Review of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Remastered

“If I Ruled The World…”
The Enterprise, leaving the galaxy, discovers the scarred and blasted recorder marker of the only other ship to do so, the Valiant.  Upon reviewing the Valiant’s tapes, Spock discovers that the ship hit some kind of “unknown force” and as a consequence of some (inaudible) events involving (tape damaged) and ESP and such that ship’s captain ordered his vessel destroyed.

Captain Kirk decides to forge on ahead, reasoning that since other ships will someday explore this region it’s important for the Enterprise to leave behind its own scarred and blasted recorder marker to warn them off.

Turns out there’s a big Energy Wall around our galaxy, despite the fact that the only thing more scientifically ridiculous would be a big Energy Wall around the heart of our galaxy imprisoning a demon that claims to be God.  The barrier (now given the full CGI treatment) zaps a number of Kirk’s crew, most notably his pal Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth “Hotlips” Dehner.

Mitchell, who’s a real piece of work, develops psychic powers that get stronger over time.  Sulu explains how dangerous this makes him by using the “doubling penny” analogy that so many of us unsuccessfully proposed to our parents as a tricky get-rich-quick scheme for our allowances.  Dehner doesn’t think anyone should worry, on account of how “Gary-I-Mean-Mr-Mitchell is so totally hot now that I’m withdrawing my sexual harassment complaint for his behavior on the bridge.”  Spock and Kirk engage in an impromptu debate on the relative effectiveness of capital punishment versus life imprisonment, and Kirk decides to maroon Mitchell on the planet Delta Vega.

In another boneheaded command decision (collect the whole set!), Kirk leaves a single crewman behind to monitor Mitchell while everyone else goes Somewhere Else to do Something Important.  Single Crewman Kelso discovers that he’s not going to be a series regular after all, Mitchell escapes, and Kirk gets his shirt torn off in the ensuing fist fight for the first of approximately 3,224.6 times.  In the end we discover the answer to that age-old theological paradox:  “If Mitchell is omnipotent, can Mitchell create a rock too heavy for Mitchell to lift?”

The answer is a resounding “you betcha!” and the Enterprise is saved.

Isn’t there some tear-proof miracle fabric in the future?

The Write Stuff
NBC executives were impressed by "The Cage," but concerned by the cost of the first "Star Trek" pilot.  Coming in at about 330,000 dollars, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" still cost significantly more than an average production episode of Trek but apparently did satisfy the network folks that the show could be produced on an acceptable budget.

NBC was also reportedly unimpressed by several of the cast members.  Many fans credit the recasting of the Captain as key to the show’s eventual success, but I think the crucial difference between the characters in "The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is to be found in the script itself.   Peebles’ well-structured teleplay energizes the performances.  Yeah, Shatner’s charming but Hunter was no slouch either.  After all, he’d held his own on screen with the likes of John Wayne and Natalie Wood in big-screen fare like “The Searchers”.  On the other hand while Peebles’ dialogue was nearly as stilted and expository as Roddenberry’s, his characters reveal their strengths and weaknesses through action to a far greater degree than we saw in "The Cage."

Consider the scene in which Kirk is introduced – a friend pointed out to me not long ago that Kirk’s intuitive chess play against Spock immediately conveys a propensity for unexpected strategy and successful risk taking that defies the odds.  Our main clue to "Number One’s" emotional detachment in "The Cage" was Barrett’s monotonous line delivery; Peebles’ version of Spock demonstrates his lack of emotion by counseling his commander to murder a long-time friend in cold blood for the good of everyone else aboard.  When Kirk chooses a more humane alternative (also presented by the dispassionate Vulcan), Spock takes the initiative to arm himself and the landing party against the likelihood of the failure of Kirk’s plan.

Spock: I still can’t believe he beat me…must have cheated

Mitchell is portrayed in word and deed as an arrogant and manipulative man from the beginning ("I mapped out her whole campaign for her"), a contrast to Dehner’s observant and empathetic if somewhat reticent character.  Guess which character will, when imbued with the Power Cosmic, attempt to enforce his will upon his crewmates and to which Kirk will successfully appeal ("Hang on to being human for one minute longer…do you like what you see?") for intercession on behalf of humanity?

Finally, Peebles introduces the basic dynamic through which most TOS stories will be successfully told: the Captain’s dilemma when facing a tough decision is dramatized through his interaction with crewmates who stake out extreme positions. Spock weighs in on the side of cold, rational calculation and Dehner represents the unquantifiable imperatives of morality and compassion.  Dehner’s role prefigures McCoy’s in the rest of the series.

Dehner – The McCoy prototype

The Effects – What’s Changed
First a word about the restored live-action footage: the colors really pop in this new version of the episode.  The distinction between Kirk’s green command uniform and the tan tunics worn by characters like Mitchell and Kelso is finally visible – as is the sallow pancake makeup that Nimoy wears.  On the soundstage planet set bold slashes of red and green paint sprayed across the papier mache rocks may detract from the realism of the landscape but add a stylized and otherwordly touch.

The very first new shot of the episode shows the Enterprise approaching camera, the recognizable “stellar cloud” of our galaxy in the background. This is likely homage to the opening of this episode as it was originally presented to the network. That edit, never broadcast, began with a lingering shot of the Milky Way spiral in the distance while Kirk explained in voice-over that the Enterprise was leaving the galaxy on “a new task…a probe out into where no man has gone before.”

Shot of galaxy from unaired version of WNMHGB

While effective in the opening, the re-use of the galactic cloud in the last shot of the show underscores a minor logical flaw in the teleplay by reminding us that we’re still outside the galaxy.  If the Enterprise and Valiant are the only ships that have explored this far out, how is it that a “lithium cracking station” has been operating on a planetoid at the galaxy’s edge long and reliably enough for an (according to Spock) twenty-year cycle of ore ship stopovers to have been established? 

I’m sure that Trek fans can “explain” that one easily enough, but it feels like a big “D’oh!” to me.

At this point the CBS Digital crew has the dynamics of lighting and animating the Enterprise and the creation of planetary globes pretty much down cold.  The model used this week approximates the original appearance of the ship in this episode.  It’s not perfect in every detail (nor, for that matter, is the “production version” now used in other new episodes), but the inaccuracies are in all honesty trivial when compared to the wildly-varying versions of the ship that we became used to seeing juxtaposed in almost every episode of the original series.

The use of this faux “pilot Enterprise” in the opening credits sequence of the episode is a nice and unexpected touch, but it does make the decision to include Shatner’s voice-over (originally absent from this episode’s credits) especially puzzling.  Mark me down on the “Kirk’s voice-over doesn’t belong there and this was a bad call” side of the debate.

New special pilot model opening credits…are some things best left unchanged?

The matte painting of Delta Vega has been treated with well-deserved respect by CBS Digital’s artists.  Like the Rigel Fortress in “The Cage” the original matte is an instance of TOS getting it exactly right to begin with. The mining towers and equipment have been enhanced with bullet lights in one instance, and that’s successful both technically and as a piece of art in the way that it alters the mood of the shot.

The showpiece of the new CG work on this episode is clearly the Galactic Barrier.  Seen in motion, with the Enterprise navigating through it as the camera follows, the Barrier is a fully realized three-dimensional environment exhibiting fine structure which distinguishes it from the vaguely B5-ish/”Mutara Nebula” impression given by the pre-release studio still shots. 

The sequence is breathtaking, but it troubles me. 

Early on, the producers of “Star Trek Remastered” emphasized that “every new CGI shot will mimic the original choices made the original editors and director” and that they were taking “painstaking efforts to match the original show shot for shot, edit for edit.”

My opinion is that in sequences like this one and several in episodes like “Space Seed”, CBS Digital pretty much abandons that brief.  I can understand that; in my review of “City On The Edge Of Forever” I wondered “Will there be any novelty left to the project, by the time they’ve done thirteen episodes or so, without a more radical rethinking of these kinds of shots?  I guess we’ll find out.”

Well, we’re finding out and the result presents a bit of a conundrum for a reviewer, to wit: by what standard should the new effects now be judged?  If the artists are going to produce modern, dynamic and sophisticated CG work with somewhat limited regard for the original effects design is it enough for their imagery to compare favorably to that of TOS?  Or ought we now to evaluate it by comparison to the best and most persuasive of such work currently being done for television?  For my money that’s to be seen on shows like “Battlestar Galactica” and “Firefly”  – and unfortunately by that standard “Star Trek Remastered” falls short.

‘Tis a puzzlement.

Beautiful compared to ’60s Trek, but do these new shots stack up against modern shows? 

What’s Left Alone
All of the documents displayed on various of the Enterprise’s viewers remain the crudely typewritten originals (they’re even pre-IBM Selectric!).  Since most of these are shots in which the camera is static relative to the screen one wonders how time-consuming such substitutions could have been?

The typerwriter medical record

Kirk remains “James R. Kirk” as far as Mitch the Reaper is concerned.  I note this with a relief bordering on glee.  The “R” in this case was not an error on anyone’s part.  It represents a snapshot, a moment in the evolution of Trek’s often contradictory internal continuity before every detail was locked down tight.

I hope that the crew at CBS Digital remains at least somewhat reluctant to erase these little bits of production history in favor of a foolish and unnecessary consistency.

Another great new matte with few changes…if it ain’t broke…


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“Single Crewman Kelso discovers that he’s not going to be a series regular after all…”

Too funny! Another thoroughly entertaining and even-handed review — thanks DB!

I think it was a mistake not to change the R to a T.

It’s such a glaring difference. And his initial is clearly T. There is no logical reason to leave it alone.


Thanks for the review. I agree that these shots, particularlly in WNMHGB, do not stack up with the standards set elsewhere and not even with the quality that TOS:R has already had (not that I want to represent you as feeling that way about all the shots…)

Good catch on the unaried pilot and the galaxy question. Think I’ll go an You-Tube that and rewatch the stuf that was cut in from the other version.


If there had been time, the computer screens and the R should have been updated. Maintain “production history” is no reason not to do it. If maintaining integrity with the original production was a concern why do any updates at all?

The space effects were pretty great. Can’t wait to see them in real HD.

The thing that struck me about watching this episode for the upteenth time is what a dolt Lee Kelso was. First he commits a serious oversight in inspecting the impulse engines that could have resulted in the destruction of half the ship, and then he professes to try to rig a relay on Delta Vega without blowing up the entire station, which he doesn’t seem all that confident about. I half expected Kirk to whack him with a cap and call him “little buddy.”

part of what i like about star trek is the production history tho’. this was a crappy show done in the 1960s… and its done a lot, but its not without its faults.

leaving the R alone was the right choice.

i can’t wait for Spock’s Brain

Another great review that I mostly agree with. I knew the Milky Way CGI was familiar but I couldn’t place it until you mentioned the older version never aired. I saw it on YouTube a while back, and I couldn’t think where I kept geting this sense of deja vu from.

I still think XI can have fun with the R v T megacontroversy. IF Mitchell is in XI, he can call Kirk “JR” or some such. The fans would get it. The others in the audience would be too busy playing games on their cell phones to care.

Since when is consistency foolish and unnecessary?

Excellent review, Dennis. I always look forward to learning a little more about the craft of writing when reading one of your essays, and as usual your words did not disappoint. Good work!

crappy show..?!?!?
Why the hell are you watching it then!

Maybe the R will show up in Trek XI as Mitchell’s barb at Kirk. Perhaps the R stands for “Renob”, or something, his way of calling Jim a Dunsel.

I’m in favor of leaving the “R.” It’s easy enough to explain away as a sort of in-joke (at least one novel has done that.)

I can’t understand not updating the library graphics. Crap, *I* could probably pull that off.

I love the tone of these reviews. It reminds me of Wil Weaton’s takes on TNG. Keep ’em coming.

Saith the Waldo:

” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

James R. Kirk.

Energy Barriers in and out of the galaxy.

Lithium cracking stations “where no man has gone before”.

“Where No Man Has Gone Before”

“Enterprise, this is Captain Kirk.”

“Materializer ready”

God bless an organic, inconsistent, gloriously ILLOGICAL Star Trek!

Kelso’s overlooking the decayed power packs and blowing Engineering sky-high would have been quite the blooper all right, but he redeemed himself by managing to raid an old power station for incompatible parts and reenergizing the ship’s engines with them–a feat in Montgomery’s Scott’s best tradition. What strikes me watching the episode now is how bad Kirk’s decisions are from the get-go. Given the evidence what had happened to the Valiant and its aftermath, his choice to enter the barrier (without so much as launching a probe first, fer chrissakes) was an act of sheer recklessness reminiscient of George W. Bush at his worst. Eleven crew dead, including a best friend, and Earth’s flagship almost left stranded at the ends of the galaxy–definitely not the best way for a five-year mission of exploration to start.

Scott Gammans–in case you hadn’t caught my comments on a previous thread, just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed viewing the work on your website. Great stuff.

Hey, Beavis. Good review. I’ve never really liked this episode as I find Dehner way too unsympathetic and agree with you about Mitchell; he is way too creepy and arrogant. But I liked much of the new stuff. Count me on the other side of the R vs. T debate.

Good to see you’ve moved on to other interests in your life. Oh, wait . . .


If calling DRuss B-Flav© Beavis is wrong, then please call old hitch1969© Butt-head and make this mothergrabber RIGHT.

DRuss B-Flav©, once again a mac in the pants review. I haven’t even read it yet, but you’ve got that phone-it-in cache with hitchworld. I trust in your wordsmith. You’re a death row PIMP® macking it old skewl. Who loves ya baybeeeee?

I had some thoughts while watching the show on Saturday. First of all, congratulations to CBS-D for a very non-Grunberg® job once again.

… I will have to relate the specifics about the show in a later post. The girlfriend is on the menstrual about something or other and I am needed elsewhere with the parenting and whatnot. Never fear – Budweiser is near.

I shall return in kind, as I always do.



#2 ” And his initial is clearly T”

Not in 1965 it wasn’t.

But what the hell, you say tomato and I say…tomato.

You know, that gag doesn’t work in print.

#!6: Beavis! Good to see you! Other interests? What’s that? :lol:

I had no idea Mario Van Peebles wrote this episode! Quite the prodigy….

Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Actually, I’m sure Sam Peeples would have gotten a kick out of your review as much as I did.

Scott B. out.

Well, I gotta say I can’t believe how well you rate this attempt. The ship looks bad. The metal engine tips look plastic or rubbery. And the inconsistent treatment of viewscreen data is just unacceptable.

Lets face it, this project is a disaster. The work is inconsistent. Rules for changes in one episode don’t apply in another. How can we take this seriously? Especially from a project that says its preserving this show for the future. What kind of furture? One where every episode needs more work? I for one hope the unaltered show is put on HDDVD because I am not buying a half done product.

It seems we buy software and operating systems that need patching before it hits shelves, now we’ll also be buying TV shows that need patching too.

Some primo one-liners in that review. A good writer knows his audience — well done! Lots of chuckles reverberating through subspace.

Mark 2000®, very very very Grunberg kinda sentiment. You should be ashamed.

CBS-D = Okuda in the pants, Rossi in the beanbag.

Large and Virile.


Nice review. I agree with almost everything you said, and want to add a few thoughts.

On rewatching WNMHGB (also on DVD a few weeks ago), several things struck me that, while probably obvious, I don’t think I’d consciously thought of before.

One thing is that, for a pilot, this story relies surprisingly heavily on characters who will *not* be series regulars. The stars and protagonists of this episode are clearly Kirk, Mitchell, and Dehner. Spock is a strong supporting role and Kelso makes an impression, but the rest are essentially bit parts. By the end of the episode, we’re left with only Kirk and Spock to carry through into the series. So the episode really stands out as separate from the rest of the series for reasons much deeper than just the changes in costumes and sets.

But it works extremely well, even in context with the rest of the series. For a show that had at best a passing concern with the passage of time (by this I mean that there were no continuing storylines or character arcs that extended beyond one or two episodes, with the minor exception of the reappearance of Harry Mudd), this episode provides a convincing “starting point” for understanding Kirk’s character later. Kirk doesn’t change much from Season 1 to Season 3, nor does his relationship with Spock. But there is character growth between WNMHGB and the rest of the series. Here we see the moment when Kirk goes from being an unexperienced commander who always has his old buddy around for advice (a buddy who the reviewer above notes is clearly manipulative, and who looks like the dominant personality in that friendship) to being a confident leader who takes advice from his officers and confidants but still remains a little bit isolated from them. (On this point I’m not getting into the movies, where this doesn’t quite hold true).

The other thing that strikes me is that it also shows the beginning of not necessarily his friendship, but his *trust* in Spock. The conversation in the briefing room, when Spock advises Kirk to do something unpleasant that must be done, is one that is echoed (albeit more gently) in many later episodes, but it strikes me now that not only is this the first time that conversation was shown to viewers (as the first episode), it also looks like the first time it’s happened between the characters. That Kirk is able to see this as a foundation for a close, trusting working relationship rather than resenting Spock says a lot about his character too.

And the little moment when we find out that Kirk used to be known as something of a nerd (“a stack of books with legs”) makes for an interesting contrast to his later, bolder self.

Anyway, these things probably nothing new to most fans, and this post is a lot wordier than I intended, but it’s something that I really appreciate now.

Ye gods, Cranston! I guess we know what you were doing during Bush’s SOU.

Good points, thought.

#23: “One thing is that, for a pilot, this story relies surprisingly heavily on characters who will *not* be series regulars. The stars and protagonists of this episode are clearly Kirk, Mitchell, and Dehner. Spock is a strong supporting role and Kelso makes an impression, but the rest are essentially bit parts. By the end of the episode, we’re left with only Kirk and Spock to carry through into the series”

This is true, and I think it’s rooted in Roddenberry’s original conception of the series as a kind of “anthology with continuing characters.”

In many of the earliest Trek episodes, much of the action focuses on a character or characters who are introduced as guest stars who catalyze the action and whose lives will be changed dramatically as a result of the events of the story: Dave Bailey, Charlie Evans, Stiles, and Eve (“Mudd’s Women”) are examples. Most all of the pivotal dramatic scenes in those episodes revolve around the actions and motivations of the guest characters.

This wasn’t so unusual at the time – Quinn Martin used the format of the “running man” to accomplish much the same thing. Series like “The Fugitive” or “Run For Your Life” or “The Invaders” involved the single continuing character coming to a new location, adopting a temporary identity, and participating in a drama that would leave the guest characters with changed lives while affecting the regular star little if at all.

I think this was a wonderful format for weekly dramas that produced more stories that have been remembered longer than I’d bet most of contemporary TV will be. It’s an approach that fell prey to easier, more reliable techniques for holding an audience week after week rather than being superceded by better storytelling formats. IMAO, of course.

I know what I was going to say about the episode now.

The parallels to ST5 are to say the least, disturbing. And one thing totally resonated through my mind – whoever it was, in the comments of the review of ST5 here – who said they were looking for the money shot when Kirk confronted God™….


Man, whoever said that was MONEY. I totally agree now, and see now why they said that.

In other thoughts, I DID LOOK FOR Kellerman’s cameltoe©. I was disappointed to not see this. Perhaps CBS-D CGI’d that crease line out? I’m back to my original opinion about erasing that Kellerman Zsha Zsha syllabant whistle S altogether.

Those are my thoughts. Of course, powered again this week by Budweiser®. =Budweiser – The DRuss B-Flav© of beers™ =


^25. Excellent analysis. Certainly a difference from later Treks where large casts of regulars could be at odds with the producers if guest stars got too much of the spotlight. The format has a huge effect on the kinds of stories that are told and how fresh the show can seem. I could point to “24” as a current show that is in one way a throwback to the format you describe, in that only the star Kiefer Sutherland’s job is safe and everything around him can and does change radically.

It could be interesting to see a new Star Trek that deliberately limited the regular cast to 2 or 3 (or even 1) and made it known that everybody else was just passing through.

Sally Kellerman’s recollections of “Where No Man Has Gone Before:”

We had this silly scene – we were gods, and we were supposed to walk around. .. So Gary and I were gods, and we had these lenses in our eyes – he could stand it for maybe 2 seconds – and were supposed to walk around the lake plucking fruits and cracking it open with our hands. They said, “Rolling” and “Action” and we start walking around there. We can’t see a damn thing. One of us, our foot, slipped into the lake, and we stand back up and then we walk over to pull the fruit off the tree and Gary can’t get it off the tree – still they don’t say cut – and he was supposed to break the fruit open with his bare hands, but he can’t and it’s smooshing in his hands. Nobody is saying cut. We’re going over the dialogue, and we’re supposed to be these indomitable gods. Finally, Gary gives one of his lovely, “Get these f***ing things out of my eyes!” We get them out and we look around, and the crew was all on the ground, wiping the tears out of their eyes from the laughter.


I am spellbound reading the discussion about the episode between Mr. Bailey and Mr. Cranston. These insights into the episode bring a new depth to the whole of the series.

And as I read of this I can see that a new movie with even some of these ideas would be a wonderful continuation of the original characters and concept.

Much appreciated. Thanks guys!

Great review and I thought most of the posts were well thought out. However…
#20 mark…it’s your opinion… but if you find it all “unacceptable” don’t watch it or buy it. A simple premise.
The remastering project was never “sold” as a fix to all gaffes and make the episodes perfect. No one promised that. I won’t go into the details because that’s been done ad nauseum.
Hitch…. please. Find the translation program. I know there’s coherent thought in most of your posts… but deciphering them is taking too long.

Speaking of camel toes, Kelso definately had something going on in his pants when he was getting strangled. That’s for sure! Rewind! Pause!

Oh wait, I’m more civilized than that, aren’t I? I’m sorry.

OK, now that I seen the episode, I don’t have a problem with them using the pilot Enterprise model as much anymore, but yes, fix the back of the nacelles. You can barely make out the venting. Otherwise, no complaints except I didn’t think the voyage through this energy barrier was that scary, and I feel it should have been. I got no sense of fear from watching those shots at all. I feel we should have really thought this ship was going to get torn to pieces flying through this great galatic barrier.

Also, in regards to the upcoming Doomsday — i really hope they make that alien ship huge! Maybe even organic where its almost like a big planet eating space worm or something??? That would be cool. But its just gotta be huge — like way bigger than Enterprise and Constellation.

Live long and prosper!

I really don’t enjoy being the gadfly, but I would like to present a different opinion of the review, which I disliked, for the following reasons. The review is flippant and, in my opinion, overly negative in an immature kind of way of this fine episode which was responsible for all of Star Trek- It allowed Star Trek to get past “The Cage” instead of dying at birth.
Some examples:
“Captain Kirk decides to forge on ahead, reasoning that since other ships will someday explore this region it’s important for the Enterprise to leave behind its own scarred and blasted recorder marker to warn them off.”

Gimme a break. The Valiant was a primitive old ship from a much earlier time, the Enterprise is a Starship. Jeez. Maybe it actually made sense for Kirk to see what happened to the Valiant. Oh, but that wouldn’t leave room for this joke.
“Dehner doesn’t think anyone should worry, on account of how “Gary-I-Mean-Mr-Mitchell is so totally hot now that I’m withdrawing my sexual harassment complaint for his behavior on the bridge.”
Jeez (Again). Another failed attempt at flippant humor, in my opinion, and reducing Dehner’s motivations to this is simply wrong. It would be good if the reviewer described the episode accurately, even if it would take away the opportunity for the “joke.”
Anyway, don’t want to go on too long. I just thought all the other reviews were maturely written, less flippant, and more respectful of this wonderful TV series. It’s not that I can’t laugh at the show, but when something is good (and WNMHGB is good) reviews shouldn’t be about taking pot-shots in an attempt to be “witty.”

#25 Dennis:

Absolutely. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the pattern did characterize a lot of the early episodes — and, for my money, some of the strongest ones dramatically. There’s a lot to be said for that format, and
(The last major network series that worked that way that I can think of was Quantum Leap, although I’m sure there may be others). I do enjoy the serialized nature of some shows today, but after a while it can start to feel like bait and switch (OK, enough with the tantalizing clues to some deep character secret — tell me a *story*, dammit!)

Another thing that is very true to ’60s TV is the lack of concern with the passage of time in general — episodes were complete stories in themselves, and were meant to be understood and enjoyed by people who’d never seen another episode.

#27 Magic_Al:
‘It could be interesting to see a new Star Trek that deliberately limited the regular cast to 2 or 3 (or even 1) and made it known that everybody else was just passing through.”

I love this idea. It’s more true to the feel of the original show, and it’s also, frankly, a more realistic treatment of military life. In the original, particularly in the first season, you had a lot of familiar and recurring faces, but you also constantly ran into new crew members who came and went. (Remember Lt. Riley? Mr. Kyle? Mr. Leslie, even?) I recently read the Horatio Hornblower series (which was an overt influence on Trek), and I couldn’t shake the constant feeling that THIS was how Trek should have been, particularly in the movies. The Hornblower books chart the career of one officer over the course of decades in the British Navy, from his days as a Midshipman to the end of his career as an Admiral (and even a little vignette of him as a very old retired officer). There were many striking characters in those books, but they came and went. A few stuck around for more than one book, but they weren’t the focus of the narrative. I think the thing that bothers me most about the Star Trek movies, what makes them feel so artificial (and charicature-ey) is that they completely jettisoned this concept. The characters stopped being competent officers serving together in a large service, to a clique of people who were too cool to let anyone else into their little club. The only personal advancement we ever saw was Chekov’s assignment to the Reliant, but after that he didn’t seem to want any job but the same one he had as a 22-year-old ensign. After a while, it just started looking pathetic — it’s like they stagnated, not only professionally, but personally. (Apologies to anyone who disagrees — there’s a lot to recommend the movies too, of course).

Sorry — glitch in my previous post. In the second sentence, the hanging “There’s a lot to be said for that format, and ” should be followed by “it would be nice to see more of that on modern TV series.”

Kirk is to Star Trek as Mayor McCheese is to Ronald McDonaldland.

I finally got to see the shots in the episode with sound. I like seeing the preview images and video but I much prefer seeing how they fit in with the music and live scenes. I ended up liking them better excpet the once shot of the Enterprise from above after escaping the barrier where its limping to the station. I don’t know, the lighting/contrast or something it just could have been better. Over all I really liked it but my main thing was the screens for Dehner and Mitchell… I’ve heard the money/time thing but while I can see the tombstone taking some time to rotoscope/camera match the screens were pretty static without camera movement. Even though I would have liked to see the “T” I can live with it but I hope that they can at some point take a little time to do the screens… the off angle screen especially.

While I admit to being nitpicky at times (not an unusual trekkie trait) I’m not meaning it as a complaint really as I like what they are doing just something I hope to see.

Couple of things:

– They animated the clouds in the matte painting.

– Why does a lithium cracking station have a brig?!?

Another fun review, with chuckles a-plenty.

Gary Seven: I disagree. DRB isn’t being flippant, he’s being witty. There’s humor to be mined in even the best of Trek, and he has a knack for finding it. A little Mystery Science Theater 3000 aimed at Trek ain’t a bad thing.

Oh, and by the way DRB, Kelso wasn’t “alone” when Mitchell strangled him with the power cable. Mitchell did that while Kirk, Spock, and Dehner were standing on the other side of the security force field. That’s why the scene was shown in partial dissolve. Mitchell killed Kelso to keep him from possibly destroying the facility, then he zapped Kirk and Spock and escaped with Dehner. He obviously zapped others (like the good doctor) as he and Dehner made their escape. Of course, I suppose he could have just zapped Kelso as well, but since there weren’t yet any “red shirts” to dispatch, Kelso and his tan shirt would have to serve.

Dear Gary 7 of Nine™,

“The review is flippant and, in my opinion, overly negative in an immature kind of way of this fine episode which was responsible for all of Star Trek”

Is there no flippancy in stating this anonymously? Your post is Grunberg® in the pants my friend. Furthermore, I defend immaturity, defensively. Obviously you do not find yourself in the conundrum or green poontang versus Terran poontang too often and that is sad. In the previous times I would call your rantings POOPYPANTS™, today i shalln’t out of respect for the decorum of Matt Sorum™.

DRuss B-Flav© has higher atomic density in the pants in relation to Gary 7 of Nine™, in my astral chartings to date. Plus the dude is bringing SexyBack™ – YEAH!

you mothergrabbers dont know how to act – YEAH



I commend CBS-D for doing many things right. What they’ve done, they’ve done tastefully. I thank them for that.

But you can add my voice to the side that’s generally disappointed in all the missed opportunities for enhancement. Like all of you, I’ve seen every one of these episodes an embarrassing number of times, and I want to be given a good reason to watch them yet again, especially when they’re edited and filled with commercials.

I realize that CBS-D has little time and money but, quite frankly, that’s not my problem and has no effect whatever on what I want. And what I want is this: I want not just the episodes that take place in space, but ALL the episodes to be enhanced and refreshed and made new and exciting again. I want opportunities for enhancement and improvement to be seized upon with enthusiasm. I want to see TOS as it would have been if only it had had a very large budget instead of a very small budget.

I realize that my wants go beyond the original “mandate.” But, again, that’s not my problem. I look at an episode like Arena and I think, if the original “mandate” was to do and give the least they can get away with and yet maintain any credibility, then the original “mandate” was minimal and miserly and needs expanding.

I look at those typewritten pages on the view screen and I sympathize with those who become angry with disappointment. It is indeed frustrating. When Kirk looks out at the Horta’s vast egg chamber I want to see it. When he says, “These ruins extend to the horizon,” I want to see it. When we encounter a Gorn ship or a Klingon ship, I want to see it. The fact that they didn’t have money enough to show us these things 40 years ago is no reason to not show us these things now. I’m not impressed with arguments to the effect that not seeing preserves the mystery. By that reasoning, why show anything at all?

I’m not impressed with those who express relief and gratitude with things not changed. Congratulating CBS-D for doing nothing makes no sense to me. By all means keep the iconic matte paintings but add something to them, something visible to the naked eye. Someone said the clouds of the Delta Vega matte were moving. Were they? I replayed it six times. If the movement is so subtle that I really can’t tell if they’re moving or not then it really doesn’t matter does it? I want enhancements that are distinct enough that I can see them for myself rather than come to this site each week to find out what was done. “Oh, the Gorn blinked three times?” Well, I blinked so I missed it.

Are my wants unreasonable? If Smallville or Stargate or whatever can perform CGI miracles from scratch to extraordinarily high modern standards on a weekly basis, it’s hard to understand why CBS-D has such difficulty merely upgrading effects to the much lower standards demanded by the look of the 1960s. If it’s because they aren’t even given money enough to do that much, well, why aren’t they? If they would get in there and consistently give us something to really get excited about, in return, TOS, a proven winner, gets a whole new life in syndication and beyond, along with new sets of TOS DVDs to sell. With that kind of money to be made on this project, why be so stingy?

I want to acknowledge that on some episodes, (Space Seed, The Corbomite Maneuver) high-quality, tasteful and exciting enhancements have been accomplished. But, for me, even these enhancements are nothing more than what I would minimally expect of this project. The Botany Bay was just a very simple CGI model doing very simple things. I’ve seen nothing thus far that, by today’s CGI standards, seems all that impressive. In fact, amateur fans have done work that is at least as good. And just think of the staggering number of missed opportunities—getting close enough to the E to see movement in the windows, a hint of skeleton when someone is zapped by a phaser, water, clouds, birds and other movement added to mattes and cycloramas, interesting displays in view screens, added depth to those tiny sets—the list is endless. It has been said that some of us are never satisfied. Well, that may be, but I could sure be a whole lot more satisfied. I try to be grateful for what enhancements there are, but oh my, overall I can’t help feeling disappointed.

Spock’s Brain™, you make some good points.

HOWEVER….. old h69 is a glass half-full kinda mack daddy. Dude… really? I mean, really?

You obviously have interWEB® techMology. I bet that you drive a mac or atleast windowze XP. You probably do SO from a laptop in a WiFi cuntneckshun® at your local McDonald’s while you scarf down many many many MCDLT’s and supersize fries with a supersized Cherry effing Coke.

Dude there is GREEN POONTANG® out there to be found, because Shat® found it. Not green in the diseased sense of the word but more in the alien techMOlogy sense of the word.

GO. seek out new lifestyles and new civilizations.



I was struck by the poem that Gary quotes.

“My love has wings
Slender, feathered things
With grace in upswept curve and tapered tip.”

– Tarbolde, “Nightingale Woman” 1996
Canopus Planet

The reference is odd. 1996 would be before Earth has colonized any planets, so, I guess we assume Tarbolde is an alien? Has the poem been translated into English? Has “nightingale” been substituted for some sort of alien feathered creature?

When I started reading this review, I thought, “What left wing, politically correct, liberal, is writing this? I had to look. Wow. I had no idea Dennis was so far to the left that he would bring in PC terms like “Sexual Harrasement” into the mix and talk about Gary Mitchell as though he were some kind of ape man.

Gary has always been one of my favorite characters and Kirk is the best Captain, period. This has got to be one of the top episodes of all time, right next to “The Cage” and BOT.

I’m continually amazed at how the liberal fringe have taken over in the Trekfandom universe.

I prefer straight forward reviews about the content, writing etc. Not a PC sermon on the characters deficienys as read by a commited liberal.

But…. I guess ole Dennis is preachin to the choir. I know of few Conservative Trek fans and they are the most interesting to talk to anyway.

Why do liberals feel it’s neccesary to ascribe thier belief system onto every aspect of life?

Well, I still enjoy the show and the episodes in general and am greeting every redone episode with the anticipation of a child waiting for Christmas.

I’m not going to let the comments of the PC police change my opinion of the show, or the characters, or any other aspect of the series.

For the record though, I find it amazing that the least PC series of all is the one that garners the most interest and approval world wide and for fourty plus years, at that.

Maybe people want thier Captains to be real men, swashbucklers, womanizers, decision makers, hard chargers….? Maybe people want to hearken back when men were men and women were women and there was a decided deficiency of political correctness.

I know I do.

Quess I’ll have to steer clear of the DRB reviews.

Sheesh! Talk about taking something good and ripping on it, because it doesn’t conform to your POV.


dude that was written in the early 60s,

butt… oddly enough translates to Spice Girls, circa ’96. Also the year that Khan Noonian Singh was launched into outerspace aboard the Botany Bay from a penal colony in Australia.

If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends…..



Dear Captain James B. Quirk®,

again.. ANONYMITY is INcredibilty. AS IN, I am NOT listening to you, because you lack credibility. How does anyone know that you’re not DRuss B-Flav©’s ex-wife? AND hot for hitch to makes my butty jelly?

I bet that that you are slime cavity in the pants and may I introducce’ moi?

Me be hitch1969©, and me can love you like no other can. SWISH… every time!



planettom the poem is actually a recycled piece Roddenberry created describing his airplane.

James B. not to get into a political diatribe but you have unleashed the proverbial Dogs of War.
You speak of liberals on one hand and “men being real men” on another, since when did being conservative in your mind equate to men being real men? What sort of compensation is that?
because I’ve got some news for you, Star Trek is NOT conservative, Star Trek is probably the epitome of liberal, regardless of which series we are discussing. Infact, all of society and history is the product and result of liberal minded thinking, the “we cans and shoulds” vs. the “We can’t and shouldnts.”
What twisted and perverted rationale did you subscribe to that convinced you Captain Kirk is a Conservative? Or Classic Star Trek for that matter?
Gene Roddenberry was a staunch liberal and created Star Trek.
If you are somehow ascribing some sort of parallel between the Starfleet of Kirk’s century and the military of today as being a demonstration of conservative minded politics, think again, Starfleet is progressive and peaceful, not warmongering or hate filled, which seems to be the temporary benchmark of Conservative philosophy.
I can’t think of too many examples of Starfleet pre-emptive doctrine.
Captain Kirk demonstrated quite the tenacious ability for forgiveness during his tenure as Captain, frequently forgiving and even helping aliens that were trying to kill him just a few moments earlier.
If it bothers you this forum has been hi-jacked by liberal minded individuals, sadly, it isn’t just this forum you will encounter progressive free thinkers. Society is fairly sick of the twisted and grotesque’ meanderings of Conservative philosophy today.
A Paradigm shift has thankfully occured and people are FINALLY waking up to how self -rightous, abusive, crooked, and hypocritical conservative politics truly are, they benefit no one and only INHIBIT progress on a social AND cultural scale. This nation is 10 years behind where it should be as a result of conservative minded politics and attitudes.
Captain Kirk doesn’t practise gunboat diplomacy I hate to tell you, in all the instances of Star Trek battles, Kirk never once fired the first shot, he only responded in self defense. There is a difference in measured caution and outright aggression, and it seems you have confused some aspects of TOS as being conservative minded, when the entire THEME and CONCEOT of the show is about as progressive and liberal as you can possibly get.

Well I’m yet to see the remastered episode, but why wasn’t the typeface changed? Considering that they were stating that this would indeed be updated? And surely it wouldn’t have hurted to convert the details into metric…

Will computer displays be upgraded too?
Not generally. The computer displays had a distinct style that we don’t want to change. In a very few cases, we are planning on bringing up some shots to the quality of the rest of the show. For example, in “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” we are planning on re-setting the text of Gary’s book to eliminate the use of typewriter text.

Josh T. ( Tenacious) Kirk Esquire’ ®

love ya, babe.




You are one strange bird. I stand by my comments and stand on my beliefs.

I don’t think people want to have thier favorite episodes ripped on by the PC police.

I hope to God that they play Kirk, in Trek XI, just like he was played in TOS and NOT like some panty waist, PC liberal.

Long Live Conservative Trek!