Recap/Review: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Runs Deep In “Memento Mori”

“Memento Mori”

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1, Episode 4 – Debuted Thursday, May 26, 2022
Written by: Davy Perez & Beau DeMayo
Directed by Dan Liu 

Strange New Worlds pivots to deliver a taut military-style thriller full of action and drama, weaving its way through some Star Trek canon.


WARNING: Spoilers below!


“This was a trap.”

The Enterprise is on a routine mission to deliver a much-needed atmospheric processor to a Federation colony while the ship celebrates Starfleet Remembrance Day to honor “those who made the ultimate sacrifice.” Since La’an won the gold in Tragic Backstories, she doesn’t join in on the pin-wearing tradition, telling Una “There’s is no point in looking back.” At Finibus III, they discover a colony gone silent and a destroyed satellite. Adding to the mystery, Number One’s landing party only finds evidence of a massacre, complete with bloody drag marks… and no bodies. Creepy.

In space, Pike encounters some frightened colonists on a struggling cargo ship and agrees to allow them to dock. Led by a professor, the remaining Finibusians tell a hazy story of an attack from an unknown enemy. La’an’s Reptiley Sense tingles hearing a girl’s story of “monsters,” quickly warning the captain of a hidden ship, which is immediately found heading right for them. With a transport tube deployed they can’t raise shields, which Pike realizes in horror as the aliens destroy the cargo ship and severely damage Enterprise. Una is hurt, and orders La’an to the bridge to help where the security chief convinces a skeptical Pike… it’s the Gorn! The captain has his Ackbar moment and takes his new acting first officer’s advice to retreat and “level the playing field.” He orders the crippled ship into the dense toxic atmosphere of a brown dwarf where they will have no shields, sensors, or coms, and the ship risks being crushed… “Perfect.”

“I believe in Enterprise.”

Meanwhile, Uhura has been doing her rotation with Engineering and enduring the bristly Hemmer’s pop quizzes on the atmospheric processor. The pair finds themselves trapped in the cargo bay, the Aenar engineer injured and the air processor damaged and transformed into a ticking clock bomb that will destroy the ship if they don’t fix it. With a broken hand, Hemmer teams up with a nervous Uhura to talk her through the process… and he is “not fond of teams.” Una barely makes it to sickbay with a variety of holes in her gut, only to find M’Benga and Chapel doing triage with only stone knives and bearskins scalpels and sutures. With her wound bleeding badly and in need of surgery, Una is put under only after insisting the ship’s last bag of plasma be diverted to another officer. “Give her mine, that’s an order.” Brutal.

Things are heating up–literally–on the blinded ship with no way to fight back, requiring Pike to dig deep to keep up morale, especially with the fatalistic La’an who is struggling with her bad memories. Spock gets creative and turns the atmospheric sensors “into a radar,” but really more of a sonar for this increasingly submarine-like battle. Pike quickly uses this to “drop” the last remaining torpedo on the Gorn. But the celebration is short; that ship was sacrificed by the wily lizards to give away Enterprise’s position, with three more headed towards them, including a really big one. Pike orders the ship to “dive” despite Spock’s warnings about getting crushed, with the captain seemingly holding Enterprise together on his faith. Pike feels the pain of his creaking ship as another crewperson is lost behind a bulkhead he ordered closed; Spock’s “you made the logical choice” is little solace. It’s time to stop and fight. Battle stations!

“We do not give in to fear.”

It doesn’t come to close-quarter fighting as the Gorn pursuing them gets crushed thanks to Pike using their relentlessness against them. But the cover of the brown dwarf is another ticking clock as it is dissipating into a black hole—oh yeah, there’s a huge black hole. Spock and La’an volunteer to take a shuttle to see if the coast is clear and they soon come upon the last two Gorn ships flashing lights at each other, triggering a hazy memory in La’an. Reluctantly, Spock uses a mind meld to help her remember, and she flashes back to her childhood, where she was hunted on a Gorn breeding planet. Pushing through the pain of the past, she remembers how her brother had worked out the code of the flashing lights before he sacrificed himself to save her. They use it to trick the big Gorn ship into “culling” the little one by spoofing a message about being boarded by filthy humans. Sneaky.

With the AP 350 about to blow and their brown dwarf hiding place fading, Pike has one last trick up his sleeve: science! Taking a page from “snakes, ducks, and possums,” the crazy idea is to slingshot around that black hole to look like they stopped and drop off the atmo-bomb to look like they went boom. Digging deep, Pike goes full Churchill to rally the haggard crew, “I believe today will not be our last mission, but our finest hour.” Together they pull off what Ortegas christens the “Pike maneuver.” Relief washes over the ship, from an elated captain seeing Hemmer and Uhura make it through, to Una recovering due to a transfusion direct from M’Benga, to Spock giving a hint of a smile. And La’an is ready to “stop running” from her past as she finally can embrace Remembrance Day, but the ever vigilant security chief cautions her captain, “What about next time?”


A deep dive

Strange New Worlds shows it can deliver thrills in an action-packed war movie-style episode that ramps up the tension and the stakes. With strong performances, on-point martial music, and outstanding special effects, “Memento Mori” earned a place among other entries in this sub-genre, evoking episodes like TOS “Balance of Terror,” TNG’s “Disaster,” DS9’s “Starship Down,” and, of course, Wrath of Khan. This time the submarine movie parallels were relentless, from pinging scanners and a creaking ship full of sweaty officers to the ill-fated crew trapped behind bulkheads. This went beyond using the style and jargon of films like Crimson Tide, aspiring to bring nuanced character beats of classics likes of Das Boot or Run Silent, Run Deep.

Anson Mount also stepped up, playing out much of the episode’s tension just on his face without saying a word. In “Memento Mori” Pike was everything you want a Starfleet captain to be, saving the day with battle smarts, cunning science, and an unwavering belief in his crew and his ship. You can see the pain he feels for every loss of life, this show is definitely not falling into the “red shirt” cliché of casual casualties (which isn’t really true anyway). And Mount showed that he has the chops to deliver a well-earned rallying speech like the best of them.

Strange New Worlds continues to build on the character ensemble, including a nicely tied-in B-story for Uhura and Hemmer exploring more from both characters, including a little bit of thaw on the icy engineer. Ethan Peck’s Spock continues to be outstanding with the actor and the writers continuing to show a deep understanding of this iconic character, although La’an’s crack about how he won’t speak in “plain English” was unnecessary, even if it was later resolved via their little mini-arc. In general, the heightened stakes actually reduced this show’s indulgence in overly casual language, with Pike even giving Ortegas the evil eye after one of her wisecracks. The back-to-basics scenes in sickbay were also welcome, adding more depth to both M’Benga and Chapel, however, this subplot also revealed how the series continues to sideline Rebecca Romijn’s Number One to make more room for Spock and the focus character of the week.

Gorn again

Perhaps the controversial part of this episode is actually using the Gorn. Going beyond making them part of La’an’s tragic past, Strange New Worlds has thrust this iconic race into the series as a possible recurring adversary. Like making T’Pring a big part of the show, the series is really dancing between the raindrops of canon here. While never explicitly stating the first contact with the Gorn took place in the TOS episode “Arena” set years later, that was certainly the intention, and it is undeniable they were unknown to James T. Kirk. This is one of those instances which co-creator Akiva Goldsman warned the show would be using “body english” on some elements of Star Trek canon. Some fans may not be able to follow along with the canon twists the show is taking, but if you can there still is a lot here that does work including how the Gorn use luring tactics like those seen in “Arena.”

It’s also curious how the episode never actually showed a Gorn, possibly holding that for later, or maybe keeping that first look for TOS (with the exception of Captain Lorca’s skeleton and Mirror Archer’s encounter). It may also be jarring to hear La’an talk of how the Gorn are simply evil and not worth redemption. While that is not consistent with Star Trek’s themes, that was part of her arc as she was still working through her pain. And resolving the fight with the Gorn by showing sympathy and even mercy was left for Kirk, these are still early days dealing with the cold-blooded foes who are described as almost myth and “boogeymen” which again is consistent with “Arena” and the talk of rumors of such a foe. It’s possible that this episode even sets up “Arena,” giving a revenge motive for why the Gorn lured the USS Enterprise to Cestus III.

Final thoughts

Just four episodes in, the series continues going strong. Playing a bit fast and loose with canon to bring in an iconic foe pays off by delivering action and character drama. Strange New Worlds adds another style and tone to its repertoire with an excellent thriller of an episode. And if that isn’t your thing, you only have a week to wait for the next color in the box. [Spoiler Alert: next week is a bit of a “rom-com.”].

Random bits

  • The episode title comes from Memento mori which is a classic symbol seen in antiquity used to show (in Latin) “remember that you have to die.”
  • This is the first Star Trek writing credit for co-executive producer Davy Perez and supervising producer Beau DeMayo.
  • This is also the first Star Trek credit for director Dan Liu.
  • The episode started on Stardate 3177.3 and ended on Stardate 3177.9
  • Una calls herself Frankenstein’s monster due to being stitched up, and just a week after La’an called her a monster for being a genetically modified Illyrian.
  • The large Gorn ship was designated a “Destroyer”
  • Pike tells Spock to take Shuttle Galileo, one of many of that name, named for 17th century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.
  • Spock’s program to create the “sonar” was name Vinci 7, after the 16th century Italian scientist Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Real science utilized included the look of black holes, Coriolis force, and gravitational redshift.
  • Seven members of the crew and 3 civilians were lost.
  • Pike’s pain over having to close the bulkheads could have been partially due to witnessing Admiral Cornwell sacrifice herself on the other side of a USS Enterprise bulkhead in the season two finale of Discovery.
  • Captain Pike’s Remembrance Day pin was for the USS Discovery, which was reported lost in that episode.
  • La’an wore the pin for the SS Puget sound, the colony ship which was attacked by the Gorn when she was girl.
  • Other pins included: Spock (USS Kongo), Ortegas (USS Palenque), and M’Benga (USS Cuyahoga)
  • Did they go back for the dog?

More to come

Every Friday, the All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe and discusses the latest episode. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network.

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.

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Sigh…. star dates are all over the place again in Star Trek…..

It looks like the stardates are related to where the ship is. When it was docked at Starbase One (in our own solar system) in the first episode, the stardate matched the year the episode took place – 2259.

Really scraping the bottom of the barrel to find something to complain about. That alone is proof this show is WORKING.

It truly is the nerdiest complaint I’ve ever heard in my life.

Nah. Here’s a nerdier one:

The big E now has over 20 decks, when it was 16 decks in TOS. Of course, they may never have spoken out loud the number of decks on the ship, which makes it subject for reinterpretation…

Actually, discussions about the calculation of stardates are nerdier. Never mind.

No, it’s not. I agree that star dates a very nit picky issue. But the show does indeed have other problems.

My understanding is that the SNW crew are doing that deliberately. And, really, all a “star date” is, is a fictional way to make things seem futuristic. There is no actual explanation of how star dates work, there never has been, and I doubt there ever will be.

I know there are some who are sticklers for the star dates. I’m not among them. To me they are just random meaningless numbers that were created as a way to reference shipboard time and avoid any Einstein time keeping issues.

I have been a fan for over 40 years…I have never not once paid attention to star dates. Of course I know it’s important for some fans though.

When I was a kid we did a spreadsheet while we watched TOS. (Like, on paper). Wrote down first/last stardates, and any weird uniform things, like Kirk’s green wraparound or Uhua in the gold tunic. Was fun. Didn’t care at all what the stardates were.

They were SUPPOSED to be like that during the TOS era.

The TOS-era stardates were random numbers. Fans tried to impose order on them, but the official TOS Writer’s Guide makes it clear that the stardate varies not just with the date but also with the ship’s position in space, and they did that on purpose so that no one could tell exactly when all of this was taking place, so they wouldn’t need to keep any sort of continuity going.

 Here’s what the TOS Writer’s Guide says about stardates: “We invented ‘stardate’ to avoid continually mentioning Star Trek’s century (actually, about two hundred years from now), and getting into arguments about whether this or that would have developed by then. Pick any combination of four numbers plus a percentage point, use it as your story’s stardate. For example, 1313.5 is twelve o’clock noon on one day and 1314.5 would be noon of the next day. Each percentage point is roughly equivalent to one-tenth of one day. The progression of stardates in your script should remain constant, but don’t worry about whether or not there is a progression from other scripts. Stardates are a mathematical formula which varies depending on location in the galaxy, velocity of travel, and other factors, can (sic) vary widely from episode to episode.”

So the only part of the stardate that has any meaning — at least during the TOS era — is the part after the decimal point, which tells you what time of day it is.

Personally, I LOVE it that SNW is keeping up the TOS tradition of stardates!

I’ve been watching Star Trek since 1980. Never once paid attention to stardates, it’s meaning or even tried making sense of it. All I care about is that it’s uttered in a Star Trek story, coz frankly, it always sounds cool when said out loud. ;)

I understood that the star dates weren’t supposed to be in a certain order. They were just used as a reference for each story. Like this is what happened on this star date. It didn’t mean the stories were being told in sequential order.

Im ecstatic with this show so far. It’s like they finally figured out that they don’t have to reinvent the wheel with modern Trek, they just need to make a good wheel.

When Discovery came on, a lot of time had passed when Enterprise was off the air and my guess is they felt Trek had to be more ‘modern’ for today’s times. It couldn’t be like the Berman shows anymore, it had to be edgier, darker, etc. Yeah, that didn’t sit well with a lot of Trek fans. And why they not only retooled that show but we now have SNW which is a breath of fresh air frankly!

That was one of the most exciting Treks that I have ever seen, in movies or television. They finally figured out how to make classic Trek again. With the state of the world, their timing is quite excellent.

It’s also curious how the episode never actually showed a Gorn, possibly holding that for later, or maybe keeping that first look for TOS (with the exception of Captain Lorca’s skeleton and Mirror Archer’s encounter).

In the mind meld flashback you get a quick glimpse of a velociraptorish baby Gorn’s shadow. Like mostly not seeing the shark in Jaws, I thought that not seeing the Gorn was extremely effective.

Agreed Salty. And what incredible restraint the writers had by not showing the Gorn at all. It made the episode that much more powerful and suspenseful by not seeing them. Bravo.

Not showing the Gorn doesn’t make it comply with canon. That was the Romulan issue. In Arena it was very obvious to all that no one knew about the Gorn in any way shape or form. Including Spock. Who was right there doing a mind meld with the one person who interacted with them.

This is particularly irritating because there are a host of other Trek aliens they could have used here that would have worked perfectly. They even could have made up a new one. It feels like they wanted to use the Gorn at any and all costs.

I wonder how people would feel if they used the Borg instead? It would be the exact same problem.

I have to agree with this. I really had no issue not seeing them and made the episode more sinister and suspenseful. Same time they have a crew member that clearly knows who and what the Gorn looks like. They just saved a ship full of people who dealt with them….and it’s episode 4. I don’t really see them keeping up the whole shadow thing for years on and it doesn’t take away the fact they know all about them.

On Enterprise when they showed the Borg, but they did it in a way they didn’t have previous knowledge of them and the ones they ran into was a fluke meaning we weren’t going to see them again, so you can SORT OF buy it when Picard runs into them 200 years later they don’t make a connection and so much time has passed. But in this case, we’re talking literally a few years later of a species they are clearly going to run into several times before Kirk meets up with them in Arena.

I was super leery of the Borg on Enterprise but I agree that they managed to do it in such a way that it maintained what TNG did with them. So such a thing can be done if you respect and adhere to what came before. Something that the people at Secret Hideout seem to find extremely difficult to do. Enterprise managed to do it with just a few small issued. But SH seems to make the huge error every single time.

I find it on this show particularly frustrating because the show has such potential to be good and they are just squandering it.

I don’t know how they will square this episode with Arena, and frankly I don’t care. It was a spectacular episode of Star Trek. I’m sure that they will find a way to explain why the Gorn were not fully known by the Kirk Enterprise crew, but that won’t ever satisfy continuity trolls.

Honestly, I really hope they find a way to explain how they did what they did while still allowing Arena to work. I really do. Because so far none of the reasoning I’ve read from fans or on line have made logical sense.

I’m fine with stretching the envelope but tearing it is something else completely.

BTW… Would it be trolling if they decided to make this the Borg instead of the Gorn?

I don’t think that you are a troll (most of the time), ML. We have had disagreements, but I frequently enjoy and appreciate your comments.

Your concerns with continuity in Trek are ones that I have sometimes too. I think for Strange New Worlds that I am enjoying the show so much that I am just trusting them and going along for the ride. I was genuinely thrilled by this episode and the Gorn felt like a new threat and not just retread fan service as I assumed that they probably would be.

Fair enough but to me the Gorn don’t feel like a new threat. It feels like a decently popular alien that only appeared once on TOS and TPTB at SH decided that was the one to use no matter what the events of Arena showed about them. And that has been a recurring problem with Secret Hideout. They were so excited about doing a thing they didn’t stop to think if they should.

I’ve rewatched “Arena” twice in the last couple of weeks, once before “Memento Mori” and once after. When he sees the Gorn captain for the first time, Kirk said off-camera, “Weaponless, I face the creature the Metrons called a Gorn. Large, reptilian.” And later, when making an entry in the recording-translating device, he said, “I’m engaged in personal combat with a creature apparently called a Gorn.” Given his usage of the word called in both lines of dialogue, I think that perhaps the way to explain why the Gorns were not fully known by Kirk’s Enterprise crew is that the Federation may have been calling some other species the Gorns. Based on the reports of the Gorns using captives as “breeding sacs” and on the only known species that use such sacs being arthropodal (such as the viviparous cockroach Diploptera punctata), the Federation may have surmised that the Gorns were an arthropodal species. In addition, the Gorn starship in “Arena” being configured differently from the Gorn destroyer and hunters in “Memento Mori” may have confused Kirk’s crew.

Also, in “Bound,” the Orion Harrad-Sar referred to the Gorns as the Gorn Hegemony. The word “hegemony” indicates that the Gorns socially, culturally, ideologically, or economically dominated other species. Perhaps the “Gorns” that used captives as breeding sacs and attacked Finibus III and hunted Pike’s Enterprise were one of these dominated species.

Not showing the Gorn doesn’t make it comply with canon. That was the Romulan issue. In Arena it was very obvious to all that no one knew about the Gorn in any way shape or form. Including Spock. Who was right there doing a mind meld with the one person who interacted with them.

I disagree. After having recently rewatched Arena (in preparation for this episode), nowhere in the TOS episode was it mentioned or even implied that they didn”t know of the existence of the Gorn. It’s not like Kirk was *shocked* he would be fighting a Gorn. Kirk stated in a log that his Human nature evoked a primal fear of the reptilian (which coincides with what was stated in Memento Mori).

Actually it was all over the episode. Kirk saying “a creature apparently called a Gorn…” is enough to prove it right there. But then there are a lot of other things besides direct lines on the show. Spock never mentions anything when the Gorn are revealed. And he did a mind meld with La’an. And there were likely a host of other crewmembers who remained on Enterprise. Further if you take logical steps based on what SNW did they showed the Gorn attacking and killing Federation citizens. And now they attacked a Federation Star Ship. For Arena to work Star Fleet would have to forget or ignore any of that ever happened and wipe their existence away from any record anywhere. Then hope the Gorn stop their attacks. This is obviously not the logical course of events. The most reasonable course of events is after all the attacks and killings Star Fleet is forced to find the Gorn. Learn about them. Keep tabs on them. Be prepared for other attacks and likely reach out to contact them. They certainly wouldn’t pretend they don’t exist, not follow what they as a society are doing and construct an outpost with space the Gorn claim is theirs.

Both episodes work on their own but not together in any way shape or form. Once again, if SH told us SNW was a brand spanking new reboot as if the first pilot got picked up then everything works. But that is not what they keep saying. They keep saying this is the prime universe and this flows right into TOS. So things just don’t add up. And I can handle it if it is smallish things. But the changing things up to the point where entire TOS episodes just don’t work is too far.

ML31, your second sentence, quoting from ARENA, is refutation enough of what they’re doing IMO, and all the backtracking and denying and the rest just sounds like people who don’t want to find out somebody peed on their wedding cake — after they already ate and enjoyed it.

I think MISSISSIPPI BURNING is one fantastic movie, and have seen it a whole lotta times … I mean, a whole LOT of times, and have bought it ‘new’ in every format it ever released in, even laserdisc. But in terms of depicting historical events accurately, it is an utter travesty, and does a grave disservice to many people who risked much, and instead throws a ton of credit to the FBI (which in truth simply bribed folks into telling them what happened, and it took a lot to just push/shame them into even that much action.)

I don’t defend my position on MB too strongly, because I limit that defense to its status as a movie. I remain gravely conflicted about the movie, actually feeling guilty at times while rewatching, though always so swept up in the Hackman/Dourif stuff and the Hackman/Dafoe stuff and the Hackman, well Hackman/everybody stuff that I just find myself grinning with satisfaction during the last half hour, even though the tactics used are barely above what you’d find in any revenge thriller (the execution is, as in most parts of the film, superb.)

As an hour of TV, it may well be this SNW ep is just as enjoyable for a lot of viewers here. But defending it against what sounds like legit charges of utter revisionism is really making the lot of you come off like somebody defending MISSISSIPPI BURNING as truth in art when it was anything but. And for me, somebody who has not been impressed with any TREK since DS9 but desperately wants to be, such arguments do not come off like the ringing endorsement you’re making them out to be.

I haven’t ripped on people who like it. I am only attacking the what looks to be a huge mistake made. I understand what you are saying. There are historical drama’s I like that take a lot of liberties with the facts. But to me that is apples and oranges compared to what SH is doing here. I am willing to give a feature film some leeway in actual facts if the movie is well done. I can also forgive Star Trek some some canonical errors if the movie/episode is well done. But changing something up as huge as this just doesn’t work. Also, if this was the first production Secret Hideout put out, I would indeed be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and not be as hard about it. But they have proved they are not worthy of being given any benefit of any doubt. Not sure why this particular transgression is affecting me like it is. I have some theories but it does.

Actually, Kirk said that like most humans, he seemed to have an instinctive revulsion of reptiles. I wonder if he might have had the same revulsion towards the Saurians, who were Federation members.

In Arena it was very obvious to all that no one knew about the Gorn in any way shape or form. Including Spock.

After rewatching “Arena” last night, I don’t think that is “obvious” at all. Spock specifically said that while very little was known about that sector of the galaxy, there were “rumors” and “space legends” about something mysterious there. That is consistent with what Pike said in “Memento Mori.”

On another point: the central strength of “Arena” was that Kirk and the Enterprise crew discovered their hubris. Spock observed that there were alternative explanations for the attack on Cestus III other than invasion; Kirk, jumping to conclusions, cut him off mid-sentence. After the Metrons intervened, McCoy observed that “we could be in the wrong.”

*That* should not be undone.

My litmus test for “Memento Mori” is whether it undermines that message. My initial reaction: I don’t think it does, particularly if the Finibus III colony is somewhere near Cestus III and thus in Gorn territory. OTOH, the “feeding planet” thing makes it hard to be sympathetic to the Gorn.

And this all goes straight to David Gerrold’s litmus test for a good Trek, that the show needs to be ‘Kirk has a decision to make.’ ARENA is a good example of this at the end, though I suppose somebody else might just say he was doing what TV heroes always do back then, which is not kill a wounded/defenseless opponent.

Kirk doesn’t always have to make the RIGHT decision, and it can well turn out that other forces have to make him realize when he is wrong — but when so confronted, he is capable of often accepting that. See ERRAND OF MERCY, which for more than 35 years has been the TREK I use to show people who don’t know from TREK to get them to see this is more than just Captain TrueHeart and his almost-Native-American Weird Pal.

If SNW is mainly going to be using TOS eps as jumping off points for an unacknowledged reboot, then I wish they’d just own up and say so, just as I wish they’d done the same for DSC with their huge Klingon war that seems utterly at odds with everything I saw on TOS.

Rebooting Trek with variations on what went before would be fine with me — I’ve mentioned here that 20 years back, I came up with my own reboot notion based on BALANCE OF TERROR, but setting that story on Kirk’s first mission as Captain, so people really don’t have a reason to trust Spock yet — so long as they aren’t trying to claim the same continuity, because it seems the more they try to reconcile this, the less I’m likely to buy in or ever even tune in, despite Mount’s captivating presence.

The rumors and legends were obviously the Metrons, not the Gorn. They were the ones with the incredibly advanced technology with the ability to keep themselves hidden or semi hidden. Not the Gorn. And the line about how little was known about that part of the Galaxy fits with not knowing about the Gorn, who were in that part of the Galaxy.

That, was FANTASTIC.

Easily my favorite Trek episode since DS9. Nothing on Voyager comes very close (as much as I like that show). Oddly enough, out of the first 5 i’ve seen, the premiere is the weakest.

Reminds me of the DS9 episode Starship Down

Kid you not, I watched that episode again after I watched this one! It really does have most of the same elements; especially seeing the crew trapped in different parts of the ship.

So, we re-told Arena. We took the third act of WOK, and then threw in a bunch of 21st century one liners for the gen z-ers. When are we going to have some original Star Trek? Last week was just Naked Time with Illyrians. smh.

When are we going to have some original complaining?

The good old days are back. I just feel like watching VOY and ENT again :-)

Good… for… you… 🤷‍♂️

VOY and ENT were the good old days?! Since…when?

Since the second generation of Trek fans got old, a few years back. :-P

I always loved Voyager starting back when it started. Had more issues with Enterprise at the beginning but came around once I got over the fact it was a prequel and appreciated it’s other qualities.

As somebody who really gave up on VOY halfway through (though I’ve seen the Capt Ransom eps and liked those) and abandoned ENT a half hour into s2 (though I tuned back in for a few minutes at the beginning of s4 and then watched the brain-dead finale), can you give me a brief notion of what those other qualities were?

Last week’s episode was nothing like Naked Time.

The entire premise was Naked Time. Coming back to the ship with a parasitic disease that wasn’t filtered out that then began spreading to the entire crew, while Una and the doctor try to find a formula to stop it. It’s literally naked time.

There’s clear evidence that the writers are looking to retell archetypal Trek stories. The first contact episode, the virus episode, the submarine hide-and-seek episode, the “religion is science” episode.

None of these tropes are exclusive to any ONE episode of Trek past. They’ve looked through the different kinds of episodes that work for the franchise and did their take on them. I think that’s the perfect way for them to come out of the gate. like others have said: don’t reinvent the wheel. Make YOUR version of the wheel. Then maybe later they can start doing stuff that’s totally new and different.

Thing is, they’re in a rock and a hard place: fans want new, but not too new. They want it to be like old Trek, but not too much like old Trek. For me, it’s so far been the perfect balance. The next one is another i’m excited to see again, the kind of fun caper comedy that live action Trek hasn’t done in decades.

I wasn’t saying they were exclusive to an episode. I was saying the similarities to Naked Time are undeniable. You could say the same about Naked Now or Genesis. I didn’t ahve a problem with it last week because since TNG, there has been a disease ep. that tells that similar story that is almost an homage to Naked Time. With this episode, we are calling it GREAT writing and yet the concepts are stolen and placed into this ep., calling it new. A majority of the third act was just lifted from WOK.

I like that the show is in the same spirit as TOS. What I don’t like is that it is starting to become a crutch. They could have done the same story in a different environment with a different alien species as its antagonist.

And if you’re going to take these concepts and re-do them in this manner, at least have the decency to say this is NOT in the prime timeline.

I like that the show is in the same spirit as TOS.

Yet another example of copying.

Incorrect. You can have an optimistic spirit similar to TOS, without literally pulling story threads from TOS episodes and movies.

They could have done the same story in a different environment with a different alien species as its antagonist.

Yes!!!!! Exactly this!!!! There was absolutely no reason for them to use the Gorn, a species that has been set in stone was not known about until Kirk & Co encountered them in Arena. Hell, it could have been in the exact same environment with a different or new alien and still worked.

There was a Gorn in it. That’s where the similarities end. So that means it must be a remake, right?

If ANYTHING, it’s a solid homage to the DS9 episode Starship Mine. Running from an unstoppable enemy, hiding in a nebula, parts of the ship get cut off. No sensors, have to find a way to work together to get out of it using guts and guile.

I loved every bit of it. Easily my favorite Trek episode since Season 7 of DS9.

I keep making the same mistake. “Starship Mine” is the TNG episode with baryon sweep. “Starship Down,” is the “Disaster”-esque submarine movie.

How the hell was this episode like “Arena?” Just having the Gorn at all does not make it like “Arena.” If it’s like any episodes, it’s more like “Balance of Terror,” “Q Who,” and “Disaster.” It’s also only like TWOK if you consider any battle that takes place in a space cloud to be too derivative of TWOK. What about “Starship Down” or episodes which use tactics such as Kurn’s solar flare gambit, which was similar to what Crusher did in “Descent Part II?”

I guess you hated all the other outbreak episodes like “Genesis,” “Babel,” “Dramatis Personae,” “Fascination,” “Macrocosm,” “The Crossing,” “Second Contact,” etc?

The point of any episode is not whether or not it charts a new subgenre of Trek show. The point is what the story is trying to say about THESE characters. “The Naked Time” revealed that Spock’s stoic façade hides incredible insecurity and emotion. “Ghosts of Illyria” revealed Una’s identity as an Illyrian as well as M’Benga’s secret, and how both might lead to their discharge in the future, or how Una might be the first to start a century-long campaign to destigmatize the genetically enhanced and how M’Benga might save his daughter. Nothing like that happened in “The Naked Time.”

And this episode was a step in La’an’s journey in learning to mourn the loss of her family.

First, I do not care about La’an’s character at all. Only reason we care about La’an is because she has a connection to Khan, and we’re all waiting for her to grow crazy or have a She-hulk moment.

Secondly, (writer error on my part. I meant the opening was a re-telling of Arena) the opening concept is all Arena. They are drawn into a planet under the guise of doing one thing and then they are attacked. They do this to nod to the audience that this is in fact the Gorn.

And thirdly, as I mentioned in the comment above to AlphaPredator, I was fine with last week’s “homage” to Naked Time, because so many of the Trek series’ have them. What I do not like is the trend that has been started now. We are lifting content from previously developed material and calling it new, when its not. The show is called Strange New Worlds. I don’t want to see the Gorn. I want to see new alien worlds, entrants into the Federation, and antagonists.

I’m certainly not waiting for a she-Hulk moment.

I knew what you meant. The opening is not a retelling of “Arena.” A retelling of “Arena” would strike at the central theme of that episode, which was bridging the empathy gap between humans and Gorn. Just the fact that there was an attack on a colony does not at all make it any more like “Arena” than say…”Choose Your Pain” was like “Arena” since that also involved the rescue of a colony under attack.

You misunderstand me. In this case, im not talking about the entire episode concept. Im talking about the first 15 minutes of the episode in which the Enterprise is lured to Cestus 3 and are attacked by the Gorn. We literally re-tell that opening sequence. And yet many act as if this is brilliant writing. It’s not. It’s copy and paste.

I HEARD YOU LOUD AND CLEAR. If you complain about lifting one scene from Arena, then you’d have to complain every single time any colony gets rescued. There have been countless episodes that have featured individual scenes, and episodes that have centered around the rescue of colonies, such as ENT’s “Marauders” or TNG’s “Silicon Avatar.” If this episode copies “Arena’s” teaser, then so does that episode.

What’s next? Complaining every time there’s an episode where the shuttle crash lands?

You heard me. But did you understand me?

My problem with lifting a scene is that this show is advertising itself as something new and fresh that is done in the style of TOS. Not, let me pilfer pieces of Trek from the past to suit my needs.

There is a difference between literally pulling a section of a story to re-tell something we have already seen and a common story trope (like a shuttle or a bus or a car crashing) and having to figure your way out of it.

I feel similarly about La’an myself. So far her Khan connection is her only schtick and I just don’t care. Unless they do something more interesting with her the less we see of her the better.

Wow, based just on ep1, she was my only definite positive about the show outside of Mount. I think she delivered at the requisite level without falling into any feel of being too contemporary, which is a neat trick. Have no interest in the Khan end of it at all, but I think she will be a fine addition, based on my limited exposure.

She comes across a very one-note. Whether that’s because of performance, direction or writing is hard to tell (all three, probably). They’re setting her up as one of the first tier characters (only Spock, Pike and Number One have consistently had as much or more to do so far), so I hope we get to see more shading.

She’s actually sort of Yar with a Khan connection. And Yar was not a good character either.

I don’t expect La’an will grow crazy or have a She-hulk moment. The reason is that since Earth banned genetic engineering two centuries ago (relative to the SNW and TOS eras), the Noonian Singh family could no longer breed with people who were supermen/augments, or even cousins. By the family’s eighth generation after the ban, Khan would just be 1 out of their 256 ancestors. La’an and her generation would inherit at most 1/256 of Khan’s DNA.

And as it turns out, Number One was the one who had the She-hulk moment in “Ghosts of Illyria.”

Speaking of Illyria, I wonder if Denobula, a world that perfected genetic engineering, was also denied entry into the Federation.

Spock’s improvised troll detector beeped here.

The human mind is a connection machine, so finding similarities is what we do best. With more than 800 episodes in the franchise and 13 movies, it is unreasonable to expect every new episode to have no resemblance to something that came before. The test should be whether an episode was enjoyable and provocative, not whether it matches some naïve concept of originality.

What I DO find ironic about this situation is that by the time Enterprise came around, people were complaining they were taking a lot of similar plot threads and story lines from other shows and it was feeling too much like the other shows and not it’s own thing.

Cut to 17 years later with SNW and people are now excited over the fact it’s directly taking plot threads from other shows too. It does prove two things that A. everything old is new again and B. as time passes nostalgia gets stronger. They tried different approaches with Discovery and Picard but at the end of the day this type of Star Trek is what fans seem to like the most. It worked for over 30 years, but by the time we got to Enterprise fans had seen too much off it and was tired of it. But with a lot of time off they crave these types of stories again, me included!

Just can’t please everyone….it’s a fact of life. It does however seem that some ‘Trek fans seem to forget it is not the 60’s now.

Oh we know it’s not the 1960s. We just want good storytelling.

Reworking Trek tropes in a new context is good storytelling.

Just because they’re not completely novel crises doesn’t mean they aren’t good writing.

Voyager is standing up very well a generation after it aired. One of the things that many long-standing fans couldn’t see is that it reworked and retold some classic stories in the new context of a ship lost in the Delta Quadrant. In several cases, the Voyager take on these was superior to the TOS, TNG or DS9 versions, and it’s the freshness and quality of the execution of those tropes that made all the difference.

I mean, it’s not good storytelling. It’s sampling.

But Star Trek has been ‘sampling’ since TNG. It’s not exactly a first with SNW.

Who is this “we?” I personally thought this episode was fantastic. Yes it took certain familiar elements (elements not just associated with Star Trek, FWIW), but spun them in a new way.

So, we re-told Arena.

Or perhaps that’s just a common tactic the Gorn use to lure prey?

Who hurt you? I mean, if you can find that much to complain about with this episode…

Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Fuller, Akiva Goldsman 😂.

Not sure if you’re as old as some of us here (including myself who saw TOS in first run on television), MD31!, but you come across like the kind of fans who had fundraisers in the early 70s to pay for newspaper ads to try to stop NBC from broadcasting TAS, or who ran campaigns against TNG being made.

Yes, since Roddenberry left being the showrunner after season two of TOS, there’s always been a contingent like you who blames whoever is currently in charge of Trek (even when it was Roddenberry himself again) for ruining Star Trek.

It’s tiresome.

What’s even more tiresome is that you make every effort to come across as though you represent a majority.

As I recently said on another thread, while any particular comment may not reach the level of gatekeeping, as a whole it comes across that way.

Oh resorting the old gatekeeper insult are we? Really? This has nothing to do with gatekeeping. This has everything to do with good, original writing.

Just go watch the first two seasons of TOS on loop. From your comments, it’s obvious nothing else is “good” enough for you.

Gee, ever consider presenting support for your position instead of just sniping at dissenting viewpoints? Maybe YOU ought to be the one looking at some TOS, if not to develop an informed position but perhaps seep up some of what it tries to put out there, especially the Coon-driven ones.

I’m not familiar with 43!’s posting history, but just from this thread, I’d say you’re the one doing some rude gatekeeping. Trying to put him in a category of fan where it is only good if GR is in charge is pretty speculative, especially since the record shows GR didn’t even influence most of TOS s2 very heavily.

And your complaint about a ‘contingent’ that blames whoever the then-current powers-that-be are for the then-current failings of TREK is nonsensical … who the hell else would you blame?

I disagree with 43! and most of you about La’an (based on only seeing the first ep), so I’m not taking a side based just on like-minded thinking, either.

I don’t see an issue with call backs to past episodes. Every Trek show had retold or borrowed tropes in some form from the other series or movies. No Biggie.

Feel sorry for you man. Hate to be the person that can’t find joy in this show.

Fun episode. The Gorn were a misstep since “Arena” made it clear they were just defending their world from invasion. “Arena” was about how misconceptions and misunderstandings can make enemies out of people who could otherwise be friends. So SNW’s depiction of them is out of synch by a mile. Still, like I said, fun episode.

They are rewriting the Gorn, and i’m totally cool with that. Never liked them to begin with. Arena might be the most overrated episode in Trek history.

Are you the Ted actor from the BILL&TED movies? Because he is the only person I’ve ever heard seriously badrap ARENA in all these years.

I’ve never been a big fan of Arena either. It’s OK, but the Gorn stuff was lacking to say the least.

Interesting. Arena has always been one of my favorite episodes. To me the biggest mistake in it was how the Gorn were only able to hit one person in the landing party yet Kirk fired off one grenade and it wiped them out on the entire hillside. That was a trope used in TOS too many times, but I liked the show anyway.

I like the story but the fight scene with the Gorn looks and feels cheap. It doesn’t hold up today at all. I’m shocked it even held up in 1966.

But the beginning on the colony is great although I agree with you about how quickly Kirk disabled them.

It didn’t hold up in 1966. It felt like something out of Godzilla stomps the city.

LOL yeah, Godzilla. That’s a great example.

I actually think it does hold up. I suspect the main complaint is the fact that it’s obviously a guy in a suit. But what are you gonna do about that? The remaster project could have rotoscoped it with something better looking but that would have been expensive and really, what would it have added?

It’s not just being in a suit, the whole fight just comes off ridiculous. But I know you are a bigger TOS fan than I am, so OK. But if you show someone who is not a Star Trek fan, especially today, it would come off like a complete parody.

It has already been parodied. So it does have that going against it (or for it depending on how you look at it). It’s kinda like the KHAAAAN! scream. It’s been parodied left and right.

People complaining about it would have been added ;)

I am also someone who never really liked Arena.

While it has so many elements that are fundamental to Trek storytelling, as a whole I have always found it hard to take seriously. .

There were too many elements that came out of nowhere and where hyped to the max: Gorn threat to all the Federation, Mitchell as Kirk’s friend and colleague.

Seriously, at six years old, I found it hard to take a guy in a rubber suit seriously – and I was a kid who watched the after school monster movies.

That costume made it hard to take Arena seriously, and the Gary Mitchell god transformation was also over the top.

Rewatching as a middle grader and then a young adult, it seems clear (ripped shirt and all) that Arena was a vehicle to demonstrate to studio executives that Kirk could be an action hero personally saving the Federation, while the message of overcoming misunderstanding was slipped in.

Why this one just never worked for me, while the guy under a rug as the Horta in Devil in the Dark was riveting and deeply impressing, is a good question.

From where I’m coming from anything that SNW can do to make the Gorn less ridiculous and a meme of old sci-fi monsters would add value to Arena rather than diminish it in any way. For as much as we find Discovery exasperating with the unearned “save the galaxy” plot lines, Arena has the same problem.

The same benefits would come from anything in SNW that establishes some relationships with Gary Mitchell so he’s not just some guy that the main cast know but we don’t care about.

Interesting. As a child I loved the fact that they came across a non humanoid alien. The fact that it was obviously a guy in a suit didn’t phase me at all. Even knowing that as a child I was fully able to get past it. It was finally a different alien. I also like the Devil in the Dark for similar reasons.

I don’t mind fleshing out the Gorn and even making them look better. But according to the rules of the established Trek sandbox Arena was obviously the first encounter with the Gorn. Therefore if they are to be fleshed out a TOS prequel is absolutely the wrong place to do it. I was always hoping we would see a Gorn on Berman shows (my ears perked up when I heard Cestus III on DS9 and wondered what about the Gorn) and it could easily be addressed on Picard, too. That is the place to do it.

I remember watching it as a kid too, just in reruns at the time. And I thought even then it looked absolutely ridiculous. Kirk is fighting him as though it’s some challenge and not once does the Gorn actually hits him lol. The choreography and staging is just awful. If they were given actual weapons to fight with, Kirk would’ve killed him in less than a minute (which he’s given one in practically every similar scenario but not this one). That’s why it feels silly IMO.

And I’ll be honest, I have the same reaction watching the Mugato (or is it Gumato?) in Private Little War. Again, just not the greatest look, but it comes off better there than in Arena.

How they used the Horta was great IMO. It actually felt like a real alien at least.

It’s not a misstep. Enemies of the UFP always follow the same trajectory: a seemingly implacable foe that gradually learns to communicate with humans. This is a step toward “Arena,” showing how long it takes for humans to understand the Gorn and vice versa.

It’s a complete misstep. Everything in Arena indicated no one on the Enterprise had any idea the Gorn even existed. If the UFP were aware of them it is reasonable they would have kept tabs on them. Particuarlly with the nasty stories there seem to be in SNW and now, after this encounter. If Star Fleet doesn’t watch the Gorn after all that they are incompetent and do not deserve to survive. And since it is reasonable to they were being watched why of why would the Federation set up an outpost on Cestus III? Was it to intentionally provoke the Gorn? Why not tell the Star Ship heading out there about it? Using the Gorn on SNW just makes zero sense. But it’s something I have just learned to expect from Secret Hideout.

That article makes a lot of, as I said in another thread, mental gymnastics in a very weak attempt to make what SNW is doing coincides with what we saw in Arena. Their first argument is that it doesn’t specifically SAY it was the first contact with the Gorn. But that argument doesn’t fly because no one on screen mentions they are familiar with them. The one person we KNOW is (if SNW is taken as canon) is Spock. And he says nothing when the feed is provided on the viewscreen. One might think he would mention something about knowing about that alien.

The arguments made are pure guesswork with nothing to back them up. Only that it wasn’t specifically said this was the first Star Fleet Gorn encounter. The evidence that it is is overwhelming. Spock saying they know little about that part of the galaxy. Kirk’s unfamiliarity with the Gorn. If the Gorn were still seen as a myth 15 years after that event in the brown dwarf someone has a lot of explaining to do. And venturing into a section of space near where the Gorn are known to be one would think as captain he would familiarize himself with the area if he didn’t already know. They also mention previous attempts to use the Gorn and potential plans that never came to be. That’s a bad argument. In fact, Manny Coto loved the Gorn and wanted to get them on Enterprise but he knew he couldn’t and found a workaround with his MU episode.

And then there is the argument I have made over and over again that if the Gorn were known why would Star Fleet construct an outpost within their territory unless the goal was to provoke them?

Sorry Eric Cheung. It’s EXTREMELY clear cut.

I’m sorry I agree fully with ML31 on this. It really makes no sense on its head. I went and rewatched Arena today and yeah, it really clear no one had a clue what the Gorn were; especially the fact they supposedly just encountered them a few years back and people seem to forget that’s WHY you make ship’s logs. So that other ships can research if a previous crew came across a previous species, planet, etc before. Only in this case it was literally the same ship and crew who came across them before.

And we know the Gorn will be showing up in the future. One episode where they don’t see them doesn’t really hold water if they show up in other episodes. Now all that said, if you don’t care, that’s fine. But people have to at least admit they are altering canon. We’re just four episodes in and they are treading water pretty crazy already lol. Imagine what it will look like by episode 40.

Oh, I don’t think they are going to give two hoots about continuity and canon by ep 40, unless it ties in specifically with Kirk and Spock in a big way. There’s no way I can buy into any of this as a precursor to TOS, and that’s just on the basis of this gigantic devastating Klingon war in DSC s1.

Yeah I think by then, the show will probably just be doing its own thing from TOS basically. Since we know you can’t throw this show 930 years into the future you basically have to either accept it’s going to break canon or not. And I’m not shocked by it at all, I was predicting that months ago. I think that was obvious to most of us the day they announced a Khan descendant was going to be a member of the crew. I’m just surprised how quickly it’s being altered more than anything.

I mean yes, people can certainly split hairs to the tiniest degree on how the show is maintaining canon, but it still feels disingenuous. You can certainly try and argue your way around it, but there is NOTHING organic about how they are doing it either. I like having Samuel Kirk on the ship for example. It was a clever inclusion IMO. But nothing about it rings true to his appearance in TOS either. Same with T’Pring. Again none of it is the end of the world, but you can’t pretend it really fits either. At this point they are basically just retconing TOS if we’re only four episodes in and yet already have a handful of serious questionable canon issues.

Seeing what they have done so far, my guess by the time Kirk shows up, it’s going to just confirm the show is only following canon in the broadest sense but will ignore any of the specifics as they are clearly doing now.

I will repeat what I said before someone starts yelling at me. If you have no problem with that, completely, absolutely fine. It’s all just made up fiction. But you can’t blame others who DO have an issue with it; especially given how passionate hardcore fans are about it and they KNOW that!

And yes, it’s still ten times better than Discovery! ;)

Regarding Sam Kirk showing up… I do think it is pushing the envelope quite a bit but as much of a stretch as that is I can kinda sorta buy it. Nothing was really established that Sam wasn’t in the Service before his work on Denova. I think the presence of T’Pring earlier is probably about as far as I’m willing to stretch. There is no reason to not think they did not see each other as adults, I just wish they didn’t go there because it suddenly made the scene where Spock was staring at the photo of T’Pring as a child just a little creepy.

Using an alien that was unequivocally introduced to Star Fleet for the very first time on a TOS episode in SNW is just way too far of a stretch. They may as well have used the Borg for the episode. Same thing.

I am OK with stretching canon for smaller things like Sam Kirk. But using the Gorn just rips it apart. Someone needs to be in the room at Secret Hideout to remind the of these things and even more importantly, the writers and producers need to listen and adhere to it.

Like I said I am fine with having Sam Kirk there too, but it just doesn’t feel organic either WHEN compared to his appearance (although a very short one lol) in TOS. No one reacts to his death but Kirk because no one knows the guy including Spock. But with SNW, we now know they known him for years on the Enterprise. Spock has known Sam longer than he’s known Kirk. But it’s not a big deal since its not a huge conflict.

We agree about the Gorn too, but I’m OK with it. Mostly because I understand wanting to develop the species and they never been used outside of two episodes in the past so I can overlook it. But was it necessary to use them, not at all. I wish they just used a new species altogether. But it is what it is.

Someone suggested the Kzinti and I think that would have been an excellent choice. But a made up new one would work, too. I find it unfortunate that I am now expecting a lack of imagination or thought on most of these Secret Hideout efforts.

I was going mention the Kzinti myself.

Pardon me. By “going mention,” I meant, “going to mention.”

In any case, I noticed the Gorn ships in “Memento Mori” looked like Tholian ships. In fact, when I saw SNW’s season trailer, I thought the show would have an episode about Tholians.

Incidentally, I am reminded that “In a Mirror, Darkly,” the Tholians employed a Gorn as a slavemaster, so two species had interspecies relations, at least in the mirror universe.

I think you are right on this one, kmart. I honestly don’t think this group really cares about continuity or canon. They want their cake and to eat it, too in that they want to reboot the show and are essentially doing that but don’t want to say it’s an actual reboot because someone somewhere thinks that will turn off fans. Sure, there are some who would be irritated but I think most would be fine with a reboot. I know I would. Change things up however you like. It’s a reboot. You are free.

What’s unclear in Arena is why Kirk thinks the Gorn are getting ready for a what he thinks is a full invasion of the Federation if he doesn’t even know who they are. This is an unsolvable problem since he believes and acts like it was first contact.

If we want to jump through hoops, remember that Kirk is giving his log into the universal translator that the Metrons provided. He is leading us to believe he never met them and that they are trying to invade. Why would he tell the truth? Which part is he lying about?

I will give you that Kirk did make a large overstep in Logic with his assessment of the destruction of the outpost was a prelude to invasion. Spock even tried to convince him there were other possibilities but his mind was made up. It was a rare bad call from James T Kirk, I grant you. I think it was a rare time when he let his emption rule over his reason. He was angry at the sneak attack.

Regarding the device given by the Metrons, I don’t think he understood that his opponent would hear and understand everything he said. The Metrons were not clear on that when they said, “recording translating” device. He thought it was just to enable him to record his take on the events.

It’s right out of the writer’s bible that Kirk is quite capable of following his own path into error. You can see here and in ERRAND OF MERCY that Kirk can be quick to anger and then come round — in fact, ERRAND is maybe the only time where he seems to grow a bit, though I imagine people can shoot holes in that easily enough.

In rewatching eps recently, I’m reminded about how control and even tempered he seems to be early on … which makes these little rages carry a lot more weight than later on, when it doesn’t take as much to set him off.

I was rewatching season one a few months ago and I was a bit surprised to see how quick tempered Kirk was. But he usually dropped it quickly and apologized for it. It was a trait I had forgotten about.

Exactly, Trek in a Cafe.

Arena is being sold as though it’s a case of overhyped threat to the Federation (universe or galaxy) coming out of nowhere and only Kirk as the hero captain can personally save it.

But if it really is first contact without any prior encounters, where would the intelligence about the threat come from?

No, that’s not how it was being sold. Kirk made the mistake of deciding it was a prelude to invasion. It wasn’t. The Gorn made the same mistake when they saw the Federation established an outpost in their space. Both sides jumped to wrong conclusions and a war nearly was started because of it. Only the intervention of the Metrons stopped it. I think it was a good episode with a good moral.

That’s pretty close to my assessment as well. Were it not for using the Gorn the episode could have worked pretty good. The fact that they were using the Gorn was one of the things that just kept pulling me out of it.

This was a great episode. I refuse to pick nits. It was great.

I loved the short / subtle use of the JJ 2009 Trek music.

I loved that they used emotion (La’an’s fear and Pike encouraging her… La’an and Spock having mind-meld feels for each other’s siblings… Hemmer and Uhura… etc.) to advance and enhance the drama as opposed to the heavy handed emo use in DISCO.

I loved that they used duos all across the ship working science to solve problems.

I loved that there was not a lot of LOOOONNNNNGGGG speechifying and monologues.

I loved that I felt – at points – that I was watching a submarine battle in space (in the style of Hunt For Red October).

I actually felt like I was watching a really good / strong movie here. Loved it. Which means that this director and the writers did a great job.

Makes me want very much to see a straight Star Trek horror movie – NOW! Not a space shoot-em-up. I want Star Trek Horror. Get Sam Raimi on it.

Makes me also want to say they can now discard PICARD and DISCO. Why in the world did it take Secret Hideout this long to get Star Trek right? Is the formula that hard when you have decades of episodes that have done it right that can be used as models/templates?

In any case, this is good Star Trek… and I am digging it.


“Makes me also want to say they can now discard PICARD and DISCO.”

No, just no! Of course I prefer the episodic style of SNW by a longshot but that doesn’t make me hate DSC or PIC… Well, PIC was indeed suffering from muddled season arcs in S1+2 but I still believe they may have a winner in S3… And DSC? There is absolutely no reason DSC cannot become a 32nd century-based adventure show employing the same episodic formula seen on SNW… And I guess that’s exactly what will happen as of S5… DSC will finally be a show about adventure and DISCOVERY and become a great addition to the franchise in a different time frame…

Hi Garth,

If you put the SNW writers room and this ep’s director on PIC and DISCO, then there is hope for both. And I would not mind if that happened.

But as those two shows are now, you might need to have Pike give me a speech about having hope for a better future. Without a change of writers, those shows are just poor.

But I respect your feels for those shows. They work for you. So I will stand corrected in my request to discard them. “More for Garth, please!”

Thanks Garth.

Agree with you here. I don’t watch DSC, and PIC has its flaws but I enjoy it. The real beauty of Trek now is that they’re all different kinds of shows for different audiences.

Still wondering if they’ll ever attempt to do a show in the ’90s style: flat lighting, bland cinematography, just to appeal to the people who are not satisfied by anything else.

For me SNW feels exactly like old Star Trek, from TOS to ENT. The difference is every era you have different and more advanced filming techniques but the heart of the shows and stories are 100% the same in SNW as they are classic Star Trek. It seems to be a big reason old fans are loving it so far.

And I do agree, it’s great to have a variety of different shows. And I don’t think people who have problem with DIS and PIC is because they are ‘different’, they just don’t seem to tell strong stories in their formats. The irony about DIS and PIC to me is that it’s mostly the more standalone stories that are the strongest which tells me Star Trek just does better in episodic format; at least with the writers they have now.

Why did it take so long?

As a fan paying attention to showrunners, it’s because the guys running the franchise in the 90s ran out of ideas and imagination about how to carry the model forward.

Ronald D Moore, Joe Menosky, Rene Echevarria and others have gone on to make other great television, but the franchise needed fresh writers.

All their rationalizations that Voyager had made going into the future impossible because technology became like magic have been more than refuted by, at this point, four different series that do exactly that, not to mention a well loved Relaunch Litverse.

The JJ Abrams movies bought into their logic while stepping around the issue by rebooting TOS.

So, Secret Hideout was cobbled by this narrative that Trek couldn’t go further forward, and by corporate expectations of streaming and serialized peak television.

I suspect that we all owe a lot of thanks to Akiva Goldsman who championed bringing Pike into the prequels, and gave the fans the chance to prove to the suits that there was really a market for a show like this.

“All their rationalizations that Voyager had made going into the future impossible because technology became like magic have been more than refuted by, at this point, four different series that do exactly that, not to mention a well loved Relaunch Litverse.”

This was always one of the silliest arguments I have ever heard when other fans said this why you can’t go forward anymore. Even though Star Trek is about the future and crazy technology, I guess you can only imagine it up to a certain point as if anything past the 24th century will be too hard to believe or something. Or that technology would come off too ‘magical’ or advanced.

Only to get more 23rd century Star Trek again like the Kelvin movies and Discovery that uses magical tech like magic blood, personal transporters that can now beam you halfway across the galaxy or spore drives that can teleport a ship anywhere in the galaxy in literally seconds. This stuff was more advanced than anything we saw in the 24th century lol. Ironically all of that stuff would’ve made more sense in a post-Nemesis era. It proves over and over again that A. Star Trek isn’t real and they will come up with any and every crazy idea if it serves the plot and B. writers actually want to create new things and reason why going forward makes more sense so it won’t feel totally out of place when they do. Star Trek isn’t a documentary of our future, it’s a crazy trippy sci fi show with crazy trippy sci fi technology. Some people argue the technology in Discovery in the 32nd century is actually too conservative, which I also agree with, but fine with too. But every ship should’ve had spore drives by that century.

Just because fans couldn’t imagine stories or tech beyond Voyager certainly didn’t mean actual writers couldn’t. And they have proved it four times now. And one of the things about Lower Decks is that it’s very conservative with new tech. It’s probably the only show so far that hasn’t introduced anything really new. It keeps to what’s been presented in all the former shows which also prove you don’t HAVE to invent new tech all the time either.

I wouldn’t mind if Strange New Worlds showed the Gorn to the audience and not to the crew of the Enterprise the same way that Enterprise did with the Romulans in season four.

Yep. I’m also fine with them never showing them at all.

I’d be cool wi the that too.

I also think that if we were to see a different race, or even life stage of Gorn then Kirk’s log entry saying he’s relying on the Metron’s report to identify them would be credible.

What I mean is if another species says to Enterprise, this is a Gorn and this is what you need to do, and he doesn’t have a physical or technological marker that lines up with the sketchy prior reports in the Starfleet database, he’s not going to report that it is a Gorn, but rather that it’s reported to a Gorn.

If say, the SNW crew were to find a dead body of an older Gorn with multicoloured pigmentation and a crest of feathers, some technology or even just file their passive sensor data on the ships from this episode, Kirk would not be able to say that they had identified a Gorn in Arena.

It is indeed interesting that he used the term “Body English” to describe the shows relationship with established canon. If you go back into the history of the franchise you can argue that the shows and films have always “tweaked or modified” canon. It is nothing new.

When I think about the original series, I think about Marvel comics and how they established that although the adventures of the Fantastic Four are depicted as having taken place in the 60s, those stories have been reinterpreted on occasion with a more modern spin. I think Strange New Worlds is headed in that direction especially as it relates to the original series. You don’t have to upend the original series to do tell great stories. Robert April showed up on camera as a Black man. Not only was it awesome but it shook the canon. T’Pring and Spock had a relationship prior to Amok Time. Look at the Klingon War on Discovery.

Wait until Lt. Kirk shows up.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with pushing the envelope on canon. The original series was on for three years but it has been established that Kirk and Spock had two five year missions. There is a lot of room in that sandbox to play.

I suspect when it is all said and done, a lot of things will be classified by Starfleet including the Khan lineage.

I love Strange New Worlds. It is amazing.

Plus it’s not like there weren’t contradictions to canon within any of the earlier shows. Just look at the changes that took place to Trek canon from the 1960s, through the movies and all the way up to the end of Voy. At the end of the day canon has always been whatever the writers wanted it to be in that particular moment.

There is something to that. But for the most part the biggest offenders of this seem to be the Secret Hideout people. They change things up so often it’s become hard to keep track of what is canon in the new shows anymore.

Which again just means that all these new shows ought to just be considered reboots.

I agree with the concept of pushing the envelope of canon. But some things just break that envelope. Using the Gorn is one of them. Someone needs to be hired at Secret Hideout to remind them.

And again, it’s super irritating because the exact same episode and La’an background could be told had they used an alien that was not established to be unknown until Kirk & Co encountered them. Or if they aren’t that knowledgeable of Trek aliens (which looks to be the case) then make up a new one.

This was a great episode and the show keeps getting better. Was glad that they did not show the Gorn and kept them a mystery. Like you said it reminds me of Balance of Terror from TOS.

Wow, this was extraordinary. In the vein of Balance of Terror and Starship Down, SNW delivers a fast paced, absolutely riveting submarine-style battle with great character development. Let’s look at this episode piece by piece:

The episode opens with a time-honored Trek tradition: bringing lifesaving supplies to a colony under attack. The crew rescue a ship full of survivors, only to discover it was a trap laid out by the Gorn! What follows is a thrilling cat and mouse chase through a brown dwarf and a black hole. 

Here, the narrative splits to follow several different stories. Uhura is shadowing Hemmer, and they find themselves trapped and tasked with preventing an atmospheric recycling machine from blowing up the ship. We get some truly great character development. I absolutely loved how Uhura said engineering is a lot like linguistics: it’s getting unrelated systems to talk to each other. Hemmer is injured in the attack, and has to talk Uhura through how to fix the machine. It’s wonderful to see her gradually gain confidence through the episode, and Hemmer’s snark was a delight. I love that he is a pacifist. It says so much about SNW’s vision of the Federation that a pacifist is in charge of getting the Enterprise where it needs to go.

Next up, we have Una, who has been badly injured and is being treated in Sickbay. While this was interesting, I’m a bit annoyed that this show keeps relegating this amazing character and actress to the sidelines. 

Next, we have La’an and Spock. As I’ve said before, I have been deeply skeptical of La’an and having a (distant) relative of Khan on this show. It feels like a mistake. However, even though I’m still skeptical, this episode did a great job. I really enjoyed the interaction between La’an and Spock, and the mind-meld was done really well. 

Finally, we have Pike. This show keeps demonstrating over and over just how amazing an actor Mount is. You could understand the entire episode just through Pike’s facial expressions. Pike shows incredible leadership here, and every death clearly impacts him heavily. Just amazing acting. 

The crew manage to save the Enterprise through some nifty science, and we get really great character development. Four episodes in, SNW continues to shine. I am in love with this show. 

One last note: I get that SNW is playing a little fast and loose with canon here, but frankly I don’t care. As long as the show tells good stories and doesn’t go too crazy, it doesn’t matter. After all, it’s been 50 years since we had a Gorn episode, and we were long overdue. 


I find the lack of Una, as Number One, to be the weakest part of the show. Her main episode last week felt like a dip in the water compared to the other characters. It doesn’t help that La’An has gotten more in depth stories as the first officer. Not that I have anything against the character or the actress. Just that the show seems to consider them interchangeable in a way that doesn’t entirely make sense to me. I think it’s because they have been written with fairly similar backgrounds. Both have ties to genetic engineering, both have Starfleet as their family and they have traumatic pasts. It’s strange why the creative staff chose to create such similar characters. Not only that but they haven’t given us a great deal to distinguish them on screen.

I also wonder if they are struggling to write her because they have Spock? In Short Trek that seemed less of a hinderance and more of two kindred spirits connecting. In the show however that relationship almost seems forgotten. It’s like having one logical character is too much for the writers. I hope that’s not the case and going forward we are going to get a lot more development for her. After all they do appear to be setting up some important storylines for her. The secret surrounding M’Benga’s daughter being one of the more notable ones. I am also interested in the Illyrian people. So they do have some good stuff to work with but their just not producing it so far. In time that may change.

This weeks episode was really good i enjoyed it.

I found it to be the strongest of the season but to be honest while the first episode was strong the 2nd/3rd episodes while good where not as enjoyable imo.

The Gorn remind me of the Magog from the TV series Andromeda with how they use other lifeforms to feed their young/as breeding sacks.

The episode reminded me of the TOS episode Balance of Terror and the Discovery episode Into the Forest I Go.

Which is not a surprise since SNW is a hybrid of TOS and Discovery.

I loved seeing the memorial pins especially the one of Discovery that Pike had. It goes to show how important the crew of Discovery is to him(and how important Michael is to Spock).

Pike did say the crew of Discovery were his family so not surprised he wanted to honor them.

I like the character of La’an she reminded again of Michael Burnham and I’m glad she does.

Michael Burnham is one of the strongest female characters in all of Star Trek and I’m hoping La’an goes the same direction.

I loved how she made her opinion know to Pike and wasn’t afraid to confront her captain with her feelings(we need more of this in Star Trek and Discovery is the perfect example how to do it perfectly.

Great review, Anthony, thank you – and I LOVED this – “…with only stone knives and bearskins scalpels and sutures.”

Good episode. As I’ve said in earlier postings, I’m just going to do my best to ignore any canon “Gene Kelly moments” (dancing between raindrops) in SNW as much as I can, but as others have said, there is no reason this species had to be the Gorn. Enough said. It’s a prequel. These things have already, and will keep happening. I’m in the alternate reality camp. It’s just easier.

One thing, though, and this goes back to the prequel problem, I’ll call it – we know the Enterprise will survive. We know Uhura won’t be killed in Engineering. Again, since it’s a prequel we know things will turn out fine for legacy characters and the ship. Stakes…lowered. And every time they throw pieces of Discovery (which I consider the worst Trek show ever) in there it takes me out of the story. Thankfully, they’re brief.

I love Anson Mount’s work on this show thus far, very strong leader and role model, excellent captain.

Also, shout-out to the “red alert” banners on the main screen – a nice callback to WOK.

Looking forward to next week. This show is well worth the watch so far.

We don’t know Hemmer or Number One will survive. We don’t know this Riley will survive. We don’t know Uhura isn’t terribly hurt and needs weeks and months of rehabilitation.

But also: the characters themselves have no idea. So far I’m in it for them.

Imagine if social media had existed in 1990. “Yesterday’s Enterprise!? Yeah no kidding, they just retold City On the Edge of Forever. Way to kill Star Trek!”

How are those two episodes the same?? Other than time travel being used, they are completely different stories.

While not what we think of today as Social Media, there was an online community of Trek fans in the ’80s and ’90s on such systems as CompuServe. There were ‘fans’ complaining that TNG wasn’t “real Star Trek” because it wasn’t Kirk and Spock, for example.

There were fans complaining in the seventies in newspaper ads, mimeographed fanzines, and at the early cons.

But I agree, the early bulletin boards were fierce and scathing. The fact that Voyager, and particularly Janeway have had such enduring success is a good measure how completely wrong the complainers were about what the Star Trek audience of the future would value.

I loved this episode. Q: could M’Benga use his now “mixed” blood from Una to cure his daughter?

The new Khan superblood!

I just don’t think they would have that happen “by accident.”

That is a bit different; Khan’s magic blood literally brought people back from the dead lol. I still have no idea what they were thinking with that.

This would just be an experimental procedure like we do in today’s science and medicine.

One more thing:

Huge shout out to Pike’s hair.

His tall hair startled me in Ep 1. But it has now grown on me.

Pike’s hair truly needs its own billing in the show.

I can’t count the times I felt myself in awe of that man’s hair in this ep. It retained its majestic presence and style even under red alert and rising internal temps.

Love it!

I think it would be funny to use VFX on an ice bucket challenge with Mount, so he starts with this sillyass Christopher Walken hair, then is obliterated by a ton of water to reveal his HELL ON WHEELS self.

Superb episode not only for the visual spectacle, but because once again they wove a great story for each character. The time they’ve invested into each crew-member is already paying dividends in episodes like this. This series is absolutely nailing it…so far. But I can’t help but feel shell-shocked after Pic S2. Admittedly another familiar Star Trek story, but I’m good with that because I’m into it for the characters and visual spectacle. And I LOVE problem solving in Star Trek, intelligent professionals getting work done with believable science.

I never cared for the Gorn, but this story was tense and made them a very compelling adversary for the first time which is often a hard thing to do on Star Trek. It’s probably a good thing we never see the Gorn, but it also has to be very unsatisfying for new viewers to be denied a look at them. As for Canon, they are barely threading that needle, but I just hope they don’t spend too much time trying to explain it because the cure is often worse than the disease.

The only quibbles I’ll make is that some of the editing was odd, as if shots or FX were cut out which made some moments unclear. For example Una’s injury isn’t really seen on-screen so her reaction shots are a little confusing at first. The other thing is that we don’t see the Gorn ship destroyed by the torpedo, we’re only told the target disappears. I thought they actually missed the target and the ship would re-emerge (which is exactly what I thought happened when the new radar image appeared). Some of the reaction shots should have been tighter and edited down a bit, I noticed that was an issue in this episode for some reason (but I am a video editor so that’s likely a me thing).

Some of it could have been dialled back from 11, but overall, a decent episode. Better than #3 for sure.

I think this episode again showed us what an asset Anson Mount is to the show and how he is making the other actors stand out as well. Also in Spock’s mindmeld scene here I was so reminded of the elegance and grace and poise of Nimoy, so hats off to Peck as well. Overall a solid episode and it was high time Trek got another “submarine” episode. The canon violations were not as bad as I first thought they would be and I could live with them. But please let Rebecca Romijn do more work. She was great last week and its kind of sad they sidelined her for 2 episodes out of 4. I also realized something interesting, if you actually watch the show silent you can still understand all the emotions and everything going on in Pike’s mind, that is how good of an actor Mount is.

I don’t see a problem with the Gorn. If I remember correctly, the Gorn did a sneak attack on the colony and lured the Enterprise command crew to the planet with a fake transmission. The invasion theme implied that this was not a first contact situation. The only problem is Spock and Uhura not being aware of them.

I think maybe they were not identified as the Gorn initially, and neither Spock or Uhura knew what they looked like?

But if Star Fleet were aware of the Gorn they would have kept tabs on them. They would have been aware that the Gorn expanded into territory that included Cestus III. Yet they built an outpost there anyway. They must have known it would get attacked. What was the goal?

keeping tabs? well, space is big, really really big. cant keep tabs on everything. also meeting in space by chance as depicted often in media is highly unlikely.
of course there is fictional subspace/hyperspace, so lightbarrier for information poses no problem. that makes it fiction. remember how the stone bounced of kirk? do i now accept this as a blunder in production or do i gather, that stones on that planet are less dense than the stones were accustomed to?
As long as anybody enjoys nitpicking and deconstructing go ahead, but it remains fiction and entertainment. could be wild gorn or gorn adjacent less civilized gorn or whatever, or theyre talking about a totally different reptilian species called goorn. if you need an explanation, make one up, but dont expect any fictional account to conform to ones own expectations.

Yes. Keeping tabs. If there were an agressor species that has carried out multiple attacks on UFP citizens and now a Star Fleet vessel, then yes by all means you try and figure them out. You actively look for them. When you find them you watch them or try and make contact. You don’t just leave them alone because ‘space is too big so we are giving up finding them. We’ll just wait for them to attack and kill us again.’

True it is fiction but when one creates a world there are rules. You don’t say “This gun is able to fire a round through 1 foot of concrete” and then later say “This gun can fire through 2 feet of concrete”. When you play in the that sandbox you need to follow the established rules unless the creators specifically say it’s a new and different take on the franchise. Which we have been told by TPTB this is not even though everything we have seen on screen suggests it is.

It absolutely was a first contact. Everything in the episode screamed it. The Federation built an outpost in Gorn space. If we knew they existed that wouldn’t have happened unless the goal was provocation. With Gorn knowledge on SNW the events of Arena make no sense whatsoever now. As you said, Spock absolutely would have been aware. Even more so after his mindmeld. If La’an actually saw one (as it is implied she has) then Spock would know what they looked like and instantly recognized the Gorn when seen on the viewscreen.

It was yet another poor creative choice from TPTB for nu-Trek.

Was absolutely not first contact. In TOS nobody knew what the Gorn looked like. The Federation could have easily not known that they built an outpost in Gorn territory. The Gorn determine where the territory is and they don’t have to tell the federation anything. Try reading the article that was posted about that. Obviously you’re not a true Trek fan and don’t know the history, nor do you have the ability to think outside the little TOS box you’re in.

It absolutely was. All you said about the events in TOS was true ONLY if the Gorn related events on SNW never happened. No one on TOS knew about the Gorn, including what they looked like until the Metrons interfered. If the events of SNW are to be believed the everyone on TOS would know about the Gorn already. This was obviously NOT the case if you watch the show. IF one takes the SNW Gorn events into consideration then pretty sure that by a decade later a lot would be known about the Gorn. They would be looked for. Likely found. Watched. Even probably contacted so they would work out some sort of agreement. They certainly wouldn’t have ignored them completely and pretended they never existed.

I read that article. It’s only real argument was that no one actually SAID this was a first contact. Yet all the actions and even lines in the script indicate no one knew about them in any way shape or form.

As someone else here said, if you don’t care about continuity or canon then good for you. There are people who don’t care if all of Trek rules get blown up. But it is illogical and ridiculous to think that what SNW did with the Gorn fits in with the events of Arena.

Please lose the gatekeeping attitude. There’s no room for it in these threads.

Hopefully, that’s the worst this show gets. There are certainly worse episodes of Star Trek produced, and this one had some decent individual moments divorced from context, but it all felt like “AND THEN-AND THEN-AND THEN” melodrama and pointless action in service of padding out a very thin two-beat story involving La’an’s trauma drama, the latest fad in lazy TV writing.

Some fans may not be able to follow along with the canon twists the show is taking,

Therefore, it is only logical to treat this show as a reboot of The Original Series. That gives all viewers a better chance of engaging with the show on its own terms rather than our preconceived notions and understanding of the universe.

Anyway, at the end of the day, Spock’s mind meld *did* serve as a shortcut to “fixing,” La’an, no matter what the writers might want us to believe. And it was pretty goofy for her trauma to actually hold the secret to figuring out the Gorn’s morse code. At least, to me it was. Her demanding Spock give her a mind meld, too, just seemed pretty anti-dramatic and instead of spending time with Uhura and Hemmer, they might’ve worked on figuring out a way to make that moment happen more organically. It might’ve also been a better ending on La’an’s arc in this episode if she had gone back to the little girl in the teaser and helped her on her path to recovery. (Unless — maybe she died in the initial attack? Now I can’t remember).

The show hasn’t made it seem like Pike is a good captain, either. He’s more of an encouraging parent whose patience during a crisis to endure his command crew’s doubts and outbursts feels more like a liability than exemplary leadership. Oh well. Like the Treks of yore, not every episode can be a winner, and as much as I didn’t like this one, it was still MUCH better than virtually any episode of the other shows that I’ve seen to this point. Having a beginning, middle, and end in a single hour really does wonders for the Trek format.

Mostly agree. Even with all the flaws, and this show and episode has its share, this was easily one of the better episodes Secret Hideout has made.

I think you make an interesting point about Pike’s style of captaincy. They need to find that thin line between being too authoritative and too rewarding and thats not easy to do. On the one hand if they go too authoritative you end with a character like Lorca who was basically a dictator on the ship but on the other hand if you make the character too rewarding of the crews outbursts you make the character weak. I think in the first couple of episodes they found a nice balance but here yeah maybe Pike could have been a bit more authoritative but he was gonna try to talk with the Gorn which probably was gonna be a huge mistake that Laan recognized. Believe me as a teacher I always try to assess this same situation for me as well because we also need to find that right balance between authoritative and rewarding and its not always easy.

I think Kirk is perfect at walking that line between being more authoritative than Pike while not being a dictator.

Agreed, Kirk was definitely a good example.

I love the show and I think on some level it is a “soft reboot” of the original series. It doesn’t negate or purge the timeline. It builds around it and adds to it. If Star Wars can do it without erasing the original trilogy, then Star Trek can do it without wiping out the original series. This show does take place in the “Prime” universe. I wish that the writers would just say that its a soft reboot and get it over with. You want to appeal to new fans and appease old ones. You made Robert April a Black man thus negating the canon status of the animated series. A move I love btw.

I think that this show will eventually lead to a new series set around the Original series adding depth and nuance. All the Star Trek shows have taken liberty with the “canon” established on previous shows.

If I were the writers I would argue that the Temporal Cold War on Enterprise shifted or altered areas of the Timeline. I would use that and every Temporal incursion as the rationale. I can’t wait to see how they explain this Khan connection. If Lian shows despotic tendencies, how will Pike handle that? Will the Khan family be classified like Burnham? What about Section 31?

If Anthony does an interview with the Akiva and Alex, I hope he asks them about the idea that it is a “Soft Reboot’. It has to be which I am cool with.

Uggh, the ranks are really getting irritating for an otherwise amazing episode. Hemmer wears the stripes of a Commander, but has been called Chief and Lieutenant now. Singh and Ortegas wear Lt.Commanders stripes but always get called Lieutenant. Spock also gets called a Lieutenant? Chapel is a Commander? The nurses are all Lt.Commanders?

Chief in Hemmer’s case has always been a title. Was it weird when Geordi would get called chief engineer, even though he was lieutenant commander?

And I think Spock is indeed a Lieutenant at this stage.

Spock is wearing Lt. Commander’s stripes

If so then that is a visual mistake. Or was Spock a Lt Cmdr on The Cage? Even so, it stands to reason that he has not achieved his Cmdr rank yet.

I think on the cage, everyone just has one stripe, so its tough to say. On SNW, almost no one gets called by their correct rank except Pike.

In this episode, Uhura called Hemmer “Lieutenant” at least once, and La’an called Number One “Commander” at least once, which would be correct (you address a Lieutenant Commander as “Commander” in everyday usage.)

OK. Fair enough. But to me this is a very small issue and if the Gorn thing wasn’t staring us all in the face this would be a mere nitpick from my point of view.

True, its a minor annoyance to an otherwise great show and or other concerns. The rank think is however consistently wrong very single episode, so the annoyance builds up.

Chief Engineer is a position, not a title. Geordi was never addressed as Chief. O’brian was, and his rank was indeed some sort of Chief Petty Officer. Doesnt explain why Hemmer was addressed as Lt. as well. Una was called a chief by Singh last episode also, and the computer screen listed her as a Lt.Commander when she wears Commander’s stripes. The mistakes are all over the map with ranks.

It’s possible that this episode even sets up “Arena,” giving a revenge motive for why the Gorn lured the USS Enterprise to Cestus III.”

Dancing between the raindrops of canon indeed. It’s clearly stated by the Gorn what their motivation was in Arena. The colony on Cestus III was seen as an invasion of their space.

Correct. Arena made it clear as day the Gorn were reacting to a base being set up in THEIR territory. They may be a hunter species but in Arena they were defending themselves. Which was a part of the story. Both the Gorn and Kirk made misplaced assumptions about what was happening and it lead to a potential fight the Metrons pushed themselves into. A good moral that still works today about where misplaced or quick assumptions can lead us.

right, I understand it was an authorial editorial statement. I included what happened in Arena to demonstrate that it’s a bad editorial ;) (in an otherwise good review of a good episode :D )

Another okay Episode but as with the others again an extremely unoriginal one. You could probably list the the Star Trek Episodes that did this episodes elements before and better. Or even other SciFi shows since they pretty much turned the Gorn into Stargate Atlantis’ Wraith.

Again it’s not bad per se. Especially when compared to the almost insultingly stupid Discovery and Picard, but there seems to be no substance here. None of the writers have anything more to say than what they’re telling on the most shallow of surface levels.

In a way it reminds me a lot of the Orvilles first season, that also leaned way to heavily on Stories already done by Trek. But McFarlane managed (for the most part) to thematically update what’s told and not just give it a – admittedly pretty – fresh coat of paint and some dark backstories so that you don’t have to write actual character development.

Again. It’s fine. And it’s a first season. At least there is potential here. But Paramount desperately needs to hire some actual SciFi writers or at least option some spec scripts or old novels.

Definitely agree with you about spec scripts and sci-fi writers. Wasn’t there a rule about episodic tv needing to have some spec scripts?

Yes, I’m not sure about the recently finalized WGA contract, but the previous one required episodic scripted series to have a minimum proportion of scripts per season from freelance writers.

If one does ones best to ignore the canon violations the episode on it’s own independent of any Trek that came before stands up. I am not a huge stickler to canon. I do believe a little wiggle room is OK. But some things are truly set in stone and ought not be screwed with. Making these aliens Gorn is one of them. It was yet another BAD creative choice. And honestly there are a host of other Trek aliens that would not be violating canon they could use and still have the same episode. Hell, with a few tweaks here and there they easily could have used Klingons.

There are a couple other things that took me out of the episode as well but I think I’ll leave those for later.

For the record, even though I was against including her in the cast I find myself liking Uhura. She feels very much like a younger version of who Nichelle played. That decision is working out. On the flip side, I find myself becoming more and more annoyed with Ortegas and Chapel. Ortegas I guess just rubs me the wrong way. Nothing wrong with that. Not every character works for everyone. Even on DS9 there was a character I never really cared for. Chapel irks me because she is a complete reboot of the Chapel character we saw on TOS. Again, that’s fine. IF TPTB said this was a reboot. If they want a character like that then she ought not have been Chapel. It’s just another bad decision.

Hemmer question… Will his antenna ever move? If I recall the Aenar on Enterprise moved their antenna just like Shran and the rest of the Andorians. I thought the concept of antenna movement depicting emotion was brilliant.

Our household is still holding out hope for animatronic antennae.

When I told my spouse that I was looking forward to this week’s episode (because Myers said it would have submarine suspense), they interjected that the most important thing they wanted to know was “Will Hemmer’s antenna move?”

I’m surprised that the current EPs and production designers on Discovery and SNW weren’t as taken by the impact of animatronic antenna in Enterprise as so many fans were.

As far as canon is concerned, let’s face it, we’re talking about a 55 year history. It’s quite possible/probable that some writers just don’t know the intricate details of everything that happened in every episode throughout the years… And not everyone cares anyway, especially the newer fans who may have no idea about who knew the Gorn or when they were first encountered. Even among Trekkies only some will know and a lesser minority will even care, imho…

You want to talk about canon violations or discrepancies? What about the Enterprise (or Regula 1 station) transporter console in TWOK that was a Klingon console taken straight out of the battle cruisers in TMP. It was in-your-face flagrant and made no sense, but they did that because of the extra-low budget of TWOK and they had to reuse components. Sometimes fantasy takes a back seat to the needs imposed by real world constraints. One of these constraints can be writers who don’t know or producers who don’t care.

Puh-lese… Set decorations aren’t canon violations. The wall in SFS was made up of the plastic holding things that come in model kits. They were chosen because they look good and it doesn’t contradict people or events that came before it.

If this group wanted to use the Gorn, it’s not that hard to go to the ONE episode where they appear in the Prime Universe and watch it to make sure they followed what was established. They would see that they could not use the Gorn and they would be forced to use a different alien or make one up. If that is just too hard for this group they are in the wrong profession.

Just take it easy, you’ll give yourself an ulcer.

Thank you Dr Silvereyes. I will give that all the consideration it is due.


They can use the Gorn, they just can’t have any Starfleet characters present.

I suppose if they want to do a entirely Gorn episode with no one from the cast.

But if they really want to use the Gorn the obvious place to use them is in Picard. Then we can see what became of relations with them over the next 100 years.

Time to beat the dead horse yet again but this is why it’s usually easier to go forward than backward IF you can’t just tell new stories without using elements that clearly doesn’t belong in a prequel setting.

For the record, I’m not really bothered with them using the Gorn. They aren’t really part of TOS outside of an episode and I can understand the appeal of using them of course. But same time, if you really wanted to use them, you have more appropriate time periods to use them in now. Thinking about it, I’m pretty curious what the Gorn would be like in the 32nd century lol. And we know they exist there because Book mentioned them in the first episode of season 3. So there are definitely other avenues.

I just don’t understand you want to do a prequel show but then you want to rewrite the time period, so why bother making it a prequel? Of course there is another alternative to actually have your cake and eating it too which we have said hundreds of times now and just call it a reboot. That solves every problem and you can now bring in the Borg to fight Pike and the Enterprise if you want and no one can whine about it. Hell, in a reboot, the Gorn and the Borg can even have an alliance! ;D

I’ve used that phrase before myself about cake. It’s as if Secret Hideout really wanted to reboot the entire franchise but someone somewhere told them no way, fans will have a sh!tfit if they do. So they do the changes they want anyway, tell the fans it’s the prime universe, and fans still have a sh!tfit because it is blatantly ignoring canon when they were told it was prime. The obvious way out of this is to just have called it a reboot and be done with it. Sure, some fans would still moan and groan but I think most wouldn’t and would be willing to give the new take a chance.

But as you said, that ship has long since sailed.

It’s obvious you’re not a true Star Trek fan.

Gatekeeping much? Who the hell are you to say what constitutes a “true” fan?

And it’s obvious you are being a troll. Someone having a different opinion than you doesn’t make them not a true fan. And this IS gate keeping and it’s 100% against the rules here, so stop it!

Ignorance as a defense. Interesting. Alternatively: they’re trying to have it both ways (maybe bringing in new fans without losing the core audience they need to stay on the platform) by not calling this a reboot. Just call it a reboot. It’ll make everyone’s lives easier.

Or, they can just not call it a reboot, and canonistas can find better things to obsess over.

Agreed. They should’ve done it with Discovery and that show could’ve stayed right where it was from the beginning too.

If they called this a reboot – yes, some people would be like ‘wait…now there are three universes!? (Prime, Kelvin, and this) – and, having Picard running around in the Prime Timeline and having Disco and SNW spinning off it’s own universe might be weird to people. If they could do it over again, they may have done Picard first, wrap up the Prime Timeline with something like Q declaring the trial over and it’s a loss for the defense and *poof* Prime Timeline is gone. Then we start over with Disco and call it a universe reboot and here we go. But, that’s not where we are soo…

But yes, just admiting it’s a reboot, and not this milquetoast is it / isn’t it thing would be so much better. other than the canon stuff, this thing is darn near perfect

Really enjoyed this! But at the end when that rando red-shirt bridge officer guy looked like he was having thee most intense orgasm of his life when Uhura finally said they were still alive in the cargo bay it TOOK ME OUT.

I have not laughed liked that in a very, very long time. O dear, I’m thinking of it again and chuckling away. So bizarre, so cringe, so funny.

Now this is more like it! I have been enjoying the show so far, and so far this episode up to this point is my favorite for all the obvious reasons. I will also say that so far, out of ANY of the new shows (with maybe a slight exception to Lower Decks), this one was the most Trek like, even classic Trek! They have fully proven that they can make an episode that is on par with TOS, now we will see if they can improve and continue the formula.

Reminds me of the DS9 episode Starship Down. Mixed with Year of Hell and Wrath of Khan

SNW is like a breath f fresh air.
You know the guy (gal, whaever) who lives with a strict vegan…it’s healthy but bland food, he breaks up and can finaly have a burguer. It just tastes so good.

Nutrek has been the vegan diet, but SNW is that greasiest, cheesiet full-of-mayonaise burguer you are thinking of right now.

I can’t wait for next week. I haven’t said that in a long time from a ST show.

Yep SNW is basically comfort food. I been describing it that way since episode 2.

Wearing a pin for a ship you know isn’t actually gone is…well, taking things a bit far at least.

They have to keep up with the pretenses. ;)

It is gone as far as he’s concerned.

Wearing the pin is acknowledging a sacrifice.

It’s still appropriate even knowing that Michael and the red angel suit made it to the future.

Vulcans sweat?

Not usually.


The dog! The dog! My head cannon is that it was beamed up off camera.

This show gets better each week. Finally, a Star Trek series that isn’t taking 3 or 4 seasons to find its footing. I can’t wait for the next episode.

Loved the episode. This show is great.

FANTASTIC episode! Easily my favorite so far and I watched it twice!

I seen many already say this, but it does grab elements from other Star Trek episodes like Disaster, Starship Down and Balance of Terror. In fact I rewatched Starshiip Down right after I watched this episode. You know an episode is great when it motivates you to watch similar episodes.

Even though I don’t think they need to use the Gorn at ALL, the way they did it here was very effective and clever. In fact it did feel directly like Starship Down because we never once see any faces of the Jem’Hadar attacking the Defiant either in that episode. I liked all the scenes on the ship but liked the Uhura and Hemmer scenes best. But it was great to have one of these types of stories again. Again, stuff like this I felt was missing from modern Star Trek. I even thought of a similar story line years ago they could’ve done with Discovery and the Klingons back in season one when they were at war.

Anyway a great episode. SNW is still not perfect and yeah there are definitely canon issues and looks like will get bigger as it goes, but it’s a really solid show so far and for most fans that’s all that matters.

Thanks Tiger2! All I had to do was read your opening sentence, now I am set to watch tonight’s episode which airs in an hour. Until then will switch back and forth between Rangers Canes hockey game and DS9.

No worries DeanH, you are going to love it!

I admit I felt so burnt by Discovery and DEFINITELY Picard last season I am still hesitant to fully embrace this show. While I think it’s great so far and I have really liked every episode, sadly part of me is waiting for it to fail. You know I’m pretty positive of most Star Trek but yeah that’s how much I hated Picard last season. I don’t want to get sucked into the hype only to be immensely disappointed by the end.

But I have to say this show is clicking all the right boxes for me. Few missteps, but very few so far. And the fact it’s episodic was the best decision they could’ve made with it.

I read the rest of your review and have agree on almost everything – although I still like the premiere the best.

This episode really did remind me of a few other iterations of Trek as well. Yes, the canon issues are there, but as I said in my post about the preview for E4, if the show is bad, people will complain about canon. If it is good, few of us will care! Thankfully tonight, for me it’s the latter.

One thing I have to say…the writers have seemed to figure out that they can progress multiple character’s backstory or current story without being annoyingly boring or slow paced. Maybe that happens when a show is episodic!

I agree DeanH.

I sincerely believe that some here are spinning out over the Gorn here.

Glad you liked it DeanH!

Yeah it definitely feels like other Star Trek stories, but in a good way. STID for example was in a bad way ;). But I pointed this out on this thread how people are actually happy that SNW has so far just borrowed ideas from previous shows where as Enterprise got dinged for it at the time. But it proves that when given something enough distance people will gladly overlook it because nostalgia takes over. And SNW is dripping with nostalgia. And that’s OK, as long as it does it well. That said I do hope it goes its own way a little more in the future.

I so don’t care about canon.

Me neither.
Also, thick thighs save lives.
Right Uhura?

I kid…


Another fabulous episode! I loved Pike’s speech to the crew towards the end, Uhura’s being competent and spunky, Hemmer’s showing he has a heart after all, Spock’s being brilliant in several different ways, learning more about La’an, and having the science feel fairly real.

Plus, we got a mind meld! I absolutely adore mind melds, and it’s nice to see Ethan Peck picking up where Leonard Nimoy left off, helping to save the day with awesome Vulcan mental skills.

I don’t think it’s possible to play Pike any better than Anson Mount is playing him. He’s absolutely perfect in every single shot! Spock has always been my favorite character, and Ethan Peck is doing a lovely job, but Anson Mount is just stunningly good!

I’m very glad to hear how much you’re enjoying SNW Corylea.

I know you were uncertain about Spock, your favourite character, being re-explored during Discovery S2.

It says a great deal that this show is hitting the mark for fans like you.

As for me, I still am getting a giddy, nose-tingling every time I watch the titles. It’s a joy.


You made my day!

Did someone go back for the dog?

Love it!

Me, too!

The fact that the biggest complaint about this episode is its [supposed] canon violation actually speaks to how good this episode actually is.

With that being said, I decided to sift through my memory of past Treks and uncover other canon violations that we have all been able to move on from. In no particular order:

  • • The first one that popped into my head are the Trill. First introduced in TNG in the episode “The Host” (4×23), there are a number of facts introduced about the Trill, only for pretty much all of them to be retconned in DS9. This includes the lack of knowledge that the Trill are a joined species, the fact that a Trill can’t be transported because of the symbiont, and that the symbiont completely takes over the hosts personality. Not only did all of that change in DS9, but the physical look of the Trill changed as well!
  • This may not be the best example because the episode that violated canon was universally reviled, but it was established in TNG that Ferengi had never established visual contact with the Federation until “The Last Outpost” (1×05). This is directly violated in the Enterprise episode “Acquisition” (1×09) when both Trip and Archer very much make visual contact with the Ferengi. While the name “Ferengi” is specifically not mentioned (which the writers used as their reasoning for this episode not violating canon), it seems rather far fetched that Archer and Trip didn’t give a detailed description of these aliens to Starfleet.
  • The cloaking device! First introduced in “Balance of Terror” (Star Trek 1×08), the idea of a cloaking device seems rather novel to the entire crew – something they haven’t encountered before. Specifically, it seems that the Romulans have never used such an “invisibility shield” before. This is directly violated in the Enterprise episode “Minefield” (2×03), when it is unequivocally shown that the Romulans have cloaking technology – and rather advanced at that being able to cloak an entire minefield.
  • When did Kirk actually die? If you ask Scotty in the TNG episode “Relics” (6×04), Kirk certainly didn’t die in 2293 onboard the Enterprise-B (Generations).
  • In Turnabout Intruder (Star Trek 3×24), Janice Lester rather explicitly states that woman aren’t allowed to be starship captains. We certainly saw a Starfleet woman captain in Enterprise, as Captain Erika Hernandez captained the USS Columbia.

And I guarantee you there are countless other violations, and probably quite a few more egregious than the few above, but these are just the ones I could think of off the top of my head!

This is all to say, you can drive yourself crazy when it comes to Star Trek and continuity, but is it really worth letting supposed violations affect your enjoyment (or lack thereof) of a specific episode or story? Furthermore, perhaps the writers of SNW actually have a plan for the Gorn that goes beyond just pissing off hardcore fans.

Yeah agree the TOS canon issues are so numerous, there are too many to count.

I know it was just the 2nd pilot, but James R Kirk was the Captain of the Enterprise. And we all remember what we thought (at least for those oldtimer fans like me) when we saw the Klingons in TMP. Same goes for the CGI Gorn appearance in the mirror universe of Enterprise – what happened to mascot-style appearance used in TOS? And from a gender politics standpoint, you already mentioned the No Women Allowed captains club which simply reflected the 2nd class citizen status of women in the 1960s which was corrected in Enterprise. Finally, the Starfleet delta uniform badges were Enterprise-only in TOS and that was corrected in all other series since. (Btw IMHO, the fan made productions should also get rid of the flower, rectangle and other oddly shaped uniform badges) And there are so many more!

As I said previously, if a show is good, most of us could care less about minor canon issues. If the show was bad, then we would be all over canon. Thankfully SNW has made most of us feel that minor canon violations are no big deal!

This is 100% true. Minor canon violations can be ignored if the film or episode is good. But major ones… Like using the Gorn 10 years before anyone anywhere ever knew of their existence at all is a pretty huge one. They may as well have used the Borg in this episode. I wonder how people who don’t care about using the Gorn would feel about that?

I guess we just disagree about what is minor or major. As far as I know, the Gorn were in just one episode – albeit a classic, never to reappear until a CGI version showed up in the mirror universe on Enterprise. Unlike the Borg which must have appeared in approx 20 episodes of various series and movies, not counting all the episodes of Voyager with Seven of Nine!

It was one episode (two if you count TAS) but that doesn’t change what was set up in that episode.

It would be like of SNW Enterprise went to Ekos and stopped John Gil from doing what he did that allowed the Nazi thing to happen there. That was just one episode but if SNW did that it would undermine the entire episode.

Dude, I won’t be too shocked if they found a way to bring the Borg on this show either lol.

It just depends how they do it mostly.

I wouldn’t be either. Enterprise did it but they managed to make it work without any huge issue. I don’t trust SH to do it without changing all kinds of things. They may as well have the Guardian of Forever show up as well.

All your examples are pretty minor and understandable considering the circumstances of when each instance happened. The one that is a pretty big error was the Romulans using a cloak on Enterprise. But the thing there is it was a one shot thing in a stand alone episode that was never ever reused later in the series. Unlike the Gorn. Who were mentioned as known to interact with Federation citizens and then returned to in this episode and leaves us with the potential that they may continue to use them. If they completely drop the Gorn from SNW then it could be chalked up as a mistake. Not if they keep running back to them.

Regarding your possibility… That is possible but given Secret Hideout’s history of screwing with the lore they have not earned one bit of any benefit of the doubt.

I’m just here to say I LOVE they’re getting away with gum-drop buttons and 60s soundbites in a modern show. And by getting away with I mean doing it successfully.

Other than my comment about the star date issue, it was a good episode. The sequence going around the black hole was really well done. I still wish the lighting on the outside of Enterprise was a bit brighter so we’d see the ship better… Also I am increasingly finding Ortegas’ smirk irritating… BUT.. guess what! I remember the character’s name unlike any of the secondary characters in Discovery…

Nice episode, but actually I do have something to nitpick, namely that the basic premise of the episode does not work at all: Did anybody else see that the translation of gorn code was “A B C D E F G…” :-D? Did I see that right? Haha…So not only it seems that the language of an extremely alien species is based on plain old human alphabet, but somehow La’an also implausibly knew their language so she could light-speak a message in that code, plus it seems quite unlikely that her brother would have been able to figure out a very fast code in a foreign language in the first place…Also, it could not have hurt to give some explanation why the Gorn were able to see these visual light signals, but at the same time unable to see the Enterprise/shuttle right next to them?…there might be an explanation like special photo sensors for signals, but shouldn’t Enterprise have assumed that if the Gorn can see visual light signals, they should be able to see the Enterprise in close proximity too? I think fixing plausibility of this would not have been impossible, for example if the code was rather based on short light signals used in specific situations or even off-ship interaction between Gorn, so that the brother could have deduced it from context or even from witnessing a similar situation like the one that La’an communicated. So please writers, get your plausibility straight, obvious implausibilities really take away from believability and enjoyment as a viewer. They also disrupt the immersive viewing experience, even a fantasy universe needs to make sense in itself to be credible and immersive :-)

People can get snappy with each other under stress. The “plain English” line is consistent with that. Tweaking/disregarding canon seems to be a thing with the current show runners so not so much of a surprise. Since Number One was the focus of last weeks episode how is her diminished role in this one a big deal?

Regarding Number One, the point is that we’ve not seen an episode so far when Pike or Spock are truly sidelined.

Even when they aren’t the focus, they have a lot of screen time.

Up to this point, we haven’t seen them take a step back in terms of presence the way Picard, Riker and Data did (in rotation) in TNG seasons 3-7.

While I’m delighted that the show is going with an ensemble rather than a triumvirate, it would be a concern if Number One was always the character that had to give way to make space for one of the other members of the ensemble to step forward.

This is something worth tracking and taking stock of at the end of the season.

Also, can someone explain to me why Hemmer could not type with his left hand, did I miss something? I’d say “because you need both for complex controls”, but didn’t Uhura type with just one hand too?

his hand got crushed in an earlier scene.

It wasn’t said specifically about the injury, but Hemmer was clear with Urhura that she had to coordinate her inputs between the two control panels using her two hands.


It’s a obvious that the people nitpicking about canon and the Gorn aren’t true Trek fans. It just shows that they are closed-minded, lack the ability to think outside the box, and self absorbed…everything the opposite of what Star Trek stands for.

Props to the guy that posted that great article refuting the assumption that Arena was first contact with the Gorn.

This is called gatekeeping.

Just pointing that out.

While acknowledging the nitpicking has been going on since the beginning of Trek, I find that the volume and intensity of criticism on some of this does “as a whole”, rather than in any individual comment, start to feel like gatekeeping.

I would never say that you’re not a true fan, but I can find the volume and adamance of your repetitive comments exasperating.

ML31, you clearly have deep attachment and a specific interpretation or “head canon” of Arena that you’ve had for decades.

I understand that long held interpretations are difficult to take a step back from, but it’s your absolute conviction and relentless assertions that it can only be understood one way, that effectively seems like an attempt to shut down any other interpretations — by definition gatekeeping.

But yours is not the only valid interpretation of what’s on screen when any of us watch Arena. It’s discussable. Discussion is what we come here for.

If people, including you, have to resort to citing drafts of the script or character bibles to say that a section of dialogue can only be understood in one way, that’s reaching too far in my view. That means that what was onscreen wasn’t airtight in terms of validating your interpretation.

Last thought, as others here have said previously, a lot of the fun in Trek for many of has been around resolving inconsistencies, filling in gaps. Wondering and speculating what’s happening between the raindrops is part of the fan experience. For many of us, that’s been a feature in the franchise and not a bug.


This sound very much like a longwinded but unantagonistic way of telling me I’m in the wrong here.

The repeats come because, if you check out the threads, I get the same repeat arguments. What am I supposed to do? Change up the response? Sorry you don’t like that but why not hassle other users and tell them to look at what was already written so you don’t have to look at repeat posts? This really feels to me like some are thinking this episode was so very good they are willing to look the other way at a major plot hole. Which I get and I do that too. The problem here is this was not like Khan recognizing Chekov. This was a huge mistake on the part of SNW producers. And the people who are liking this are going way out of their way making great leaps of logic to force it to work. I don’t think this episode was good enough for that. I just don’t. They used the wrong antagonist. I’m sorry that bothers you but you are just going to have to live with it.

And if someone makes the same argument to me again, I will respond with the same response. I would really like to hear a take that I did not consider that will make this work. I really do. I want to like this show. But using the Gorn just takes me completely out of it. This is not something where I can just pretend it’s the Kzinti or some new made up alien.

ML31 my comment wasn’t intended to be about you specifically, but about the cumulative weight of all the negative canon nitpicking.

We get it. Using the Gorn takes you, personally, out of it. It’s fair to make the point because you represent not only yourself but a certain segment of older viewers.

But there are other perspectives and it’s hard for new voices to join this board to represent those if they get piled on.

Using the Gorn also brings new viewers into it. Who like it. That’s very important for the survival of Trek.

Being open to accepting that others aren’t wrong for liking it would make this board more lively and less of an echo chamber of a couple of repeating points of view.

There are also some older viewers like myself and my spouse, it actually elevates Arena. It wasn’t a well executed idea or episode, and we’re very conscious it’s a symbol of cheesiness in popular culture. We’re just as old and faithful viewers as any here. We just recognize that the first episodes of TOS have a lot inconsistencies.

I don’t think it would be a problem to acknowledge that others like me have a different point of view without adamantly saying we’re wrong over and over.

Personally, I think all of the inconsistencies, from TOS to SNW, can be explained in-universe (preferably without invoking the Temporal Wars). For instance, the difference in how the Klingons look in TOS and in the rest of the franchise was first acknowledged in “Trials and Tribble-ations,” in which an incredulous Bashir asked, “Those are Klingons?”, to which Worf embarrassingly admitted, “Those are Klingons, and it is a long story . . . We do not discuss it with outsiders.” And the franchise finally told us the long story in “Affliction” and “Divergence” to explain the difference in appearance.

As I mentioned in my earlier comments on this article, perhaps in SNW up to just before “Arena,” the Federation mistakenly called another species the Gorns, an arthropodal species that used breeding sacs, maybe one of the species that the Gorn Hegemony dominated, so that in “Arena,” Kirk and his crew were surprised that the Gorns were reptilian.

Just a few additional comments to add about what I thought was a really great episode of SNW and Star Trek.

First of all I know Sunday is Memorial Day in the US, but the adoption of Rememberance Day and the pins was something those of us outside America who wear poppies on Nov 11th could appreciate. (Lest we forget)

I hope the writers for Discovery and Picard have seen how SNW writing team has been able to tell backstories and character building tales without boring us to death and slowing down the pacing to a level that makes some of their episodes almost impossible to watch. SNW tells us crucial backstories and reveals character tales while keeping the pacing up at warp speed and most of all, our attention level. S2 of Picard should have easily been completed in 5 episodes and that would have allowed for another 5 hours of high paced compelling storytelling.

Btw, the scene with young transporter chief Kyle choosing to live but leaving his fellow shipmate behind took the Wesley Crusher academy psych test to the next horribly extreme level. It took the audience to a place none of us would ever want to be in.

On a more positive front, Captain Pike is really becoming the leader we all hoped to see commanding the Enterprise and it is no wonder that in S1 of Discovery, he was included in Saru’s best captains list. Anson Mount and the others are doing a fantastic job.

One final thing, SNW really is like watching a new Star Trek movie every week!

Chief Kyle didn’t choose to live and leave his shipmate behind. Kyle stopped and turned around to save his friend (we had seen them briefly exchanges smiles earlier in the episode), and as the doors were closing his friend pushed Kyle through the doors, saving him and sacrificing himself.

Classic submarine story, proper cat and mouse stuff. LOVED IT!!

These episodes suffer from trying to do too much in their time frame. They need to slow them down, drop some of the B plots and let some of the stuff cook. I really liked ep 3, but 1,2 and 4 all feel rushed. Even the lines are delivered too quickly.

They need to focus on one plot and slow things down and give the characters some space.

This is why especially in episodic shows you need to have at least 20 episode seasons, otherwise there is always this danger of having too many things in a single episode.

While I don’t agree that this episode suffers from that, I think you are correct Alphantrion. An ultra short season does present incentive to try and do too much in each episode because there are so few to do what they want to do. I really miss longer seasons. I would be totally fine with spending less money of production and SPFX if it means doubling the total number of episodes.

On one hand, my recollection of TNG seasons 3-6 was that many of the great episodes were jam-packed.

It’s what made them rewatchable, immediately the week of broadcast, through the hiatuses and down the years.

So, it can be a strength.

While I found this episode worked very well as it was structured, it might have benefited from a more time in the cat and mouse tension on the bridge.

An extra few minutes across the episode might have heightened the tension and suspense. Instead we got the rapid fire decision points and not the quiet stress.

Which brings me to wonder why Secret Hideout has locked the episodes into 50 minute-ish maximum run times. While there were a few S1 & S2 Discovery episodes that ran to 60 minutes, they seem to be running fairly close to 44 to 50 minutes max across the franchise and the animated series are 22 minutes.

We’ve heard that The Orville S3 has episodes running up to 85 minutes, basically a made for television movie length.

SNW, with its episodic format, would be the live action series in the franchise that might most benefit from occasional longer run times of 60 minutes or more. It would mean redistribution of financial and production resources across episodes, but that happens already.

In any event, The Orville raises the question why Paramount’s made a different decision and one that runs across all the series.

Possibly, it’s because Paramount wants to keep the door open to showing SNW on CBS broadcast in the US down the line as a summer replacement to draw in new viewers. However, that’s only been done with one season of Discovery to date. It seems like that would be putting on a major creative constraint for keeping open an option of modest value.

This whole episode was a treat! I’ll have it every time I feel like dessert.