Star Trek: “A Piece of the Action”


I… LOVE this episode. It’s funny, it’s weird, and yet even though it can get exceedingly silly, the writing makes the entire thing plausible in a way.

“A Piece of the Action” is one of the few times that Star Trek did comedy well from Kirk and his game of fizzbin to Spock assimilating the lingo of 1930’s gansters. This is an episode that, if you don’t enjoy it you might as well be dead.

When most people think of humor and classic Trek, they immediately think of “The Trouble with Tribbles,” but personally, I don’t think that the classic series ever topped the humor in this episode.


Interesting Fact: When Star Trek celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1991, the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation came up with an alternate story for the commemorative episode should Leonard Nimoy turn them down for “Unification.” In the episode, Picard’s Enterprise was to return to Sigma Iotia II and find that they had switched the basis of their entire planet from 1930’s gangsters to the 23rd century Enterprise. The episode idea was dumped when Nimoy came along, but the idea was turned into a comic book story called, “A Piece of Reaction” a few years later.

“All right, Spocko, cover him.”
– Kirk

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.
  • Douglas Self

    I recall the comic book, almost as hilarious as the original episode. The gangsters didn’t fool around with McCoy’s communicator after all, but it’s explained that they submerged their natural curiosity, having ‘respect’ for “Koik”, who they esteemed as a more powerful and savvy gangster than they, and not only avoided “fooling with it”, they even skimmed some of the ‘cut’ that was for the “Feds” (interesting term) for a slush fund for the Captain! I don’t recall how Kirk dealt with the bribe in light of his being on trial for NUMEROUS violations of the Prime Directive.
    Bela Oxmyx: “Yeah! Dat’s da mug!”
    What’s interesting about the original episode is how “Koik” so easily picks up on early-20th century American gangster slang and mannerisms. Spocks clumsy attempt to adapt: “Check…right…a very…SMALL..piece!” is hilarious, as is Scotty’s hilarious attempt to intimidate JoJo Krako (the late Vic Tayback)…”you’ll be wearing…concrete galoshes!” Krako: “You mean cement overshoes?” Scotty” “Aye!”. Kirk DID grow up in Iowa, within easy reach of Chicago, but it’s the time, not the distance. Maybe Kirk o’d on ‘old-style’ gangster films like “Little Caesar” and “Angels with Dirty Faces” least he wasn’t saying, “Say hello to my little friend!”