‘WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This should have been the first episode of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’, but was transmitted third in the series. This was the second pilot made for ‘Star Trek’ after ‘The Cage’ was proved unsuccessful.
‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ is a really good ‘Star Trek’ episode that does well in the set-up of the characters. There are some continuity errors to be found in this episode which I will explain later on.
In the episode, Kirk’s best friend Gary Mitchell becomes a god-like being after the Enterprise goes through a cosmic force-field at the edge of the galaxy. Soon Elizabeth Dehner gets to be god-like too.
Aspects of this episode make it clear that this should have been the first episode shown in the TV series. But creator Gene Roddenberry was undecided and made so many changes to the TV series.
There is a sense of elements of ‘The Cage’ still found in this episode. The uniforms are different, the set design directly comes from ‘The Cage’ and there isn’t a voice-over by Kirk in the opening credits.
Also Leonard Nimoy as Spock wears a yellow uniform similar to William Shatner as Captain Kirk. Usually, Spock wears a blue uniform to signify his science officer’s role as well as being in command.
This episode also features the first appearance of James Doohan as Mr. Scotty (Scotty as Kirk calls him), the ship’s chief engineer. His uniform is also different and drab in this pilot ‘Star Trek’ episode.
George Takei also appears as Mr. Sulu in this episode, but he’s wearing a blue uniform instead of a yellow one. He also seems to be in the capacity of science officer before he became the helmsman.
Dr. McCoy doesn’t feature at all in this episode, as the Enterprise’s chief medical officer is Paul Fix as Dr. Mark Piper in this episode. I’m glad that Dr. Piper only made one appearance in the pilot episode.
Gary Lockwood guest stars as Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell, Kirk’s best friend. Gary starts off really well, before he gets hit by the cosmic force-field and becomes very god-like with very scary-looking eyes.
During the episode, Kirk becomes worries for his friend as Gary increasingly becomes smug and arrogant in his god-like powers. Very soon, Kirk has to maroon Gary on a planet and perhaps kill him.
Sally Kellerman guest stars as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, the psychiatrist aboard the Enterprise who watches over Gary when he’s ill in sick bay. She becomes increasingly fascinated by Gary’s condition.
Eventually, Elizabeth has god-like powers and scary-looking eyes like Gary does. When searching for Gary and Elizabeth with a phaser rifle, Kirk tries to persuade Elizabeth to help him and to stop Gary.
The atmosphere in this episode was pretty tense, especially when Gary was becoming blasphemous and righteous in his god-like powers. I wonder if Gary ever survived following this dramatic episode.
The climatic fight scene between Kirk and Gary was very exciting to watch. I became anxious for Kirk when Gary was getting too strong for him. I wondered how Kirk was going to defeat Gary in the end.
‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ is a great ‘Star Trek’ episode to watch on DVD. It should have been the first episode shown in the TV series, but I enjoyed the tense atmosphere and story throughout.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
On Disc 1 of the original DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there’s a text commentary on this episode by Michael and Denise Okuda.
‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ (TOS) rating – 10/10
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