solution a little too familiar, but I can't deny I cracked up completely at a few moments. This gets a 4 from me as well, for a total of 8.

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