Star Trek "Where No Many Has Gone Before" (1966.09.22) - In Review
Posted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:32 pm
What makes a hero?
Star Trek (1966) season 1, episode 3
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
WRITER: SAMUEL A. PEEPLES
DIRECTOR: JAMES GOLDSTONE
AIR DATE: September 22 1966
The stardate is 1312.4 and the Enterprise is briefly trapped in a magnetic storm in space where Captain Kirk's good friend Gary Mitchell and the ship's new psychiatrist Elizabeth Denher are rendered briefly unconscious. When Gary regains consciousness, his eyes are silver and he slowly gains fantastic powers of ESP (extra-sensory perception), not only to read minds but to move things simply by thinking of it and he only grows stronger.
What has the crew of the Enterprise gotten themselves into this time? As a member of the crew slowly gains god-like powers and another, Dr. Denher, eventually begins to exhibit the same abilities, what can Captain Kirk do to stop them?
Remember, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was passed over as the premiere episode because it was determined to not be exiting enough and required too much description to understand, but "Where No Man Has Gone Before" has finally aired as the third of the series, although it was originally meant to be the pilot episode – well, the second pilot. It will be some time before we will get to see the first pilot, "The Cage". This was also one of three scripts submitted to be used as the second pilot. The others were "Mudd's Women" and "The Omega Glory". The novelization of the episode, by James Blish, would not be published until 1972.
Showing the episodes out of order is certainly evident when "Where No Man Has Gone Before" hits televisions. The standard opening narration wasn't used, but I guess the episode title does speak for itself in this case. Parts of the set, the costumes, and even the make-up are so different from what has already been aired. This episode was completed so long before the others, a year before being aired in fact, that many features were changed. Of course, some oddities also managed to make their way into the final product along with some notable elements. Let's take a look at a few:
Spock isn't wearing his typical blue uniform and much of are the rest of the cast are similarly out of their expected colours. These uniforms are the same ones used in the first pilot, "The Cage". Spock's eyebrows are more dramatically slanted, but his hair is cut in the style we have grown accustom to seeing on Vulcans, unlike in "The Cage". In this scene, Spock gives a slightly amused reaction when referring to "earth emotions". His emotionless personality had not been established in "The Cage". It is also amusing to note that his mixed ancestry is mentioned here, but the suggestion is that this is further back in his lineage, not his parents which we will soon learn.
The transporter console is actually the helm and navigation panel from the bridge. Note that the familiar three slide controls are missing.
The transporter ceiling is open only in this episode and a white shines down in the middle when not in operation.
As with many early episodes, females crew members can be seen wearing slacks.
A novelty in this episode is the briefly seen "screen saver" mode of the bridge's main viewscreen.
Yeoman Smith, only appeared in this episode, played by Andrea Dromm. She was replaced by Janice Rand, played by Grace Lee Whitney. Dromm was given the roll because Gene Roddenberry found her personally attractive.
Some of the 'gooseneck' controls were carried over from "The Cage" but were not used after this episode.
The footage of the Enterprise caught in the barrier will be reused in future episodes "By Any Other Name" and "Is There In Truth No Beauty?".
Kirk's sideburns are trimmed in a normal fashion in this episode, not the pointed style of every other episode.
The Enterprise's doctor for this episode is Dr. Piper, played by Paul Fix. He will be replaced by Dr. McCoy, played by DeForest Kelly, for the remainder of the series. Kelly is who Gene Roddenberry wanted in the first place.
Gary Mitchell recites a poem entitled "The Nightingale Woman" written by Phineas Tarbolde on planet Canopius planet in 1996. He states is one of the most passionate loves sonnets of the past coupe of centuries. In reality, the poem was written by Gene Roddenberry during World War II about his airplane.
While Sulu's regular helmsman station is occupied by Gary Mitchell at the beginning of the episode, Sulu is introduced as a physicist.
Spock's sports a laser pistol for protection against Gary, a prop originally used in "The Cage".
The lithium cracking station matte painting will be used again in "Dagger of the Mind", although it will be somewhat altered.
The silver contacts used to alter Gary Lockwood's eyes did not offer a great field of vision. He had to tilt his head upward in order to see effectively, which worked well as it gave him more of an aloof and arrogant appearance.
"The Man Trap" established that Michael Zaslow, as Darnell, has the odd distinction of being the first character to be killed in an episode of Star Trek. Chronologically, this honour goes to Paul Carr in the roll of Lee Kelso.
The mountain backdrop on Delta Vega where Mitchell is to be marooned is reused from the first pilot "The Cage" where is was the background on Talos IV.
The infamous gravestone Mitchell erects for his friend James Kirk bears the middle initial 'R' rather than 'T'. Kirk's middle initial would be introduced later in the series. There have been many theories presented over the years, particularly in novels, but there is one official reason for the discrepancy. With all his god-like powers, Gary was still human and he made a mistake.
The large phaser rifle Captain Kirk employs to defeat Mitchell is used only in this episode.
Captain Kirk’s communicator is a prop originally used in "The Cage".
Scotty isn’t wearing his typical red uniform. At the end of the episode, he can be seen seated at the helm where he will not be seated again for the run of the series.
This is another episode with a tragic being coming to a tragic end. Gary Mitchell was Captain Kirk’s friend and although he did his best to help Gary, he had to kill him in order to stop him. It wasn’t easy for Kirk, both physically and emotionally, but he won at a terrible cost. Kirk had to kill a good friend, and Elizabeth Dehner sacrificed herself to allow Gary to be beaten. Was there any another solution? No, Kirk actually did everything he could to avoid this unfortunate conclusion. Perhaps he can take some solace in believing that this being was no longer Gary Mitchell, but something far more ... but also far less than the man he called his friend.
4 / 5