This is where the journey of the Enterprise begins, Kirk and the crew must face an internal threat when Lt Commander Mitchell is given godly powers and threatens the very existence of everything. Originally broadcast on September 22, 1966 this is Where No Man Has Gone Before.
Please note, for the purpose of these reviews we are using the production order as shown on Memory Alpha. Many of these episodes were originally aired out of order so if you are watching along you may have to jump around a bit this season.
Captain’s Log Stardate 1312.4
While investigating a distress call from the SS Valiant, The Enterprise encounters an energy barrier that damages the ship and bestows powers to one of Kirks oldest friends, Gary Mitchell as well as visiting psychiatrist, Dr Dehner. Soon Mitchell begins exhibiting powers and abilities that threaten the ship forcing the crew to find a way to contend with it while also needing a way to repair the ship. Enterprise sets course for an abandoned mining colony on Delta Vega where they can get supplies but also shield others from Gary Mitchell. Before they arrive, Gary gains even more strength forcing the crew to plan a way to kill Gary on an away mission before he becomes too strong. On the planet things go bad forcing Kirk and Mitchell to battle it out. With the help of a now super human Dr Dehner, Kirk is able to defeat Gary which results in both Dehner’s and Gary’s deaths. In the end Enterprise continues on with their mission…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
‘Space, the final frontier…’ with this intro begins the adventures of the Enterprise under the command Captain James T Kirk. Although some of the crew we know have yet to arrive, I like to think of this episode as an earlier shakedown mission not long after Kirk takes command from Captain Pike. In fact, some of the uniforms in this feel transitionary between the original pilot and the following episode. That being said, this is truly where the legend of Star Trek begins.
To start with, there is really nothing more classic than this second pilot for Star Trek. It is clear from the start that the cast hasn’t quite found their footing just yet but almost everything is in place for what is to come. Sure, the uniforms aren’t quite what we remember them being, and there is a significant lack of Dr. McCoy but ignoring these missing elements, Where No Man Has Gone Before is Star Trek at it’s core.
Exploring the idea of the phrase ‘Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely’, we watch as one of Captain Kirk’s oldest friends find himself with unlimited power and, as expected, begins to fall prey to the temptation of being in total control. What I love most about this episode is that, while the main story is about Gary Mitchell and his new found powers, the real story is how Captain Kirk himself has to deal with this situation. During the story we see how torn he is between saving his ship and saving his friend, yet wondering if his friend is still the same man he has known for years. To his credit, we see that, even with these struggles, he chooses to listen to his crew and his training even if it goes against all of his personal feelings. If anything, it’s really great to see that this character is pretty fleshed out from the start as Kirk is already the steadfast leader he becomes known as. Sure, there is yet to be the tremendous trinity of Kirk, Spock and McCoy that we come to love but every story has to begin somewhere.
Overall, Where No Man Has Gone Before is a terrific second Pilot showing us what to expect from this new scifi series which was once described as Wagon Train to the Stars. I truly look forward to revisiting this classic series in all it’s glory.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
- During a fight with Gary Mitchell, Mitchell creates a tombstone that says James R Kirk. This is before Tiberius is known as his middle name causing a bit of a continuity issue. Why is his middle initial R? well, that is never really explained. Speaking of which….is that stone still on the planet?
- We never really find out what caused Gary Mitchell and Dr Dehner to turn into superbeings other than the fact that they had an aptitude for ESP. Interestingly, it is later established that Vuclans have similar abilities yet Spock is unaffected by this.
- You might note the use of the early Phaser Pistols that would soon be replaced. We also see some of the early uniforms before the more standard styles we have come to know and love.
- Redshirt deaths: 0:0* all deaths either offscreen or non-redshirt
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: The Corbomite Maneuver
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Late To The Game 12/3/2021
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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