Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dog walk: 1/19/12

It started snowing around five in the afternoon, and it looked as though the snow would be sticking around for a while, so I decided to take the basenjis to the dog park. It was fairly slow going, because none of the roads had been salted, and nobody wanted to risk spinning off the road and down some steep hillside.

As I was making my way up the final narrow, twisting road to the peak of Observatory Hill, I passed an SUV, whose driver hailed me. He had just come from the dog park, where his Akita, Sammy, had jumped the fence* and wandered off into the woods. The driver, whose name was Dennis, said he was going down to the base of the hill to look for Sammy there. He gave my his phone number and asked me to call him if I saw Sammy. I assured him I would, and continued on. At the top of the hill, Sammy was waiting.

I called Dennis, who asked me to leash Sammy while he worked his way back up the hill. I unleashed Klea, and leaving her in the Basenjimobile with Louis, I walked over to Sammy. I gave him my hand to sniff, and he growled at me. I tried again, and he growled again. At that point, Sammy decided to place the Basenjimobile between himself and me, and the two of us circled the car for a couple of minutes.

I paused by the front bumper for a couple of minutes, then decided to have another go at leashing Sammy. I made my way around to the back of the car, but Sammy was gone. He had apparently wandered off directly away from the car, and was now nowhere in sight. I called for him a couple of times, but to no avail.

With a sigh, I let the basenjis out of the car, and led them into the enclosure. Just after unleashing them, I saw Dennis's SUV drive up, and I headed back out of the enclosure to tell him the bad news.

Trotting along behind the SUV was Sammy.

When Dennis started around the SUV in my direction, I pointed behind him to where Sammy was walking up. He turned and saw the dog and immediately began scolding him for running away. I returned to the basenjis in the enclosure.

After securing Sammy in his SUV, Dennis came over to the enclosure to thank me for my assistance. The basenjis of course came trotting up to greet this new person, and I introduced them. We talked about our respective dogs for a minute or so, then he thanked me again, shook my hand, and returned to his SUV. The basenjis watched as he drove away.

*Unlike the dog park back in Newport, with its five foot high chain link fence, the dog park atop Observatory Hill has a fence that is only three feet high, and some of the larger dogs can, and do, jump over it.

Recap: Where No Man Has Gone Before (4 of 4)

This is the fourth and final part of a recap of the second Star Trek pilot (and third aired episode), "Where No Man Has Gone Before", that I posted to the rec.arts.startrek.misc newsgroup back in November 2005 under the screen name Empok Nor. The first three parts are here, here and here.

The starship Enterprise under Captain James R. Kirk has discovered a ship's recorder from the S. S. Valiant, lost 200 years earlier. The Valiant encountered a strange energy field beyond the edge of the galaxy, and was disabled. Then, after looking up information on extra-sensory perception, the captain of the Valiant destroyed his ship. When the Enterprise encounters the same energy barrier, Second Officer Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner suffer some form of electrical shock. The shock has seemingly had no effect on Dehner, but has turned Mitchell's eyes silver.

While he's recovering in sickbay, Mitchell begins exhibiting paranormal powers: he can read a page of text in moments and recall it perfectly; he can stop his heart and start it up again; he can telekinetically operate controls on the ship's bridge. Dehner, who has always had a soft spot in her heart for supermen, fall in love with Mitchell. First Officer Spock, though, is worried. He thinks they either have to maroon Mitchell on a deserted planet, or kill him. Kirk orders him to set course for the deserted planet Delta Vega.

On Delta Vega, Mitchell is imprisoned behind a force field while the crew succeeds in repairing the warp engines. A worried Kirk has a self-destruct switch set up, in case he gets loose.

The lithium cracking station on Delta Vega. "Captain's log, stardate 1313.3," Kirk voiceovers. "Note commendations on Lt. Kelso and the engineering staff."

The mining station, as Kirk watches Kelso and the engineering staff at work: "In orbit above us, the engines of the Enterprise are almost fully regenerated." As the engineering staff all make for the door: "Balance of the landing party is being transported back up." Kelso seats himself on the console.

Mitchell is standing in his room. The hair on his temples has gone gray: "Mitchell, whatever he's become, keeps changing, growing stronger by the minute."

Dehner, Spock and Kirk stand outside the room. Spock still has the phaser rifle, and looks like he wants to use it, now. Dehner has an odd half-smile on her face. "He's been like that for hours now," she says.

"Have Dr. Piper meet us in the control room with Kelso," Kirk tells Spock. "We'll all transport up together."

"If he should try to stop us?" asks Spock.

"Kelso will be on the destruct button until the last minute," says Kirk. "I think he knows that."

"I'm staying behind with him," Dehner announces suddenly.

As we look at Mitchell, Kelso in the control room dissolves into view. Kelso is talking into a communicator: "Uh, fission chamber three checks out. The station seems to be running fine."

"You're a talented thief, Kelso," Scott's voice replies. On the floor behind the console, one of the cables rises up. Mitchell dissolves out of view. "Everything you sent up seems to be fittin' in place." Cut to a grinning Kelso as the cable rises into view behind him.

"I'm kinda proud of the job we've done," says Kelso. "Are we going to be ready to transport u--" The cable slips over Kelso's head and wraps itself around his neck. As his struggles grow weaker, we dissolve back to Mitchell.

"You're leaving with the ship, doctor," Kirk informs Dehner.

"He is not evil!" insists Dehner, oddly echoing Default Vina's "They don't mean to be evil" from the first pilot.

"I gave you an order, doctor," Kirk states.

Their dispute ends when Mitchell announces, "You should have killed me while you could, James." In the reverby voice, he adds, "Command and compassion is a fool's mixture." As Kirk steps closer, Mitchell does a little twiddle thing with his fingers and Kirk gets hit with another electrical shock. Spock levels the phaser rifle and gets hit as well. Both men are out of action.

Dehner slowly turns to face Mitchell, who waves his hand and makes the force field go away. He walks up to Dehner, brushes his hand against her face, then guides her into the room. He shows her to a mirror, and we can see that her eyes have become just like his.

We dissolve to a shot of Kirk and Spock lying on the floor outside Mitchell's room. Piper rushes up and checks the two of them for lifesigns. As Kirk starts to sit up, Piper gives him a pill. "It hit me too, whatever it was," he tells Kirk. "Kelso is dead -- strangled. At least Spock's alive."

"Dr. Dehner?" asks Kirk.

"She went with Mitchell."

Kirk stops Piper as he's about to revive Spock. "Don't give him a pill until after I'm gone. My fault Mitchell got as far as he did." A sigh, then, "Did you see their direction?"

"Why, yes. There was some morning light. They were headed across the valley to the left of the pointed peaks. There's flat land beyond."

Struggling to his feet, Kirk tells him, "When Mr. Spock recovers you'll both transport up immediately to the Enterprise." Ignoring Piper's attempt to interrupt him, and picking up the phaser rifle, Kirk continues, "Where, if you have not received a signal from me within twelve hours, you'll procede at maximum warp to the nearest Earth base with my recommendation," and here he pauses to give a dramatic snap to the phaser rifle's rotating barrel, "that this entire planet be subjected to a lethal concentration of deutron radiation." When Piper again attempts to speak, Kirk says, "No protest on this, Mark. That's an order." Hefting the phaser rifle, Kirk heads out.


Delta Vega, to the left of the pointed peaks. Mitchell and Dehner are walking casually through a windstorm. With its jagged, rocky surface and green-tinged cloudy sky, Delta Vega looks remarkably similar to Talos IV.

"It would take almost a miracle to survive here," Dehner observes.

"Then I shall make one," says Mitchell in his Burning Bush reverb voice. You know, it's never a good thing when a mutant superbeing starts using the word "shall" in casual conversation. Or "behold".

"Behold," he says, and with a wave of his hand, a stretch of barren ground acquires a pool of water, a bubbling fountain, and various plants. The wind dies away.

Dehner looks astonished. She and Mitchell walk forward into his little oasis. Mitchell flings his arms out wide and laughs. Another bad sign. Dehner picks a flower, while Mitchell kneels down, cups some water in his hand, and lets it trickle through. It occurs to me at this point that Mitchell should have just let Kirk maroon him here. Kelso would still be alive, and Kirk would have probably left Dehner behind anyway as soon as her eyes turned all shiny.

"You'll soon share this feeling, Elizabeth," says Burning Bush Mitchell. "To be like God, to have the power to make the world anything you want it to be."

Back to Kirk, toting his phaser rifle through the howling desolate emptiness of Delta Vega.

Back to Mitchell and Dehner as Burning Bush Boy looks up suddenly. Standing up, Dehner asks, "What's wrong?"

"A visitor," says Mitchell. "A very foolish man." I've got to agree with him on that one. The Enterprise should already be maximum warping its way the hell out of there. Who knows what Mitchell will be capable of twelve hours from now?

Back to Kirk, struggling his way through the pointed peaks. A nearby rock suddenly decides to roll past him.

Back to Mitchell and Dehner. "You'll enjoy being a god, Elizabeth." When she turns and looks at him, Mitchell sneers, "Blasphemy? No. Let there be food." Gesturing with his hand, he says, "Kaferian apples," and a Kaferian apple tree (or maybe bush would be a better word, it's pretty small) appears.

Back to Kirk, still making his way through the pointed peaks. He's spooked, now, looking around for any more rolling rocks. Vengeance is mine, saith Burning Bush Boy.

Back to Mitchell and Dehner, the former holding two halves of a Kaferian apple. "Whenever we visited that planet, I always favored these." He hands her half. Just like the last time, see, only this time, it's the man giving the woman the apple.

Back to Kirk, as he peers over a rock.

Back to Mitchell and Dehner, munching on their Kaferian apples. "Can you hear me, James?" reverbs Mitchell.

Kirk, toting his phaser rifle, can. "You cannot see me. I'm not there. You follow the right path, James, you'll come to me soon."

Back to Mitchell and Dehner. A smiling Dehner says, "I can see him in my mind too."

Taking the half-eaten apple from her (and what are the theological implications of that, huh?), Mitchell says, "Go to him, Elizabeth. Talk to him. Now that you're changing, I want you to see just how unimportant they are."

Kirk moves forward, then comes across Elizabeth standing there. Well, she looked at me, and I, I could see, that the way she looked was way beyond compare. Now, how could I dance with another when I saw her standing there? With her shiny silver eyes? "Yes, it just took a little longer for it to happen to me," she tells him. She approaches him, and he takes a step back.

After looking around for Mitchell, Kirk says, "You must help me, before it goes too far."

"What he's doing is right, for him and me," Dehner informs him.

"And for humanity?" asks Kirk. "You're still human." Dehner starts to contradict him, but Kirk insists, "At least partly, you are, or you wouldn't be here talking to me." He's got a point there. The urge to chatter on and on is definitely our most human trait.

"Earth is really unimportant," Dehner casually tells him as he prowls around. "Before long, we'll be where it would have taken mankind millions of years of learning to reach."

Kirk dramatically rushes up to Dehner's side. "And what will Mitchell learn in getting there? Will he know what to do with his power? Will he acquire the wisdom?"

"Please go back while you still can," Dehner warns him. Perhaps she's worried that he's starting to make sense.

"Did you hear him joke about compassion?" Kirk calls out to Mitchell, "Above all else, a god needs compassion! Mitchell!" When Mitchell doesn't answer, Kirk turns back to Dehner. "Elizabeth --"

"What do you know about gods?" Dehner demands.

"Then let's talk about humans," Kirk responds, "about our frailties. As powerful as he gets, he'll still have all that inside him."

Kirk is starting to make too much sense again, so Dehner tells him, "Go back." She turns to leave, but he grabs her arm. The fact that she doesn't just zap him then and there tells us that he's starting to get through to her.

"You were a psychiatrist once," he reminds her. "You know the ugly, savage things we all keep buried, that none of us dare expose. But he'll dare! Who's to stop him? He doesn't need to care." Kirk is practically pleading now. "Be a psychiatrist for one minute longer. What do you see happening to him? What's your prognosis, doctor?"

"He's coming," Dehner tells him, giving no sign that she's heard a word he's said. Kirk quickly lets go of Dehner's arm and brings up the barrel of the phaser rifle.

"Then watch him," Kirk tells her. "Hang on to being a human for one minute longer."

"I'm disappointed in you, Elizabeth," says Reverb Boy. Kirk goes into a diving roll and comes up pointing the phaser rifle at Mitchell. He fires. The effect (in both senses of the word) is just like the laser cannon Number One fired at the rocky knoll in the first pilot: splashes of animated backblast, and none. Mitchell just stands there smiling at Kirk until Kirk stops firing. Then, with a wave of his hand, Mitchell tears the phaser rifle out of Kirk's hands and sends it flying, leaving Kirk kneeling on the ground.

Still with that little smile, he says, "I've been contemplating the death of an old friend." He turns to look at a rock face to his left, focusing his attention on a big ol' slab of basalt. "He deserves a decent burial, at least." A wave of his hand, and there's an open grave in the ground. Another gesture, and a tombstone appears with the words JAMES R KIRK c1277.1 to 1313.7. (Since Mitchell was born on stardate 1087.7 and Dehner was born on 1089.5, that must make Kirk about five years old.)

Mitchell looks back up at the slab of basalt in the wall, gestures, and the slab detaches itself from the rock face and leans over the grave. Dehner, who apparently has indeed been watching Mitchell toying with Kirk with a critical eye, says "Stop it, Gary."

Now, if Mitchell was really smart, he'd say, "You know, Elizabeth, you've got a point. James, just to show there are no hard feelings about your attempt to kill me just now, I'll let you call the ship and beam up. I'll even throw in a bushel of Kaferian apples, just to show I'm willing to let bygones be bygones. You go on your merry way, and I'll stay marooned here on Delta Vega for the rest of my unnatural existence just like you wanted. Deal?" Instead, he just responds with an imperious "Morals are for men, not gods." Under the circumstances, not the wisest thing he could have said. Which also kind of proves Kirk's point.

Kirk stands up and says, "A god, but still driven by human frailty." He looks over at Dehner and says, "Do you like what you see?"

Proving he still doesn't get it, Mitchell says, "Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me." A gesture, and Kirk is forced forward.

"To you?" Kirk sneers. "Not to both of you?"

"Pray that you die easily," Mitchell tells him, and with another gesture sends Kirk down on his knees. A second gesture brings Kirk's head up.

"There'll only be one of you in the end," Kirk says. Another gesture from Mitchell brings Kirk's hands together palm to palm, a final one twists his face into an expression of adoration. "One jealous god," Kirk gasps out, "if all this makes a god. Or is it making you something else?"

"Your last chance, Kirk," says Mitchell.

Mitchell keeps Kirk's eyes fixed on him, but Kirk is speaking to Dehner. "Do you like what you see? Absolute power corrupting absolutely."

Convinced, Dehner slowly raises her hand and send a lightning bolt at Mitchell, then a second. Mitchell responds with several of his own, and the two trade lightning strikes back and forth. By the time they're done, both are on the ground, and Mitchell's eyes are back to normal. "Hurry," Dehner says, "you haven't much time."

Kirk belts Mitchell in the chops, and follows up with a left to the breadbasket and a double-handed club to the back of the head. Mitchell stumbles forward, turns, gets another left to the gut, one to the torso, and a karate chop to the neck. Kirk follows up the chop by throwing Mitchell over his shoulder. A roundhouse to the jaw sends Mitchell flying over a boulder, and Kirk dives over the boulder to bring Mitchell to the ground, tearing his tunic in the process to expose his left shoulder and some manly torso. Mitchell recovers enough to give Kirk a left to the jaw, then a right as Kirk starts to rise. Kirk recovers and charges Mitchell, buring his face in Mitchell's chest. Kirk's stunt double (Paul Baxley) slams Mitchell's stunt double (Hal Needham) with a powerhouse right to the kisser, leaps onto the prone Mitchell's stunt double, then grabs a nice big rock and lifts it over his head.

A shot of Kirk, scrapes on his right temple and right cheek, holding the rock above his head. "Gary, forgive me."

A shot of Mitchell, as his eyes go silver again. His hands shoot up and he arrests the fall of the rock. "For a moment, James," he says in his reverb voice, "but your moment is fading." He pushes.

A shot of Kirk's stunt double being thrown off of Mitchell's stunt double.

Kirk and Mitchell face each other across a prone Dehner. Kirk moves back and to the right until he comes up against the rock face. He aims a punch at Mitchell, which is intercepted. Mitchell sends Kirk spinning through the air to a hard landing. Mitchell picks up a much bigger rock, pauses (or poses) with the rock held over his head, then throws it. Kirk ducks under the rock, grabs Mitchell, and pulls him into the grave. Then he jumps out again, runs and grabs the phaser rifle, points it up at the basalt slab which is still hanging suspended over the grave, and shoots it. The ground shakes, pitching Mitchell back into the grave. The tombstone falls over onto him, followed by the basalt slab.

As the dust settles, Kirk crouches down by Dehner, the phaser rifle still cradled in his right arm. He sets the rifle down when he sees that she can't move anything below her neck. "I'm sorry," she says. "You . . . can't know what it's like to . . . be almost a . . . god." Sure he can, he's a starship captain, isn't he? At any rate, these are Dehner's last words before she closes her eyes and dies, thereby saving Kirk the trouble of killing her himself (as he was obviously prepared to do).

Kirk brushes a hand against her sleeve, then picks up the phaser rifle and stands up. He pulls out his communicator (which looks just like the ones Captain Pike's crew used), flips it open, and says, "Enterprise, from Captain Kirk. Come in."


Dissolve to a shot of Enterprise leaving Delta Vega.

Cut to a shot of the bridge, angle on the captain's chair. Yeoman Smith is standing nearby, while Scott mans the navigation console. Kirk, his right hand bandaged, adjusts the monitor on the gooseneck mount to face him. "Captain's log, stardate 1313.8. Add to official losses Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Be it noted she gave her life in performance of her duty." As Spock joins Kirk, he adds, "Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell, same notation." He switches off the monitor. Kirk looks at Spock and says, "I want his service record to end that way. He didn't ask for what happened to him."

"I felt for him too," Spock states.

Still looking at Spock, Kirk says, "I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mr. Spock."

The two exchange a look, then resume watching the main viewscreen.

Cut to the main viewscreen, showing stars moving past.

Cut to a shot of the Enterprise moving off into the starry distance. The words DIRECTED BY JAMES GOLDSTONE appear, followed by WRITTEN BY SAMUEL A. PEEPLES, then CREATED AND PRODUCED BY GENE RODDENBERRY.


Shot of the Enterprise caught in the Galactic Barrier.


Shot of Damsel Vina approaching Captain Pike on Rigel VII.


Shot of Mitchell and Dehner looking out from the mirror.


Shot of the laser cannon shooting at the rocky knoll on Talos IV.


Shot of the frozen engineer on PSI 2000.



Shot of Glistening Green Vina dancing.



It took a long time, days, before Mitchell was strong enough to escape from beneath the basalt slab. By then, the Enterprise was light-years away, well beyond his reach. As he stood in the clearing, pondering his options, there was a flash of light, and a man was standing in front of him. The man had short, dark hair and wore a Starfleet Captain's uniform. "Jim was right, you know, Gary," the man told him. "You were corrupted by your power. Absolutely."

"Who are you?" Mitchell wondered.

"I'm a member of an extremely advanced noncorporeal race that inhabits a realm we call the Q continuum. You can call me Q."

"Are you here to rescue me?"

"No, Gary. I'm here to imprison you for eternity."

With a gesture, Mitchell directed a bolt of energy at Q's body. Q vanished in another flash of light, then reappeared again. "That wasn't very friendly, Gary," Q observed. Q gestured in his own turn, and Mitchell found himself encased in a glass box. He smashed his fist into it, but it didn't break. He sent a bolt of energy into it, and it still didn't break. He threw his body against it, and it still didn't break.

Q sighed, then gestured. There was a momentary flash of light all around him, then Mitchell found that he was no longer on the surface of Delta Vega. Instead, he was somewhere in outer space. He was still inside the glass box, though, and the force of gravity was the same as it had been on Delta Vega. Spread out before him was a spiral galaxy, which he recognized immediately as the Milky Way Galaxy. There was an image of it on one of the walls of the transporter room, back on the Enterprise.

Q was still with him, a few feet away from the glass box, standing nonchalantly on empty space. Mitchell asked him, "Is this where you're going to imprison me? Inside this box, hanging here in intergalactic space?"

"Oh, no," Q assured him. "I'm afraid intergalactic space isn't nearly secure enough. I'm sure the Kelvans or somebody will come blundering along in a few centuries and set you free, and we certainly don't want that. No, I've just brought us here to get our bearings, so to speak. We were there," he pointed down towards the fringe of the galaxy, "on Delta Vega. Our destination is there," he pointed across to the center of the galaxy, "in the center of the galaxy."

"There's supposed to be a black hole at the center of the galaxy," Mitchell pointed out. "Are you just going to throw me into it, then? Won't that kill me?"

"Oh, that's not a black hole," Q assured him. "It might look that way to limited beings such as humanity, but it's not. It's actually a barrier. I like to call it the Great Barrier." Q gestured again, and the two of them were once again standing on the surface of a planet. Mitchell was still in the glass box. The surface of the planet was barren, rather like that of Delta Vega. The sky was clear, and held shifting blue curtains of light like an aurora borealis.

"Well, this is it," said Q. "Take your time, look around, get to know it. You're going to be staying here for the rest of your life. However long that is." With a final gesture, Q disappeared in another flash of light, and the glass box was gone.

Mitchell was free. And he was alone, on a desolate planet that was walled off from the rest of the universe. Come on, he told himself, think. You're God, aren't you? You can come up with a way out of this place.

Mitchell stood and pondered, for a long time.


Elizabeth Dehner opened her eyes, and saw a man standing over her prone form. He had dark hair, and wore the uniform of a Starfleet Captain. "Hello, Liz," he said.

"I prefer Elizabeth," she said automatically. "And why aren't I dead?"

"You aren't dead because you've been exposed to the energy of the Galactic Barrier," the man told him. "You cannot die."

"Are you from Earth? Where is Captain Kirk?"

"Earth? Hardly," the man said with distaste. "And Captain Kirk beamed back up to his vessel. He's convinced that you and Gary are both dead. As for me, I'm a member of an extremely advanced noncorporeal race that inhabits a realm we call the Q continuum. You can call me Q. I was observing your little drama with Gary and Jim, and I must tell you I was quite impressed with your actions. I'm here to invite you to join me in the Q continuum. You'll like it there. A much healthier place for you than among these mortals you've been living with." He reached down with a hand, and helped her to her feet.

"What about Gary? Will he be coming to this . . . Q continuum with us?"

"I'm afraid I wasn't nearly as impressed with Gary's behavior," Q confided. "Gary will be spending his days in . . . another place."

Dehner sighed. "I'm afraid he always was kind of an asshole. Very well, Q. Show me the way."

And he did.


Per the Okudas, filming on "Where No Man Has Gone Before" wrapped on Wednesday, July 28, 1965, with the fight scene between Kirk and Mitchell. Whitfield notes that this was one day more than had been originally planned. On Friday the 23rd, a heretofore unknown nest of wasps made its presence known on the soundstage, stinging Sally Kellerman in the back (according to Whitfield; Robert H. Justman implies that she was actually stung on her ass) and William Shatner on the eyelid. Fortunately, when filming resumed on Monday the 26th the swelling had gone down enough for Shatner to resume shooting.

GR was initially unable to devote much attention to postproduction work on "Where No Man Has Gone Before". He spent much of August 1965 producing a second pilot for Desilu called "Police Story" (no relation to the anthology series of the same name that eventually ran on NBC from 1973 to 1977), and much of September producing a third called "The Long Hunt of April Savage".

It was not until October that GR could devote his full attention to the second pilot. In addition, the Star Trek production team had an enormous amount of difficulty finishing the pilot's optical effects. What with one thing and another, it wasn't until the end of January 1966 that he managed to ship the second pilot off to the suits at NBC, after having taken ten months and $330,000 (Solow says $354,974) to produce it. In the middle of February, Herb Solow returned to Desilu with news that NBC had decided to buy the series.

Quite a bit of lore has grown up around "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The second half of Margaret Wander Bonanno's 1987 novel Strangers from the Sky is a prequel to the second pilot in which Kirk, Spock, Mitchell, Dehner and Kelso travel back to the 21st century. The first novel in the "Vanguard" series, David Mack's Harbinger (2005), which takes place shortly after the second pilot, has the Enterprise arriving at a newly-built Federation starbase after leaving Delta Vega.

Michael Jan Friedman's "My Brother's Keeper" trilogy (1999) follows the Enterprise's return to Earth after the events of the second pilot, though most of the trilogy consists of flashbacks showing Kirk's fifteen year friendship with Mitchell. (The third novel in the trilogy, Enterprise, begins its flashback with the Enterprise preparing to leave Dimorus and Mitchell still flat on his back in sickbay from the aftereffects of the poisoned dart.) As noted above, Friedman also related the story of the S.S. Valiant in his 2000 TNG novel of that name.

GR and Peeples were clearly trying to give their fictional universe a sense of historical depth, such as having the Enterprise come across a 200-year-old warning beacon, Tarbolde's 1996-vintage love sonnet, Kirk and Mitchell's history at "the academy" and Dimorus and Deneb IV. Nevertheless, to someone steeped in Star Trek lore, the stage on which the second pilot is played is a bare one. No United Federation of Planets, no Starfleet, no starbases, not even any food synthesizers or red and yellow alerts. We still don't know anything about Mr. Spock's background except for the fact that one of his ancestors married a "human female". The name "Vulcan" has yet to be mentioned. All we really have are the ship and its crew, and a handful of names: the Aldebaran colony, Delta Vega, Deneb IV, Canopus, Dimorus.

In 1965, Samuel A. Peeples was a 48-year-old writer with nine years' experience writing for television, mostly episodes of Western television series. He would go on to write an episode of the animated Star Trek series called "Beyond the Farthest Star", and contribute to the story for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He died on August 27, 1997.

Internal chronology: Per Memory Alpha, it is now generally accepted that "Where No Man Has Gone Before" takes place in the year 2265, placing it one year before the first regular season episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver", and eleven years after the first pilot, "The Cage".

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Recap: Where No Man Has Gone Before (3 of 4)

This is the third part of a recap of the second Star Trek pilot (and third aired episode), "Where No Man Has Gone Before", that I posted to the rec.arts.startrek.misc newsgroup back in November 2005 under the screen name Empok Nor. The first two parts are here and here.

The starship Enterprise under Captain James R. Kirk has discovered a ship's recorder from the S. S. Valiant, lost 200 years earlier. The Valiant encountered a strange energy field beyond the edge of the galaxy, and was disabled. Then, after looking up information on extra-sensory perception, the captain of the Valiant destroyed his ship. When the Enterprise encounters the same energy barrier, Second Officer Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner suffer some form of electrical shock. The shock has seemingly had no effect on Dehner, but has turned Mitchell's eyes silver.

While he's recovering in sickbay, Mitchell begins exhibiting paranormal powers: he can read a page of text in moments and recall it perfectly; he can stop his heart and start it up again; he can telekinetically operate controls on the ship's bridge. Dehner, who has always had a soft spot in her heart for supermen, fall in love with Mitchell. First Officer Spock, though, is worried. He thinks they either have to maroon Mitchell on a deserted planet, or kill him. Kirk orders him to set course for the deserted planet Delta Vega.

"Stardate thirteen thirteen point one," Captain Kirk voiceovers as we see the Enterprise approach a red-tinted planet. "We're now approaching Delta Vega. Course set for a standard orbit. This planet, completely uninhabited, is slightly smaller than Earth. Desolate, but rich in crystalline minerals."

We cut to a view of the main viewscreen on the bridge, over the shoulders of Kirk, Alden and Kelso. The voiceover continues: "Kelso's task: transport down with a repair party, try to regenerate the main engines, save the ship."

Another angle on the bridge as Kelso and Alden pack up some equipment and head for the turbolift. Yeoman Smith is still standing next to the Captain's chair. "Our task: transport down a man I've known for fifteen years, and if we're successful, maroon him there."

In sickbay, Mitchell is back in his peach tunic. He punches a pillow into shape before lying down on the biobed. We cut to a shot of a cup bearing an Earth logo sitting on a counter. Back to Mitchell who mutters, "I'm thirsty." Back to the cup, which slides along the counter to position itself under a tap. Water pours into the cup from the tap.

Back to Mitchell on the biobed as the cup flies through the air to his waiting hand. The door to sickbay opens, allowing Kirk, Spock and Dehner to see the last few feet of its flight. The three enter. Dehner is carrying a rust-colored bag on her shoulder. Spock is wearing a silver belt with a phaser pistol attached. The phaser pistol looks just like the hand lasers used by Captain Pike's crew in the first pilot. Spock and Dehner remain by the door, while Kirk approaches the biobed.

Mitchell drinks from the cup, looks up at Kirk, then back to the cup, which he cradles in his hands as he says, "It's like a man who has been blind all of his life suddenly being given sight. Sometimes I feel there's nothing I couldn't do . . . in time." He lets go of the cup, which floats toward Kirk. Kirk catches it. Mitchell looks back at Kirk and continues, "Some people think that makes me a monster, don't they, Jim?"

After a moment, Kirk says, "Are you reading all our thoughts, Gary?"

"I can sense mainly worry in you, Jim," says Mitchell. "Safety of your ship."

"What would you do in my place?"

"Probably just what Mr. Spock is thinking now. Kill me . . . while you can." Mitchell smiles.

Kirk turns to face Spock, and takes a couple of angry steps toward him, before turning back to face Mitchell. As Kirk approaches Mitchell again, Mitchell waves his hand and an electrical shock sends him staggering back. Another wave, and Spock is shocked.

"Stop it, Gary!" Dehner insists.

A pause, which ends when Mitchell says, "I also know we're orbiting Delta Vega, Jim. I can't let you force me down there." This isn't going the way Kirk had planned. "I may not want to leave the ship, not yet. I may want another place. I'm not sure yet just what kind of a world I can use."

Musical sting.

"Use?" says Dehner.

"I don't understand it all yet, but if I keep growing, getting stronger, why the things I could do . . . like . . . like maybe a god could do --" Mitchell approaches Dehner. As he walks past Kirk, Kirk gives him a hard elbow to the ribs. (Why didn't Mitchell see that coming? Better not to ask.) Spock follows up with a left to the breadbasket (no Vulcan neck pinch yet), and Kirk lays Mitchell out with an uppercut to the jaw.

"I want him unconscious for a while," Kirk barks to Dehner as he and Spock hold him down on the biobed. Dehner responds with a hypospray to Mitchell's left arm.


The transporter room, and dammit, yes, that is the helm/navigation console that Scott is operating. Piper, holding a hypospray, approaches the door as Kirk and Spock drag Mitchell in and up to the transporter stage, with Dehner bringing up the rear. A musical sting as Mitchell comes to and starts to struggle. "You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects!" Mitchell manages to snarl before Piper doses him again.

The five take up positions on the transporter stage, and Kirk gives the order to energize. As a tech in an olive green jumpsuit looks on, Scott does just that.


Delta Vega. We get a three-second establishing shot that shows us a building with a pentagonal entrance to the right, a line of five saucer-shaped tanks with a forest of pipework behind them, a dingy-looking building down a ways on the left, some jagged mountains off on the horizon, and some heavy greenish clouds in the sky. (Per the Okudas, the cracking station is a matte painting created by Albert Whitlock.)

We cut to the pentagonal entrance, where Kirk's group materializes. There's a sign on the wall to their right that says GALACTIC MINING DELTA-VEGA STATION. As Kirk and Spock prop up Mitchell, Kelso and a crewman in a blue tunic known only as the Guard show up. "Can you do it, Lee?" Kirk asks.

"Maybe," says Lee, "if we can bypass the fuel bins without blowing ourselves up."

"Take him," Kirk orders the Guard, and the Guard and Spock drag Mitchell into the building, followed by Kelso and Piper.

"There's not a soul on this planet but us?" Dehner says quietly, no doubt thinking of Mitchell being stranded here for the rest of his life.

"Nobody but us chickens, doctor."

Back to the establishing shot, with the tiny figures of Dehner and Kirk standing by the pentagonal entrance. Kirk goes in, and Dehner follows him.


Inside the mining station, we see Alden lugging a dismantled console across the control room, while jumpsuited techs work behind him. Setting it down on a pile of stuff next to Kelso, he says, "I think I got the 203-R set, Lee."

"Good, Alden," says Kelso. "Transport it up with you, will you?" Kelso has set up shop in front of a big window with a view of the rocky landscape of Delta Vega.

"Okay," says Alden as he carries off the 203-R set. Kelso walks over to Kirk, standing on the other side of the room.

"The fuel bins, Lee," says Kirk. "Could they be detonated from here? A destruct switch?"

Peering at a section of console, Kelso says, "I guess I could wire one up right there."

"Do it," Kirk orders. I predict Galactic Mining is not going to be happy about having their fuel bins detonated. The subspace channel to Earth is gonna be burning up when the home office on the Vega colony hears about this.

Spock has come up during this exchange, and he says, "He's regaining consciousness." He and Kirk exit stage right as Alden walks out with the 203-R set.


Mitchell is standing quietly in a room with a force field set up in the entrance. A buzzing hum comes from the force field. There's a sign on the wall next to it that says RESTRICTED AREA. Dehner and Piper are watching Mitchell as Kirk and Spock arrive. They pass by the Guard, who is monitoring the force field from a console about twenty feet away. Piper has a black bag on a strap over his left shoulder and a hypospray in his right hand. Kirk walks up to the entrance and watches Mitchell for a few seconds. Mitchell turns and stares at him, his eyes glowing silver. Kirk turns away and calls Piper over.

"I want only one medical officer here at any one time," he tells Piper, as Mitchell continues to stare at him. "The other will monitor him on the dispensary screen."

"I'd like to stay now," says Dehner. "Try to talk to him." Piper gives her a "fine with me" look, hands her the hypospray and walks out.

Kirk notices that Mitchell is looking at him.

"My friend, James Kirk," says Mitchell. When Kirk doesn't respond, he continues, "Remember those rodent things on Dimorus, the poisoned darts they threw?" (Btw, Dimorus is pronounced DIM-a-rus.) "I took one meant for you."

"And almost died," Kirk acknowledges. "I remember."

"So why be afraid of me now?"

"You've been testing your ability to take over the Enterprise," Kirk declares. "In the transporter room, you said something about us seeming like insects by comparison, squashing us if we got in your way."

"I was drugged then," Mitchell points out.

"Yes," Kirk admits. "In the sick bay, you said if you were in my place you'd kill a mutant like yourself." Now, strictly speaking, Mitchell isn't a mutant. Mutants are born different, whereas Mitchell became different as a result of an interaction with his environment.

"Why don't you kill me, then?" wonders Mitchell.

Because I'm not drunk with power like you, Kirk refrains from saying.

"Mr. Spock is right," Mitchell adds, "and you're a fool if you can't see it."

"You don't mean that, Gary," says Dehner.

"Man cannot survive if a race of true espers is born," Mitchell tells her. "In time you'll understand that." (Foreshadowing: your clue to quality drama.) He walks into the force field and turns interesting colors. Spock, taking no chances, draws his phaser pistol.

"Please, Gary," Kirk pleads. After five seconds in the force field, Mitchell steps back, takes a deep breath, and steps back into it again. "Gary, don't!" This time, less than a second passes before the force field throws Mitchell into the room, where he falls to the floor beside the bed. His eyes lose their silver sheen. The Guard hurries up from his console, phaser pistol in hand.

"Jim," Mitchell murmurs.

"His eyes went back to normal," Kirk points out.

"Fighting the force field drained his strength, for a while at least," says Spock. "He could be handled now."

Eight seconds after it went away, the silver sheen comes back, accompanied by a musical sting. Mitchell gets up off the floor and slowly approaches the entrance. "I'll just keep getting stronger. You know that, don't you?"


The Enterprise orbiting Delta Vega.

On the bridge, Alden and Scott are fitting white components from the mining station into the black surface of the Engineering Sub-Systems Monitor. As Scott slots the last component into place, the Engineering Sub-Systems Monitor lights up, back in working order. Scott gives a little ta-da wave of the hand. Y'know, they don't call him the Miracle Worker for nothing. A smiling Scott sits down at the helm station and flips a switch, producing a communicator chirp. "It fits like a glove, Captain," he announces.

Down at the mining station's control room, Kelso and two extras are at work while Kirk holds a communicator. We hear Scott's filtered voice say, "Oh, did Mr. Spock get the phaser rifle we sent down?"

Kirk replies, "I didn't order any . . . " as Spock walks in toting the phaser rifle. He stands with the rifle in his right hand and the phaser pistol still hanging from his belt. Mr. Spock is ready to rumble. "Affirmative," Kirk finishes. "Landing party out."

Kirk leads Spock over to the window. Spock says, "He tried to get through the force field again. His eyes changed back faster. He didn't become as weak." The unspoken question: isn't it about time we finished him off?

"Doctor Dehner feels he isn't that dangerous," says Kirk. "What makes you right and a trained psychiatrist wrong?"

"Because she feels," Spock answers simply. "I don't. All I know is logic. In my opinion, we'll be lucky if we can repair this ship and get away in time."

Kirk walks back to Kelso, who gestures at a Big Red Switch and says, "Direct to the power bins. From here, you could blow up this whole valley." Kelso does not ask who will be manning the Big Red Switch. Some questions you don't need to ask.

Kirk turns and trades one last look with Spock, then says, "If Mitchell gets out . . . at your discretion, Lee, if sitting here, you think you're the last chance . . . I want you to hit that button."
Musical sting. Fade to black.

(continue to part 4)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wandering Woo

Our younger basenji Louis, whom my wife has nicknamed Woo, has the happy habit of going out into the backyard of our new house, no matter the weather, and doing his business, thereby freeing me of the need to take him out for a walk. This is basically a stop-gap measure; at least two other times a day he and his big sister/niece Klea either go for a walk through the streets of McKees Rocks, or visit the dog park in Riverview Park.

Yesterday afternoon, I let Woo out the back door, and he sniffed around the backyard for a bit before making his way down the alley to the front "yard" (actually a small area of mulch between the house and the street). He occasionally does this; when he does, I just go through the house, open the front door, and let him in there.

I did so now, and was a bit puzzled when I saw that he wasn't in the front yard, either. My puzzlement turned to fear when I noticed that the gate in our chainlink fence was hanging open. Obviously, the mailman must have neglected to close it when he delivered our mail that day.

I ran out to the street, and yes, there was Woo, sniffing at some Unidentified Ground Object about fifty feet away. Basenjis are known for their fearless nature, and one of the many things they don't fear are speeding cars. The chief cause of death among basenjis is being hit by passing cars.

I ran back into the house and grabbed my coat and Woo's leash, then hurried back out and looked around again. He had wandered further up the street. I did not run after him. If you run after a basenji, he assumes it's playtime, and he'll start running himself, and basenjis are fast runners even by canine standards. Instead, I walked towards him, calling his name from time to time.

Woo did not run away, but he didn't come when I called either. Instead, he continued his leisurely stroll along the street, and I followed at a walk. He ambled onto Camp Street, wandered its length, then turned onto Raymond Street. I was encouraged when he turned aside onto Fruit Way, since that street led back to our house.

I finally got lucky on Fruit Way, when Woo was distracted by something-or-other on a grassy verge running next to the street. As he was sniffing at it, I was able to quietly walk up to him and snap the leash onto his collar. From then on, we had a normal walk back to our house.

I've also learned a valuable lesson: no more letting the dogs out the back door until I've checked that the gate is closed.

UPDATE 1/17/12: The mailman left the gate open again today; fortunately, there were no dogs outside at the time. It looks as though I'm going to have to get one of those KEEP GATE CLOSED signs.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In the zone

On the morning after moving into the new house in McKees Rocks, I woke up in my new bedroom. It was dark, and I found myself wondering what time it was (since I had yet to uncrate my digital alarm clock with the glowing red numbers). I fumbled around, found my wristwatch (us old people still use wristwatches instead of just looking at our cell phones), and lit up the display. It was 7am. I thought to myself: how can it be seven o'clock? It's still dark out!

I was face to face with one of the side effects of standardized time zones. Two hundred years ago, every city kept its own time, setting noon when the sun was directly overhead. However, after railroads became commonplace, it was necessary for large areas to all keep to the same time. Eventually, Congress adopted the Standard Time Act in 1918, creating the four current times zones of the Lower 48 States.

Back in Newport, near the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone, the sun was usually up by quittin' time, 7am. Even on the day of the Winter Soltice, the sun might not be up, but it was bright enough that I could drive home without using my headlights.

Then, that October morning, I woke up in McKees Rocks, 550 miles and nine degrees longitude west of Newport, but still in the Eastern Time Zone. The sun that was rising even then over the golden dome of Newport City Hall wouldn't be lighting up McKees Rocks for another thirty minutes. In McKees Rocks, it was still dark out.

And of course, to a hypothetical inhabitant of, say, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 200 miles and 3.5 degrees longitude further west, but still in the Eastern Time Zone, the effect would be even more pronounced. It would take the Earth fifty minutes to rotate our hypothetical Michiganian around to the terminator after Newport had passed through. If she traveled to Newport, our hypothetical Michiganian would wake to find sunlight pouring through her bedroom window, then would glance at the bedside clock and think in astonishment: how can it be light out? It's only seven o'clock!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Recap: Where No Man Has Gone Before (2 of 4)

This is the second part of a recap of the second Star Trek pilot (and third aired episode), "Where No Man Has Gone Before", that I posted to the rec.arts.startrek.misc newsgroup back in November 2005 under the screen name Empok Nor. The first part is here.

The starship Enterprise under Captain James R. Kirk has discovered a ship's recorder from the S. S. Valiant, lost 200 years earlier. The Valiant encountered a strange energy field beyond the edge of the galaxy, and was disabled. Then, after looking up information on extra-sensory perception, the captain of the Valiant destroyed his ship. When the Enterprise encounters the same energy barrier, Second Officer Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner suffer some form of electrical shock. The shock has seemingly had no effect on Dehner, but has turned Mitchell's eyes silver.

A shot of the Enterprise as she slowly crosses the screen from left to right. Kirk's voiceover says, "Captain's Log, stardate thirteen twelve point nine. Ship's condition: heading back on impulse power only. Main engine burned out. The ship's space warp ability, gone."

Shot of the bridge as various crewmembers try to repair various consoles. "Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance." Kirk approaches the helm/navigation console, where Alden and Kelso are doing repairs to the navigation controls. Kelso makes an unheard comment while shaking his head. "Our overriding question now is, what destroyed the Valiant?" As Kirk makes his way over to Spock's library computer station, we see Yeoman Smith standing next to the captain's chair. "They lived through the barrier just as we have. What happened to them after that?" Spock is looking up at the viewscreen above his station.

A shot of Spock's viewscreen, showing Dr. Dehner's medical record:

Name: (last) DEHNER, P.H.D. (first) ELIZABETH
Present Address: (street) 1489 (city) DELMAN (state) NEWSTATE
Permanent Address: SAME
Birthplace: DELMAN Father's Birthplace (not visible)
Lineage: (blank) Mother's Birthplace (not visible)
Date of birth: 1089.5 Age: 21
Height: 5' 2" Weight: 116
Name: SAME

Interesting that her date of birth is given as a stardate, but no way is Dr. Dehner 21 years old. Perhaps this record page dates from when she graduated Starfleet. Also, note that her height and weight are given in English rather than metric terms. Next shot:


ESPER RATING and quotients are better than average in all cate-
gories. Subject officer's history indicates an esper orientation
pattern since childhood, evidenced in superiority at "guessing games",
reading cards et cetera. Esper-orientation and abilities are evident
through both the maternal and paternal bloodlines, but in only one
case does the indicated tendency toward ESP go back more than three

Subject officer has been aware of the high ESP rating since
secondary school days and it is, in part, the basis for interest and
vocational training as a psychiatrist. Participation in tests and
studies of other esper-oriented beings are the subject of a thesis
now being published by this officer in association with the College
of Medical Science of the Tri-Planetary Academy and was, in fact,
the reason for this officer's posting to the Aldebaron Colony.
It must be stressed this officer's interest in esper-perception
has been in relationship and pursuit to vocation as a psychiatrist.

All the underlining in the body of this report, btw, was done by hand. Also, it occurs to me that this report must have been written either by Dehner's superior at the Aldebaran Colony, or by Doctor Piper after her transfer to the Enterprise. Next shot:

Name: (last) MITCHELL, COMDR. (first) GARY
Present Address: (street) 8149 (city) ELDMAN (state) NEWSTATE
Permanent Address: SAME
Birthplace: ELDMAN Father's Birthplace (not visible)
Lineage: (blank) Mother's Birthplace (not visible)
Date of birth: 1087.7 Age: 23 Height: 5' 9" Weight: 167
Name: SAME

Again, no way is Mitchell only 23 years old. And his rank is given as full Commander, not simply Lt. Commander. Next shot:


ESPER RATING and quotients are well above average in all cate-
gories and exceptionally high in some. On planet Deneb IV, subject
officer showed a marked ability in sensing the telepathic communica-
tion used by the inhabitants of that planet. In at least three cases
(see notations on rear of report), subject officer carried on long
telepathic communication with selected Deneb IV natives and scored
80 percent or higher on comprehension.

History on subject officer from childhood shows a consistent
pattern of esper orientation, dating back to a better than average
ability at the usual childhood "guessing games", some grade school
interest and ability in elementary magicians' tricks, et cetera.
There is also a strong tendency through the maternal bloodline toward
esper-oriented abilities, dating back through at least six generations
to both males and females who dabbled in metaphysical studies and, in
at least one case, a female ancestor who was intersted in spiritual

As you can see, even better than Dehner. And some cool backstory on Mitchell's visit to the planet Deneb IV, and on that planet's telepathic natives. Which begs the question of why Mr. Spock, with his own marked Vulcan telepathic abilities, remained unaffected by the Galactic Barrier. Guess it doesn't work on Vulcans the same way as humans. The real reason, of course, is that it wasn't until the episode "Dagger of the Mind" that we found out that Spock was telepathic.

Cut back to Kirk and Spock on the bridge. Dr. Dehner emerges from the turbolift and says, "Autopsy reports, Captain." Handing Kirk a computer tape, she continues, "Each case showed damage to the body's neural circuit. An area of the brain was burned out."

"And you?" Kirk asks her. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Yes. Mitchell too, except for his eyes. We're trying to find a reason for that now, and why out of our whole crew only certain people were affected."

"I think we've found that answer, doctor," Spock interjects.

"You mentioned that tests show that you have a high degree of extra-sensory perception," Kirk reminds her. "So do the records of the others. Gary Mitchell has the highest esper rating of all."

"If you're suggeting there's anything dangerous --" Dehner begins.

"Before the Valiant was destroyed," Spock interrupts, "its captain was desperately searching for ESP information on his crew."

Dehner objects, "Espers are simply people with flashes of insight."

"Are there not also those who seem to see through solid objects?" Spock responds. "Cause fires to start spontaneously?"

"There's nothing about it that could possibly make a person dangerous," Dehner insists.

"Dr. Dehner is speaking of normal ESP power," Spock points out.

"Perhaps you know of another kind?" Dehner snarks. Well, as it happens, doctor, Spock does indeed know of another kind, but we won't find out about that until later.

"Do we know for sure, doctor, that there isn't another kind?" Kirk asks. Rather unfairly, IMHO. Of course we don't know that there isn't another kind. In fact, it's a common logical fallacy to assert the existence of some phenomenon by claiming that its existence has never been disproved. I'm surprised that Kirk's logical first officer doesn't point that out.

Is that a look of contempt on Dehner's face? It jolly well ought to be.


Close-up of a bio-monitor screen. We can see the words RESPIRATION and PULSE above circles that light up intermittently. A low beep keeps time with the pulse circle.

We cut to a wider shot of the bio-monitor screen, then pan down to Gary Mitchell resting on a bio-bed in sickbay. He's wearing a sleeveless blue jumpsuit that has an olive-branches-and-caduceus logo on the left breast. In his left hand is a small black control box with some silver buttons. His right hand is holding a monitor screen mounted on a jointed arm. The jointed arm, btw, has a niche in it that holds several computer tapes. We can see lines of text on the monitor screen. Mitchell eventually drops the control box on the bed and switches off the monitor. Picking up the control box again, he stretches, yawns, and turns over onto his side.

The door opens and Kirk enters. "Hello, Jim," says Mitchell without turning to see who it is. Finally, he turns to look at Kirk and says, "Hey, you look worried."

Kirk smiles and says, "I've been worried about you ever since that night on Deneb IV."

Mitchell laughs and says, "Yeah, she was nova, that one." Ah, this would be one of the telepathic natives of Deneb IV, would it? Hmmmmmm. "Not nearly as many aftereffects this time." Aftereffects? Double hmmmmmm. (Wikipedia notes that Deneb is a blue giant star in the constellation Cygnus, spectral class A2 Ia, and that estimates of its distance from Earth vary from 1600 to 3200 light years.) "Except for the eyes," Mitchell adds. "They kind of stare back at me when I'm shaving."

Approaching him, Kirk asks, "Do you . . . feel . . . any different?"

"In a way, I feel better than I've ever felt before in my life. Actually seems to have done me some good."

"How?" Kirk wonders.

"Well, I'm getting a chance to read some of that longhair stuff you like," says Mitchell as he hands Kirk some computer cassettes. He laughs and puts his hands behind his head as he reminisces. "Hey, man, I remember you back at the academy. A stack of books with legs. The first thing I ever heard from an upperclassman was, 'Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class you either think, or sink'."

Kirk laughs along with Mitchell and says, "I wasn't that bad, was I?"

"If I hadn't aimed that little blonde lab technician at you --"

"You what?" says a surprised Kirk. "You planned that?"

"Well, you wanted me to think, didn't you?" Mitchell chuckles. "I outlined her whole campaign for her."

"I almost married her!" says an outraged Kirk. And of course, the inevitable thought that occurs at this point is, are they talking about Carol Marcus? That would be spooky.

Still smiling, Mitchell says, "Better be good to me. I'm getting even better ideas here." He turns the monitor to face Kirk.

Kirk switches it back on and reads it, then says with a grin, "You? Spinoza?"

"Once you get into him, though, he's rather simple," says Mitchell. "Childish, almost. I don't agree with him at all." Among other things, Spinoza was a strict determinist who argued that free will was an illusion. Naturally, this is not an idea Mitchell is going to have much sympathy for.

"Go on," says Kirk.

Mitchell smiles again and says, "Hey, I'm trying to tell you I feel fine. When do I go back on duty?"

"I'm going to ask Dr. Dehner to keep you under observation for a while," says Kirk.

Mitchell is not pleased to hear this. "With almost a hundred women on board, you can do better than that, friend Captain."

Grinning again, Kirk says, "Consider it a challenge." Is this Kirk's way of getting back at Mitchell for pulling that lab technician stunt? Could be.

"That doesn't sound very friendly," Mitchell remarks. As Kirk turns to go, Mitchell adds, in a loud voice echoing with reverb, "Didn't I say you'd better --"

Kirk turns back around, shocked. Mitchell finishes in his normal voice, " . . . be good to me?"

Kirk tries to smile again, but it doesn't take. After he leaves, Mitchell returns to the monitor. He clicks through the pages about once each second, then faster and faster.


On the bridge, the pages from Mitchell's monitor also appear on the screen above Spock's station, flicking by faster and faster. As Kirk joins him, Spock says, "He's reading faster now than just a few moments ago. Is that Gary Mitchell? The one you used to know?"

Another shot of the screen, now showing Mitchell in sickbay clicking through pages.

Kirk orders, "Put a twenty-four hour watch on sickbay. Fullest possible range of examinations and tests." Spock nods and goes off to see that it's done. Kirk continues watching Mitchell. On the screen, Mitchell turns and looks back at Kirk.


Sickbay. Another shot of the biobed monitor. Piper pushes a button on the monitor a couple of times, then remarks, "Perfect. Perfect. I've never had a patient like you, Gary. Even the healthiest are generally off on some readings." Paul Fix plays Piper as completely oblivious. No wonder GR wanted DeForest Kelley to play the ship's doctor. Holding a little black bag to his side, Piper turns and exits sickbay, leaving Dehner alone with Mitchell. She's leaning against the wall next to the exit.

"I know you don't particularly like me, Mr. Mitchell," she says, "but since I am assigned to you, can we make the best of it?"

"I've got nothing against you, doctor," Mitchell says with a smile.

"Or against a 'walking freezer unit'?"

Nodding rather sheepishly for a mental superman, Mitchell says, "Well, yeah. Sorry about that." Enjoy that apology, doctor. Mitchell isn't going to be handing them out for much longer.

Smiling, Dehner approaches Mitchell, saying, "Women professionals do tend to overcompensate. Now let's talk about you. How do you feel?"

As he sits up, Mitchell says, "You know, everybody, everybody seems worried that I don't have some kind of a fever or something." Turning to look up at the biobed monitor, he adds, "Maybe if I could just change these dials . . . "

The readings immediately all shoot up, and the pulse beep sounds like a set of maracas.

Dehner is appalled, but Mitchell just has a "hmmmm" look on his face. "Now back to normal, I think," he says, and the readings do indeed go back to normal.

"How did you do that?" asks Dehner.

Looking troubled for the first time, Mitchell says, "I'm not sure." He perks up as he says, "I just thought of making it happen, and it does." With a chuckle, he adds, "Hey, uh, hey watch this, doc." The biomonitor readings all plunge to zero, and Mitchell collapses unconscious onto the bed. (This occurs at the 18:27 mark, for those of you keeping track.)

A flabbergasted Dehner looks up at the biomonitor, then down at Mitchell, then up at the biomonitor again, then down at Mitchell again. She takes his hand and says, "Stop it! Stop it!" She leans over to listen for his heart. Then she looks up at his face, at which point Mitchell's eyes open. (The time is 18:43. Mitchell has been "dead" for sixteen seconds.) As he smiles at her, she says, "You were dead for almost twenty-two seconds. There were no readings at all."

Mitchell brings his hand up to brush against Dehner's face before touching his own. Taking her hand and laughing a nervous laugh, he says, "You know, doc, there've been other things, too. Like going halfway through the ship's library in hardly a day. Yeah." Stroking her hand, he mutters, "Oh, what's happening to me?"

"Do you remember everything you read that quickly?"

Mitchell nods. "Yeah."

"On any tape?"

Nodding again, Mitchell repeats, "Sure, yeah."

Dehner picks up one of the cassetts, shows it to him, and says, "Try this one." She slots it into the reader and says, "Page three eighty-seven."

Mitchell recites, "My love has wings/slender feathered things/with grace in upswept curve/and tapered tip."

As Dehner looks over from the monitor, Mitchell notes, " 'Nightingale Woman', written by Tarbolde on the Canopus planet back in nineteen ninety-six." (Wikipedia notes that Canopus is a yellow supergiant star in the constellation Carina, spectral type F0 Ib, 310 light years from Earth. Incidentally, Mitchell actually pronounces the name "Canopius".) "It's funny you picked that one, doctor," he adds.

"Why?" asks Dehner as she switches off the monitor.

Mitchell grabs her by the arm and brings her face close to his. "That's one of the most passionate love sonnets in the past couple of centuries." Staring into her eyes, he says, "How do you feel, doctor?"

Dehner makes no attempt to pull away from Mitchell, simply responding with a dazed, "What?"

"How do you feel?"

"I just fell," Dehner says, referring to her episode on the bridge. "Nothing happened."

"Are you sure?" Mitchell whispers. "Are you sure?"

Whether Dehner is sure that nothing happened to her will never be known, because at this point the door opens and Kelso walks in, stopping short when he sees that his pal Gary is in the middle of another one of his conquests. Discreetly clearing his throat, Kelso says, "Uh, I was on my coffee break. I thought I'd, uh, check up on . . . "

As Dehner slowly straightens up, Mitchell gives Kelso an enthusiastic, "Yeah, that's okay, Lee, come on in. Don't let the light in my eyes bother you, pal. It's all for our, uh, our good looking lady doctor, here."

"Yeah, sure," says Kelso, plainly still uneasy.

"So, uh, so how go the repairs?"

"Well, the main engines are gone unless we can find some way to re-energize them."

"You better check the starboard impulse packs," Mitchell warns him. "Those points have about decayed to lead."

"Oh, yeah, sure, Mitch." That Gary, always with the funny remarks.

"I'm not joking, Lee!" Mitchell warns with an edge in his voice. "You activate those packs and you'll blow the whole impulse deck!"

Now Kelso is really freaked. "I'll, uh, I'll get on it right away. I just wanted to stop by and make sure you were okay. See you later." Kelso makes a quick exit.

"He's a fool," Mitchell says angrily as he leans back in bed. "A fool. He'd seen those points and he hadn't noticed their condition."

Dehner is staring at him. "How do you know?"

Mitchell is clearly torn between awe and fear. "The image of what he'd seen was still in his mind."


The briefing room. A close up of some gizmo lying on the table. We open out into a wide shot of the room as Kelso picks it up and says, "Well, it didn't make any sense that he'd know, but naturally I checked out the circuit anyway." Kirk and Spock are seated at one end of the table. Clockwise from Spock are Kelso on the left side of the table and Sulu, Scott and Piper at the other end. Carrying the gizmo over to Kirk, Kelso continues, "I don't know how, but he was right. This point is burned out exactly the way he described it."

You know, if you think about it, this is so straightforward it almost isn't technobabble. "Decayed almost to lead" means radioactive decay. The points on the power packs are made up of some transuranic element, and passing through the Galactic Barrier caused the rate of radioactive decay to speed up until the points were practically all lead. This prevents the energy stored in the rest of the power pack from passing through to the ship's systems. I'm not quite sure how this would cause the power packs to blow up if they were used, but that's a minor quibble compared to how much sense the rest of the explanation makes.

Anyway, as Kirk takes the gizmo from Kelso, Dehner enters and sits on the right side of the table, between Piper and Kirk, saying, "Sorry I'm late. I became so interested in observing Gary -- Mr. Mitchell -- "

"Our subject is not Gary Mitchell," Spock says. "Our concern, rather, is what he is mutating into."

Dehner doesn't like the sound of that. "I know those from your planet aren't supposed to have feelings like we do, Mr. Spock, but to talk that way about a man you've served next to for years is worse than even --"

"That's enough, doctor," Kirk interrupts her.

But Elizabeth Dehner, P.H.D. is intent on speaking her mind. "I don't think so," she tells Kirk. "I understand you least of all. Gary told me that you've been friends since he joined the service, that you asked for him aboard your first command." It would later be established that at this point, Kirk had only recently been given command of the Enterprise, though Spock had been serving on her for over ten years. However, Samuel A. Peeples couldn't know that, so he implies here that Kirk and Mitchell have been aboard, and serving with Spock, for several years.

"It is my duty, whether pleasant or unpleasant," Kirk informs her, "to listen to the reports, observations, even speculations, on any subject that might affect the safety of this vessel. And it's my Science Officer's duty to see that I'm provided with it. Go ahead, Mr. Spock."

Spock asks Dehner, "Have you noted evidence of unusual powers?"

Dehner pauses while she tries to put Mitchell's strange abilities in an unthreatening light. "He can control . . . certain autonomic reflexes." Like making his heart stop beating, and then starting it up again. "He reads very fast, retains more than most of us might consider usual." Like, everything.

Kirk drops his bombshell: "Mr. Scott, would you repeat what you just told us?"

"About an hour ago," says Scott, "the bridge controls started goin' crazy. Levers shiftin' by themselves, buttons bein' pushed, instrument readings changin'."

"And on my monitor screen," Spock adds, "I could see Mitchell smiling each time it happened, as if this ship and crew were almost a toy for his amusement."

Kirk leans forward and peers at Dehner. "Are they right, doctor? Has he shown abilities of such magnitude?" In other words, have you been bullshitting me about how powerful Mitchell is?

"I saw some such indications," Dehner weasels.

"And you didn't think it worth mentioning?"

"No one's been hurt, have they?" Dehner insists. In fact, Mitchell probably just saved a bunch of guys down in engineering. I'd say he's definitely ahead on points. You'd think they'd cut him some slack. "Don't you understand?" she continues. "A mutated superior man could be a wonderful thing, the forerunner of a new and better kind of human being!" Looks like Mitchell was right on the bridge about Dehner's desire to "improve the breed".

Of course, if Kirk wanted to, he could cite the Eugenics Wars for an example of the downside of having a new and better kind of human being around. But that, like Spock's telepathic abilities, is a bit of canon that hasn't been canonized yet. In any event, Dehner's outburst leaves everybody in the briefing room looking at her like she's just lost her mind (which is kind of ironic, actually). Eventually, Kirk says, "Mr. Sulu."

The blue-tunicked Asian astrophysicist responds by speaking his second line of the episode: "If you want the mathematics of this, Mitchell's ability is increasing geometrically. That is like having a penny, doubling it every day. In a month, you'll be a millionaire."

"In less time than that," Spock notes, "he will have attained powers we can't understand and can't cope with. Soon, we'll be not only useless to him, but actually an annoyance."

Kirk stands up: meeting over. "There'll be no discussion of this with the crew. Thank you."

As the briefing participants gather up their computer cassettes and head out, Spock pauses, then turns to speak with Kirk. "We'll never reach an Earth base with him aboard, Jim." Note that the Federation itself isn't canon yet. Enterprise is an Earth ship, visiting Earth bases and Earth colonies like the Aldebaran colony in between visits to alien worlds like Deneb IV. "You heard the mathematics of it," Spock continues. "In another month, he'll have as much in common with us as we'd have with a ship full of white mice."

Kirk, who hasn't bothered to turn around and actually face Spock, says, "What I need are recommendations, Spock, not vague warnings."

"Recommendation one: there's a planet a few light-days away from here, Delta Vega. It has a lithium cracking station. We may be able to adapt some of its power packs to our engines." A light-day is a little over sixteen billion miles, over four times the distance from Pluto to the sun. "A few light-days" is uncharacteristically imprecise of Spock, but presumably means that Delta Vega is about fifty billion miles away.

Which begs the question of just what a lithium cracking station is doing way out here on the edge of the galaxy, when the Enterprise is only the second Earth ship to make it this far out in the last 200 years. And what about that name, Delta Vega? Vega is a mere 26.5 light-years from Earth, just about as far from the edge of the galaxy as Earth itself. Maybe the station was set up by an automated mining ship sent out by the Vega colony (mentioned in the first pilot as Pike's original destination before he diverted course for Talos IV). Presumably, warp-capable automated freighters stop by every so often to load up some cracked lithium and haul it back to the Vega colony, where it can be processed and repackaged and sold to everybody in Earth's sphere of influence who needs some cracked lithium.

Anyway, Kirk responds, "And if we can't, we'll be trapped in orbit there. We haven't enough power to blast back out."

"It is the only possible way to get Mitchell off this ship," Spock points out. He doesn't point out that a much easier way to get him off the ship is to just transport him into space.

"If you mean strand Mitchell there, I won't do it!" Kirk barks. This, at last, is enough to get him to turn his head and establish a brief eye contact with Spock. Turning back, he adds, "The station is fully automated. There's not a soul on the whole planet. Even the ore ships call only once every twenty years." Wow, just how long has this place been in operation? And Earth is only now sending a starship out to have a look? The Vega colony has really got a leg up on Earth.

"Then you have one other choice," Spock states. "Kill Mitchell while you still can." Did I mention that the transporter can just beam him off the ship anytime you give the order? This, presumably, is Spock's recommendation number two.

Kirk turns and walks back to the table, still not looking at Spock. "Get out of here," he mutters.

"It is your only other choice," Spock insists. "Assuming you make it while you still have time."

"Will you try for one moment to feel?" says Kirk. "At least act like you've got a heart. We're talking about Gary."

"The captain of the Valiant probably felt the same way," Spock says. "And he waited too long to make his decision. I think we've both guessed that." Still, it wasn't a total loss. As revealed in Friedman's The Valiant, about 70 members of the Valiant's crew escaped from the ship before it was destroyed, and settled on a class-M planet on the far side of the Galactic Barrier.

Finally, Kirk makes his decision. "Set course for Delta Vega," he orders Spock, then sits at the table while Spock leaves the briefing room.

Musical sting. Fade to black.

(continue to part 3)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recap: Where No Man Has Gone Before (1 of 4)

This is the second in a series of recaps of the original Star Trek episodes that I first posted to the alt.startrek and rec.arts.startrek.misc newsgroups back in 2005. Today's selection: the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by Samuel A. Peeples.

Our story opens some time in 1965, when the suits at NBC, having rejected Gene Roddenberry's pilot episode for his Star Trek series, decide to have him make a second pilot. In an unusual moment of candor, the suits admit that they were the ones who chose "The Cage" story, so it's not really GR's fault that the resulting pilot is so "cerebral" (ie intelligent). The suits draw up a laundry list of changes to the series concept, rejecting most of the cast and asking in particular that the half-alien character Mr. Spock, with his Satanic pointed ears and upswept eyebrows, be dropped from the series. GR agrees to the rest of the suggested changes, but balks at losing Spock, and eventually he prevails. When Jeffrey Hunter turns down the role of the captain, it is (according to Wikipedia) also turned down by Jack Lord before being given to William Shatner. With a new actor playing the role, the character is renamed James Kirk. Mr. Spock is moved up a place in rank to first officer, and will be played again by Leonard Nimoy.

To make sure there's no repetition of the cerebral story fiasco, the suits ask Desilu to produce three complete shooting scripts for the second pilot. GR, Desilu and NBC get together and agree to hire two freelance writers, Samuel A. Peeples and Stephen Kandel, to produce two of the scripts, while GR himself will write the third. By early June the three scripts are ready: "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by Peeples, "Mudd's Women" by Kandel, and "The Omega Glory" by GR. The suits choose the first, and production is slated to begin on 5 July 1965.

Art director Matt Jeffries calculates that the starship Enterprise is 947 feet in length, rather more than his original estimate, and the ship's crew complement is boosted from 203 to 430. The remaining characters in the second pilot are finalized, and actors are chosen to play them. Doctor Philip Boyce is changed to Doctor Mark Piper, played by Paul Fix. Yeoman Colt is changed to Yeoman Smith, played by Andrea Dromm. The nameless communications officer is given the name Alden, and will be played by Lloyd Haynes. Two other new regulars will be chief engineer Scott, who will be played by James Doohan, and astrophysicist Sulu, who will be played by George Takei. Three guest stars will be Gary Lockwood, playing navigator Gary Mitchell; Paul Carr, playing helmsman Lee Kelso; and Sally Kellerman, playing psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner.

There had been four Enterprise sets built for the first pilot: the bridge, the corridor, the transporter room, and the briefing room, which with suitable redressing doubled as the captain's cabin. For the second pilot, they also build a sickbay set. James Goldstone is chosen to direct, and filming of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" begins on 19 July 1965.


A starscape, with the Enterprise approaching the viewer. A piece of background music that we can call the Enterprise theme is playing; it was actually the title theme for the episode, and might have become the title theme for the series had GR not switched back to the title theme used in "The Cage" when the series went into production.

We hear the voice of Captain Kirk: "Captain's log, stardate thirteen twelve point four. The impossible has happened." This is the first recorded use of the "captain's log" device for providing exposition, and also the first use of stardates. Stardates allowed GR to give a sense of the passage of time on the show without being tied down to an actual time period for the show's setting. After the show's run ended, it was decided that the series had been set in the 23rd century, but this wasn't established at the time. In the Star Trek Concordance, Bjo Trimble sets the original series in the 22nd century.

Cut to an Enterprise-view of the space ahead, as stars drift by. Kirk's voice continues: "From directly ahead, we're picking up a recorded distress signal, the call letters of a vessel which has been missing for over two centuries." We pull back to reveal that the starscape is on a monitor screen being watched by Kirk and Spock as they play three-dimensional chess in the briefing room. According to Stephen E. Whitfield in The Making of Star Trek, this scene was originally set in Kirk's cabin, but was changed to the briefing room to save money (there were other scenes set in the briefing room, but no other scenes set in Kirk's cabin, so changing the setting of this scene meant one less set to dress and light).

Kirk's voice continues: "Did another Earth ship probe out of the galaxy as we intend to do? What happened to it out there? Is this some warning they've left behind?" Kirk, Spock, and the crewmen watching them are all dressed in the same uniforms worn by the crew in the first pilot. Kirk and Spock are wearing muted gold tunics and black pants. Both have the starburst command insignia. According to The Making of Star Trek, this scene was the first to be filmed.

Kirk is watching the monitor. "Your move, captain," says Spock.

Kirk's mind is definitely not on the game. "Should have intercepted by now," says Kirk. "Bridge said they'd call."

"I'll have you checkmated your next move," Spock observes.

That's enough to get Kirk's attention. He turns back to Spock, laughs, and says, "Have I ever mentioned you play a very irritating game of chess, Mr. Spock?"

Spock looks momentarily puzzled, then brightens. "Irritating? Ah, yes, one of your Earth emotions."

Still smiling, Kirk moves a bishop up a couple of levels. Spock's look of smug superiority transforms into dismay. He's not quite as emotional as he was in the first pilot, but he's still not quite the stoic Vulcan of legend.

A grinning Kirk says, "Certain you don't know what irritation is?"

Still looking unhappily at the bishop, Spock says, "In fact, one of my ancestors married a human female." If you look behind Spock as he says this, you can see a woman wearing the same red sleeveless top and pleated white miniskirt who passed Captain Pike in the corridor in the first pilot. Man, you'd think she would have gotten a new outfit in eleven years.

"Terrible, having bad blood like that," says Kirk.

Any further comments Kirk might have chosen to make are interrupted by a comm whistle. "Bridge to briefing lounge," says Lee Kelso, in a muted peach tunic. Oddly, he has that round insignia that would later be science and medical, but is evidently engineering and support services here, since everyone in a peach tunic has one. The monitor switches to a view of Kelso sitting at the helm console on the bridge. We can see that the bridge is rather more colorful than it was in the first pilot, with the rails, turbolift doors, and helm-navigation console trimmed in red. Also, the video monitors on the gooseneck mounts are gone from the helm and navigation. "Object is now within tractor beam range."

"No visual contact, Mr. Kelso?" asks Kirk.

"No, sir," Kelso answers. "Too small to be a vessel. Only reads about one meter in diameter." A surprising use of the metric system, here. This is 1965 after all.

"Not large enough even for a lifeboat," Spock observes.

"Small enough to bring it aboard, sir, if you want to risk it," says Kelso.

"Lock on to it, Mr. Kelso," says Kirk. He and Spock rise from the table and head for the exit.


Close-up on the transporter console as a pair of hands in muted peach work the controls. We pull back to reveal that the hands belong to Mr. Scott. Kirk and Spock are already in the transporter room. "Materializer ready, sir," says Scott. As with the helm-navigation console on the bridge, the transporter console is now red with a gray top, and no longer has any video monitors on gooseneck mounts. (As the Okudas note in the DVD commentary, this is because the transporter console was the helm-navigation console. As they also note, there are no slide controls.) The wall to the left of the transporter stage has a large display of a spiral galaxy.

"Bring it aboard," orders Kirk. This, GR thinks, is going to be the viewing audience's introduction to the transporter. We hear a rising hum, the transporter stage lights up, and with the familiar sparkle and materialization sound, we see a tapering cylindrical object appear. It has a dome on top, and stands on three legs, and looks like it's seen some action. The name VALIANT can be made out on the top.

"Old style ship recorder," Kirk notes. "It could be ejected when something threatened the ship."

"More like destroyed the ship in this case," says Spock. "Look at it: burnt, pitted."

"Let's hope its tapes are intact," says Kirk. To Scott he says, "We'll feed it through Mr. Spock's computer."

"Yes, sir," says Scott.

The dome on the recorder begins flashing. "It's begun transmitting, sir," says Scott, accompanied by a dramatic sting.

"Flash to bridge," says Kirk decisively. "Put all decks on the alert."

As Kirk and Spock emerge into the corridor from the transporter room (there's a sign above the doorway that says TRANSPORTER), the alert alarm sounds, a single rising tone that's much more authoritative than the wimpy two-tone alert we heard in the first pilot. We pan left as Kirk and Spock make their way down the corridor, then cut to a flashing red light as a dramatic version of the Enterprise theme ushers us out of the teaser and into the

The opening notes of Alexander Courage's title theme. The Enterprise comes into view from the left and passes on the right as the first dramatic sting sounds. Cut to a view of a distant red planet as the Enterprise passes by on the left and heads toward it. Shot of the Enterprise orbiting the red planet. As the second dramatic sting sounds, we cut to a shot of space as the Enterprise flashes silently past. The synthesizer version of the title theme plays as the words STAR TREK come up in the familiar angular font. Another silently zooming Enterprise heralds the words STARRING WILLIAM SHATNER. Yet another silently zooming Enterprise brings us the words LEONARD NIMOY AS MR. SPOCK as the title theme ends.


The Enterprise passes from left to right as the words "WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE" appear. Cut to a shot of the corridor as crewmen pass back and forth. Cut to an overhead view of a turbolift door as Kirk and Spock enter. Just as the doors are about to close a third man, in a peach tunic, dashes in, saying, "Hold it, Jim."

Cut to the interior of the turbolift as the doors close. The man in the peach tunic is Gary Mitchell. A smiling Kirk says to him, "Getting into shape?"

"Yeah, well, I figured you weren't on the bridge," Mitchell responds. "Kelso's voice sounded a little nervous." Something I never noticed before: as the turbolift starts rising, the camera drops ever so slightly, adding to the impression that the lift is rising. A nice touch from Goldstone. Turning to Spock, Mitchell adds, "Well, uh, you finish the game?"

Spock nods. "He played most illogically. His next move should have been the rook." Kirk grins and makes a throat-cutting gesture accompanied by a shhhk noise. Note that this is Mr. Spock's first ever reference to logic.

The turbolift doors open onto the bridge. Yeoman Smith is standing to the left of the turbolift holding a computer tape. Kelso is seated at the helm console. A crewman in a blue tunic (a black man, btw) enters the lift from the left.

Mitchell steps up to the navigation console and says, "You're relieved, Mr. Alden."

"Acknowledged, Mr. Mitchell," says a blue-tunicked Alden. According to Michael Jan Friedman's "My Brother's Keeper" trilogy, Alden's first name is Daniel. Alden's insignia is the gearwork "e" that would later be the engineering symbol; everyone in a blue tunic has it. Alden moves to the communications console as Yeoman Smith follows Kirk to the captain's chair. Kelso smiles at Mitchell.

"Screen on," says Kirk as he sits. Shot of Kelso flipping a switch, then a shot of the main viewscreen over the shoulders of Kirk, Kelso and Mitchell. As in the first pilot, the main viewscreen has rounded corners and flashing lights above it rather than below. The screen comes on, revealing stars.

"Screen on," Kelso acknowledges.

Kirk, with Smith standing behind him, glances to his left. The helm-navigation console no longer has the gooseneck-mounted monitors it had in "The Cage", but the other stations do, as does the captain's chair. We see Spock at his library computer station, listening to the signal from the recorder. Another shot of Kirk, then one of Kelso as he says, "Approaching galaxy edge, sir."

"Neutralize warp, Mr. Mitchell," Kirk orders. "Hold this position."

Mitchell works his console. A shot of the viewscreen as the stars slow to a stop. We hear Mitchell say, "Neutralize warp, sir." A bit of treknobabble that didn't make it into the regular series.

"Address intercraft," says Kirk.

Mitchell waves his hand over his console, producing a transporter-like bleep, and says, "Intercraft open." The navigator opened intercraft in the first pilot, too. A nice bit of continuity.

"This is the captain speaking," says a reverbed Kirk. "The object we encountered was a ship's disaster recorder, apparently ejected from the S.S. Valiant almost two hundred years ago."

"Tapes are burnt," says Spock, as he lifts an earphone on a cord to his ear. "Now trying the memory banks."

"We hope to learn from the recorder what the Valiant was doing here and what destroyed the vessel," Kirk continues on intercraft. Behind him, the turbolift doors open to reveal Doctors Piper and Dehner, Mr. Sulu and Mr. Scott. The first three are wearing blue tunics. "We'll move out into our probe as soon as we have those answers. All decks stand by."

Mitchell turns and explains, "Our department heads, sir. You wanted everybody on the bridge before we left the galaxy." It would have made more sense for Kirk et al to meet in the briefing room, but dramatically that would have interrupted the momentum that's building for the big probe into the intergalactic void.

Kirk turns and looks at his department heads, then rises from his chair. Finding Yeoman Smith in his way, he says, "Uh, Jones?"

"Name's Smith, sir." Kirk gestures for her to get out of his way (well, I guess it beats bumping into her, like Pike did), then goes up to join the department heads.

"Astro-sciences standing by," says Sulu.

"Engineering division ready as always," says Scott with a slight smile, which Kirk returns.

"Life sciences ready, sir," says Piper. "This is Doctor Dehner, who joined the ship at the Aldebaran colony." (Wikipedia notes that Aldebaran is a red giant star in the constellation Taurus, spectral type K5 III, and that it is 65.1 light years from Earth.)

"Psychiatry, captain," Dehner amplifies. "My assignment is to study crew reactions in emergency conditions."

We hear a beeping sound coming from Spock's station. "Getting something from the recorder now," says Spock.

Kirk joins Spock at his station, and Dehner follows him, saying, "If there was an emergency, I'd be interested in how that crew reacted, too."

Mitchell says, " 'We're improving the breed', doctor, is that your line?" You know, even without any super mental powers, he's kind of an asshole.

"I've heard that's more your specialty, Commander," Dehner responds with a malicious smile. "Line included." Ouch!

Mitchell, confirming his asshole status, turns to Kelso and says, "Walking freezer unit."

"Decoding memory banks," says Spock. "I'll try to interpolate." Mr. Spock's ability to discern the information in the recorder by listening to its beeps has been compared to reading a teletype message by listening to it print out. "Valiant had encountered a magnetic space storm and was being swept in this direction."

"The old impulse engines weren't strong enough," Kirk notes.

"Swept past this point about a half light year out of the galaxy," Spock continues. "They were thrown clear, turned, and headed back into the galaxy here." (A fuller account of the Valiant's last days can be found in Michael Jan Friedman's Next Generation novel The Valiant.)

"I'm not getting it all," says Spock, "the tapes are badly burnt. Sounds like the ship had encountered some unknown force." Spock pauses, and we see shots of Kirk and Alden listening attentively. "Now orders, counter-orders. Repeated urgent requests for information from the ship's computer records for anything concerning ESP in human beings."

"Extra-sensory perception?" says Kirk. Spock nods. Kirk turns to his department heads and calls, "Dr. Dehner." A psychiatrist! Boy, talk about your lucky coincidences! "How are you on ESP?"

Dehner says, "In tests I've taken my ESP rated rather high." It's a bit of necessary foreshadowing, but Dehner misunderstanding what Kirk wants makes her sound dense.

"I'm asking what you know about ESP," Kirk clarifies. Also, we need some exposition for the audience.

"It is a fact," Dehner exposits, "that some people can sense future happenings, read the backs of playing cards, and so on." By an interesting coincidence, playing cards also play a minor role in Kandel's script for "Mudd's Women". "But the esper capacity is always quite limited."

"Severe damage," Spock relays from the recorder. "Seven crewmen dead. No, make that six. One crewman seemed to have recovered." Recovered from being dead? That's never a good thing. "That's when they became interested in extra-sensory perception. More than interested, almost frantic about it." Another pause, while we glance at the department heads standing in front of the turbolift doors. "No," Spock finally says, "this must be garbled. I get something about 'destruct'." A musical sting. Spock continues, "I must have read it wrong. It sounded like the captain giving an order to destroy his own ship." More dramatic music, accompanied by shots of Mitchell, the department heads, then back to Kirk and Spock.

We pan right as Kirk crosses back to the department heads. "Comments?" he says to them.

"The only fact we have for sure is that the S.S. Valiant was destroyed," says Piper.

Kirk nods and says, "That's probably the best argument to continue the probe. Other vessels will be heading out here someday and they'll have to know what they'll be facing." Seating himself in the captain's chair, Kirk announces, "We're leaving the galaxy, Mr. Mitchell. Ahead warp factor one."

Mitchell operates his console, and we hear the engines ramping up. On the viewscreen, the last few stars pass out of view. More shots of crewmembers looking at the screen. Back to the screen, where we see a shifting reddish haze. The energy barrier theme plays.

"Forcefield of some kind," announces Spock.

"We're coming up on it fast," says Mitchell.

Kirk glances at Spock, who calls out, "Sensor beam on."

"Sensor beam on, sir," acknowledges Kelso.

"Deflectors full intensity," calls Spock.

"Deflectors full intensity," acknowledges Kelso.

Another shot of a concerned-looking Kirk. Another shot of the ever-growing reddish haze.

"Deflectors say there's something there, sensors say there isn't," Spock calls out. Nimoy has since acknowledged that his loud readings of Spock's lines here were a mistake. "Density negative. Radiation negative. Energy negative."

"Whatever it is," Kelso says, "contact in twelve seconds." As an aside, I'll note that Kelso makes this statement eight minutes and forty-eight seconds into the episode.

Shot of Mitchell taking hold of Smith's hand. Hmmmm. I guess Dr. Dehner wasn't kidding about Mitchell's efforts to "improve the breed", one female crewmember at a time.

Shot of the Enterprise approaching the swirling red haze. The Enterprise theme joins the energy barrier theme.

Wide angle shot of the bridge. Mitchell is still holding Smith's hand. At 9:05 the engines start to slow down. At 9:07 the bridge lights flicker and go dim.

Shot of the shifting red haze filling the viewscreen.

At 9:20 the first sparks start flying. "Gravitation on automatic," Kirk orders.

At 9:31 the first console blows up. It's the one just to the left of the main viewscreen. (According to Franz Joseph's Starfleet Technical Manual, this is the Engineering Sub-Systems Monitor.)

At 9:32 a second console goes up, this one is second to the left of Spock's station. (Per Joseph, the Defense and Weapons Station.) "Emergency stations," Kirk orders. "All decks at fire alert."

More sparks are flying. "Neutralize controls," Kirk orders. "Kelso, put it on manual."

9:43: shot of Kelso waving smoke away from the helm console.

Kirk turns to Spock. "Any radiation? Anything?"


The department heads are standing there, watching the mayhem around them.

"Helmsman," Kirk shouts, "take us out of here!"

Shot of Mitchell, who is still holding Smith's hand.

Shot of the viewscreen, showing the swirling haze turning yellow.

9:51: shot of Dehner getting zapped. Scott grabs her as she falls over.

9:56: shot of Mitchell getting zapped. His hand comes loose from Smith's as he falls to the deck.

"Mitch!" Kelso calls to Mitchell.

"Helmsman!" Kirk calls to Kelso as he takes Mitchell's place. "Lateral power!"

Spock crosses to the navigation console and replaces Kirk there.

Shot of the Enterprise as she heads out of the energy barrier.

Shot of the bridge. Sulu is hanging on for dear life to the railing. Spock and Kelso are struggling with their controls. Kirk steps up next to Spock and orders, "Take damage reports."

"Damage control reports, all stations," Spock calls out.

As the faint voices of damage control reports make themselves heard, Kirk joins Scott and Sulu as they assist Dehner. "Something . . . hit me," she says. "Like an electrical charge."

Piper joins them, nods toward Mitchell. "He's alive. Appears to be in shock."

As Kirk passes by navigation Spock arrests him with a hand on his arm and says, "Main engines are out, sir. We're on emergency power cells. Casualties, nine dead."

Kirk kneels down next to Yeoman Smith, who is cradling Mitchell's head in her hands. "Gary," he says, "Gary, are you all right?" As Kirk takes over from her, Smith leaves.

"I'm a little weak for some reason, Jim," says Mitchell, who is lying on his right side with his face turned away. "But I feel all right now." He turns his head, opens his eyes, and we zoom in for an extreme close-up of Mitchell's brightly glowing silver eyes. The picture slowly fades to black, leaving only those glowing silver eyes, then they fade out too.

(continue to part 2)