Sunday, January 27, 2013

TWITrek Character Insight No. 35: Tribbles

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, our subject is Tribbles, originally from TOS.
File:Kirk surrounded by Tribbles.jpg

Tribbles were introduced when Cyrano Jones brings them aboard Enterprise to try and trade them.  These cute furball creatures are non-intelligent lifeforms that are born pregnant and asexually reproduce every 12 hours or so, generally having litters of 10 or more Tribbles.  As a result, one tribble can make a ship-load if left alone for too long.

I'm happy to report that I've been able to acquire one of these little guys to speak with us on the segment today.  Let's take a listen to what a tribble has to say when you touch it...(insert cooing noise).

Now that our nerves are thoroughly calmed, let's continue.  Tribbles and Klingons have a strong dislike for one another, and this possibly stems from each species' heightened sense of smell.  A tribble will bounce up and down angrily when in the presence of Klingons, and Klingons have unsuccessfully tried to exterminate the species.

Tribbles were made from a piece of "figure-eight shaped" fake fur, sewn up to make a ball about five inches in diameter and filled with foam.  Some tribbles were filled with decpaitated walking toy dogs to make the tribbles crawl, while others were filled with variable speed wheel with offcenter gearing to produce angry jumps when Klingons are around.

According to DeForest Kelley, the tribbles were a source of continued amusement on the TOS set.  He said "I guess everybody was still kind of tribble happy and every time we got to work a tribble in somewhere, we were working them in. Instead of pulling out a communicator, somebody would pull out a tribble. They'd continually pop up somewhere. Pull out a drawer and somebody would reach for something and there'd be a tribble there [....] It took weeks to get all the tribbles off the set."

Tribbles were so well loved by fans that Star Trek creators continue to drop these creatures in almost as often as the number 47.  They reappear in Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Star Trek III, Star Trek Generations, a deleted scene in Star Trek VI, and the 2009 movie as well.
It is rumored that tribbles do not reproduce in cold temperatures, so I have put our tribble guest in a freezer to make sure that doesn't happen.  What's that noise...oh no, the power went out...(insert multiple cooing noises)...well that's all the time we have...see you next week, maybe...does anybody want a pet?

Until next time, live long and prosper...

No comments:

Post a Comment