Where No Man Has Gone Before - episode #2

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Where No Man Has Gone Before - episode #2

Post  BoG on Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:46 pm


WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE (first season; episode #2)
Directed by James Goldstone / writer: Samuel L. Peeples / Air Date: 09/22/66

BELOW:AUTOMATED STATION ON DELTA VEGA and ABOVE,FIRST VIEW OF 3-D CHESS

ABOVE: Lt. Kelso (Paul Carr) - soon to be a squashed insect?...............
This is known as episode two in many Trek circles because it was the 2nd pilot; the 1st pilot was The Cage, starring Jeffrey Hunter as Capt. Pike and Nimoy as one of his officers, and which was rejected as too cerebral. Roddenberry then produced this one, changing all of the cast except for Nimoy. So this is the first appearance of Captain Kirk (Shatner), as well as Scotty (Doohan) & Sulu (Takei). There is no Dr. McCoy in this one; instead we see a Dr. Piper (Paul Fix). McCoy would show up in the next filmed episode, The Corbomite Maneuver.


ABOVE: Gary Mitchell - soon to be a... crazed god?
This episode still holds up very well, despite being rough around the edges. Roddenberry had not yet defined Starfleet or the Federation in detail here; we were witnessing the adventures of some Earth-based space fleet here, kind of a follow-up to Forbidden Planet, the big sci-fi film of 9 years earlier. But because Roddenberry needed to impress some executives, this pilot is like a short sci-fi film itself. Right off the bat, exploration is the key theme: Kirk directs the good ship Enterprise towards a mysterious galactic barrier, even though everyone knows it's dangerous. The ship is damaged, several crew members are killed, and two more are mutated into superior beings. Roddenberry wasn't holding back.
The episode then begins an exploration of another kind - questions on this new breed of humanity. How dangerous is such a new breed of man? Can he live with other 'normal' humans? Spock provides the early answers: "very" and "no" - even though we side with Kirk as the more humane, sympathetic voice, it's Spock who seems to prove that old adage: absolute power corrupts absolutely. And it's not just a faceless crewman who goes power mad; it's Kirk's old friend, Gary (guest star Gary Lockwood, who starred in 2001:A Space Odyssey a couple of years after this).
Lockwood, as Lt. Gary Mitchell, presents us with a somewhat sympathetic yet at the same time chilling rendition of a power-mad character. There is no struggle involved for him with this new-found power, no angst or questions of how he should proceed. He embraces the power readily, perhaps like a drug (a metaphor here?) and turns inhuman rather swiftly.  Perhaps all men, no matter how decent, have that need inside to dominate, to be corrupted, right? Yet, as Kirk states at the end, Gary didn't ask for this. Heavy & deep concepts for an old TV show, eh? - and all in the middle of a supposedly action-oriented show. Sally Kellerman, who starred in M*A*S*H (1970) a few years after this, plays the ship's psychiatrist who also turns godlike after Gary. A solid, excellent start to the series. BoG's Score: 9 out of 10

Extra Trek Trivia: note Kirk's phaser rifle above; it was built for this pilot episode, yet never used again on TOS. The crew wore slightly different uniforms in this early episode; the events here probably take place about a year before those of most other episodes. Besides Dr. Piper, other seeming regular crew members who did not return were Lloyd Haynes as communications officer Alden (replaced by Uhura in the next episode) and Andrea Dromm as Yeoman Smith (replaced by Rand); Haynes went on to a famous TV role in Room 222 (1969-1974). Kirk's gravestone reads 'James R. Kirk' instead of the correct James T. Kirk here; perhaps Gary, though powerful, was not omnipotent and even forgetful - and this seemed to signal his defeat; as in a premonition? All told, a dozen crewmembers died in this episode. An alternate, older version of Gary Mitchell would return in the made-for-the-web fan film Star Trek-Of Gods and Men (2007).
<Alternate Beginning



...But How do you kill a god? Fantastic!


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Where no Man has Gone full episode

Post  BoG on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:38 pm

CLASSIC TREK QUOTES:
Dehner (Kellerman): "What do you know about gods?"
Kirk: "Then let's talk about Humans... about our frailties. As powerful as he gets, he'll still have all that inside him..."
Dehner: "Go back!"
Kirk: "You were a psychiatrist, once; you know the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose – but he'll dare! Who's to stop him? He doesn't need to care... Be a psychiatrist for one minute longer; what do you see happening to him? What's your prognosis, doctor?!"
Dehner: "He's coming."



Mitchell: "Morals are for men... not gods."

This matte painting was by Albert Whitlock, about the best in the business...


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Q and Gary

Post  BoG on Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:06 pm


An idea by author Peter David, in his Trek novel "Q Squared."
I mentioned this book in my post for The Squire of Gothos (1st season, episode#18).
I'm going by memory here, but, in the novel, Peter David's plot had Q getting cosmically bushwhacked by a deranged Trelane. Q was almost destroyed but ended up barely surviving the attack as drifting cosmic energy, thrown back to the dawn of time (or, long ago) and to the edge of our galaxy. So, Peter David's thesis was that this galactic barrier encountered in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE was actually the injured Q, after being attacked by Trelane - or, what was left of Q, which were indeed Q energies. Time has different meaning for an entity like Q, so he was drifting as this unfocused energy, the galactic barrier, for millions or billions of years at the edge of our galaxy. Hey, don't look at me - this is Peter David's story.
But, the premise above is that Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) and Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman), the two Enterprise crew members, were infused with Q energies.

Sulu started as a biophysicist in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE and some kind of mathematician. I've developed my own backstory or background for TOS which is never really spelled out elsewhere. To my way of thinking, WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE took place about a year before the other earliest episodes, such as The Man Trap. Maybe not a full year - maybe about 9 months or so before the earliest episodes; one clue - the slightly different uniforms in WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE. The next episode, chronologically, was The Corbomite Maneuver - this one was perhaps 5 or 6 months after WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE. Dr. Piper was gone, replaced by Dr. McCoy. By this point, Sulu had transferred to his new duty as helmsman. The Man Trap took place about 3 months after The Corbomite Maneuver.
I think most people think of the three seasons of TOS as the first 3 years of a 5-year mission. But, I don't follow that line of reasoning. I think WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE was near the start of the 5-year mission, but most of the episodes actually take place during the middle three years of the 5-year mission. And, proceeding from there, the animated series, if one considers it canon, takes place during the first half of the 5th year. We just didn't see what went on during the last half-year of the mission. And, we didn't see too many adventures/missions during the first year.
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