"Where No Man Has Gone Before" aired 50 years ago yesterday. And following on yesterday's guest blog by David Tilotta and Curt McAloney, which explored the making of the episode, StarTrek.com takes another deep dive into the episode today. As most fans know, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was not the first Star Trek: The Original Series hour to run. "The Man Trap" and "Charlie X" ran first. However, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was a vitally important hour, as it was Gene Roddenberry's second pilot for Star Trek, and the one that convinced NBC to green light the series after having rejected Roddenberry's first stab at a pilot, "The Cage."
Some facts, figures, thoughts and quotes pertaining to "Where No Man Has Gone Before" --
The poem "Nightingale Woman" was written by Gene Roddenberry about... the plane he flew during World War II.
Gary Lockwood, who played Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, had previously worked with Roddenberry on The Lieutenant. Lockwood, of course, went on to greater sci-fi fame in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sally Kellerman, who portrayed Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, went on to star as Major Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan in the film M*A*S*H.
The phaser rifle made its one and only appearance in this episode.
Bees swarmed the set on July 23, 1965, the fifth day of production. They stung William Shatner and Sally Kellerman.
Memory Alpha notes that "the aired version of this episode features a different version of the first season opening credits, which does not have William Shatner's opening narration, and uses a different orchestration of the main and end title themes. These orchestrations were used until mid-season during the original run and the initial syndication showings."
One of the best lines in the episode was Kirk's frustrated plea to Spock: "Will you try for one moment to feel? At least act like you've got a heart."
Another memorable bit of dialogue, uttered by Mitchell to Kirk: "You should've killed me while you could, James. Command and compassion are a fool's mixture."
Though the captain's name is James T. Kirk, the gravestone Mitchell erected for him reads James R. Kirk.
The writer Samuel A. Peeples handed in his first story outline for the episode in April, 1965. That's not a typo. The year was 1965.
According to Memory Alpha, "the voices of damage control personnel responding to the emergency situation were reused many times in subsequent episodes. These voices were provided by Gene Roddenberry, Robert Justman, Majel Barrett, Herb Solow, and other production staff members, including some from Mission: Impossible. Roddenberry can be heard saying, 'Communicator, we need more lines to the impulse deck!' in subsequent episodes.'"
The episode did not include DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy, but rather Paul Fix as Doctor Piper. Eddie Paskey appeared as Lt. Leslie, but went uncredited. Nichelle Nichols was not in the episode, either.
Director James R. Goldstone helmed one other TOS episode, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" He passed away on November 5, 1999 at the age of 68.
Memory Alpha notes that "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is both the only episode of the series in which James Doohan (Scotty) appears but DeForest Kelley (McCoy) does not, and is also the only episode where Spock and Scotty wear gold and tan tunics instead of their better known blue and red, respectively.
Talking to StarTrek.com about the episode, Trek's longevity and her and Lockwood's enduring association with Trek, Kellerman said, "(Lockwood and I) had no idea we’d be talking about it (50) years later, but it’s really great. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. We really had nothing to do with it. We just happened to be in the episode."