Star Trek: Strange New Worlds gave us a new take on the Gorn but the Gorn may be older than people think.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds have given fans a new look at the Gorn, one of the most iconic alien races from the 1960s series, now dubbed Star Trek: The Original Series. Then it was just Star Trek and the Gorn were one of the most recognizable characters in the franchise. Granted, they were only used once, but those green rubber suits that the show used were iconic.
Now, the Gorn are CGI and far more terrifying than their original counterpart. And while Strange New Worlds is using the original series stories and aliens for a lot of Strange New Worlds concepts, the Gorn may be even more unique and older than realized.
According to lore (via Inverse), Gene Coon inadvertently lifted the Gorn and the episode they debuted in, “Arena” from a short story written by Fredric Brown in 1944. The short story, also dubbed “Arena” sees pilot Carson crash-landing on a planet and being forced to fight aliens to survive. One of those aliens that Carso has to fight is a lizard creature, that looks very similar to how the Gorn in Strange New Worlds are depicted.
Did Star Trek: Strange New Worlds crew take the lizard creature as the reference for the new Gorn look?
If you look at the image provided via Inverse, the creature that the character Carson fights looks a lot like the redesigned Gorn from Strange New Worlds. Was this just a coincidence? It’s hard to say but the design has had to come from somewhere. If it did come from this short story, then that would arguably make it the deepest-cut reference in the history of the franchise.
And for those wondering, Coon gave Brown a story credit, avoiding any unfortunate plagiarism nastiness.