Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Lower Decks Brings Back an Iconic Original Series Alien Race

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 8, "Veritas," now streaming on CBS All Access.

In the latest episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, Lieutenant Shaxs and Lieutenant Commander Andy Billups recruit Ensign Rutherford for a daring secret mission. However, since the mission requires expert knowledge of Romulan Bird-of-Prey spaceships, Rutherford has to perform an update of his cybernetic implant. Unfortunately for the Ensign, this update requires multiple system reboots. As a result, Rutherford shuts down and falls asleep on multiple occasions, only to wake up later to discover that he is now in a whole new location in the middle of Shaxs and Billups' mission.

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This leads him from the lower decks of the U.S.S. Cerritos to a museum, and from a space walk to a desert planet. And it's on this desert planet that Rutherford comes face-to-face with a classic Star Trek alien race: the Gorn.

The Gorn are anthropomorphic reptile-like aliens that first appeared in "Arena," an episode from Star Trek: The Original Series Season 1. In the episode, Captain Kirk faced off in battle against a Gorn, a scene that is now recognized as one of the most famous and iconic in the franchise's history. Because of this, the Gorn became a classic part of Star Trek, and the alien race has gone on to appear in Star Trek: The Animated Series and Enterprise. While a Gorn skeleton appeared in the first season of Star Trek: Discovery, their return in "Veritas" marks the end of a long absence.

After his ship crashes on a desert planet, Rutherford finds himself in the middle of a Gorn wedding ceremony. The joyous occasion is rather unexpected for the reptilian alien race, but they quickly show their ravenous side -- the one we are familiar with. Upon Rutherford's interruption of the ceremony, they viciously attack the Ensign, who once again shuts down. When he comes to again, he is horrified to see he is still being attacked by the Gorn.

While we don't see what happens after this, Rutherford is then presumably rescued by Shaxs and Billups. The Gorn's full-fledged return in the Star Trek universe may be brief, but it's still a noteworthy return for one of the franchise's oldest and most iconic foes.

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