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Where No Man Has Gone Before (episode)

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While exploring the energy barrier at galaxy's edge that crippled an earlier ship, Kirk's long-time friend and crewmate Gary Mitchell begins mutating into a god-like entity disdainful of the "mortals" around him. ( Second pilot )

  • 1.2 Act One
  • 1.3 Act Two
  • 1.4 Act Three
  • 1.5 Act Four
  • 2 Log entries
  • 3 Memorable quotes
  • 4.1 The second pilot
  • 4.2 Story and script
  • 4.3 Production
  • 4.4 Sets and props
  • 4.5 Cast and characters
  • 4.6 Effects
  • 4.7 Preview
  • 4.8 Reception
  • 4.9 Apocrypha
  • 4.10 Remastered information
  • 4.11 Production timeline
  • 4.12 Video and DVD releases
  • 5.1 Starring
  • 5.2 Also starring
  • 5.3 Guest stars
  • 5.4 Featuring
  • 5.5 Uncredited co-stars
  • 5.6 Stunt doubles
  • 5.7.1 S/COMS references
  • 5.7.2 Unused references
  • 5.8 External links

Summary [ ]

Kirk and Spock in briefing lounge playing chess

" I'll have you checkmated your next move… "

In the briefing lounge , Captain James T. Kirk and Lieutenant Commander Spock are playing three-dimensional chess . Spock warns the captain that he's about to checkmate him on his next move, but the captain is preoccupied with awaiting the bridge 's update on the unexplained Earth-vessel distress signal. The captain notes that Spock plays a very "irritating game of chess", to which Spock responds with " Irritating? Ah yes, one of your Earth emotions . " Captain Kirk makes a move that surprises Spock, and smiles, to which Spock simply turns to look at him. " Certain you don't know what irritation is? " Kirk says wryly. As Spock begins to state that despite the fact that one of his ancestors married a Human female , Kirk interrupts him and jokingly chides him, saying it must be terrible to have bad blood like that. Just afterward then, a call comes over the comm. Navigator Lieutenant Lee Kelso informs the captain that the object is now within tractor beam range, and that it is only about a meter in diameter, too small to be a vessel or an escape pod . Kirk tells him to lock on to it, and the two of them head out.

SS Valiant's disaster recorder

SS Valiant disaster recorder

In the transporter room , Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott is fine tuning the transporter , preparing to beam the object aboard. Kirk gives the order, and Scott transports the device into the transporter chamber. The captain immediately recognizes it as an old-style ship recorder , one that would be ejected in the event of an emergency. Spock agrees, but states that, based on the level of damage the object seems to have sustained, something must have destroyed the ship. Scott tries to feed the tapes into the computer when the marker begins transmitting a signal. Captain Kirk orders red alert , and the crew go to their stations.

Act One [ ]

Throughout the ship, the crew is reporting to their emergency stations. Kirk and Spock enter a turbolift to go to the bridge, and Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell enters just as the doors are closing. Kirk and Mitchell joke about Kelso sounding nervous, and Spock's chess skills, showing that they're comfortable being around each other even in times of red alert.

USS Enterprise approaches galactic barrier, remastered

The Enterprise approaches the barrier

The three officers enter the bridge, Mitchell taking his station as Spock scans for the message. As they approach the edge of the galaxy, Kirk orders all stop. Captain Kirk announces ship-wide that what they picked up was a disaster recorder launched from the SS Valiant two hundred years prior . Department heads report to the bridge as ordered, and Captain Kirk is given introductions. Smith , whom he mistakenly addresses as " Jones ", is his new yeoman . Sulu reports astrosciences ready, Scott reports the engineering division ready, "as always", and Chief Medical Officer Doctor Mark Piper reports life sciences ready, then introduces the USS Enterprise 's new psychiatrist , Dr. Elizabeth Dehner , who came aboard the vessel back at the Aldebaron Colony to study the long-term effects of space travel on the crew. Spock points out he's been able to get a signal from the recorder, as Mitchell tries to flirt with Dr. Dehner, who rebuffs him only to overhear him call her a "walking freezer unit".

Spock interprets the Valiant 's message: that they had encountered a magnetic storm and were pulled out of the galaxy, and that the crew accessed computer records on " ESP " in Humans , frantic to find information about it. The captain asks Dr. Dehner her opinion, and she mistakes the question as asking whether she has ESP. She reports that there are some Humans who can see "backs of playing cards and so on", but it is never very powerful. Spock goes on to explain that several crewmen had died aboard the Valiant , which had suffered severe damage. The Valiant crew continued researching ESP, until it seems the captain ordered a self-destruct . As future vessels will someday be coming out this far into space, Captain Kirk decides to go ahead anyway and engages warp factor 1.

Gary Mitchell contacts barrier energy

Mitchell is struck

The crew reacts with mixed emotions as the Enterprise heads out of the Milky Way Galaxy . The ship encounters a strange field and Spock orders a full array of scans – deflectors indicating something in front of them while sensors say there's nothing. Smith and Mitchell hold hands to comfort each other as the ship enters the field. Flashes of light fill the bridge and electric discharges penetrate the hull , causing several consoles to explode. Kirk orders Mitchell to reverse course, but, before he can carry out the order, Dr. Dehner and he are struck by a mysterious electric charge which drops them to the deck. With no one in control of the Enterprise , Spock dashes over to the helm console and pilots the starship clear of the energy field.

Taking damage reports, Spock informs Kirk that main power is out, the Enterprise is on emergency power cells, and nine crewmen are dead. Captain Kirk tends to Dehner and Mitchell, only to find that while Mitchell feels a little weak, his eyes are glowing an eerie silver…

Act Two [ ]

Kelso, Alden and Kirk repair helm

Alden and Kelso repair the helm console as Kirk looks on

Captain Kirk, while supervising repairs being made to the bridge, proceeds to the science station where he finds Spock reviewing medical records of the dead crew members, and the crew members who survived but seem to have been affected in some way. Spock is looking at ESP ratings of Dr. Dehner and Gary Mitchell. Both of the officers had high scores on ESP tests given by Starfleet Medical , Mitchell's having ultimately read as the highest in the crew.

Dr. Dehner approaches Captain Kirk and provides an autopsy report of the nine dead crew members. She mentions that in all cases, there was damage to a specific region of the brain. Kirk shares the fact that all of the dead crew members, as well as Dehner and Mitchell, had high ESP ratings. Spock also mentions that the captain of the Valiant was frantically searching through their records for information on ESP. Spock then reports that the Valiant 's captain seems to have given a self-destruct order. Dehner defends those with ESP, stating that the ability is not harmful. Spock, however, reminds the doctor that there are the more extreme (and dangerous) abilities of ESP, such as the ability to see through solid objects or cause spontaneous combustion.

In sickbay , Mitchell is reading text on a viewer, trying to pass the time. Kirk enters the room, and Mitchell greets him by name without actually looking to see who it is. Kirk and Mitchell talk about some past experiences; it is obvious they have known each other well for many years. Mitchell mentions that he feels better now than he's ever felt in his life, and he's catching up on his reading, including Spinoza, which surprises Kirk. Mitchell finds Spinoza simple, almost childish, to him. The two continue to reminisce about their days at Starfleet Academy and Mitchell says that he "aimed that little blonde lab technician" at Jim. Kirk replies, " You planned that?!? I almost married her. "

Gary Mitchell in sickbay bed

" Is that Gary Mitchell? The one you used to know? "

Kirk informs Mitchell that he's assigned Dr. Dehner to work with him. Mitchell doesn't seem happy, since Mitchell and Dehner have already gotten off to a tense start. As Kirk moves to leave, Mitchell, in an echoing voice, says, " Didn't I say you'd better be good to me? ", prompting Kirk to pause and eye him with uncertainty.

Once Kirk leaves the room, Mitchell continues reading books on the viewer, at a steadily-increasing rate that soon far exceeds normal pace; the on-screen pages are nothing but a black-and-white blur. Kirk enters the bridge to find Spock monitoring Mitchell's viewer. Kirk assigns 24-hour security to keep an eye on Mitchell. Kirk approaches the science station viewer to look closely at Mitchell, and Mitchell looks directly at the security camera, seemingly aware that Kirk is watching him.

Dr. Dehner enters sickbay and acknowledges the fact that she realizes that Mitchell doesn't like her very much. He apologizes to her for calling her a "walking freezer unit." She asks him how he feels. Mitchell jokingly says that everyone thinks that he should have a fever or something and proceeds to change the vital signs monitor in sickbay with his mind. Then, he makes the readings show that he is dead. All indicators fall to zero, to Dr. Dehner's surprise and horror. Moments later, Mitchell awakens, and starts telling Dr. Dehner of some of his other abilities, like being able to read quickly, going through half of the Enterprise 's database in less than a day.

Dr. Dehner decides to test his memory, and shows Mitchell the title of a record tape, asking him to recite what's on page 387. Mitchell recites, " My love has wings, slender feathered things with grace and upswept curve and tapered tip " from the poem " Nightingale Woman ", written by Tarbolde on the Canopus planet back in 1996 . Mitchell wonders out loud why she happened to choose that particular poem, which is considered to be one of the most passionate poems written in recent centuries. He then pulls Dehner close to him, and asks her how she feels. Her reply, that she only fell and that nothing else happened, is seemingly disbelieved by Mitchell, but the conversation is cut short by the arrival of Lieutenant Kelso, awkwardly entering at a time which might have seemed like an intimate moment. Mitchell smiles and invites him in, joking that his eyes are merely lit up "due to the lovely doctor."

Kelso reports that the main engines are in bad shape. Mitchell warns Kelso to check the starboard impulse engine packs, which Kelso jokingly dismisses. Mitchell snaps (once again in his "booming" voice) that he isn't joking, and that if they activate those engines that the entire impulse deck will explode. Kelso leaves sickbay and Mitchell tells Dehner that he could see the image of the impulse packs in Kelso's mind and that he is a fool not to have seen it.

Enterprise crew discuss Mitchell

" Our subject is NOT Gary Mitchell. "

In the briefing room, Kelso shows Kirk the burned out impulse circuit, which he had checked on Mitchell's recommendation, noting with puzzlement that their condition was exactly as Mitchell described. Dr. Dehner enters late, says she got held up observing Mitchell, and attempts to defend him in the face of Spock's and Kirk's seemingly cold assessment of him. She reports her observations of Mitchell's ability to control certain autonomic reflexes and increased memory. Scott reports that bridge controls had started changing on their own about an hour prior, and Spock adds that each time it happened, Mitchell could be seen smiling on the surveillance monitors set up in sickbay. Kirk is annoyed that Dehner hadn't reported Mitchell's new powers earlier, but she argues that no one has been hurt, furthermore saying that someone like Mitchell, with such powers, could give rise to "a new and better kind of Human being."

Following an awkward silence, Sulu adds that the growth of Mitchell's abilities is a geometric progression, meaning they would increase at an exponential rate. Spock concludes that Mitchell would become uncontrollably powerful within a month. Kirk tells those present to not discuss their findings openly before dismissing them. After the others have left the briefing room, Spock advises taking the Enterprise to the planet Delta Vega , only a few light days away, where they can adapt the lithium cracking station's power packs to try to repair its damaged systems, and also strand Mitchell there. Kirk strongly disagrees with the plan, stating Delta Vega is uninhabited and automated, and ore ships only visit every twenty years. Spock informs Kirk the only other choice he has is to kill Mitchell before he overpowers the entire crew. Kirk tries appealing to Spock's conscience, saying Mitchell is his longtime friend, but Spock merely reminds him that the captain of the Valiant probably had a similar dilemma about his afflicted crew members but made his decision to self-destruct too late. Kirk reluctantly orders the Enterprise course set for Delta Vega.

Act Three [ ]

Delta-Vega Station, remastered

Delta Vega's lithium cracking station

In sickbay, Mitchell's telekinetic power continues to grow. Feeling thirsty, he moves a plastic cup below a faucet and dispenses water from it with his mind. Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Dehner enter to see Mitchell's levitate the filled cup towards his outstretched hand. Mitchell senses worry in Kirk and Spock's continued urging for the captain to kill him while he still can. Mitchell quickly subdues both Kirk and Spock with an electric shock and informs them he knows the Enterprise is orbiting Delta Vega but won't allow them to force him down there. As he postures about what kind of a world he can use, Kirk and Spock jump him and hold him down long enough for Dr. Dehner to tranquilize him.

In the transporter room, preparing to beam down, Mitchell regains consciousness and proclaims " You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects! " before being sedated again. After transporting down, Mitchell is confined to a holding cell as Lieutenant Kelso and the engineering team begin to salvage the needed components from the outpost to restore the Enterprise engines to full capacity.

Mitchell attempts to escape holding cell

Mitchell attempts to escape

As Mitchell regains consciousness, he reminds Kirk of how he saved his life on the planet Dimorus , taking poisonous darts meant for the captain and nearly dying from it. He wonders why Kirk should fear him now. Kirk retorts that Mitchell has been testing his ability to take over the Enterprise and reminds him of the threat he made in the transporter room to squash the crew like insects. Mitchell defends himself by pointing out that he was drugged at the time, then snaps back that mankind cannot survive if a true race of Espers like himself is born, and attempts to escape the force field of the cell. Kirk pleads with him to stop, but, Mitchell refuses and is jolted back, draining the light in the eyes. Gary pleads out to " Jim… ", but, it doesn't last and the maniacal power that has now totally consumed Mitchell returns and he sneers that he'll " just keep getting stronger. "

Back on board the Enterprise , the repairs are nearly complete as Scott beams a phaser rifle down to Spock. Kirk resents Spock's callousness towards Gary, but Spock retorts that he's just being logical and he believes that the crew will be lucky just to repair the Enterprise and get away from Mitchell in time. Kirk, finally seeing Spock's viewpoint, instructs Kelso to wire a destruct switch to the power bins of the outpost, an explosion that will destroy the entire valley and hopefully kill Mitchell, and orders him to hit the button if Mitchell escapes.

Act Four [ ]

Mitchell subdues Kirk and Spock while Dehner watches

" You should have killed me while you could, James. "

As the landing party prepares to return to the Enterprise , Dehner, completely transfixed on Mitchell, announces she's remaining on Delta Vega with him. At the same time, Mitchell uses his powers to remotely strangle Lieutenant Kelso with a cable. As Kirk orders Dehner to return to the ship, Mitchell turns to the captain and taunts him that Kirk should have killed him while he still had the chance. With that, he shocks both Kirk and Spock and easily eliminates the force field holding him. Dehner takes no action to stop him, and he slowly walks her over to a mirror, where she can now see the light in her own eyes.

Kirk fires a phaser rifle at Mitchell

Kirk opens fire on Mitchell

A short time later, Dr. Piper revives Captain Kirk and informs him that Kelso is dead and that Mitchell and Dr. Dehner have left the facility. Kirk advises Piper not to revive Spock until after he's left as Kirk now blames himself for not listening to the Vulcan's warning. Taking Spock's phaser rifle, Kirk orders that Piper and Spock return to the Enterprise and to give him twelve hours to signal the ship. Failing that, Kirk recommends that the Enterprise proceed at maximum warp to the nearest starbase with his recommendation that the entire planet be subjected to a lethal concentration of neutron radiation . When Piper protests, Kirk firmly tells the doctor it is an order and leaves.

Gary Mitchell psionic

" Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me! Pray that you die easy! "

In an open valley, Mitchell (now sporting greying sideburns due to premature aging as a consequence of the stress from his advanced powers) conjures up Kaferian apples and water for himself and Dehner. He begins to sense Kirk approaching them, as does Dehner. Mitchell invites Dehner to talk to the captain and begin to realize just how unimportant Humans are compared to what they (Mitchell and Dehner) have become. Dehner appears before Kirk and advises the captain to retreat while he still can. Kirk appeals to what's left of Dehner's humanity and her profession as a psychiatrist and asks her what she believes will become of Mitchell if his power is allowed to continue to grow. Dehner begins to see the wisdom of Kirk's words, but, before she can decide anything, Mitchell appears before both of them. Kirk opens fire with his phaser rifle, but, it has no effect on Mitchell who easily casts the weapon aside.

Taunting Kirk, Mitchell creates a grave for his "old friend", saying he deserves a decent burial, at the very least. Completely convinced of his power and his superiority, with absolute power corrupting absolutely, Mitchell uses his powers to force Kirk to pray to him as a god and for an easy death.

Kirk versus Mitchell

Kirk fights Mitchell

Dehner, now realizing that Mitchell is inhuman and becoming more and more dangerous, helps Kirk by blasting Mitchell with some of her power, stunning him. Mitchell turns away from Kirk and counters Dehner's attack, however, the battle drains both of them and they both collapse, Dehner's attack being sufficiently powerful enough to weaken Mitchell who temporarily loses his powers. As Dehner implores Kirk to hurry, the captain begins to attack his former friend, pummeling him to the ground. With a heavy rock raised high and preparing for the death blow, Kirk begs Gary to forgive him for what he must do. However, the captain's hesitation is enough for Mitchell to regain his powers and easily tosses Kirk away. With Kirk no longer able to cope with Mitchell's physical strength, he dives at him, sending both into the open grave. Kirk, scrambling to the discarded phaser rifle, is able to blast the rock face above Mitchell, sending him into the grave and entombing him, therefore ending Mitchell's threat forever.

Kirk, with his uniform torn, and beaten and battered, walks over to Dehner and kneels beside her. She apologizes to the captain for her actions, but offers that KIrk had no idea what it was like to be almost a god, before finally dying herself. Silently mourning Dehner's sacrifice, Kirk opens his communicator and hails the Enterprise .

Spock and Kirk (2265)

" I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mr. Spock. "

Back on the Enterprise , Kirk, sitting in his chair with a bandaged hand, laments to Spock that he wants Mitchell's service record to end with dignity as he didn't ask for what happened to him. Spock admits he felt for Mitchell as well. With a smirk, Kirk remarks that maybe there's hope for Spock after all, as the Enterprise continues to journey where no man has gone before.

Log entries [ ]

  • Captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2265

Memorable quotes [ ]

" Have I ever mentioned you play a very irritating game of chess, Mr. Spock? " " Irritating? Ah, yes. One of your Earth emotions. "

" Terrible, having bad blood like that. "

" The first thing I ever heard from upperclassmen was: Watch out for Lieutenant Kirk. In his class, you either think or sink. "

" My love has wings. Slender, feathered things with grace in upswept curve and tapered tip. "

" Don't you understand? A mutated superior man could also be a wonderful thing! "

" Will you try for one moment to feel? At least act like you've got a heart. "

" The captain of the Valiant probably thought the same thing. And he waited too long to make his decision. "

" If you were in my position, what would you do? " " Probably what Mr. Spock is thinking now: kill me, while you can. "

" You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects! "

" There's not a soul on this planet but us? " " Nobody but us chickens, Doctor. "

" My friend, James Kirk. "

" In the sickbay, you said if you were in my place you'd kill a mutant like yourself. " " Why don't you kill me then? Mr. Spock is right and you're a fool if you can't see it. "

" Man cannot survive if a race of true espers is born. "

" Dr. Dehner feels he isn't that dangerous! What makes you right and a trained psychiatrist wrong? " " Because she feels. I don't. All I know is logic. "

" If Mitchell gets out, at your discretion, Lee, if sitting here makes you think you're the last chance, I want you to hit that button. "

" You should've killed me while you could, James. Command and compassion are a fool's mixture. "

" Above all else, a god needs compassion! MITCHELL!! "

" What do you know about gods? " " Then let's talk about Humans! About our frailties! "

"What's your prognosis, Doctor?! "

" Morals are for men, not gods. "

" Time to pray, Captain. Pray to me. " " To you? Not to both of you? " " Pray that you die easily! " " There'll only be one of you in the end. One jealous god. If all this makes a god, or is it making you something else? "

" Do you like what you see? Absolute power corrupting absolutely? "

" For a moment, James… but your moment is fading. "

" I'm sorry. You can't know what it's like to be almost a god. "

" He didn't ask for what happened to him. " " I felt for him, too. " " I believe there's some hope for you after all, Mister Spock. "

Background information [ ]

The second pilot [ ].

  • This was the second Star Trek pilot. However, it has aired in syndication as the third regular series episode, after " The Man Trap " and " Charlie X ". In their book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , Robert H. Justman and Herbert F. Solow explain that because this segment was "too expository" in nature – a common fault with pilots – it would not have made a good premiere episode for the series.
  • Although NBC rejected " The Cage ", they felt that the series concept was strong enough to give Star Trek a second chance, despite having already spent an exorbitant US$630,000 on the first pilot. The network ordered three scripts, from which they would choose one to be developed into an unprecedented second pilot. The three scripts were " The Omega Glory " by Gene Roddenberry , " Mudd's Women " by Roddenberry and Stephen Kandel , and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by Samuel A. Peeples . The advantage of "The Omega Glory" was that it showcased Roddenberry's "parallel worlds" concept and could be filmed using existing studio sets on the back lot as well as stock wardrobes. "Mudd's Women" was mainly a shipboard tale and could also be shot using the existing Enterprise sets left over from "The Cage". In addition, both required a minimum of new outer space effects shots. However, "Mudd's Women" guest starred "an intergalactic pimp", selling women throughout the galaxy, exactly what NBC didn't want, and "The Omega Glory" wasn't very good. The network finally chose "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which, although it required many new special effects, sets, props, and costumes, was the most powerful and compelling of the three scripts. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , pp 65-66; The Star Trek Compendium , p 17)
  • There is a different, pre-broadcast cut of this episode in the archives of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum . This unique cut includes a few brief scenes trimmed from the aired cut of the episode, different opening titles, and a unique opening and closing theme. The alternate themes can be heard on the GNP Crescendo CD Star Trek: Original Series (Volume 1) "The Cage" / "Where No Man Has Gone Before" . This version was the one screened as the second pilot to NBC executives in the tail-end of 1965, and was originally available in bootleg form only, screened at numerous conventions , before becoming available commercially on the TOS Season 3 Blu-ray set. [1] James Doohan was credited as "Engineer", Paul Fix as "Ship's Doctor", George Takei as "Physicist", and Paul Carr as "Navigator" in the end credits of the original cut. It was in effect the Institution itself which had already recognized the cultural significance of Roddenberry's creation; in a rare move – considering the highly contemporary nature of a television series of such recent date – the Institution invited Roddenberry in 1967 to submit both pilots and assorted production material, such as still photography, scripts and story outlines, for safekeeping for posterity. This the consummate (self)promoter Roddenberry did in a formal presentation at the Institution, pursuant the conclusion of the series' first season . ("Smithsonian Seeks TV Pilot", Los Angeles Times , 13 June 1967, p. C19)
  • A second different title sequence resulted from the fact that the main responsible visual effects director, Darrell Anderson of effects company Howard Anderson Company , suffered a third nervous breakdown, brought on by the stress he was under to deliver the new opticals in time and on budget. As Justman recalled, when he and Roddenberry came calling on Anderson in August 1966 to check on the status of the Enterprise footage for the title sequence, for the series slated to start its run on 8 September and "Where No Man" scheduled to air third, " We had seen maybe six good shots and some others that were partially usable. We had expected many more angles, some of which were badly needed for our series main title. "Where's all the other shots, Darrell?" Darrell began to shake. He jumped to his feet, screaming, "You'll never make your first airdate." Bursting into tears, he ran out of the room, still screaming, "You'll never make your first airdate! You'll never make your first airdate!" Gene sat there in shock. I raced after Darrell and caught him outside. He was weeping. And no wonder. We later found out he had been working both day and night for months, trying to satisfy our needs. That afternoon, Darrell went to Palm Springs for a rest cure. " Roddenberry and Justman managed to compose a title sequence from the footage already shot, the same day. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p. 281) This was the version as originally aired by NBC on 22 September 1966. The more sophisticated final title sequence was produced (with Anderson returned to his duties) for subsequent episode airings and replacing the improvised sequence for those episodes where it was utilized in reruns. Incidentally, Darrell Anderson suffered his second nervous breakdown while working on the second pilot the year previously, from which he needed two weeks to recover. ( Cinefantastique , Vol. 27, No. 11/12, p. 69)
  • 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. However, in the 1980s, Paramount withdrew the prints from syndication and redistributed remastered and pre-cut episodes with standardized opening and closing credit music for the first season (using the Fred Steiner arrangement created for the back half of the season). These remastered prints were also used, in their uncut form, for the video and laserdisc releases. Only this episode was permitted to keep the original Alexander Courage arrangement. The 1999 DVD volumes, and later season sets, however, restored the opening credits to their original form, while leaving the end credits in their altered state (again, except for this episode which remains as originally aired).
  • The original narration spoken by Shatner was:
  • After NBC saw this episode, they were pleased with the results and decided that Star Trek would be a weekly television series. Gene Roddenberry said that, like " The Cage ", "Where No Man Has Gone Before" still had a lot of science fiction elements in it, but that it was the bare knuckle fist fight between Kirk and the god-like Gary Mitchell that sold NBC on Star Trek . ( The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation To The Next [ page number? • edit ] )
  • This was the first episode of Star Trek to be shown by the BBC in the UK when the series premiered on 12 July 1969 .

Story and script [ ]

  • TNG adopted a gender-neutral and species-neutral version of this episode's title for TNG : " Where No One Has Gone Before ".
  • This episode sets the original series record for Enterprise crew members killed: twelve (Mitchell, Dehner, Kelso, and the nine who Spock says died when crossing the galactic barrier).
  • Kirk says he's been worried about Mitchell "ever since that night on Deneb IV." Coincidentally (or not), TNG's pilot episode " Encounter at Farpoint " takes place on Deneb IV , home of the Bandi .
  • Gary Mitchell states that the "Nightingale Woman" poem was written in 1996 and that it is one of the "most passionate love sonnets of the past couple of centuries". Taken literally, this line of dialogue seems to suggest that "Where No Man Has Gone Before" takes place no later than the end of the twenty-second century, which in turn would imply that the Valiant was launched during the twentieth.
  • In reality, the poem ("My love has wings…") was written by Gene Roddenberry about his World War II airplane.

Production [ ]

Shooting Where No Man Has Gone Before

A moment from the first day of filming this episode

  • Bob Justman anticipated that the second pilot would take nine days to shoot. However, after "The Cage" went severely over schedule and budget, Desilu's "old guard" executives worried about the same situation regarding the second pilot. To avoid these fears, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was scheduled to be filmed in seven days. The "old guards" skeptically expected that it will take ten or even eleven days. Filming began on Monday, 19 July 1965 . As expected, filming the pilot went over schedule, finally resulting in eight days and an extra day of shooting pickup shots and "inserts" – nine days, exactly as Justman expected. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 85).
  • Just as "The Cage", the second pilot was filmed at Desilu 's Culver City studios. For the series itself, the entire production was moved to Desilu's main Gower Street facilities in Hollywood. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story pp 113-116)
  • On the fifth day of filming, Friday, 23 July 1965 , a swarm of bees attacked the set, causing delay in filming, and injuries to William Shatner and Sally Kellerman , who were both stung by the bees. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 83)

Sets and props [ ]

  • The gravestone Mitchell creates for Kirk reads " James R. Kirk ". According to D.C. Fontana in the introduction for Star Trek: The Classic Episodes 1 , when the mistake was discovered, Gene Roddenberry decided that if pressed for an answer on the discrepancy, the response was to be " Gary Mitchell had godlike powers, but at base he was Human. He made a mistake. " The gravestone also suggests that an important event marked "C" took place on stardate 1277.1; Kirk may have assumed command of the Enterprise on this stardate.
  • Their crew files show that Mitchell and Dehner were born in cities called " Delman " and " Eldman ."
  • The mountainous backdrop painting from "The Cage" is reused in this episode.
  • In this episode, the helm console from the bridge was moved to the transporter set to double as the transporter console. Thus, the three levers used to "energize" are not yet in place.
  • When he complies with Kirk's order to "Address intercraft," i.e. put open the intercom, Mitchell merely wipes the edge of his hand over his navigation plotting board and does not manipulate any buttons or switches.
  • A bit of the transporter chamber was changed from "The Cage." The center of the ceiling was "hollowed out," allowing white light to pour down onto the platform when the "materializer" was not in operation. After this episode, however, the dark, grilled ceiling from "The Cage" was restored and remained in place throughout the series.

One of the many contemporary phaser rifle publicity stills…

  • The phaser rifle that Kirk uses appears for the first and only time in the series. However, it can be seen on many pre- season 1 promotional photos being held by Kirk performer William Shatner , who had especially been taken with the prop rifle. It was designed and created by Reuben Klamer , who, being subcontracted, received no credit for it. ( Julien's Auctions presents: Star Trek )
  • In this episode, the sickbay walls are green.
  • The alert light on the helm console is of a different shape in this episode.
  • A large panel seen in the background of the Delta Vega control room was recycled as part of the main engineering set in the series itself.
  • Spock carries a laser pistol (somewhat modified) as first seen in "The Cage".
  • This episode features the goose-neck tubes also used in "The Cage".
  • The communicator Kirk uses at the episode's end to hail the Enterprise is the Lucite-encased, circuit board-filled version from "The Cage".
  • The insignias for the Sciences and Engineering divisions were opposite in this episode of what they were in every other episode.

Cast and characters [ ]

  • It was the first appearance for Trek mainstays Kirk, Sulu, Scott, and Leslie. Other regulars McCoy and Uhura did not appear until the next episode . In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , Uhura is said to be a twenty year space veteran as of 2285 , suggesting that she began her career sometime around this episode.
  • Leonard Nimoy (Spock) is the only actor to appear in both this episode and the first pilot, " The Cage ". His pointed ears are a bit smaller than in the first pilot, and his eyebrows are severely slanted (yet not as bushy as in "The Cage"). Most importantly, his hairstyle is reworked to show the bangs typical of his race – and that of eventual nemeses, the Romulans .
  • William Shatner was actually the third actor to be considered for the role of James T. Kirk . Jack Lord and Lloyd Bridges were each offered the role before him. ( The Star Trek Compendium [ page number? • edit ] )
  • Veteran character actor Paul Fix got the role of the ship's doctor, replacing John Hoyt . Gene Roddenberry wanted to cast DeForest Kelley in the part, whom he originally wanted to play Doctor Boyce in " The Cage ". Then, he was overruled by director Robert Butler 's suggestion. Here again, Fix was recommended by director James Goldstone . Roddenberry thought Fix didn't work out well in the role, and decided that if Star Trek became a weekly series, he would cast Kelley as the ship's doctor. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , pp 74-75, 152)
  • Andrea Dromm replaced Laurel Goodwin in the role of the captain's yeoman . According to Herb Solow and Bob Justman, her role was actually a "non-part" and Roddenberry claimed he cast her so he could "score with her". They added, it was not just a "non-part", but a "non-score" as well. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 75) Dromm didn't return to the series, and was replaced by Grace Lee Whitney as Yeoman Rand .
  • Roddenberry, Solow, and NBC were all happy about the casting of Lloyd Haynes as communications officer Alden . Haynes was one of the first African-Americans hired to play an important role in a network series pilot. However, he was not rehired for the series itself, as the production staff saw the role as dull and uninteresting. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 75-77, 153)
  • This is the only episode of the series in which James Doohan (Scott) appears but DeForest Kelley (McCoy) does not.
  • This is the only episode where Spock and Scott wear gold and tan tunics instead of their better known blue and red, respectively.

Effects [ ]

  • The matte painting of the lithium cracking station was created by matte artist Albert Whitlock for this episode. A still exists showing the entire landing party in the doorway within the matte, but only the shot of Kirk and Dehner ended up being used. The matte painting was later altered and reused in " Dagger of the Mind ". The image of the matte painting later appeared on the March 1953 issue of the Incredible Tales magazine in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode " Far Beyond the Stars ".
  • Film trickery enabled Kirk, Spock, and Mitchell's elevator ride to look like an actual ride from one deck to another, without relying on editing. When Mitchell jumped in, there was a gray wall outside the door that hid the bridge set. When the doors closed, the wall was removed by the stage crew, and then seconds later, they're on the bridge. The turbolift in the background after this scene sports "double doors" like modern elevators – the inner one is gray and the outer is red. This feature survived into " The Corbomite Maneuver " and at least until " Tomorrow is Yesterday ", but then was phased out.
  • When Kirk, Spock, and Mitchell emerge from the turbolift, the main viewscreen can be seen in its "off" setting – a kind of "psychedelic" visual effect that was never used again.
  • 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. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , pp. 190-191)
  • Except for the shot of the Enterprise leaving the Barrier – which was shot using the three-foot unlighted model – all other ship fly-bys were produced using the eleven-foot model used in all subsequent episodes. At the time, this model still had no sparkling effects on the front of the nacelles. It also had a larger sensor dish, grilles on the backs of the nacelles, and not as many lighting effects. This footage was re-used in later episodes, often mixed in with shots of the improved model that is on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. In the standard side-to-side fly-by, two lights on the angled pylon (which connect the two hulls) go out, followed one second later by two near the shuttlebay.
  • The original "bridge zoom-in" Enterprise shot from the beginning of "The Cage" is reused from stock footage in this episode, making it the only shot from the original pilot to appear in the second one.
  • The same shot is also used when the Enterprise hits the barrier with added purple background and lightning effects.
  • Stock footage of the Enterprise in the barrier was reused in " By Any Other Name " and " Is There in Truth No Beauty? ". These are the only three original series episodes in which the Enterprise leaves the galaxy.

Preview [ ]

  • The preview contains a Captain's Log recorded solely for the preview: " Captain's log, stardate 1312.4. The next mission of the Enterprise takes us into an unknown force field which affects the destiny of my closest friend. "

Reception [ ]

  • A print of the pre-broadcast version of this episode was taken by Roddenberry to the annual World Science Fiction Convention in Cleveland, Ohio to be presented to the convention goers. This marked Star Trek 's second showing to the general public, on 4 September 1966 with Harlan Ellison having premiered a color print of one of the unaired episodes (those in attendance give conflicting reports on exactly which one of the early episodes was shown) earlier at the San Diego Westercon 19 the previous July. (" What We Did On Our Visit To Desilu " by John & Bjo Trimble , ST-PHILE #1, Jan 1968, p. 33) Allan Asherman , author of The Star Trek Compendium , was present among the audience. He recalled, " There must have been 500 people in that audience. When the Enterprise hit the galactic barrier, 1,000 eyes opened wide. Five hundred respiratory rates accelerated with that wonderful pleasure that comes over lovers of all things when they see their favorite subject being treated well. (…) If he [Roddenberry] could have read our minds at any moment during the screening, he would have been the happiest producer in the world. (…) Here was a future it did not hurt to imagine. Here was a constructive tomorrow for mankind, emphasizing exploration and expansion. This was a science fiction television series we all wanted to see. We were extremely impressed. (…) In fact, we liked everything about the episode more than anything else shown at the convention. (…) Roddenberry seemed to have no idea of the effect his show was having on us. (…) He asked for the audience's opinion; we gave him a standing ovation. He smiled, and we returned the smile before we converged him. We came close to lifting the man upon our shoulders and carrying him out of the room. " ( The Star Trek Compendium , pp 2-3)
  • Later, a group of the audience asked Roddenberry if he had brought any other episodes of Star Trek with him. He had a black-and-white copy of "The Cage", which was then screened to the audience. ( The Star Trek Compendium , p 3)
  • Herb Solow commented on Gene's success: " "Where No Man," unlike the other television and theatrical films screened, was well received. The science-fiction aficionados at the convention were entranced by the new show. But in four days, the series would premiere on television to a national audience that thought science fiction was comic books of busty women being dragged away by alligator people, or a giant purple blob intent on dissolving Tokyo. " ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 263)
  • Bjo Trimble and her husband, John, were members of the audience at the convention, and it was the first time they'd met Roddenberry. They persuaded him to allow the Star Trek costumes he brought along to be displayed during the fan-made costume competition. ( Inside Star Trek: The Real Story , p 378)
  • Isaac Asimov was also a member of the audience. At the start, Roddenberry shushed a loud man to be silent, not knowing that the man was actually Asimov. [2] When Roddenberry found out it was Asimov, he was horrified. ( Inside Star Trek with Gene Roddenberry [ page number? • edit ] )
  • Roddenberry picked this as one of his ten favorite episodes for the franchise's 25th anniversary. ( TV Guide August 31, 1991)
  • Jason Isaacs also cited this as one of his favorite Star Trek episodes, remarking that he "loved" it. Regarding the transformation to god-like status that happens to Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner in this episode, Isaacs joked, " I tried for years to do that. In fact, I still try sometimes, in quiet moments. " [3]
  • The book Star Trek 101 (p. 17), by Terry J. Erdmann and Paula M. Block , lists this episode as one of "Ten Essential Episodes" from the original Star Trek series.

Apocrypha [ ]

  • An alternate explanation for the "James R. Kirk" reference is given in Peter David 's novel Q-Squared , which suggests that the events of this episode take place in a parallel universe where Kirk's middle initial is indeed R (and not T as we now know it to be). This same book suggests that Gary Mitchell's god-like powers were a result of him being temporarily possessed by Q , and the powers simply drove Mitchell insane.
  • Another explanation for the R as Kirk's middle initial comes from Michael Jan Friedman's three-part novel series, My Brother's Keeper . In it, Kirk claims his middle name to be "Racquetball" to Mitchell upon an early meeting. Later, Mitchell "changes" it to "Rhinoceros" after Kirk steamrolls through a conversation. The grave is thus explained by Kirk as an in-joke.
  • Mandala Productions' Fotonovel #2, in its cast of characters section, identified the captain for this episode as "James R. Kirk", even though all the other Star Trek Fotonovels listed him as "James T. Kirk".
  • The alternate reality 's version of events in this episode were depicted in issue 1 and issue 2 of IDW Publishing 's ongoing Star Trek comic book. In this version, only Mitchell is affected – Dehner was a former lover of Dr. McCoy, and after the affair ended badly, their relationship was so strained that she rescinded her requested transfer to the USS Enterprise after finding out he was on board. Also, while Mitchell was in sickbay, Spock mind melded with him and reported to Kirk that he found " No consciousness. No sentience of any kind. "
  • The Pocket TNG novel The Valiant acts as a prequel and sequel to this episode, telling the story of the SS Valiant 's demise and reveals that some of the crew did survive the self-destruction.

Remastered information [ ]

  • The remastered version of this episode premiered in syndication the weekend of 20 January 2007 and featured shots of a digital version of Enterprise , consistent with the model used in this episode, which had a slightly different appearance from both the version seen in the production of the series and that seen the original pilot, " The Cage ". Enhanced effects also included more detailed shots of the barrier, Delta Vega from space as well as on the surface, a subtle touch-up to a phaser shot during Kirk and Mitchell's fight, and an opening titles sequence featuring the pilot-version Enterprise .
  • While the final frontier speech was absent from the original, it was brought into the remastered opening.

The original galactic barrier

Production timeline [ ]

  • Episode commissioned by NBC: 26 March 1965
  • Story outline by Samuel Peeples : first week of April 1965
  • Revised story outline: second week of April 1965
  • First draft teleplay by Peeples: late- April 1965
  • Revised first draft teleplay: 27 May 1965
  • Second draft teleplay by Gene Roddenberry : 16 June 1965
  • Final draft teleplay: 26 June 1965
  • Revised final draft teleplay: 8 July 1965
  • Additional revisions: 12 July 1965 , 14 July 1965 , 15 July 1965
  • Day 1 – 19 July 1965 , Monday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 : Int. Recreation room , Corridors , Transporter room , Briefing room
  • Day 2 – 20 July 1965 , Tuesday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 : Int. Turbolift , Bridge
  • Day 3 – 21 July 1965 , Wednesday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 : Int. Bridge
  • Day 4 – 22 July 1965 , Thursday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 : Int. Bridge , Sickbay
  • Day 5 – 23 July 1965 , Friday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 : Int. Sickbay ; Desilu Culver Stage 17 : Int. Delta Vega control room
  • Day 6 – 26 July 1965 , Monday – Desilu Culver Stage 17 : Int. Delta Vega control room , Security area , Ext. Beam down area
  • Day 7 – 27 July 1965 , Tuesday – Desilu Culver Stage 17 : Int. Delta Vega security area ; Desilu Culver Stage 16 : Ext. Planet surface site
  • Day 8 – 28 July 1965 , Wednesday – Desilu Culver Stage 16 : Ext. Planet surface site
  • Day 9 – 29 July 1965 , Thursday – Desilu Culver Stage 15 , Stage 16 & Stage 17 : Extra pickup shots
  • Score recorded: 29 November 1965
  • Original airdate: 22 September 1966
  • Rerun date: 20 April 1967
  • First UK airdate (on BBC1 ): 12 July 1969
  • First UK airdate (on ITV ): 20 September 1981
  • Remastered airdate: 20 January 2007

Video and DVD releases [ ]

  • Original US Betamax/VHS release: 28 February 1985
  • Original UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video ): Volume 2 , catalog number VHR 2210, release date unknown
  • As part of the UK Star Trek - The Three Beginnings VHS collection: 31 January 1994
  • US VHS release: 15 April 1994
  • As part of the UK Star Trek - The Four Beginnings VHS collection: 1995
  • UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.1, 24 June 1996
  • Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 1, 17 August 1999
  • As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection
  • As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection
  • As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection
  • As part of the TOS Season 3 Blu-ray collection, entitled "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" – The Restored, Unaired Alternate Pilot Episode
  • As part of the Star Trek: The Original Series - Origins Blu-ray collection

Links and references [ ]

Starring [ ].

  • William Shatner as Capt. Kirk

Also starring [ ]

  • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock

Guest stars [ ]

  • Gary Lockwood as Gary Mitchell
  • Sally Kellerman as Elizabeth Dehner

Featuring [ ]

  • George Takei as Sulu
  • James Doohan as Scott
  • Lloyd Haynes as Alden
  • Andrea Dromm as Yeoman Smith
  • Paul Carr as Lt. Lee Kelso
  • Paul Fix as Doctor Piper

Uncredited co-stars [ ]

  • John Burnside as Operations crewman
  • Darren Dublin as Sciences crewman
  • Robert Metz as Technician #1
  • Eddie Paskey as Leslie
  • Bridge crewman
  • Bridge guard
  • Command crewman #1
  • Command crewman #2
  • Command officer
  • Command technician
  • Engineering technician
  • Maintenance engineer ( scenes cut and reused in " The Man Trap ")
  • Sciences lieutenant
  • Technicians #2 , #3 , and #4

Stunt doubles [ ]

  • Dick Crockett as stunt double for William Shatner
  • Hal Needham as stunt double for Gary Lockwood

References [ ]

1996 ; 21st century ; 22nd century ; 203-R ; 2065 ; 2242 ; 2244 ; 2250 ; 2260s ; 2265 ; ability ; address ; Aldebaron Colony ; amusement ; ancestor ; annoyance ; answer ; area ; argument ; assignment ; astrosciences ; auto-destruct ; autonomic reflex ; autopsy report ; battery ; blasphemy ; blindness ; blonde ; blonde lab technician ; blood ; body ; book ; brain ; breed ; briefing lounge ; bridge engineering ; burial ; button ; " by comparison "; call letters ; Canopus Planet ; case ; casualty ; century ; chance ; checkmate ; chicken ; choice ; class ; coffee ; coffee break ; compassion ; computer ; computer record ; consciousness ; Constitution -class decks ; contact ; control room ; counterorder ; crew ; crystal ; damage ; damage report (aka damage control report ); dart ; day ; de Spinoza, Benedict ; deck ; deflector ; Delta Vega ; Delta-Vega Station ; Deneb IV ; density ; department head ; destruct button ; dial ; diameter ; Dimorus ; disaster recorder ; dispensary ; distress signal ; duty ; earphone ; Earth ; Earth base ; electrical charge ; electricity ; emergency ; emergency condition ; emergency power cell ; emergency stations ; emotion ; energy ; Engineering Deck 3 ; engineering division ; engineering staff ; Enterprise casualties ; esper ; Ethics, The ; extrasensory perception (aka ESP or ESP power); evidence ; evil ; eye ; fact ; faucet ; feeling ; fever ; fire ; fire alert ; fission chamber ; fool ; force field ; freezer unit ; fuel bin (aka power bin ); g ; galactic barrier ; Galactic Mining Company ; galaxy ; glove ; god ; gravestone ; gravitation ; gravity control ; Grayson, Amanda ; heart ; helmsman ; hour ; hull ; Human ( Human being ); hundred ; idea ; image ; impulse deck ; impulse engine ; impulse pack ; indication ; information ; initials ; insect ; intercraft ; irritation ; jealousy ; Jones ; Kaferian apple ; Kaferian apple planet ; lab technician ; landing party ; lateral power ; lead ; learning ; leg ; lifeboat ; life sciences ; light day ; light year ; lithium ; lithium cracking station ; logic ; longhair ; love ; magnetic space storm ; marooning ; marriage ; mathematics ; materializer ; maximum warp ; medical examination ; medical officer ; medical test ; memory bank ; metaphysics ; meter ; Milky Way Galaxy ; million ; millionaire ; mind ; mineral ; monitor screen (aka screen ); monster ; moral ; mutant ; name ; neural circuit ; neutron radiation ; night ; " Nightingale Woman "; officers' quarters ; object ; observation ; orbit ; order ; ore ship ; overcompensation ; page ; patient ; penny ; person ; personnel file ; phaser ; phaser rifle ; pill ; place ; playing card ; points ; Pointed Peaks ; poison ; power ; power ; power cell ; power pack ; prayer ; professional ; prognosis ; psionic energy ; psychiatrist ; psychiatry ; question ; radiation ; repair party ; restricted area ; rodent ; "rodent things" on Dimorus ; rook ; Sarek ; science officer ; search ; second ; sensor ; sensor beam ; service record ; sharing ; shaving ; ship's library ; shock ; signal ; silver ; solid object ; sonnet ; soul ; space warp ; speaking ; speculation ; spontaneous combustion ; standard orbit ; " stand by "; starboard ; stardate ; Starfleet Academy ; strange energy ; strangulation ; street ; subject ; tape ; Tarbolde ; telekinesis ; thief ; thing ; thought ( thinking ); three-dimensional chess ; toy ; tractor beam range ; transporter room ; type 3 phaser ; transporter ; upperclassman ; Valiant , SS ; SS Valiant personnel ; valley ; vessel ; visual contact ; voice ; Vulcan ; Vulcan (planet); warning ; warp factor ; white mice ; wings ; wisdom ; worry ; wristwatch ; year ; yeoman ; zipper

S/COMS references [ ]

aperception quotient ; birthplace ; card ; College of Medical Sciences ; date of birth ; Dehner, Gerald ; Delman ; Deneb IV inhabitants ; Duke-Heidelburg quotient ; Eldman ; esper rating ; father ; first name ; foot ; general knowledge quotient ; generation ; grade school ; guessing game ; height ; inch ; last name ; lineage ; magic ; magician ; metaphysics ; Mitchell's ancestors ; mother ; permanent address ; personnel file ; PhD ; present address ; secondary school ; spiritual reading ; thesis ; Tri-Planetary Academy ; vocational training ; weight

Unused references [ ]

4-0 ; energy ; galactic survey cruiser ; Johanson ; matter ; mile per hour ; Parsons ; Q-signal ; space law regulation

External links [ ]

  • " Where No Man Has Gone Before " at Memory Beta , the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
  • " Where No Man Has Gone Before " at the Internet Movie Database
  • " Where No Man Has Gone Before " at , a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
  • "Where No Man Has Gone Before"  at Orion Press
  • " Where No Man Has Gone Before " at Wikipedia
  • 1 Abdullah bin al-Hussein
  • 3 John Paul Lona

Screen Rant

Star trek: discovery season 5, episode 3 ending explained.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5's treasure hunt brings the USS Discovery to Trill for the next clue, but Moll and L'ak may be one step ahead of Burnham.

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 3 - "Jinaal"

  • Moll and L'ak are setting a trap on the USS Discovery - Adira may be in danger.
  • The Progenitors' treasure was safeguarded by six secret scientists in the 24th century.
  • Commander Rayner struggles to connect with the crew - Burnham seeks answers beyond the treasure.

Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 3, "Jinaal", brings Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the USS Discovery one step closer to finding the Progenitors' treasure, but little do they know Moll (Eve Harlow) and L'ak (Elias Toufexis) are making insidious moves against them. Written by Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Wilkinson and directed by Andi Armaganian, the third episode of Star Trek: Discovery season 5 splits the action between the planet Trill and Commander Rayner (Callum Keith Renne) and Ambassador Saru (Doug Jones) having difficulty adjusting to their new assignments.

Captain Burnham and Cleveland Booker (David Ajala) pass a test created by Jinaal (Wilson Cruz) with flying colors. Jinaal was the host of a Trill symbiont who was alive in the 24th century, and he was part of a coalition of scientists, which included the Romulan Doctor Vellek (Michael Copeman) who hid the Progenitors' technology to protect the galaxy. A Trill ritual allowed Jinaal to occupy the body of Dr. Hugh Culber (Wilson Cruz), and the Trill took steps to ensure Burnham and Book were "worthy" of finding the Progenitors' treasure. However, Discovery's crew may unwittingly be walking into a trap set up by Moll and L'ak.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Returning Cast & New Character Guide

What did moll attach to adira at the end of star trek: discovery season 5, episode 3, moll and l'ak are making a move on the uss discovery.

After Jinaal departed Dr. Culber's body and he, Captain Burnham, and Cleveland Booker beamed back aboard the USS Discovery, Moll secretly placed a device on the arm of Ensign Adira Tal (Blu del Barrio). The Trills were warned by Burnham that Moll and L'ak would come seeking the clue hidden on Trill, but Guardian Xi (Andreas Apergis) was certain Trill would withstand any aggressive act. But what the Trill didn't anticipate was Moll, who is human, infiltrating the Trill during their ritual and planting something on Discovery's young Ensign.

32nd-century technology in Star Trek: Discovery is made of programmable matter, which explains why Moll's device disappeared.

The tiny device Moll hid on Adira's arm quickly vanished, but there are a few possibilities for what the tech could be. The device could be a tracker of some sort ; since Moll knows Burnham found the clue on Trill, she could be ensuring that she and her lover, L'ak, will be able to follow the USS Discovery wherever it jumps to next. The device could also be some kind of communicator or a weapon that could incapacitate Adira. It may also be a tiny transporter that would allow Adira to be beamed to L'ak's ship where they could be held hostage.

Moll, who likely was incognito in the Trill caves for the duration of Star Trek: Discovery, probably overheard Adira's conversations with their love interest, Gray Tal (Ian Alexander), and their decision to break up. Adira, who is young and inexperienced, is the ideal target for Moll and L'ak to plant a device on. This may be the end of Adira and Gray's Star Trek: Discovery love story . Their breakup is also an interesting juxtaposition to Moll and L'ak, who are lovers themselves but are committed to each other and are on the same journey, unlike the young Trill and Ensign.

Everything Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 3 Revealed About The Progenitors' Treasure

Great steps were taken to protect the ancient power to create life.

Jinaal provided a wealth of new information about what happened to the Progenitors' treasure after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation 's "The Chase." According to Jinaal, in the 24th century, the President of the United Federation of Planets - possibly Jaresh-Inyo (Herschel Sparber) from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - secretly assembled a team of 6 Federation and non-Federation scientists , including Jinaal and Dr. Vellek. After years of researching the Progenitors' message, they found the ancient technology in a sector of deep space. One of the scientists died horribly when they tried to activate it.

The scientists made it their life's work to safeguard the Progenitors' technology.

The scientists decided to hide the Progenitors' treasure instead of turning it over to the Federation. At this point, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 's Dominion War engulfed the Alpha Quadrant, and anyone could be a Changeling. Jinaal and his colleagues made a pact and lied to the Federation about the treasure while redacting themselves from every database. The scientists made it their life's work to safeguard the Progenitors' technology, eventually creating a series of clues which they determined would deem whoever could find the treasure "worthy" of having it.

Meanwhile, on the USS Discovery, Commander Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp) decoded Dr. Vellek's Romulant tricorder and learned more about the Progenitors' treasure. Stamets was excited about the applications of the Progenitors' technology, which is billions of years old. The Progenitors could "design new lifeforms, accelerate evolution, modify ecosystems." Stamets added, "If it can create life, then, in theory, it might also be possible to re-animate dead organisms."

The Progenitors' technology sounds like the Genesis Device from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan but with even more potential to create - or destroy - life.

Saru Made A Faux Pas About Announcing His Wedding To T'Rina

Saru has a lot to learn about love and politics.

The newly-minted Ambassador Saru performed well in his first delegation meeting about the rising threat of the Breen , but he made a faux pas when it came to announcing his engagement to President T'Rina (Tara Rosling). T'Rina's political aide, Duvin (Victor Andres Trelles Turgeon), became concerned about the optics of the President of Ni'Var siding with the Kelpien Ambassador, especially when the news of their engagement becomes public. Saru listened to Duvin and got cold feet about announcing his engagement to T'Rina.

Duvin feared T'Rina's Presidential power weakening among Vulcan purists if she marries an offworlder.

Ultimately, T'Rina made Saru realize that making a public announcement is better than news of their engagement leaking out, which would make it seem like the couple were hiding something scandalous. Saru confessed his inexperience in romance and politics, but T'Rina has enough savviness for them both. Saru and T'Rina's wedding is on, and will likely take place sometime during Star Trek: Discovery season 5.

Commander Rayner Will Have Trouble Fitting In With The USS Discovery Crew

Rayner's not looking to connect and make friends on discovery.

Now demoted to Commander as the new First Officer of the USS Discovery, Rayner was ordered by Captain Burnham to meet with and forge connections with the USS Discovery's crew. But Rayner was more interested in hunting Moll and L'ak , and he only met with Discovery's crew members for brief, unfriendly intervals, to the disgust of Lieutenant Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman). Rayner made no real inroads in connecting with Discovery's personnel, although he paid attention and made insightful observations about each Starfleet Officer.

Commander Rayner not immediately fitting in on Discovery is more realistic.

Tilly was right that Commander Rayner, who was on a new ship after an embarrassing demotion, compensated by acting boorishly to hide how difficult it was for him. To Star Trek: Discovery season 5's credit, Commander Rayner not immediately fitting in on Discovery is more realistic than the Kellerun Starfleet Officer being welcomed with open arms. Rayner will have a long road to earning the respect of the USS Discovery's crew, and vice versa, although Captain Burnham may not be pleased with how her new Number One alienated himself from her friends and family aboard the Disco.

Rayner explained he purposely kept a professional distance from his crew when he was Captain of the USS Antares.

Captain Burnham Is Searching For Something Bigger Than The Progenitors' Treasure

Michael has big questions she needs answered.

At the start of Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 2 , "Under the Twin Moons," Captain Burnham confessed that she used to find purpose in her missions, but now she is searching for something more. A greater meaning. Jinaal assessed this about Burnham on Trill, and Michael related the same to Dr. Hugh Culber. For Burnham, the Progenitors' treasure isn't just technology that can alter the destiny of the Federation, but it could mean answers Michael is seeking about the meaning of life, itself.

Captain Burnham's quest may reflect Star Trek: Discovery looking inward for something more profound.

Interestingly, Captain Burnham's spiritual journey in Star Trek: Discovery season 5 loosely echoes someone from her adoptive Vulcan family: Sybok (Lawrence Luckinbill). In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Spock's criminal older half-brother sought God in the mythical world of Sha Ka Ree. Sybok's quest was fueled by his own hubris, but the Vulcan truly did want to see and gain answers from the divine. Michael wants different answers than Sybok did, and Captain Burnham's quest may reflect Star Trek: Discovery looking inward for something more profound than its nature as an action-adventure Star Trek series.

Where The Next Clue To The Progenitors' Treasure Will Take Discovery

Discovery may take a pause in the treasure hunt.

Interestingly, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, episode 3's ending, doesn't directly lead to the USS Discovery's next destination after they depart Trill. Captain Burnham told Dr. Culber that the clue Jinaal gave them was being analyzed, but leads to the Tzenkethi system . However, Discovery is stymied by red tape as diplomats sort out the legalities of entering the Tzenkethi system. This could indicate a pause in Star Trek: Discovery season 5's treasure hunt in episode 4, "Face the Strange."

The Tzenkethi were a race that was never seen but was mentioned as enemies of the Federation on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , furthering Star Trek: Discovery 's DS9 connections.

However, it's a safe bet whatever Moll planted on Adira will lead to the next crisis Captain Burnham will have to contend with . With three more pieces needed to complete the map to the Progenitors' treasure and 7 more episodes to go in Star Trek: Discovery season 5, Captain Burnham's hunt may take its first, strange detour.

New episodes of Star Trek: Discovery stream Thursdays on Paramount+

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Star Trek: The Original Series

Where No Man Has Gone Before

Cast & crew.

Gary Lockwood

Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell

Sally Kellerman

Dr. Elizabeth Dehner

Eddie Paskey

Lloyd Haynes

Andrea Dromm

Yeoman Smith


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The Top 57 Episodes of ‘Star Trek,’ Ranked From Great to Perfect

Star Trek Episodes Ranked

First, let’s be clear: Ranking the best “Star Trek” episodes is a silly thing to do. To date, the longest-running American TV franchise has aired a gargantuan 890 episodes and counting, starting with the original series in 1966. Since then, at least one “Star Trek” TV show has aired (or streamed) every decade, totaling 11 so far (with more on the way ). Choosing the best episodes within such a boundless, occasionally contradictory storytelling galaxy seems about as wise as cheating when playing poker with a Klingon.

On the other hand, there may be no more time-honored tradition among “Star Trek” fans than a vigorous debate over what constitutes the best of the franchise. (Best series ? Best captains ? Best starships ? Best aliens ? Best uniforms ? They’ve all been ranked multiple times !)

In that spirit — and to commemorate the 57th anniversary of “Star Trek” on Sept. 8 —  Variety ’s resident “Trek” geeks have ranked the top 57 episodes of all time, across the franchise.

Creating our list required some deep-dish nerdiness in its own right: We compiled a long list of episodes from each series that we felt deserved to be on the final ranking. Then we created our own individual rankings — and promptly realized our taste was quite divergent. To reconcile our lists, we adopted the approach of the great movie ranking podcast, Screen Drafts : We took alternating turns placing a pick from 57 to 1, and we each had two opportunities to veto the other’s pick (which in every case was to ensure it was placed higher on the list).

Other than the short-lived “Star Trek: The Animated Series” (1973-1974), this list reflects every other iteration of “Trek” on TV: “Star Trek: The Original Series” (1966-1969); “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-1994); “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-1999); “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995-2001); “Star Trek: Enterprise” (2001-2005); “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017-2024); “Star Trek: Picard” (2020-2023); “Star Trek: Prodigy” (2021-2022); and the ongoing “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (2020-present) and “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” (2022-present).

The Way to Eden

STAR TREK, Leonard Nimoy (far left), Season 3, Episode 20, 'The Way to Eden' aired February 21, 1969, 1966-1969. © Paramount Television/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

“The Original Series” — Season 3, Episode 20

Look, this episode gets a lot of hate. But the fact is “TOS” is known (by today’s standards) for being very campy, and there is no episode campier than this one. A group of space hippies board the Enterprise on their journey to a mythical planet called Eden, where they can live happily forever. The episode memorably features Charles Napier (who would go on to a long career playing tough guys, villains, cops and the like) breaking out into song a bunch of times, including a jam session with Spock (Leonard Nimoy). —Joe Otterson Original airdate: Feb. 21, 1969

Terra Prime

ENTERPRISE, (aka STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE), Jolene Blalock, Peter Weller, Connor Trinneer, (Season 4) Ep. 'Terra Prime', May 13, 2005. 2001 - 2005, Photo: Ron Tom. (c) Paramount Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“Enterprise” — Season 4, Episode 21 More than any other episode of “Enterprise,” “Terra Prime” made the most of the show’s mission to dramatize the beginnings of Starfleet, 100 years before the events of “TOS.” Just as a newfound coalition of planets begins to form on Earth (a precursor to the Federation), Captain Archer (Scott Bakula) and his crew must stop a xenophobic terrorist (played to the hilt by future “Star Trek Into Darkness” villain Peter Weller) bent on forcing all aliens to leave Earth. Subtle, it ain’t, but the story feels more relevant today than it did 20 years ago, and everyone in the cast gets a moment to shine. Alas, it came too late: “Enterprise” had been canceled before this episode even went into production. —Adam B. Vary Original airdate: May 13, 2005

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“Prodigy” — Season 1, Episode 6

The animated “Prodigy” was the first “Star Trek” series geared toward kids, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t things for older “Trek” fans to enjoy. In particular, “Kobayashi” perfectly embodies what makes this show a worthy entry in “Trek” canon. Dal (Brett Gray) and Jankom Pog (Jason Mantzoukas) discover the holodeck aboard the Protostar, where they decide to go through the Kobayashi Maru, a.k.a. the “no-win scenario” that Capt. Kirk successfully beat during his time at the Academy. He gets help along the way from legendary characters like Spock, Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) and Odo (René Auberjonois). —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 6, 2022

Stormy Weather

Pictured: David Ajala as Book, Grudge the cat and Sonequa Martin Green as Burnham of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+ © 2021 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

“Discovery” — Season 4, Episode 6

On a mission to discover the origins of a cataclysmic gravitational anomaly, the U.S.S. Discovery enters a subspace rift and finds itself trapped inside a lethal black void that threatens to collapse in on the ship. The result is a classic race-against-time thriller (directed by “Trek” mainstay Jonathan Frakes), but what makes “Stormy Weather” stand out amid the heavily serialized episodes of “Discovery” is its emotionally resonant use of the ship’s sentient A.I. computer, Zora (Annabelle Wallis), who has to learn how to calm her mind from overwhelming stimuli in order to guide the ship out of danger. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 23, 2021

Seventeen Seconds

Patrick Steward as Picard, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Ed Speelers as Jack Crusher in "Seventeen Seconds" Episode 303, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

“Picard” — Season 3, Episode 3

“Picard” didn’t find itself until Season 3, which reunited the core cast of “The Next Generation” — and it was really Episode 3 that sealed the deal. Riker (Frakes) is forced to take command of the Titan as Vadic (Amanda Plummer) and the Shrike hunt them. Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Dr. Crusher get an all-time great scene together as she reveals why she never told him about their son, Jack (Ed Speleers). Worf (Michael Dorn) makes his big return. We learn the Changelings are still intent on attacking the Federation. Riker and Picard end up at odds in a way we’ve never seen before. In short, epic. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 2, 2023

The Enemy Within

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“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 5

The transporter — the cause of, and solution to, so many “Star Trek” problems — accidentally splits Capt. Kirk (William Shatner) into two people: Good Kirk, who is wracked with indecision, and evil Kirk, who is a histrionic asshole. Come for a meditation on the darkness that lies tucked inside everyone’s psyche, stay for some of William Shatner’s most deliciously hammy acting — and this was just the fifth episode of the series! —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 1966

Family Business

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 3, Episode 23

The Ferengi episodes of “DS9” are always great comic relief, with this episode giving fans their first view of the home planet of Ferenginar and Ferengi culture in general. Quark (Armin Shimerman) and Rom (Max Grodénchik) must return home when their mother, Ishka (Andrea Martin), is accused of acquiring profit (gasp!), something Ferengi females are forbidden to do. Shimerman and Martin shine as they play out Quark and Ishka’s relationship, while Grodénchik really gets to put his comedic chops on display. This episode is also notable as the first appearance of Brunt (Jeffrey Combs) from the Ferengi Commerce Authority, as well as Kasidy Yates (Penny Johnson Jerald), frequent love interest of Cmdr. Sisko (Avery Brooks). —J.O.

Original airdate: May 15, 1995

Blink of an Eye

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“Voyager” — Season 6, Episode 12

The Voyager gets stuck in orbit around a planet where time passes far more rapidly than in the rest of space, as the episode alternates between the bemused curiosity of Capt. Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and her crew and the awestruck preoccupation of the expeditiously progressing populace on the planet below, for whom Voyager is a sparkling, fixed constant in the night sky. At one point, the Doctor (Robert Picard) beams down to the planet to investigate, and a delay of only a few minutes on Voyager means he spends three years on its surface. He even adopts a son! One of the great, wild what if? episodes of “Star Trek.” —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Jan. 19, 2000

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“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 23

Mark Lenard absolutely crushed the role of Spock’s father, Sarek, in multiple episodes across multiple “Star Trek” series and movies, but this episode is perhaps his finest performance as the character. Sarek comes to the Enterprise-D on what is meant to be his final mission, only for the crew to learn he is suffering from Bendii Syndrome. The condition leaves him prone to uncharacteristic emotional outbursts while also causing him to telepathically influence the emotions of those around him. Picard saves the day by mind melding with Sarek, allowing him to finish his mission with dignity — and provide Stewart with the chance for some powerhouse acting as he channels Sarek’s volcanic emotions. —J.O.

Original airdate: May 14, 1990

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“Enterprise” — Season 3, Episode 10

“Trek” loves a moral dilemma, and this one’s a doozy: After Cmdr. Tucker (Connor Trinneer) is critically injured while the Enterprise is on a deep space mission, Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) suggests growing a “mimetic symbiote” of Trip — effectively, a clone with a built-in two-week lifespan — in order to create the brain tissue needed to save Trip’s life. But that means the Enterprise crew must endure watching Trip’s clone rapidly age from a precocious kid to an adult man (played by Trinneer with eerie self-possession), who then pleads for his own right to live. Creepy and heartbreaking in equal measure. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 19, 2003

Trials and Tribble-ations

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, front from left: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy; back: Avery Brooks, Terry Farrell, 'Trials and Tribble-ations', (S5.E6, aired Nov 4, 1996), 1993-99. ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 5, Episode 6

This episode is a love letter to the original series, with the Defiant’s crew transported back in time to the events of “The Trouble With Tribbles.” A Klingon agent is planning to use a booby-trapped tribble to assassinate James T. Kirk. Thanks to digital editing, the crew is able to interact with the original Enterprise crew and keep the timeline intact. —J.O.

Original airdate: Nov. 4, 1996

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 2, Episode 23

Mirror universe episodes of “Star Trek” are (almost) always fun, if ultimately a little silly. But this one — in which Kira (Nana Visitor) and Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig) find themselves in an alternate reality in which Bajor, Cardassians and Klingons subjugate humans as slaves — comes closest to matching the spark of discovery in the original “TOS” episode. It’s especially fun to watch Visitor devour the role of Kira’s deliciously wicked mirror counterpart, the Intendant. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: May 16, 1994

Memento Mori

Anson Mount as Pike and Ethan Peck as Spock of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 CBS Studios. All Rights Reserved.

“Strange New Worlds” — Season 1, Episode 4

This episode proved “Strange New Worlds” — the newest “Star Trek” series — could be as action-packed as the very best of “Star Trek.” The Enterprise crew find themselves on the run from the Gorn, a savage enemy (first introduced on “TOS” and largely ignored in “Trek” canon) about which they know virtually nothing. They are forced to use every resource at their disposal to outwit and outrun the Gorn, including tapping into the subconscious of La’an (Christina Chong), the only crew member who has encountered the aliens and survived. —J.O.

Original airdate: May 26, 2022


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“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 10

The main story is a tense, WWII allegory: Capt. Janeway and her crew hide telepathic refugees while passing through the space of the Devore, who have outlawed telepaths. But the real story is the relationship Janeway forms with the lead Devore inspector, Kashyk (Mark Harelik), who suddenly shows up alone and announces he’s defecting. As Kashyk aids Janeway in finding safe harbor for the refugees, she realizes how much he’s her intellectual equal, and she finds herself drawn to him — in spite of (or perhaps spurred on by) her continued suspicion of his motives. A great, subtle performance by Mulgrew captures both Janeway’s steely wits and her private yearning. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 16, 1998

The Drumhead

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“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 21

“Star Trek” has done a number of courtroom episodes, and this is one of the best. Rear admiral Norah Satie (Jean Simmons) is sent to investigate suspected sabotage aboard the Enterprise. The investigation quickly spirals into paranoia and accusations of treachery against a crew member who is revealed to have Romulan lineage. It is an excellent reminder of what can happen when persecution is dressed up as an attempt at greater security, with Picard using Satie’s father’s teachings to bring about her downfall. —J.O.

Original airdate: April 29, 1991

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“The Next Generation” — Season 7, Episode 8

More thwarted romance! The seasons-long will-they/won’t-they between Picard and Dr. Crusher (Gates McFadden) gets its best showcase, when the pair are captured by isolationist aliens and given implants that allow them to read each other’s thoughts. You get the feeling Stewart and especially McFadden had been dying to play out this dynamic on the show, so they both bring years of sublimated longing to the episode. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 8, 1993

In the Hands of the Prophets

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 20

Louise Fletcher’s performance as Vedek Winn (later Kai Winn) ranks among the best “Star Trek” villains of all time. Deeply religious to the point of fanaticism, Winn protests Keiko O’Brien (Rosalind Chao) teaching children on Deep Space Nine that the wormhole aliens are not deities, as many Bajorans believe. Winn’s words whip Bajorans on the station into a frenzy; Keiko’s school is bombed. But what Winn really desires is power, to the point she tries to get one of her followers to kill a fellow Vedek she sees as a threat. The episode sets up Winn’s role as a major antagonist throughout the series to great effect. —J.O.

Original airdate: June 21, 1993

The Trouble With Tribbles

STAR TREK, 1966-69, Ep.#42: "The Trouble With Tribbles," William Shatner, 12/29/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 15

If you’ve seen any episode of “TOS,” chances are it’s this one. While on shore leave at a space station, the Enterprise comes upon an adorably furry alien creature called a tribble, which are born pregnant, multiply exponentially, consume enormous quantities of food and react with alarm when in the presence of a Klingon. Fizzy and funny and, to this day, one of the best-known episodes of “Trek” ever. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Dec. 29, 1967

Balance of Terror

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“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 14

Introducing the Romulans alone makes this episode worthy of being on the list. But it’s also an epic cat-and-mouse game between Kirk and a Romulan commander played by none other than Mark Lenard, who would go on to play Sarek starting in Season 2. Kirk successfully lures the Romulan ship into a trap, leading to Lenard delivering the iconic line, “You and I are of a kind. In a different reality, I could have called you friend.” —J.O.

Original airdate: Dec. 15, 1966

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, from left: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, LeVar Burton, 'Qpid', season 4, ep. 20, aired 4/20/1991, 1987-94. © Paramount Television/ Courtesy Everett Collection

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 20

John de Lancie never disappoints when he plays Q, but this episode offered a wonderful twist on his usual appearances. Following the events of “Deja Q,” Q returns to the Enterprise saying he owes Picard a debt. Picard repeatedly tells Q he wants nothing from him, but Q notices Picard has eyes for Vash (Jennifer Hetrick), the mercenary archeologist Picard first met on Risa. Being Q, he naturally transports Picard, Vash, and the bridge crew to a Robin Hood fantasy in which Picard must rescue Vash from the evil Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Clive Frevill). Added bonus: Worf, in scarlet tights, exclaiming in protest, “I am not a merry man!” —J.O.

Original airdate: April 22, 1991

STAR TREK, Bobby Clark (as the Gorn captain), William Shatner, in Season 1, Ep#19, 'Arena,' January 19, 1967. (c)Paramount. Courtesy:Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 18

The classic “trial by combat” episode that pitted Kirk against a Gorn captain on a barren, rocky planet (i.e. the storied filming location Vasquez Rocks ). Few images from “Star Trek” have become more iconic than the original Gorn costume, which was essentially an actor dressed as a large lizard. The ending is also an all-timer, with Kirk choosing to spare the Gorn, proving to the all-powerful Metrons that set up the trial by combat that humans are capable of more than just random violence. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 19, 1967

A Mathematically Perfect Redemption

"A Mathematically Perfect Redemption”- Ep#307 --Jamies Sia as Kaltorus and Kether Donohue as Peanut Hamper in the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2022 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**

“Lower Decks” — Season 3, Episode 7

“Star Trek’s” first pure comedy (and second animated series) often plays as a twisted love letter to the entire “Trek” franchise — like when Peanut Hamper (Kether Donohue), one of the sentient Exocomp robots first introduced on “The Next Generation,” abandons the crew of the U.S.S. Cerritos in a time of need. This episode tracks Peanut Hamper’s journey to redemption afterwards, which involves her encountering a seemingly primitive species called the Areore. To say anything more would spoil the fun; suffice it to say, “Trek” has rarely provoked gasps of deep laughter like this episode does. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 2022

Bar Association

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 4, Episode 15

What better episode of “Star Trek” to talk about after Hollywood’s hot labor summer? Fed up with the unfair conditions at Quark’s bar, Rom talks the other workers into forming a union and going on strike. Max Grodénchik truly shines in this episode as the would-be union leader. Once Rom successfully gets Quark to agree to all the workers’ demands, he outright quits and goes to work as a repair technician for the station, setting up some of Rom’s best moments in the episodes to come. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 19, 1996

STAR TREK: VOYAGER, from left: John Savage, Kate Mulgrew, 'Equinox', (Season 5, ep. 526, aired May 26, 1999), 1995-2001. photo: Ron Tom / ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 26 & Season 6, Episode 1

The Voyager swoops to the rescue of the Equinox, another Federation starship stranded in the Gamma Quadrant — only this one, led by Capt. Ransom (John Savage), is a smaller ship not meant for deep space travel. With their crew whittled down to just 12 people, Ransom has resorted to murdering alien creatures to use their bio-matter to boost the Equinox’s engines — a horrific violation of everything Starfleet stands for. The discovery pushes Janeway to her own limits, as she obsessively pursues the Equinox despite the cost to her own crew and her morality. The two-parter is one of the darkest episodes of “Star Trek,” a chilling reminder of how easily good people can find themselves slipping into disgrace. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: May 26, 1999 & Sept. 22, 1999

Who Mourns for Morn?

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 12

Morn (Mark Allen Shepherd) was a “Deep Space Nine” fixture, always at Quark’s bar, but never actually speaking onscreen. But in this episode, with Morn apparently dead in an accident, everyone reveals the offscreen times they spent with him, including the revelation that he “never shuts up.” Quark inherits all of Morn’s property, which Odo relishes revealing is ultimately nothing. But as it turns out, Morn had a much more adventurous life before his time on “DS9” than anyone knew, leading his former comrades to seek him out to get a hold of the money they believed he still possessed. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 4, 1998

Species Ten-C

Pictured: Sonequa Martin-Green as Burnham of the Paramount+ original series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Marni Grossman/Paramount+ © 2021 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

“Discovery” — Season 4, Episode 12

Other than the Gorn, almost all of the aliens on “Star Trek” are, essentially, humans with slightly different forehead ridges. But in its most recent season, “Discovery” embraced “Trek’s” prime directive (seeking out new life, bolding going where no one’s gone, etc.) by crafting a species that is truly alien: the Ten-C. Throughout the season, the Ten-C are presented as both a total mystery and an existential threat; when Capt. Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the Discovery finally reach them — outside the barrier of the Milky Way galaxy — they are unlike anything the show has ever encountered. Rarely has “Trek” applied more intellectual and emotional rigor to what it might actually be like to attempt first contact with extra-terrestrials, and rarely has it been this compelling. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: March 10, 2022

A Man Alone

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, Alexander Siddig, Terry Farrell, Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, 1993-1999, "A Man Alone

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 4

Odo is one of the best characters in “DS9” — and in the “Star Trek” universe — in general, and this is the first episode to really establish him as a standout . A known criminal returns to the station only to die shortly after, and Odo is accused of his murder. Odo’s status as an outsider, but ultimately someone to be respected, is made crystal clear in this episode, with even his archenemy Quark acknowledging that Odo is not the type to murder someone in cold blood. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 17, 1993

Mirror, Mirror

STAR TREK, 1966-69, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, "Mirror, Mirror"--Ep.39, aired 10/6/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 4

The transporter strikes again, this time accidentally zapping Kirk, Uhura (Nichelle Nichols), Scotty (James Doohan) and Bones (DeForest Kelley) from their reality into a parallel universe in which the benevolent Federation has been replaced by the bloodthirsty Terran Empire, governed by brute force and fascistic exploitation — and Spock has a goatee! More silly than serious (and no less fun for it), the episode effectively spawned an entire sub-genre of parallel universe episodes of TV (from “Supernatural” to “Friends”) and gave generations of actors a chance to play wildly against type. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 6, 1967

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“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 2

People rave about “The Best of Both Worlds” and Picard’s assimilation by the Borg, but fewer remember this incredible follow-up episode. Picard returns to his family vineyard to put the Borg incident behind him, even briefly thinking that he will leave Starfleet. Jeremy Kemp crushes it as Picard’s brother Robert, with the two sharing a memorable (and muddy) scene in which Picard breaks down and admits how much his assimilation has shaken him. The episode is also memorable for the appearance of Worf’s adoptive parents, who come to the Enterprise to be with him following his discommendation. —J.O.

Original airdate: Oct. 1, 1990

Living Witness

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“Voyager” — Season 4, Episode 23

For several minutes, “Living Witness” seems like a mirror universe episode, as a ruthless Janeway, captain of the “warship” Voyager, agrees to aid the Vaskans against the insurgent Kyrians by unleashing a biological weapon upon millions and executing the Kyrian leader. But then we realize that we’ve just witnessed a recreation at a Kyrian museum 700 years in the future, at which point a copy of the Doctor enters the story and learns, to his horror, how much the Kyrians have gotten wrong. What could have been a Rashomon-style caper instead becomes fascinating meditation on how the telling of history can be weaponized, even inadvertently, to maintain old wounds rather than heal them. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 29, 1998


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“The Next Generation” — Season 5, Episode 7 & 8

Spock appeared on “The Next Generation” a month before the release of 1991’s “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” — but this time, at least, crass cross-promotion prompted some sublimely entertaining TV, as Picard and Data (Brent Spiner) aid Spock in his effort to reunify the Romulan and Vulcan peoples. [Stefon voice]: This two-parter has everything : Klingon warbirds, rude Ferengis, Tasha’s evil Romulan daughter Sela (Denise Crosby), Data and Spock philosophizing on their twin pursuits of logic and emotion, the death of Sarek, Worf singing Klingon opera with a four-armed bar pianist, and Picard and Spock mind-melding! —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Nov. 4 & 11, 1991

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“Deep Space Nine” — Season 7, Episode 9

Gul Dukat is the best villain in “Star Trek.” Yes, you read that right. The writers and actor Marc Alaimo created an incredibly nuanced character that goes through a remarkable arc over the course of the series. This episode, near the end of “DS9’s” run, reminds fans that Dukat sees himself as a savior, but is ultimately a force for evil. He establishes a cult dedicated to the Pah wraiths on Empok Nor, luring a number of Bajorans to his side. But of course, he also sleeps with his female followers and tries to trick them into a mass suicide. Amazing stuff. —J.O.

Original airdate: Nov. 23, 1998

The Last Generation

LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Brent Spiner as Data, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher, Michael Dorn as Worf, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker and Patrick Stewart as Picard in "The Last Generation" Episode 310, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.  Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

“Picard” — Season 3, Episode 10

The cast of “TNG” infamously never got their swan song, after 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis” bombed in theaters, so this series finale serves as a gift both to them and to “TNG” fans. Every character gets their spotlight, including the resurrected Enterprise-D, as Picard, Riker, Dr. Crusher, Data, Worf, LaForge (LeVar Burton) and Troi (Marina Sirtis) all help to take down the Borg once and for all. The final scene — everyone sitting around a poker table, laughing and reminiscing — is as pure and satisfying an expression of fan service as anything “Trek” has ever done. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 20, 2023

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“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 13

Until this episode, Q was an enjoyably malevolent force within “TNG,” an omnipotent being who’d gleefully pop up now and again to play with the lives of the Enterprise-D crew. But here, when Q suddenly appears on the bridge, he’s been stripped of all his powers (and all of his clothes) and begs Picard for safe harbor. At first, no one believes him — even after Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) stabs him with a fork — which only fuels John de Lancie’s sparkling performance, as Q confronts life as ( shudder ) a mortal human. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Feb. 3, 1990

An Embarrassment of Dooplers

205: “An Embarrassment of Dooplers” -- Commander, Dawnn Lewis as Captain Carol Freeman an  Richard Kind as Dooplers of the Paramount+ series STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS. Photo: PARAMOUNT+ ©2021 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved **Best Possible Screen Grab**

“Lower Decks” — Season 2, Episode 5

The title refers to an alien called a Doopler, who duplicate themselves whenever they get embarrassed — which, naturally, becomes an issue the moment one steps foot on the Cerritos. But really, this episode is one of those deeply enjoyable “Trek” episodes that is less about story than it is about the vibes , as the characters spend their downtime winningly contending with the central premise of the show: The bittersweet contentment of life at the bottom of the ladder. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Sept. 9, 2021

STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE, from left: John Colicos, William Campbell, Michael Ansara, 'Blood Oath', (S2, E19, aired March 27, 1994), 1993-99. ©Paramount Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 2, Episode 19    

The lives of the past hosts of the Dax symbiont are a recurring plot device on “DS9,” and no episode does it better than this one. A group of Klingons who knew Curzon Dax arrive at the station and enlist Jadzia’s (Terry Ferrell) help in killing their sworn enemy, a criminal known as The Albino who killed the three Klingons’ first-born sons. Jadzia ultimately honors the blood oath, as the episode explores the meaning of honor and solidarity. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 28, 1994

Where No Man Has Gone Before

STAR TREK, Sally Kellerman (left), Paul Fix (2nd from right), George Takei (right), 'Where No Man Has Gone Before', (Season 1, ep. 103, aired Sept. 22, 1966), 1966-69.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 3

The famed second pilot episode of “Star Trek” (which introduced William Shatner as Capt. Kirk) is a strange artifact today: Bones and Uhura aren’t aboard yet, Sulu (George Takei) isn’t at the helm, the Enterprise has a psychiatrist (played by Sally Kellerman), and the uniforms and sets look a bit off. But the central story — Kirk’s best friend, Gary Mitchell (Gary Lockwood), is zapped by an energy blast at the edge of the galaxy, and begins to exhibit extraordinary psychokinetic powers — is vintage “Trek”: Brainy, brawny, and just the right side of uncanny. And it’s fascinating now to see how well-established Kirk and Spock’s dynamic of emotion vs. logic was from the very start. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Sept. 22, 1966

The Measure of a Man

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“The Next Generation” — Season 2, Episode 9

Data’s quest for humanity is at the very core of “TNG,” and this stirring episode literally puts that quest on trial — and establishes the show’s voice for the rest of its run. A Starfleet scientist wants to dismantle Data in order to create more androids, but Data refuses, setting up an intense courtroom drama — is Data merely a machine and the property of Starfleet? — with Picard representing Data while Riker is forced to represent the scientist. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 13, 1989

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 4, Episode 26 & Season 5, Episode 1

The Klingons started on “Trek” as a not-that-thinly-veiled metaphor for the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, but over the decades, they’ve developed their own richly detailed mythology. This two-parter (which aired just before the fall of the USSR) depicts a civil war within the Klingon Empire that leads to Worf’s decision to leave the Enterprise and join the fight. For a series that was episodic by design, this is the closest “TNG” ever got to serialized storytelling, incorporating events from several previous episodes — including the shocking introduction of Tasha’s Romulan daughter, Sela. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: June 17, 1991 & Sept. 23, 1991

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 11

It is endlessly entertaining to see Quark get what he wants as he then  learns that it’s way more trouble than he realized. This episode sums that idea up nicely, while also featuring the first of many wonderful appearances by Wallace Shawn as Ferengi leader Grand Nagus Zek. Zek unexpectedly names Quark his successor, only for Zek to die shortly after. Quark is thrilled at first, before he realizes being the Nagus puts a massive target on his back. This episode also helps build the friendship between Nog (Aron Eisenbeg) and Jake (Cirroc Lofton), with Jake secretly teaching Nog how to read. —J.O.

Original airdate: March 22, 1993

Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy

STAR TREK: VOYAGER, (from left): Robert Picardo (right), 'Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy', (Season 6, aired Oct. 13, 1999), 1995-2001. © Paramount Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“Voyager” — Season 6, Episode 4

Yearning to grow past his programming, the Doctor allows himself the ability to daydream, in one of the flat-out funniest episodes of “Trek” ever. It opens with Robert Picardo singing opera as Tuvok (Tim Russ) undergoes pon farr (i.e. the madness to mate that consumes Vulcan males) and just gets wilder from there, up to the moment when the Doctor, who’d fantasized about taking over command of Voyager in an emergency, does it for real. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Oct. 13, 1999

STAR TREK, 1966-69, Leonard Nimoy (as Spock) & Arlene Martel (as his bride, T'Pring), in episode #34, "Amok Time," 9/15/67.

“The Original Series” — Season 2, Episode 1

Speaking of pon farr, this is the “TOS” episode that first establishes it — as well as the planet Vulcan, several Vulcan customs and traditions, and the now legendary Vulcan salute (honorable mention: Spock actually smiles!). Wracked with pon farr, Spock asks for leave back on his home planet, and eventually reveals that he must meet his betrothed, T’Pring (Arlene Martel). Naturally, Kirk and Spock end up in a fight to the death in one of the most iconic battles in “Star Trek” history. —J.O.

Original airdate: Sept. 15, 1967

Year of Hell

star trek episode 3

“Voyager” — Season 4, Episode 8 & 9

The most lasting criticism of “Voyager” is that every week, no matter what happened in the previous episode, the ship and crew emerged unscathed and ready for a new adventure. As if in response, this two-parter tracks a year in which the Voyager is ravaged to the point of near ruin by repeated encounters with an aggressive alien species called the Krenim. Unbeknownst to the crew, they’re actually the victims of a Krenim scientist, Annorax (Kurtwood Smith), who developed a technology to alter the fabric of time by erasing entire species from ever existing. This is as harrowing and merciless as “Trek’s” ever been, but it’s not quite the best episode of “Voyager” due to the irony of its ending: Janeway crashes the husk of the Voyager into Annorax’s timeship — which resets the timeline completely, as if nothing that we’d seen had ever happened. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Nov. 5 & 12, 1997

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 3, Episodes 11 & 12

“Star Trek” often addresses timely societal issues, but this episode put them firmly in a 21st century context. Sisko, Bashir, and Dax accidentally wind up in San Francisco circa 2024, where poverty and oppression of the disadvantaged are running rampant (crazy how that remains timely, huh?). When a man meant to serve an important purpose in an historic riot is accidentally killed too soon, Sisko is forced to take his place. —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 2, 1995 & Jan. 9, 1995

Those Old Scientists

Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid and Anson Mount appearing in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

“Strange New Worlds” — Season 2, Episode 7

In one of the rare “Trek” crossover episodes, Ens. Boimler (Jack Quaid) and Ens. Mariner (Tawny Newsome) from “Lower Decks” find themselves zapped back to the era when Capt. Pike (Anson Mount) captained the Enterprise. Marshalled by Jonathan Frakes’ steady hand as a director , the disparate tones of “Lower Decks” and “Strange New World” somehow mesh perfectly, and hilariously, together. Packed with guffaw-worthy laughs, “Those Old Scientists” also becomes a deeply poignant expression of the impact “Trek” has had on generations of fans. Maybe it’s controversial to place one of the most recent “Trek” episodes so high on this list, but this one more than earns its spot. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: July 22, 2023

The Best of Both Worlds

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 26 & Season 4, Episode 1

This two-parter is frequently cited as the best “Next Generation” storyline of all time, mostly because it features one of the most iconic cliffhangers in all of television. The Borg attack the Federation, leading to a showdown with the Enterprise. Picard is captured and assimilated, revealing himself to his crew as Locutus of Borg. If we’re splitting Borg nano-probes, the second half doesn’t quite live up to the first, which is why, for us, it doesn’t quite rank into the Top 10. Special shoutout to this episode for setting up the incredible “Star Trek” film “First Contact.” —J.O.

Original airdate: June 18, 1990 & Sept. 24, 1990

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 1, Episode 19

When a Cardassian named Marritza (Harris Yulin) arrives on Deep Space Nine, Kira realizes he must have worked at one of the most notorious labor camps during Cardassia’s occupation of Bajor, and she arrests him as a war criminal. What follows is effectively a two-hander, as Kira’s interrogation of Marritza leads to a series of revelations that unmoor her hard-won fury at the atrocities inflicted upon her people. The conventional wisdom is that “DS9” didn’t get cooking until the Dominion War, but this early episode proves that this show was providing great, searing drama from the start. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: June 14, 1993

STAR TREK, Ep.#24: 'Space Seed,' Ricardo Montalban, William Shatner, 2/16/67. Paramount/Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 22

Ricardo Montalbán makes his debut as Khan Noonien Singh, a genetically superior dictator from Earth’s Eugenics Wars. Khan and his people have been in suspended animation for 200 years and are looking to dominate humanity once again. Naturally, Kirk is able to beat Khan in a riveting confrontation, but rather than send him and his people to a penal colony, he agrees to let them settle on the wild planet, Ceti Alpha V. The episode proved to be so good, it led to the 1982 film “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan,” arguably the best “Trek” movie of all time. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 16, 1967

star trek episode 3

“Voyager” — Season 5, Episode 6

There’s something about time travel — and the twisty narrative paradoxes it can cause — that has engendered some of the best episodes of “Trek” ever made. That certainly includes this stunning “Voyager” episode, which opens with Harry Kim (Garrett Wang) and Chakotay (Robert Beltran), 15 years in the future, discovering the frozen husk of the Voyager buried inside a glacier on a barren ice planet. It turns out Kim made a critical mistake that caused the catastrophic accident, from which only he and Chakotay survived. Their unyielding fixation to right that wrong — and erase the previous 15 years from history — makes for a gripping nail-biter about regret and devotion. Not only did LeVar Burton direct, but he cameos as Capt. Geordi La Forge! —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Nov. 18, 1998

The Defector

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 10

Did a Romulan admiral really defect to the Federation, or are the Romulans perpetrating an elaborate hoax on Picard and the Enterprise crew? This wonderful episode sees the admiral in question (played by James Sloyan) claiming the Romulans are building a secret base within the Neutral Zone, forcing Picard to consider whether or not he should investigate and thus risk starting a war. It also features the excellent opening in which Picard tries to teach Data about humanity by having him act out scenes from Shakespeare’s “Henry V.” —J.O.

Original airdate: Jan. 1, 1990

Chain of Command

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 6, Episode 10 & 11

Lured into Cardassian territory under false pretenses, Picard is captured and systematically tortured by a ruthless interrogator, Gul Madred, in a chilling performance by David Warner. Their disturbing tête-à-tête — Picard is stripped naked and nearly broken by the end — would be enough for one of the all-time best “Trek” episodes. But this two-parter also boasts Ronny Cox as Capt. Jellico, Picard’s replacement on the Enterprise, whose prickly and demanding leadership style creates all kinds of thrilling friction among the crew. —A.B.V.

Original airdates: Dec. 14 & 21, 1992

In the Pale Moonlight

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 19

In this fantastic episode, Sisko grapples with the ethics of doing whatever it takes to get the Romulans to join the Dominion War on the Federation-Klingon side. This includes falsifying evidence and freeing a known criminal from Klingon prison with the help of master spy Garak (played by the always wonderful Andrew Robinson). Sisko (while recording a personal log) delivers a series of powerful monologues direct to camera about why he did what he did, ultimately deciding it was worth it in the end. —J.O.

Original airdate: April 13, 1998

The City on the Edge of Forever

star trek episode 3

“The Original Series” — Season 1, Episode 28

Accidentally hopped up on stimulants, a crazed Bones leaps through a time portal on an alien planet and winds up changing history so drastically that the Enterprise disappears. Kirk and Spock travel back to stop him, and land in New York City during the Great Depression, where they learn that Bones saved the life of Sister Edith Keeler (Joan Collins), a pacifist whose message resonates so strongly that the U.S. stays out of WWII, allowing the Nazis to conquer Europe. Alas, Kirk falls deeply in love with Keeler, establishing a classic “Trek” moral dilemma: How does one suppress their most profound personal feelings for the greater good? An all-timer that still resonates today. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: April 6, 1967

Far Beyond the Stars

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 6, Episode 13

In this Avery Brooks-directed episode, Sisko envisions himself as a Black science fiction writer in 1950s New York named Benny Russell. Russell dreams up a story about the crew of a space station led by a Black captain, but his publisher refuses to run it. This episode is memorable for many reasons, the biggest of which being its handling of racism, but it also allows the show’s main cast gets to appear without any prosthetics or makeup, as completely different characters, to great effect. —J.O.

Original airdate: Feb. 9, 1998

Yesterday’s Enterprise

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 3, Episode 15

The Enterprise-C, believed to have been destroyed over 20 years earlier, emerges from a temporal anomaly and resets history into a decades-long war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. Tasha — killed off in Season 1 (after Denise Crosby wanted to leave the show) — is brought back to life, and falls for the Enterprise-C’s helmsman (Christopher McDonald), while Guinan implores Picard that something is desperately wrong with history and he must send the Enterprise-C back to certain doom. Somehow, this episode crams a movie’s worth of story into a nimble and rousing 44 minutes. Not a second is wasted. Outrageously great. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: Feb. 19, 1990

The Inner Light

star trek episode 3

“The Next Generation” — Season 5, Episode 25

When the Enterprise comes upon a mysterious probe, Picard is suddenly hit with a signal that plunges him into a different man’s life on a dying planet. There, Picard experiences half a lifetime, with a wife, children and grandchildren, all in the space of 25 minutes. When Picard realizes this was all meant as a time capsule — a way to preserve the stories of the people of the planet, which was destroyed 1,000 years earlier by an exploding star — the revelation that he lived the life he’d long forsaken as a Starfleet captain, only to have it ripped away, is almost more than he can bear. But hoo boy, does it make for stunning, deeply moving television. In fact, almost no episode of “Trek” is better. Almost. —A.B.V.

Original airdate: June 1, 1992

The Visitor

star trek episode 3

“Deep Space Nine” — Season 4, Episode 2

Don’t watch this one without tissues handy. This emotionally devastating episode gets right to the heart of what made “DS9” so special — the relationship between Sisko and his son, Jake. Told in flashbacks by an elderly Jake (Tony Todd), the episode recounts how Sisko became unstuck in time, briefly revisiting Jake over the course of his life, and how Jake is determined to bring him back. In brief, fleeting moments, Sisko tells Jake not to worry about him and to live his life to the fullest. But Jake cannot bear the thought of losing his father forever, ultimately sacrificing his own life to restore the normal flow of time. —J.O.

Original airdate: Oct. 9, 1995

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Star Trek – Season 3, Episode 3

The paradise syndrome, where to watch, star trek — season 3, episode 3.

Watch Star Trek — Season 3, Episode 3 with a subscription on Paramount+, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video.

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Cast & crew.

William Shatner

Capt. James T. Kirk

Leonard Nimoy

DeForest Kelley

Dr. Leonard McCoy

James Doohan

Engineer Montgomery Scott

Nichelle Nichols

George Takei

Episode Info

Star Trek Just Doubled Down on Its Wildest Body-Switching Concept

Welcome back to Trill.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5, Episode 3.

Body switching is a classic sci-fi trope. From Freaky Friday to Farscape , and of course, most of Quantum Leap, the idea of the consciousness from one person inhabiting the body of a different person will never stop being the fuel for speculative stories that are both hilarious and profound. But, when Star Trek invented the “joined” species of the Trill in 1991, it took the body-switching/body-surfing trope to a new level. While a specific Trill symbiont might live for several hundreds of years, this slug-like creature generally inhabited a humanoid host. This “joining” often created a new hybrid personality each time, sort of like Time Lord regeneration from Doctor Who mashed up with internal alien parasites from Alien; a chest-burster that never burst, but just stayed in you forever.

And if all of that wasn’t wild enough, on June 12, in the episode “Facets,” 1995, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine added a new wrinkle to Trill canon. Not only were the memories of all the previous hosts alive and well in the current symbiont, but, through a process called “zhian’tara,” a specific host’s personality could leave the symbiont and enter into the body of... anyone! Basically, this was Trill joining via spacey magic, and now, 29 years after “Facets,” Star Trek: Discovery is doubling down (tripling down?) on this very specific form of consciousness transfer in the Season 5 episode “Jinaal.” Spoilers ahead.

The Trill host trick

Dax and Odo in 'Deep Space Nine.'

Dax and Odo discuss sharing memories in “Facets.”

Although the Trill were established in The Next Generation episode “The Host,” the vast majority of Trill canon comes from Deep Space Nine , thanks to the presence of Jadzia Dax, who later, in Season 7, switched hosts and became Ezri Dax. But, in the memorable Season 3 episode “Facets,” Jadzia’s previous host, Curzon, left her body through the zhian’tara process and settled in the body of the station’s resident shapeshifter, Odo. From that point, Odo’s entire personality was merged with Curzon’s, which put everyone on the station in a deeply uncomfortable position.

As a stand-alone episode of DS9 , “Facets” remains a fantastic story about memory, regret, and what one generation owes the next. But, the legacy of “Facets” is easily the concept of zhian’tara, which was used to save Gray Tal’s consciousness in Discovery Season 4, and now, in Season 5, is being employed again to unravel an 800-year-old mystery.

Discovery’s return to Trill

Culber and Gray in 'Discovery' Season 5.

Cubler (Wilson Cruz) takes on an ancient Trill tradition in Discovery Season 5.

The planet Trill was first seen in DS9 in the episode “Equilibrium,” but Discovery has actually visited the planet more times, starting in the Season 3 episode “Forget Me Not,” and now again, in “Jinaal.” This time the need to transfer the memories of one previous Trill host into someone else is all connected to the secrets Jinaal Bix has about researcher of the Progenitors in the 24th century.

After transferring Jinaal’s consciousness into Culber, the entire personality of our stalwart Starfleet doctor changes, and, just like “Facets,” he suddenly becomes cockier, and more evasive. If you watch “Facets” right after watching “Jinaal,” the parallels are clear. While Curzon’s secret was connected to something personal, Jinaal’s secret has broader implications. Turns out, Federation scientists were working on cracking the Progenitor tech during the era of the Dominion War, and so they decided to bury any knowledge of the technology to prevent any planet or government from weaponizing their research.

Interestingly, this detail dovetails with Picard Season 3 a bit, in which we learned that Section 31 was pushing different Federation scientists to weaponize the organic nature of Changelings. Basically, the Dominion War created a lot of corrupt scientific research within the Federation, making the top-secret Daystrom labs that Riker, Raffi, and Worf raided perhaps just a small sample of the horrible top-secret weapons the Federation has developed.

What Discovery does is make it clear that Jinaal did the right thing at the time by hiding the research — even if that doesn’t help our heroes at the moment.

A classic Original Series nod

Kirk and Sargon in 'Star Trek: The Original Series.'

Sargon enters Kirk’s body in “Return to Tomorrow.”

Of course, within the canon of Trek, the Trill weren’t the first time the franchise explored the concept of sharing consciousness. Spock transferred his katra to Bones in The Wrath of Khan , and Kirk switched bodies with Janice Lester in the controversial final TOS episode “Turnabout Intruder.”

But, one wonderful 1968 episode from TOS Season 2 — “Return to Tomorrow” — featured ancient beings borrowing the bodies of Kirk, Spock, and Dr. Ann Mulhall in order to build more permanent, android bodies. When the ancient being of Sargon enters Kirk’s body, one of the first things he says is: “Your captain has an excellent body.”

Now, 56 years later, when Jinaal finds himself in Culber’s body, he says something similar: “Wow, this guy really works out!”

Across decades of internal canon, Star Trek can make the same body-switching joke, and make it work, in any century.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 drops new episodes on Fridays on Paramount+.

Phasers on Stun!: How the Making — and Remaking — of Star Trek Changed the World

  • Science Fiction

star trek episode 3

star trek episode 3

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 3 Ending, Explained

Star trek: discovery.

Release Date: 2017-09-24

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama

Rating: 7.1/10

Creator: Bryan Fuller, Alex Kurtzman

Network: CBS

Number of Episodes: 55

Streaming Service(s): Paramount+, Paramount+ with Showtime, fuboTV, Spectrum

Quick Links

What happened in star trek: discovery episode 3, how does star trek: discovery episode 3 end.

Episode 3 of Star Trek: Discovery continues on Paramount Plus , after airing with the first two episodes last week. The sci-fi spin-off series will consist of ten episodes, and will continue to air once a week for the rest of the fifth and final season. The show began in 2017, and Season 5 will bring the successful series to an end. Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Callum Keith Rennie, Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp.

The third episode of Star Trek: Discovery 's final season sees the team arrive on Trill, and Captain Burnham, Book, and Culber must pass a dangerous test to prove themselves worthy of discovering the next clue. Elsewhere, Adira reconnects with Gray and Saru's first day as ambassador is complicated by his engagement to T'Rina.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 2 Recap

In Star Trek: Discovery episode 3, the crew prepare to travel to Trill to seek out the next quest clue. Culber and Book brief Captain Michael Burnham on the potential threats, with some new background details on Moll courtesy of Book. Burnham’s criminal ex is trying hard to get his life back, and he wants in on the Trill landing party even though he isn’t a Starfleet member.

Adira and Tilly identify a Trill spot pattern on the map puzzle piece, and it leads them to a 24th-century Trill named Jinaal. (the name of this episode) Captain Rayner comes aboard, and Burnham orders her new first officer to get to know the rest of the crew. Stamets is focusing on trying to unlock the secrets of Dr. Vellek’s old tricorder, and he ignores Adira’s clear stress after seeing Gray again. Things are running relatively smoothly until the crew arrive on Trill, and Burnham solves the riddle quickly and heads down to the Caves of Mak’ala with Adira, Culber, and Book, and they meet an old Trill.

Jinaal reveals that the next clue is close by, and takes Burnham and Book with him. Upon their arrival at the canyon, Jinaal tells the group about how he, Dr. Vellek and four other scientists found the Progenitor technology, but they decided it was too dangerous to hand over to the Federation in the middle of the Dominion War.

Burnham and the team end up being hunted by giant “Intronok” predators, and once they arrive at the location of the clue, a monster gets in their way.

Back at Starfleet, Ambassador Saru is settling into his new office with the help of his fiancé, T'Rina. They plan to make their wedding announcement before heading into a resource meeting, where Saru argues for more allocations to the small worlds he represents, which successfully ends in a compromise with others who are concerned.

T’Rina’s aide, Duvin tells Saru that he is concerned about how the wedding announcement will affect the Ni’Var politics, but when Saru raises the issue with T'Rina, she doesn’t react well.

Back on Trill, Book attempts to use his glowing forehead empathy connection, but all he gets from the monster is that it’s rather annoyed. Book then tries some distracting techniques, while Burnham heads to the rock with the clue symbol on it to retrieve the big prize. However, things do not go as planned, and they get hit. They are subsequently pinned down as a second monster shows up to cause havoc.

Burnham holsters her phaser, showing the utmost respect to the Intronoks, who are now calming down somewhat. Book does the same and communicates that they just want to leave as they slowly back off. Sonn after, they find Dr. Hugh Jinaal on a rock, quipping, “I see you survived.”

Turns out, Jinaal drew them to the nest after suggesting they arm their phasers. By connecting them instead of shooting, they have passed another test. Jinaal was willing to let them die just to see if there was “goodness” in them. However, they did survive, which results in them winning the prize: the clue and the second map piece, which was hidden under a different rock.

After Culber gets swapped back, he heads back to the ship to recover from being possessed. When Burnham catches up with him in the lounge, they contemplate the spiritual implications of the journey they are on, and they seek the technology of the gods.

Back at HQ, Saru apologizes to T’Rina for all the politics that were getting in the way, and they make up with one another.

The episode ends in the Trill caves with Bix returning to the symbiont pool and Adira and Gray saying farewell. Turns out, Moll is disguised as a Trill, and she puts something onto Adira’s sleeve before the ensign beams back to the Disco.

Star Trek 4: Paramount Needs To Let This Sequel Die

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 3 Ending, Explained

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Is There in Truth No Beauty?

  • Episode aired Oct 18, 1968

Star Trek (1966)

Lovely telepath Miranda is aide to Ambassador Kollos, in a box to stop insanity when humans see Medusans. She rejects Larry, a designer of Enterprise, and senses murderous intent nearby. Lovely telepath Miranda is aide to Ambassador Kollos, in a box to stop insanity when humans see Medusans. She rejects Larry, a designer of Enterprise, and senses murderous intent nearby. Lovely telepath Miranda is aide to Ambassador Kollos, in a box to stop insanity when humans see Medusans. She rejects Larry, a designer of Enterprise, and senses murderous intent nearby.

  • Ralph Senensky
  • Gene Roddenberry
  • Jean Lisette Aroeste
  • Arthur H. Singer
  • William Shatner
  • Leonard Nimoy
  • DeForest Kelley
  • 35 User reviews
  • 11 Critic reviews

Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek (1966)

  • Captain James Tiberius 'Jim' Kirk

Leonard Nimoy

  • Mister Spock

DeForest Kelley

  • Dr. Miranda Jones

David Frankham

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James Doohan

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  • (uncredited)
  • Security Guard

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Did you know

  • Trivia Diana Muldaur was given a dark wig to wear for the role of Miranda. This was largely to help distinguish the character from her previous guest role as Dr Ann Mulhall in Return to Tomorrow (1968) .
  • Goofs When Miranda shouts "That's a lie!", Kirk responds, "Oh, yes it is!", revealing that Diana Muldaur 's scripted line must have been "That's not true!".

Dr. McCoy : [toasting] How can one so beautiful condemn herself to look upon ugliness the rest of her life? Will we allow it, gentlemen?

Captain James T. Kirk : Certainly not.

Mr. Spock : Negative.

Scott , Larry Marvick : No-no.

Dr. Miranda Jones : [counter-toast to McCoy] How can one so full of joy and the love of life as you, Doctor, condemn yourself to look upon disease and suffering for the rest of YOUR life? Can we allow THAT, gentlemen?

  • Alternate versions Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song
  • Connections Featured in William Shatner's Star Trek Memories (1995)
  • Soundtracks Theme Music credited to Alexander Courage Sung by Loulie Jean Norman

User reviews 35

  • Apr 13, 2019
  • October 18, 1968 (United States)
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Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 4 Review – Face the Strange

A twisty time loop offers a teachable moment for Commander Rayner as Discovery tumbles through its past—and future

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This Star Trek: Discovery review contains spoilers .

Star Trek: Discovery Season 5 Episode 4

Time travel has been a staple of science fiction ever since the genre was invented. And Star Trek has always been curious about the concept—from the basic rules of how it works to the widespread impact caused by the tiniest of changes to history. From The Original Series’ classic “The City on the Edge of Forever” to Strange New Worlds’ more recent Lower Decks crossover “Those Old Scientists” , the franchise is full of time travel stories. But Star Trek: Discovery has played around with the concept more than most, from season 1’s Harry Mudd episode “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad” to the headache (and potentially paradox) inducing Red Angel plot that saw the Discovery launched hundreds of years into the future at the end of season 2. 

To be fair, season 5’s “Face the Strange” time travel shenanigans are a bit more straightforward, if not particularly subtle about the larger aims of the episode. Rayner’s still going through what might be called an adjustment period as he settles into his new role as Discovery’s first officer, and finds Burnham’s insistence on feelings and meaningful emotional connection to be an annoying and inefficient way to command.

What Discovery doesn’t seem to understand, however, is that part of the reason Rayner is so interesting as a character is precisely because he’s such a fish out of water amongst this group of people who regularly engage in the professional equivalent of braiding each other’s hair at sleepaway camp. (Let the man be cranky, for goodness sake!) And let’s not kid ourselves, despite the fact that it all works out for them this week, he’s also not wrong . Michael’s crew is undisciplined and overly familiar and don’t respect things like “chain of command” or “basic boundaries.” Yes, for the most part that’s worked out pretty well for them. But it’s also not exactly aspirational, or even particularly safe behavior, and Rayner’s not a bad person for pointing that out (or not liking it). 

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That said, no one is likely all that surprised that this episode is essentially a Teachable Moment from start to finish and pretty much solely exists to Impart the Value of Emotional Connection to a man who doesn’t enjoy engaging in small talk. But, thankfully, it also offers an intriguing twist on the always delightful time loop trope, and in doing so is much more entertaining to watch than it probably should be. Yes, everything gets resolved in peak Discovery fashion—Rayner must convince a disgruntled season 1 era version of Michael to trust that her journey ultimately gets better—but it’s also a surprisingly deft way to examine just how far this series’ central character has come from her first moments onscreen. 

The premise of the hour is pretty simple: Determined to beat the Discovery crew to the next clue, L’ak and Moll have smuggled a time bug on board the ship, a creepy-looking insect-like device leftover from the temporal war. It paralyzes ships by freezing and cycling them through time until it runs out of power, a process that could take weeks or months to play out. Thanks to this little (literal) bugger, Discovery’s now stuck hurtling through various snippets of its own history in the same place, and Burnham and Rayner—who were in the process of transporting just as the first loop hit and thus are unaffected by it—have to learn to work together to stop it before their enemies beat them to the next clue. 

Well, the two of them and Stamets, who also exists out of time because of his tardigrade DNA and is aware of the looping going on, a sentence that is truly as ridiculous to type as it is to read. This show sometimes, y’all. Rayner’s expression when told about the tardigrade situation is how I often feel if I think too hard about the specifics of some of these plots.

Anyway, while our heroes try to figure out the pattern to the various time jumps and how long each will last, we’re bounced through some of Discovery’s greatest narrative hits. Burnham and Rayner find themselves on the bridge of the ship during its trip through the wormhole to the 32nd century, in dry dock as it’s being built, and in the midst of the crew’s battle with Section 31’s sentient AI, Control, before being yanked away again. There’s a blast back to Gabriel Lorca’s time in the captain’s chair (though, sadly, Jason Isaacs doesn’t make an appearance) and even a quick trip to the future—one that’s apparently full of destruction and death because Moll and L’ak managed to snag the Progenitors’ secret technology and sell it off to the highest (presumably terrible) bidder. All the more motivation for our heroes to figure out how to dislodge the time bug without destroying the ship or killing themselves in the process!

They’re successful only when Michael realizes she has to tell the Klingon War-era crew that she’s from the future and trust that the bonds she’s forged with them will be enough to convince them to help her. It works, of course, because this episode exists to teach Rayner a Valuable Lesson, but not before Michael must confront some uncomfortable bits of her past: namely, her obvious lingering feelings toward Book—that David Ajala basically appears in this episode solely to be shirtless is peak fan service—and her messy personal past as a mutineer. Michael, undoubtedly, has come a long way from the rash, furious girl who accidentally got her mentor killed and started a war. (And no matter how insufferable you might find Burnham now, whew, this is a timely reminder that she used to be so much worse . Growth is possible and real!) 

That Rayner ultimately uses the personal information Michael gave him—and the very specific story about how lost Michael had felt when she first came aboard Discovery— to convince her past self to allow him to save the future is this show at its most try-hard. But at this point, that either works for you or it doesn’t, and “Face the Strange” is an entertaining enough hour that the convenience of its resolution isn’t even as annoying as it probably ought to be. 

With just 10 episodes in its final season, your mileage may (and likely will) vary when it comes to the usefulness of including an episode like this one, which doesn’t do much in terms of moving the larger story along. (In fact, it’s very clearly filler meant to cover for the fact that with just five pieces in the puzzle the crew is chasing, they literally can’t find a clue in every episode!) Technically, almost nothing of any significance happens during this hour.

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Adira seems remarkably fine for someone who just went through a surprise break-up. Saru and T’rina are entirely absent, so it seems safe to assume their engagement news didn’t cause some intergalactic political incident. And I guess Dr. Culber must still be sleeping off the whole Trill symbiont possession thing. We learn nothing new about the Progenitors or the tech they left behind. And though Moll and L’ak at least appear in this episode, all we learn is that they want to be free and together, and somehow the payday from finding the god-like technology before Michael and the Federation do is going to ensure that. Can’t wait for the flashback episode that fills us in on that particular misunderstood backstory, is what I’m saying.

Lacy Baugher

Lacy Baugher

Lacy Baugher is a digital producer by day, but a television enthusiast pretty much all the time. Her writing has been featured in Paste Magazine, Collider,…


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