Thursday, November 15, 2012

Trials and Tribble-ations

***** (5 stars out of 5)
When Deep Space Nine Forrest Gumped its way into the Tribbles episode, every nerd in the world stood up and cheered. I have it on good authority, anyway.

Authority figures of a dour disposition arrive to take a deposition. Temporal Investigations Agents Dulmur and Lucsly think the truth is out there, and they want just the facts from Sisko.

The Captain is reluctant to admit he totally changed time on a madcap adventure 105 years in the past, on Space Station K-7 with the crew of Kirk's Enterprise.

Disgruntled after a century spent looking like a human, Klingon spy "Arne Darvin" seizes his moment for glory and sends the Defiant back in time with a Bajoran Orb. He's put a bomb in a tribble to assassinate Captain Kirk for 'poetic justice', and our 24th Century chums must sneak aboard the classic vessel in ancestral garb to put things right once more.

Dax revels in the familiar gadgets, short skirts, and trip down memory lane (in a previous body she apparently had a fling with Dr. McCoy!). Julian also flirts with the notion of doing the nasty in the past-y when he decides forward young Lt. Watley is probably destined to have him as a descendant. Worf is surly to be stuck in an era before his people wiped out the Tribbles, and to have to dodge difficult questions: such as why a century ago Klingons "looked like Puerto Ricans and dressed in gold lame". O'Brien winds up in a pointless bar fight that deserved to keep its original score, and Sisko gets to greet the Legend in Green Velour.

All's well that ends well... provided reviving a voracious and adorable extinct species is not a problem for anyone.

"Trials and Tribble-ations" is the best 30th anniversary special anyone could have wished for. If I had to pick a personal favorite moment I'd probably go mad instead, but I think it's Dr. Bashir incredulously blurting "THOSE are KLINGONS?" to the waitress who is plainly wishing her shift would end so the mean drunks would stop asking her stupid questions. Then again it's ALL so absurd. "Hot Fish Juice." "Your flap's open." "A Friday." "I can't wait to... see your face when you find out that I never existed!"
Babylon 5 snagged the Hugo from this one, too, but at least it was in good runner-up company with Mars Attacks. Comedy, sadly, has to be its own reward.

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