Where No Man Has
Gone Before - Star
Production # 2 [ Second Pilot ]
Air Date: 9/22/1966
Some years before this second pilot, the S.S. Valiant had
encountered a unknown energy barrier at the rim of the galaxy. Something had
then made its captain destroy his ship.
The U.S.S. Enterprise finds the Valiant's disaster
record-marker, which reveals that just prior to its destruction the crew had
been searching library tapes for any information on psionics.
The U.S.S. Enterprise arrives at the edge of the galaxy
and the same force affects the ship's drives that must have affected those of
the Valiant. Kirk notices a strong personality change in his good friend,
Lieutenant Gary Mitchell, whose latent psionic abilities are heightened by the
force field. Soon Mitchell has gained enormous extrasensory powers, displaying
many talents which include moving objects with his mind and controlling his own
heart rate. To a smaller degree, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner is also affected by the
force field's power and the two are drawn together by their common powers.
As Mitchell's powers grow, he becomes more dangerous.
Spock believes that when the Valiant experienced the same phenomena, it
destroyed itself to prevent the power from taking over the galaxy. Gary Mitchell
confirms his fears when he informs them that he is becoming a god who will rule
the humans. Spock feels that Mitchell's death is the only solution, but Kirk is
unable to kill his old friend. Instead, he exiles him to an uninhabited planet.
However, once on the planet's surface, Mitchell kills his guard and escapes,
taking Dr. Dehner with him. Kirk follows with a phaser rifle 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 Elizabeth Dehner. Before he can refocus his psi powers,
Kirk creates a rockslide that entombs Mitchell, killing him.
Afterwards, Spock admits to Kirk that for the first time
in his life, he felt something akin to human emotion.
This first DVD volume of episodes from the
original Star Trek begins with a show that saved the series even before
it launched. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was actually the second Trek
pilot produced by Gene Roddenberry after NBC rejected "The Cage"
(now a subject of cult fascination). A retooled cast now included William
Shatner as Captain James R. Kirk (the middle initial T came
later), Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock, George Takei as Ensign Sulu, and James
Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott. (DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols,
and Walter Koenig signed on in subsequent episodes.) A lot of thought went
into scriptwriter Samuel L. Peeples's story about a crewman named Gary
Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) who has a close relationship with Kirk and some
natural ESP abilities. When the Enterprise approaches an energy barrier
at the edge of the galaxy, Mitchell metamorphoses into a godlike being with
silver eyes, awesome psychic abilities, and a rapidly developing ego. As
Mitchell becomes an increasing threat to the ship, Kirk is faced with making a
terrible choice to save his crew.
The episode locked in the very character and
themes of Star Trek: science fiction stories told in mortal terms, the
conflict between relationships and duty, and a strong emphasis on exploring
personalities. Lockwood's disciplined, modulated performance was a big plus.
(He went on, of course, to play astronaut Frank Poole in 2001: A Space
The second show in this volume was the tenth to
air, "The Corbomite Maneuver." While exploring an uncharted region
of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters a cube-shaped alien probe (a
predecessor of Borg vessels?) that Kirk promptly destroys. That action brings
the wrath of a spaceship called the Fesarius, which locks the Enterprise
in a tractor beam from which it can't escape. The show is perhaps best known
for something of a surprise ending when the "captain" of the Fesarius
(played by Clint Howard, brother of Ron and child star of TV's Gentle Ben)
is revealed. Directed by Joseph Sargent (Colossus--The Forbin Project).
"Where No Man Has Gone Before" (Ep.2): An energy barrier heightens
the psionic abilities of two crew members. "The Corbomite Maneuver"
(Ep.3): Krik bluffs an alien ship to prevent the Enterprise from being
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