Where No Man Has Gone Before

From Academic Kids

Where No Man Has Gone Before was the second pilot episode of the Star Trek: The Original Series. It is sometimes considered episode #2 of the series, if one counts the first pilot "The Cage" as episode #1. It is written by Samuel A. Peeples, and directed by James Goldstone.

Unlike the first pilot, "The Cage", Captain James T. Kirk is in charge, with a promoted Mr. Spock as his first officer; but Leonard McCoy is still missing. It also differs from later episodes because Kirk's "Space, the final frontier" intro voice-over is missing (In fact, the concluding phrase "where no man has gone before" was added because of this episode). The crew's uniforms are also those used in "The Cage," with the necks the same color as the rest of the tunic instead of black as they would be in subsequent episodes.

Somewhat confusingly for viewers, this pilot was not aired first when the series began, but was instead the third episode shown, on September 22, 1966.

Quick Overview: The Enterprise journeys to the edge of the galaxy, where two crew members develop dangerous psychic powers.

Missing image
The Enterprise arrives the edge of the galaxy, in "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

On stardate 1312.4, the starship USS Enterprise, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, is on a mission to try and exit the galaxy. The feat has never been undertaken successfully since there is a seemingly impenetrable energy barrier surrounding the entire disk of the galaxy. The last ship to attempt passage was the SS Valiant which subsequently never reported back.

While en-route, the Valiant's "black box" recorder is detected, and the Enterprise beams the battered device aboard. The 200 year old recorder is barely functional, but still holds data about the last moments aboard the ill-fated ship, and indicates the crew had been searching rigorously for information about extra-sensory perception (ESP) in the ship's library computer.

Shortly thereafter, the Enterprise passes through the barrier shield which causes serious electrical damage to the ship's systems, and the vessel is forced to back off. At the same time most of the crew report they suffer mild headaches, but Navigator Lt. Gary Mitchell, and ship's medical officer, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner are both knocked unconscious by the field's effect. When they awaken they gradually become aware that they have changed, and both begin to display psychic powers, which strangely has covered their eyes with a silver film. Dehner's powers grow at a slower rate than Mitchell's, but having shared the experience together, the two eventually become very close.

Over time Mitchell becomes increasingly arrogant and hostile towards the rest of the crew, declaring he has become a god and wishes to rule over mankind. He enforces his desires with fearsome telepathic and telekinetic powers. Mr. Spock believes that the Valiant may have experienced the same phenomena, and in turn, some of its crew developed dangerous powers. The other crew must have destroyed the ship to prevent the power from taking over the galaxy.

Alarmed that Mitchell and Dehner may eventually take over the Enterprise, Kirk has them rounded up and has both exiled to an abandoned lithium cracking facility on the remote planet of Delta Vega. Once on the planet, the landing party try to confine Mitchell, but his powers are too great. He eventually goes on a rampage, kills a guard, and escapes, taking Dr. Dehner with him.

Kirk follows, and Mitchell attempts to kill Kirk with his psionic powers. Witnessing this display, Dr. Dehner realizes how inhuman and dangerous Mitchell has become and tries to help Kirk defeat him. Without remorse, Mitchell kills the much weaker Dehner, but before he can refocus his powers, Kirk blasts down a rock slide that buries and finishes off Mitchell for good.


Curiously, Kirk's middle initial is given as "R." in this episode. "T." was evidently selected later, with this episode being overlooked. (A plausible explanation: Mitchell carved Kirk's name into a gravestone as "James R. Kirk", when his middle name is actually Tiberius. Apparently, Mitchell did not know his captain's middle name. Therefore, he isn't as godlike as he thinks he is.)

During the filming of this episode, a beehive high in the rafters of the studio was somehow disturbed, and many cast and crew suffered stings as a result. Despite the makeup used to hide them, they can still be seen in the later acts, as Kirk and Mitchell fight on the planet surface.

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