Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
The "Enterprise," on routine patrol, recieves a Priority 1 Distress Call from "Deep Space Station K-7," which is near the strategicly important "Sherman's Planet," where only "quadrotriticale," a four grain hybrid wheat, would grow.
Upon arrival, "Captain Kirk" (William Shatner) and "Mr. Spock" (Leonard Nimoy) learn the signal was ordered by "Nilz Baris" (William Schallert), a Federation agricultural minister, who wants the grain protected, who is always accompanied by an eqaully annoying assistant, "Arne Darvin" (Charlie Brill). This angers "Kirk," who has never heard of the wheat, unlike other members of his crew.
To further test the captain's patience, a "Klingon battle cruiser" captained by "Koloth" (William Campbell), who asks for permission to use the "Federation" space station for Shore Leave, which "Kirk" reluctantly grants. Then there is the highly annoying small-time trader and asteroid prospector "Cyrano Jones" (Stanley Adams), who introduces the living fur-balls known as "tribbles," which has a trilling simmular to that of a huinea pig. "Tribbles" are harmless at first, but when they somehow get into the space station's storage compartments with the grain, they begin to multiply at a most amazing rate to the point of taking over the space station, as well as the "Enterprise," after one is brought on board by a bridge officer.
With the mounting problems, "Kirk" is at wits end like you wouldn't believe. But he has to keep his cool to protect the grain, keep a professional tone with the highly annoying Federation agricultural under secretary and peace with the vacationing enemy as best as possible.
This is one episode that non-fans and fans alike will equally enjoy, as proven by my mother who loves this episode (and she hates sci-fi). The plot is well written, with excellent performances from all cast members. It has comedy, a little drama, and a pretty good barroom brawl.
There are a lot of funny moments in this episode, with some great one-liners. The most memorable one-liner ends this episode, and was, in fact, an ad-lib that was so good they left it in the final cut that was aired. There are a lot of other memorable lines and moments throughout the entire episode in fact.
Personally, I would have like to have seen a little more interaction with the "Klingons," but there is just enough to advance the story nicely.
On the visual front, this is typical low-budget "Star Trek." The space station sets appear to be more closed than those used for the "Enterprise." The space scenes are nothing spectacular, and the space station model looks pretty cheap.
The performances is what really makes this episode memorable, especially from Shatner. James Doohan also stands out for his fairly comedic performance of "Scotty" in this episode, and thanks to his real life quick wit, he delivers one of the most memorable lines in television history that closes the final scene of the episode. Schallert, who is best known as the father of "Gidget" in the TV series of the same name, is simply wonderful in this role to the point where even the audience wants to strangle him as much as "Kirk." Adams also does a great job at bringing to life one of the most comedic characters in Trek history next to "Harry Mudd".
You will not need to know a thing about Star Trek, except for maybe the backstory between the "Klingon Empire" and "Federation," to enjoy one of the best episodes in the series.
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Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children up Ages 8