Star Trek

Season 1 Episode 3

Where No Man Has Gone Before

Aired Unknown Sep 22, 1966 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
265 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While exploring the edge of the galaxy, the Enterprise encounters an energy barrier that gives two crewmen godlike powers.

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  • 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
  • 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...moreless

    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
  • 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.

    Season 1:

    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

    Season 2:

    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

    Season 3:

    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
Gary Lockwood

Gary Lockwood

Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell

Guest Star

Sally Kellerman

Sally Kellerman

Dr. Elizabeth Dehner

Guest Star

Lloyd Haynes

Lloyd Haynes

Lt. Lloyd Alden

Guest Star

George Takei

George Takei

Lt. Hikaru Sulu

Recurring Role

Eddie Paskey

Eddie Paskey

Lt. Leslie (uncredited)

Recurring Role

James Doohan

James Doohan

Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (22)

    • Trivia: At the very end of the episode, Scotty is in the navigator's position for the only time in the series.

    • As a psychiatrist, Dr. Dehner would have had at least 6 years of medical school and residency after college. Dehner's personnel record says she is 21 years old, which means she would have entered Starfleet Academy no later than age 11. That assumes she is a brand new doctor on her first starship mission.

    • It's established in the episode that Kirk has known Mitchell for 15 years, and that they met when Mitchell was a cadet at Starfleet Academy. In his medical records, it says he's 23 years old. That would mean he entered the Academy at age 8, which simply wouldn't be possible.

    • When Mitchell is transported down to the planet, he had been rendered unconcious by a hypo. But he is standing upright under his own steam on the transporter pad with nothing holding him up. But his head is down and his eyes are closed to indicate he isn't awake.

    • Trivia: Dehner and Mitchell's medical records scramble two pieces of info: her address is 1489 and his is 8149. He was born in Eldman, she was born in Delman.

    • Trivia: Mitchell's medical records identify him as being born on stardate 1087.7 and being 23 years old. He stands 5'9" and weighs 160-169 pounds. his address is listed as 8149 - city of Eldman, state/planet of Newst...

    • Trivia: Dehner's medical records identify her as being born on stardate 1089.5 and being 21 years old. She stands 5'2" and weighs 116 pounds, and her address is listed as 1489 - city of Delman, state/planet of Newst... Her father's name is Gerard.

    • When Scotty and Dehner were standing on the bridge, when the Enterprise is about to go through the Great Barrier, you can see them holding hands. Then when the bridge starts acting like it's about to give way, you see Dehner pushing his hand away when looking at the camera.

    • When Dehner is in Sickbay with Mitchell and looking at the library tapes he's viewed, right when she asks him "Do you remember eveything you read that quickly?" and steps over to the tape viewer, you can see a boom mike shadow go across her head.

    • When we first see the phaser rifle, the stock is oriented horizontal to the rest of the phaser. But when Kirk is climbing over the rocks hunting for Mitchell, there is a shot where it rotates 90 degrees and is oriented vertically to the rest of the phaser body.

    • When Spock and Kirk are playing chess at the beginning of the episode, Spock actually smiles when he says "One of your Earth emotions". This is a contradiction to the rest of the Star Trek series as Vulcans are displayed as emotionless. As this is the second pilot (after "The Cage"), at this point they hadn't established that Vulcans weren't emotionless, or that Spock never smiles except under extreme circumstances.

    • Although Delta Vega is established to be an uninhabited mining planet and it is only visited "once every 20 years" by freighters, it has a fully functional brig complete with forceshield and bed.

    • A lot of people seem to have the wrong patches on their uniforms, Gary Mitchell had an science patch on his shirt but he was an engineering officer and Dr. Dehner had an engineering patch despite the fact that she was a science officer. (Gold = Command Blue = Science Tan = Enigneering).

    • When Kirk fires his phaser rifle at the rock, the explosive squib is partially visible.

    • When Kirk fired the phaser rifle the second time, we continue hearing the sound even though the beam had stopped.

    • When Spock was searching for info on ESP, the heights of Gary Mitchell & Elizabeth Dehner were switched. (This is corrected in the remastered version.)

    • Kirk's shirt was torn when he was fighting Mitchell, yet his stunt double's shirt isn't torn.

    • When Kirk and Spock watch Gary on the viewscreen reviewing library data, Mitchell just keeps bringing up the same page over and over. (This is corrected in the remastered version.)

    • The computer lists a 7" difference in height between Dehner and Mitchell, but when they go into a detention cell you can see they're almost exactly the same height.

    • Dehner was born stardate 1089.5 (she's age 21) and Mitchell is born 1087.7 (age 23). But...the episode starts on 1312.4 and ends on 1313.8. So does the digit to the left of the decimal indicate day or year - these two uses contradict each other.

    • In the fight scene between Kirk and Mitchell, William Shatner's stunt double has hair noticeably lighter than Shatner's.

    • Kirk's face is cut in the fight with Mitchell and he injures his hand, but when they warp out of orbit his face is unmarked - he's still wearing a bandage on his hand.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Kirk: What makes you so right and a trained psychiatrist wrong?
      Spock: Because she feels. I don't. All I know is logic.

    • Mitchell: Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me.
      Kirk: To you? Not to both of you?
      Mitchell: Pray that you die easily.
      Kirk: 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: Your last chance, Kirk.
      Kirk: Do you like what you see? Absolute power corrupting absolutely.

    • Mitchell: You should have killed me while you could, James... command and compassion are a fool's mixture.

    • Kirk: Nobody here but us chickens, Doctor.

    • Mitchell: Morals are for men, not gods.

    • Dehner: Before long we'll be where it would have taken mankind millions of years of learning to reach.
      Kirk: And what will Mitchell learn in getting there? Will he know what to do with his power? Will he acquire the wisdom?
      Dehner: Please go back while you still can.
      Kirk: Did you hear him joke about compassion? Above all else a "god" needs compassion! Mitchell!

    • Kirk: I want (Mitchell's) service record to end that way. He didn't ask for what happened to him.
      Spock: I felt for him, too.
      Kirk: I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mr. Spock.

    • Mitchell: Hey, man, I remember you back at the Academy; a stack of books with legs! The only thing I ever heard from an upperclassman was, "Watch out for Lt. Kirk! In his class, you either think, or sink!"
      Kirk: I wasn't that bad, was I?
      Mitchell: If I hadn't aimed that little blond technician at you...
      Kirk: You what?! planned that?
      Mitchell: Well, you wanted me to think, didn't you? I outlined her whole campaign for her!
      Kirk: I almost married her!
      Mitchell: Better be good to me. I'm getting even better ideas here.

    • Dehner: Women professionals do tend to over-compensate.

    • Dehner: A mutated, superior man could also be a wonderful thing...the forerunner of a new and better kind of human being!

    • Kirk: Mr. Spock, has anyone ever told you that you play a very irritating game of chess?
      Spock: "Irritating"? Ah, yes, one of your Earth emotions.
      (Kirk takes a major piece)
      Kirk: Certain you don't know what irritation is?
      Spock: The fact that one of my ancestors married a human female...
      Kirk: Terrible having bad blood like that.

    • Spock: (Captain Kirk) played most illogically - his next move should have been the rook.

  • NOTES (21)

    • This episode was originally shown to NBC in a different edit form. That edit was never aired on TV and was believed lost until 2009 when a copy turned up Europe. The "lost" edit contains a prologue that was cut as well as a different opening and theme music, plus different takes of Kirk, Spock and Gary Mitchell heading to the bridge right after the marker buoy starts transmission. Plus there are also "Act" breaks and a different closing sequence with the titles being similar to the titles from "The Cage." This version was released as a bonus (in High-Definition) on the Season 3 Blu-ray.

    • Kirk's uniform rank insignia is that of a commander, and not a captain; and Mitchell's uniform rank is that of a lieutenant, not a lieutenant commander.

    • This was the only episode to not feature William Shatner's "Space, the final frontier..." voiceover during the opening credits, instead featuring only Alexander Courage's music as the Enterprise flies by. This was "corrected" in the 2006 remastered version of the episode, making the opening identical to other remastered Season 1 episodes.

    • During filming of this episode, both Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman wore silvered contact lenses in certain of their scenes. And since neither wore glasses nor contacts normally, Gary Lockwood would complain that he could not stand wearing them and would continually demand that they be removed.

    • This episode is in fact the second episode filmed after the unaired pilot, "The Cage". It was an unprecedented (at the time), request from NBC. It is known as the "second pilot" in most circles.

    • During production the set was swarmed by wasps that had built a nest in the rafters of Desilu studio 9. Filming had to be suspended and exterminators called in. Unfortunately, both William Shatner and Sally Kellerman were stung. Ms. Kellerman was stung in the small of her back, and Mr. Shatner was stung on the eyelid and the subsequent swelling forced them to postpone his scenes until the swelling subsided a couple of days later.

    • This was the first and only time the phaser rifle was ever used in the original series.

    • Robert Dawn of Mission: Impossible fame did Spock's makeup for this episode instead of Fred Phillips.

    • Mr. Leslie makes his first appearance played by Eddie Paskey. Eddie also served as William Shatner's stand in until he was injured during a stunt scene in "The Omega Glory".

    • It has been speculated that the blonde that Jim and Gary talk about that Jim almost married might have been Carol Marcus, the mother of his son, David Marcus.

    • Leonard Nimoy is the only actor to appear in both this episode and the first pilot of the series, "The Cage".

    • The tombstone meant for Kirk has the name "James R. Kirk" written on it, though later episodes would give his middle as T (short for "Tiberius" as we learn in Star Trek VI). Roddenberry originally intended for Kirk's middle name to be "Rice," as he used a character named "Rice" in his previous TV productions.

    • Three different scripts were written for pilots - "The Omega Glory," "Mudd's Women," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before." NBC chose the most challenging of all those scripts and produced "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

    • This is the first time in American TV history that a show had to provide a second pilot to convince the networks to air it.

    • The crew uses the laser pistols from "The Cage" instead of phasers but they called them phasers.

    • In this episode, the Enterprise has spikes on the end of its nacelles and an extended bridge dome. This is fixed in the remastered version.

    • DeForest Kelley does not appear in this episode.

    • This is the first episode to be produced in the series, as it is sold as the first episode in its video release. It is easy to notice this since many characters are missing (including Dr. McCoy), Spock looked more like he did on "The Cage." and the uniforms are the ones used in that episode. Neither red uniforms nor female dresses existed (female officers used just the same uniforms as male officers did).

    • Spock and Scott wear gold uniforms in this episode.

    • Sulu wears a blue uniform in this episode. He is part of the Science Department at this point, he gives a report on Gary Mitchell's abilities, and projects how fast they'll grow.

    • According to William Shatner's book Star Trek: Memories this episode was filmed and produced over one year before it was aired. This would explain different uniforms, props, set designs, and make-up appliances used on Spock.


    • Kirk: Nobody here but us chickens.
      This line is from a comical song classic by Louis Jordan, one of the first black recording artists to be on the charts for both black and white audiences. He played mostly R&B, urban blues, and also credited with starting the buildng blocks of rock 'n roll.