“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” was the most experimental of the classic “Star Trek” shows. The writers introduced serialized storytelling to the franchise, focused on high-minded, philosophical stories, and brought a darker, grittier tone to the Trekverse.
However, the writers also deeply respected the “Star Trek” canon. The show’s storylines often referenced and built upon established Trek stories. In one case, the writers even took the crew back to where it all started, “Star Trek: The Original Series.”
In the fifth season episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” the core crew members from Deep Space Nine traveled back in time to the events depicted in the TOS episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.” The crew was tasked with preventing Darvin, the disgraced Klingon spy, from changing the events that took place on that day over a century ago.
However, this wasn’t the only “Original Series” tribute the DS9 writers planned. At one point, they discussed making a sequel to one of TOS’s most popular episodes.
A Sequel to ‘A Piece of the Action’
According to “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years,” the fifth season of “Deep Space Nine” coincided with the 30th anniversary of the birth of the “Star Trek” franchise. The writers and producers knew they wanted to do a special 30th-anniversary episode that honored TOS. That episode ended up being “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
However, one of the lead writers pitched a different TOS tribute for the anniversary episode. Ronald D. Moore, one of DS9’s most prolific writers, told the authors of “The Fifty-Year Mission” that his idea was a sequel to the classic TOS episode “A Piece of the Action.” He proposed that the crew of “Deep Space Nine” could return to Sigma Iotia II, the planet where the first crew of the Enterprise had discovered a society based entirely on 1920’s Chicago mobster life.
In his story, the DS9 crew found that in the century since the Enterprise crew encountered the Iotians, they had changed the lore on which they based their society. The DS9 crew would discover an entire world based on the Federation and the Enterprise crew. Moore said that he envisioned an entire planet of “Star Trek” fans, people who knew all about the voyages of the original Enterprise and its crew. He told his fellow writers that they could even have conventions.
A Commentary on the Fandom or Poking Fun?
“To me, it was to send the characters to a ‘Star Trek’ convention, which I thought would be fun and a kind of comment on the fandom, and people’s involvement in the show from afar. I thought it was kind of a cool idea.”
One of the producers, Hans Beimler, told “Cinefantastique” that the writers really had fun developing Moore’s idea, but “there was something that was bothering all of us” about the story. After many discussions, the writing team decided that the episode might come off as making fun of fans instead of celebrating them.
“After all, they are the fans. They are what makes the show work. We owe our livelihood to them. So, it wasn’t quite sitting well.”
So, they moved on to other ideas. DS9 writer Rene Echevarria eventually proposed that they insert the DS9 crew into an actual episode of “The Original Series.” Moore was the one who suggested “The Trouble With Tribbles,” and the team ran with it.
Follow the Heavy on Star Trek Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!