The STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown: #9

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Every day between now and 9/8 — the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s debut — we’re counting down our TOP 13 EPISODES.

For the full STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown INDEX — updated daily with new entries and other features — click here.

And bring on those comments — either here or in whichever social-media thread you found this. We want to hear your thoughts!

Now, we hit #9 …

A Piece of the Action

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One of Juan Ortiz’s wonderful posters

A Piece of the Action is pure comedy, a superb example of Star Trek’s satirical chops and an episode that is in some ways superior to the more famous The Trouble With Tribbles.

This is a Kirk and Spock showcase, with William Shatner’s slow burn and Leonard Nimoy’s befuddled bemusement leading to funnier and funnier payoffs as the episode barrels along.

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The highlight, of course, is Kirk’s game of Fizzbin — and his exhortation, “How lucky you are! How wonderful for you!” to one of the hapless henchmen before all hell breaks loose. (Spock’s wordless reactions are priceless too.)

Even the guest stars are winners. A pre-“Alice” Vic Tayback is perfectly cast as Jojo Krako, who cracks me up every time I hear him mangle the captain’s name and growl, “Who’s your friend with the ears, Girk?”

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Speaking of Kirk’s “friend with the ears,” Nimoy plays Spock almost exactly as he always does – but here his deadpan stoicism is the source of absurdist glee.  And it only gets better when he tries to fit into his surroundings, with his supposedly intimidating command, “I would advise youse to keep dialin’, Oxmyx.”

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The episode is a spiritual ancestor to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, another time-displaced, fish-out-of-water tale that presents our heroes with a problem that becomes progressively, hilariously more complicated the farther along they go.

Both share something else too: They’re among the high points of Star Trek history.

NEXT: The Trouble With Tribbles. Click here.

For the full STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown INDEX — updated daily with new entries and other features — click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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3 Comments

  1. I love this one. Tribbles is vastly overrated. It has some funny moments, but Kirk is grossly out of character in that one. When it won the 25th anniversary fan poll and the top spot in the Top 10 favorites telecast marathon, I smacked my forehead. THIS is Trek comedy at it’s best. “I, Mudd” is a winner too.

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  2. Seeing that hat Kirk wears in cleaned up high res it’s so obvious how fuzzy, pilly, frazzled and used that prop wardrobe was.

    Love this ep.

    “Can do, Scotty?”

    “Can do. Captain”

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  3. Both of my favorite episode and movie were comical and not so serious in nature, A Piece of the Action and the Voyage Home! With the Tribble episode a close 2…

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  1. The STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown: #10 | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] NEXT: A Piece of the Action. Click here. […]
  2. The STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown INDEX | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] 9. A Piece of the Action […]
  3. The STAR TREK Top 13 Episode Countdown: #8 | 13th Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture - […] noted in #9 (click here) that I think A Piece of the Action is funnier than The Trouble With…

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