"Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Written By: Peter Casey

Published: Issue 26, Monday, October 2, 2000


I was a freshman in high school when Star Trek hit the airwaves. I remember seeing commercials about it on NBC in the late summer of 1966. To say the least, I was extremely excited about the prospect of what seemed lo be an intelligent outer space show.


The gold standard up until TOS aired was a movie titled "Forbidden Planet." (Please see my review regarding said movie in the BBK NL from August.) Besides that, the best TV offered was The Twilight Zone (There are two wonderful pieces starring a young William Shatner from that show.), Lost in Space and shows such as The Outer Limits.


These were good shows, but only TZ was great.


We were about to enter, as TZ would state, another dimension with the advent of Star Trek.






TOS Review: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"


Although this particular show was the second pilot, and aired, correct me if I'm wrong, fourth in line from the initial airdate of "Man Trap," I like to consider it the first and one of the best of the TV shows.


The storyline for this show, and the moral, is a classic. The dilemma of humankind as we advance and become more powerful both technologically and mentally has been confronted and debated going back to the earliest of recorded times.


Civilizations have fallen before mental and technological advancements of rival civilizations. One has only to look to the Byzantine Empire as an early example of this. Recorded history is replete with such....


But let's get into our episode:


From the beginning, I was most impressed by the effects (for 1966). But as the show progressed, I was witness to, along with all the members of my family glued to that Sylvania Color TV {It was gigantic, but only had a 23" screen!! ;-)}, a great story with superb acting.


Shatner and Nimoy immediately played off each other as if they had been partners for years. Gary Lockwood, not long removed from his outstanding performance in 2001, was out of this world. Although the other characters had yet to find their respective niches or even become part of the show, you were able to tell this program was a winner! Adding McCoy and Uhura later only enriched and brought to the forefront the show's image as a positive outlook regarding our future.


As we all know, the story itself, as outlined above, pitted a superior intelligence, suddenly thrust onto humankind, versus where human intelligence was in the 23rd century.


As the story unfolds, we at first see Gary Mitchell mystified by his newfound powers, not completely understanding his purpose from this point forward. As he grows stronger, he begins to "flex" his mental muscles, manipulating the ship and those around him.

Spock, in what Jason [Turner] has called a "defining moment in Kirk and Spock's relationship," recognizes this first. His suggestion to the captain that he kill Mitchell while he still can portrays a classic dilemma, one of many that would confront our young captain during the five-year mission and beyond.

Finally, after the manipulation and power of Mitchell reaches an alarming point, Kirk takes action. By now, Mitchell, drunk with power and visions of what he considers his place in human evolution, states as they prepare to transport him to his exile: "You fools! I'll squash you like insects!" It appears Kirk is making the right move.