June 27, 2014: Continuing Our Star Trek Tos Re-watch With…where No Man Has Gone Before!Cookie Monster and I continue our casual discussion of old Star Trek episodes…

Me: Okay, I’ve discovered my threshold for consecutive Stark Trek episode watching. Two!  More than two, and I get a little stir crazy.  As a result, I didn’t appreciate this episode as much as I should have because it really is a smart entry that reflects some of the themes the show will come back to over the course of its three year run.

Cookie Monster: Monster like dis episode too but, halfway thru it, me tink: Hey, dis de same story as last episode!  Kirk have to deal wit guy wit super godlike powers! Again!

Me: Well, it’s interesting to note that this episode was actually the show’s second pilot (after The Cage), so its placement as the third episode was not the original intent.  In retrospect, it would have made a great premiere episode.  Lots to like here.

Cookie Monster: And some tings not to like so much.  Like Yeoman Smith getting much-needed support during from Mitchell during rocky re-entry…

June 27, 2014: Continuing Our Star Trek Tos Re-watch With…where No Man Has Gone Before!Me: You didn’t see it but, slightly offscreen, Spock is holding a nervous Chekov’s hand as well.

Cookie Monster: By de way, dat’s some cutting edge microfiche technology.  Dey must have de entire original Library of Congress stored in dat computer!

Me: There’s a great creeping sense of foreboding throughout this episode as Mitchell demonstrates some increasingly unnerving behavior.  One of my favorite moments comes while Kirk is remotely surveying his old friend and, suddenly, Mitchell turns to look at the camera as if…he sensed Kirk was watching!  It’s a great build as Mitchell’s powers grow and the crew become increasingly concerned.  Meanwhile, Kirk is torn between the practical demands of being a starship Captain and the emotional pull of a longstanding friendship.  Great stuff.

Cookie Monster: Except when dey get down to de planet, Mitchell not so torn.  He tell Kirk: “Me have been contemplating death of an old friend” and show him grave wit James R. Kirk gravestone.  R?  Everyone know he be James T. Kirk!  Me guess he not such an old friend after all.

Me: Middle initial confusion aside, it builds to a great climax pitting the two former friends against each other, man vs. god!

Cookie Monster: Yep, Kirk demonstrate some nifty moves in de fight sekwence. He like poetry in motion.

Me: Despite his inadvertently knocking over a giant boulder (!) and giving away his position, Kirk emerges victorious, but only with some much needed help from the powerful Dehner.

Cookie Monster: Me sorry to see her go.  Monster have soft spot for blonds.  And chocolate chips.

Me: Overall, a solid episode.

Finishing up my whirlwind tour of the east coast.  Flew into Montreal this morning to spend a day with mom and sis, then I’m back in Vancouver tomorrow night.  I’ll have one day to decompress and then Paul and I will start going over the season one game plan for our new SF series.  The writers’ room gears up the week after.  But I’ll hopefully have more information about all this in the days to come…

19 thoughts on “June 27, 2014: Continuing our Star Trek TOS re-watch with…Where No Man Has Gone Before!

  1. My only complaint with this episode was the extended fight scene/dialog between Kirk and Mitchell on the planet. Mitchell made it pretty clear that he was going to kill Kirk and even produces a tombstone out of thin air to support it, and then Mitchell does…nothing? If he could materialize a tombstone out of thin air, couldn’t he materialize a rock right into the middle of Kirk’s chest and kill him on the spot? Why fight Kirk with his hands at all?

    You could say Mitchell was fighting his new god-like nature, but the only line that hints at this is where Mitchell tells Kirk that Kirk should have killed him earlier, but that came off more like gloating than anything else.

    Still, those thoughts aside, I did enjoy this one. The creepy eye effect was mesmerizing. I kept trying to figure out if they were contacts, post filming optical effects, or something else. Very effective.

    As for my own travel, I just got back from Vancouver/Calgary tonight and I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. All in all, it was an effective business trip, but that usually ends up in more work and this trip is no exception. Time to relax for the weekend, and then ease back into things on Monday.

  2. If anyone is interested, I found this about the silver eyes:


    And my dog Lucy was glad to have me home. She went into full Dino mode (running back and forth down the hallway and pouncing on me)…I was barely able to protect the family jewels.

    I’m guessing your bunch is missing you terribly. What does their “welcome home ritual” look like? I’m guessing that Jelly’s tail and hind-end goes into overdrive, that Bubba becomes vocal, and that Lulu gets possessive. Is that close?

  3. @ Ponytail – That’s why I didn’t want to do White Fire for the BotM club…a LOT happens in Pendergast’s life in the three books preceding it.

    I will sum it up for you if you want – if not, do not read any further (I am going to keep it as spoiler-free as possible, but some things I can’t avoid revealing)…


    I’ll try to make this as simple as possible (because the story was quite complicated!). In the three previous books (The Helen Trilogy) Pendergast learns his dead wife Helen is actually alive, and that her ‘death’ was arranged in part to conceal her pregnancy. An organization…one that likes to experiment with twins…is responsible, and Pendergast’s twin sons born to Helen are controlled by said organization. How and why I won’t spoil. It is in this way that Pendergast has parenthood thrust upon him. I won’t spoil anything else, except to say that events in those three books leave Pendergast a physically and emotionally – perhaps even mentally – devastated man. There are moments when you just don’t know if and when he’ll totally crack…in fact, I’m still not sure if he has already gone over the edge.

    So the events in those books (Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves) account for his languid and apathetic state at the beginning of White Fire, as well as some of his seemingly self-destructive behavior (such as drinking more than we’ve seen before in other books).

    I hope that helps!


  4. Okay, I’ve discovered my threshold for consecutive Stark Trek episode watching. Two!

    i had the similar problem when i’d find a bunch of trek novels at a used book place. after 3 or 4 i’d have to read another kind of book because i get kind of overloaded on trek.

  5. I was disturbed they decided to kill Mitchell so easily. He really didn’t do anything more nefarious than a practical joke and it was at least fair play to let others know what his abilities were. Mitchell agreed it was a good idea to kill him about the time they were installing a kill-Mitchell circuit. Before that, the decision was based entirely on Spock saying he would be too advanced to relate to.

    It just occurred to me him holding that woman’s hand early on was supposed to endear him to a 60’s audience for being so nice to her even when he had an important job like flying the ship to do. His misogyny-boy antics toward the scientist lady was to establish him as a regular dumb guy who could only assign value to a highly educated scientist based on whether she was sexually available to him, natch, not to make the 60’s audience hate him. Both acts made me hate him and, in the absence of thinking like I’m from 60’s Connecticut, made me wonder why they didn’t include some endearing facts other than that he knew Kirk a long time.

    I thought it was Mitchell who shifted the boulder near Kirk to mess with him.

    Tally of episodes that include some degree of Kirk’s de-shirting: 3 for 3

  6. Sorry I haven’t been able to join in on the Star Trek TOS watching. I did a charity bike ride last weekend: the Multple Sclerosis Tour de Farms in lovely DeKalb, Illinois. 51 mile on Saturday and 20 on Sunday. It may look flat from the highway, but I;m here to tell ya that those are rolling hills. The hotel had no Netflix access. Then, between catching up on chores and a hellacious week at work – no time.

    Yeah, excuses, excuses…

    But I did very much enjoy your reviews, Joe and Cookie – just like listening to Siskel and Ebert.

    I’ll try for episode 4 this weekend: The Naked Time. Oh, yeah! Sulu and swords!

  7. Das: Thanks, I need to re-read Two Graves (it’s been a few awhile). I thought the last Helen Trilogy was Cold Vengeance and re-read that.

  8. On Star Trek TOS “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, I agree with JeffW comment You could say Mitchell was fighting his new god-like nature, but the only line that hints at this is where Mitchell tells Kirk that Kirk should have killed him earlier, but that came off more like gloating than anything else. To quote “The Incredibles”: He starts monologuing.

  9. With my computer being all crapped out, I can’t watch videos right now. Just when Cookie picks something I would love to watch, I can’t until I do something about this thing. I’ll have to go on my feeble memory from watching and rewatching over the 40+ years.

    @ Tam Dixon – See Das’ comment. It’s for you… 🙂

  10. Joe don’t forget the required picture postings of your lovely mother. You can never go to visit her, no matter how short the visit, without letting us know how she is doing.


  11. Oh, duh. 😛 I saw Ponytail‘s name in bold, and thought you were asking me the question – sorry! And sorry Tam Dixon, I are an idiot. 😛


  12. Ponytail: Yes, and I take it as a compliment that I’m mistaken for you. 😉

    Das: I’m partway through “Two Graves”. It explains a lot! I thought I had it read it before but I mustchave missed that one. It was on my kindle but I might have downloaded it when they offered it for free, then forgot. Thanks!

    Yes, I’m with Ponytail, “Do you have pictures from your visit?”

    What’s the next Star Trek episode? I’m not sure how they aired. My blu-rays are intended order, not how they aired. Plus, they gussied up the special effects/color. My favorite was “The Cage” or the brain sucker one (can’t remember name).

    It’s been a good day so far. Slept until 7 this morning (far cry from 4;45am through the week to get a lane at the YMCA). Mild headache went away, made a ham dinner for the boys (with creamy mashed potatoes & baked Mac/cheese). After clean-up, I got to read!

    For my 50th birthday, my hubby bought me a kindle paperwhite after all the problems I had with the iPad (it was turning pages at its pace). Love the Kindle!!!!! It’s small enough to fit in a purse, back lit for night reading and it turns pages when I want to.

  13. I liked this episode. You could tell it was a pilot. The costumes were different, Spock’s makeup was different and there was no Bones!

    The silver eyes were really creepy. Even more creepy than the over-used black eyes of modern shows.

  14. Tam Dixon – He’s following the order in the blurays/original DVDs which is by airdate, not stardate. At least my TOS bluray set matches the original airdate, but I’m not aware of any other releases.

    This episode is the best of the first 3 episodes and really should have been the pilot. As for Mitchell not killing Kirk quicker, he fell victim to his hubris thinking that he was invincible. Like nearly every bad guy in tv shows and movies that has the good guy on the ropes, the bad guy has to gloat giving the hero the chance to win… How Goa’uld of him… 🙂

    Also JeffW the blurays have both the old and new effects on them in 1080p, you can switch between them at any point. At least the set I own and listed on Amazon.

  15. I’ve been doing a rewatch of Star Trek Enterprise. I’m on the third to the last episode. I’m trying to power through so I can then catch up with the STTOS rewatch, but even with STE there’s only so much a person can watch.
    I think it’s going to be even harder to watch STTOS after Enterprise. I really like this series, I thought it was one of the better of all the series.

    I just tried to read To Sail Beyond the Sunset, by Robert Heinlein. I just couldn’t finish it. It’s like he decided to make a list of what he thought about everything in the world, especially everything he dislikes, then set a book to it. That and all the incest just weirded me out. I thought the protagonist was a bit of a know it all flake too. Hates what she calls wimps, men who don’t go to war, but never bothers to even consider joining up herself. Even after she decides she wants equality with men. When her children give her trouble she ships them off to her ex husband because she can’t handle them. Says there is no God, but complains about how modern society has no problem with sin, not realizing that sin is doing something that offends God, while she commits adultery, has sex with her son (I think, I lost track of everyone she has sex with) and has the occasional orgy. Just not worth reading, in my humble opinion, it all seemed so hypocritical.

    On the other hand, I have also been watching the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. This has been on my list of anime’s to watch that people recommend, but I’ve never been able to get past the title. How much fun can an anime be about a girl who is melancholy? Well, pretty fun it turns out. Interesting. Funny. I’m really enjoying it so far.

  16. In early TOS they had cute crew-babes bring Kirk coffee on trays like space secretaries, and he’d ogle them or flirt. But by STNG Picard is brewing his own tea. Later in TOS the crew-babes bring Kirk a data pad to review instead of coffee-they still get ogled but they at least having some official business in hand.

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