Want to feel old? This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Deep Space 9/original Star Trek crossover episode, “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
ET visited the set when the show was in production and interviewed the cast and crew about the episode, which first aired in 1996. I’ve done the math twice, and that’s apparently 25 years ago. If you want to feel even older, that 1996 episode was shot to celebrate Star Trek’s 30th anniversary.
But enough about time passing us by, whether we want it to or not. The crossover episode has Captain Ben Sisko (Avery Brooks) and his crew thrown 100 years into their past and onto the James T. Kirk-run USS Enterprise. To make things extra interesting, the exact moment in The Original Series timeline the DS9 crew falls into is the middle of the TOS episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles.”
“The script is hilarious,” Alexander Siddig, who played Dr. Julian Bashir, told ET at the time. “It’s a terrific way of nodding to the past and reaching out a hand and shaking that hand.”
The episode involved a lot of green screen work — DS9 was allowed to use only ten minutes from the original TOS episode — but successfully had Sisko and the rest of his crew interacting with Kirk’s crew. “The wardrobe is an exact replica, as well. We’re sort of like time traveling here in our heads,” Colm Meaney, who played Miles O’Brien, said when he was shooting takes of the scene where O’Brien and Bashir are reprimanded by Kirk.
ET at the time also interviewed the one actor who appeared in the flesh in both Tribble episodes: Charlie Brill, who reprised his role of Arne Darvin for the DS9 episode. In 1996, Brill also shared with ET his experience on the TOS episode, “Trouble with Tribbles”: “I was with [Shatner] for 10 days and all he did was sit-ups and push-ups,” he said.
Brill, who was good friends with Leonard Nimoy, also recalled how the actor prepared to play Mr. Spock: “All day long, he looked in the mirror and rehearsed ‘the eyebrow,’” he said.
All seasons of TOS and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are now streaming on Paramount+.