Preview ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Episode 104 With New Photos And Clip From “Memento Mori”

The fourth episode of the new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds arrives this week and we have details, new photos, a trailer, and a clip to get you started.

“Memento Mori”

Strange New Worlds episode four is titled “Memento Mori.” The episode was written by Davy Perez and Beau DeMayo. It was directed by Dan Liu. The episode debuts on Paramount+ on Thursday, May 26.

Synopsis:

While on a routine supply mission to a colony planet, the U.S.S. Enterprise comes under an attack from an unknown malevolent force. Pike brings all his heart and experience to bear in facing the crisis, but the security officer warns him that the enemy cannot be dealt with by conventional Starfleet means.

New photos:

Christine Chong as La’an of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Chong as La’an and Melissa Navia as Ortegas of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Chong as La’an and Melissa Navia as Ortegas of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Chong as La’an, Melissa Navia as Ortegas, Ethan Peck as Spock, and Anson Mount as Pike of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Christine Chong as La’an, Melissa Navia as Ortegas, and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Melissa Navia as Ortegas of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Jess Bush as Nurse Chapel of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Babs Olusanmokun as M’Benga of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Trailer

A trailer was released on social media.

Clip:

The latest episode of The Ready Room includes a clip of a landing party finding an empty colony [at 26:00]. [Also available internationally at startrek.com]

About those pins…

You may notice that members of the crew are wearing pins in the above picture. These pins were revealed at the Strange New Worlds display at Star Trek: Mission Chicago convention and reported on by TrekMovie at the time. They are “Memorial Pins” worn “during ceremonial occasions to memorialize starships destroyed or otherwise lost in the line of duty.”

Here is a closeup of the USS Discovery pin (which is worn by Captain Pike)…

Here is the full display of pins and the description…

New episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds debut on Thursdays exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S., Latin America, Australia and the Nordics. The series airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada. In New Zealand, it is available on TVNZ, and in India on Voot SelectStrange New Worlds will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year, starting with the UK and Ireland in June.

All episode photos by Marni Grossman/Paramount+ 


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Nice. A bottle show.

I like bottle shows…

Me too…

I didn’t like the bottle show in which Fake Guinan tried to “summon” Q using an “I Dream of Jeannie” bottle.

Bottle shows are often excellent; we get to see more of the ship and the secondary members of the crew. “Journey to Babel” is one of my favorites.

I used to hate them. But now that I’m in my 30s I realize how many underrated gems were in bottles.

Just because the focus is not on an alien planet it doesn’t make this a bottle show. Apart from the facts that it does feature an alien / colony location in the clip! But this has an expensive space battle and was certainly not made to save money…

Bottle shows, in my book, are stuff like One Night in Sickbay (ENT), Someone To Watch Over Me (VOY) or any DS9 Ferengi comedy…

Well, “The Doomsday Machine” is in fact considered to be a bottle show, and wound up coming in considerably under-budget as a result, in spite of all of the optical effects work.

I do agree that this episode is clearly not a bottle show, as at least some of it takes place off the ship.

When The Doomsday Machine is considered a bottle show then my perception profoundly differs. Maybe that’s the “official” definition but then I prefer my own one.

A bottle show – for me – is a filler episode saving money by avoiding any considerable FX work by focusing on character studies, comedy, court trials, leisure activities etc…

As soon as there is an FX heavy item, such as an extensive space battle or CGI / heavy make-up aliens, it is something else…

In my book, that is.

Technically a “bottle” show is one that uses standing sets only. Nothing new needs to be built for the episode. And yes, those do tend to cost less, obviously.

In the 90s when spec scripts were able to be submitted, smart aspiring writers tried to come up with stories that worked as bottle episodes, or at least mostly bottle episodes.

Some of these brought fresh and creative sci-fi ideas, and even some new writers that became regular members of the writers room. Reading the spec scripts to find the gems was a reportedly burden on the preproduction assistants, but many fans felt it strengthened the franchise.

….which makes me wonder if spec scripts will be a thing again for future seasons of SNW, once the characters and their arcs are established.

My understanding of the WGA contract is that episodic series are required to have a couple of scripts written by freelancers each season. That is, while serialized shows can restrict themselves to their writers room on staff, an episodic series has to open things up to outside writers.

TrekMovie is there any news on this?

I’d be really interested in hearing any answer on this one.

The director got a bonus for bringing DOOMSDAY in a day under schedule, I guess by having Shatner do 13 pages in one day. I don’t consider it to be a bottle show, they just apportioned the money differently. Did it really cost under pattern? I mean, THOLIAN cost a ton just for VFX (the number I read for fx in a mag was ninety thou, have always assumed it was actually NINETEEN thou), and is one of the only others to feature a fair number of VFX shots.

“The Doomsday Machine,” FX and all, came in considerably under-budget, the first episode of the second season to do so.

Then I stand corrected. Actually, I sit corrected.

It helped that the Constellation model was an off-the-shelf Enterprise model from AMT.

Nope. It saves money, but does so by using the standing sets extensively. No expensive new sets, guests, etc.

It’s a bottle show, it’s entirely set on the ship apart from a very few scenes (one location) and it dwells on the workings of the crew in set locations like Engineering, the bridge, etc. It’s a bottle show.

Some of the best TOS episodes were bottle shows.

What makes you think this is a bottle show?

the fact that it was shot almost exclusively on standing sets with the regular crew (no guests)

Can’t quite make out what the round badges say. It’s definitely U.S.S. something on the top and bottom. Could be Enterprise, could be something else.

Yangtze

Yangtze
Discovery
Shenzhou
Farragut
Antares
Cuyahoga
Excalibur
Palenque
Angelo…

Interesting so does this mean that the Farragut is destroyed at this point in time? Shouldn’t Kirk be on that ship? I assumed Farragut got destroyed a little later, closer to Kirk taking command of the Enterprise.

Puget Sound

The Gorn is back! Wonder how they are going to deal with the fighting scenes. Are we going to watch slow-mo Pike-Gorn punches? =D

Like Prodigy. Love this show right from the start. Discovery should go with this format for Season 5. Hope we have a full season like the first three episodes. After several productions, finally the quality has improved. The original recipe has always been the key for a successful production.

I wonder if we are gonna see the Gorn blink. ;-)

Balance of Terror 2.0 – Awesome!!

Precisely.

Balance of Terror worked with the tropes of some of the great Cold War submarine movies.

The suspense, stalking one another in the deep or the void create as much tension and excitement as zooming space battles with hundreds of ships.

After the overstuffed finale of Discovery season 2 and the cut-and-paste fleet of Picard season one’s finale, several of us wondered here and on other boards why the Secret Hideout Trek writers had forgotten TOS Balance of Terror and Paramount’s classic The Hunt for Red October.

Even some Voyager episodes used this approach. There were episodes where Voyager only glimpsed a few threatening ships and played cat and mouse with them, even if they came into more direct contact in later episodes.

I’m very glad that Myers and Goldsman have put it back into the mix.

Exactly. Nothing better than a Cold War submarine vibe if you ask me. That’s why balance of terror is in the top echelon of episodes and TWOK is the favourite Trek film. A match made in heaven.

After hearing about it for 50 years, finally saw THE ENEMY BELOW three days back.

BALANCE OF TERROR duplicates it and/or riffs on it almost beat-for-beat, to the point that I very reluctantly have to reconsider it as a well-made ripoff instead of just one of the best five TOS eps.

Why isn’t it possible for it to be both of those things? In any case, while a number of the best elements of BOT are pretty much lifted intact from THE ENEMY BELOW, several of them aren’t, including the film’s conclusion, which actually has more of an overt message about the futility of war than the Trek version of the story.

Maybe my sensitivity over this will minimize in time, but I literally spent the first 20 minutes of this movie (when not eyerolling over the near-constant refrain of unpleasant theme music) shaking my head. I mean, we know the story that a freelancer told Ellison that the former’s GALILEO 7 was conceived as FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX with Spock as Jimmy Stewart, but to my mind, that is just a jumping-off point, a premise similarity. GALILEO doesn’t stand or fall on hewing to that film, at least it never seemed that way to me. (not a fan of the film or the episode, so maybe lack of attachment minimizes things for me.)

I’m a little stunbed that THE ENEMY BELOW could tell this kind of story so well in the US and do so in the 50s, when PATHS OF GLORY couldn’t even get seen in France until something like 1970. Seems very much the reverse of expectations, but I take it as a good thing, and will probably watch BELOW again this year.

BoT remains seriously worthwhile just for what Shatner/McEveety bring to Kirk, with respect to the character’s understated control. But now there’s going to be a shadow of Mitchum hanging over the whole thing for me, which is a coloration I don’t need in my head when watching TREK (outside of NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, and the largely inconsequential THE GOOD GUYS AND THE BAD GUYS, never a fan of his, not even for WRATH OF GOD, which doesn’t play as well now as iwhen I saw it as a teen.)

I still dig and play various James Horner scores, despite what seems to me to be outright thievery when it comes to his familiar repetitions of other people’s music as well as hit own.I think BoT may wind up settling into that particular uncomfortable valley for me; still part of the roster, but not in the heavy rotation that WHERE NO MAN/DOOMSDAY/MIRROR/IMMUNITY/EMPATH and a few others inhabit.

Well, that’s a shame. I first saw THE ENEMY BELOW about a decade ago and was of course struck by the similarities: a taut cat-and-mouse duel between two ships of very different capabilities, one of them effectively “invisible,” fought by two capable captains who are very human and in their own way, honorable, and whose crews are not making their jobs any easier. But the Trek episode doesn’t have the added subplot (which feels like it comes from Conrad) of an untried Captain who’s not entirely trusted by his crew, and the film doesn’t have BOT’s near-wedding, which leads to one of Trek’s best and most moving final scenes ever. As you say yourself, much of the episode works due to the direction and Shatner’s (thankfully) understated performance. I’ll still gladly take it.

I actually watched BoT again last night, and I got totally caught up in it with only a couple of hiccoughs (mainly the Mark Lenard stuff, which seems to include actual dialog from ENEMY), so maybe this was a gross overreaction on my part.

What was really strange is that my wife said she didn’t recognize the next episode, THE GALILEO SEVEN, so we were able to watch it with her being freshly weirded out by Spock throughout. She thought it must be the director’s fault that Spock is so far ‘off’ in this, but I pointed out that even if the guy didn’t do the necessary course-corrects and reign-ins, they were still limited by the script, which seems to miss a lot, almost like a rough draft before GR would do his customary rewrite/overwrite (am wondering if this is when he had his collapse and had to go off to recuperate, because this still really needs a lot of fixes.)

I mentioned a few lesser eps to her after, and it seems like her TOS Trek education may actually be a few units away from completion. I know I showed her some of the turkiest of turkeys just so she could get a laugh, but it could be that I missed showing her some of the mediocre ones. She pointed out we really only have about 20 or 25 in the general rotation (she is always in the mood to watch THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT, JOURNEY TO BABEL and THIS SIDE OF PARADISE — the latter, I’ve found over the course of multiple relationships, seems to be one of the best intros for women to the series, along with ERRAND OF MERCY), so it’ll be fun to see if she knows THE CLOUD MINDERS or THE LIGHTS OF ZETAR, as I don’t think I’ve watched those in the 27 years we’ve been together. I’m not sure it is even worthwhile to try showing her THE ALTERNATIVE FACTOR, which annoys me more than just about any other ep.

Hmm. Sorry, but I happen to like “The Galileo Seven” a great deal, only really finding much fault with the depiction of the creatures, a necessary concession to what was achievable in 1966. And I especially relish the conflict between Spock and the other survivors, which harkens back more to the colder, more calculating version of the character that featured in “Where No Man Has Gone Before” and Ellison’s version of “City.” But Nimoy himself expressed dissatisfaction with the episode (though mainly because he didn’t have Shatner to play off of), so what do I know.

Personally, I doubt that “Minders” or “Zetar” are worth either of your time. And yes, “The Alternative Factor,” with poor Robert Brown and his Band-Aid zipping in and out, has to be the most annoying ep ever.

i really love the new characters, especially La’an and Ortega. great duo.

Looks like the Enterprise is going to need some repairs… Maybe she gets a secondary hull in the form of a white, glossy paint-job? ;-)

maybe a little, but I like something that was said on the TMP remaster MissionLog supplemental from last week. One of the guests said that they think of TOS like a stage play of those events and the ref-fit (sans all the changes the engineers made, they love to change things…) is the real version. I’ve said as much re: SNW. My head canon is ‘ah, the cameras in the 60’s were crap. This is what the set would have looked like if they filmed it today’ – handwavey sure, and doesn’t fix other timeline issues w/ characters (*cough T’Pring & Spock) but otherwise the SNW Entperise overall is very nice. Better than the fun but a little goofy Kelvin Enterprise

Well, the 60’s cameras (OK, really the lighting, film, and cloth) literally couldn’t show us that Command wore green, not gold. So eventually gold became canon with a spoken line in DS9.

Kirk has gold in some episodes and green in others, depending on which uniform variant he’s wearing iirc.

The thing is, they were both actually green, but thanks to 60s film stock, the standard Command shirts looked gold.

The wraparound tunic version was made of a different material that looked truer green on camera, but if you’ve ever seen one of the Command shirts in an exhibit / museum, they are in fact noticeably yellow-green.

That was part of the whole point of the brighter uniforms, sets, & vivid colour wash lighting in the main series, compared to the Cage and the WNMHGB pilot episodes, it was so NBC could show off the brilliance of the colour televisions made by their parent company, RCA.

As colour television uses three RGB primaries (red, green, blue) for each pixel group, it would make the uniforms really pop on screen.

Not sure what you mean. Kirk was very clearly wearing green in several episodes. The green showed up just fine, so saying cameras “literally couldn’t show” it is the exact opposite of the truth. Since they did show it, they literally COULD show it.

His various wraparound tunics showed as green, but his regular velour costume tends to look yellow. With the velour tunics, the yellowish color stemmed from a combination of the fabric, the stage lighting and the type of Eastman Kodak film they used (which was considered “warm” and gave certain green tints a yellowish tinge).

The visibly green top was the one with the wrap front that was distinctive for the captain.

It seems as though the different fabric was picked up differently by the film.

Generally though greens were an issue. They were often filtered out or “corrected” in early film processing for television. It took several attempts to have the Orion dancer actually show as having green skin.

Both green. One didn’t show up as green.

Correct

I’ve never really understood the issue with how film resolved the colors, given they had a ton of lighting deployed and the saturation and contrast with that low-grain slow film stock made for superb imagery, rich with detail (otherwise you couldn’t complain about how much the makeup shows through!) Surprised there hasn’t been a deep dive on the yellow green thing someplace, maybe this is a job for Factrek!

I can’t seem to find anything conclusive, but I assume that Star Trek was shot on Eastmancolor 5251, which was a very common film stock at that time. Since 5251 was tungsten-balanced (stage lights had tungsten filaments in those days), it tended make greens look yellow.

Spock and T’Pring are not a timeline issue since TOS never said they hadn’t seen each other before. A lot of fans are misremembering “Amok Time.” There is no issue.

I just remember the photo of her as a child and assumed there was a line about how he hadn’t seen her since. Haven’t rewatched it in years – I always found it a little silly.

It’s a bit odd if he hasn’t. Who’d ogle a photo of their future wife as a kid?

did I miss something? What’s with the merit badges?

I noticed that. I imagine it will be mentioned. It better be, we’re Trekkies.

It is mentioned. It’s a big part of the episode.

mentioned where? have you seen the episode? Are you from the future?! :D

Once again Secret Hideout plays fast and loose with Trek lore. Everything in Arena suggested that Kirk and Star Fleet had no idea the Gorn even existed. And this show just goes and decides that they are SUPER well known. Odd then that Star Fleet doesn’t keep tabs on them then to the point where they establish an outpost within space the Gorn claimed as theirs. Unless the goal was to provoke them. If so then why? They seemed to have just let everyone on that outpost to die. Was this the action of yet another Badmiral? Would it really have been such a chore to make up a new alien for La’an to have issues with and to return for this episode rather than screw with what has already been established?

So far the only explanation for this show is that it is a reboot. Which I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with and I think most fans wouldn’t have had a problem with. But I just wish they would come out and say it or at least not claim so adamantly that it was prime when so much in it screams that it isn’t. It’s really bad form by the producers.

My headcannon is that the time travel in First Contact created an alternate timeline affected by the presence of the Borg wreckage and Lilly and Zefram Cochrane’s knowledge of the future. TOS is the past of the original timeline, and Enterprise/Discovery/SNW is a continuation of the First Contact timeline.

It’s sad that these producers have made such mental gymnastics necessary for fans to be able to get past their mistakes.

What’s really sad are the fans who need mental gymnastics!

Just curious but why is that sad?

Yeah, really. This is a TV space opera, not Holy Writ, and everyone’s “head-canon” is different. (This same fan will tell you that we needn’t consider Spock smiling to be canon, as it only happened in an unsold pilot, even though that footage made it into one of TOS’ most seminal episodes.) Even with the events of “Arena,” you can rationalize Kirk’s relative unfamiliarity with the Gorn (and who’s to say where the territory claimed by an unknown hostile species begins or ends?), or just let it go. As always, the far more important question is, will it be the impetus for a good story?

Nor, btw, is this playing fast-and-loose with “canon” anything like exclusive to Secret Hideout. ENTERPRISE featured a Romulan Bird-of-Prey and cloaking device 100 years before their time, which for my money was far more egregious.

I would disagree because there was nothing anywhere saying that no one had ever seen a Romulan ship before the war. And no one actually saw a Romulan. Which would have been as egregious as La’an and Star Fleet being super familiar with the Gorn.

I do agree that the story itself is more important. But even then there are lines that just shouldn’t be crossed. For example if they needed Picard to have never gone to the Academy so they could establish some element of his youth they couldn’t do if he was in school then I don’t think it matters if the episode turned out to be super good. They just changed a fundamental element of the character. If it were a reboot, then fine. Change what you want. But if you insist it is not, then established things in that fictional world need to be consistent. One of them is, Arena was obviously the first time anyone from Star Fleet encountered a Gorn.

Manny Coto handled it quite well. He said he really wanted to find a way to get a Gorn on Enterprise. But he knew that it just wouldn’t work because… wait for it… It was established that Arena was the first time Star Fleet became aware of their existence. So he found a way but using the MU. That is what clever writers do. You find a way that works within the established limitations. If you can’t or won’t do that you don’t belong writing in an established genre.

Well, okay. You conveniently overlook that Spock’s take on a cloaking device was entirely theoretical — he even uses that word! — and that Kirk was every bit as unfamiliar with what a Bird-of-Prey would look like as he was with the Gorn. But you liked ENTERPRISE, and pretty much dislike everything with Kurtzman’s name on it, so you chide the one thing and rationalize the other. That’s a very human thing to do, and thankfully we’re only talking about a TV space opera as opposed to anything of real importance. But don’t kid yourself about what it is you’re doing.

I’ll give you Spock’s reaction to the cloak. Enterprise should not have had Romulans use the cloak. That was indeed an error. Kirk was not unfamiliar with Romulan ships per se. What he did say was “after 100 years what will a Romulan ship look like?” He he was familiar with them from 100 years ago. And it turns out they maintained their basic shape.

And I do not dislike anything with Kurtzman’s name on it. I did like Trek ’09. And Kurtzman had his hands on a few other TV shows in the past that were OK. So let’s be careful with making absolutist assumptions.

And I noticed that you yourself ignored the reasons why using the Gorn on SNW is an egregious disregardance of what was set up in what is one of the more popular episodes. Does that mean you think there is merit to this?

Well, glad you liked the 2009 movie. I thought, and still think, it was awful, just what a Star Trek film would look like if it were based on a comic book franchise rather than an idealistic ’60s TV space opera. But to each, his own.

And personally, I find the ENTERPRISE episode to be far more egregious in terms of canon violation, since the entire tactical plot of “Balance of Terror” hinges on the unfamiliarity of the Enterprise crew with the Romulan invisibility cloak. (Not that I would have much cared had the episode been any good.) If the Gorn had been an ongoing menace in Pike’s time then indeed Kirk’s apparent lack of familiarity with them begs explanation, but if he had known about them it wouldn’t have changed the plot of “Arena” much at all. And in truth, I can buy Kirk’s lack of knowledge about an obscure alien threat more than I can his not knowing that his First Officer and best friend is the son of the Vulcan ambassador!

In the end, this is just a series of TV shows and films that does not bear examining all that closely. My favorite treatment of the whole “canon” issue was Admiral Kirk’s introduction to the novelization of STAR TREK; THE MOTION PICTURE, where it is revealed that what we know as TOS was a dramatization of the actual events, as opposed to the events themselves, for which Kirk takes the producer (ostensibly Roddenberry) to task for the inaccuracies he perpetuated on the viewing public. I always thought that was kinda cool, in a meta way, putting the show (now franchise) into perspective while acknowledging how important the mythos itself is to people.

It sounded like you took great pleasure in ripping apart a film I liked. Hope it satisfied you in some way. I didn’t say it was great cinema but it was certainly fun to watch. Much better than the next outing I can tell you.

But that is off topic. I admitted giving the Enterprise era Romulans the ability to cloak was a mistake. But I still asked a question you avoided. There seem to be plenty of very good reasons why making the UFP familiar with the Gorn on SNW is very contradictory. Do you agree with those reasons?

Not at all, actually. If you enjoyed the film then more power to you; my only point, as stated, was that tastes differ. I went on at great length on this very website about all the things I found lacking in Trek 2009 at the time of its release, but one of my favorite posters here nevertheless was a guy named dmduncan who defended it with such passion and eloquence that I once remarked to him that he should have written the thing. There is no objective right or wrong when it comes to matters of taste.

As to my opinion on the use of the Gorn on SNW, what part of “begs explanation” did you not understand? But I wouldn’t let that prevent me from enjoying the episode if it turned out to be a good one.

You know as well as I do that there was obvious subtext to your Trek ’09 comment.

Regarding “begs explanation” I looked at your two previous responses and did not find those two words in them. So not only does their use require context to respond you didn’t even use them in those posts.

But I didn’t ask you if you would enjoy the episode if it was good. I would too. I asked you if you agreed the reasons why SNW ought not be using the Gorn were legitimate ones.

What “subtext” is that? The subtext that you’re fully entitled to criticize these shows (which, full disclosure, I haven’t watched for years aside from the pilots you can screen for free on YouTube), but if anyone criticizes something you like it’s a personal attack? That subtext?

“Regarding “begs explanation” I looked at your two previous responses and did not find those two words in them. So not only does their use require context to respond you didn’t even use them in those posts.”

Better look into something to help with your eyesight there, pardner:

“If the Gorn had been an ongoing menace in Pike’s time then indeed Kirk’s apparent lack of familiarity with them begs explanation, but if he had known about them it wouldn’t have changed the plot of “Arena” much at all.”

And to answer your final question, well, were I in charge of STRANGE NEW WORLDS I’d probably refrain from using the Gorn given the pretty strong implication that “Arena” was the first contact with them. And no, it’s not a deal-breaker.

The Gorn thing sounds pretty iffy to me. Unless they are going to pay and play it off as Starfleet/Fed covering up all previous knowledge of the Gorn because of the atrocities/atrociousness of behavior, the idea that Kirk & co don’t know from Gorn doesn’t wash (and with Spock aboard this early, that makes it seem even less credible.)

It also undercuts some of the best stuff in ARENA by taking McCoy’s acknowledgement that our side could be in the wrong and essentially flushing it out the airlock relative to the apparent historical truth of Fed/Gorn history.

Why is that? Do the Gorn being an aggressor species make it all right to intrude on their territory?

“Arena” was never all that convincing an allegory about pacifism, perhaps because the story it’s very loosely based on isn’t about pacifism at all. But I still like it.

No, but the whole nature of questioning how our side could possibly be wrong is compromised if not nullified if our side actually already knows all or even some about these critters.This is adding an x-files level to things in an era where that is not exactly the norm yet, THE ENTERPRISE INCIDENT being an exception to the rule.

If what SNW set up is true it means they KNEW establishing an outpost on Cestus III would provoke the Gorn. And they knew it would get attacked and all there would die. That seems like a huge stretch to me. Plus Spock’s comment about very little is known about that area and then there is your point about the UFP possibly being in the wrong.

@Drew: That’s not headcanon… it’s logic! Of course it’s like that. And not just FC… each and every time travel does change tiny aspects and there have been thousands of time travel incidents. That way almost ever inconsistency can be explained… I wouldn’t call it a timeline, it’s a set of variant time streams loosely connected for the absence of major temporal disturbances…

I still think it all goes back to Henry Starling in 1969.

You should re-read the Arena script. They had no idea who attacked. Kirk had never seen a Gorn… The Metrons told him who it was.
.
Google “Chakoteya script Arena”

You are making my point for me. They had no idea who attacked the outpost because they had no idea the Gorn even existed. If Star Fleet knew about the Gorn why would they build an outpost in their territory without ever letting them know? If they knew the Gorn were out there it is reasonable they would keep tabs on their activities. They would know that space was claimed by the Gorn. And unless they wanted to provoke the Gorn they wouldn’t have built the outpost to begin with.

I don’t need to see the script. Arena is one of my favorite episodes and I’ve seen it many many many times. Spock also says in the episode “we know very little about that section of the galaxy.” Further implying they know nothing about the Gorn.

How would they know that space is claimed by the Gorn?

My point exactly. They wouldn’t know because they had no idea the Gorn even existed.

I think SNW is a remake of TOS. I’m perfectly ok with that, the original is nearly 60 years old. It needs some updating IMO. Just my view of course, I know some would take offence to that.

I am hoping for seasons 3-9 to be a straight-up remake of TOS. Write the original out.

The moment Pike’s accident can be avoided, there will be a new timeline and then anything is possible. But this won’t “write the original out” at all… It’s just an alternate version!

And that would be fine too. As a fan I have no issues with alternate versions or new and different takes on the old shows.

Hell, I’d LOVE to see a new and better take on TNG if we are being brutally honest.

I suppose you’d also be happy if Paramount just stopped showing the old show and pulled the DVDs off the shelves?

Oh sure, just can’t wait to see a Kurtzman-vetted version of LET THAT BE YOUR LAST BATTLEFIELD, special woke edition. Maybe for a new version of THE EMPATH, Kirk will just let all the creatures on the inhabited planets of the system die, to teach the bulb-heads a real lesson in extremism.

so much TV is already the same ol’/same ol’, why would you welcome remakes of existing seasons full of episodes? Especially when they already got a decent hunk of them right the first time!

“Special woke edition”. . .of the wokest (assuming I understand the meaning of that content-free term), most in-your-face, hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer messaging episode in the history of the Milky Way galaxy? What, you fear that Alex Kurtzman will ruin our childhoods when he butchers that one?

I mean, Jesus wept.

Myself, I have no problem with a reboot. It’s just that they should say that is what it is. Although I don’t think there is much that really needs updating from TOS. Just perhaps the older sets and some effects. But the remastered project, while it does look a little dated now, helped on that end quite a bit.

I think SNW is a remake of TOS

…which, of course, it is not.

Once again, a Trek fan overly obsessed with the fine details of lore and canon. You’re ruining your own enjoyment of an excellent series.

It’s NOT a reboot, stop being absolutely ridiculous. Give it up, it’s been FIVE STRAIGHT YEARS of nothing but whining. I can’t imagine that level of commitment to something I hate. Absolute insanity.

Once again someone is offended that someone else would like SOME of the Trek canon held on to for a show that is said takes place in the prime timeline. Boo hoo… Someone doesn’t think the show is as good as you do. Find yourself a safe space and get over it.

For the record, if the show was really good I honestly would have less of an issue with canon violations. It would be reduced to a nit pick. And one more item… The really frustrating part of all their ignorance of Trek lore is that it could be easily avoided if they had a little imagination and come up with something new that fits what they want to do rather than warp an existing Trek thing and MAKE it fit what they want to do.

I could care less if the show changes up established history. It’s just a show and I have the original series on BluRay so I can watch that whenever I like. I’ve been noticing the same reaction watching the videogame fanboys have a collective meltdown because the Halo TV show changes up lore from the games (pretty good show in my opinion, BTW).

What I do find odd (again, not bothersome, just odd) is the continued insistence on the part of TPTB that this is a prequel to TOS despite all the deviations (ditto for the first 2 seasons of Discovery). It needlessly complicates things and divides the fanbase. Just call it a reboot and be done with it. You’d end all these arguments and also give yourself 100% freedom to just do your own thing. Change Pike’s fate? Sure. Completely change the look and mannerisms of an established character? Why not. Stick a third nacelle on the 1701? Go for it. Gender flip a main character? Have at it. If nothing else it would throw any predictability out the window because you’d never be sure what would happen from week to week. Instead you’re left with people rationalizing why this Enterprise appears to be so much larger, why the sets look like they’re set in the 24th century, etc., etc., etc.

And it’s just as easy for long-time fans to consider it a visual reboot and to just let the inconsistencies go. I state this as someone who owned one of the first 500 sets of Enterprise blueprints ever printed, as well as the “Starfleet Technical Manual.” Because if you didn’t update the look, doing an in-universe prequel would be impossible for anyone but the makers of fan films.

Totally agree, TonyD. Well said.

Please. Just…Call…It…A…Reboot. Like DSC should have been. And PIC may as well be.

This point, as accurate as it is and as much as I whole heartedly agree with it, has been made for years. It’s one thing to update sets (even if the updates don’t quite have the feel of what came before) it’s quite another to completely change up established rules. If TPTB decide they want to play with the Gorn on SNW, then the only way around that is to call the show a reboot. Had they done this with Star Trek Discovery they would have eliminated about 1/3 of the complaints and problems people had with the show.

To me the really frustrating part is many of the problems could be easily dealt with. They could have come up with some other alien for La’an to have issues with. But no, they really wanted to get the Gorn in there probably because the Gorn have been popular. Ignore what was established in Arena about them. They are popular and we want them on our show. That is the main problem with Secret Hideout. They claim they all know about the show yet they show time and time again that they really don’t. It makes me wonder if there is anyone on the staff that said, “we can’t use the Gorn because Star Fleet had no idea they existed then.” If there was I imagine the response was a bunch of eyerolls and comments like “Screw that. I’m so sick of being handcuffed. The Gorn are popular and we are doing it anyway.”

Canon schmanon, show me dat lizard man!

Baby Gorn!!

Tony & TM Crew;

“4th” Episode. Feel free to delete this when you read it. Thanks so much for the great articles every week!

Initial gut reaction…the canonistas are going to despise this.

And it makes me giggle! Any time a fan whines about canon, an angel gets its wings.

Sorry, that jab doesn’t even manage to rub me the wrong way, cuz I’m a devout agnostic, who figures even just as a concept that ‘Heaven is a conspiracy of angels’ (and yeah, I’ve already written a song using that as the title, it is friggin’ awesome, the phrase, not the song.)

Well, I’m a devout agnostic too and I fully agree with him. Endless whining about canon issues regarding a half-century old TV space opera in a world as thoroughly buggered as this one strikes me as . . .unseemly.

What’s up with the current department store doors shown in the second clip?

JCPenney has stores throughout the quadrant.

Lol. Now that’s funny!

It’s the only franchise in the quadrant

Sort of like Taco Bell in DEMOLITION MAN.

I hope Gorns on Strange New Worlds are yellow, or purple, or red, or anything other than green, and that they look substantially different from how they did in TOS and ENT just to see how fans of SNW condone it whereas before they disparaged DIS for changing how Klingons look.

Personally, I loved the changes to the Klingons. One of the few things DSC did absolutely right.

Agreed. It made perfect logical sense.

The Klingons were DSC’s worst (and only relevant) offense…

They were not offensive in the least. Using white actors in blackface to portray Klingons like it was done in TOS and ENT, on the other hand, would have been…

Comparing apples and oranges! The Gorn have been seen only twice. Changing their design would be a non-issue… But with Klingons… we’ve had 11 seasons and 4 movies of Worf. He was a main character, an icon and he didn’t have four nostrils and an egg-shaped head.

Apart from that, I’d love to see a red Gorn or yellow Gorn. Why not. There are black humans, white humans, brown humans… why not having different skin colors for the Gorn?

I totally agree Garth Lorca.

One of the things that I really like about Secret Hideout’s Trek shows is that they have really leaned into racial diversity within aliens. Bumpy headed northern Romulans vs southern ones who are indistinguishable from Vulcans, Andorians in a wide range of blue hues, variation in Tellarite tusks and skin colour. It helps the franchise move away from aliens as stereotypes.

Also, because it’s not clear if Gorn are reptilian or dinosarurian in Arena (as far as I recall), there’s even the possibility of some feathers. I’d be cool with seeing some feather crests on Gorn.

Worf was a Post TMP Klingon. DIS takes place before TMP and after ENT. Klingons like Worf are not canon at that point in time.

The Gorn seen in In a Mirror Darkly being a CG creation was pretty different from the guy in the rubber suit seen in Arena. And I personally wouldn’t mind seeing them changed up a bit to make them even better still. But the problem lies with the fact that in this time frame in the Prime timeline no one yet even should be aware they exist.

Perhaps we can see some Gorn in season of Picard? That would fit much better and we can see what relations are like 100 years later between the Gorn and the UFP.

I’m sure we’ll see Gorn in any La’an flashbacks.

What, like Yoshi’s from Mario games? Maybe Ike can ride them to save the princess.

Lol.

I love this show. This is what the movie reboot should have been like.

Yes. And it would have helped to actually design an engineering department instead of filming in a brewery and an LHC…

Actually, it was the National Ignition Facility at Livermore National Laboratory – it’s a prototype for a laser-ignited fusion reactor.

Fun fact, that’s the same location used as the laser lab in Tron (1983)!

hmm … I always thought of Arena as the first contact with the Gorn 🤔

Arena never actually said that, though. Just as fans are misremembering Amok Time, they are also misremembering Arena.

I’ve watched it pretty recently but I guess so. 🤔

As we see in the comments above, some fans have made the script for Arena into canon rather than what was on screen.

While pulling in ideas from early drafts can add new interpretations (a it did for the Guardian of Forever), the scripts aren’t canon, even for those who are rigid about that stuff.

The thing that’s important in terms of the mystery in Arena is actually the geographic location in space.

If the Enterprise in Strange New Worlds comes across the Gorn elsewhere and if likewise La’an’s experience with the Gorn was in sectors far from the location of Arena, there is no discontinuity.

Add onto that Garth Lorna’s suggestion of a different race or subspecies, or a disconnection in term of technological development, and there’s no issue at all.

This isn’t the 24th century where all this galactic geography near Earth in the alpha and beta quadrants is completely mapped.

I will admit that’s possible. But extremely unlikely from a reason standpoint. But it also doesn’t pass the ‘smell’ test. Again, if the UPF knew about the Gorn one would think they would have a decent knowledge of what space they were annexing. To go and build an outpost within an area they claimed as theirs just doesn’t fit that explanation.

I’ve seen ARENA over 50 times, I can probably quote minutes-long passages from memory. This is an overwriting of the original concept.

nobody is misremembering anything. You can look at the transcript for Arena. It’s pretty clear they had not interacted with or heard of Gorn before:

http://www.chakoteya.net/StarTrek/19.htm

KIRK [OC]: The Enterprise is dead in space, stopped cold during her pursuit of an alien raider by mysterious forces, and I have been somehow whisked off the bridge and placed on the surface of an asteroid, facing the Captain of the alien ship. Weaponless, I face the creature the Metrons called a Gorn. Large, reptilian. Like most humans, I seem to have an instinctive revulsion to reptiles. I must fight to remember that this is an intelligent, highly advanced individual, the Captain of a starship, like myself, undoubtedly a dangerously clever opponent

KIRK: This is Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. Who ever finds this please get it to Starfleet Command. I’m engaged in personal combat with a creature apparently called a Gorn.

MCCOY: Can that be true? Was Cestus Three an intrusion on their space?

SPOCK: It may well be possible, Doctor. We know very little about that section of the galaxy.


I’ll grant you that the general interpretation of Amok Time is a little more open to debate, but it’s heavily implied that they had not meet since their initial meeting as children (also, if you take real-world contextual attitudes at the time towards arranged marriages, etc..)

You’re proving my point, what they’re doing now with the Gorn is at odds with what was established as known by Starfleet. And I agree with you about AMOK as well, though that doesn’t bother me as much because I really don’t see this new guy as being anything like the real Spock at all, so it’s more in the eye-roll territory than the outrage realm.

yes – was meaning to apply the comment to LD who said that people are misremembering.

Exactly. There are lines and reactions where it is pretty darn clear no one knew about the Gorn. At all. This is not like redesigning the hypospray. It still does what it does. This is a HUGE change in the lore akin to claiming Picard never went to the Academy.

As one of my favorite episodes I have seen it scores of times. No, it’s not actually said but all the reactions and some of the actual lines indicate they had zero idea that the Gorn were even out there. Further, if Star Fleet knew about the Gorn then the entire set up for the episode now makes no sense whatsoever. Unless someone wanted to go great lengths to have an outpost destroyed and start a war. And use the Enterprise as cannon fodder.

Which, if I were running things, would be a great way to insinuate s31 on an intermittent basis into SNW. Otherwise, there’s no support or understanding I can offer for this AT ALL. Plus Spock would have to finger his own face (almost sorry for double-entendre) and make himself ‘forget.’

I was curious about that, so I rewatched Arena.

-The crew keep referring to the Gorn ship as an unknown alien ship, though that could mean it’s an unknown design to them, I suppose.

-But Kirk says in his log that the Metron call this species the Gorn, so that either means Kirk is ignorant about Starfleet history, which doesn’t sound like him, or this is indeed their first contact with them.

For me, it’s not that big a deal. I mean, I’m not gonna complain too much to see my favorite lizard alien people again. And they could have some way to patch over this, though hopefully better than the Discovery ‘we shall never speak of this again’ strategy.

Yeah. I wonder, which way they’re gonna go, if they’re actually going to show a Gorn. Ne Trek has this weird habit of updating Make-up that was good to begin with (Klingons, Andorians, Ferengi). And the Gorn makeup doesn’t need much tweaking. Just some more modern materials and maybe some cgi-aided animatronics.

Let’s just hope they’re not going the weird CGI Route, Enterprise did 😁

Yeah, it’s a solid design, just needs a little nip and tuck. I hope they keep the compound insect eyes. A really interesting choice.

What if the Gorn we see look sufficiently different and have a different looking technology such that it’s not obvious that the Gorn in Arena are the same species?

That is, they could nonetheless come from the same planet of origin and all call themselves Gorn, but Kirk would have to rely on the Metrons to name and identify them.

Uh, sure, why not.

Nope. I would suggest that if the Gorn were a known species the UFP would also be aware of different native versions of Gorn.

What if Kirk doesn’t have unconfirmed information on a species called the Gorn in his databases, but the ship and technology doesn’t match what Starfleet has on record.

Wouldn’t he in that case have to say that the Metrons called the individual a Gorn rather than asserting that they are the Gorn?

That is, absent confirming data that Enterprise could evaluate and line up with its records, he would have to REPORT on the Metrons’ assessment in the log but not take ownership of it.

In other words, Kirk is precise enough in his language that he would not confirm the identity of the species himself in his logs by saying it was a Gorn in a case where Spock was not able to confirm that independently.

Uh, sure, why not.

I really love pretty much everything about this show. Unfortunately, I can’t always determine what M’Benga is saying. But I guess that’s what captioning is for.

Definitely. I always thought, my English is pretty good by now but his accent really throws me off. I wonder if that’s a choice by the actor or if it’s just how he talks. Also can’t remember, if MBenga had an accent in TOS 🤔

He didn’t, nope.

I’m delighted that we have an actor from Nigeria playing a character who is African.

I’m also delighted that he wasn’t pressed to Americanize his accent.

Again, Star Trek isn’t as strong of a global franchise as it might be. A crew full of people with middle American accents sends the wrong message.

It’s enough that Jess Bush is obliged to put on an American accent for continuity with the character of Chapel.

I don’t know why everyone is claiming canon violations here. There is no canon violation. SNW fits within the prime timeline. You are overthinking it or misremembering TOS episodes, which happens a lot on this site.

Yes.

Head canon and long held interpretations run deep.

I appreciate that Tony and Laurie endeavour to check before weighing in on their podcast.

Again with the Gorn, despite being unknown until Kirk’s encounter in TOS.

Cool- the last shot in the clip gives off some decent Mutara Nebula vibes.

I’m rewatching Arena right now and there are quite a few things about this episode that would be totally torn apart if it was a new episode. It’s totally weird that McCoy seemingly has no knowledge of chemistry and needs Spock to explain it all. But I do agree if we are about to get a Gorn arc on SNW, it’s weird that Kirk and the crew wouldn’t have an idea of what the Gorn are when the Metrons announce the name of the opponents. Up to that point, the Gorns could have simply changed since Pike’s time. And of course The Gorn really is ridiculous. Maybe if Kirk did know what Gorn were he couldn’t believe this slow moving lizard was one of the Gorns that Pike fought.

At the conclusion, Kirk beams back to the Enterprise and is still in perfect condition, his clothes have been to the dry cleaners and he has gotten a shower. Then The Metrons send The Enterprise across the Galaxy and the first thing Kirk does is order Sulu to head back to Cestus 3. I had a very false impression that TOS took distances seriously.

This is not even a careful read. But we need more Metrons. It would be great to meet one in Discovery. Maybe they can get a Metron on the crew.

True… McCoy probably could have figured it out like Spock. But someone needed to be the stand in for the audience. WE needed to to be explained. McCoy was a major character so they used him. That sort of thing doesn’t really bug me that much.

It doesn’t bug me that much either because this is also work on the “McCoy vs Spock” relationship – they are competing about who cares about Kirk more. McCoy wants to attack Spock with an outburst but he controls himself: the Metrons really have total control of the situation.

But Spock also flips in the episode. First, he worries whether Kirk should kill the Gorn.

Then, when Kirk is building his weapons on the planet (which the Metrons show onscreen on the bridge), Spock says, “Good… good.” It’s a little weird coming from Spock.

The element that drives Kirk’s hostility is not just revenge, but fear of invasion. That is his raison d’etre. I suspect, based on the trailer, that is what Pike may face as well.

So all good on SNW but on the Gorn… would it really have killed you to throw in the Kzinti or something to maintain canon? The fandom would think it is cooler, everyone who knows who the Gorn are will just be upset over canon – it’s a lose lose.
Also you literally have people like the Okudas who wrote you a literal Encyclopaedia, why wouldn’t you ask them to review stuff like this.
I just don’t get the “win” on throwing events in early when you could build your own canon. Wouldn’t the Kzinti or whatever have looked cool with CGI?
All the good in the episode would have worked sans Gorn.

In terms of the Caitians and Kzinti, since they have been brought up several times here recently, it would still be too expensive to bring them into live action.

In the first season of Picard, the bar owner in the fifth episode was originally written to be a Caitain. On a Deadline podcast with Akiva Goldsman, Jonathan Frakes who directed the episode said that they realized that a Caitain just wouldn’t be feasible when things were quite advanced but that they felt the actor that they cast for the role as a humanoid former lover of Seven’s was excellent.

Now whether a live action Kzinti would be more costly than a Gorn is unclear to me, but even Voyager pulled off reasonably good dinosaur descended people.

Last thought, for many new younger viewers, the visual image of Kirk fighting the Gorn in Arena is a meme.

It’s one of the enduring campy things about Star Trek that has pervaded main stream culture. New viewers will expect the Gorn to be addressed even if they have almost no knowledge about the show other than Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise.

There’s wiggle room in canon. The Gorn that Starfleet and the Enterprise encounter earlier migh have different ships and technology, they may even look differently. They may be operating out of a completely different sector from where they were encountered in Arena.

With much about them in Starfleet’s databases and Enterprise’s logs cautioned as unconfirmed intelligence, if the species encountered in Arena don’t line up with the previous intelligence, Kirk would just have to take the Metrons word that what he encountered were Gorn.

So, let’s recall that if Trek is going to endure another half century, we older fans have to have some flexibility so that new fans can be drawn into watching. Links to images that have gone viral in popular culture are important hooks to get people to check out SNW.

And it’s working.

I’d urge one to look at Star Trek IV or VI (the Fed President) to see the countless aliens that look alien that could be utilized and that is pre-CGI.

Kzinti would have been an AWESOME replacement for the Gorn. There are other aliens referenced in Trek that did not have the same restrictions the Gorn have. This group of writers just went with what was popular, not what was right. And it suggests strongly to me that SNW will not be the show I was hoping for.

I don’t get too upset about canon, especially when it comes to TOS. From the second pilot (WNMHGB) with Captain James R. Kirk commanding though to the epilogue of episode 79 when women were “allowed” to be part of Starfleet but not allowed to be in command of a Starship, the original series is full of holes and inconsistencies that were corrected in subsequent iterations of Trek.

Bottom line, if the episode is terrible then people will jump on the Gorn issue. If the episode is well written and is very good, then no biggie. It also depends on the context of the episode. The Borg showed up in Enterprise, but the story was written so the episode did not break canon. Maybe the same will happen this week. We shall see.

I am more interested in seeing is what version of the Gorn shows up. The funny looking “school mascot” costume that was in TOS and later in The Big Bang Theory spoof with Leonard Nimoy OR the CGI version we saw in the Enterprise mirror universe. I hope it is the former, just for fun!

I suspect it will be some new design with more modern CGI/prosthetics. I don’t think they’d hold off the reveal until the episode itself otherwise.

It would be really mean if the characters all wore those circular badges for the whole episode but we never got told why . . . :P

(I’m sure they’ll explain it)

Thinking about the Gorn more and I submit that they should instead call whoever does Star Fleet Battles and if you don’t want to do the Kzinti with drones then do the Lyrans with expanding sphere generators, Hydrans with fusion beams, fighter craft and gatling phasers, Interstellar Concordium with plasmatic pulsar torps, maybe have an Andromedan with tractor repulsor beams and transport capability, displacement devices. Hell, make it the remnants of the Vegan Tyranny which once destroyed all races in the region. Have it where they beam landing parties and invade you with robots or something.
Why not invent the enemies of the Gorn and have it name dropped? Or make them lizards but different lizards?
Have them join the Feds later on or end up gone then no canon issues.
But let’s mix things up, get some new weapons that open the door for Balance of Terror strategy, etc.
This isn’t TNG, combat can be different and last more than 30 seconds.

Arena is up there in my Top 5 TOS episodes, and I’ve watched it dozens of times (and counting). There’s no way I’m buying SF previously encountered them. Especially Kirk, whom Gary Mitchell called a “…stack of books with legs..” when he was in the academy, there’s no way he’d just ‘not know’ about the Gorn if they were documented. Arena was a first-contact situation in TOS, no doubt in my mind. I’m enjoying SNW so far, but the show will likely be replete with violations like this – I’m just resigned to it (and to it taking place in another timeline :). I plan on enjoying the show anyway, from what I’m seeing so far.