Star Trek – Where No Man Has Gone Before

by Alan Rapp on June 6, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Star Trek – Where No Man Has Gone Before
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Star Trek - Where No Man Has Gone Before

After the first Pilot, “The Cage,” wasn’t picked up by the network Gene Roddenberry and crew went back to work crafting “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The second Pilot recast the role of the ship’s captain bringing in William Shatner as James T. Kirk, but “Where No Man Has Gone Before” still shows signs of early growing pains and a show in transition as the role of ship’s doctor was played not by DeForest Kelley but by Paul Fix, and the uniforms on display match those of “The Cage” rather than more vibrant (and less sweatery) Starfleet uniforms which would become the show’s trademark going forward. The episode also puts both Scotty (James Doohan) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) in gold-colored uniforms rather than the trademark red and blue they would wear going forward.

The plot of the episode involves an old friend of Kirk’s, Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), being exposed to strange energies from a galactic barrier which would imbue the helmsman with increased mental abilities but also twist her personality making him a danger to the USS Enterprise and her crew. With increased mental abilities including telekinesis, telepathy, and the ability to control and manipulate both energy and matter, Mitchell soon takes over the Enterprise leading Kirk to attempt to maroon his friend on the planet of Delta Vega.

The idea of someone being exposed to and overwhelmed by great power is one that Star Trek would return to several times on the original series as well as its various later spin-offs. Kirk is only saved by the intervention of Dr. Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman) in the early stages of her own evolution who realizes both what Mitchell has become and what she is slowly turning into as well. Choosing to save Kirk cost both Dehner and Mitchell their lives but allows Kirk and the Enterprise to continue searching for strange new worlds for three full seasons of episodes and beyond.

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