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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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"The Truth About Tribbles" Part 2
Star Trek #12 (IDW)
Writer: Mike Johnson
Inspired by the original teleplay "The Trouble With Tribbles" by David Gerrold
Artist: Claudia Balboni
Cover by Tim Bradstreet

 

What is the cure for a population explosion of tribbles?

 

Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Beta

 

Didja Notice?  

 

The cover of this issue is an homage to a scene from the original series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", with Kirk nearly buried in tribbles.
Cover of Star Trek #12 From "The Trouble With Tribbles"

 

As in "The Truth About Tribbles" Part 1, the tribble homeworld of "Iota Geminorum" is misspelled "Iota Germinorum" throughout this issue.

 

On page 1, panel 2, Kirk's dialog seems to have been mistakenly given to Spock.

 

This story suggests that when the tribbles find themselves in a potentially threatening situation, the little furballs increase their rate of spontaneous asexual reproduction.

 

The talking Klingon bomb in this story may be a small homage to the talking bombs seen in the 1974 cult classic sci-fi comedy film Dark Star.

 

In his communication with the Enterprise, Admiral Pike remarks that besides the tribble infestation at the Academy campus and Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco, outbreaks have also been reported in the Castro and Telegraph Hill. The Castro District and Telegraph Hill are both neighborhoods in San Francisco.

 

On page 8, Scotty explains that his transwarp beaming experiment with the tribble (in "The Truth About Tribbles" Part 1), was to test his theories on getting Admiral Archer's prize Beagle back, on the assumption that the dog's atoms are still floating out in the void. Scotty first told the story of why he was banished by Starfleet to Delta Vega for losing the Admiral's Beagle in "The Vengeance of Nero". At the end of the novelization of the Star Trek movie, the dog rematerializes in the Enterprise's transporter room, but I suppose we cannot take that as canon.

 

Also on page 8, Spock reveals that his older self, Spock-Prime, has adamantly stated the he cannot interfere in the events of the current timeline, despite the knowledge of the future he possesses.

 

On page 14, Scotty prepares to enter the chilled engineering room of the Enterprise, commenting on having to wear mittens. But we see he is actually wearing gloves, as all four fingers have individual sheaths, as opposed to mittens, which have only two sheaths, one for the four fingers and one for the thumb.

 

Hendorff/Cupcake again appears here (see the study of "Vulcan's Vengeance" Part 2).

 

Scotty refers to the tribbles as fuzzies. "The Fuzzies" was the original title of the teleplay written by David Gerrold for the original series, "The Trouble With Tribbles".


Scotty appears to have a minor allergy to the amassed tribbles as evidenced by his sneezing in the tribble-overrun engine room.

 

In the background of Engineering on pages 16-17, there appear to be the water pipes Scotty nearly drowned in after transwarp beaming to the Enterprise in "The Vengeance of Nero".

 

Dr. McCoy learns that tribbles have a very short life cycle when his research tribble suddenly dies of old age in sickbay, explaining their accelerated rate of reproduction. An article at the end of Star Trek #50, "Continuing Voyages in a Four-Color Frontier", reveals that the dead tribble that McCoy later resurrects with Khan's blood in Into Darkness is the same tribble that died of old age here.

 

This story implies that below-freezing temperatures can stabilize the bioactivity of tribbles so they don't reproduce.

 

The story ends with the tribbles not actually being named as such by the Federation, though McCoy suggests calling them "trouble'.

 

On the last page of the story, Scotty transports Admiral Archer's prize Beagle back aboard the Enterprise

 

Unanswered Questions

 

Here, Scotty deactivates one of the Klingon bombs previously detected on the surface of Iota Germinorum in "The Truth About Tribbles" Part 1. What about the other bombs detected all over the planet? Did the Enterprise leave them to go off, significantly reducing the tribble population on the planet?

 

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