Episode Reviews (14)
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At the galactic barrier, a bolt of energy gives Kirk's old friend Gary Mitchell god-like powers, slowly changing his personality and endangering the ship. A great second pilot and a terrific episode...
You don't need me to tell you that this was the second 'Star Trek' pilot (after 1964's originally unaired 'The Cage'; and the first to have Captain Kirk at the helm). And it is a very good episode. (There are also a number of subtle differences from the regular series to look out for, most notably the different uniform tops, with higher collars, and some regular crew wearing different colours to usual.)
Although I defended the first episode to air, 'The Man Trap', in my review of it, I still think that 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' would have made a far better premier episode, and don't know why it wasn't shown as such.
I found the story to be very well plotted and very exciting in places. I love the scenes down on the planet's surface (with an excellent exterior matte painting, seen in the closing credits of many episodes, by the way) as the party try to repair the ship's engines, and keep Mitchell at bay, hoping to maroon the planet. The scenes have good pacing and urgency to them, and really stand out.
The final showdown between Kirk and Mitchell is also very good – and also offers up a famous mistake (on the tombstone that Mitchell conjures up for Kirk, it has the middle initial of R, before T had been established. It has been argued that maybe Mitchell was just guessing, but as he was such an old friend of Kirk's, it's debatable. Maybe the god-like powers had gone to his head too much!!).
This is a great second pilot, and its strength is evident as it convinced NBC to pick up 'Star Trek' as a regular series. A great episode, and a great true start to a legendary series.moreless
Captain Kirk struggles with a dilemma when his friend begins to turn into a God.
The second pilot and the one that sold the show is noticeably different than the other episodes of Star Trek, seeming more like a standalone film than just another weekly installment of the series. Apart from being visually different (with Spock wearing yellow) and lacking some familiar faces (such as McCoy, Uhura, and Rand), it's much more ambitious and exciting than the other early episodes, moving along at a fast clip and featuring lots of action with two superb guest stars driving the story. Unfortunately, these differences spooked NBC, which felt that "The Man Trap" more accurately represents the characters and look of a regular episode (both true) and tried to hide "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by sticking it after a couple "normal" episodes. This, however, put "No Man" after "Charlie X", which is essentially the same story with an adolescent in place of Kirk's friend. (Truth be told, "No Man" probably wouldn't have aired at all had it not been for the simple truth that Star Trek was an expensive show for its time and couldn't afford to bury an episode).
Regardless of all the drama surrounding the making and airing, the drama within "No Man" still holds up today as a fine piece of entertainment. It starts with Captain Kirk, with William Shatner stepping into the character's space shoes for the first time as if it's the fiftieth time. He's comfortable with Kirk from the beginning and gives him a tough interior beneath an easy going smile. Spock, on the other hand, is still a work in progress, with Nimoy experimenting and discovering quite a few things that don't work that he never does again. As for Kirk and Spock, they don't seem to be friends yet, instead sharing a professional relationship that lacks the chemistry Shatner and Nimoy would develop together in future episodes.
Meanwhile, we get a glimpse of Sulu and Scotty, but the emphasis is on the other crewmembers making their onetime appearances. What's wonderful about these characters is that the actors are able to develop them in such a way that they don't feel like guest stars but seem like regulars who just don't make it to the next episode. No doubt these actors have an advantage over future guest stars, since they're able to develop their parts and their camaraderie along with Shatner, Nimoy, and the rest, as opposed to stepping into a cast that already has a bonded nucleus. Nonetheless, Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman are two of the best guest stars of the original series, and the show is wise to use them to set Star Trek in motion.
On the other hand, developing the plot around extra sensory perception is a questionable decision. In the 60s, ESP was considered more science (or at least science fiction) than fantasy, and the episode is built upon the premise that ESP is much more understood in the future, giving the writers a launching point to take it even further with "super ESP" Today, however, ESP seems more alien than human to us, and future Trek incarnations would save it for characters like Counselor Troi, making the "human ESP" plot of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" stand out as an enigma.
When it gets down to it, however, the pilot's uniqueness is part of its charm. Even its score is special, though the episode doesn't use the theme song composed to go along with it, using the theme from the first pilot instead (as do all the other Star Trek TOS episodes). And then there's the episode's title, which lives on as a Star Trek catch-phrase, though curiously no one in the episode actually goes where no man has gone before, with the episode going out of its way to mention that the Enterprise is the second ship to leave the galaxy and go through all this. The iconic words, however, capture the spirit of the show, which is probably why they're mentioned (with the addition of a split infinitive) in the opening of every episode.
Is the pilot the kind of Star Trek the public would get to know and love? Not really. But, like a feature film derivative, it's a fun standalone installment.
Remastered: "No Man" gets the royal treatment with feature film quality shots of the Enterprise amidst beautiful backdrops inspired by images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The famous and beautiful matte painting of Delta Vega (used several times throughout the series) is kept relatively intact, though it's given an upgrade with more realistic lighting and texture. (Also, the redone version, unlike the original, reflects the time of day with subtle variations in the Meanwhile, Captain Kirk's grave remains "James R. Kirk", with the CGI wizards admitting that it would simply be too much work to correct it to "James T. Kirk" because of the number of shots it appears in.moreless
Fantastic episode of the classic show.
This episode has everything a fan of science fiction could ever want. Action, moral decisions, life and death struggles. Of all the Star Trek episodes to follow, this might be the most brutal ever filmed. The fight to the death between Mitchel and Kirk is far more primal and realistic than the sanitized versions of "fights" you will get now. Although William Shatner is performing for the first time as the character that would forever define him, James Kirk, he appears completely comfortable with that character. Leonard Nimoy, as Spock, has not yet found his own way, and it can be a little jarring to see the more emotional way he portrays the Vulcan. Overall, this is a top level Star Trek. If you have never watched the series before, this is a great place to start.moreless
The second pilot of the cult show is great.
The first scene... Captain James T. Kirk and his right hand man Spock are playing a game of three dimensional chess. Even in the first few minutes it shows you how these characters are. Kirk is defensive and loyal of his ship and of the Federation (like any Captain should be) and Spock the intellectual even remarking, "Oh yes, frustrating one of your human emotions." This right away tells you that he is surely not from Earth. The Enterprise is on high alert and this close in your already in on the action. This is the reason why Star Trek got picked up because the networks thought that it moved quicker than The Cage. After finding out that Kirk's best friend, Gary Mitchell, is then afflicted with telekinetic powers, Kirk is faced with the impossible. Kill his best friend, leave him on an abandoned planet or just let him live and kill everyone on the ship, definitely not the last one. As Kirk and the rest of the landing party are on the planet get ready for one thrill ride because there are shockers until you can't see straight!moreless
This is the only 10 I awarded.
The following are the other noteworthy episodes of each season in order of excellence. The score that I gave originally follows, but in the process of ranking by personal preference, there were some descrepancies. Any episode not listed was not worth seeing - a lot of the wildly popular episodes like "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "The Tholian Web" didn't make the cut.
1) Where No Man Has Gone Before 10
2) The Man Trap 8.5
3) The Menagerie 8.6
4) Space Seed 9.0
5) Charlie X 9.l
6) This Side of Paradise 8.3
7) Errand of Mercy 8.5
8) A Taste of Armageddon 8.4
9) The Squire of Gothos 8.2
10) The Enemy Within 7.8
11) Arena 8.0
12) What Are Little Girls Made Of? 8.0
13) Dagger of the Mind 7.9
14) Shore Leave 8.0
15) The Galileo Seven 8.1
16) The Return of the Archons 7.9
1) Mirror, Mirror 8.5
2) The Changeling 8.5
3) Wolf in The Fold 8.3
4) I, Mudd 8.2
5) Who Mourns for Adonais? 8.2
6) Return to Tomorrow 8.6
7) The Gamesters of Triskelion 8.0
1) All Our Yesterdays 9.4
2) Turnabout Intruder 8.8
3) Plato's Stepchildren 8.8
4) Whom Gods Destroy 8.2
5) Wink of an Eye 8.2
6) The Cloudminders 8.2
7) For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky 8.3moreless
The Enterprise encounters a strange barrier in space, which makes some of the crew a little strange.
The episode previous to this one I found to be quite a bit similar. With the whole ability to use your mind to do things somewhat mimics Charlie X's abilities. In this episode the Enterprise picks up a transmitter from in the middle of space. This transmitter speaks of some strange barrier that the ship encountered. When the enterprise encounters this barrier to of the crew on the bridge fall to the ground. One is infected with the ability of enhanced ESP. So he is able to move things with his mind and read others thoughts etc. Its an alright episode for the most part and the infected eyes looks pretty cool.moreless
Spacey-Fun-Goodness, with E.S.P.
This episode starts strong, ends strong, and the title alone makes it an instant classic. (-Spoilers follow-)
When the U.S.S. Enterprise encounters a space probe left behind from a federation ship, without hesitation they beam it aboard within feet of the Captain and First Officer. -You rarely see this kind of brazen arrogance as the series progresses, but when the wrecked probe flashes a green light, that really spells trouble. Very much like the first episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation, the the crew is overly dramatic and even Spock gets emotional. We learn some unique facts about the crew, including that Kirk "was a stack of book with legs" and was at one time a teacher! This episode features a ton of locations and more special effects by far than almost every other original episode to follow. You get the impression this is one of the productions that later inspired "budget cuts" and "fewer locations" because they really go off on sets in this one. The planet is possibly the best in series. The space view of the world is hot: a gaseous layered atmosphere that rivals some of the plain CGI planets of STNG.
I wont give away too much of the story, but it's a classic. Space phenomena mutates human into a veritable E.S.P. monster with awesome god-like abilities. Its amusing to watch Spock suggest that "killing him" is the only way -and he even requests a "phaser rifle" to help complete the task! Bottom line: A rich blend of Star Trek devices, plot twists, phenomena, and history. One of the best ever.moreless
You can't go too far!
A early epiode of Star titled, "Where No man Has Gone Before!" a nice little title for a epiode which is the slogen of the series. Well they gone far in the third episode of the series. As a sesult, two of the crewmen had obtain godlike powers and Kirk and the crew must get rid of them on a nearby planet or else the Enterprise will in grave danger. I notced that Mr. spock is shouting in this early episode, he'll lower his voice in future episode. also, I noticed that Dr. McCoy isn't in this epiosde. I wish he had. He could've make the difference in this episode.moreless
Command and compassion is a fools mixture
‘Where no man has been before’: an episode of great dialogue, fantastic acting, climatic action and some thought provoking themes. There’s little that this episode does wrong as a whole, and proves to be quite an exceptional hour of television.
The episode begins rather slowly, allowing us to get to know the crew just a little, with much focus on Kirk, Spock and Gary. A lot of discussion takes place on the bridge about ESP which admittedly did seem tacked on, in order for the rest of the episode to have some grounding. Finally however, things start to pick up as the Enterprise travels through the galactic barrier and begins to loose control. The action is all really well directed, with some great visual effects really adding to the chaotic atmosphere within the bridge, and it all works well enough to set up the rest of the show and get you interested.
Following this however, things start to slow down again and we are treated to a whole host of interesting scenes with intelligent and though provoking dialogue. Specifically we have the scenes with Gary when he exchanges words with Kirk and the doctor. Both moments are as important as each other as we are welcomed in to see two sides of the new Gary. With Kirk he is subdued, relaxed and trying to prove his recovery. With Elizabeth however, he shows off his opposite (and real) side which harnesses great power of the mind, much to the doctor’s fascination.
This then leads on to a discussion between the key members of the Enterprise, regarding the situation and what to do with Gary and the broken engines of the ship. The majority of it is practically reiterating what we already know and could probably send you to sleep, but it’s the last minute or so when Kirk and Spock are left alone that we see what is really going on beneath the surface and the dilemma that Kirk and indeed the rest of the Enterprise faces. Spock believes that they should strand Gary on the planet that they use to refuel the ship, much to the disgust of Kirk who asks him to ‘feel’, which of course Spock can’t do. Here we see the beginning of a debate that carries on through the entire series of Star Trek, even through onto the spin-offs and indeed it is the key interest of ‘Where No Man Has Been Before’. It is the debate of logical approach versus that of a emotional approach, which consists importantly of compassion. It’s not the greatest of exchanges that the show will see in its many episodes and films, but it is important, and brought to life very well from both Shatner and Nimoy.
There’s another key scene following the crew’s descent onto the planet where Gary is shocked by the electric field he is held captive by and his power disappears for a few seconds. He takes this time to ask Kirk for help, but of course before Kirk can do anything, Gary’s power comes back and any hope of help from his captain is all but gone. It’s a short moment, but it reveals to the audience that our ‘villain’ isn’t really in control of his power and is really just that: Pure power with no real control or developed thought. This is an idea that will be further developed later in the episode when the captain and his long time friend butt heads for the last time. For now however it is interested to note that even as Kirk notices his friend’s helplessness, he shows no real emotional response to the realisation. It could be a front, for the sake of keeping his crew in line, or it could simply be a lack of emotional input from the writers. Either way, it comes off interesting, especially seeing as he has known this guy for a long time and shared quite a few memories together.
As we reach the final ten minutes of WNMHGB, we are probably expecting a showdown where the protagonist and antagonist go ahead and fight to the death but we more than likely didn’t expect was the battle of words and ideas that takes place directly before the typical contest of brawn. Here we are given a great set of lines from both Kirk and Gary, all fantastically performed, which draw you in, make you think and weigh each characters view point and show you the real conflict at hand that has been lurking throughout the entire episode since the Enterprise went through the barrier. In the end it would appear that Kirk comes out the ‘victor’ as he delivers some very justified views and intelligent insight into Gary’s position. This in turn, angers the ‘God’ as he now likes to think of himself, and a battle ensues, which again Kirk wins through the use of that stupid looking rifle. The action scene itself I was impressed with. The choreography was done well and the climax not only simply cool, but symbolic in that Gary was unaware he was simply digging a grave for himself the entire time. It’s a shame it had to come down to a battle of muscle rather than brain, but either way, the episode comes to a close effectively and the pay-off is more than substantial.
As a whole, ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ is an episode with some key Trek messages (although still a little half-baked), some great action and a more than decent plot to take you through it all. Performances from the entire cast are well done, with special notice to Gary Lockwood who played Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell and made him one of the most memorable Star Trek ‘villains’ to grace the series.moreless
Kirk tries to strand a crew member with ESP powers who might reveal Kirk’s hat size to the rest of the world
I'm really shocked at the high rating this episode got. I feel the whole thing drags and to be honest I found myself wanting to turn it off in the 2000 decade the same way I wanted to turn it off in the 1970s. There are a few that I did not appreciate in the early days that I finally "got" here in this century, bit this was definitely not one of them. I did love that poem thought that Gary Mitchell read to Dr. Dehner that started out "My love has wings..." Was that really a new poem? It was beautiful.moreless