"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
Star Trek: The Original Series episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 3
Directed byJames Goldstone
Written bySamuel A. Peeples
Featured musicAlexander Courage
Cinematography byErnest Haller
Production code2
Original air dateSeptember 22, 1966 (1966-09-22)
Guest appearances
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"Where No Man Has Gone Before" is the third episode of the first season of the American science-fiction television series Star Trek. Written by Samuel A. Peeples and directed by James Goldstone, it first aired on September 22, 1966.

In the episode, after the Enterprise attempts to cross the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy, two crew members develop powerful ESP abilities that threaten the safety of the crew.

The episode was the second pilot, produced in 1965 after the first pilot, "The Cage", was rejected by NBC. Reportedly, Lucille Ball, who owned Desilu Productions (where the pilot was produced), persuaded NBC management to consider a second pilot, thereby exercising a special option agreement it had with Desilu, because she liked Gene Roddenberry and believed in the project. The episode was eventually broadcast third in sequence, and it was the first episode to be shown in the United Kingdom by the BBC on July 12, 1969.[1]

"Where No Man Has Gone Before" was the first produced episode of Star Trek to feature William Shatner as Captain James Kirk, James Doohan as Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, and George Takei as Lt. Sulu (in this episode, the ship's astro scientist, whose character became helmsman in subsequent episodes). The episode also features Sally Kellerman as Dr. Elisabeth Dehner, the ship’s psychiatrist. This is the only appearance of that character in the show. The episode title is the final phrase in the opening voice-over,[1] which characterizes the series and has entered popular culture.


The USS Enterprise is on an exploratory mission to leave the galaxy. En route, a damaged ship's recorder of the SS Valiant, an Earth spaceship lost 200 years earlier, is found. Its record is incomplete, but it reveals that the Valiant had been swept from its path by a "magnetic space storm," and that the crew had frantically searched for information about extrasensory perception (ESP) in the ship's library computer. The recording ends with the captain of the Valiant apparently giving a self-destruct order.

Captain Kirk decides that they need to know what happened to the Valiant, and the Enterprise crosses the edge of the galaxy. There, it encounters a strange barrier which damages the ship's systems and warp drive, forcing a retreat. At the same time, nine crew members are killed and both helmsman Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) and the ship's psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner (Sally Kellerman) are knocked unconscious by the barrier's effect. When he awakens, Mitchell's eyes glow silver, and he begins to display remarkable psychic powers.

Mitchell becomes increasingly arrogant and hostile toward the rest of the crew, declaring that he has become godlike, enforcing his desires with displays of telepathic and telekinetic power.

Science Officer Spock comes to believe that the Valiant crew members might have experienced the same phenomenon, and destroyed their ship to keep the power from spreading. He advises Kirk that Mitchell may have to be killed before his powers develop further, but Kirk angrily disagrees - although he accepts Spock's alternate suggestion to maroon Mitchell at a completely automated lithium-cracking facility on the remote planet of Delta Vega. Once there, the landing party tries to confine Mitchell, but his powers have become too great. He kills navigator Lee Kelso by telekinetically garroting him and escapes by knocking out Kirk and Spock, taking with him Dr. Dehner, who has now developed ESP powers of her own.

Kirk follows and appeals to Dr. Dehner's humanity for help. Before Mitchell can kill Kirk, Dehner attacks him using her powers and weakens him. Mitchell fatally injures Dehner, but before he can recover from the effort, Kirk uses a phaser rifle to create a rock slide, killing Mitchell.

Back on the Enterprise, Kirk makes a log entry that both Dehner and Mitchell gave their lives "in performance of duty". He explains to Spock that he wants his friend's service record to end positively: "He didn't ask for what happened to him."

Production and casting

The original pilot of Star Trek, "The Cage", was rejected in February 1965 by NBC executives. The show had been sold to them as a "Wagon Train to the stars", and they thought the first pilot did not match the adventure format they had been promised and was "too cerebral" for the general audience. However, NBC, having been persuaded by Desilu management (and reportedly by Lucille Ball herself), maintained sufficient interest in the format to order a second pilot episode in March 1965.[2][3]

Roddenberry wrote two story outlines, "The Omega Glory" and "Mudd's Women". He wrote the teleplay for the former and gave the latter to Stephen Kandel. 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. Roddenberry rewrote Peeples's script several times and while he enjoyed working with Roddenberry, after seeing the pilot Peeples preferred his original version of the script. There was some discussion over who came up with the title "Where no man has gone before"; Peeples stated unequivocally that it was his idea, and not Roddenberry's.[4]

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.[2]

Casting took place in June 1965. Jeffrey Hunter was unwilling to reprise his role as Captain Christopher Pike. Lloyd Bridges and Jack Lord were considered, but William Shatner was finally cast as Pike's replacement, Captain James Kirk.[5] The character of Number One, the female second-in-command, was dropped on the insistence of the NBC network, and Science Officer Spock was given Number One's unemotional demeanor. NBC was worried about Leonard Nimoy's "satanic" appearance and pressured for his removal. As Roddenberry later explained at conventions, he felt he had a strong enough negotiating position to save one character, but not both. Roddenberry went on to muse that, had he done it the other way around, he could not have then married the losing actor (Majel Hudec, who changed her surname to Barrett and returned in the role of Christine Chapel). Kirk, who became "James T. Kirk" for the main series, is "James R. Kirk" here, according to the gravestone Mitchell prepares for him on the planet.

Apart from Captain Kirk, the episode introduced two other regular characters to the show: James Doohan, a friend of director James Goldstone, was cast as the Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott (the name chosen after Doohan had tried various accents, and had decided that an engineer ought to be Scottish)[6] and George Takei was cast as the ship's physicist. Sulu would become the helmsman in the regular series. Lieutenant Uhura and Dr. Leonard McCoy do not feature; the ship's doctor is instead Mark Piper (Paul Fix), who lost the role to DeForest Kelley.[7]

Gary Lockwood, as Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, had starred in the title role of Roddenberry's earlier series on NBC, The Lieutenant; Sally Kellerman was cast as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Both actors needed silver eyes and scleral lenses were called for, which were produced by expert contact lens fabricator, John Roberts, who laminated wrinkled tinfoil between layers of the scleral lenses which covered the entire eye. These, outdated by the 1960s, could be painful, perhaps dangerous to the actors' eyes (modern scleral lenses can "breathe" and are oxygen permeable). Although Kellerman could insert and remove the prosthetics easily with no discomfort, Lockwood found them difficult to see through. He needed to raise his face and sight along his nose in order to see through tiny holes in the foil. He was able to use this to enhance his performance as the mutating Mitchell, the unusual gaze giving him an arrogant and haughty demeanor.[8]

Other cast members included Paul Carr as Navigator 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).[8] The episode also is the first time long-running background actor Eddie Paskey appeared; his character would later be identified as Lt. Leslie.[9]

The costumes from the first pilot were used in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" with the exception of the insignias in two respects – the outlines were gold in the first pilot but black in the second, and the insignia symbols for engineering and sciences were reversed for the series proper. Completely new uniforms and insignia would be unveiled when the series was green-lighted, 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.[10]

The episode was directed by James Goldstone. He was hired primarily to get his opinion on which of the first three scripts should be the second pilot. While his best friend Stephen Kandel wrote "Mudd's Women", Goldstone agreed "Where no man has gone before" was the right choice.[4] Ernest Haller, who had won the Oscar for Best Color Cinematography on the movie Gone with the Wind (1939), served as director of photography for the episode. 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.[11] Robert H. Justman was credited as assistant director.

Shooting started on July 19, 1965, several days later than originally scheduled.[2] 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.[3][8] 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.[3][8][10] The episode cost around $300,000, around half the money spent on making "The Cage".[8]

In a 1988 TV special, The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation to the Next, series creator Gene Roddenberry said that, as with the first pilot, this one still had a lot of science fiction elements in it, but at least it ended with Kirk in a bare-knuckle fistfight with Mitchell and that's what sold NBC on Star Trek.[12]

Original cut

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 (which finally came in February 1966). This original version (production number 02a) differed from the later final broadcast cut (production number 02b, airing on September 22, 1966) in that each of the four acts had on-screen titles ("Act I", "Act II", etc.), as well as an epilogue. It also featured a much longer opening narration by Shatner. In some places alternate musical scores were used. In total almost five minutes of footage was removed to accommodate the original series' 50-minute network broadcast format to allow for commercials. The episode in its original version was seen by the public before the aired version, having been shown at the 24th World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 3, 1966—shortly before the premiere broadcast of Star Trek on NBC.[13]

The studio did not retain a print of this original version, and it was officially thought to be lost.[1][14] In 2009, a German film collector discovered a print of it and brought it to the attention of CBS/Paramount, which then released it under the title "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" – The Restored, Unaired Alternate Pilot Episode as part of the TOS season 3 box set on Blu-ray.[15][16][17][18]

Non-canonical related works

See also: Star Trek canon

The episode was adapted into a short story by James Blish for Star Trek 8, published by Bantam in 1972.[19] It also became the second in Bantam's series of Fotonovels, published in 1977.[20]

Non-canonical books

The Galactic Barrier is later associated with the Q in the 1994 novel Q-Squared by Peter David and the 1998 Star Trek: The Q Continuum trilogy by Greg Cox.[19]

Gary Mitchell does not appear again in the show. Several books, including Michael Jan Friedman's My Brother's Keeper, Vonda N. McIntyre's Enterprise: The First Adventure, and Margaret Wander Bonanno's Strangers from the Sky, feature the 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.[19]

Non-canonical mini-series

Gary Mitchell (portrayed by Daamen J. Krall) appears in the alternate timeline depicted in the 2006-2008 mini-series Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.[21][22][23]


In 2013, Wired magazine ranked this episode one of the top ten episodes of the original television series.[24] They note famous lines such as Kirk's plea for compassion, and the absence of series regulars such as Dr. McCoy, Uhura, and Chekov.[24]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a 'B+' rating, describing it as "an awkward episode" but that "it's not without its charms."[25]

In 2016, IGN ranked "Where No Man Has Gone Before" number six in a top ten list of original series episodes.[26] They also ranked it the 17th best episode of all Star Trek series.[27]

In 2018, PopMatters ranked this the 4th best episode of the original series.[28]


"Where No Man Has Gone Before" was released on PAL-format LaserDisc in the United Kingdom as part of The Pilots collection, in April 1996.[29] This included the color version of "The Cage", "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Encounter at Farpoint", "Emissary", and "Caretaker" with a total runtime of 379 minutes.[29]


  1. ^ a b c Asherman, Allan (1987). The Star Trek Compendium. Titan Books. ISBN 0-907610-99-4.
  2. ^ a b c Alexander, David (1994). Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry. Roc. ISBN 0-451-45440-5.
  3. ^ a b c Whitfield, Stephen E & Roddenberry, Gene (1968). The Making of Star Trek. Ballatine Books. ISBN 1-85286-363-3.
  4. ^ a b Herbert Franklin Solow; Robert H. Justman (1997). Inside Star Trek The Real Story. Simon & Schuster. pp. 64. ISBN 0-671-00974-5.
  5. ^ "15 actors who were almost cast on 'Star Trek: The Original Series'".
  6. ^ "8 things you didn't know about James Doohan".
  7. ^ "Paul Fix Biography - the Rifleman".
  8. ^ a b c d e Solow, Herbert F. and Justman, Robert H. (1996). Inside Star Trek: The Real Story. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-00974-5.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Mr Leslie Facts". eddiepaskey.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  10. ^ a b Where No Man Has Gone Before. DVD technical commentary (Okuda, Michael and Denise).
  11. ^ http://www.cinematographers.nl/GreatDoPh/haller.htm -Note:this could be circular
  12. ^ "The Star Trek Saga from One Generation to the Next Hosted by Patrick Stewart".
  13. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane. "What if Star Trek Had Never Existed?". Wired.
  14. ^ Leao, Gustavo (October 9, 2006). "Article with pictures of original "alternate" version". TrekWeb.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
  15. ^ Hibberd, James (November 12, 2009). "Never before aired 'Star Trek' pilot to be released". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 13, 2009.
  16. ^ Lambert, David (September 21, 2009). "Star Trek - 'These Are the High-Def Voyages...': Season 3 Blu-ray Disc Announced! ***UPDATE: PACKAGING***". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  17. ^ Pirrello, Phil (December 10, 2009). "Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 3 Blu-ray Review". IGN. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2010.
  18. ^ "More Details on Alternative Version of 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' in TOS Season 3 Blu-ray Set".
  19. ^ a b c Ayers, Jeff (2006). Voyages of the Imagination: The Star Trek Fiction Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 1-4165-0349-8.
  20. ^ Roby, Steve. "Complete Starfleet Library: 1977". Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2006.
  21. ^ John, Tenuto (June 14, 2008). "Review "Of Gods And Men" Act 3 - TrekMovie.com". TrekMovie.com.
  22. ^ "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men". StarTrekOfGodsAndMen.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Daamen J. Krall at IMDb
  24. ^ a b WIRED Staff (May 15, 2013). "10 of the Most Underrated Episodes of the Original Star Trek Series". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  25. ^ Handlen, Zack (January 9, 2009). "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 10, 2009.
  26. ^ IGN Staff (September 5, 2016). "The Top 10 Classic Star Trek Episodes". IGN. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  27. ^ Star Trek: The Top 25 Episodes - IGN, May 20, 2013, retrieved August 5, 2019
  28. ^ "The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'". PopMatters. July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "LaserDisc Database - Star Trek: The Pilots [PLTES 34071]". www.lddb.com. Retrieved February 22, 2021.