Star Trek Episode Review: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1966)

Synopsis: Roughly 200 years after it went missing, the Enterprise intercepts the flight recorder from the U.S.S. Valiant and travels through a magnetic storm at the edge of the galaxy in an effort to find out what happened to the ship. The trip proves to be deadly, with several crew members killed. In addition, Kirk's (William Shatner) long-time friend, Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood) begins to change and show God-like ESP powers.

Review: I had an opportunity to watch this episode while I was home at lunch. When I started watching it, I was somewhat concerned (mostly because I didn't realize, at the time, it was the second pilot for the series) it would be a bit too much like the episode I watched yesterday, Charlie X. However, after seeing it, I have to admit, it wound up being just different enough to be entertaining.

I think the thing that intrigued me most about this episode was the way there was some mystery about what would happen with Mitchell. His ESP powers were predictably changing him. But, at the same time, there were countless reminders about how much of a good guy he really was (including a story about him nearly dying in an effort to save Kirk) and, because of that, I did wonder if he would find a way to be his former self long enough to save the day.

Along those same lines, the decision to try to kill Mitchell before he became too powerful was an intriguing one. After all, he was Kirk's friend and that, alone, should have give the captain reason to pause. But, even if that wasn't the case, what he and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) were discussing just seemed a bit too much like murder, even if it was for the good of the ship, and I find it hard to believe they couldn't have just left him marooned somewhere until somebody could figure out what to do.

My only real complaint about this episode is I feel as though Mitchell's powers were wasted. He was supposed to be powerful enough to be dangerous. But, until the very end of the episode, when he took actions that could easily be considered self defense, I felt as though the episode fell well short of demonstrating that.

In fact, I thought it was a bit odd that Mitchell, who already showed the ability to read minds, would let things go as far as they did. Kirk had time to hatch a plan, travel to a deserted planet, drug Mitchell, transport him to the planet's surface and have a crew set bombs before Mitchell made even the slightest effort to stop him. I was actually left feeling very curious about his reasons for waiting so long.

Final Opinion: Overall, I thought this was a good episode. But, I'm going to take some points away because Kirk's plan should never have been even as close to being successful as it was and he needed a lot of help from the guy he was planning on killing.

My Grade: B


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