Stardate: breakfast: Former Enterprise science officer Lynne Locero is promoted to Captain and given her own command – the science vessel U.S.S. Cabot. Her pre-departure pep talk from Captain Pike, however, barely begins to cover the realities of command – in particular, a problematic science officer aboard the Cabot, one Edward Larkin. The ship’s crew has been tasked with finding a solution to a planetary food shortage, and Larkin obsessively fixates upon a defenseless species called tribbles as a means to ending the famine. Larkin proposes genetically manipulating the creatures so they reproduce rapidly, but Captain Locero wants to explore options that don’t involve killing and cooking the tribbles, or otherwise violating their rights to exist. Unbowed, Larkin proceeds with the experiment anyway, adding his own DNA to the tribbles…and creating a species that, far from solving a food shortage, now threatens to devour everything in sight, including the Cabot itself.
Cast: Anson Mount (Captain Pike), Rosa Salazar (Captain Locero), H. Jon Benjamin (Edward Larkin), Lisa Michelle Cornelius (Sarah), Matthew Gouveia (Noel), Krista Jang (Rob), John Jarvis (Admiral Quinn), Loretta Shenosky (Cabot Computer)
Notes: This episode significantly rewrites the DNA – quite literally – of one of Star Trek’s most beloved alien species. As they originally evolved, Tribbles were harmless and largely helpless (Edward notes that one died simply by falling from his desk to the floor). It was only with the addition of Edward’s own human DNA and some other genetic engineering on his part that led to Tribbles that are born ravenously hungry and pregnant, as first seen in 1967’s The Trouble With Tribbles. (This also explains why Captain Lorca had a tribble in Star Trek: Discovery‘s first season which wasn’t chowing down on everything in sight.) H. Jon Benjamin may be more of a familiar voice than a familiar face; he’s the voice of Sterling Archer in the FX animated series Archer, and his voice has been a mainstay of numerous series in Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. Stick around after the end credits for a fourth-wall-busting Star Trek first, a “commercial” for Tribbles cereal!
LogBook entry by Earl Green