Where No Man Has Gone Before (Episode)
|Released||22 Sep 1966|
While patrolling near the outer boundary of the galaxy, the Enterprise beams aboard the flight recorder of the S.S. Valiant, a galactic survey vessel that had visited the area nearly two centuries earlier. Upon attempting to leave the galaxy, the survey vessel had come in contact with an energy barrier, which disabled the ship and killed some of the crew. One crewman, however, recovered from serious injuries sustained within the barrier. From this point, the information is garbled; there are repeated requests for data on extrasensory perception, or ESP, and a self-destruct order is apparently given by the Valiant's captain.
Puzzled yet determined, Captain Kirk decides to move forward, only to contact the same energy barrier that had disabled the Valiant. Unknown radiation penetrates the ship, and Kirk orders the Enterprise back out of the energy field. Several crewmen are dead and two have been rendered unconscious: Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell, a friend of Kirk's from Starfleet Academy, and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, a psychiatrist. Both recover and seem unharmed—though Mitchell's eyes now glow a bright silver. The ship's warp engines are also severely damaged.
In sickbay, Kirk learns that Mitchell is feeling completely well. He is also reading material he never understood before with complete comprehension, and his reading speed is incredible. Showing off to Dr. Dehner, Mitchell "plays dead" by stopping all his body functions for almost a full minute. He is mutating into something beyond Human.
Kirk and Spock discover Gary Mitchell's ESP quotient is extremely high, as is Dr. Dehner's. At a meeting of the Enterprise department heads, Sulu states that Mitchell's powers are developing at an astounding rate. Spock suggests that Kirk kill Mitchell now, while he still can; he cautions him not to wait too long, as the captain of the Valiant obviously did.
Unwilling to murder a man who was once one of his closest friends, Kirk sets course for Delta Vega, an uninhabited planet with an automated lithium-cracking station that can aid in repairing their damaged warp drive engines. He intends to maroon Mitchell there. Mitchell is sedated and transported to the planet, where he's confined within a hastily built brig. But Gary has grown too strong to be held by a forcefield. Declaring that he has become a god, he escapes, taking along Dehner, who has also begun to mutate. Kirk follows with a phaser rifle, and Mitchell attempts to kill him with his new powers. Dehner, realizing what Michell has become, helps Kirk overpower the mad superman, and is killed in the attempt. Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk records that Mitchell and Dehner died in the line of duty. (Summary from The Star Trek Compendium)
Samuel A. Peeples