And the winner is… “Trials and Tribble-ations.” According to those who participated in the StarTrek.com poll to determine “What was the Best Episode of Deep Space Nine?” the answer is the entertaining hour that brought Tribbles back into the Trek fold. “Trials and Tribble-ations” notched 38 percent of the vote, just edging out “In the Pale Moonlight” (35 percent) and leaving “Call to Arms” and “The Way of the Warrior,” each of which earned 14 percent, in the dust.
So, now the question is… why? Why did readers vote for “Trials and Tribble-ations” as the best DS9 episode of them all. Sifting through the many comments, there’s a common denominator, and it’s the TOS connection. Fans appreciated the fact that “Trials and Tribble-ations” celebrated the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series and did so in such an entertaining, inventive and memorable way. On the other hand, many fans felt that weighted the vote unfairly, that nostalgia ruled over originality. That may be true, but remember that, in the early rounds of the poll, such remarkable episodes as “The Visitor,” “What You Leave Behind,” “Duet” and “Far Beyond the Stars” didn’t receive the necessary votes to challenge “Trials and Tribble-ations.”
Here’s a smattering of the fan comments:
“'Trials and Tribble-ations'... hands down!” – Rene A. Garza II
“Actually, I thought DS9 was the best of the Star Treks and still voted for the ‘Tribbles.’ I agree that ‘In the Pale Moonlight’ was an excellent episode, certainly one that showed a lot of character development and dealt with moral issues, but it wasn't an episode I can just enjoy. I have to be in the right mood to watch it. The ‘Tribbles’ episode wasn't the best story, and I'm not actually a fan of time travel episodes in general, but I thought it just looked like the entire cast really had a great time with it. And they did an excellent job blending in the newer cast with the old footage, with the possible exception of the orange Oompa Loompa-like Klingon in the brawl.” – Jon Combs
“Yep, that was my favorite!” – Gerry Grimes
“I am not old enough to have seen TOS episodes when they came out, but I love this episode; it mixes time travel so perfectly with (at the time) a current episode.” – Jason Vera
“This is a great episode, but depends on a classic TOS story and nostalgia to work. DS9 easily stands on its own as a show, and it’s too bad the fan fav doesn't represent that. That said, any Trek fan should love this one. And the DS9-based parts with the temporal investigators are a great wink to the long tradition of messing with history.” – Zac Bender
“This contest is ridiculous. If ‘Tribbles’ is winning against ‘In the Pale Moonlight,’ and ‘The Visitor’ isn't even on the ballot, there's hardly any point to voting anymore. People just see ‘Tribbles’ in the name and go wacko over it. It was a good episode, but definitely not on par with DS9's best. – Sarah Falk
“I don't think DS9 fans voted this one to the top. This is the episode that fans of the other shows will love. I think those that truly love DS9 prefer the darker episodes, although ‘Trials’ is usually one of their, let’s say, top 10 episodes. Just not the best episode. Only DS9 fans will vote for episodes like ‘In the Pale Moonlight,’ though, so it lost.” – Daniel Wiesendorf
“I can believe that --what a fun episode!!” – Michelle Pellay-Walker
So, did you agree with the outcome?