Hey! Star Trek‘s got another cool anniversary worth noting today!
Tonight marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the original broadcast of “The Trouble With Tribbles,” regarded by many as one of Star Trek‘s most memorable episodes. Written by David Gerrold as a freelance submission to the original series, the script was his first professional sale, and the episode has since become one of those bits of Trek lore that even non-fans recognize.
The episode received a sequel, in the form of the 1973 episode “More Tribbles, More Troubles” from the animated Star Trek series, written by Mr. Gerrold. He also wrote about the creation, production, and enduring impact of the original episode in his own book, The Trouble With Tribbles: The Birth, Sale, and Final Production of One Episode, which also was released in 1973. Future incarnations of Trek would not forget the tribbles, either. In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original series in 1996, an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Captain Sisko and his crew travel back to the events of this episode and find themselves interacting with Kirk and the Enterprise gang in the utterly whimsical romp, “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
(Note: Friend and fellow word-pusher Terry J. Erdmann chronicled the production of this episode in his e-Book exclusive project for Pocket Books, The Magic of Tribbles – The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “Trials and Tribble-ations”. Check it out. It’s a fun read.)
To celebrate the episode’s anniversary here in The Fog, I’ve dug into my archives and pulled forth a bit of goofiness Kevin I originally wrote for Star Trek Magazine back in 2009, in response to a rather odd request from our editor. You can read all about that, and see the results of that “interesting” conversation, right here. From a post originally written on April 25, 2010, I present to you “The trouble with tribble tweets.”
(Photo courtesy of StarfleetMom on Twitter.)
This new entry at Doug Drexler’s website, The Drexfiles, is pretty amusing. It’s a photographic travelogue of a wayward tribble. Thanks to Doug’s rather storied career, the tribble goes on a pretty slick journey to various Hollywood locales. Be sure to check out some of the characters the little wanderer encounters on his/her journey.
The entry reminded me of some stuff we did for Star Trek Magazine editor Paul Simpson last year, for an issue that came out a couple of months ago. Last fall, he came to Kevin and me with an unusual request: retell an episode of the original Star Trek as a series of “tweets,” or the 140-character missives you’ll find on the “microblogging” service Twitter. It sounded like fun, and since Kevin and I have acquired a reputation – earned or not – as being a bit on the irreverent side of things when it comes to writing about Star Trek, we figured this was right in our wheelhouse.
The result? Well, behold “The Trouble With Tribbles,” 140 bytes at a time….
@OneCoolTribble Anybody know where we’re going?
@Navel_Lint As long as we just get there. Where are we, anyway?
@Untamed_Mane Some guy’s pocket. Man, it’s dark in here. At least it’s comfortable.
@TribbleThreat Get off me!
@Moscow_Made And Spock takes three seconds to remind me why I hate coming to the briefing room.
@Captain_1701 Okay, we’re @K7. No flames, no debris, no floating bodies. #Priority1DistressCallFail
@FirstOfficerSpock “Two and only two” means “The number of my boots up your…” #Kirktionary
@OneCoolTribble I hope @CyranoJones sells the Spican Flame Gems. They’re starting to chafe.
@OneCoolTribble Too bright! Too cold! Oh, pretty lady. Nice touches. Right behind the—oh, yeah. That’s it.
@OneCoolTribble We may not have any teeth, but….
@CyranoJones Six credits each? Sucker. Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet, here I come!
@OneCoolTribble nom nom nom Holy Mugato Crap! This stuff is better than bacon! #quadrotriticale FTW!
@Captain_1701 First it’s Baris. Then it’s the Admiral. Now, it’s Koloth. What’s next? Unknown alien probe? #FML
@NuthinButMyBonez Note to self: schedule annual exam—FULL exam—for @Captain_1701.
@Hail-Yeah Hey, that one Klingon looks just like Trelane!
@OneCoolTribble Too much #quadrotriticale. Doesn’t this ship have any bathrooms?
@OneCoolTribble Uh oh. This is not gonna end well.
@OneCoolTribble Hey, where’d you guys come from?
@Miracle_WorkR He only THINKS it’s a technical journal….
@OneCoolTribble RT @Cotton_Ballz Hey, that pointy-eared guy rubs ME the RIGHT way. Pass it on.
@PowdRPuff Wait. How’d I get picked to get probed and prodded by the doctor?
@FirstOfficerSpock “In sickbay with a headache” means “I hope Bones replaced that bottle of Saurian brandy.” #Kirktionary
@NuthinButMyBonez See, that didn’t hurt at all, did it?
@PowdRPuff Didn’t hurt? Coulda bought me dinner first. Tell ya what. Next time, *I* wear the glove. #ExamFail
@Short_Rownd Hey guys! You’re never gonna believe what I found! Tweetup @K7 Storage Bin 42. BYOB!
@Miracle_WorkR He only THINKS I don’t want to go on shore leave….
@Moscow_Made I can’t believe the waitress thought I was only 17. I need to grow a moustache. Worked for Lenin.
@LieutenantFreeman She thought I looked like @Captain_1701. I get that a lot.
@Woolee_Bullee Klingons? Where’d these guys come from? And I thought it smelled bad inside @CyranoJones pocket.
@Moscow_Made Can you believe this Klingon? Dissin’ on @Captain_1701?
@Navel_Lint Wait a second! What’s wrong with being soft and shapeless?
@Miracle_WorkR He only THINKS he has delusions of godhood….
@Miracle_WorkR Hauled away AS garbage? #ItsOnNow
@Tuff_Muffin Fight! Fight! Fight!
@TwitterCritR Get me outta here!
@OneCoolTribble Don’t leave me on the table, bro!
@Moscow_Made “Small disturbance” means “Klingons fight like they smell: Badly.” #Kirktionary
@LieutenantFreeman I’d give a million credits for someone to take my place in this line-up.
@Miracle_WorkR “Confined to quarters” means “Me, my journals, and that awesome green stuff.” #Scottionary
@Untamed_Mane Hey! We’re on the bridge!
@PowdRPuff Look at me! I’m scannin’ for lifeforms!
@Cotton_Ballz I’m hailin’ me some frequencies!
@Trumps_Wig I’m in the captain’s chair! I run this sh….WHOA!
@Navel_Lint Heads up, @Trumps_Wig!
@Tuff_Muffin Check it out! @Captain_1701 is taking me to the station! I’m meeting with the big dogs! Boo-yah!
@Woolee_Bullee WTH? And I’m still stuck with @CyranoJones? Captain’s favorite! Captain’s favorite! #whatabrownfur
@Tuff_Muffin Hey, what smells like Klingon in here?
@FirstOfficerSpock “Au revoir” means “Suck it.” #Kirktionary
@Cotton_Ballz RT @Trumps_Wig Be sure to try the chicken sandwich and coffee.
@OneCoolTribble Hey @Short_Rownd and all you cargo-bin boys. Bust up your party pronto – the fuzz is on the way!
@Short_Rownd Bust it up? This party’s just getting started!
@TwitterCritR Wow, what a buffet!
@Eraser_Head Hey, I don’t feel so good. This stuff tastes funny.
@SnoBalls Hey! Shut the door!
@NewLoofah Grab on to something!
@LoneMuppet Look out below!
Twitter is over capacity. Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again.
@NuthinButMyBonez Hey, that guy looks like Trelane!
@FirstOfficerSpock @NuthinButMyBonez The resemblance is uncanny.
@Tuff_Muffin Looks like @Captain_1701 needs us to rough up a Klingon!
@Navel_Lint Told ya that guy smelled funky.
@Trumps_Wig Stuck here? With @CyranoJones? For 17 years?
@PowdRPuff Uh, 17.9 years.
@OneCoolTribble Not me! I’m on the Enterprise! Hey, I feel all tingly! Wait, where are we? What smells like Klingon?
@IM_Hungry What’s for dinner?
As part of the runup to the issue’s release, I started a Twitter account with a username “OneCoolTribble,” and goofed around with it here and there. Along with that, I solicited folks to send me pics of tribbles in various places. Some of those can be seen over on Twitpic.com. They’re not as cool as Doug’s, but I laughed at most of them. 🙂