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Star Trek: Asterisk "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

Vital Information
Series: The Original Series
Episode: S01E03
Air Date: September 22, 1966
Written by: Samuel A. Peeples
Directed by: James Goldstone

Premise
After passing through the galactic barrier, Gary Mitchell, Kirk's life-long friend, becomes imbued with god-like powers and learns that with great power comes great ego.

Review
As Kirk explains in his log, the U.S.S. Valiant traveled out to the edge of the galaxy and ran into the galactic barrier. "Galactic barrier??" one might say, "But I thought the galaxy just faded slowly into space! What's this about a barrier??" Well, that's exactly what Starfleet said, so they sent the Valiant to find out! Whatever it was, it caused the captain of the Valiant to order a self destruct after looking up information on psionics.

So, after the Valiant blew up, they left behind their black box type thinggie and the Enterprise picked it up. Welp! They know what happened to the Valiant now. Time to go home, right? NOPE! We're the frakking U.S.S. Enterprise! We must investigate! So they set a course for the galactic barrier, and thus Kirk's distinguished career begins in much the same way as it would eventually end.
A giant, brightly colored...
...energy ribbon in space.
When they approach the galactic barrier, they experience some turbulence (as expected, really) and Gary Mitchell as well as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner are singled out with a sort of electric shock that turns them into photo-negatives for a split second. After a while, though, it becomes apparent that Gary Mitchell has been a little more affected. Dr. Piper assures Kirk that Gary is in perfect health, but he's definitely in more than just perfect health. He shows the ability to read thoughts, read through entire databanks in seconds, move things with his thoughts, control his heart rate, etc.

Well, eventually Gary proves himself to be becoming dangerous. His powers have given him a lust for control over the galaxy. Spock surmises that this is the same reason that the Valiant destroyed itself. So Kirk has to come up with a plan. That plan: maroon him on a deserted planet.
"What! I thought I was the first!"
When they get there, Gary gets locked up behind a force field and he's not quite strong enough yet to get past that. Luckily for him, Dr. Dehner starts to find her own powers and helps him escape. They find their way to a nearby clearing and Gary starts creating a new Eden. But Kirk goes after him with a phaser rifle. Gary tries to kill Kirk with his psionic abilities, but he takes too long and Dr. Dehner, who isn't quite inhuman yet, attacks him. She is successful in weakening him, but he remorselessly kills her. With his powers temporarily gone, he gets in a fist fight with Kirk and for the very first time Kirk rips his shirt. Shooting his phaser rifle at nearby pile of rock, Kirk causes a landslide and kills Gary with a huge boulder.

When it's all said and done, Kirk sits on the bridge and Spock admits that he felt some emotion for Gary Mitchell. Ah, the smiley Vulcan. We shall miss you.

Overall Thoughts
This pilot was Paramount Pictures' introduction to Kirk and his crew, but it was the third episode to air to the public. I really think it should have been the first episode. As a good friend of Kirk, Gary Mitchell should have had a bigger role in the first two stories if he was part of the crew. Be that as it may, this was a great story that begins the long tradition of Star Trek to comment on how sentient beings need to evolve their sense of responsibility before their power gets ahead of them. Appropriate for the Cold War ear, methinks. This is just the beginning of great things to come!