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(written from a Production point of view)

For the TNG episode with a similar title, please see "Where No One Has Gone Before".

While exploring the energy barrier at galaxy's edge that crippled an earlier ship, Kirk's long-time friend and crewmate Gary Mitchell begins mutating into a god-like entity disdainful of the "mortals" around him. (Second pilot)



Kirk and Spock in briefing lounge playing chess

"I'll have you checkmated your next move…"

"Captain's log, stardate 1312.4. The impossible has happened. From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries. Did another Earth ship probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they've left behind?"

In the briefing lounge, Captain James T. Kirk and Lieutenant Commander Spock are playing three-dimensional chess. Spock warns the captain that he's about to checkmate him on his next move, but the captain is preoccupied with awaiting the bridge's update on the unexplained Earth-vessel distress signal. The captain notes that Spock plays a very "irritating game of chess", to which Spock responds with "Irritating? Ah yes, one of your Earth emotions." Captain Kirk makes a move that surprises Spock, and smiles, to which Spock simply turns to look at him. "Certain you don't know what irritation is?" Kirk says wryly. As Spock begins to state that despite the fact that one of his ancestors married a Human female, Kirk interrupts him and jokingly chides him, saying it must be terrible to have bad blood like that. Just afterward then, a call comes over the comm. Navigator Lieutenant Lee Kelso informs the captain that the object is now within tractor beam range, and that it is only about a meter in diameter, too small to be a vessel or an escape pod. Kirk tells him to lock on to it, and the two of them head out.

SS Valiant's disaster recorder

SS Valiant disaster recorder

In the transporter room, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott is fine tuning the transporter, preparing to beam the object aboard. Kirk gives the order, and Scott transports the device into the transporter chamber. The captain immediately recognizes it as an old-style ship recorder, one that would be ejected in the event of an emergency. Spock agrees, but states that, based on the level of damage the object seems to have sustained, something must have destroyed the ship. Scott tries to feed the tapes into the computer when the marker begins transmitting a signal. Captain Kirk orders red alert, and the crew go to their stations.

Act One[]

Throughout the ship, the crew is reporting to their emergency stations. Kirk and Spock enter a turbolift to go to the bridge, and Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell enters just as the doors are closing. Kirk and Mitchell joke about Kelso sounding nervous, and Spock's chess skills, showing that they're comfortable being around each other even in times of red alert.

USS Enterprise approaches galactic barrier, remastered

The Enterprise approaches the barrier

The three officers enter the bridge, Mitchell taking his station as Spock scans for the message. As they approach the edge of the galaxy, Kirk orders all stop. Captain Kirk announces ship-wide that what they picked up was a disaster recorder launched from the SS Valiant two hundred years prior. Department heads report to the bridge as ordered, and Captain Kirk is given introductions. Smith, whom he mistakenly addresses as "Jones", is his new yeoman. Sulu reports astrosciences ready, Scott reports the engineering division ready, "as always", and Chief Medical Officer Doctor Mark Piper reports life sciences ready, then introduces the USS Enterprise's new psychiatrist, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, who came aboard the vessel back at the Aldebaron Colony to study the long-term effects of space travel on the crew. Spock points out he's been able to get a signal from the recorder, as Mitchell tries to flirt with Dr. Dehner, who rebuffs him only to overhear him call her a "walking freezer unit".

Spock interprets the Valiant's message: that they had encountered a magnetic storm and were pulled out of the galaxy, and that the crew accessed computer records on "ESP" in Humans, frantic to find information about it. The captain asks Dr. Dehner her opinion, and she mistakes the question as asking whether she has ESP. She reports that there are some Humans who can see "backs of playing cards and so on", but it is never very powerful. Spock goes on to explain that several crewmen had died aboard the Valiant, which had suffered severe damage. The Valiant crew continued researching ESP, until it seems the captain ordered a self-destruct. As future vessels will someday be coming out this far into space, Captain Kirk decides to go ahead anyway and engages warp factor 1.

Gary Mitchell contacts barrier energy

Mitchell is struck

The crew reacts with mixed emotions as the Enterprise heads out of the Milky Way Galaxy. The ship encounters a strange field and Spock orders a full array of scansdeflectors indicating something in front of them while sensors say there's nothing. Smith and Mitchell hold hands to comfort each other as the ship enters the field. Flashes of light fill the bridge and electric discharges penetrate the hull, causing several consoles to explode. Kirk orders Mitchell to reverse course, but, before he can carry out the order, Dr. Dehner and he are struck by a mysterious electric charge which drops them to the deck. With no one in control of the Enterprise, Spock dashes over to the helm console and pilots the starship clear of the energy field.

Taking damage reports, Spock informs Kirk that main power is out, the Enterprise is on emergency power cells, and nine crewmen are dead. Captain Kirk tends to Dehner and Mitchell, only to find that while Mitchell feels a little weak, his eyes are glowing an eerie silver…

Act Two[]

Kelso, Alden and Kirk repair helm

Alden and Kelso repair the helm console as Kirk looks on

"Captain's log, stardate 1312.9. Ship's condition – heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship's space-warp ability – gone. Earth bases, which were only days away are now years in the distance. Our overriding question now is – what destroyed the Valiant? They lived through the barrier, just as we have. What happened to them after that?"

Captain Kirk, while supervising repairs being made to the bridge, proceeds to the science station where he finds Spock reviewing medical records of the dead crew members, and the crew members who survived but seem to have been affected in some way. Spock is looking at ESP ratings of Dr. Dehner and Gary Mitchell. Both of the officers had high scores on ESP tests given by Starfleet Medical, Mitchell's having ultimately read as the highest in the crew.

Dr. Dehner approaches Captain Kirk and provides an autopsy report of the nine dead crew members. She mentions that in all cases, there was damage to a specific region of the brain. Kirk shares the fact that all of the dead crew members, as well as Dehner and Mitchell, had high ESP ratings. Spock also mentions that the captain of the Valiant was frantically searching through their records for information on ESP. Spock then reports that the Valiant's captain seems to have given a self-destruct order. Dehner defends those with ESP, stating that the ability is not harmful. Spock, however, reminds the doctor that there are the more extreme (and dangerous) abilities of ESP, such as the ability to see through solid objects or cause spontaneous combustion.

In sickbay, Mitchell is reading text on a viewer, trying to pass the time. Kirk enters the room, and Mitchell greets him by name without actually looking to see who it is. Kirk and Mitchell talk about some past experiences; it is obvious they have known each other well for many years. Mitchell mentions that he feels better now than he's ever felt in his life, and he's catching up on his reading, including Spinoza, which surprises Kirk. Mitchell finds Spinoza simple, almost childish, to him. The two continue to reminisce about their days at Starfleet Academy and Mitchell says that he "aimed that little blonde lab technician" at Jim. Kirk replies, "You planned that?!? I almost married her."

Gary Mitchell in sickbay bed

"Is that Gary Mitchell? The one you used to know?"

Kirk informs Mitchell that he's assigned Dr. Dehner to work with him. Mitchell doesn't seem happy, since Mitchell and Dehner have already gotten off to a tense start. As Kirk moves to leave, Mitchell, in an echoing voice, says, "Didn't I say you'd better be good to me?", prompting Kirk to pause and eye him with uncertainty.

Once Kirk leaves the room, Mitchell continues reading books on the viewer, at a steadily-increasing rate that soon far exceeds normal pace; the on-screen pages are nothing but a black-and-white blur. Kirk enters the bridge to find Spock monitoring Mitchell's viewer. Kirk assigns 24-hour security to keep an eye on Mitchell. Kirk approaches the science station viewer to look closely at Mitchell, and Mitchell looks directly at the security camera, seemingly aware that Kirk is watching him.

Dr. Dehner enters sickbay and acknowledges the fact that she realizes that Mitchell doesn't like her very much. He apologizes to her for calling her a "walking freezer unit." She asks him how he feels. Mitchell jokingly says that everyone thinks that he should have a fever or something and proceeds to change the vital signs monitor in sickbay with his mind. Then, he makes the readings show that he is dead. All indicators fall to zero, to Dr. Dehner's surprise and horror. Moments later, Mitchell awakens, and starts telling Dr. Dehner of some of his other abilities, like being able to read quickly, going through half of the Enterprise's database in less than a day.

Dr. Dehner decides to test his memory, and shows Mitchell the title of a record tape, asking him to recite what's on page 387. Mitchell recites, "My love has wings, slender feathered things with grace and upswept curve and tapered tip" from the poem "Nightingale Woman", written by Tarbolde on the Canopus planet back in 1996. Mitchell wonders out loud why she happened to choose that particular poem, which is considered to be one of the most passionate poems written in recent centuries. He then pulls Dehner close to him, and asks her how she feels. Her reply, that she only fell and that nothing else happened, is seemingly disbelieved by Mitchell, but the conversation is cut short by the arrival of Lieutenant Kelso, awkwardly entering at a time which might have seemed like an intimate moment. Mitchell smiles and invites him in, joking that his eyes are merely lit up "due to the lovely doctor."

Kelso reports that the main engines are in bad shape. Mitchell warns Kelso to check the starboard impulse engine packs, which Kelso jokingly dismisses. Mitchell snaps (once again in his "booming" voice) that he isn't joking, and that if they activate those engines that the entire impulse deck will explode. Kelso leaves sickbay and Mitchell tells Dehner that he could see the image of the impulse packs in Kelso's mind and that he is a fool not to have seen it.

Enterprise crew discuss Mitchell

"Our subject is NOT Gary Mitchell."

In the briefing room, Kelso shows Kirk the burned out impulse circuit, which he had checked on Mitchell's recommendation, noting with puzzlement that their condition was exactly as Mitchell described. Dr. Dehner enters late, says she got held up observing Mitchell, and attempts to defend him in the face of Spock's and Kirk's seemingly cold assessment of him. She reports her observations of Mitchell's ability to control certain autonomic reflexes and increased memory. Scott reports that bridge controls had started changing on their own about an hour prior, and Spock adds that each time it happened, Mitchell could be seen smiling on the surveillance monitors set up in sickbay. Kirk is annoyed that Dehner hadn't reported Mitchell's new powers earlier, but she argues that no one has been hurt, furthermore saying that someone like Mitchell, with such powers, could give rise to "a new and better kind of Human being."

Following an awkward silence, Sulu adds that the growth of Mitchell's abilities is a geometric progression, meaning they would increase at an exponential rate. Spock concludes that Mitchell would become uncontrollably powerful within a month. Kirk tells those present to not discuss their findings openly before dismissing them. After the others have left the briefing room, Spock advises taking the Enterprise to the planet Delta Vega, only a few light days away, where they can adapt the lithium cracking station's power packs to try to repair its damaged systems, and also strand Mitchell there. Kirk strongly disagrees with the plan, stating Delta Vega is uninhabited and automated, and ore ships only visit every twenty years. Spock informs Kirk the only other choice he has is to kill Mitchell before he overpowers the entire crew. Kirk tries appealing to Spock's conscience, saying Mitchell is his longtime friend, but Spock merely reminds him that the captain of the Valiant probably had a similar dilemma about his afflicted crew members but made his decision to self-destruct too late. Kirk reluctantly orders the Enterprise course set for Delta Vega.

Act Three[]

"Captain's log, stardate 1313.1. We're now approaching Delta Vega. Course set for a standard orbit. This planet, completely uninhabited, is slightly smaller than Earth, desolate, but rich in crystal and minerals. Kelso's task – transport down with a repair party, try to regenerate the main engines, save the ship. Our task – transport down a man I've known for fifteen years, and if we're successful, maroon him there."
Delta-Vega Station, remastered

Delta Vega's lithium cracking station

In sickbay, Mitchell's telekinetic power continues to grow. Feeling thirsty, he moves a plastic cup below a faucet and dispenses water from it with his mind. Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Dehner enter to see Mitchell's levitate the filled cup towards his outstretched hand. Mitchell senses worry in Kirk and Spock's continued urging for the captain to kill him while he still can. Mitchell quickly subdues both Kirk and Spock with an electric shock and informs them he knows the Enterprise is orbiting Delta Vega but won't allow them to force him down there. As he postures about what kind of a world he can use, Kirk and Spock jump him and hold him down long enough for Dr. Dehner to tranquilize him.

In the transporter room, preparing to beam down, Mitchell regains consciousness and proclaims "You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects!" before being sedated again. After transporting down, Mitchell is confined to a holding cell as Lieutenant Kelso and the engineering team begin to salvage the needed components from the outpost to restore the Enterprise engines to full capacity.

Mitchell attempts to escape holding cell

Mitchell attempts to escape

As Mitchell regains consciousness, he reminds Kirk of how he saved his life on the planet Dimorus, taking poisonous darts meant for the captain and nearly dying from it. He wonders why Kirk should fear him now. Kirk retorts that Mitchell has been testing his ability to take over the Enterprise and reminds him of the threat he made in the transporter room to squash the crew like insects. Mitchell defends himself by pointing out that he was drugged at the time, then snaps back that mankind cannot survive if a true race of Espers like himself is born, and attempts to escape the force field of the cell. Kirk pleads with him to stop, but, Mitchell refuses and is jolted back, draining the light in the eyes. Gary pleads out to "Jim…", but, it doesn't last and the maniacal power that has now totally consumed Mitchell returns and he sneers that he'll "just keep getting stronger."

Back on board the Enterprise, the repairs are nearly complete as Scott beams a phaser rifle down to Spock. Kirk resents Spock's callousness towards Gary, but Spock retorts that he's just being logical and he believes that the crew will be lucky just to repair the Enterprise and get away from Mitchell in time. Kirk, finally seeing Spock's viewpoint, instructs Kelso to wire a destruct switch to the power bins of the outpost, an explosion that will destroy the entire valley and hopefully kill Mitchell, and orders him to hit the button if Mitchell escapes.

Act Four[]

Mitchell subdues Kirk and Spock while Dehner watches

"You should have killed me while you could, James."

"Captain's log, stardate 1313.3. Note commendations on Lieutenant Kelso and the engineering staff. In orbit above us, the engines of the Enterprise are almost fully regenerated. Balance of the landing party is being transported back up. Mitchell, whatever he's become, keeps changing, growing stronger by the minute."

As the landing party prepares to return to the Enterprise, Dehner, completely transfixed on Mitchell, announces she's remaining on Delta Vega with him. At the same time, Mitchell uses his powers to remotely strangle Lieutenant Kelso with a cable. As Kirk orders Dehner to return to the ship, Mitchell turns to the captain and taunts him that Kirk should have killed him while he still had the chance. With that, he shocks both Kirk and Spock and easily eliminates the force field holding him. Dehner takes no action to stop him, and he slowly walks her over to a mirror, where she can now see the light in her own eyes.

Kirk fires a phaser rifle at Mitchell

Kirk opens fire on Mitchell

A short time later, Dr. Piper revives Captain Kirk and informs him that Kelso is dead and that Mitchell and Dr. Dehner have left the facility. Kirk advises Piper not to revive Spock until after he's left as Kirk now blames himself for not listening to the Vulcan's warning. Taking Spock's phaser rifle, Kirk orders that Piper and Spock return to the Enterprise and to give him twelve hours to signal the ship. Failing that, Kirk recommends that the Enterprise proceed at maximum warp to the nearest starbase with his recommendation that the entire planet be subjected to a lethal concentration of neutron radiation. When Piper protests, Kirk firmly tells the doctor it is an order and leaves.

Gary Mitchell psionic

"Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me! Pray that you die easy!"

In an open valley, Mitchell (now sporting greying sideburns due to premature aging as a consequence of the stress from his advanced powers) conjures up Kaferian apples and water for himself and Dehner. He begins to sense Kirk approaching them, as does Dehner. Mitchell invites Dehner to talk to the captain and begin to realize just how unimportant Humans are compared to what they (Mitchell and Dehner) have become. Dehner appears before Kirk and advises the captain to retreat while he still can. Kirk appeals to what's left of Dehner's Humanity and her profession as a psychiatrist and asks her what she believes will become of Mitchell if his power is allowed to continue to grow. Dehner begins to see the wisdom of Kirk's words, but, before she can decide anything, Mitchell appears before both of them. Kirk opens fire with his phaser rifle, but, it has no effect on Mitchell who easily casts the weapon aside.

Taunting Kirk, Mitchell creates a grave for his "old friend", saying he deserves a decent burial, at the very least. Completely convinced of his power and his superiority, with absolute power corrupting absolutely, Mitchell uses his powers to force Kirk to pray to him as a god and for an easy death.

Kirk versus Mitchell

Kirk fights Mitchell

Dehner, now realizing that Mitchell is inhuman and becoming more and more dangerous, helps Kirk by blasting Mitchell with some of her power, stunning him. Mitchell turns away from Kirk and counters Dehner's attack, however, the battle drains both of them and they both collapse, Dehner's attack being sufficiently powerful enough to weaken Mitchell who temporarily loses his powers. As Dehner implores Kirk to hurry, the captain begins to attack his former friend, pummeling him to the ground. With a heavy rock raised high and preparing for the death blow, Kirk begs Gary to forgive him for what he must do. However, the captain's hesitation is enough for Mitchell to regain his powers and easily tosses Kirk away. With Kirk no longer able to cope with Mitchell's physical strength, he dives at him, sending both into the open grave. Kirk, scrambling to the discarded phaser rifle, is able to blast the rock face above Mitchell, sending him into the grave and entombing him, therefore ending Mitchell's threat forever.

Kirk, with his uniform torn, and beaten and battered, walks over to Dehner and kneels beside her. She apologizes to the captain for her actions, but offers that KIrk had no idea what it was like to be almost a god, before finally dying herself. Silently mourning Dehner's sacrifice, Kirk opens his communicator and hails the Enterprise.

Spock and Kirk (2265)

"I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mr. Spock."

"Captain's log, stardate 1313.8. Add to official losses, Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty. Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell. Same notation."

Back on the Enterprise, Kirk, sitting in his chair with a bandaged hand, laments to Spock that he wants Mitchell's service record to end with dignity as he didn't ask for what happened to him. Spock admits he felt for Mitchell as well. With a smirk, Kirk remarks that maybe there's hope for Spock after all, as the Enterprise continues to journey where no man has gone before.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Have I ever mentioned you play a very irritating game of chess, Mr. Spock?"
"Irritating? Ah, yes. One of your Earth emotions."

- Kirk and Spock, in the recreation room

"Terrible, having bad blood like that."

- Kirk to Spock, on his Human ancestry

"The first thing I ever heard from upperclassmen was: Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class, you either think or sink."

- Mitchell to Kirk, reflecting on their time at the Academy

"My love has wings. Slender, feathered things with grace in upswept curve and tapered tip."

- Mitchell, reciting "The Nightingale Woman" by Phineas Tarbolde

"Don't you understand? A mutated superior man could also be a wonderful thing!"

- Dehner to Kirk, on Mitchell

"Will you try for one moment to feel? At least act like you've got a heart."

- Kirk to Spock, before deciding to maroon Mitchell on Delta Vega

"The captain of the Valiant probably thought the same thing. And he waited too long to make his decision."

- Spock, deliberating with Kirk on what to do with Mitchell

"If you were in my position, what would you do?"
"Probably what Mr. Spock is thinking now: kill me, while you can."

- Kirk and Mitchell, discussing Mitchell's ultimate fate

"You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects!"

- Mitchell, in the transporter room

"There's not a soul on this planet but us?"
"Nobody but us chickens, Doctor."

- Dehner and Kirk, on Delta Vega

"My friend, James Kirk."

- Mitchell, mockingly addressing Kirk upon awakening in the cell on Delta Vega

"In the sickbay, you said if you were in my place you'd kill a mutant like yourself."
"Why don't you kill me then? Mr. Spock is right and you're a fool if you can't see it."

- Kirk and Mitchell

"Man cannot survive if a race of true espers is born."

- Mitchell

"Dr. Dehner feels he isn't that dangerous! What makes you right and a trained psychiatrist wrong?"
"Because she feels. I don't. All I know is logic."

- Kirk and Spock, as Spock brings a phaser rifle

"If Mitchell gets out, at your discretion, Lee, if sitting here makes you think you're the last chance, I want you to hit that button."

- Kirk, ordering Kelso to destroy the station

"You should've killed me while you could, James. Command and compassion are a fool's mixture."

- Mitchell to Kirk, before escaping the brig

"Above all else, a god needs compassion! MITCHELL!!"

- Kirk, calling out to Mitchell

"What do you know about gods?"
"Then let's talk about Humans! About our frailties!"

- Dehner and Kirk

"What's your prognosis, Doctor?!"

- Kirk, to Dehner on Mitchell

"Morals are for men, not gods."

- Mitchell, to Kirk

"Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me."
"To you? Not to both of you?"
"Pray that you die easily!"
"There'll only be one of you in the end. One jealous god. If all this makes a god, or is it making you something else?"

- Mitchell and Kirk

"Do you like what you see? Absolute power corrupting absolutely?"

- Kirk, persuading Dehner to turn on Mitchell

"For a moment, James… but your moment is fading."

- Mitchell's last words

"I'm sorry. You can't know what it's like to be almost a god."

- Dehner's dying words to Kirk

"He didn't ask for what happened to him."
"I felt for him, too."
"I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mister Spock."

- Kirk and Spock

Background information[]

The second pilot[]

  • This was the second Star Trek pilot. However, it has aired in syndication as the third regular series episode, after "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X". In their book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, Robert H. Justman and Herbert F. Solow explain that because this segment was "too expository" in nature – a common fault with pilots – it would not have made a good premiere episode for the series.
  • Although NBC rejected "The Cage", they felt that the series concept was strong enough to give Star Trek a second chance, despite having already spent an exorbitant US$630,000 on the first pilot. The network ordered three scripts, from which they would choose one to be developed into an unprecedented second pilot. The three scripts were "The Omega Glory" by Gene Roddenberry, "Mudd's Women" by Roddenberry and Stephen Kandel, and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by Samuel A. Peeples. The advantage of "The Omega Glory" was that it showcased Roddenberry's "parallel worlds" concept and could be filmed using existing studio sets on the back lot as well as stock wardrobes. "Mudd's Women" was mainly a shipboard tale and could also be shot using the existing Enterprise sets left over from "The Cage". In addition, both required a minimum of new outer space effects shots. However, "Mudd's Women" guest starred "an intergalactic pimp", selling women throughout the galaxy, exactly what NBC didn't want, and "The Omega Glory" wasn't very good. The network finally chose "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which, although it required many new special effects, sets, props, and costumes, was the most powerful and compelling of the three scripts. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp 65-66; The Star Trek Compendium, p 17)
  • There is a different, pre-broadcast cut of this episode in the archives of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This unique cut includes a few brief scenes trimmed from the aired cut of the episode, different opening titles, and a unique opening and closing theme. The alternate themes can be heard on the GNP Crescendo CD Star Trek: Original Series (Volume 1) "The Cage" / "Where No Man Has Gone Before". This version was the one screened as the second pilot to NBC executives in the tail-end of 1965, and was originally available in bootleg form only, screened at numerous conventions, before becoming available commercially on the TOS Season 3 Blu-ray set. [1] James Doohan was credited as "Engineer", Paul Fix as "Ship's Doctor", George Takei as "Physicist", and Paul Carr as "Navigator" in the end credits of the original cut. It was in effect the Institution itself which had already recognized the cultural significance of Roddenberry's creation; in a rare move – considering the highly contemporary nature of a television series of such recent date – the Institution invited Roddenberry in 1967 to submit both pilots and assorted production material, such as still photography, scripts and story outlines, for safekeeping for posterity. This the consummate (self)promoter Roddenberry did in a formal presentation at the Institution, pursuant the conclusion of the series' first season. ("Smithsonian Seeks TV Pilot", Los Angeles Times, 13 June 1967, p. C19)
  • A second different title sequence resulted from the fact that the main responsible visual effects director, Darrell Anderson of effects company Howard Anderson Company, suffered a third nervous breakdown, brought on by the stress he was under to deliver the new opticals in time and on budget. As Justman recalled, when he and Roddenberry came calling on Anderson in August 1966 to check on the status of the Enterprise footage for the title sequence, for the series slated to start its run on 8 September and "Where No Man" scheduled to air third, "We had seen maybe six good shots and some others that were partially usable. We had expected many more angles, some of which were badly needed for our series main title. "Where's all the other shots, Darrell?" Darrell began to shake. He jumped to his feet, screaming, "You'll never make your first airdate." Bursting into tears, he ran out of the room, still screaming, "You'll never make your first airdate! You'll never make your first airdate!" Gene sat there in shock. I raced after Darrell and caught him outside. He was weeping. And no wonder. We later found out he had been working both day and night for months, trying to satisfy our needs. That afternoon, Darrell went to Palm Springs for a rest cure." Roddenberry and Justman managed to compose a title sequence from the footage already shot, the same day. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 281) This was the version as originally aired by NBC on 22 September 1966. The more sophisticated final title sequence was produced (with Anderson returned to his duties) for subsequent episode airings and replacing the improvised sequence for those episodes where it was utilized in reruns. Incidentally, Darrell Anderson suffered his second nervous breakdown while working on the second pilot the year previously, from which he needed two weeks to recover. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 11/12, p. 69)
  • The aired version of this episode features a different version of the first season opening credits, which does not have William Shatner's opening narration, and uses a different orchestration of the main and end title themes. These orchestrations were used until mid-season during the original run and the initial syndication showings. However, in the 1980s, Paramount withdrew the prints from syndication and redistributed remastered and pre-cut episodes with standardized opening and closing credit music for the first season (using the Fred Steiner arrangement created for the back half of the season). These remastered prints were also used, in their uncut form, for the video and laserdisc releases. Only this episode was permitted to keep the original Alexander Courage arrangement. The 1999 DVD volumes, and later season sets, however, restored the opening credits to their original form, while leaving the end credits in their altered state (again, except for this episode which remains as originally aired).
  • The original narration spoken by Shatner was:
"Enterprise log, Captain James Kirk commanding. We are leaving that vast cloud of stars and planets which we call our galaxy. Behind us, Earth, Mars, Venus, even our Sun, are specks of dust. The question: What is out there in the black void beyond? Until now our mission has been that of space law regulation, contact with Earth colonies and investigation of alien life. But now, a new task: A probe out into where no man has gone before."
  • After NBC saw this episode, they were pleased with the results and decided that Star Trek would be a weekly television series. Gene Roddenberry said that, like "The Cage", "Where No Man Has Gone Before" still had a lot of science fiction elements in it, but that it was the bare knuckle fist fight between Kirk and the god-like Gary Mitchell that sold NBC on Star Trek. (The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation To The Next [page number?edit])
  • This was the first episode of Star Trek to be shown by the BBC in the UK when the series premiered on 12 July 1969.

Story and script[]

  • TNG adopted a gender-neutral and species-neutral version of this episode's title for TNG: "Where No One Has Gone Before".
  • This episode sets the original series record for Enterprise crew members killed: twelve (Mitchell, Dehner, Kelso, and the nine who Spock says died when crossing the galactic barrier).
  • Kirk says he's been worried about Mitchell "ever since that night on Deneb IV." Coincidentally (or not), TNG's pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" takes place on Deneb IV, home of the Bandi.
  • Gary Mitchell states that the "Nightingale Woman" poem was written in 1996 and that it is one of the "most passionate love sonnets of the past couple of centuries". Taken literally, this line of dialogue seems to suggest that "Where No Man Has Gone Before" takes place no later than the end of the twenty-second century, which in turn would imply that the Valiant was launched during the twentieth.
  • In reality, the poem ("My love has wings…") was written by Gene Roddenberry about his World War II airplane.


Shooting Where No Man Has Gone Before

A moment from the first day of filming this episode

  • Bob Justman anticipated that the second pilot would take nine days to shoot. However, after "The Cage" went severely over schedule and budget, Desilu's "old guard" executives worried about the same situation regarding the second pilot. To avoid these fears, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was scheduled to be filmed in seven days. The "old guards" skeptically expected that it will take ten or even eleven days. Filming began on Monday, 19 July 1965. As expected, filming the pilot went over schedule, finally resulting in eight days and an extra day of shooting pickup shots and "inserts" – nine days, exactly as Justman expected. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 85).
  • Just as "The Cage", the second pilot was filmed at Desilu's Culver City studios. For the series itself, the entire production was moved to Desilu's main Gower Street facilities in Hollywood. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story pp 113-116)
  • On the fifth day of filming, Friday, 23 July 1965, a swarm of bees attacked the set, causing delay in filming, and injuries to William Shatner and Sally Kellerman, who were both stung by the bees. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 83)

Sets and props[]

  • The gravestone Mitchell creates for Kirk reads "James R. Kirk". According to D.C. Fontana in the introduction for Star Trek: The Classic Episodes 1, when the mistake was discovered, Gene Roddenberry decided that if pressed for an answer on the discrepancy, the response was to be "Gary Mitchell had godlike powers, but at base he was Human. He made a mistake." The gravestone also suggests that an important event marked "C" took place on stardate 1277.1; Kirk may have assumed command of the Enterprise on this stardate.
  • Their crew files show that Mitchell and Dehner were born in cities called "Delman" and "Eldman."
  • The mountainous backdrop painting from "The Cage" is reused in this episode.
  • In this episode, the helm console from the bridge was moved to the transporter set to double as the transporter console. Thus, the three levers used to "energize" are not yet in place.
  • When he complies with Kirk's order to "Address intercraft," i.e. put open the intercom, Mitchell merely wipes the edge of his hand over his navigation plotting board and does not manipulate any buttons or switches.
  • A bit of the transporter chamber was changed from "The Cage." The center of the ceiling was "hollowed out," allowing white light to pour down onto the platform when the "materializer" was not in operation. After this episode, however, the dark, grilled ceiling from "The Cage" was restored and remained in place throughout the series.
  • The phaser rifle that Kirk uses appears for the first and only time in the series. However, it can be seen on many pre-season 1 promotional photos being held by Kirk performer William Shatner, who had especially been taken with the prop rifle. It was designed and created by Reuben Klamer, who, being subcontracted, received no credit for it. (Julien's Auctions presents: Star Trek)
  • In this episode, the sickbay walls are green.
  • The alert light on the helm console is of a different shape in this episode.
  • A large panel seen in the background of the Delta Vega control room was recycled as part of the main engineering set in the series itself.
  • Spock carries a laser pistol (somewhat modified) as first seen in "The Cage".
  • This episode features the goose-neck tubes also used in "The Cage".
  • The communicator Kirk uses at the episode's end to hail the Enterprise is the Lucite-encased, circuit board-filled version from "The Cage".
  • The insignias for the Sciences and Engineering divisions were opposite in this episode of what they were in every other episode.

Cast and characters[]

  • It was the first appearance for Trek mainstays Kirk, Sulu, Scott, and Leslie. Other regulars McCoy and Uhura did not appear until the next episode. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Uhura is said to be a twenty year space veteran as of 2285, suggesting that she began her career sometime around this episode.
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock) is the only actor to appear in both this episode and the first pilot, "The Cage". His pointed ears are a bit smaller than in the first pilot, and his eyebrows are severely slanted (yet not as bushy as in "The Cage"). Most importantly, his hairstyle is reworked to show the bangs typical of his race – and that of eventual nemeses, the Romulans.
  • William Shatner was actually the third actor to be considered for the role of James T. Kirk. Jack Lord and Lloyd Bridges were each offered the role before him. (The Star Trek Compendium [page number?edit])
  • Veteran character actor Paul Fix got the role of the ship's doctor, replacing John Hoyt. Gene Roddenberry wanted to cast DeForest Kelley in the part, whom he originally wanted to play Doctor Boyce in "The Cage". Then, he was overruled by director Robert Butler's suggestion. Here again, Fix was recommended by director James Goldstone. Roddenberry thought Fix didn't work out well in the role, and decided that if Star Trek became a weekly series, he would cast Kelley as the ship's doctor. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp 74-75, 152)
  • Andrea Dromm replaced Laurel Goodwin in the role of the captain's yeoman. According to Herb Solow and Bob Justman, her role was actually a "non-part" and Roddenberry claimed he cast her so he could "score with her". They added, it was not just a "non-part", but a "non-score" as well. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 75) Dromm didn't return to the series, and was replaced by Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Rand.
  • Roddenberry, Solow, and NBC were all happy about the casting of Lloyd Haynes as communications officer Alden. Haynes was one of the first African-Americans hired to play an important role in a network series pilot. However, he was not rehired for the series itself, as the production staff saw the role as dull and uninteresting. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 75-77, 153)
  • This is the only episode of the series in which James Doohan (Scott) appears but DeForest Kelley (McCoy) does not.
  • This is the only episode where Spock and Scott wear gold and tan tunics instead of their better known blue and red, respectively.


  • The matte painting of the lithium cracking station was created by matte artist Albert Whitlock for this episode. A still exists showing the entire landing party in the doorway within the matte, but only the shot of Kirk and Dehner ended up being used. The matte painting was later altered and reused in "Dagger of the Mind". The image of the matte painting later appeared on the March 1953 issue of the Incredible Tales magazine in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Far Beyond the Stars".
  • Film trickery enabled Kirk, Spock, and Mitchell's elevator ride to look like an actual ride from one deck to another, without relying on editing. When Mitchell jumped in, there was a gray wall outside the door that hid the bridge set. When the doors closed, the wall was removed by the stage crew, and then seconds later, they're on the bridge. The turbolift in the background after this scene sports "double doors" like modern elevators – the inner one is gray and the outer is red. This feature survived into "The Corbomite Maneuver" and at least until "Tomorrow is Yesterday", but then was phased out.
  • When Kirk, Spock, and Mitchell emerge from the turbolift, the main viewscreen can be seen in its "off" setting – a kind of "psychedelic" visual effect that was never used again.
  • The voices of damage control personnel responding to the emergency situation were reused many times in subsequent episodes. These voices were provided by Gene Roddenberry, Robert Justman, Majel Barrett, Herb Solow, and other production staff members, including some from Mission: Impossible. Roddenberry can be heard saying, "Communicator, we need more lines to the impulse deck!" in subsequent episodes. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 190-191)
  • Except for the shot of the Enterprise leaving the Barrier – which was shot using the three-foot unlighted model – all other ship fly-bys were produced using the eleven-foot model used in all subsequent episodes. At the time, this model still had no sparkling effects on the front of the nacelles. It also had a larger sensor dish, grilles on the backs of the nacelles, and not as many lighting effects. This footage was re-used in later episodes, often mixed in with shots of the improved model that is on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In the standard side-to-side fly-by, two lights on the angled pylon (which connect the two hulls) go out, followed one second later by two near the shuttlebay.
  • The original "bridge zoom-in" Enterprise shot from the beginning of "The Cage" is reused from stock footage in this episode, making it the only shot from the original pilot to appear in the second one.
  • The same shot is also used when the Enterprise hits the barrier with added purple background and lightning effects.
  • Stock footage of the Enterprise in the barrier was reused in "By Any Other Name" and "Is There in Truth No Beauty?". These are the only three original series episodes in which the Enterprise leaves the galaxy.


  • The preview contains a Captain's Log recorded solely for the preview: "Captain's log, stardate 1312.4. The next mission of the Enterprise takes us into an unknown force field which affects the destiny of my closest friend."


  • A print of the pre-broadcast version of this episode was taken by Roddenberry to the annual World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland, Ohio to be presented to the convention goers. This marked Star Trek's second showing to the general public, on 4 September 1966 with Harlan Ellison having premiered a color print of one of the unaired episodes (those in attendance give conflicting reports on exactly which one of the early episodes was shown) earlier at the San Diego Westercon 19 the previous July. ("What We Did On Our Visit To Desilu" by John & Bjo Trimble, ST-PHILE #1, Jan 1968, p. 33) Allan Asherman, author of The Star Trek Compendium, was present among the audience. He recalled, "There must have been 500 people in that audience. When the Enterprise hit the galactic barrier, 1,000 eyes opened wide. Five hundred respiratory rates accelerated with that wonderful pleasure that comes over lovers of all things when they see their favorite subject being treated well. (…) If he [Roddenberry] could have read our minds at any moment during the screening, he would have been the happiest producer in the world. (…) Here was a future it did not hurt to imagine. Here was a constructive tomorrow for mankind, emphasizing exploration and expansion. This was a science fiction television series we all wanted to see. We were extremely impressed. (…) In fact, we liked everything about the episode more than anything else shown at the convention. (…) Roddenberry seemed to have no idea of the effect his show was having on us. (…) He asked for the audience's opinion; we gave him a standing ovation. He smiled, and we returned the smile before we converged him. We came close to lifting the man upon our shoulders and carrying him out of the room." (The Star Trek Compendium, pp 2-3)
  • Later, a group of the audience asked Roddenberry if he had brought any other episodes of Star Trek with him. He had a black-and-white copy of "The Cage", which was then screened to the audience. (The Star Trek Compendium, p 3)
  • Herb Solow commented on Gene's success: ""Where No Man," unlike the other television and theatrical films screened, was well received. The science-fiction aficionados at the convention were entranced by the new show. But in four days, the series would premiere on television to a national audience that thought science fiction was comic books of busty women being dragged away by alligator people, or a giant purple blob intent on dissolving Tokyo." (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 263)
  • Bjo Trimble and her husband, John, were members of the audience at the convention, and it was the first time they'd met Roddenberry. They persuaded him to allow the Star Trek costumes he brought along to be displayed during the fan-made costume competition. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p 378)
  • Isaac Asimov was also a member of the audience. At the start, Roddenberry shushed a loud man to be silent, not knowing that the man was actually Asimov. [2] When Roddenberry found out it was Asimov, he was horrified. (Inside Star Trek with Gene Roddenberry [page number?edit])
  • Roddenberry picked this as one of his ten favorite episodes for the franchise's 25th anniversary. (TV Guide August 31, 1991)
  • Jason Isaacs also cited this as one of his favorite Star Trek episodes, remarking that he "loved" it. Regarding the transformation to god-like status that happens to Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner in this episode, Isaacs joked, "I tried for years to do that. In fact, I still try sometimes, in quiet moments." [3]
  • The book Star Trek 101 (p. 17), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block, lists this episode as one of "Ten Essential Episodes" from the original Star Trek series.


  • An alternate explanation for the "James R. Kirk" reference is given in Peter David's novel Q-Squared, which suggests that the events of this episode take place in a parallel universe where Kirk's middle initial is indeed R (and not T as we now know it to be). This same book suggests that Gary Mitchell's god-like powers were a result of him being temporarily possessed by Q, and the powers simply drove Mitchell insane.
  • Another explanation for the R as Kirk's middle initial comes from Michael Jan Friedman's three-part novel series, My Brother's Keeper. In it, Kirk claims his middle name to be "Racquetball" to Mitchell upon an early meeting. Later, Mitchell "changes" it to "Rhinoceros" after Kirk steamrolls through a conversation. The grave is thus explained by Kirk as an in-joke.
  • Mandala Productions' Fotonovel #2, in its cast of characters section, identified the captain for this episode as "James R. Kirk", even though all the other Star Trek Fotonovels listed him as "James T. Kirk".
  • The alternate reality's version of events in this episode were depicted in issue 1 and issue 2 of IDW Publishing's ongoing Star Trek comic book. In this version, only Mitchell is affected – Dehner was a former lover of Dr. McCoy, and after the affair ended badly, their relationship was so strained that she rescinded her requested transfer to the USS Enterprise after finding out he was on board. Also, while Mitchell was in sickbay, Spock mind melded with him and reported to Kirk that he found "No consciousness. No sentience of any kind."
  • The Pocket TNG novel The Valiant acts as a prequel and sequel to this episode, telling the story of the SS Valiant's demise and reveals that some of the crew did survive the self-destruction.

Remastered information[]

  • The remastered version of this episode premiered in syndication the weekend of 20 January 2007 and featured shots of a digital version of Enterprise, consistent with the model used in this episode, which had a slightly different appearance from both the version seen in the production of the series and that seen the original pilot, "The Cage". Enhanced effects also included more detailed shots of the barrier, Delta Vega from space as well as on the surface, a subtle touch-up to a phaser shot during Kirk and Mitchell's fight, and an opening titles sequence featuring the pilot-version Enterprise.
  • While the final frontier speech was absent from the original, it was brought into the remastered opening.

Production timeline[]

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]



Uncredited co-stars[]

Stunt doubles[]


1996; 21st century; 22nd century; 203-R; 2065; 2242; 2244; 2250; 2260s; 2265; ability; address; Aldebaron Colony; amusement; ancestor; annoyance; answer; area; argument; assignment; astrosciences; auto-destruct; autonomic reflex; autopsy report; battery; blasphemy; blindness; blonde; blonde lab technician; blood; body; book; brain; breed; briefing lounge; bridge engineering; burial; button; "by comparison"; call letters; Canopus Planet; case; casualty; century; chance; checkmate; chicken; choice; class; coffee; coffee break; compassion; computer; computer record; consciousness; Constitution-class decks; contact; control room; counterorder; crew; crystal; damage; damage report (aka damage control report); dart; day; de Spinoza, Benedict; deck; deflector; Delta Vega; Delta-Vega Station; Deneb IV; density; department head; destruct button; dial; diameter; Dimorus; disaster recorder; dispensary; distress signal; duty; earphone; Earth; Earth base; electrical charge; electricity; emergency; emergency condition; emergency power cell; emergency stations; emotion; energy; Engineering Deck 3; engineering division; engineering staff; Enterprise casualties; esper; Ethics, The; extrasensory perception (aka ESP or ESP power); evidence; evil; eye; fact; faucet; feeling; fever; fire; fire alert; fission chamber; fool; force field; freezer unit; fuel bin (aka power bin); g; galactic barrier; Galactic Mining Company; galaxy; glove; god; gravestone; gravitation; gravity control; Grayson, Amanda; heart; helmsman; hour; hull; Human (Human being); hundred; idea; image; impulse deck; impulse engine; impulse pack; indication; information; initials; insect; intercraft; irritation; jealousy; Jones; Kaferian apple; Kaferian apple planet; lab technician; landing party; lateral power; lead; learning; leg; lifeboat; life sciences; light day; light year; lithium; lithium cracking station; logic; longhair; love; magnetic space storm; marooning; marriage; mathematics; materializer; maximum warp; medical examination; medical officer; medical test; memory bank; metaphysics; meter; Milky Way Galaxy; million; millionaire; mind; mineral; monitor screen (aka screen); monster; moral; mutant; name; neural circuit; neutron radiation; night; "Nightingale Woman"; officers' quarters; object; observation; orbit; order; ore ship; overcompensation; page; patient; penny; person; personnel file; phaser; phaser rifle; pill; place; playing card; points; Pointed Peaks; poison; power; power; power cell; power pack; prayer; professional; prognosis; psionic energy; psychiatrist; psychiatry; question; radiation; repair party; restricted area; rodent; "rodent things" on Dimorus; rook; Sarek; science officer; search; second; sensor; sensor beam; service record; sharing; shaving; ship's library; shock; signal; silver; solid object; sonnet; soul; space warp; speaking; speculation; spontaneous combustion; standard orbit; "stand by"; starboard; stardate; Starfleet Academy; strange energy; strangulation; street; subject; tape; Tarbolde; telekinesis; thief; thing; thought (thinking); three-dimensional chess; toy; tractor beam range; transporter room; type 3 phaser; transporter; upperclassman; Valiant, SS; SS Valiant personnel; valley; vessel; visual contact; voice; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); warning; warp factor; white mice; wings; wisdom; worry; wristwatch; year; yeoman; zipper

S/COMS references[]

aperception quotient; birthplace; card; College of Medical Sciences; date of birth; Dehner, Gerald; Delman; Deneb IV inhabitants; Duke-Heidelburg quotient; Eldman; esper rating; father; first name; foot; general knowledge quotient; generation; grade school; guessing game; height; inch; last name; lineage; magic; magician; metaphysics; Mitchell's ancestors; mother; permanent address; personnel file; PhD; present address; secondary school; spiritual reading; thesis; Tri-Planetary Academy; vocational training; weight

Unused references[]

4-0; energy; galactic survey cruiser; Johanson; matter; mile per hour; Parsons; Q-signal; space law regulation

External links[]

Previous episode produced:
"The Cage"
Star Trek: The Original Series
Season 1
Next episode produced:
"The Corbomite Maneuver"
Previous episode aired:
"Charlie X"
Next episode aired:
"The Naked Time"
Previous remastered episode aired:
"Wink of an Eye"
TOS Remastered Next remastered episode aired:
"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"