"Where No Man Has Gone Before" is the second pilot episode of the television series Star Trek (later known as Star Trek: The Original Series). It was produced in 1965 after the first pilot, "The Cage", had been rejected by NBC. The episode was eventually broadcast third in sequence on September 22, 1966, and was re-aired on April 20, 1967.
Where No Man Has Gone Before was written by Samuel A. Peeples, directed by James Goldstone, and filmed in July 1965. It was the first episode of Star Trek to feature William Shatner as Captain James Kirk, and also introduced James Doohan ("Scotty") and George Takei (Sulu). In the episode, the Starship Enterprise journeys to the edge of the galaxy, where two crew members develop dangerous psychic powers. The episode's title was adopted as the final phrase in the opening credits' voice-over that famously characterizes the Star Trek series, and has entered popular American culture.
The Starship USS Enterprise, commanded by Captain James T. Kirk, is on an exploratory mission to leave the galaxy. While en route, it discovers the "black box" recorder for the SS Valiant, a lost Earth starship, and beams the battered device aboard. The 200-year-old recorder is barely functional, but indicates that the Valiant had been swept from its path by a "magnetic space storm". It holds data about the last moments aboard the ill-fated ship, and shows that the crew had been frantically searching for information about extra-sensory perception (ESP) in the ship's library computer. The tape ends with the captain of the Valiant giving a self-destruct order.
Kirk decides that they need to know what happened to the Valiant, and Enterprise crosses the edge of the galaxy. It encounters a strange barrier, which causes serious electrical damage to the ship's systems, and the vessel is forced to back off. At the same time, Helmsman Gary Mitchell and ship's psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner are both knocked unconscious by the field's effect. After they awaken, Mitchell's eyes glow silver, and he soon begins to display remarkable psionic powers. Dehner's powers grow at a slower rate than Mitchell's, but she eventually develops the silver glow as well, and later develops powers that are almost as powerful as Mitchell's.
Mitchell and Kirk have known each other for many years. As a Starfleet midshipman, Mitchell was a student of instructor Lieutenant Kirk. He says the first thing he ever heard from an upperclassman was "Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class, you either think or sink."
Over time, Mitchell becomes increasingly arrogant and hostile toward the rest of the crew, declaring he has become godlike. He enforces his desires with fearsome telepathic and telekinetic powers. Mr. Spock believes that the Valiant may have experienced the same phenomenon and that such powers were developed by its crew as well. The other crew members must have destroyed the ship to prevent the power from taking over the galaxy.
Alarmed that Mitchell may eventually take over the Enterprise, Kirk decides to have him marooned on an unmanned lithium-cracking facility on the remote planet of Delta Vega, as per Spock's recommendation. Once there, the landing party tries to confine Mitchell, but his powers are too great. He eventually goes on a rampage, kills Helmsman Lee Kelso and escapes, taking Dr. Dehner with him.
Kirk follows and appeals to Dr. Dehner's humanity for help. As Mitchell prepares to kill Kirk with his psionic powers, Dr. Dehner attacks Mitchell to weaken him. Mitchell kills Dehner, but before he can recharge and use his powers, Kirk blasts down a rock slide that buries and finishes off Mitchell for good.
Back on the bridge, Kirk places in the official log that both Dehner and Mitchell gave their lives "in performance of duty."
This episode was remastered and first aired January 20, 2007, as part of the 40th anniversary remastering of the Original Series. It was preceded a week earlier by "Wink of an Eye" and followed a week later by "For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky".
Gene Roddenberry said later in a 1988 TV special that as with the first pilot, this pilot still had a lot of science-fiction elements in it, but at least it ended with Kirk in a bare knuckle fist fight with the god-like Mitchell and according to Roddenberry that's what sold NBC on Star Trek.
Series creator Gene Roddenberry wrote two story outlines, "The Omega Glory" and "Mudd's Women". He wrote a teleplay for the former, and gave the latter to Stephen Kandel to write. Roddenberry asked long-time associate and veteran scriptwriter Samuel Peeples to submit ideas for another. Peeples came up with the premise and episode title for "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and was assigned to write it.
Kandel had fallen ill and his script was not finished in time; the other two were submitted to NBC for consideration. NBC preferred "Where No Man Has Gone Before" as a pilot. "Mudd's Women" was later made as the second episode in regular production, and "The Omega Glory" was made towards the end of the second season.
Casting took place in June 1965. Jeffrey Hunter was unavailable to reprise his role as Captain Christopher Pike, and William Shatner was cast as his replacement, Captain James Kirk. The character of Number One, the female second-in-command, was dropped. The only character to be retained from the first pilot was Science Officer Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, who was given Number One's unemotional demeanor. Spock was retained despite pressure from NBC, who were worried about his "Satanic" appearance.
Apart from Captain Kirk, the episode introduced two other regular characters to the show: James Doohan was cast as the Chief Engineer—the name Montgomery Scott was chosen after Doohan had tried various accents, and had decided that an engineer ought to be Scottish—and George Takei was cast as Ship's Physicist Sulu, who would become the ship's helmsman in the series. Uhura did not appear, nor did Dr. Leonard McCoy; the ship's doctor is instead Mark Piper (Paul Fix). Piper was intended as a regular, and DeForest Kelley—who played McCoy in the series proper—was considered for the role.
Gary Lockwood, chosen to play Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, had starred in the title role of Roddenberry's earlier series on ABC, The Lieutenant. The other major guest part was Elizabeth Dehner, played by Sally Kellerman. Both actors needed silver eyes, which were produced by an expert contact lens fabricator who sandwiched wrinkled tinfoil between two scleral contact lens which covered the white of the eye as well as the iris. These were outdated even in the 60s and dangerous to the health of the actors' eyes. Although Kellerman could insert and remove the prosthetics easily with no discomfort, Lockwood found them almost impossible to use. He needed to raise his face and sight along his nose in order to see out of the tiny holes in the foil that aligned with his pupils. He used this to enhance his performance as the mutating Mitchel, as the unusual gaze gave him an arrogant and haughty demeanor.
Other cast members included Paul Carr playing Lee Kelso, Lloyd Haynes as Communications Officer Alden and Andrea Dromm as Yeoman Smith (Alden and Smith were intended to be regulars in the show, but were replaced by Uhura and Janice Rand, respectively). The episode also is the first time long-running background actor Eddie Paskey appeared; his character would later be identified as Lt. Leslie.
The costumes from the first pilot were used in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" but would be changed in the series proper, with the colors altered and black collars introduced. Most of the Enterprise sets were also reused from "The Cage", while Sickbay was the only major set constructed for the episode. Like "The Cage", the episode was shot at Desilu's Culver City studios.
The episode was directed by James Goldstone. Ernest Haller, who had won the 1939 Oscar for Best Color Cinematography on the movie Gone with the Wind, served as director of photography for the show. He had been brought in out of semi-retirement at Goldstone's recommendation at the last minute, after attempts to locate a cameraman had proved problematic. Robert H. Justman was credited as assistant director.
Shooting started on July 19, 1965, several days later than originally scheduled. During the filming of this episode, a wasp's nest high in the rafters of the studio was somehow disturbed, and many cast and crew members suffered stings as a result. As this happened on a Friday, the weekend break allowed time for the swelling to go down; Shatner, however, required additional makeup to hide the stings during shooting the following Monday. Filming finished late on July 28, 1965; the final footage filmed was part of the fight between Kirk and Mitchell. While the schedule allowed seven days to shoot the episode, it required nine, which was Justman's original estimate. The episode cost around $300,000, around half the money spent on making "The Cage".
Post-production on the episode was delayed by Roddenberry's involvement in another pilot, Police Story. Post-production finished in January 1966, and the episode was presented to NBC for approval; that version differed from the final broadcast cut in that each of the four acts had on-screen titles ("Act I," "Act II," etc.), as well as a titled prologue and epilogue, in the manner of Quinn Martin's television productions. It also featured a much longer opening narration by Shatner. Approval came in February 1966, and the series proper ramped up for production for broadcast in September 1966. The episode was shown at the 24th Worldcon in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 3, 1966, shortly before the debut of Star Trek on NBC, where it received a standing ovation. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" aired as the third episode of the series on September 22, 1966. It was the first episode to be shown in the UK by the BBC on July 12, 1969.
Kirk's middle initial is given as "R." in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and is seen clearly on the gravestone fashioned by Mitchell for Kirk; subsequent episodes use "James T. Kirk", and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country later made official the middle name "Tiberius" (used previously in "Bem", an episode from the animated series). Various suggestions have been made to explain this discrepancy; Michael Jan Friedman's My Brother's Keeper trilogy speculates this results from an in-joke between Mitchell and Kirk. Roddenberry cited human error on Mitchell's part. Peter David's novel, Q-Squared, placed the events of this episode in a parallel universe in which, among other differences, Kirk's middle initial was indeed R.
The episode contains the first stardate (1312.4) and makes the first reference to the Academy, at which Kirk taught Mitchell. The "lithium crystals" mentioned in the episode would later be renamed to the fictional "dilithium crystals". The episode opens with Kirk and Spock playing a game of 3D chess.
The episode, although it aired third in sequence, can be dated, through changes in cast (i.e. Spock's emotional detachment, Number One being removed from the cast, the introduction of Mr. Sulu and Mr. Scott, etc.), sets (i.e. different viewing screen on the bridge, external hooded-microphones on consoles and even the Captain's command chair, navigation/helm consoles swapped, etc.), and costumes (i.e. tunic colors were not gold, blue, and red, representing the command, science, and engineering departments, respectively, established in the remaining episodes, etc.), between "The Cage" and the rest of the first season. Michael and Denise Okuda's Star Trek Chronology sets the episode in 2265, 300 years after its production. The Galactic Barrier is mentioned in a subsequent episode, "By Any Other Name".
Many changes to the Enterprise bridge were made after this episode was produced. Among these were a new forward viewscreen and an updated helm/navigation console. Also, the positions of the helmsman and navigator were swapped (in this episode, the navigator sat on the port side of the console, and the helm officer was to starboard. In the regular series, the opposite was the case). When production of the series proper began, it was also decided to introduce a new uniform design for the Enterprise crew, although in the first regular episode produced, The Corbomite Maneuver, some characters, such as Uhura, are shown wearing the uniform style of Where No Man Has Gone Before. Adjustments to Spock's make-up were also made, specifically to the angle of his eyebrows, refinement of his haircut and tempering of the overall greenish-yellow cast of his skin.
Spock also makes reference to his ancestor marrying a human when in a later episode, his mother was introduced as a human.
In this episode the helm and navigation station console was used for the transporter room console. In future episodes a dedicated station would be built with the iconic sliding controls and centrally located, hooded beam-down coordinate selection screen.
The sickbay in this episode uses conventional sheets on the beds; later episodes used the more "futuristic" metallic weave materials. The "bio-probe", located under the medical monitor panel, pointed to and monitored the physiological functions of the patient. It was a simple rod, later replaced with the more detailed, internally-lit acrylic set piece.
The Galactic Barrier is later associated with the Q, in two unrelated and non-canon novels: 1994's Q-Squared by Peter David, and Greg Cox's 1998 Q Continuum novels. In the former book, Q takes refuge in the barrier, while the latter suggests that the Galactic Barrier had been created to exclude the malevolent being 0 from the galaxy.
Gary Mitchell does not appear again in the show. Several books, including Michael Jan Friedman's My Brother's Keeper and Vonda N. McIntyre's Enterprise: The First Adventure, feature the Mitchell character in adventures set before the events of the episode. The 2005 Star Trek: Vanguard book Harbinger is set immediately after the events of "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and features a troubled Kirk musing on his friend's death. Friedman's Stargazer book The Valiant features two people who claim to be descended from the Valiant's crew.