Preview Of Mythbusters Taking On Gorn Cannon

Back in July we first reported that the geek-tastic Discovery Channel show Mythbusters was going to take on Star Trek Cannon (not canon). Today they released a preview of their research into Gorn Cannon from the original Star Trek episode "Arena". See it below.


Gorn Cannon Preview
Here is the video preview from Discovery.

The show airs on Monday, December 28th at 9pm E/P. During the show you can chat live with Grant at

What do you say?
So what will the final determination be? Will the cannon be ‘busted’, ‘confirmed’ or ‘plausible’?

The original Gorn Canon from Arena
Once again to refresh your memory, here is the scene from "Arena" where Captain Kirk builds the canon to defeat the Gorn Captain, after the Metrons stranded them on a planet to duke it out:

You can watch the entire episode of "Arena" online at YouTube.




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Of course, they have to go out and get the special bamboo from the actual planet…First.

I love Mythbusters… can’t wait to see the episode!

Mythbusters rocks!

As much as I love Mythbusters…

they are the most unscientific people I have ever seen. They act like they never got the scientific method drilled into their head in school. At the end of the day it’s a ratings stunt, so why objectively and rigorously test something when you can blow something up and call it a day? Take everything they do with a massive helping of salt.

A friend called the very idea of Mythbusters testing Capt. Kirk blasphemous. Made me laugh.

Oh, this is RRRIGHT up my alley! Can. Not. Wait!

I think it’ll be busted. I’d love it if it actually worked, but I doubt it will, and I’m already fairly certain that the bamboo cannon won’t survive the explosion.

Here’s an appropriate poster for everyone to see:

If Mythbusters can help just one Internet Star Trek fan know the difference between the two words, it will be worth it :)

Of course it wouldn’t work. Even James Blish wasn’t able to present the story without significant rationalization. Effective gunpowder isn’t that simple to make.

They’re not going to do it at Vasquez Rocks? : )


@7. Capt. of the USS Anduril – “… I’m already fairly certain that the bamboo cannon won’t survive the explosion”

Ummm… It DIDN’T survive the explosion in the original episode. Watch the clip above – the bamboo canon is shattered and burnt. So blowing the {bleep} out of it on MB won’t bust the myth.

Black powder is potassium nitrate (saltpeter), carbon (charcoal), and sulfur mixed in the correct proportions. If he could find the saltpeter and was clever enough it could be done…

It also might have gotten him killed too, if he wasn’t careful. Wrapping the bamboo with the rope to reinforce it was a smart idea.

Of course the cannon will work. It’s canon.


I watch new episodes of Mythbusters every week. I look forward to the show and the results.

Now my prediction: I think that the myth will be BUSTED. It should prove to be an interesting show.

The Mythbusters love to play up a good bustin’. So that’s why I think it’ll be busted: It’s logical.

On the other hand, we really have no idea the exact composition of the chemicals that Kirk actually did use, since the transmissions we have as mere Earthlings are, at best, only approximations of what occurred. (All of Star Trek, after all, is based on “reconstructions” of future history, which hasn’t occurred in our timeline.) It’s quite possible that Kirk deliberately misidentified the chemicals that went into the cannon in the same way that the Mythbusters obscure the chemicals they use in their shows (“Blur” with “blur” often being mixed, for the sake of safety.)

So, whatever happens, Kirk was successful.

That’s my fantasy, and I’m stickin’ to it.

The new Kirk would stab that Gorn and use his skin to make boots and stew while Spock and others attempt a rescue mission!

“Fire everything we got!”

Yeah, but new Kirk vs. the CGI Gorn from Enterprise Season 4 would definitely be an interesting battle.

I’m going to think the Gorn Canon doesn’t work the way depicted by Kirk in TOS, but they’ll find some way to make it work so that it’ll be considered Plausible.

@19 – Actually, while running from the Gorn, he’d conveniently find the older and wiser Spock already there in a cave and he would help him construct a rudimentary transporter to beam him back to the Enterprise…

…wait…why does this sound familiar…?

Lastly, if this Myth Busters episode does one thing and one thing only, it will finally educate people to the difference between ”canon” and ”cannon” so that they can spell it right.

You peruse the comments made by fans of all generations and you’d swear none of them knew how to spell.

Just one word – “Woooow.”
Take it how ever you want.

You guys forget one thing…they’ll bust it.

And THEN, back at the Alameda Gun Range, they’ll show what you’d actually need to make it work. Kablooey! No more Gorn.

Where is Kari :(

Isn’t it amazing how special efx have improved since the original series, this new version looks stunning….

Sweet. I wonder when this airs on Discovery Asia.

PS: If they’ll ever do a ST4 myth, it’ll be amusing if they did a skit saying they can’t find Alameda.


Who is the new chick?

@Jordan: Her name is Jessi Combs. She’s filling in for Kari Byron who’s on maternity leave.

26: Alameda? I think it’s accross the bay… Alameda.

Everything is better with a cute yeoman…

Jessi combs should play Yeoman Rand in Star Trek Something Something!

or Should we just call it number 12?

I don’t think the cannon could actually work if it’s built exactly as seen in Arena.

If it is built exactly the way it was built in Arena, then they will need some mongo-size diamonds to mix in with the blasting powder. I wonder if their team took that into account?

Who cares if it does or doesn’t get busted? Either way, I think its awesome fun that they’re paying this little bit of homage to Trek. Busted or not, Trek comes out a big winner.

Their version of the Gorn fight is so spot-on that it’s hysterical!

Their next task is to try to bust the idea of traveling around the sun in a whiplash manuever to travel back in time.

38: I second that proposal! :-)

It has to get busted because there’s not such thing as a Gorn. Silly!

I wonder if they are going to test Star Trek combat tactics as well?

Ok. I checked and the Gorn Capt was not available for this episode. I wonder if they talked to the Shat about the Cannon he made. Also. I wonder if they talked to Mr Spock himself. He also knows how to make the Cannon as well. This will be a lot of fun to watch. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. I grow weary of the chase.SSSSSS

41. Robert H. – December 19, 2009
I wonder if they are going to test Star Trek combat tactics as well?

They could try doing Kirk Fu

Can’t wait to see this one. Mythbusters AND Trek. It doesn’t get any better than that!

If it ends up that the Gorn cannon isn’t canon, then I’ll stop watching episodes of TOS and switch to reruns of Cannon!

it doesny matter…it was shown on screen and that makes it cannon canon.

in reality, Kirk would’ve been killed. The bamboo would’ve exploded before he could get fall enough away. He would have been bamboozled for certain!

It’s alien bamboo. Made of titanium.

This experiment is nothing without Kari Byron in the Trek miniskirt.

Mythbusters is a excellent program of TV.