From Koala To Q, The ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Easter Eggs In “Those Old Scientists”

Usually, we don’t do Easter egg deep dives into episodes of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, but when the show crosses over with Star Trek: Lower Decks, it’s time to go on the egg hunt. There were tons of references in “Those Old Scientists,” so here are a few highlights and favorites…

Strange New Koala

The usual opening credits for the episode were swapped out for a version done in the animation style of Lower Decks. For the most part, the animated version matched the original, but it ended with a koala nebula next to the final planet seen along with the Strange New Worlds logo. This is the same koala seen in the Star Trek Universe animation that precedes episodes of Lower Decks. The idea of a metaphysical koala controlling the universe was first introduced in the Lower Decks episode “Moist Vessel.”

The other notable change in the credits was the addition of the same space creature attached to one of the nacelles of the USS Enterprise, as seen in the Lower Decks credits attached to the USS Cerritos.

Remember Crusher?

As Boimler is pulled into the time portal he yells out “Remember me!” This is a callback to the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Remember Me,” when Dr. Beverly Crusher finds herself on a USS Enterprise where members of the crew keep disappearing and she is the only one who remembers them. There is also a moment in the TNG episode when Dr. Crusher is pulled into a vortex that got an homage in the SNW episode in the way Boimler was being pulled into the portal.


The crossover episode was directed by Next Generation vet Jonathan Frakes, aka William T. Riker from TNG (and Voyager and Lower Decks and Picard). As a bit of an homage to the man and the famous way his character gets into chairs, Jack Quaid (Boimler) ad-libbed a line as he jumped onto Pike’s saddle, exclaiming “Riker!”

Classic exploding tricorder

Boimler was very excited to check out Dr. M’Benga’s “classic TS-122 tricorder, which was actually a TS-120, according to the doctor. Boimler said “they never improved” on the classic design, but noted 24th-century tricorders were “arguably less likely to explode,” which could be a reference to the TOS episode “Arena” when the Gorn jammed Spock’s tricorder, causing it to explode. Boimler’s admiration of the tricorder was also reminiscent of Jadzia Dax in the Deep Space Nine time travel episode “Trials and Tribble-ations,” when she expressed her love for their “classic twenty-third-century designs.”

Time travel riot

One of the more meta moments came when Una noted how Boimler and Mariner’s “references are weirdly specific.” This was in reaction to Mariner saying she was worried Boimler traveling back in time could have found him “stuck in a dystopian San Francisco in the middle of a riot.” This is a reference to another DS9 time travel episode, the two-parter “Past Tense,” when Sisko, Dax, and Bashir traveled back to 21st-century San Francisco and became part of the historic Bell Riots.

No bloody dashes

The first time Boimler arrives on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, he is overwhelmed, saying, “Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God! I’m on the bridge. NCC-1701 dash… nothing.” Una and La’an are confused over “what would come after the dash?” but Boimler knows of future ships to bear the name Enterprise, with the registries NCC-1701-A through to NCC-1701-E (and more to follow). This moment is yet another callback to a time traveler, when Montgomery “Scotty” Scott jumps forward in time from the 23rd century to the 24th (via a transporter buffer). In the TNG episode “Relics” he asked the Enterprise-D holodeck to recreate the original Enterprise bridge, saying “NCC One Seven Oh One. No bloody A, B, C, or D.”

NX Classy

Speaking of ships bearing the name Enterprise, the NX-01 from Star Trek: Enterprise along with its crew got a lot of shout-outs throughout the episode. Captain Pike mentioned he understands how Boimler feels when he imagines “setting foot on Archer’s Enterprise.”  Uhura talks up NX-01’s communications officer Hoshi Sato, saying she wrote three papers about her at Starfleet Academy, and Ortegas said she was a “huge fan of Travis Mayweather, first pilot of the NX.” Archer’s ship also played a role in resolving the plot of the episode, as NX ships were made from an alloy of horonium, the substance needed to power the time travel portal to send Boimler and Mariner back… and it was “just the right shade of gray.”

Holy Trelane Q!

When Mariner surprises Boimler while he is sneaking around a shuttle, he yells out: “Holy Q!,” referencing the impish superbeing who has troubled Starfleet crews in the 24th century with a particular interest in Jean-Luc Picard and the USS Enterprise-D on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Q’s travels have also taken him to the USS Cerritos on Lower Decks, but Mariner admonishes Boimler, “Don’t yell Q! They haven’t met him yet.” Mariner does add “They had kind of a Trelane thing going on,” referring to the crew of the original Enterprise under the command of James T. Kirk, who will encounter a superbeing named Trelane in the TOS episode “The Squire of Gothos.” This mention is certainly a nod to the popular fan theory that Trelane was also a Q.

Ortegas play dom-jot, human

Erica Ortegas was able to help Uhura identify the markings on the time travel portal by noting they were similar to something she’d seen before on Starbase Earhart, specifically an “ancient old” dom-jot set. When explaining what dom-jot was to Uhura, Mariner said it’s a “billiard game that Nausicaans are terrible at, yet love to bet on for some reason.” Nausicaans and Starbase Earhart were first introduced in the TNG episode “Tapestry” when Picard traveled back in time to replay events as his younger self who got into a fight with some Nausicaans over a game of dom-jot. Mariner has also tussled with Nausicaans over dom-jot at Starbase Earhart.


Spock childhood pet got two mentions in the episode. Boimler tells Chapel he has read about Spock’s “pet Sehlat,” and later Mariner asks, No, Boimler, don’t tell me you asked him about his sehlat.” The fact that Spock had this pet was first established in dialog in the TOS episode “Journey to Babel.” And in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “Yesteryear” Spock goes back in time to visit with his younger self and we meet I-Chaya, Spock’s sehlat.

Numero Una

This last one is extra meta: When Commander Ransom sees Boimler’s recruitment poster with Commander Una “Number One” Chin-Riley, he excitedly exclaims “Oh! Numero Una. Hottest first officer in Starfleet history.” Una is played by Rebecca Romijn, wife of Jerry O’Connell, the voice of Commander Ransom. So both of them play first officers in Star Trek, and of course he thinks she’s the hottest one.

What did you see?

Spot any new Trek references we missed on Strange New Worlds? Have a favorite? Sound off in the comments below.

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Not a reference, but I thought it was funny that live-action Boimler’s first line, after flying through portal and landing at the feet of the Enterprise landing party is something like, “You look realistic…” (before passing out). Also, Boimler mentions Worf’s name and why he knows Pike’s birthday (it’s a future holiday).

Yep instead of “scout’s honor”, he says “Worf’s honor” lol

During a scene in one of the corridors, the camera watched Boimler walking away and he had a particular walk.

Yeah that was a reference to his “Section 31” power walk from Season 1

When Boimler runs after Mariner in the corridor, he does the whole “pumping his arms” thing that he does when running in LD

And it was cute

Like a typical Lower Decks episode, they did a great job with all the fun easter eggs. There were so many and I laughed hard over Trelane/Q, Dystopian San Francisco in a riot and ‘Remember Me’.

But I really loved the Enterprise references and how so much of the SNW crew admires the original NX crew. And that the NX-01 (technically) helped them get back to the 24th century. A really great tie in.

I don’t know but I feel like Numero Una is going to stick. ;)

This episode was just so much fun. And it’s always great to see when the fanbase generally loves something like this. It is definitely an instant classic. And it would be great if they did another crossover but this time some of the SNW characters show up in the future on Lower Decks.

Or maybe we will get 7 seasons and now a crossover movie! ;D

Love the meta ‘Community’ reference there.

Can you point out which one that was? I’ve never seen Community.

I think Garrett meant “community like” in the style of the meta reference they do in the show community, not that it was referenced in the episode, hope it helps

Mariner’s reaction to seeing Spock is nearly identical to Jadzia’s reaction to seeing Spock in the DS9 episode of Trials and Tribble-ations.

“Remember Me” is also a callback to the lyrics to the TOS theme song.

Love the references to Enterprise. Anything that gives it further validity is fantastic.

Another reason why I hope SNW dwells on the differences between Klingons since it would be traced to that series.

The animated intro was worth the whole concept to me – even though I don’t know how exactly to feel about the rest of the episode. But the animated version of the Big E was just beautiful, and the creature sucking on the nacelle was the perfect LDS tie in.

The other references were fun, and I enjoyed some of the typical Boimler and Mariner ramblings. But some of the SNW cast interactions just didn’t work as well for me.

In terms of something I caught, Uhura using Cardassian and Bajoran as options as she was trying to translate the writing on the portal was interesting to me. Got me thinking as to whether or not those species’ languages would actually be in the database at that point in time. I would think that Starfleet may not have had much interaction with them just yet (I can’t see them wanting to interact with a race of aliens who were enslaving another group of aliens), but I guess the language information could have come from Vulcan interaction.

Yeah there seems to be a lot of debate over how much would the Federation know about Cardassia and Bajor in this time frame. TBH, I always assumed first contact with Cardassia happened closer to the 24th century and when the war broke out.

But like you said, maybe other species like Vulcans interacted with them first and how Uhura obtained the information.

I’m pretty sure? that the Cardassians actually weren’t like that then. Also in season 1 iirc Pike had a Cardassian medal so he’s definitely interacted with them himself. So this is before their society went to 💩 and they became a bunch of fascists.

I double checked and yes Chain of Command (TNG two parter) said that their society became like it was at the start of the 24th century.

The Bajoran I don’t know about, I hope they expand on it someday because we really don’t know much about either species before the occupation.

I *like* that everything in Star Trek history prior to Discovery’s debut has already been discovered and gets used in whatever time period for the new series. These shows should not be beholden to canon because canon means old and old is bad.

LOL! I’m certainly a person who prefers canon and gets pretty irritated at the current show runners and writers for their lack of care when it comes to tossing around details that don’t fit in the storyline/timeline. But I’m also not an absolutist. Canon can be limiting, but it SHOULD NOT be COMPLETELY THROWN OUT just because it’s “old”. If that’s the case, why even call it Star Trek or use any ideas created over the last (nearly) 60 years? Start a new show altogether!

This seems like an odd thing to be upset about. As I and others stated, since we don’t even know when the Federation or Starfleet made first contact with these planets, it’s really all fair game. We assume it’s later but it’s all circumstantial at best. This is not the same issue with the Gorn since it was very obvious Arena was their first contact with that species.

And it’s an episode that went out of its way to honor the old shows as much as possible. In fact, I think it’s another big reason it’s being praised so much.

I think I’m just a stupid idiot taking this stuff way too seriously.

I think i speak for everyone when I say we’ve all been there brother. ;)

Yes. You missed a big Easter Egg. When Boimler first came through the portal Number 1 called to the ship and said we have a problem. A call back to TOS Tomorrow is yesterday when Kirk would say that when the security guard was beamed up and the police and when Scotty would say in In Star Trek 4. The Voyage Home. Surprised you missed that. Lol.

It’s almost as if the Apollo 13 ground control said “we have a problem” because Star Trek beat them to it…

What a joke… which is good I guess? So mission accomplished?
Do we ever get back to Strange New Worlds dealing with strange new worlds, new life and new civilizations, colonizing the galaxy, etc or it is joke episodes and lame time travel episodes from now on?
On the plus side whenever someone says something about how there is unlimited free energy or magic mushrooms go faster than light because it was on Star Trek you can be like “Yeah, and they also met up with some cartoons, what’s your point?”

I’m sure you may love the musical next week! 🤣

This season has been all about new takes on established Star Trek tropes. Transporter accidents. Time travel. Courtroom episodes. First contact misunderstandings. Feels pretty Star Trek to me.

Trust me! I understand your frustration. I liked the episode, especially watching Chapel’s heart explode as she learns she doesn’t even get a footnote in a future Spock biography. Cruelest but funniest moment in nu-trek.

However, yes, this is what the franchise will look like in the future. A Star Trek void of intelligence, but plenty of hijinks and cheap laughs.

Actually I did feel for Chapel when she realized from Boimler they wouldn’t have a future together. 😥

That was actually very clever writing.

I don’t think that turbolift scene was meant for laughs aside from the stop polluting the timeline and stepping in “it.” Perfectly acted by Jess Bush. My heart ached for her.

The Chapel moment ALMOST made me forgive SNW for the ridiculousness of the Spock/Chapel relationship this past season. But in the end, it makes me fear they will now have her work even harder to be with Spock and it will get even more out of control.

Krulmuth-B (spelling?) with a portal was certainly a strange new world.

I’m curious – if Lower Decks was exactly the same as it is except it was live action – would that make a difference?

To me, the format doesn’t matter. Story is Story and characters are characters. Yes, the transition between the two is a bit visually jarring, but the story made sense and it made me laugh. Perhaps it helps that I like both shows.

I don’t think Lower Decks would work beat for beat as live action. Just imagine how ridiculous it would be if Dr. T’Ana were depicted purring and playing in a box in a live action set or screeching like a cat. And the characters like Shaxs are so hyperbolic. The main four might do alright though in live action.

Actually given this show is canon, I would prefer they do a word for word, scene for scene transfer to live action just so fans can see once and for all how ridiculous this is in terms of credible and believable Star Trek.

If it’s canon and it’s supposed to be real Star Trek, it must be able to stand up on its own as live action without any adjustments — because every single thing we see on the show happens in the Star Trek timeline.

I love the idea of a full translation to live action and let’s then see how well this series is received when it’s presented on the same live action level, with the gravitas and seriousness just the way the other Star Trek series are generally presented to us over the course of their runs.

But I totally get why you and others would be so afraid for that to happen… lol

I don’t think Shaxs is that hyperbolic. He’s just REALLY passionate about this job. ;)

Dr. T’Ana would be nuts in live action and I would be all for it lol.

Kind of sad how defensive some get when you put forward your simple opinion that you don’t like this.

I have an observation — I think a lot of fans know deep down that this is bad Star Trek, and so that is why they react so defensively when anyone dares to question whether it’s good Star Trek.

They need others to validate their group-think and are very uncomfortable and defensive when their view gets challenged — because deep down they are not confident in their opinion on this.

That’s basically modern fans in a nutshell. I think – and partially agree – that SOME Trek is better than NO Trek at all, which is what we had before Discovery and all what came later. I frankly, just take the good with the bad, but certainly, there is a lot more bad than good. Lower Decks to me is just Rick and Morty with a Starfleet skin on, and Stranger Things got a lot worse during S2.

Trying new things is the point of Star Trek. Leave that tight-assed, no sense of humor BS for Star Wars.

I’ve seen this episode four times now and I still didn’t catch the Star base Earhart reference to TNG until I read this article lol.

They really went all out with this episode and why it was so great!

Q sucks. The golum or jar jar of star trek. He ruined tng episodes about the q which sucked anyway cus Picard is such an asshole. They barely brought him out in voyager and now they want to screw up the best show they made since with the stupid q. Way to shoot yourself in the foot.

Bro I love Q! He’s awesome. But that’s cool. I hate Neelix and don’t get the appeal with him either so we all that one character.

But he’s not on this show. It’s too early in the timeline for him to show up. That’s what Mariner’s joke was about.

Tapestry are AGT are both (at least) top 20 Star Trek episodes, so maybe sit this take on the shelf with your five in-house spices.

Q wasn’t in the episode, just referenced. But he’s been around 35 years and probably will be around another 35 years. You can’t really kill off Q. Ironically Picard made that clear last season.

Fun episode. Too much (Star Trek:) Enterprise sucking up for my liking. (I still cannot get over what they did to Porthos.) Otherwise, it was great. Anytime we can see Jack Quaid is awesome! (Well, except for Scream, but I digress). (Further digression, Jack Quaid as Jimmy Olsen!) I guess I’d better stop, I am running low on parentheses.

You do know that Jack Quaid is playing Superman/Clark Kent in a new animated series.

Also when they mentioned that all the SNW people were talking too slow and quiet

Well, that’s because everyone on Lower Decks acts like an ADHD Generation Z kid, always shouting and going “OMG!” like they are not from the 24th century but this current era.

Anyone pick up the sorta Trouble with Tribbles reference? The wheat they gave away and got back was tritacaly-while not the exact thing, I figured it was close enough to count as a reference.😊😊

You are right; that was definitely a call back to Trouble with Tribbles.

Yeah and it being the only grain that would grow on that planet like Sherman’s planet in “The Trouble with Tribbles.” Nice catch!

Enterprise – the prequel that only shows that came after it mention.

That’s how pretty much every prequel works. How many stories are there about Discovery until the last few years?

Yeah, but Discovery is SUPPOSED to be classified information and conveniently forgotten by everyone involved.

That is certainly the one positive about Discovery! 🤣

Honestly I actually expected several more easter eggs, I think they were reigning themselves in. I expected something about Khan with regards to La’an.

Thank God they passed on that. In reference to a note above, while I truly felt for Chapel, the one thing I didn’t want to see was Spock and Chapel having ANY idea about their future. They went really out of their way to build something up and then trash it. Can’t we be surprised watching them be surprised?

I don’t know. I find it more interesting to see how people respond to knowledge of impending inevitable doom, then how they react when they get side-swiped by it. That’s why I like Pike’s knowledge of his future (even though I have a really hard time being convinced that he wouldn’t choose to avoid it).

Given they focused on how traumatic it is for La’an to always be associated with her infamous forefather in Episode 2×1, I’m not surprised they didn’t go there. Boimler would have come off as a jerk. Maybe if he’d made a side comment to Mariner or something that could have worked.

Perhaps the most obvious one at the end when Boimler and Mariner spoke of the “TOS era” as meaning Those Old Scientists, when in actuality……

It was also setup in the very beginning when Boimler mentions “Those Old Scientists” but he clarifies the meaning at the end. Definitely obvious in hindsight, but I missed it when I first saw the title.

I only wished Boimler could have remarked upon the difference between this Enterprise and the slapped together sets of TOS. Like, “Captain, how is it you have a huge gourmet kitchen, yet visiting ambassadors only get served Jell-o cubes and melon balls?”

It might have been fun for Boimler to ask Spock or Uhura “Have you met him yet?”

Seeing the kiddie koala bear and the stupid lobster hanging on the end of the enterprise ruined what was an awesome looking animated version of the strange new world’s title sequence for me.

I can’t wait for this season to come out on DVD and Blu ray so I can save every single screenshot of Brad from trekcore when they upload it and send them all to my friends on discord and ramble for days about how cute he is.

One correction – Boimler asks Mbenga if he has a ‘classic TS-122’ and Mbenga corrects him by saying it’s the older TS-120, not the other way around as mentioned in the article.

For the love of God, Una is a Commander, not a Lt.Commander.

There is a way to subtly put in references to older shows, like how TNG, DS9, Voyager or even Enterprise did it… and there is the “Look, look, remember this thing from older better shows?” the way Lower Decks does it.