Interview: ‘Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ Effects Supervisor J. Alan Scott On Reimagining The Gorn

The season 2 finale, “Hegemony,” featured the return of the Gorn to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and provided the first look at an adult Gorn on the series. The award-winning team at Legacy Effects has been working with the producers of Strange New Worlds since season 1 to create aliens and creatures using a combination of practical and digital effects. For the season 2 finale, this involved building a full suit for the adult Gorn. TrekMovie had a chance to talk to Legacy co-founder J. Alan Scott about what it took to make the Gorn and what we might expect to see in season 3.

You guys have been with Strange New Worlds since the beginning; do you consider the Gorn to be your biggest challenge?

It’s one of many, one of the biggest ones. My favorite things are when we start to mix up animatronics and makeup and puppetry, and it’s something the franchise doesn’t do a lot of. So it really excites us to bring that to the table. I love hybrid animatronic characters like Buckley or the Shepherd. But there’s something very satisfying about the subtlety of redoing Spock or redoing the Klingons. They all have their own challenges and responsibilities, but the Gorn is definitely one of the biggest ones, because it’s got such a pedigree and such a history, because that was the big monster in The Original Series. And to bring it into a horror, really terrifying arena was really exciting. But as I often say, when you have to do something like that, that is so loved, you really can only screw it up. The fan base is so fanatical that you have to be really in tune with trying to get it so that it’s an upgrade without diminishing anything, and that it fits in the franchise. And that’s where the writing team and the producing team were really aware of canon and where the directions go on all the shows, way more than I would be able to keep in my head. So we may present ideas and designs and they’re like, “That’s amazing, but not right for the Gorn, not right for the Klingons, but really cool.” So let’s save that and let’s use that for something else. So as we were developing the Gorn and where they wanted it to go visually, they were always coming back with, “Let’s bring this in, let’s take that out,” and really hone it into where they wanted it to be a new reimagining of the species.

Buckley in “All Those Who Wander”  (Paramount +)

The original Gorn was famously a guy in a rubber suit, and on Enterprise they went with all CGI for the Gorn. How much did those designs factor into your thinking, or did you start from scratch?

It was a dictate from day one, you have to discuss how are we going to execute it because you can design anything, but then it’s a matter of how are we going to deliver this on camera? Is it going to be all one or all the other? It’s going to be a guy in a suit? Is it going to be all digital? Because that changes how you present things. Or is it going to be a hybrid? That then starts getting into conversations about budget. That gets into the conversations of both what we bring to the table and then what digital brings to the table and whether the show can afford it—early on, because the idea is that these are the new bad guy, you have to assume that they’re going to be recurring characters. And then what does that mean? And so from a business perspective, that’s where the business and the finance meet the artistry [and] you have to be respectful. Because if you bite off more than you can chew, then you may not deliver with all the artistry. You are going to run out of money or they can’t afford to finish it in digital work. So those are complicated conversations to have. But they’re critical to do up front so that you know you’re designing something you can execute. Either we do it completely, or digital does it completely, or we share in the responsibility of bringing it to life.

I think this approach, because it’s going to be a recurring character, you want to capture as much of that on camera as possible. And not just a gray guy in a gray suit. You want to give the audience and the actors that you’re interacting with as much as possible. That’s our philosophy, to interact with on set and bring as much as you can, shoot as much as you can, and then when it’s not quite right, then let digital take over, and either augment what you’ve done or even if you have to replace what you’ve done, as long as you’ve had the conversation up front. The last thing we want to do is make something that’s really cool, but it doesn’t deliver and it has to be replaced. It’s irresponsible to do that. And it happens to everybody at one point or another. It’s just not right when the design is changed, or the thoughts change or after they see it as like, “Yeah, that’s not exactly what we need.” But you want to put your best foot forward and I think the fact that it was all practical, and then they went all digital and now that it’s a hybrid between the two, I think is the perfect place to be, because you get that intensity of close-up work that we can provide with the movement and things that we just can’t do. Like in the case of the adult Gorn, the tail. We made a tail. It may work in one shot. But once it starts to have to telescope and do things that we can’t do, it’s a perfect place for digital to come in and augment what’s great-looking on set with Warren [Scherer – the Gorn stunt performer] in the suit.

Behind the scenes on “Hegemony” (Paramount +)

So when Spock is being strangled by the tail, that’s practical, but when the tail is whipping around, that’s digital?

Yeah, and it’s not all practical. We just made the part that he was interacting with, so he could touch it. And then when it came around behind his head, that’s a digital tail. So we just made parts of it. And then they may even go over it at some point. But it gives you the ability to have something that’s tactile with Spock, and you’ve got the hand that’s right on the face and they’re face-to-face, and you get the light. The nice thing about having something practical on camera is that you get the combined experience of the DP and the director and props, and now you’ve got these magic moments and you don’t have to reinvent everything, it’s there. And it’s reacting to light. And now it gives digital something that’s real, that they can enhance their performance of it. Because if they have to create everything from scratch that’s tremendously hard and tremendously expensive. So once you have something that’s there, that now informs how they create their additions or their digital character, because there’s a full digital Gorn, and there’s partial digital Gorns that are added or Gorn components that are added to ours. So they all have to look like each other. And I think that’s the best place where the magic trick works. Your audiences are very savvy. They can look at anything and know almost immediately how it was achieved.

Behind the scenes on “Hegemony” (Paramount +)

I understand that even though we didn’t see adult Gorn in season 1, you had one designed and worked backwards for the younger Gorn.


So we have now seen the adult Gorn in a spacesuit, but does that mean you already designed what the adult Gorn looks like outside the spacesuit?

Yeah, we had to. That was a big push from us. How can we design the hatchling and the youngling without knowing where it was going to go? We wanted this life cycle to make sense. You have to have some things that tie it together so the audience realizes, “Oh that became that, and that became that” And it doesn’t just have to be dialogue, there needs to be visual cues. It’s like evolution, it works like change from one thing to another. It starts as a pure animal, a pure feeding machine, and eventually becomes something that’s more intelligent. So that has to make sense in the life cycle. It can’t just suddenly be standing there and talking and operating a spaceship. How can it be that it was just nothing but a bloodthirsty creature? So they’ve actually designed whole life cycles for their society as well. And then that informs our creature design. Because we made these really, really horrific creatures. And then we were like, “That’s too much like an animal.” What does it look like when it stands up? What does it look like when it has clothing when it operates machinery? Can it do that or is it too animal? So we had to actually tone some things down and we had to bring some other stuff up. And so you continue to experiment with like, how would it create this technology? How does it have space travel? What weapons does it have? How does it do that? Where does it put them? It doesn’t have to be exactly what we have like a holster on its thigh, but what is it? So it’s kind of cool how designing a society informs the creature a little bit.

J. Alan Scott of Legacy Effects

So if the Gorn were to speak, that can be done with the practical animatronic headpiece you already have?

That’s the idea. Because that’s part of the conversation. Does it speak? Or is it going to be clicks and other kind of guttural noises that are subtitled? Is there going to be some dialogue that they don’t understand? Because they have translators, so what’s that going to be? Does that mean we need lips? Or is it more like ultrasonic and it opens its mouth and guttural clicks? So yeah, those are things that we continue to explore. And we’re going to visually see them next season. But for this one, this is as much as we want to reveal right now. And it needed to be immediate, like “Oh my god, there it is.” That’s what they’ve all been hinting at and hearing stories of and legends of. The audience knows where it’s supposed to be going to be The Original Series Gorn. But it’s nice that we get incremental reveals, much like a horror story.

Ready Room visits Legacy Effects

For more from J. Alan Scott, check out the latest episode of The Ready Room where Wil Wheaton visits Legacy Effects.

All episodes from season 2 of Strange New Worlds are available on Paramount+ in the U.S, the U.K., Australia, Latin America, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Season 2 is also available on SkyShowtime elsewhere in Europe. The second season will also be available to stream on Paramount+ in South Korea, with premiere dates to be announced.

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They botched the Gorn. It’s as simple as that. The Gorn were never meant to be Xemonorphs. They were never meant to be bloodthirsty animals. And they, in “Arena,” were the victims of a perceived human invasion. The Gorns are the worst thing about Strange New Worlds.

That is purely your willful misinterpretation of “Arena” and a complete lack of understanding of warfare in order to throw a public tantrum. It’s as simple as that.

Many wars and conflicts started due to perceived invasions, but does that necessarily mean that it is true? No. And does that mean any reactions against such justified? No.

If they aren’t brutal to a certain level, they wouldn’t have bombarded Cestus III. They would have attempted to communicate. Are you seriously implying that a species who would raze a foreign outpost to the ground without warning will have zero chance that it is also a bloodthirsty or brutal species?

Just because a duck camped on your backyard doesn’t mean that you have to shoot them in the face to make them go away. And just because you shot them in the face doesn’t mean that you aren’t also going to grill them for dinner. If the Gorn sees other species as dinners because they interpret sapience differently than us, it’s perfectly plausible that they are “bloodthirsty”. We eat plenty of intelligent species ourselves too.

The unmoderated comment section here that is allowed to fester into a miserable pit of whiners is the worst thing about this website.

LOL. OK, drama queen.

Says the guy saying they ‘botched’ the Gorn?

Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Don’t fret if it doesn’t match yours.

I too think the Gorn are the worst thing about this wonderful series.

It’s also obvious that Pikes lady friend is going g to sacrifice herself to the Gorn to save everyone else.

I don’t think they’re the worst (I think what they did to Spock is the worst) but I don’t think the Gorn are great.

I still like the show. I just wish they hadn’t completely fucked these guys up.

I don’t think they’re the worst (I think what they did to Spock is the worst)

Ah, the smorgasbord of choices available to us.

Ah, the smorgasbord of choices available to us.

All right, that did get a chuckle out of me.

Yes, says me. Relax. So much angst.

You are the Kirk-unit. You will assist me.

See, you know Sir Neighs-a-lot is right because you couldn’t offer anything more than a childish rebuttal to his comment. Grow up and log off.

Arrogance and being an obnoxious ass is being right? I’m thinking Lorna D. took the high road because he doesn’t have the time to waste arguing with children. By the way, anyone who says grow up… well never mind.

Thank you for that. I appreciate it. Life’s too short to deal with these types of people.

Well you’re welcome. It’s not that I enjoy sticking my head into other people’s business, but this kind of behavior has to be called out.

LOL. OK, drama queen.

You’re being way too kind…

Brutality is, rather than in the eye of the beholder, more a matter of who gets to write the history. Certainly atrocities get committed by all sides in war. But was there anything on the scale of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and committed by the ‘good’ guys?) Maybe Dresden. And targets that were specifically civilian ones at that.

There’s no indication that the Gorn ever attacked a planet with millions of deaths, so the scale of their barbarism in the Cestus attack seems calculated, not the work of berserkers driven by sun worship or whatever the SNW retcon is threatening to turn into. For all we know, the Gorn running that attack may have been their Napoleon, committed to the concept of ‘total war.’ But there was at least a suggestion that this was based on misunderstanding, which also implies that a common ground solution is possible.

That’s all WAY more sophisticated than what we’re seeing now. Not that it is all that sophisticated, but by comparison to those doing the writing on SNW, well, Gene Coon is a god, Spock’s Brain notwithstanding.

I don’t think it happens all that often (or maybe I’m confusing poster names), but I stand mostly with DUNE on this one, though there are way too many terrible things on SNW for the Gorn to be the worst of the offenses.

After two seasons, this show is batting between .150 and .200 for me. Better than DSC, which means nothing, but this one at least had potential.

Thank you for this incredibly arrogant drivel. Feel better now? And who the hell are you to presume to analyse the Gorn’s intentions? They are Gorn. No one can tell why they do what they do. It is perfectly reasonable and logical to assume that mass-killing is perfectly justifiable to them, if they thought they were being invaded. Maybe this offends your sensibilities, but Gorn have as much right to be Gorn with all that this entails, than you have a right to be you. In other words, this behavior can be perfectly OK to them and you don’t have to agree or even understand it. And this doesn’t mean you won’t see them at a negotiating table later on trying for peace.

The worst thing about the Internet (not this website), is people lie you who are unable to put things in perspective and understand the basic precepts of adult discussions.

My comments don’t seem to have slipped through, but I think yours did a better job of addressing Neighs shortcomings

Perhaps a slight over-reaction? ;-)

No, an eye for an eye. You’re so moderate…

It should be moderated. Then I wouldn’t have to read your dismissive, impolite missive. This is a forum for Trek Fans. Everyone has a right to their opinion. One may disagree but that doesn’t confer license to denigrate, humiliate or otherwise impune the I integrity of anyone else. So in other words, be nicer.

That is purely your willful misinterpretation of “Arena” and a complete lack of understanding of warfare in order to throw a public tantrum

Speaking as someone who has actually held several foreign policy-related positions as a practitioner, and who came damn near to doing a PhD in international relations, I agree with Lorne Dune, and I’d like you to explain why you believe her argument betrays “a complete lack of understanding of warfare.”

Citations to actual IR experts like (Jervis? Nye? Walt? Huntington? Bueler?) might be actual icing on the cellular peptide cake.

Got Mirror?

Nice reply to the hyperventilating Lorna :)

It’s no worse then us being led to believe Starfleet has been apparently communicating with the Gorn here, or so April says, not sure how they could do that without calling each other? They are just sending maps? And are we meant to believe Sam Kirk, who now has seen Gorn up close, will never mention how they look like to his own brother???

It’s 2023 not 1966.

Yeah, but you seem to be raining on most parties like it’s 1999.

I too have problems with the Gorn in SNW from a story perspective. No problems with any aesthetic changes, just like I didn’t have problems with TMP Klingons nor the SNW lovely Enterprise.

I am getting tired of trying to have an intelligent gripe with the monsterification of the Gorn, contrary to the underlying message of Arena (regardless of whether Arena happens later in the timeline or not) – it’s a philosophical issue with the story they are trying to tell here being contrary to the ethos of Trek. I pity the Mission Log crew trying to find morals, meaning, and messages in this.

Only to find oneself shouted down as a whiner and having ad-hominem attacks lobbed instead of engagement. There’s a sliver of a decent argument in Neighs-A-Lot’s response, but the need to attack others trying to have an opinion is what is actually causing the miserable festering pit. Not those of us trying to have an intelligent conversation about what we think is being written in the show.

Not going to cast any shade on the effects, guys. They have done fine work. It’s the story that is misserved here.


Well put.

You’ll get no argument from me on this one.

I don’t think they’re going to stay that way. I think something is ‘wrong’ with the Gorn. Plenty of Chekhov’s Guns were laid in dialogue referring to an unexpected cause behind the Gorn behavior, possibly having to do with the uncommon Coronal Mess Ejection patterns. Take a liiiiil breath and maybe consider that there’s an arc in play here!

LOL. OK, drama queen.

I hope this is the correct answer. That they are laid out as “wrong” in order to be fixed. Like they did with the Vulcans in ENT (though I admit that was Coto fixing an error rather than something planned from the get-go).

And in an opposing opinion, I don’t care. I have no issue compartmentalizing TOS for a storytelling arc sixty years after the guy in the rubber suit appeared. Nothing that’s happening now diminishes my enjoyment of TOS, just like todays Godzilla doesn’t lessen the Godzilla of old.

The irony being this new gorn is also partially a guy in a suit. So lets not be too hasty to dismiss “cheesy” 60s stuff yet.

Totally agree with this

They also were not not meant to be Xenomorphs – their stages of life are a complete blank slate for what SNW or another series wants to do with it.

Maybe they claimed to be victims of invasion, but what if tomorrow, after Cestus 3, they decide that the Vulcans have invaded their world too? If there is no discussion, and you leave no markers or colonies, what makes it your terrritory?

SNW is doing a good job of carrying forward some of the characteristics we know from Arena – highly intelligent, highly advanced technologically, cunning, deceptive in trapping prey.

Also, love how the little drop of Boimler’s about the exploding tricorder – which the Gorn caused Spock’s tricorder to explode in Arena.

Sure, they were mean to be painfully slow vertical lizards with permanently frozen grin — plus, misunderstood killers with hearts of gold (think The Minus Man with Owen Wilson).

Agreed. And not saying that as some TOS purist. SNW co-opted an existing alien race instead of creating something original. It’s really difficult to imagine these creatures beyond their SNW personas (hungry, baby making, vicious) as creating technologies such as they have. They’re “Alien/Aliens” knock-offs, in a sense. SNW wanted to introduce horror into their Trek universe; the SNW Gorn are definitely that.

I respect the fact that you don’t like this version of the Gorn, but may I address the idea of what the Gorn “were or were never meant to be?”

We have extremely limited information in canon about the Gorn. “Arena” didn’t tell us anything about their biology, lifecycle, culture, or civilization; all we knew is that they slaughtered a Federation colony without warning.

The Gorn seen on screen was a man in a rubber lizard monster suit that only let him move in very slow steps, likely also with zero visibility, clad in a belted sleeveless mod sundress.

We don’t see any Gorn in canon again until the “Through A Mirror, Darkly” episodes of Enterprise, where Slar is overseeing slaves captured by the Tholians, who are busy ransacking the prime-universe USS Defiant for future technology after it falls through interphase (“The Tholian Web”), and… it’s a pretty basic, and honestly still rubbery, if more muscular, CGI version of the 1960s original.

(We get a mention of the Gorn in the Kelvin Timeline where McCoy notes that he once had to do an emergency C-section on a pregnant Gorn, and that their young bite, though the canonicity of this is debatable as it’s a throwaway line and we don’t actually see this.)

So all we have to go on is:

  • they’re reptilian in their adult form
  • the adult form can communicate
  • their civilization has technology comparable or superior to the Federation
  • they have been known to attack first, without warning

and…that’s it!

As to whether they were “victims,” a colony being established on an empty world with no evidence of prior territorial claim is very different from an “invasion,” because the latter implies a military conflict and conquest, perception or not.

As others have noted, the Gorn could have opened diplomatic relations and told the Federation to remove the colony, but they didn’t.

From a story perspective, the writers of SNW have taken some pretty bare threads based on an alien-of-the-week from over 50 years ago, and woven a much more complex backstory that is quite compelling.

They are truly alien, because they are clearly an intelligent species, but their behaviour appears savage and animalistic; the motivations for their behaviors – instinct? culture? – are unknown and possibly incomprehensible to us.

Their reproductive process (or at least one reproductive process) is parasitic, undetectable and lethal to the host; their young mature rapidly and fight each other for dominance; they have incredible speed and agility and are powerful predators. Their civilization maintain “breeding planets” where they use captives as hosts / food for their young. (It does raise the question – are the Gorn genderless?)

Now that, to me, is worthy science fiction. Not just because the new facts about the Gorn make them viscerally frightening, but because their alien-ness sets the stakes high for the ideals of the Federation.

Can the Federation’s philosophy of respect for other lifeforms and civilizations bring them to some sort of understanding and detente?

Or is this the paradox of “we cannot tolerate intolerance,” i.e. we cannot accept the Gorn’s worldview and actions as legitimate and must reject them?

Or is it more, what do we do when an entire civilization is hostile, implacable and cannot be reasoned with? i.e. what if the Planet Killer is alive?

To some degree, yeah… this borrows ideas from Andromeda’s Magog or the Star Wars Legends ideas of the Yuuzhan Vong. That’s fine! Exploring those kinds of ideas within the Star Trek framework is exciting.

True. And it is due to this and what they did with Chapel (who I cannot see turning into the character played by Majel Barrett on TOS anymore) that honestly, while I can even buy Discovery being in continuity, I can no longer believe that for Strange New Worlds. This is another universe, not the one that leads to TOS and TNG and the rest. Even when Enterprise brought in the Borg or the Ferengi, they did not botch things up this badly. If they had just used the Gorn but left them like Slar looked like and acted in Enterprise, it would have worked.

Enjoying The Gorn, So Far.

I’m impressed by how much thought they’ve put into this, that they have to design a whole SOCIETY in order to make the costumes make sense. That’s so cool!

“And to bring it into a horror, really terrifying arena was really exciting.” I wonder if he used that word intentionally 😏

Thanks for this interview, TrekMovie!

Could you also interview Kay Hanley and Tom Polce? I’d love to know more about how they wrote all those fabulous songs. How much did they get from the writers of the episode, how much Star Trek have they seen, did they hear the actors sing to get a sense of their voices and ranges before they started writing?

I YEARN to interview them. I want to know all of those things too and I am obsessed with the musical.

Still signing huh?

Still singing. Still dancing. Still rewatching. Still listening. Still driving my family insane. Still waking up with the songs in my head.

It’s funny you sound like you haven’t been very impressed with the season as a whole but you seem you truly love Those Old Scientists and the musical. I’m happy those two episodes brought you such great joy at least.

Yeah, I loved those two episodes and I have definitely had my struggles with many of the other episodes. I think there have been a lot of great scenes and moments in each episode but I get frustrated by what I see as missed opportunities, story holes, and specific choices. Those two episodes won me over, though. It’s not just the genre change, I think there was a lot more crafting in those two episodes in terms of how everything should fit together (even though the scientific explanation for the singing made zero sense, ha). I plan to do a rewatch of the whole season, so maybe I’ll be more chill this time. Who knows?

lol, glad I’m not the only one!

There are a lot of us.

You’re definitely not the only one!

I’ve listened to the soundtrack so much that even my husband — who’s mostly been bemused by my obsession with this episode — decided he had to watch a YouTube video of “Status Report.” :-)

Yay! I’m obsessed with “Subspace Rhapsody,” too. I keep watching it over and over; watching it seems to be the only thing I actually want to do, which really alarms my husband, since my interests are usually a bit broader than that. :-)

I hope you do get to interview them! There’s so much I’d love to know, and they did such a fabulous job of writing songs that bring us great character development and that also stick in one’s mind. Hanley and Polce should get to tell THEIR story about the episode, not just the characters’.

Yep… my family is going a bit mad from my need to rewatch the episode and listen to the soundtrack. I really want to interview the songwriters and the episode writers too, to see how it all came together.

My understanding is that the episode writers can’t talk about it while they’re on strike, but the SONG writers probably aren’t in the scriptwriters’ union. So they, at least, should be interviewable now!

Turns out they’re in SAG! Ah well.

Oh, darn! Well, thanks for checking into that.

My understanding is that Gorns only have tails when they are at war – like Klingon hair.


The lizards in my yard grow them back.


Skinks and Alligators….as a matter of fact, there are tiny alligator lizards running around at the moment. Not much more than an inch (or a couple of centimeters) long.

It’s a cool critter design, but departs too much from the original to not be jarring. As with a lot of the visuals. But hey, it’s not this father’s Trek anymore. I’m getting used to being in age bracket that is undesirable except to be sold supplemental insurance and medical appliances. (I kid, a little.)

Maybe the Gorn in “Arena” was much older (he was a captain) and as they age they get slower… and lose their tails…

Not to mention the obvious rheumatoid arthritis!

Is that why they’re trying to sell you supplemental insurance and medical appliances? Won’t be long for me…

Frank “Gorn” Thomas….does low T have you losing your tail?

TIL I’m a Gorn Captain

All that sunlight exposure gets the skin all think and rubbery.
Off topic (slightly), the rubber Gorn has a bit of a uniform. Mugato’s are naked. How do you tell the boys apart from the girls?

Female Gorn wear sequins.

Maybe they wear their victim’s eyelids as nipple pasties.

In Lower Decks female Gorn had breasts. We did see a wedding… Of course, now we can argue which new Trek show that often completely ignores continuity and canon is now canon, LOL.

I have no problem with the Gorn or how they look. Looking back at the TOS episode, the costume is what it is for the ’60s. The CGI in Enterprise was just plain horrible. I can live with the new look of the Gorn. Imagine how laughable if they put a guy in a rubber suit again!
And those that are saying they should have used a different alien or something new. Well, with something new, there wouldn’t have been any mention of this alien species in TOS or TNG, etc. I understand what they wanted to do… it was always the Klingons or Romulans… so why not take up an alien species already in canon and use them as the big baddie. I have no issue with that.

Klongons, Romulans, Tholians, Andorians, Cardassians… all been done before. The Breen… boring.
So, if not the Gorn… then who do you fellow geeks suggest?

The Xindi were nev…well…maybe that’s a bad example…. ;)

That is the problem with bringing in new aliens. Enterprise brought in the Xindi and what they did to Earth – but there is nothing about it in TOS, TNG, etc. When you add a new alien into the mix in a prequel – you have a hard time explaining why they are never mentioned again. I have no problem sticking to the Gorn.

Yeah, Picard shouldn’t have been clueless about the Borg, because of ‘Regeneration’ from Enterprise. I find it better to ignore these continuity hiccups…

Well not if Starfleet kept it classified. And it was a single incident from 200 years ago.

The Gorn is a bigger issue because all of this is happening with literally the same characters who will encounter them again in Arena. And Starfleet has made it clear the Gorn is on their radar now. And the weirdest thing is they already know Cestus III was in Gorn space years ago before Enterprise encountered them in the Broken Circle which negates the entire point of Arena.

None of it flies at all at this point.

Why would Starfleet classify that?? We found something bad in the Artic, our weapons are pretty ineffective, maybe we should warn the fleet that if they find any more of this space junk out there to give it a wide berth? It’s apparently stupid easy for the Borg to time travel…..oh, wait, another damn continuity problem again.

I’m apparently willing to suspend disbelief more than most regarding the Gorn. If we ever get to season three, I’m sure that stuff Scotty and Pelia were tinkering around with down in engineering will resolve the immediate dilemma, Uhura will figure out some way to communicate, and some agreement will be arrived at were both parties agree to leave each other alone. Starfleet imposes another Discovery level classification, or the Metrons show up with a massive memory wipe, or some other deux ex machina solution gets imposed that doesn’t upset the canon apple cart too much. It’s not like Trek hasn’t done that before.

But this is not Earth in the 24th century where aliens are everywhere. It’s still Earth where humans are still hesitant about aliens, especially one that is so dangerous and deadly and not want to alarm anyone.

Now that said, I will admit it makes no sense to classify it 200 years later but let’s also remember when the Borg first appeared in Q Who they didn’t assimilate anyone so they may not have even put two and two together it’s the same species that was found in the Artic.

But that’s still 100 times easier to buy than what we’re seeing with the Gorn. Starfleet didn’t know if they would ever see the Borg again and as said it centuries later when they finally did show up. In the case, I’ll repeat it, Starfleet already knows who the Gorn is and that Cestrus III is in Gorn space. So how in Kahless name would anyone be shocked when the Gorn attacked it in Arena? That’s a major plothole they can’t get around and yet they created it lol. Even if you can buy some massive classification/memory wipe, etc, WHY would they make that so known in the first place? Maybe they have some big plan to explain it all but I remember that said about Discovery and we saw what they did to handle that show;s canon issues lol. So I don’t have much faith it will be anything more than just a big shrug. It’s why I wish they just avoided prequels so we can stop these arguments from happening over and over again.

It may not have been StarFleet, it might have been Section 31

Yep. Given that James Kirk seems to be hanging out on the Enterprise every second episode, it is hard to believe his own xenobiologist brother did not mention the Gorn to him yet. By Arena’s time, he should know. Also, Starfleet would probably remove all their colonies from Gorn space after this event, even from the borders.

Archer’s crew never heard the name “Borg” and I don’t think they even saw a drone. ENT was actually pretty good about Canon

Nah, I just watched that episode some months ago. They were never greeted by the Borg, but they were on the assimilated ship, and engaged in a firefight with the drones – heck they even tried to save some of them – before they were forced to blow up the ship.

The problem I have with using the Gorn is that, so far, they can’t be allowed to progress beyond monsters, assuming the writers don’t want to contradict Kirk’s realization and mercy in “Arena” that is. So, where does this story go? Is it just going to be people fighting growling, hissing beasties with space ships? Because I’m finding that a bit dull at this point. Even the Borg were humanized in their third appearance with Hugh. They took them in new directions.

But can there be new directions with the Gorn, other than ripping off Alien and treating them as vicious monsters? Because that’s just as boring as the Breen, in my opinion. Say what you want about the Gorn designs in TOS and Enterprise, but at least they had lines. They could talk. Bad guys need a voice, you know.

Oh, I do agree, but you have to realize a couple of things. First, a season is 10 episodes and second, there are mostly stand-alone episodes unlike a season long arc like Picard or Discovery. There will still be season 3 to flesh out and go into more detail. I think if SNW was more of a season long arc – they would have done more. The Klingons in TOS were never really fleshed out either. It wasn’t until TNG that they really dove into the Klingon culture.

Right, but how do they go into the Gorn as a people with a culture without bumping into “Arena,” which is what that episode’s big revelation was — they’re not just monsters, they’re people with a territory that we invaded. Essentially the same message as the one with the Horta. Mindless monster? Not really.

Anyway, TNG didn’t have that problem. It wasn’t a prequel to anything, so they had the freedom to explore the Klingons and any other culture however they please.

Exactly. Why it’s always better to just go forward OR just say its a reboot and you can do anything you want there as well.

Yeah, I cannot see Pike having a dialogue with these… things. They don’t just look like monsters, they act like it, using intelligent species as incubators, attacking and capturing them without provocation. They are also really stupid, considering they could be fooled by lights… some of the worst ship to ship communication system ever. Compare this to the Gorn Captain’s offer of “mercy” and his indignancy about the Federation “invasion force”, showing they attacked for a reason. Or Slar’s genuine attempt to bargain with mirror Archer to be allowed to leave alive. He was brutal and used his reptilian talents to kill his enemies, but he was not a monster but a person you could have dialogue with. Hard to do that when even the adult Gorn we saw had no interest in anything but hissing and growling and trying to really stupidly kill everyone with his bare claws instead of weapons.

Imagine how laughable if they put a guy in a rubber suit again!

Based on the pictures and the interview they did put a guy in a rubber suit for the adult Gorn. It just looks better than what was possible in the sixties.

“if not the Gorn… then who do you fellow geeks suggest?”

Something original and creative

While it may not be original, rogue Xindi Reptilians or the mysterious aliens from “Silent Enemy” (which beta canon calls The Elachi), would have worked just as well.

they probably don’t have the cash do pay Niven for the Kzinti but that could have been interesting, the tech is there to do them well, and showing how we get to the Treaty of Sirius mentioned in TAS

But they are already using the Kzinti in Lower Decks. So clearly they have the rights to them.

Agreed. They could have introduced any other species. TNG added aliens like the Nausicaans or the Tamaranians or Terellians. Just make them a smaller power that does not take up like 25% of the starmaps…

I’d prefer the Enterprise CGI Gorn. With today’s CGI he would look more believable. Mostly, he would not look like a wannabee xenomorph gigerian monster. The problem is not just the design, it is this nonsense about how they rerproduce, and how they are little more than hungry monsters looking for humanoid hosts to breed. You have to wonder, if they always need hosts for breeding, how the hell did the Klingons or the Romulans did not come into conflict with them already? Those races would not be squeamish about attacking them after such a slaughter of their colonies.

What I don’t understand, and what no one (not even Akiva Goldsman) has ever been able to explain, is why was it necessary to use the Gorn? Why was it an inherent story need for this to be the Gorn instead of the Kzinit or the Tzenkethi or something that’s never been mentioned before?

To me, that’s what make no sense. When you make this the Gorn, IF they care about continuity and staying consistent with TOS at all, it boxes them in storywise. So why not just create your own new species without any baggage that’ll be SNW’s big threat.

Yes,the Tzenkethi would have been an ideal choice; the backstory is already there, in the 24th century, but not filled out in the slightest. They’d have had so much leeway to do whatever they wanted.I guess they maybe didn’t want to have to pay Ira Behr or whoever wrote that DS9 episode for the use of the name. Dayum, though. The use of the Gorn in SNW just reiterates to me that it’s a basically a reboot —not that I cannot live with the idea it’s a reboot.

He did explain it, it’s one of his favorite species and it’s only been shown twice in the franchise so they wanted to develop them more. It’s not a grand mystery, that’s simply it.

They also said they will ignore canon if they think it’s good enough story and apparently they seem to believe that. But I agree with you, if you wanted to do the Gorn, then make them the big villains in Picard or Discovery, NOT a prequel where it just makes Arena a total non-factor.

Or yes just come up with a new villain and then do whatever you want. But crazy thing is out of the five new shows it’s only been done once, which is Discovery. All the other shows it’s just been legacy species like the Borg, Klingons,Romulans, Changelings, Pakleds, etc.

Oops, I meant Prodigy, not Discovery that introduced a new villain species.

And they did it so much better, since A: it is in the future after Voyager so does not upset continuity, and B: even the actual villains come from a future timeline of that planet, not the present.

Akiva Goldsman has said several times that he’s obsessed with the Gorn, and that’s why.

The Kzinti would have been a good choice. They’re incredibly vicious but intelligent and now part of the Federation. This could have been a good storyline to explain how it happened. Imo they used the Gorn to attract the interest of fans, nothing else. Goldman is BS-ing.

it would be better to say at least that he’s obsessed with the monster. Not the Gorn.

I don’t think having one ensign on Lower Decks means they are part of the Federation. Tendi is a Starfleet member too, but Orions are not a part of the Federation. Most likely that guy is a defector or was raised by humans, like Worf was.

Yeah, and the Kzinti would have been a far better choice, seeing as they only appeared in TAS before (and now Lower Decks). They are also warlike and xenophobic, if that was the type of race they wanted to use.
I know little about the Tzenkethi, they were just mentioned here and there until the online game turned them into big dragon anthro creatures, overdoing it as they usually do (like the Iconians looking like anime energy people). They could have done anything with that concept since the online games are not canon.

The Gorns are one of the best things about Strange New Worlds.

I love what they have done with the Gorn on SNW and I am really liking them as the big villains of the show. I really don’t have any canon complaints because I am enjoying the show for what it is, and it keeps me coming back for more. If I am feeling nostalgic and want to see the slow-moving guy in the rubber suit, I can watch Arena at any time.

I love what they have done with the Gorn on SNW and I am really liking them as the big villains of the show. I really don’t have any canon complaints because I am enjoying the show for what it is, and it keeps me coming back for more. If I am feeling nostalgic and want to see the slow-moving guy in the rubber suit, I can watch Arena at any time.

EXACTLY. People need to chill out on this. The original Gorn is laughable now.

I really don’t think anyone (including Star Trek purists) are arguing that the original Gorn in TOS is NOT laughable or that the suit was even somewhat ridiculous for the time it was made. I grew up watching TOS nearly 20 years after Arena originally aired and found it somewhat humorous even as a kid. By my teenage years, it seemed to be an in-joke with Trekkies and I think most people never really took the Gorn representation seriously.

The problem is not in updating the Gorn. The Klingons were also updated and took some getting used to, but at least that was an improvement. Here, it doesn’t feel like an improvement at all and I don’t think it made any sense to try and put a square peg (new Gorn) in a round hole (old Gorn). Just create something new! And I know there’s been some argument in a previous post that creating new aliens makes it hard to fit in with past shows, but we saw MANY alien species in TOS that we NEVER encountered again. In fact, SNW could wrap it up somehow and in such a way that it makes sense to not encounter the same aliens again.

I just still have a hard time understanding why a show called “Strange New Worlds” can’t seem to create any truly strange new worlds/species/characters/concepts.

Agreed. They updated the Gorn for enterprise, they updated Klingons and Romulans for TNG, they updated Tellarites and Andorians for Enterprise as well. But save for Klingons now being a honorable warrior race instead of mustache-twirling soviet-mongol analogues, they did not change the race completely as to being unrecognizable.
They could redesign the Gorn to be able to move faster, give them a tail too for all I care, Slar on Enterprise showed it works even though he had no compound eyes anymore like the TOS design. But he was not eating people’s faces off and laying his eggs inside them.

Not very related to thread except that it involves effects work, but there is a snippet of an article on the otoy / roddenberry virtual work over at the beforesandafters website. (I think there are a few pics I haven’t seen elsewhere, but the main gist of it is to try to get you to buy the full print magazine for the rest of the story.)

The guy who does this site is truly devoted to visual effects in all forms, and I’m still trying to justify buying up all the print issues just because he is doing such a good job of becoming a vfx historian (plus, unlike me, he can network like you wouldn’t believe.)

I like what they’ve done with the Gorn. It makes them more interesting an “real”. Imagine had they used the original costume? I think we’ll be seeing a lot more about the Gorn in Star Trek moving forward.

I had to watch it again. I feel better about all of it now, and see a lot of the positives, including the pacing.. It’s too bad we will have to wait two years for the next episode…

I think what a lot of these episodes do suffer from is being too short, which is a consistent Star Trek problem – and probably half the reason there is so much other content.

I also think, upon rewatch, Pike isn’t as much filled with indecision as we are seeing the very clear process of actually thinking. Which is so rare on nu-Trek.

Anyway, it was more fun the second time.

There’s a happy medium on time when it comes to episodes, and I just don’t think any of the new Star Trek shows has found it yet. But, to the opposite point, there’s also making something too long just for the sake of taking advantage of the streaming format. I’m a fan of the Orville, and Seth Macfarlane made it very clear that one of the things that they wanted to do when they moved from Fox’s broadcast network to Hulu was lengthen the episodes and use that to flesh them out more. But in my opinion, the season on Hulu had multiple episodes that were WAY TOO LONG and the length often came from extended VFX shots or extra scenes or scenes just going on beyond the point of interest. They certainly aren’t the only show guilty of this, but I personally think SNW feels better than a lot of the Hulu season on Orville.

I would actually argue that older Star Trek handled the shorter episode length A LOT better than SNW, and I feel like I got more out of those episodes. Yes, the pacing could be quite hasty at times, but I feel like that has to do more with writing than run time.

I think what this cliffhanger needed was a few moments where Pike was shocked to find 200 survivors, and if we got to see some of these people. They are not even given a voice. That would balance out Pike’s more personal motivations. Or have one moment where Ortegas and M’Benga and a third silent Cayugah crew member handle a colony survivor.

The whole idea in TOS is that in a moment like this, Kirk would want to know what he had to work with. He was a little detached.

Great point! One thing I think has been missing nearly this entire season is the voice of people beyond the Enterprise crew (and Kirk and Patel). The older series seemed to do a very good job of letting the aliens or guest stars of the week tell their story, giving them a connection to the primary crew (Kirk, Picard, Riker, Janeway, Spock, etc.). Rarely does SNW really let the other characters beyond the crew shine, and it’s hard to feel like we’ve made any connections to them – and I think I’m primarily talking about season 2. Season 1 seemed to allow for more story involving third party characters, but this season was so focused on personal development of the main crew that the story was just there for set dressing. There was a lot of possibility of deeper development with the colonists and Cayuga crew, and extra time could have helped. But even thinning down a little of the Scotty interaction and the Pike and Marie interaction in this episode could have made space within the run time. It wouldn’t have taken much to make us care more.

I love it when people in the comments says its not a guy in a suit anymore while it is literally in the interview itself that mentions that they have a stunt guy in a suit. I actually like the fact that they aren’t going full CGI in creating the gorn. The classic methods still do work and I have always been a firm believer in using CGI to enhance things and not create them from scratch. I also think that they could have created a new species instead of the gorn (personally I wished they were the conspiracy aliens from TNG) but since they decided to use them I think I can live with the approach that they are taking to developing the species more.

Only the adult Gorn is a guy in a suit. The other Gorn are a combination of puppetry and CGI. And the costume they built for the stunt guy definitely looks a lot more complex and less comical than what was possible on TOS.
So I guess when people talk about “a guy in a rubber suit” what they really mean is “a guy in the ridiculous costume they used in Arena”.

It’s always interesting to see which canon violations fans accept (and sometimes even prefer over the original) and which they get stuck on and just can’t move past. It varies from person to person. It’s not like the original Gorn was an integral part of what defined TOS. But fandom isn’t rational, it comes down to emotional reactions that are highly subjective.

I was thinking that a radical redo of “Day of the Dove” would kill me.

it’s not about the costume. You’re right; the Gorn itself was not a huge aspect of TOS outside of that episode (heck, really, just half the episode).

What *was* a huge aspect of TOS that is very present in Arena (and thus, is associated w/ the Gorn) is that the solution to the underlying problem was not killing the ugly scary monster of the day or even continuing to be scared of it at all. (Man Trap notwithstanding…. – they tried to talk to it….a bit…sorta…).

Rather: empathy, understanding, mercy, going beyond your biases. That is the heart of it and what they are seeming not to get at all. Akiva just sees the scary monster and thinks, “Oh we can make it so much cooler and scarier!!” – but yeah, he “loves” the Gorn while entirely missing the theme of the episode and the larger ethos of the series it inhabits.

He just wanted to remake Alien(s), it seems.

There is definitely the wish to bring an element of horror to the show. But it also seems like the producers are playing a long game with the Gorn. While I don’t think the adult Gorn will get to look much closer to the TOS original they could take the story to a point where a level of understanding can be reached.

I’ll start by saying that the effects with the Gorn in the finale were good. I thought they looked better than some of the other effects this season, and for the purpose of villains, they looked pretty – well – villainous.

But I’ll also restate something that has already been said here (and many more times elsewhere): Why the Gorn? Why take a species from TOS that clearly doesn’t have much in relation to what we see in SNW and use them instead of creating something new? The lack of creativity shown by the writers (Scotty – Really? Another TOS character?) to actually create any new characters or species blows my mind. Using the Gorn and then turning them into something so far from their roots and only to create sci fi-horror in Trek doesn’t make sense to me. It didn’t last season, and I’m not any happier with it here. But at least we didn’t get another full-on Alien remake.

The other thing that’s strange to me is how the writers, producers, show runners, etc. are all supposed to be HUGE Trek fans and yet seem to miss the point of the Gorn in the first place. Wasn’t Arena all about misconception, stereotyping, and prejudice? Wasn’t it about pointless fighting/war because you don’t know your enemy or their intentions? And didn’t the episode end by proving that humanity has the ability to show mercy and empathy and not just be a “dangerous, savage, child race”?

I get this is supposed to be an earlier point in the timeline before Arena, but between Kirk versus Pike (at least SNW Pike), who seems more likely to want to dig deeper and go beyond preconceptions and play the mediator card? It seems like Pike would do more to try and mend fences with the Gorn. Yes, he has his current love interest to defend, and there’s times he gave me some hope. But overall, it just seems like the writers are stuck on the Gorn being the “big bad” and leave it at that.

It’s funny that you (and others) complain about a “lack of creativity shown by the writers” when the writers have basically created a whole new species that (so far) has nothing in common with the original beyond the name. So they have been creative. Naming the species differently wouldn’t make it any more or less creative, it would only avoid a contradiction with TOS.

I would even argue that bringing in TOS characters is not necessarily a sign of a lack of creativity either. Sure, they are building on something that other writers created before. But they always bring something new to the TOS characters (sometimes quite drastic changes), which means they always have to work out how what they do with the characters fits to what we know about the characters later in their lives. So it’s making their work harder, not easier.

I think it is more a matter of a lack of competence rather than a lack of creativity (though a lack of competent creativity is showing!) The writing is, to quote Khan, ‘quite honestly inferior.’

I wish they would have just bought the rights to any number of quality novels. For example, they could have done the excellent Cold Equations trilogy for 3 seasons of a “Picard,” and with some slight modifications, it would have scratched every itch they were clearly wanting out of Picard but like a poor-marksman…well, you know the rest.

The lack of creativity comes in the form of not creating “Strange New Worlds” – which in my opinion includes new species, new characters, new concepts, etc. It’s LITERALLY in the name of the show, but the writers, producers and show runners have pretty much avoided that fact throughout season 2. Also, there is no creativity in turning the Gorn into monsters. Yes, there are hints that maybe they are something more, but right now, they are on the same level as previous sci-fi movie monsters, with last years introduction of the “whole new species” being a direct rip-off of the Alien franchise.

As for the TOS characters, I don’t necessarily have a problem introducing them in the show IF IT MAKES SENSE. But at this point, it feels like fan service at best, and at worst taking fan favorite characters and slowly ruining them (Spock). At this point, the only SNW original character who seems to have had any worthwhile development this season is La’an, and even then it was totally dependent on a TOS character that honestly seems out of place (Kirk). Second in line is Pelia, and that’s not saying much at all. And then there’s Ortega’s who showed some glimmers of development in this episode, only to be sidelined by the halfway point. In other words, it’s like the only characters they even try to use are existing characters that don’t require anything more than a few plot points and development and they call it good. But even the actors performances are defined by others who came before them, sidelining their ability to truly create an original character.

I’m not sure how else to say it, but other than making Star Trek not really Star Trek, I’m not seeing much in the way of creativity at all.

Episode 1 introduced a strange new world with mining planet Cajitar IV, even though it was inhabited mostly by known species.
In episode 2 Pike fetches Una’s attorney from a strange new world, and I don’t think we had seen the world Una grew up on either. Of course, the main part of the episode was the trial.
Episode 4 revisits a strange, although not quite new world.
Episode 5 introduces a new and definitely strange species with the Kerkohvians.
Episode 6 has a strange new species that somehow lives in deuterium and communicates through hallucinations.
The portal that transports Boimler and Mariner to the Enterprise in episode 7 is on a strange new world.

Most of this is a stretch. The first episode was basically a Klingon planet.

Second episode had zip to do with exploring and they clearly know who the Illyrians were.

Episode four is not new lol. It’s very established they been there before.

Episode 5 is the first actual new aliens…but they are the B story and not actually explored. But thats something at least.

Episode 6 also presented new aliens, but never saw or heard them.

Episode 7 was nothing but a portal on a desolate planet.

And with the exception of, oddly, episode 7, none of it dealt with real exploration. I think is a big reason why people were disappointed in this season. OK, you only have 10 episodes, but at least make TWO of them about going out there and making real first contact with someone. All these these examples show just how little this season dealt with it.

The first episode was basically a Klingon planet.

Following that logic, any planet (however strange it may be) that has humans on it would simply be a human planet.

I acknowledged that the main focus of episode 2 wasn’t exploration (it was the trial) but they still managed to put in a strange new world.

Uhura and that other crewmember communicated with the aliens in episode 6, and we saw and heard how they experienced that communication. Of course, we cannot actually see a species that somehow lives in deuterium.

You cannot claim that SNW does not do strange new worlds and then when shown that they actually do simply go “Oh, that doesn’t count”.

Yes, the characters arcs often take precedence over the plot of the week. Doesn’t mean there are no strange new worlds at all.

I think you’re missing the point here – the argument is that that they are ignoring the focus of the name of the series. In almost every example given, there’s not much strange and in some cases nothing new. And overall, season 2 used all of the examples to just further relationships among the crew – not to explore the potential new planet, alien, or concept. In my opinion, almost none of the new or strange things introduced in season 2 are memorable. And, to be frank, we’re not really supposed to remember any of the worlds, aliens, or concepts introduced. We’re supposed to remember how the crew grew and developed this season. If I were to sum up season 2, here’s what is memorable:

  • Christine & M’Benga had a rough time in the Klingon War and are badasses.
  • Una is Illyrian and shouldn’t be discriminated against due to her genetics.
  • La’an is totally into James Kirk because he makes her feel special.
  • Pike is willing to seriously injure anyone (including former crew members) if he thinks his loved ones are in danger.
  • Spock is apparently only part-human when the plot calls for it. Oh, and he hooks up with Christine.
  • Uhura misses Hemmer and apparently has a physiological abnormality.
  • SNW would almost be better if it was animated.
  • Christine & M’Benga had a rough time in the Klingon War and are badasses.
  • Even Star Trek can’t avoid a musical episode.
  • Xenophobia continues into the 23rd century, and Pike can’t make a decision to save his (or anyone else’s life).

“Following that logic, any planet (however strange it may be) that has humans on it would simply be a human planet.”

Well yeah, normally those would just be called Earth or Federation colonies like we got in the finale. The first episode was going to a Klingon colony and was to help a crew member. It had zip to do with exploring or discovering anything new.

“Uhura and that other crewmember communicated with the aliens in episode 6, and we saw and heard how they experienced that communication. Of course, we cannot actually see a species that somehow lives in deuterium.”

Yes they met new life, I’m only saying that was purely by accident and we didn’t learn anything about them other than they were being killed by Enterprise’s actions.

“You cannot claim that SNW does not do strange new worlds and then when shown that they actually do simply go “Oh, that doesn’t count”.”

What is being said is this is highly misleading. None of these examples has zip to do with exploration of any kind. Very little of this is actually discovering anything new. With the exception of two species everyone else they ran into were very known to them.

What is mission statement in the opening, ‘to seek out new life and civilizations.’ How many times did they actually do that this season?

People want to see real exploration again. Going to a place completely foreign like the first episode of the show, appropriately titled Strange New World. Nothing about that episode was very unique in itself, it could be any typical TOS, TNG, VOY or ENT episode, but that was also the point. People just want to see more of what classic Trek did an abundance of. Again, I don’t think anyone expects it to be half the season and with only just ten episodes, but at least one or two episodes would be nice. They didn’t do it a single time in this season.

For the record, I genuinely liked season 2, but it’s frustrating it focused more on personal relationships than its actual mission.

Sorry but this feels like a cop out to me. Updating old characters is not the same as creating something completely new that can stand on its own with it’s own mythology and back story.

Yes, they updated old aliens but it’s still very much a lack of creativity when the show hasn’t created one new long term race yet after two seasons. We’ve gotten a few aliens of the week but overall not a single new species that is part of the show yet. Is a HUGE deal, no, but again for a show titled Strange New Worlds, it would be nice to introduce 1 or 2 unique aliens that can part of the story like they did with so many of the classic shows, friend or foe. That used to also be a thing, introduce a new alien as a member of the crew and they didn’t do that here as well.

Yeah, that was the point, and it will be very hard to see Pike do that after (very likely) losing his girlfriend to the Gorn’s ravenous way of reproduction. The show missed the point that the Gorn looked terrifying (well, by 1960s standards, look at monster movies of the era) but were intelligent beings you could talk with. Here, Spock and Chapel do not even try talking to that Gorn, why would they when it is a scary horror movie monster that just tries to stalk and kill them.

remember when the ferengi were suppose to be the new bad guys for TNG in season 1? and the kazon were the big baddie for VOY? each show tries to force a new alien bad guy.

i’m fine with the Gorn becoming xenomorphs, but i think season 3 premiere will expand on them (hopefully) and hopefully they’ll give them more depth and background

I have pointed this out multiple times myself and that what I really miss about the classic Trek shows they really tried to come up multiple villain species. Not so today and SNW is not alone with this since Prodigy is the only new show that has introduced a new villain while DIS, PIC, LDS and as mentioned LDS has not. I’ll go one farther and say all those shows haven’t introduced a lot of new evidence in general.

A few eras here which I can’t correct since it seems like something is wrong with the editing function.

LOL errors. Ugh, I hope it gets fixed soon.

Addressing the actual content of the article and not any opinions about canon, it is fascinating to see how VFX artists work, and how many disciplines have to come together to make a believable alien appear on screen.

Everything from speculative biology / anatomy, concept sketches, 3D visualization, clay sculpting, digitization, 3D printing, resin and silicone casting, costume design and fabrication, remote-controlled mechanical design and implementation, lighting, 3D shader and texture work, CGI skeletal design, character animation, rendering, compositing, and as noted here, combining CGI with practical on-set effects.

Not to mention sound design, and remembering there’s an actor underneath there who has to perform the alien with believable movements, in concert with people just off-camera who are controlling things like eye irises, eyelids and other things.

Let’s take a moment to actually applaud the effort that the team has done to bring this to fruition, on a limited budget, shall we?

Legacy’s history going back to when it was the Winston Studio is pretty fantastic. The work they do on the SW TV series is always top-notch, and one thing they always seem to have on hand in abundance is as good a batch of creative design artists as they do folks who can execute … so the brilliant designs don’t get dumbed down, and sometimes even get plussed up. About the only time I can remember their stuff not measuring up (and this was way back at the beginning, around 1980) was a couple of old-age makeups Winston did for THE FINAL COUNTDOWN that he even admitted in print were fails. Pretty much all of the prosthetic makeup biz seems to have come through there on their way to bigger things, like the Amalgamated Dynamics guys, who I used to interview every few years, just because they did so much (and so well.)

off-topic, but a week or so after the fact, I saw a post you made on a thread (and I’m thinking this was the better part of a month ago now) where we had gone back and forth on some stuff, and while I can’t remember where it was or what it was about now, I do want to say that your final reply — filled with info I didn’t know plus intelligent speculation — was seriously impressive. I think the only reason I didn’t acknowledge it then was not so much that I was late to note it, but that I didn’t really know how to concede whatever the point was in a graceful manner. Anyways, so there.

Oh, thank you, that’s very kind! I appreciate your in-depth knowledge of the biz, it’s always enlightening!

Hey, has anybody here ever seen the WING COMMANDER movie? Because in terms of appearance, these things really remind me of the little-scene Kilrathi villain-aliens in that seriously terrible movie (apparenty the critters looked different in the video games but I never saw or played any of those, whereas I had to write a story about the movie (I think this may be the only Cinefex article of mine that is online anywhere now that the Edward Norton site seems to have taken down the FIGHT CLUB article: )

I watched the Wing Commander movie, honestly its a guilty pleasure for me. It is a horrible movie but for some reason I love watching it. Yeah they do remind a bit of the Kilrathi, but the kilrathi in the movie was quite different from the kiltrathi of the video games. I’ve played the video games too. I heard that there were some budget problems with the movie and that’s why they couldn’t really get too many kilrathi on screen.

Hey, I love ACTION JACKSON and the last half of IRON EAGE, so I can’t bitch if somebody has a guilty pleasure.

They only had double the money for the WC film that they had for the most recent game (IV?), and that was still just 27 mil. Plus they had a real FX fiasco, where the producer had one group working but it was the director’s group that actually did all the rushed finals The producer on that film was a real piece of work, he was the guy trying to get a GALACTICA movie made where the ship gets blown up halfway through and it becomes a PEGASUS movie if you can believe it. I think his major credit is the Jamie Lee Curtis VIRUS, which was 92 mil that looked like about 14.

They had a very good supporting cast of character actors, but the young stars didn’t do anything for me at all — Freddy Prinze had a scene where he was coming off as lame as KyleM in BLUE VELVET when he is whining about why are there people in the world like Frank, asking about what it means to be a pilgrim. I just starting laughing in the theater and couldn’t stop, but there was almost nobody there to complain.

I think the Wing Commander aliens were just anthro lion people. The movie did try to redesign them somewhat.

However one feels about the way SNW is incorporating the Gorn, I feel like we should all appreciate the incredible artistry and inventiveness that goes into these (strange) new alien designs! The effects supervisor didn’t write the story, so it seems a little strange to be arguing about canon in a post about his work. I think they’re doing a great job!

One problem I see with turning the Gorn into xenomorphs is that they’re trying to freshen up a tired old franchise by taking elements from another tired old franchise. Mileage with vary on how scary the xenomorphs still are, but they stopped being unique ages ago.

Drat, that should be “Mileage will vary…”

What’s up with the edit feature on this site lately?

If I were the Federation I’d send Linus and the Saurians to engage with the Gorn. You know, reptile-to-reptile over some brandy…

That’s… that’s damn good plan! (I want to watch that now)

There is a thin line between reimagining and completely rebooting. Enterprise just redesigned the Gorn in the Mirror Universe episode, the one we saw was still a sentient being and not a rampaging xenomorph that lays its eggs in people, and can only growl and not talk. The Strange New Worlds Gorn are so monstrous and bestial, I am really unsure how this cannibalistic species ever created any technology, and how if they breed so horribly, were not yet attacked by the more militaristic Alpha Quadrant empires and wiped out?