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Strange New Worlds Sets Up TOS’ Classic Tribbles Episode

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episode 9 – “All Those Who Wander”

Even though it’s about 8 years away, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode 9 sets up the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.” In Strange New Worlds episode 9, “All Those Who Wander,” Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) leads a landing party to investigate the USS Peregrine, which crashed on the L-class planet Valeo Beta V. To their horror, Pike’s away team is attacked by baby Gorn, which resulted in the death of Chief Engineer Hemmer (Bruce Horak) and two other crew members. Meanwhile, Lt. Commander Una Chin-Riley (Rebecca Romijn) takes the USS Enterprise on a supply run to Deep Space Station K-7, the future site of “The Trouble With Tribbles.”

One of the most beloved episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Trouble With Tribbles” is a comedic romp where an indignant Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is ordered to guard a shipment of quadrotriticale grain meant for Sherman’s Planet. Although the grain is vitally important, Kirk is annoyed throughout by the antagonistic Under-Secretary Nilz Baris (William Schallert), the arrival of Klingons looking for shore leave on K-7, and an infestation of millions of Tribbles all over the space station and the Enterprise. Kirk and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) eventually discover that the grain was poisoned by the Klingons, thanks to their agent, Arne Darvin (Charlie Brill), who was a Klingon surgically altered to appear human and who posed as Baris’ assistant. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine later revealed that thanks to a Bajoran Orb of Time, Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) and members of his crew time-traveled back to 2267 and were present during the events of “The Trouble With Tribbles,” which Kirk and the Enterprise crew never realized.

Related: Strange New Worlds Copies Too Much From Alien & Predator In Episode 9

While Captain Pike and his people were menaced by the Gorn in Strange New Worlds episode 9, Number One executed the Enterprise’s Priority One mission to deliver Vidium power cells to Deep Space Station K-7. Without the Vidium, the station would have lost power and life support. This would have had a tragic outcome for the personnel aboard the station, which is administered by Starfleet but populated by a civilian staff. Further, the Enterprise’s failure to resupply the station with Vidium would have made K-7 strategically vulnerable because of its location close to the Klingon border in the Beta Quadrant. Fortunately, Pike’s decision to send Una and the Enterprise to K-7 worked as Starfleet’s flagship was able to deliver the Vidium with no Tribble at all and return to Valeo Beta V to pick up the landing party and salvage the derelict USS Peregrine.

Deep Space Station K-7 has actually been referenced in Star Trek: Discovery before Strange New Worlds shouted out the famous starbase. During the Klingon War of 2256-2257, K-7 was occupied by the Klingons at the height of their conflict with the United Federation of Planets, which was instigated in part by Commander Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) at the Battle at the Binary Stars. This obviously means Deep Space Station K-7 has been in operation throughout the mid-23rd century. Surprisingly, the United Federation of Planets’ starbase apparently remains in operation at the start of the 25th century because, in Star Trek: Picard season 1, K-7  appears on a star chart seen in Admiral Kirsten Clancy’s (Ann Magnuson) office at Starfleet headquarters in San Francisco.

It’s quite possible that the USS Enterprise will visit Deep Space Station K-7 in Strange New Worlds season 2. Strange New Worlds has already proven that it’s adept at doing comedy episodes of its own in the spirit of “The Trouble With Tribbles,” and episode 5, “Spock Amok,” was also set on a space station, Starbase One near Earth. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has further teased the Klingons will appear in season 2, so a collision between Captain Pike and the Klingons may yet occur years before Kirk’s own frustrating encounter with the Klingons and Tribbles in Star Trek: The Original Series.

Next: Strange New Worlds Makes A Big Vulcan Change To Spock

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ Season 1 finale streams Thursday, July 7, on Paramount+.

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