Last week’s episode of Strange New Worlds gave us a kind of horror that Star Trek has never really seen before, largely thanks to its transformation of the Gorn into something akin to an Alien Xenomorph. Petrifying as they were though, it turns out they actually had a physical presence on set to help really scare the bejesus out of the Enterprise crew.
StarTrek.com has dropped a new behind the scenes video covering the creation of the creepy-ass antagonists of “All Those Who Wander,” four little Gorn babies that very quickly become fast-growing, blood-and-gore-craving little murderers as they go about nibbling on members of the Enterprise’s away team. While much of the focus of the clip—which you’ll have to head on over to the site to watch—is on how very different and scary these young Gorn are to the ones we encountered in the original Star Trek, there’s also a really fascinating look at how they creatures were brought to life on set with some very cool puppets.
Combined with eventual VFX work to help blur the line between convincing puppet and a “real” beast in the episode, multiple practical puppets of the various Gorn baby stages were made for the episode, including the smallest, freshest younglings for when they violently explode out of their hosts chestburster style, all the way up to the young Gorn “Alpha” that remained from the brood after they’d all torn each other apart (and several Enterprise officers, oops) in a survival of the fittest showdown. It’s really cool to see just how the Strange New Worlds team were committed to using the puppets as much as possible too, going whole-hog on the horror-tinged blood and gore the episode brought to the table along the way. It’s not necessarily that the Gorn would’ve been less scary if they were entirely digital effects, but there’s an extra layer of weight and conviction you feel seeing these creatures nibbling on people’s necks or smashing away at door ways that makes the horrified reactions of the cast around the action feel rather convincing.
Plus, if you were really spooked out by the episode, now you can just rest assured on a re-watch that behind every Gorn screeching at you during it there’s several people with various amounts of hands stuck up said Gorn’s proverbial backsides controlling the action. A good, relaxing distraction from the horror!
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