"Star Trek: The Original Series" Where No Man Has Gone Before (TV Episode 1966) Poster

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Kirk and Crew About to be Squashed Like Insects
Bogmeister17 June 2006
This was actually the 2nd Trek pilot filmed, after "The Cage," and so is the first appearance of Capt. Kirk, not to mention Scotty and Sulu, here a physicist. There's no Dr. McCoy yet, instead a Dr. Piper. I would venture that in the scheme of things Trek, this episode takes place about a year before the earliest episodes of the series - note the slightly different uniforms. So this is Spock's second show; his character is still forming after the rough outline in "The Cage," still raising his voice a bit too much for a Vulcan and almost smiling in one shot (during 3-level chess, also introduced). But then, the concept of Vulcan and even the Federation had not been created yet here - we're viewing the adventures of some Earth-based space fleet here, no more. The episode, like "The Cage," has a bit of an epic feel for a TV show; it was designed to impress the NBC executives, who green-lit an actual series based on this, a miniature science fiction movie when all's said and done.

Exploration is the highlighted theme, as it would be for the remainder of the series. Probing the unknown, Kirk directs the good ship Enterprise towards a mysterious galactic barrier, despite that what they know of this energy barrier makes it seem quite dangerous. Sure enough, the ship is damaged, 9 crew members are killed and 2 others, including old friend Gary, are mutated into superior beings. But, risk, as Kirk would say in a much later episode, is their business - that's what it's all about. Now begin the questions and search of another kind - how dangerous is such an ascendant man? Can he live with so-called normal human beings? The short answers, rather quick in coming, are 'very' and 'no' - Spock's the first one to voice this opinion. Only it doesn't transpire to be just an opinion. Rather than struggling with how to cope with his new powers, Gary shows that the old adage of absolute power corrupting absolutely is essentially a basic truth - it suggests all men have the need to dominate, to rule, buried somewhere inside, no matter how decent they seem. All it takes is a little power to bring it all to the surface.

Heavy and deep concepts for a TV show, eh? It's rather impressive that all these ideas came forth in the middle of an action-oriented show. Roddenberry and his crew wanted to show the NBC execs that such an expensive-looking (for TV) sf show can be filmed in a timely manner, but they also stressed a lot of action scenes, especially in the climactic battle between Kirk and his former friend. Actor Fix played Piper the doctor as a standard crusty older member of the crew; Kelley showed what could be done with the doctor's role in the next filmed episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver." The two actors/doctors were later in the same film, "Night of the Lepus"(72). The two main guest stars went on to stellar careers: Lockwood, who played Gary, soon appeared in "2001:A Space Odyssey"(68) while Kellerman, as the other mutate, is famous for her role in "M*A*S*H"(70).
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The true beginning of the legend
MaxBorg8928 March 2009
Although it was the third Star Trek episode that aired, Where No Man Has Gone Before (the title is taken from the final phrase spoken by William Shatner in the intro) is actually the pilot of Gene Roddenberry's sci-fi classic. Correction: it's the second pilot, since NBC rejected Roddenberry's original pitch, The Cage (it was too cerebral, apparently), but was still willing to give Trek the chance it deserved. The result is one of the show's best episodes, one that covers relevant themes like friendship, power and the misuse of the latter.

Like most Star Trek episodes, it all begins as if it were just another day on the Enterprise. Then, out of the blue, the ship is hit by a magnetic storm. While assessing the material damage, Kirk and the crew make a horrifying discovery: two of the people on board, who have limited psionic abilities, are suddenly more powerful than ever, and soon that newfound power leads to insanity. At this point, Kirk must decide whether to kill them or not, before it's too late, and the choice is made even harder by the fact that one of the psychics is his best friend.

Star Trek has been lauded for its frequent uses of a science-fiction context as tools to deal with more contemporary issues, such as war, genetic manipulations or racism. One of the most significant examples can be found here, with the story taking on religious connotations in the last section. This is not uncommon in the genre, which often relied on ancient myths and legends, which were updated in the futuristic setting. In fact, it's hard to watch Where No Man Has Gone Before and not think of Bellerophon, the man who got so blinded by his power he believed he was to be treated like a god, and was severely punished for his behavior. Of course, the friendship element means there's much more at stake, the script giving Shatner many opportunities to prove he isn't just a charismatic lead with peculiar speech patterns.

Where No Man Has Gone Before isn't just a title, it's a statement. Gene Roddenberry wanted to do something new, something unprecedented, something that people would remember for years after it stopped airing. Boy, did he succeed.
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One of the best
a_l_i_e_n31 March 2006
"Where No Man Has Gone Before" really set the tone for the "Star Trek" series more so than even Rodenberry's original pilot, "The Cage". In this story we have Kirk forced into making agonizing life and death decisions/his close relationship with Spock and that character's adherence to total logic at times being compromised by his own human side/the heroic crew all game to explore the vast uncharted regions of space- it's all there like a blueprint for numerous "Star Trek" scripts that followed.

When Kirk's friend Gary Mitchell is endowed with astonishing powers of ESP and telekinesis, Kirk and Spock grow alarmed as he starts to test his ability to take over the Enterprise. Spock urges Kirk to maroon Mitchell on Delta Vega, an uninhabited planet. At first Kirk is outraged at even the suggestion, but eventually accepts the cold logic of this solution as Spock warns him, "we'll never reach another earth base with him on board."

The scenes charting Mitchell's evolution are well acted by Gary Lockwood. His personality shifts startlingly back and forth between the affable crewman he was and the detached mutant he is becoming, and these glimpses of Mitchell's former self help us retain a measure of sympathy for him. He, too is a victim in this story.

The silver contacts Lockwood wears are especially effective at making him appear as if his newly acquired powers have rendered him aglow from within. Plus, an echoing quality in his voice makes statements like "You Should Have Killed Me When You Could, James" sound especially frightening.

One of the episode's best scenes occurs when Mitchell, severely weakened after trying to break through a force field, returns momentarily to his old self. A few seconds later however, the glow in his eyes re-ignites, but now it's even brighter than before. As he slowly rises to his feet, it looks this time like he will be able to pass right through the force field. But instead Mitchell stops and with a smile calmly informs them, "I just keep getting...stronger. You know that, don't you?" It's superbly intense and Alexander Courage's terrific music adds just the right note of dread to this scene.

Of course Mitchell does eventually escape, taking the ship's psychiatrist, Dr. Daner, (played by Sally Kellerman) with him. She had also been affected by the mysterious force that has altered Mitchell and now they both have become mutants. Kirk bravely sets off on his own to track Mitchell down before his powers become so great no one can stop him.

I gotta say, even after 40 years, all the elements of this one still work. From the threat imposed by Mitchell's ever increasing powers to the agonizing questions it poses about what to do with him, and finally the physical conflict between Kirk and Mitchell at the end. Oh, and also the moment Dr. Daner must choose a side; it ALL works so well. James Goldstone deserves particular praise for his sure handed direction and this is certainly right up there with his excellent work on the original "Outer Limits".

I suppose "Trek" purists might criticize certain things like Mr. Sulu's then uncertain role on the ship and the moment where Spock actually smiles, but one must keep in mind this was only the second episode ever filmed, so the characters were still evolving. Anyways, such minor nitpicking's really don't detract from the obvious strengths of this superior entry in the series. I would place "Where No Man Has Gone Before" among "Star Trek's" four best episodes. It's a smart and thoroughly entertaining example of television science fiction done right.
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"Star Trek" at Its Best!
doctorwholittle19 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
A lot of people rank "The City on the Edge of Forever" as their favourite "Star Trek" episode. While this is certainly a deserving episode (despite everything that was excised from author Harlan Ellison's original script), for my money, the distillation of Trek is the 2nd pilot episode, "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

At no other time in the series do you see these characters, who became beloved sci-fi icons in just three short years, as raw & stripped down as in this episode. Yet it's not a traditional pilot by today's standards; there are no painful, mind-numbing "origin" scenes, no backstory explained, or need for either. It's as though the viewer has just signed aboard the Enterprise & is experiencing things from a cadet's perspective.

Although the obvious friendship between Bill Shatner's somewhat fastidious "Captain James 'R' Kirk" (a gaffe that has haunted Trek writers for decades!) & Gary Lockwood's rather libidinous helmsman & longtime friend from Starfleet Academy, "Gary Mitchell", is what fuels this episode, it's the insight we're given into these characters that we would come to know so well that makes this the most fascinating of the show's original 79-episode run. Jim Kirk is obviously beleaguered by the fact that his dear friend is, through no fault of his own, mutating into Homo-Superior & dangerously toying with the ship & its crew. Mr Spock, ever the logical one, is so coldly logical in this outing that one has to wonder how Kirk ever warmed up to him. The anguish that Kirk feels when the realisation finally sinks in that he may have no other choice but to kill his old friend was only ever equalled -- & just barely at that -- by Shatner's performance in the aforementioned episode, "City on the Edge of Forever", when he must let his love, Edith Keeler, die right in front of him in order to put the Universe back to rights.

Even the "throwaway" moments -- Lt Sulu as the ship's astrophysicist instead of helmsman, Dr Piper in lieu of Leonard "Bones" McCoy, future "Room 222" star Lloyd Haynes as the ship's communications officer, the warm knowing smile that Shatner gives to Jimmy Doohan's "Scotty" when told "engineering, ready as always!" -- give this episode a feeling of being well-worn. The crew know one another & work well together. The newbie on board, "Dr Elizabeth Dehner", played by the devastating beauty Sally Kellerman, shines through as she fights to have her new position validated by a crew that is already familiar & well-oiled.

While Trek provided many entertaining moments, few have come close to this seminal version. The series' first pilot (initially rejected by NBC brass), "The Cage" tried a bit too hard to make you feel that this crew had a history. Original cast members Shatner, Nimoy, Doohan, & Takei give as excellent a performance in this pilot as they did in the rest of the series, & the "ancillary" Lockwood, Kellerman, Haynes, Pauls Carr & Fixx only enhance the mood.

If you're looking to discover what Trek is all about, go no further than "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
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One of the Best Star Trek Episodes and Outstanding Science Fiction
classicalsteve23 August 2007
Some writers have often made a distinction between "Sci-Fi" and "Science Fiction". "Sci-Fi" is sometimes relegated to the more escapist aspects of the genre, such as "Buck Rogers", "Flash Gordon", and "The Matrix". Sure, good space fun, but Sci-Fi is not particularly interested in deep thematic storytelling as it is with pure entertainment via action and plot. "Science Fiction" on the other hand has an aspect of deeper and more complex thematic development. Masterpieces such as "Dune", "A Canticle for Liebowitz", "The Left-Hand of Darkness" or the "Hyperion" books by Dan Simmons demonstrate the cutting-edge literary potential of Science Fiction. "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the first Star Trek episode that became the jumping-off point for the rest of the original series run, is a monumental television episode that easily fits into the latter definition of "Science Fiction".

The original Star Trek pilot, "The Cage", which was rejected by the networks, certainly has its moments (and achieved a resurrection in the superb episode "The Menagerie"). However, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is a much more tightly written story, and the episode that green-lighted the series. Briefly, the story surrounds a star ship captain, James Kirk, who must make a terrible choice as one of his favorite crewmen, Gary Mitchell, experiences a strange transformation and begins to attain god-like abilities resulting from the ship having entered a strange energy field. Should the captain let him live or destroy him?

The thematic writing of this episode is what makes the story a notch above other sci-fi offerings. What Captain Kirk must face in this episode is not black and white but a moral dilemma tinged with gray as we learn not only about Kirk and Mitchell's friendship but about their past. On one side of the argument is his first officer, Spock, who advises the execution of Mitchell. The other side is Dr Dehner, a young psychiatrist, who believes that Mitchell may not be evil. But Kirk is running out of time as his friend becomes stronger and stronger.

The result is a truly satisfying tale that does not rely on cheap stunts or obvious "good vs bad". Is there action? Yes there is. Is there suspense? Absolutely. And yet, there is something a little deeper than just a western set in space, although Rodenberry, the creator, modeled much of Star Trek after the old serial and TV Westerns. There is even a "gun fight". This is Science Fiction at its best in which the story tells us something about the human condition through a tale of hyper-reality. That I think is what Science Fiction and Star Trek are all about when they are at their best, and why there is a difference between Sci-Fi and Science Fiction. Both have their place but Science Fiction has the potential to transcend itself and its readers.
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A journey of the mind and its limitless power
bkoganbing13 April 2013
I'm agreeing with the reviewer that this episode was what really launched the Star Trek series toward cult status. Gary Lockwood who had done his time in outer space with 2001, A Space Odyssey plays one of two Enterprise crew members who are changed when the ship passes through a magnetic storm in space. The other crew member is Sally Kellerman who is assigned to the Enterprise as a psychologist who is changed and is able to understand the nature of the changes as Lockwood can't.

Both have some latent Extra Sensory Perception powers and both are seeing that increasing exponentially. Lockwood is affected far more than Kellerman.

Lockwood is truly a frightening person, one of the most frightening of Star Trek villains. He's been given absolute powers that are growing day by day. The Krels from Forbidden Planet could have served as a warning to him, his monsters from the ID are taking over completely.

And as captain, William Shatner has to deal with this on the level of a threat to his ship and the whole galaxy and on the level of a friend of Lockwood's saddened to see the changes in him and the humanity that has been driven from his soul.

A truly thought provoking episode, one of the best from Star Trek prime.
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Chunky Roll-Necks Ahoy!!
marcusedenellis28 January 2006
I am re-visiting the first season of the original series a long time after my first viewings. I watched Man Trap and then Charlie X and everything was bumping along nicely. I was enjoying the gradual build of characters and sets... and then I watched this episode.

I found >Where No Man Has Gone Before> far more fascinating from a historical ST developmental point of view, than I did for the story. In essence the story is workmanlike and solidly performed and does pick up some pace toward the end. But what keeps your eyes on the screen is the first incarnation of Spock, those chunky roll-neck sweaters that pass as uniforms and the marvellously wooden acting of some of the supporting players. (Check out the early scene where the Heads of Section arrive on the bridge - they come on in tight formation and remain that way for the next ten minutes...)..

This is an essential episode for any true admirer of the ST universe - this is where it really kicked off!
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Solid kickoff
Mr-Fusion19 April 2016
Like any pilot of a beloved TV series, half the appeal is seeing the show in its nascent stages before all of the wrinkles are smoothed out. In the case of 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', a great deal is already in place: Kirk's in the chair, Sulu's on board, Spock has toned down his militaristic line delivery, but other cast members are still being arranged on the chess board, so to speak, and as familiar as everything is, it's still different.

But not all that different. The Enterprise is still charting the outer reaches of space, and Kirk ends up taking the problem head-on in a brawl on another planet. There's the spirited action that this series is known for; but it's also a pretty good science fiction story, involving god-like beings, psychic powers, and the mighty fists of Shatner to ensure that everything is mixed just right. And it makes it a point to show that these people are out there in the void, at the mercy of an operable starship.

'Where No Man' might not have the popping colors that we've come to expect on the Enterprise, but it's a great start nonetheless.

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2nd Pilot Hits a Home Run
eti5520 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I've never been able to understand the mentality behind the NBC studio execs who chose to air this, the 2nd Star Trek pilot, as episode 3 in the regular series run (the continuity issues are painfully obvious, from the uniforms, to the differing gadgets, to Spock's eyebrows et al). No Man is really a mini movie. Gene Roddenberry compromised with the network after the initial pilot, The Cage, was rejected, combining the commentary about the human condition that he wanted with the action and adventure that the network execs demanded (which Roddenberry had promised them in the first pilot but didn't deliver), and the result was a vastly superior effort.

Trek fans know the story well. The Enterprise is on a mission to leave the galaxy. When nearing the galaxy's edge, they encounter a disaster recorder from the SS Valiant from 200 years prior. After only getting bits and pieces of information from its badly burned tapes, Captain Kirk gives orders to go ahead. The ship encounters an energy barrier at the rim of the galaxy, which not only causes severe damage to the ship, but attacks several members of the crew. Nine of them are killed immediately, but two recover; Dr. Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman), a psychiatrist newly assigned to the Enterprise, and Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), Kirk's first officer and best friend. You see the change in Mitchell immediately in his eyes..which have become shiny and reflective. It turns out that every member of the ship who was attacked by the energy from the barrier rated high in ESP abilities..Mitchell's being the highest of all. Then Mitchell quickly develops super human powers, and it immediately becomes apparent to Spock that Mitchell is mutating into a vastly superior and dangerous being who could and would destroy the crew long before the ship could reach an earth base.

Meanwhile, the only chance at repairing the Enterprise is Delta Vega, an automated planet nearby which has a "lithium cracking station." But the other purpose for going there is to get Mitchell off the ship by stranding him there (Spock advises Kirk that he either needs to maroon Mitchell or kill him while he still can). Using power packs on Delta Vega, Kirk and company are able to repair the ship, but Mitchell becomes so powerful he escapes from the security force field that is holding him. Then we see that Dr. Dehner's eyes now look like Mitchell's; it just took a little longer for her to start to mutate. Both of them take off, and Kirk sets out after them, catching up with Dr. Dehner and persuading her to help him stop Mitchell, while she still has a bit of humanity left in her.

Star Trek had its share of tragic episodes, but this one nears the top. Kirk literally has to watch his best friend mutate into a monster. Kirk points out at the end that Mitchell didn't ask for what happened to him. You see what happens when a normal human being gets super powers (we also saw this in "Charlie X" among other episodes). Mitchell becomes so arrogant that he fancies himself as a "god." But as Kirk points out, a "god" still driven by human frailty. He accurately tells Dr. Dehner, "There will only be one of you left in the end. One jealous god, if all this makes a god, or is it making him something else?" This is not a pleasant episode, but once again, it's a fine exploration of the human condition and an excellent adventure. The networks gave Roddenberry a chance to get it right the 2nd time, and he did.
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Morals Are For Men, Not Gods
Samuel-Shovel11 May 2017
All good sci-fi has a deeper meaning and Star Trek is no exception.

In this episode, we watch as complete and absolute power takes over the mind and body of a man and leads him down a dark path. This feeling of absolute authority over the environment around Gary causes a corruption of his soul. We've seen this in dictators and politicians, that feeling of invincibility take over as they see themselves up above all others. We watch as Gary's world comes crashing down around him (literally) as he meets his demise. Man was not intended to have such power.

When you first begin the episode and see the title of "Where No Man Has Gone Before", you assume Kirk and the gang are going into uncharted waters to explore new territory. As it turns out, the "unexplored territory" is within. Gary explores a plane of thought and ability never before experienced by mankind. This episode shows that we as humans are not ready for this plane quite yet.
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Good first episode with William Shatner confronting psychic enemies
ma-cortes10 January 2007
This first chapter from the first season starred by William Shatner deals with a black box from USS Valiant starship explaining the story upon a magnetic storm edge galaxy , while USS Enterprise is next to the barrier . Captain James T. Kirk decides cross it with dangerous consequences . His best friend , lieutenant Gary Mitchell threats the aircraft security , Kirk must choose : Leaving to Mitchell in a solitary planet or kill him when he still can do it .

This is an entertainment romp where are introduced the characters of the series . Here William Shatner replacing Jeffrey Hunter (The Menagerie) makes a valiant and intelligent Kirk . Leonard Nimoy , as always , is splendid in his immortal role as cold Vulcanian . Starring actors of this episode are Gary Lockwood , two years later famous for ¨2001 space odyssey¨ and Sally Kellerman posteriorly successful in ¨Mash¨ . Besides , noted secondary actors , just like Paul Fix and Lloyd Haynes . Other original actors making a brief apparition are Scotty (recently deceased James Doohan) and Zulu (George Takei). The classical musical score by the usual series , Alexander Courage . The episode was well directed by James Goldstone (Roller-coaster , When the time ran out). This television film will appeal to the Trekkers enthusiasts as well as the initiated .
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The 'real' first episode of Kirk-era 'Star Trek'
Tweekums29 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Although this episode was broadcast third in the series it is in fact a second pilot episode and introduces us to Captain Kirk as well as to Scotty and Sulu; Spock is also present although he was of course introduced in the original pilot episode 'The Cage'. There are several characters who initially appear to being set up as major characters who are unfamiliar; some don't survive the episode and others just aren't seen again.

While exploring the outer edges of the galaxy the Enterprise discovers the data recorder from a ship lost long ago. As Spock investigates its contents he discovers a strange warning about people with ESP. Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, the ship's psychiatrist assures Kirk that ESPers are of no danger and for the meantime the message is ignored. Heading out of the galaxy they enter a strange space barrier, it causes the death of a few crew members and has a strange effect of Kirk's old friend helmsman Gary Mitchell; he is knocked unconscious and when he awakens his eyes are shining in a peculiar way. It turns out he is an ESPer and it isn't long before his powers increase exponentially. Spock notes that as his powers increase he could become dangerous; he is soon looking down on ordinary people and it can't be long before he considers them mere irritants. Spock advises Kirk to abandon Mitchell on a remote planet before it is too late; it won't be easy though.

This was a really good episode; it is just a shame it was broadcast out of order as established characters like McCoy and Uhuru aren't present and others who seem important are… there is also the fact that the uniforms aren't the same as in the rest of the series; most notably Scotty and others who wear red are in beige. Just imagine; if things hadn't changed we'd be calling doomed one-episode characters 'beige shirts'! Guest star Gary Lockwood does a fine job portraying Mitchell as his megalomania increases along with his powers and Sally Kellerman is likable as Dr. Dehner. I also rather liked Andrea Dromm, who had a small part as Yeoman Smith… thanks to Kirk addressing her as Yeoman Jones; it is a pity she never became a recurring character. Overall a great introduction to Kirk's era of 'Star Trek' with a good mix of drama, emotion and action.
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Introducing Kirk and Company!
russem318 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
ST:TOS:02 - "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Stardate: 1312.4) is the 2nd episode to go into production (if you count "The Cage" as episode 1, and this is the 2nd pilot - the one that was accepted) but the 3rd aired on TV. It is a fitting first for Captain Kirk and co. While "The Cage" is the first pilot of Star Trek, this episode introduces many of the characters we will come to love and know (Kirk, Scotty, Sulu, and a more logical/emotionless Spock than we saw in The Cage). Gary Lockwood (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame) makes a great guest appearance as Kirk's longtime friend. The score by Alexander Courage is very fitting especially in the more terse moments because his music fits the action sequences quite well. This episode also shows William Shatner as the action-packed captain he will become known as. A very well done pilot - no wonder the NBC execs at the time decided to create a series based on this.
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Fascinating Alternative View of Trek
Dan1863Sickles10 October 2019
Hated this episode fifty years ago, love it today. As a little kid I was freaked out by the scary silver eyes, but also I didn't like the unfamiliar uniforms and the unfamiliar faces or the way Kirk and Spock barely seem to know each other.

Today all the weak points seem like strong points to me. This is the one episode where Kirk and Spock actually relate like an earth man and an alien, with a wary distrust that gradually changes to grudging respect. I could do without Nimoy's SHOUTING his dialogue, though. "FULL power!"

The fact that the villain is an old friend of Kirk's makes it a lot more powerful, though they repeated this trope a little too often in later episodes. But Gary Lockwood really has a very Kirk like quality, and that strengthens the story as well as adding some unintentional humor. ("I'm not JOKING, Lee!")

But the best thing about this episode by far is Sally Kellerman, at the very height of her beauty, playing a woman who has dignity, integrity, empathy, and compassion -- and who falls head over heels for a man destined to destroy her. It's silly science fiction stuff, but when she cries out "a mutated man could also be a *WONDERFUL* thing" you are seeing right into her heart and soul, seeing how she's fallen and she doesn't even know it.

Oh, and don't forget pretty little Yeoman Smith -- I mean Jones! I really wish she had become a series regular.
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good start for classic series
HelloTexas1112 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's apparent while watching 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' that we are seeing a work in progress. This second pilot, and first season episode, shows a Star Trek still evolving- uniforms a little different, Spock's make-up and manner still harsh compared to later installments, and more importantly, the chemistry and balance between the characters still being worked on. But they're getting there. Roddenberry doesn't try to tell such a complicated story as he did with 'The Cage;' this one is a more straightforward, meat-and-potatoes sci-fi tale. And in a way, it's fitting that the first real 'Trek' takes them to the edge of the galaxy and through the 'great barrier' which affects two crew-members in particular, enhancing their already above-average capacity for extra-sensory perception. There are some genuinely creepy moments as Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell morphs into a kind of super being, a 'god', who eventually loses all touch with his basic humanity and who unwittingly demonstrates absolute power corrupting absolutely. Leonard Nimoy was probably confused at how exactly to play Spock ("Ah, one of your Earth emotions," he says, smiling.) Spock here is pretty cold-blooded and brutal, urging Kirk to kill Mitchell while he still can, something that would be almost unthinkable with the character in later episodes. Kirk though is fully realized, the same character he would be throughout the series' run. So a very good start for 'Star Trek' proper, with most of the pieces in place... it just needed a little fine-tuning.
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Sadly, man has never gone back there
trans_mauro28 January 2009
Oh Boy! A spaceship, a cool captain, a pointed-eared alien from Vulcan, what else could a kid ask for? I remember sneaking in late at night to watch and marvel at Star Trek on an old black-and-white TV set, and I loved every minute of it. Those were the days, I guy was not afraid to be a guy. Don't tread on me or will blast you to smithereens with phasers, photon torpedoes and the whole shebang!

Today I can barely watch five minutes of Star Trek Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and all those boring, politically-correct undernourished Star Trek clones. Man, these neo-liberal characters like Picard, Sisko, Ryker, Crusher, etc, etc, etc, are as lifeless as the surface of the Moon; talk about cardboard characters, bloodless, gutless, sissy and unimaginative representatives of the homo sapiens species!

OK, I agree the special effects are lame compared to today's standards (who cares?), I even agree that Shatner overacts sometimes (it is fun!). But no other Sci-Fi TV series had characters that are that likable and show such human warmth, camaraderie as Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty.

WNMHGB is one of my favorite ST episodes. It has travel beyond our Galaxy, mutants with god-like powers, very good acting and directing. And a wonderful story, too! A story where a man faces a super mutant and wins using raw power and neurons. And only a guy like Kirk could do something like that!

Too bad these days are gone.
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wrong episode numbers
teilksg22 April 2015
Nothing too drastic,,, the episode "Where no man has gone before" ( season 1, episode 3) has the crew in the pilot style uniform, and the star date is in the 1312.1 range, and Spock is slightly emotional like the pilot, and Spock is back in a yellow uniform,and the physician was Doctor Piper. While in the episode "The Mantrap",(season 1 episode 1), McCoy is the ship's Physician, And Spock is quite a bit less emotional and a star date of 1521, I think they were released out of order, also the ships viewing screens are reversed, the later show has the earlier screen and the earlier show has the later screen but otherwise great shows.
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Going Boldly
Bolesroor19 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This episode was actually the second pilot to be filmed for the series, and opens with the Enterprise picking up a distress signal from a ship that's been missing for over two centuries. It turns out that the ship was destroyed and the call is actually coming from the emergency recorder (the cosmic equivalent of an airplane's black box) so Kirk orders it beamed aboard. When the probe starts transmitting a signal Kirk orders a Red Alert, if only for a dramatic development to take us into the opening credits. (Sometimes he orders a Red Alert when the galley runs out of tater tots.)

Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell joins Kirk and Co. on the bridge, and he's played by none other than Gary Lockwood, who would go on to star in the astounding "2001: A Space Odyssey." Next Sally Kellerman reports to the bridge as psychiatrist Elizabeth Dehner, and this beautiful actress would come to be known for her role on M*A*S*H and for her sultry, seething voice, a voice which had the power to melt men, women and steel. Spock discovers that the missing ship- Valiant- was researching ESP before self-destructing, and the next sequence is one of the best in the series.

Kirk orders the Enterprise out of the galaxy at warp one, and the ship immediately comes up against a mysterious force field that does not appear on their sensors. The visual effects on the field are spectacular- a flowing, pulsing purple horizon that would stand up with any CGI today or of the future. Its subtlety is masterful: this was the age when special effects were used to serve the story's needs. Unfortunately that has come to be completely reversed. Black space is visible above and below the event horizon in the exterior shot, and the Enterprise in relation for once seems perfectly scaled. These effects- ironically- bear a slight resemblance to those that would later be used in "2001."

It's a fitting comparison because this scene is cinematic in nature- both dramatically and from a technical standpoint. Lt. Mitchell and adorable Crewman Smith wordlessly take one another's hands during the crisis, and no comment is ever made about this intimate exchange. The field begins to storm, change color, and there are actual explosions aboard the ship- control panels sparking, smoking and flaming. Finally, Mitchell and Dehner are zapped by an unknown force, and Gary is left with silver glowing eyeballs.

The Enterprise is left paralyzed, warp engines down, and Lt. Mitchell begins to show symptoms of being a Supergenius: he's reading several books an hour and controlling his medical monitors telepathically. He quotes a sonnet written "back in 1996" and it's little script touches such as this that make the show a joy. Dr. Dehner conceals Gary's abilities from her superiors and has an emotional outburst during a departmental briefing: an objective scientist she is not. Spock suggests killing Lt. Mitchell, reasoning that a similar, unchecked situation led to the destruction of the Valiant. It's a great plot point and Kirk is faced with an excellent moral dilemma: sentence his own friend to die or risk the life of his ship and crew.

I find the development of Gary's character during his "mutation" to be extraordinarily realistic: he's not a cackling, power-mad villain, but he's clearly transcended the bounds of humanity. He openly agrees with Spock's conclusion: he admits he's a threat but he can't stop the progression. The Enterprise arrives at Delta Vega for repairs and to strand Gary, but he soon overpowers them and takes the psexy psychiatrist to be his omnipotent Eve in his self-styled Eden.

But, just like in the Bible, paradise is interrupted by a Starship Captain with a sub-machine gun. Kirk, Dehner & Gary battle over the line between God and man, the theme at the heart of the episode, and the writers weave it in to the action beautifully: no heavy-handed speeches or static pontificating. "Morals are for men, not gods," proclaims Mitchell, and he has clearly lost his humanity, and all compassion, attacking Kirk with bolts of lightning from his fingertips. Dehner, still merciful, intervenes, buying the Captain enough time to bury Gary the god in the grave marked for James T. Kirk. Fantastic.

Back on board the ship Spock confesses to having "felt" for Gary- ouch- and then Smiles at Kirk's comment- yikes: very out of character for the Vulcan. Let's chalk this last bit up to the fact that this episode was just the second pilot filmed for the series, and the stoic, analytical Spock character that we all know and love had yet to be perfected.

It would be illogical to do otherwise.

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Innovative Exterior Shots destroyed with lame CGI
XweAponX14 July 2012
The thing I remember of this 2nd Pilot episode was the fantastic shot of the Enterprise entering the "Barrier" at the galaxy's rim and the way it appeared while being tossed around like a rag doll. I was nine years old when I first saw this, it left an impression.

I have just watched a version of this pilot, with all of those incredible graphics TOTALLY REMOVED and replaced with the worst CGI I have ever seen.

This is a debacle as bad as George Lucas ruining his original Star Wars trilogy by inserting all kinds of busy CGI garbage. And now for the second time, I have to say NO! Leave it as it was originally done!

To replace an eleven foot model of the USS Enterprise with a badly rendered CGI dupe, was wholly ineffective. The ironic thing is that Digital Modeling has gotten much better and even in 2005, the USS Enterprise D was duplicated digitally for the series finale of "Enterprise" - THAT, at least, was realistically done. The graphics for this enhanced Blu Ray set, a child could have done, and it was no way as effective as the original photographic plate.

I'm glad the producers of the set gave the viewers the opportunity to choose which version they are to watch, Original or Ruined.

As far as this episode was originally made? It broke all barriers of Network Television, creating a new standard of production to beat, always being challenged by lesser shows like "Lost in Space" or "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Ironically, the budgets for this show were so low that it is amazing that they were able to pull off the quality of production that they ended up with.

To make us BELIEVE we were in a starship, traveling among the stars, visiting all those planets, meeting Vulcans, Andorians. Klingons, Romulans.... No other show had as big an impact as this one small show from the 60's

In this episode, crewman Gary Mitchell, Kirks colleague and friend, is touched by some force that rapidly changes him into something with Godlike Powers. This was portrayed rather simplistically but effectively, basically bringing to mind the adage about "Absolute Power" and it's properties of corruption.

It is the choice of what to do with that power: One person wants to use it for manipulation, the other with compassion.

It is not that people will not make mistakes when given an allotment of authority: It is, what they will do with it at the end of the day: When all of the chips are down, what kind of person are you?
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Man vs. Man
robert_s014 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I don't think there's much to add here but just grant me a few remarks. To me (and I guess I'm hardly the only one) nearly every Star Trek Episode has its point beyond what is shown on screen. So this is the one that started it all (at least officially). Star Trek is always about mankind, the "human equation" one might say. For that it seems quite reasonable to establish that kind of equation in the first episodes and that is what is taking place in "Where no Man has gone before".

By trying to pass the galactic barrier Captain Kirk is confronted with a situation that challenges him personally as well as professionally. His friend Gary Mitchell has turned into some kind of super human with God-like abilities. So Kirk gets caught between his command of the ship and his compassion for his friend who must be marooned on Delta Vega to save the ship threatened by him. Kirk taking his responsibility for his ship defeats Mitchell in a fight and finally saves his crew.

Not much to it one might say. But lets take a closer look. Is it really just Kirk who fights Mitchell in the final scene? Or is he stepping out of his character, representing mankind itself in a desperate struggle against its worst enemies: megalomania, selfishness, arrogance, immorality (which all can be interpreted as facets of "Evil")? Mitchell suddenly able to reach way beyond human possibilities stands for the power corrupted megalomaniac. He has the powers of a God but has to deal with them in a human way. He is not able to cope with the situation and gets mad for it is not (or should I say not yet) possible for man to take that many steps in evolution at once (if at all). Kirk stands on the other side. He realizes that there is no way to convince Mitchell to cooperate and decides to fight him. Kirks point is to stress that the human strengths don't lie in his physical or mental powers (an increase of Power will always lead to corruption and injustice) but in reason and moral duty. The best line of this episode delivered by Mitchell makes it clear: "Command and compassion, that's a fool's mixture." Mitchell gets it but misses the point. That's what Kirk and the Federation or Starfleet stand for in their early days. Technically highly developed but morally as well to keep the balance. They aren't pacifists, they know when to fight (also an element of reason and duty) but they don't enjoy it.

The ongoing struggle in Star Trek is that of man against himself, in this case represented by Kirk and his good friend Mitchell. That's the point and even if there will be a lot of alien races and unknown phenomena in shows to come there's always a human facet to it...

A strong point for an all time classic episode starting off an all time classic SF series.
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STAR TREK "Punked" #5
joker-scar26 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I grew up watching Star Trek reruns on TV in the 1970's and I caught every original cast flick that came out in the theatre. To be honest I was always a bigger (original) STAR WARS fan than Trek. "WHAT???!!! How dare a SW fan have the audacity to criticize Star Trek! But I will. DISCLAIMER: this is done with the utmost fun/love so any of you TREKKIES out there that feel the need to zip off a hasty/indignant reply with headings like: "How dare you nit-pick a cherished franchise!"... "Such-and-such was done because of the limited TV budgets back then..." " It was made 50 years ago and was cutting edge stuff against the ordinary pabulum that was out back then and it changed the face of sci-fi forever so cut it some slack you sacrilegious bastard!!" ... blah, blah, blah. Reel in your indignation. FYI - I know that most of you TREKKIES have a sense of humour (I'm Canadian, THAT's how we spell it here! We LOVE "U's" and use them whenever we can) and those that don't have one... are called TREKKERS! If that is the case then as William "the Shat" Shatner once stated on Saturday Night Live..."Get a life!" Of course the episodes I'm reviewing are the revamped ones with the new special effects so I will spare those purist Trekkies (I know I'm getting under your skins right now.. ha ha...my evil plan is working) that cherish the original special de-fects. So I will commence in pointing out some glaring blunders in these cherished episodes. Today's episode..."WHERE NO MANS GONE BEFORE"...
  • Spock, being an "unemotional" species, has no problem getting a handle on light sarcasm right out of the gate with his "Ah, yes" reply to Kirk's quip about his "irritating way of playing chess".
  • Kirk has the great ability to change the tone of his voice while speaking "into" his ship's intercom as if his voice is coming FROM the intercom. He has a great future as a galaxy hoping Starfleet ventriloquist.
  • Mitchell's and Dr. Deher's verbal/sexual fencing on the bridge passes for professional conduct in Starfleet in the 23rd century.
  • I guess Leonard hasn't quite nailed his character yet when he filmed this episode, I assume he felt Spock yelling his acquired information to Kirk on the bridge even though there is no other noise blocking out his voice needing to yell. I guess Nimoy must have thought it made for more of an "alien" tone for a Vulcan????
  • I love the clunky banter and ham fisted acting between Lee Kelso and Mitchell about the engines damaged impulse points.
  • Spock pulls out the "kill Mitchell" card pretty quickly considering no other options had been tried out at this point.
  • I'm glad they changed the design of the uniform's tunic from the high color deformed pajama style to the one they finally arrived at and the silly 1930's kiddie toy ray gun design of the hand phasers held over from the pilot shoot 2 years earlier.
  • I am sure Kubrick must have chuckled at Lockwood's almost certain regaling of his experience shooting the episode with cardboard rocks and plastic plants... while standing on the 2001 moon set.

Well, that was more than enough for this particular episode... until next time.
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great television pilot
ufocska17 August 2002
After NBC rejected "The Cage", Roddenberry made this story. After Cage's story, this episode has got plenty of action. The story is good, the drama is excellent and the characters are great. The special effects are much better than the later episodes. Good to see the main characters, the ship and the props, costumes before their final shape. Kirk and Spock are developing. I read in "Star Trek Compendium" that in the 1966 World Science Fiction Convention, the audience asked "This is for TV?!". The only bad thing is the stupidity of NBC. Roddenberry made this for FIRST episode on purpose. In 1966 September the NBC previewed the show with the not very good "The Man Trap" and continued with the also not very good "Charlie X" and this great segment was only the THIRD episode!
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Okay episode, but doesn't hold up that strongly
intp1 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this episode many years ago, when I was quite young, and thought it was very impressive. Now that I'm older, though, it just doesn't hold up that well.

The episode does have some positive elements: lots of action; some dynamic performances, especially by Shatner; a welcome guest appearance by a young Sally Kellerman; and a premise that, at least on the surface, seemed interesting-- the moral dilemma involved if a close personal friend becomes a mortal threat.

However, the flaws are also great. One thing I didn't like is that the Gary Mitchell character, played by Gary Lockwood, got corrupted far too quickly and easily. I mean, this guy was supposed to have been a top level Starfleet officer, and a close personal friend of Kirk, yet he goes mad with power right away. Almost from the outset, he even boasts about crushing them like insects and says that the smart thing to do would be to kill him. I thought people in the future, especially Starfleet officers, were supposed to have better characters than that. The story would have been much more interesting and compelling if Mitchell had been portrayed as fighting against the urge to turn evil, which would at least have made him sympathetic, but he doesn't, not even for a second.

This behavior is implausible to me for several reasons. While I could see absolute power corrupting eventually, why does it happen so fast? It's almost like Mitchell was driven kind of loony tunes by whatever changed him (yet, that didn't happen to Dehner, so that argument is weakened). More importantly, all he really had to do was to conceal or minimize his powers until they were so great that no one could stop him; why act like a grandiose monster and warn everyone right away that he was a mortal threat? Kirk was kind of an idiot for not heeding Spock's warnings after Mitchell himself declared that Spock was right. He was supposed to be hyper-intelligent (called Spinoza "childish"; absorbed the ship's library in hours), yet his behavior is pretty stupid and self-destructive.

Also, Dr. Dehner (Kellerman) did not turn into evil incarnate right away like he did. This suggests that Mitchell really was, fundamentally, a corrupt and evil person at the core. I disliked the fact that Kirk gives both Mitchell and Dehner the same commendation at the end; she richly deserved it, but Mitchell didn't deserve it at all. She was the real hero of the piece.

Some great dialogue, though, that still impresses me. Kirk in desperation, trying to sway Dehner- "What's your prognosis, doctor?!" Spock-- "All I know is logic. In my opinion, we'll be lucky to repair the ship and get away in time." Of course, he was right. Indeed, the way Mitchell's power was continuously increasing, he could probably soon fly through space on his own power and destroy whole worlds.

I also have a quibble about the corny sci fi here. Not even a feeble attempt was made to explain the incredibly ridiculous physics here-- what the heck was Mitchell's power source?? Why did he have no limits at all? No one ever had a fighting chance against this guy, ever, unless they killed him early enough.

The two characters who come across best here are Dehner and Spock. This was an early episode, so I haven't rated it too harshly, and it does have some enjoyable elements; but it is very difficult to see the Mitchell character as anything other than pure evil.
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This is where "Star Trek" really begins!!
alexanderdavies-9938212 September 2017
After the episode "The Cage" didn't lead to a regular series, "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry had another chance to have his television series bear fruition. A major reduction in the budget was ordered and big changes to the cast which would shape the series. William Shatner stepped into the role of Enterprise captain James T. Kirk and would forever be associated with the role. We see George Takei as Sulu, albeit in a different role onboard the Enterprise. In addition, Leonard Nimoy plays Spock in the manner in which the fans would grow accustomed. James Doohan plays chief engineer Scotty but the other regular cast members would follow later on. The story in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is a lot more exciting and entertaining than that of "The Cage." The plot rushes by and that is always a good sign. Two members of the crew are imbued with telepathic powers which makes them particularly dangerous to the safety of their colleagues. One of them is an old friend of Kirk's from Starfleet Academy (Gary Lockwood) but friendship is soon a thing of the past as Kirk finds he needs to use extreme measures in order to protect his ship and the lives of the crew. This was actually the first time viewers got to see an episode of "Star Trek" in 1965. In all the episodes I have seen, I have seldom seen Kirk endure such a beating like the one he suffers in this episode. His vulnerability becomes quite obvious as he struggles to gain the advantage against his adversary. The television crew and cast had to work 100 hours a week in order to get this second pilot episode made but it was certainly worth it. The results were far more successful this time around and a series was soon commissioned. Television history was about to made.
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There are 2 of this episode
DKosty12327 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Sally Kellerman is sort of the story here as this is her episode though the show is very well written. Gary Lockwood is the man who would be a god. It happens we he and Sally are exposed to an electric force field and Kirk has to desperately try and stop the man who would be a god in his warped mind state after the shock.

The big story here is besides the television version broadcast as episode number 3 in the first season,, I have now seen the pilot shot prior to this. It is available now for the first time on Blue Ray and before this has never been seen or televised. The first one is done Quinn Martin Style with Star Trek Act 1, Act 2, Act 3. So there are 2 shows of this where the women wear slacks for the only time on the original series. The fight sequences in this one show the influence of CBS Wild Wild West in Roddenbery trying to sell his Wagon Train to the stars.

Both episodes versions are worth watching. The alternate earlier version is on the Blue Ray set of Season 3 of Star Trek. Look for it, you will not be disappointed.
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