October has been a good month for Star Trek fans, with the introduction not one but two Short Trek minisodes. Back on October 11th, “Q&A” was released during the New York Comic-Con. “The Trouble with Edward” was released last Friday on CBS All Access. Obviously, the title is a play on the infamous 1967 episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles”. The funny thing about this episode if that we get an origin story of the furry little creatures with a bit of a dark comedic tone.
The episode begins with Captain Lynne Lucero (Rosa Salazar) being taken to her first command of a science vessel by Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and the Enterprise. Quickly, she is introduced to her crew, including an awkward science officer Edward Larkin, played by Archer voice actor star H. Jon Benjamin. He is currently doing experiments on a new furry creature as a potential food source for the planet but they breed very “slowly” for that purpose.
Defying his captain’s orders, Edward conducts an experiment to bond human DNA with the Tribble to speed up their reproductive cycle. Thus creating the Tribbles we know today. They are born pregnant and reproduce at an accelerated rate. To borrow a line from Dr. McCoy, “they reproduce at will, and they have a lot of will.”
“The Trouble with Edward” finds the ship being overrun by this furry little creatures and flip from horror to comedy instantaneously during its 14 minute runtime. The light comedy between Larkin and Lucero in her quarters is funny but indicative of the character Larkin projects. He is somewhat of a more demented Barclay from TNG.
Salazar may be familiar with fans of Parenthood, the Maze Runner films and most recently, Alita. She does well as a new captain that immediately knows how to take command and has a non-invasive way to deal with her officers, especially Larkin. Benjamin reminds me of a physical manifestation of the Archer character. He takes no responsibility for his actions and hates the new captain without valid reason, you root for what happens to him in the end.
“The Trouble with Edward” is a nice piece that ties the original series to the old Discovery universe. Yet, I have been a Trek fan since watching the original series on reruns when I was a kid. At first, I didn’t care too much for the first season of Discovery, but fell in love with the second. What people seem to forget, when they hate on Discovery, all the previous incarnations suffered through their premiere season, just look at Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The Short Treks series is giving fans a better, character-driven array of new characters using old stories to flesh out the universe more. What is interesting is that they are using the 23rd century that Discovery left behind to pay a bit of fan service. “The Trouble with Edward” is a great counter-balance to last week’s “Q&A” episode. If they continue on this path, these will be definitely worth viewing on their own.