Finally someone is going to test the Star Trek cannon (that is ‘cannon’ with two n’s). Mythbusters, the Discover Channel show that puts urban legends (and TV & movie magic) to the test, is finally going to take on Star Trek. Specifically they are going to test the feasibility of the cannon that Captain James T. Kirk built to defeat the Gorn in the original series Star Trek episode "Arena"
In "Arena" Captain Kirk and a Gorn Captain are pulled off their ships by superbeings (the Metrons) and put onto a planet to fight it out old school. Eventually Kirk finds the ingredients for gunpowder (potassium nitrate, sulfur and coal) and uses them to create a makeshift cannon from some kind of bamboo-like plant with diamonds as his projectile. Here is the final scene:
The plausibility of this scene is certainly up for debate and had been submitted to Mythbusters for a test by a fan. Yesterday Grant Imahara, one of the Mythbusters, reported (on his Twitter page), that he was going to discuss the gorn cannon idea at a story meeting and he was watching “Arena” to get ready. He later posted an image from the meeting (see below). Then, after the meeting he reported the good news:
YesssssKirk!!! It’s official. #Gorncannon is a go for next season’s Viewer’s Special. Thanks to all fans 4 your help! :)
Today Imahara tweeted that he ordered a Starfleet uniform (appropriately in science blue), and that the show’s crash test dummy “Buster” will be getting a red shirt.
The Mythbusters are actually experts in make-shift cannons, having created them from a variety of materials over the years. Here are just a couple of examples: the first a cannon made out of a log, and the second is one using non-dairy creamer: