Star Trek has revealed its terrifying new version of the Gorn, the iconic (and often mocked) lizard-like species from the original Star Trek series. The Gorn make a full return in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Episode 9, "All Those Who Wander" after being teased back in Episode 4, "Memento Mori". However, the Enterprise crew's first encounter with the Gorn was a cat-and-mouse space chase; when the crew comes face-to-face with the Gorn, the result is something more akin to James Cameron's Aliens than a Star Trek episode!
(WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!)
In "All Those Who Wander" the Enterprise gets sent on assignment to find a missing Federation starship, the USS Peregrine. The Enterprise was already heading out on a crucial assignment to help the Deep Space K-7 station, so the team opts to split into two to cover both missions. However, when the bridge crew and security team reach an icy planet where the Peregrine crashed, they make a horrific discovery: refugees the ship was carrying have been infected with Gorn eggs, which hatch vicious, dog-sized lizard creatures from the Alien franchise. The Gorn hatchlings even have a spectrum of vision like Xenomorphs, and their hatching process is definitely a direct ode to Ridley Scott's body horror concepts from Alien.
As stated the classic Star Trek Gorn design ha become iconic – mostly in an ironic way. The rubber lizard-man suits in classic Star Trek TOS episodes like "Arena" are quite silly and dated by today's standards. Watching William Shatner's Kirk have a martial arts battle with a Gorn captain is such a deep part of Star Trek/Sci-fi camp legend that it was even brought back to help market Star Trek: The Video Game in 2013.
Obviously, the makers of the modern Star Trek TV Universe are doing away with the idea of the Gorn being campy in any way. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is also clearly doing a slow-burn rollout of the monstrous aliens as big antagonists in this seasonal arc. "Memento Mori" tied the Gorn to the dark backstory of La'an Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) and retconned the species "first contact" status from "Arena". Now "All Those Who Wander" has established what level of monstrous threat the new Gorn really are – and we've still only seen their hatchlings! Those feral lizards weren't laying traps and piloting spaceships: clearly there is a final, "grown up" form of Gorn that will be revealed.
Gorn hatchlings already claimed the life of one Enterprise crew member (Hemmer) – it's chilling to consider how many more could (will?) die when the Enterprise inevitably has to face the full might of the Gorn.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds streams new episodes on Paramount+.