Writer David Gerrold pitched “More Tribbles, More Troubles” as a sequel to his original series episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. The script was rejected as the producer running things at the time, AKA Not Gene Roddenberry, didn’t want to do a comedy episode. As it is, due to the faster pace, Gerrold was able to turn his episode into one for the animated series without cutting anything.
And, well, this one sure is a sequel.
See, like a lot of sequels, it repeats a lot of what happened the first time around. Once again, Sherman’s Planet is having a famine, and the Enterprise is responsible for delivering the same strand of grain to the planet to make sure everyone there is fed. There are Klingons hanging around, led by Captain Koloth, and Cyrano Jones shows up selling Tribbles. The episode ends with Tribbles in the Klingon ship, and Kirk finds himself buried in a bunch of them before the closing credits run.
Really, it’s almost the same story with some of the exact same jokes. They show managed to get character actor Stanley Adams to reprise Cyrano Jones, but sadly William Campbell doesn’t reprise Koloth. At least, not here.
And, once again, the show seems to have something of an environmental message involving invasive species.
Is there a twist? Sure. This time, Jones promises his Tribbles don’t reproduce. He managed to genetically sterilize them. Instead, they just grow fat as they eat.
Or, more accurately, they grow bigger.
The other twist is what the Klingons want. Jones has a Tribble predator, something that can eat Tribbles, but only when they stay normal size. Factor in that the Klingons have a new weapon that, though it drains the Klingon ship very quickly, can freeze a starship in place, and how one of the robot ships transporting the grain is damaged to the point the Enterprise needs to carry the grain itself, giving the Tribbles something to eat.
But we do know Spock has no sense of humor. So, when the Enterprise is immobilized and Uhura suggests throwing rocks, it’s a joke. When Spock suggests throwing Tribbles, it isn’t Hence, giant Tribbles on the Klingon ship. To say nothing of one that won’t get out of Kirk’s Captain’s Seat.
As it is, McCoy realizes the Tribbles are colonies, not sterile. And the Klingons go away once they get the predator, a prototype they bred themselves, back. Of course, shooting a giant Tribble after said predator runs away means they have a few hundred or so regular size Tribbles.
At any rate, this one was fun if familiar. It really is so much like the original episode that there’s not much fresh here, and the pacing on the episode means that there’s no pauses to enjoy a laugh from one of the episode’s punchlines aside from maybe the wry look Kirk makes at the end of the episode when he finally gets dug out of the pile of Tribbles.
So, yeah, a familiar episode. Not a bad one, but also not a groundshaking one.