The moment when the Enterprise confirms it’s the Cayuga by scanning the registry on the hull is also reminiscent of the opening of “The Doomsday Machine,” in which the Enterprise finds the Constellation adrift in space. This kind of opening also happens in “The Tholian Web,” in which the crew kinds the Defiant (not the one from DS9!) adrift in space, phasing out of reality.
La’an notices that the Gorn aren’t behaving the way they should be, saying, “They should be fighting for dominance not working together.” This references both “Memento Mori” and “All Those Who Wander,” in which we learn about how La’an escaped the Gorn and lost her brother when she was very young, which is why she references her brother here. Pike suggests there’s “something about the Gorn we’ve yet to discover.” Pike’s optimism could be read as foreshadowing the events of “Arena” in TOS in which Kirk refuses to kill a Gorn, and thus, makes peace.
You’ve Told Me That One Before
Pike says, “There’s always a choice.” La’an retorts, “Yeah, you’ve told me that one before.” This probably references the pilot episode of the series when Pike tells La’an, “There’s surviving. And then there’s living. It’s your choice.”
Martin Quinn’s Montgomery Scott at Your Service!
Pike and the crew stumble upon Scotty, who reveals he’s a survivor from a different Starfleet ship, the Stardiver. Played by Martin Quinn, this is the earliest version of Scotty we’ve now seen in the Prime Timeline. Interestingly, like Simon Pegg’s Scotty in the alternate timeline of the reboot films, this (original!) Scotty appears to become part of the Enterprise crew by accident. This is the second time Strange New Worlds has depicted meetings between classic characters with parallels to the 2009 reboot. When Kirk and Uhura met in “Lost in Translation,” they met at a bar, just like in the 2009 movie. As for Scotty, we know he’ll become the chief engineer of the Enterprise sometime before 2265. But, at the end of the episode, current chief engineer Pelia is very familiar with him, and becomes the first person to call him “Scotty.”
Double Red Alert
Number One says they “can’t make this red alert any reder.” And yet, in “The Conscience of the King,” in TOS, Kirk did call for a “double red alert.” Interestingly, that episode also featured Uhura singing, just like she did the previous episode in SNW!
Spock’s spacewalk at the end of this episode evokes aspects of his spacewalk in The Motion Picture. But when he and Chapel fight the Gorn in zero-gravity, Spock uses a move from The Animated Series. When Spock propels himself to fight the Gorn, it’s very similar to what he does in zero-gravity in the TAS episode “The Jihad.” In that episode, it was established that Spock and Kirk had fight practice in “null gravity” all the time. Clearly Spock’s null gravity fight training started before he became BFFs with Kirk.