TV

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Brings Back One of Starfleet’s Most Mysterious Organizations

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 2 Brings Back One of Starfleet’s Most Mysterious Organizations

“Trials and Tribble-ations” first aired in 1996, and aside from the episode’s DTI tie-in, it’s an interesting artifact that predicted the shape of much nostalgic entertainment to come in the new millennium. Here we see Sisko and his friends cosplaying in classic ’60s “Trek” uniforms and even explaining to the audience why the color scheme has changed.

The episode is more evasive about why Klingons look different, with Worf (Michael Dorn) only commenting, “It’s a long story. We don’t discuss it with outsiders.” Meanwhile, Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig) flirts with the possibility of a “paradox of predestination” in which he could be his own great-grandfather, a la Netflix series “Dark.” For his part, Dax (Terry Farrell) acts as a fan surrogate, exploring just how handsome Spock is. (In real life, Farrell married Leonard Nimoy’s son.)

Scenes Trekkies know by heart play out again in “Trials and Tribble-ations,” with “DS9” characters dangling over the shoulders of “Original Series” characters, participating in the bar brawl from “The Trouble with Tribbles” and exchanging dialogues with their ancestors on the bridge of the Enterprise. See how Bashir channels Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), winking at the viewer with the line, “I’m a doctor, not a historian.” Many other franchises have taken the same self-referential path since then. A recent example is when “The Flash” recycles Michael Keaton’s old “Batman” line, “You wanna go crazy? Let’s go crazy.”

In many ways, pop culture continues to suffer trials and tribble-lations, toy with the past digitally, and to be overrun with fan service instead of furry space creatures. If only the Department of Temporal Investigations could put a stop to it, because what was once a romance on “DS9” now almost feels like an ongoing temporal crime in Hollywood.

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