Mythbusters to test Star Trek mythology
by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 20th 2009 2:01PM
How cool is this? On Mythbusters, the guys are going to test the Captain Kirk Gorn Cannon. If you have no idea what that is, you -- my Star Trek friend -- are not a Trekkie (or a Trekker depending on which camp you follow). If you do know, you have to watch, and if you don't know but are curious, you still have to watch Mythbusters on Discovery, Monday, December 28 at 9 p.m.
Basically, the Mythbusters will take a great scene from Star Trek and bring it to life. In the season one episode, Captain Kirk is put on a barren planet and forced to battle the commander of an alien ship in one on one battle. Some super alien is manipulating the two into fighting with the fate of their ships on the line.
You might remember this episode -- "Arena" -- as William Shatner versus the worst-costumed alien ever in ST history. It's a guy in a rubber lizard suit. At the climax of the episode, when Kirk is getting his ass kicked by the Gorn -- that's the name of the lizard man species -- Jim realizes that the elements to create gunpowder are right there on the planet.
With Spock and the crew watching from the bridge of the Enterprise, urging him on and explaining to the audience what the hell is going on, Kirk builds a makeshift cannon out of bamboo, sulfur, coal, potassium nitrate and diamonds. He uses it to blast the Gorn and win the battle.
I always thought that was a great pre-MacGyver turn in Star Trek. It was brilliant. However, does it really work... could such a cannon be concocted like that? That's what Mythbusters plans to test. Take a look at the preview:
If you want to watch the original ST episode, check out "Arena" on SlashControl.