The latest episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds showed us the Gorn for the first time in the series. The alien lizards’ look certainly got an update after 55 years, but the episode’s writer has a way of making it all fit together.
Writer finds “wiggle room” in “Arena”
Strange New Worlds co-executive producer Davy Perez, who wrote “All Those Who Wander,” gave an interview to Inverse where he talked about how there’s “wiggle room” to explain some of the differences between TOS Gorn and SNW Gorn, and even covered Kirk’s apparent lack of knowledge of the species in the original Star Trek episode “Arena,” which introduced them. Perez explained:
Kirk’s idea of the Gorn is different from what he is being told by the Metrons. The Gorn he’s meeting in ‘Arena,’ doesn’t sync with his expectations of them. It was a personal choice I made in my own headcanon that allowed me to have fun with the writing. Viewing it that way creates more possibilities for Gorn stories to continue.
In “Arena,” a superpowerful race named the Metrons transports Captain Kirk and a Gorn captain to a planet where they are expected to fight to the death. Perez’s headcanon relies heavily on this single line of Kirk’s dialogue from the original episode: “I face the creature the Metrons called a Gorn.” Perez sees this as an opening:
Maybe Kirk has never seen them, he could even be one of those people who still doubts the stories, or maybe even he has seen them and they don’t look the same. I think the safest thing to say is we have no idea what the Gorn are really like.
Perez didn’t address why neither Spock nor Uhura mentioned their previous experience with the Gorn during “Arena,” but it’s possible he has some headcanon for that as well. His comments also indicate there could be more Gorn to come on Strange New Worlds.
The Gorn reborn
The following video shows how the Gorn were brought to life for Strange New Worlds, primarily using puppetry.
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 Select. In the UK new episodes arrive on Wednesdays on Paramount+ but run five week’s behind the USA. The series will arrive via Paramount+ in select countries in Europe when the service launches later this year.