Series: Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 2, Episode 14
Original Air Date: December 29, 1967
The Enterprise is summoned to Deep Space Station K7 in order to protect a shipment of grain. The station is crawling with Klingons, led by Captain Koloth (William Campbell, who also appeared in "The Squire of Gothos"). Meanwhile, a shady trader gives Lt. Uhura an adorable, yet mysterious gift: a tribble! Tribbles are furry, little puff-ball critters who eat everything they can find and reproduce at an alarming rate. According to Dr. McCoy, they're essentially born pregnant.
While I can understand why the casual observer might be dismissive of the seemingly ridiculous tribbles, this story is actually quite clever - a wonderful demonstration of narrative misdirection. With everyone worried about Klingons and petty power games between Captain Kirk and Nilz Baris, a government bureaucrat played by William Schallert, the tribbles turn out to be the real nuisance. Then - wouldn't you know it? - they turn around and prove to be the solution to the Klingon situation, too!
The critics loved the episode. "The Trouble with Troubles" was nominated for a Hugo, though it lost to another TOS episode: "The City on the Edge of Forever." It was also nominated for three Emmys. The silly tribbles prove far more than just a clever gimmick. I wouldn't say this is the best Star Trek episode but it's certainly far from the worst and definitely not an indicator of a downward trend in quality for the series.
|via Memory Alpha|
The vast majority of Schallert's work was in television, probably best known as Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show. Later in his career, he made two appearances in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Much of the original footage from "The Trouble with Troubles," including images of Schallert, are used for the DS9 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." But he also appeared as a new character in "Sanctuary." There were movie roles, too, in such varied films as The Man from Planet X (1949), The Jerk (1979), Teachers (1984) and Innerspace (1987).
|via Memory Alpha|