Utterly Star Trek Review

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Star Trek 1.3 (Where No Man Has Gone Before)

First Aired: September 22, 1966

James Doohan (Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery Scott)
Gary Lockwood (Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell)
Sally Kellerman (Dr. Elizabeth Dehner)
Lloyd Haynes (Lt. Lloyd Alden)
Andrea Dromm (Yeoman Smith)
Paul Carr (I) (Lt. Lee Kelso)
Paul Fix (Dr. Piper)
Writer: Samuel A. Peeples
My first thought watching this episode was the difference in the uniforms. For those non trekkies out where (and if that’s you, seriously, why are you reading this?) this episode was the pilot show for what became the series (in fact, it was the second pilot to be shot, the first one having been rejected). So the uniforms are the same as the designs from the original pilot The Cage which is repackaged later in the first season as the two part story The Menagerie. I have no problem with the fact that the uniforms change, but to establish the look in the previous two then change it here, only to have it change back next week is silly. (You can just imagine the memo telling people to revert back to the old uniforms, then a week later another one coming down saying “no actually, change back”. I bet Kirk lost his rag when that came though!!) Anyhow, for the uniforms to make sense, this episode should have been shown first! But hey, it’s the first time we see Scotty so I can’t complain! No Uhura though. And a different Doctor.
The story is a bit of a standard “person gets a power, and gets too big for his boots” story. As Mitchel’s power grows and they realise that they are going to struggle to contain him, they take him down to a planet and hold him prisoner, with the aim of leaving him there. I admit my attention did wander as I watched this the first time, then I realised I hadn’t been keeping a death count, so I wound back to the beginning and started again! Good thing I did, as Spock (almost casually!) announces that there are 9 dead after the engines burn out!
It’s not a bad episode, but right after Charlie X it does feel a bit soon for a story about a human with powers that everyone has to tread eggshells around. And even though the ultimate resolution is very different, somehow this episode just does not work as well. There is too much screen time for non regulars – as a new viewer, I want to know about the people that I have been introduced to over the last two weeks. And as there is no McCoy, Uhura or Rand somehow the episode feels somewhat empty.
The final moments are the kind of thing that quickly became a Star Trek cliche (the fight, the ripped shirt and the unconvincing polystyrene rocks) , and watching the genesis of that cliche here did nothing further to endear me to the episode. And Mitchell cannot know Kirk as well as he thought he did, as he got his middle name wrong on the tombstone! So all in all this is worth watching as pilot but it really is not the best this series has to offer.
Crewman Death Count: 12
Total Crew Deaths So Far: 16
Score: 6/10

July 26, 2007 - Posted by | super beings |

1 Comment »

  1. I liked this episode at lot more than you did, and would have rated it higher than 6/10. Mainly this was due to Spock, who had the best lines:

    Kirk: Dr. Dehner feels he isn’t that dangerous! What makes you right and a trained psychiatrist wrong?
    Spock: Because she feels. I don’t. All I know is logic.

    Comment by Joe Dick | January 17, 2009 | Reply

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