David Gerrold wrote several Star Trek episodes, but he will always be remembered for “The Trouble with Tribbles,” which became a classic. It was funny! The tribbles exposed the humorous side of the Enterprise crew, it was a welcome break from meeting aliens who happened to be shaped somewhat like humans, and it introduced many of us to the concept of invasive species. Gerrold tells us how that idea came about.
It was really about rabbits in Australia. My thinking was that not every alien we meet is going to be ugly and not every alien we meet is going to be immediately dangerous. We’re not going to recognize the danger to us until it might be too late. So, the rabbits in Australia were perfect. Little fuzzy creatures that are fun to pet and they purr, but they breed like crazy. Next thing you know Captain Kirk is up to here in them. When they bought the story they gave me a chance to write the script. I wasn’t yet recognized as a professional writer but they gave me a few weeks to write the script…which I did over the first weekend. My thinking was to have something there for all of the other characters: Uhura, Chekov, and Scotty. It was just the right combination of idea and humor and character that it all came together very well. And then the best part was that we had such a talented and amazing cast that brought it to life in a way that here we are talking about it a half century later.
That half-century has been full of tribbles, especially for Gerrold. He tells us not only about the concept and the filming of “The Trouble with Tribbles,” but the legacy those critters left behind, at Mass Appeal.
-via The A.V. Club