Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 6

Trials and Tribble-ations

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 04, 1996 on Syndicado



  • Trivia

    • Nitpick: Apparently, the "Orb of Time" can not only send people back in time, it can also send them over 200 light years distance away!

    • All the uniformed officers from DS9 change their uniform colours to fit in, except for Dr Bashir, who stays in blue. Sisko changes to gold and O'Brien and Dax change to red.

    • Nitpick: It's rather odd that during Sisko's conversation with Dulmer and Lucsly, no one ever brings up Sisko and his crew's previous trip through time in "Past Tense", which did contaminate the timeline.

    • Goof: In the turbolift scene, when Lt. Watley leaves, an extra walks in from the left. However, before they fully enter, you can see a hand reach out from off the screen and hold them briefly, then lets them go.

    • Nitpick: In episode after episode, we see people leave a docked ship, go through the promenade and use the promenade turbolifts to get to Ops or the habitat ring. Good thing the temporal investigators don't do that here, or else they would have found the promenade filled with tribbles!

    • Nitpick: After Bashir and O'Brien meet the officer Bashir thinks could be his great-grandmother in the turbolift, Julian turns to Miles and says "Didn't you take Elementary Temporal Mechanics at the Academy?!", implying that he attended. Miles doesn't answer. Chief Miles O'Brien is a non-commissioned officer and thus didn't attend Starfleet Academy.

    • Then, when Kirk speaks to Barris over the radio to and Dax comments about Spock, Kirk's conversation is much longer than the Original Series version. Listen in the background: Barris is complaining about the Klingons, but some of his dialogue is taken from later in the Original Series episode, when Barris is actually complaining about Cyrano Jones. If you listen closely, you can hear Kirk ask if Barris is talking about Jones.

    • Goof: When Sisko and Dax are working in the hallway and Kirk and Spock walk by, the panel they are working on is to the right of its position in the original episode.

    • The first time we see Odo in the cafe, he watches Chekov and Uhura enter and go to the bar. On The Original Series, Kirk and Spock were leaving the cafe and encountered Chekov and Uhura coming in. The four had a brief conversation before the captain left and Chekov and Uhura continued to the bar. Deep Space Nine adds the 'door-woosh' to imply Chekov and Uhura just entered.

    • Nitpick: Three officers in Kirk's lineup are different than in The Original Series. Two are O'Brien and Bashir. The officer to Bashir's left has turned from a blue-shirted black guy in The Original Series to a taller blue-shirted white guy. Obviously this was done to facilitate adding the main characters to this clever scene, but it is an alteration of the timeline and makes one wonder what happened to the three officers from the original timeline.

    • Goof: When the shot of the lineup changes to a closeup of O'Brien, a table and chair visible in the Original Series version are missing in the Deep Space Nine additions.

    • When Kirk dismisses the officers, in the original episode they all walk out quickly in a row, including Chekov, who is right on the heels of the guy in front of him. On Deep Space Nine, O'Brien is right in front of Chekov. O'Brien and Bashir enter the hall and begin to walk away, and several seconds pass before Chekov is seen leaving the room.

    • Nitpick: When Dax and Sisko are on the bridge, Kirk summons McCoy to complain about the tribbles. The Deep Space Nine version cuts several lines of dialogue, including all the input from Uhura in the original episode. In fact, in The Original Series, Kirk asks Uhura how they got on the ship, but on Deep Space Nine he asks this to McCoy.

    • Nitpick: When Bashir is searching the cafe for the bomb, the bartender is seen in the background covered in tribbles. This shot was taken from the end of the original episode, meaning it occurs much later in the timeline, unless the bartender was sitting like that for several hours without bothering to move.

    • Nitpick: Dax and Sisko surmise they should stay close to Kirk as the best way to find the bomb. Next we see them, they are in the rec room waiting for Kirk to show up. How did they know he was going to walk into the rec room at that time? This is especially interesting to note since, if we extrapolate events using the Original Series episode, when Dax suggested staying near Kirk, the captain was on the space station at the time!

    • Nitpick: Surprisingly, the Enterprise, K-7 and the Klingon ship all fail to detect the explosion of the tribble-bomb. Appearantly they also miss the Defiant decloaking to beam the bomb off the station. The Enterprise also fails to detect the Defiant when it first arrives and Darvin beams off.

  • Quotes

    • Odo: (The agents from the office of Temporal Investigation leave) Did you tell them?
      Sisko: They didn't ask. (pauses) I'm open to suggestions, people.
      Dax: We could... build another station. (camera pans out to reveal that the promenade is covered with Tribbles)

    • Worf: They were once considered mortal enemies of the Klingon Empire.
      Odo: (holds up tribble) This, a mortal enemy of the Empire?
      Worf: They were an ecological menace! A plague that had to be wiped out!
      Odo: Wiped out? What're you saying?
      Worf: Hundreds of warriors were sent to track them down throughout the galaxy. An armada obliterated the tribbles' home world. By the end of the twenty-third century, they were eradicated.
      Odo: Another glorious chapter in Klingon history. Tell me, do they still sing songs about the great tribble hunt?

    • O'Brien: (standing at a panel) I'm afraid to touch anything. It's all cross-circuited and patched together - I can't make heads or tails of it.
      Bashir: Sounds like one of your repair jobs.

    • Bashir: (Bashir noticing Sisko and O'Brien wearing the old era uniforms) Aren't you two wearing the wrong color?
      O'Brien: Don't you know anything about this time period?
      Bashir: I'm a doctor, not a historian!
      Sisko: In the old days, operations officers wore red and command officers the gold.
      Jadzia: And women wore less. (models her outfit)
      Bashir: I think I'm going to like history!

    • Bashir: (talking about Worf) I rather like the way you smell.
      O'Brien: Kind of a... peaty, earthy aroma.
      Bashir: With just a touch of lilac.

    • Jadzia: I guess you boys from Temporal Investigations are always on time.

    • Jadzia: (Seeing Kirk and Spock in the corridor) I had no idea.
      Sisko: What?
      Jadzia: He's so much more handsome in person. Those eyes.
      Sisko: Kirk had quite the reputation as a ladies man.
      Jadzia: Not him - Spock!

  • Notes

    • This episode was released as a bonus feature the DVD Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 2 Remastered along The Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" and Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "More Tribbles, More Trouble" (All of which are located on Disc 5).

    • Archival footage of "The Trouble With Tribbles" included appearances by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Stanley Adams, Whit Bissell, Michael Pataki, William Schallert, Paul Baxley, Guy Raymond, David Ross and Leslie Ackerman.

    • The film from the original "Trouble With Tribbles" episode was used instead of a VHS tape of it, so that there wouldn't be a difference in quaility between the original scenes and the new Deep Space Nine scenes, especially for scenes where the characters from both shows were in the same shot.

    • Contrary to popular belief, all the props and sets were recreations of the originals, often made with different materials, since the old materials in many cases were no longer available. As far as the costumes go, the only originals that were reused were the four Klingon uniforms.

    • There were 1,400 tribbles used to make this episode, and they were provided by Lincoln Enterprises, which was Majel Roddenberry's company. However, there was one tribble prop from the original "Trouble With Tribbles". It was used in the scene where Bashir and O'Brien see all the tribbles in the hallway. It is being petted by an officer played, appropriatly enough, by David Gerrold, the writer of the original episode.

    • This episode was produced to honour the Star Trek franchise's 30th anniversary. However, according to the writers and producers, knowing that there was a special anniversary episode planned on Voyager, Deep Space Nine almost didn't do one of their own.

    • Ronald D. Moore originally wanted to have the script have the crew return to the planet from the Original Series episode "A Piece Of The Action". Rene Echevaria suggested the eventual change to "Trouble With Tribbles".

    • When the staff were having lunch at a pizza parlor discussing if they could get Charlie Brill (Arne Darvin) for this episode, Ira Steven Behr noticed that Brill was actually there inside the restaurant ordering a pizza. Behr took that as a good sign to pursue Brill to reprise his role.

    • Apparently Dr McCoy doesn't go down in history as famously as Kirk and Spock do. Dax, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things about the 23rd century versions of Starfleet and the Enterprise, doesn't know McCoy is aboard until she recognizes him on the bridge. In a way this ties in with the Next Generation episode "Encounter At Farpoint", in which none of the Enterprise-D crew seem particularly impressed that Admiral McCoy is on board.

    • Cirroc Lofton (Jake Sisko) does not appear in this episode.  Armin Shimerman briefly appears, but has no dialogue.

    • On the DVD, the menu for this episode (not the others) features the sound of tribbles.

    • Several shots of K7 in this episode include both the Enterprise and a Klingon ship nearby. This was the first time the Klingon ship was seen next to the station because "The Trouble With Tribbles" was a second season episode and the Klingon ship didn't make its debut until the third season episode "The Enterprise Incident".

    • In all the footage culled from the Original Series, the creators are careful to avoid actually showing the Original Series-era Koloth, even though he is mentioned by Dax. This omission is likely the result of Koloth appearing on Deep Space Nine with forehead ridges, when on The Original Series he lacked the ridges, and in this episode there is an in-joke about how Klingons do not discuss with outsiders why they don't have ridges during this time frame. Removing Koloth from this episode avoids a continuity split within just the Deep Space Nine series. The ridge issue is later explored in the Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence".

    • O'Brien and Bashir think that the 3rd officer at the bar, Lt. Freeman, is Captain Kirk. It's interesting that the actor who played Freeman, Paul Baxley, was William Shatner's stunt double in many episodes.

    • This episode marked the 30th aniversery of Star Trek. Voyager's counterpart episode to this was the infamous episode "Flashback".

    • In order to show Sisko on the bridge getting Kirk's approval for a duty roster, the producers used cuts from another Original Series episode, "Mirror, Mirror", rather than from "The Trouble With Tribbles".

    • The writer of the Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", David Gerrold, appears as an extra in the Enterprise scenes (as the security officer with the gray hair).

  • Allusions

    • Sisko: ...about fighting the Gorn on Cestus III.

      This is a reference to the Original Series episode "Arena". However, Kirk did not fight the Gorn on Cestus III, he fought him on a Metron planet. (Sisko could, however, be referring to the fire fight at the beginning of that episode but it seems unlikely as it was not nearly as notable).

    • Bashir: I'm a doctor, not a historian.
      Bashir's comment is a tip of the hat to DeForest Kelley's 'catch phrase' on the Star Trek: TOS.

    • The X-Files
      The names Dulmer and Lucsly were anagrams of The X-Files characters of Mulder and Scully. This was a show of gratitude to the program and the people behind it.