[TOS] Where No Man Has Gone Before

TOS Season 1, Episode 3 (Netflix: S1 E4): Where No Man Has Gone Before
Rating: 4
Throughout all of Star Trek there are episodes dealing with god-like entities, and a few that deal with a regular person gaining god-like powers (I’m looking at you Hide and Q). It’s an interesting way to tease out human nature by putting a character in this type of extraordinary circumstance, and I think Where No Man Has Gone Before does a good job exploring these ideas. This episode has its slow bits, but Mitchell and his relationship to Kirk are pretty compelling, lending a more organic set of stakes to what becomes a fantastical story; you both fear him and don’t want him to die.
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Notes:

It becomes obvious fairly quickly that this episode was filmed before the others. Their bland, cheap looking uniforms are one of the giveaways.

The female uniforms are a lot more dignified. Also Sulu in Blue!

They’re leaving the galaxy! Exciting.

Awww, No Bones

After we know Mitchell is becoming godlike it’s a little slow going plot-wise.

god fight!

It has its silly moments, but the overall showdown is pretty cool.

File under: Keep your shirt on Kirk

 

Further Analysis:

Some people have a huge problem with this episode’s lack of explanation for why Gary starts to get his powers, treating this like a plot hole. It’s not really a plot hole, it’s just something that wasn’t explained. There’s a big difference. I don’t care that much about how this giant energy barrier works, and I’m much more interested in the situation it created. After all, a large part of science fiction is exploring situations (like the study of human nature under these circumstances) that would be impossible in a strictly realistic story. A mysterious explanation for creating a situation can even be more compelling. Even when the science behind what’s going on isn’t clear, the stakes are, and to me that is much more important.

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  • http://twitter.com/JackCum Bryan

    Good episode… I think Gary Mitchell was one of the best TOS villains. “Didn’t I say… you’d better be good to me?”

  • http://twitter.com/abruke DuckThoughts

    Have I read correctly that Gary Mitchell will be the antagonist in the next movie?

    • Malachi Ward

      In the Star Trek ongoing comic they did a version of this episode, but in the movie continuity. So he probably won’t show up in the actual movie.

  • http://twitter.com/JackCum Bryan

    Depending on whether or not the comic book is “canon”, I am 95 percent sure Gary is not the villain in the next film… 

    • buzz

      I’m rooting for it to be Harcort Fenton Mudd

  • buzz

    This to me is the quintessential (albeit not the best) episode of TOS. I wish they had kept more of this flavor in the series.