Star Trek

A Piece of the Action

Season 2, Ep 17, Aired 1/12/68
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  • Episode Description
  • The Enterprise travels to a planet suffering from cultural contamination from an earlier expedition--the inhabitants mimic the culture of 1920's gangland Chicago.

  • Cast & Crew
  • William Shatner

    Captain James Tiberius Kirk

  • Leonard Nimoy

    Mr. Spock

  • DeForest Kelley

    Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy

  • David P. Harmon

  • James Komack

  • Fan Reviews (10)
  • The Enterprise visits a planet with a society that is imitating the mob wars of 1920s Chicago.

    By Celedorian, Nov 14, 2010

  • Don't over-employ "logic"...just enjoy this one

    By millerem99, Aug 12, 2012

  • Flamin' Nora - this one's as bad as it gets

    By peck2000, Aug 29, 2006

  • Not just bad science fiction; it's much more than that.

    By williamwanker, Dec 05, 2009

  • An excuse to show a period drama

    By AgentAlbertross, Sep 06, 2009

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (20)

    • Kirk: Nobody's gonna put the bag on me anymore!

    • Oxymx: (over the phone) Yeah, I've got a lot of nerve. What are you going to do about it? Tepo: (gets transported in) Coming over with my boys and we... (whimpers) Mother!

    • Kirk: You got Krako on ice? Scotty: Aye, he's here. Mad enough to chew neutronium, but behaving himself. Kirk: Okay, baby. Cool him till I flag you. Scotty: Flag me? Kirk: (whispers) Keep him until I send for him. (normally) We're going to make some old-style phone calls from this locale, so you locate the man on the other end of the blower and give him a ride to this flop. Scotty: What? Kirk: (whispers) Find the man at the other end of the phone and transport him to these coordinates. (normally) Can do, sweetheart? Scotty: Can do, Captain.

    • Kirk: All right, Spocko, cover him.

    • Kirk: Gentlemen. Gentlemen. This, uh, this card game is a kid's game. Tepo: You think so? Kirk: Oh, yes. I wouldn't waste my time. Tepo: Who's asking you? Kirk: On Beta Antares IV, they play a real game. It's a man's game, but a little beyond you. It requires intelligence. Tepo: Listen, Kirk, I can play anything you can figure out. Take the cards, big man. Show us how it's played. Spock : I'm familiar with the culture on Beta Antares. There aren't games... Kirk: Spock. Spock. Of course the cards on Beta Antares IV are different, but not too different. The name of the game is called, uh... fizzbin. Tepo: Fizzbin? Kirk: Fizzbin. It's, uh ... not too difficult. Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer's right, who gets seven. Tepo: On the right? Kirk: The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays. Tepo: On Tuesday. Kirk: Mm-hmm. Oh, look what you got, two jacks. You got a half fizzbin already. Tepo: I need another jack. Kirk: No. If you got another jack, why, you'd have a sralk. Tepo: A sralk? Kirk: Yes. You'd be disqualified. You need a king and a deuce, except at night, when you'd need a queen and a 4. Tepo: Except at night. Kirk: Right. Oh, look at that. You've got another jack! Ha ha ha! How lucky you are! How wonderful for you. If you didn't get another jack, if you'd gotten a king, why, then, you'd get another card, except when it's dark, you'd give it back. Tepo: If it were dark on Tuesday. Kirk: But what you're after is a royal fizzbin, but the odds in getting a royal fizzbin are astron... Spock, what are the odds in getting a royal fizzbin? Spock: I've never computed them. Kirk: Well, they're astronomical, believe me. Now, for the last card. We'll call it a kronk. You got that? Tepo: What?

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    Notes (4)

    • The 2006 TVLand version of this episode cuts out the gag of Spock confidently indicating that he'd be able to reach the Enterprise frequency with the radio broadcast equipment and immediately getting an ad for a gun (voiced somewhat obviously by James Doohan). Instead, it cuts directly to the shot of Uhura answering.

    • This episode was revisited in the Original Nintendo system game "Star Trek: 25th Anniversary." In it you approach the planet and are thrown to unknown space. You have to find out where you are, and collect enough Lythum Crystals to get back. it turns out that they destroyed themselves. There's a little time travel and you have to play a game of Fizbin to get the communicator back.

    • The U.S.S. Horizon is of the Daedalus class.

    • Desilu No: 5149-49.

    Trivia (10)

    • After the opening drive-by shooting McCoy barely looks at the gangster who has been shot, but declares him "dead." Submachine guns are notoriously innaccurate, and there is a chance the man only was hit by one or two bullets. One would think McCoy would at least give the man a cursory look, before making such a final pronouncement.

    • Trivia: Each of the gangs wears a distinctive "uniform" in how they dress. Bela's men wear double breasted suits and fedora hats, while Kracko's men wear bow ties, blazers and skimmer hats. One may assume that Teppo's gang wears single breasted suits and homburg hats.

    • Why was the Horizon carrying a book published in 1992, much less somehow leaving it on the planet?

    • This is the first and only time where a ship's phasers are set on a stun setting and used to stun a group of people.

    • Spock says there's no record of such a culture based on a moral inversion. Actually, the culture in the episode "Mirror Mirror" operates on somewhat similar principles, and Kirk & Co. presumably made a record of it and got some info on its background and history before they returned to "their" universe.

    Show More Trivia
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