As everyone knows, there are two Star Trek pilots. You don’t need the history lesson from me, that has been said many, many times. It also goes without saying that in a good number of TV shows in history, there are major differences between a pilot or pilots and the actual series, such as casting changes, set changes, costume changes, etc.
What’s interesting about watching either of Trek’s pilots against the actual series is these not so subtle differences. The uniforms were quite different (no red shirts, no mini skirts) and Spock looked different as well. Note the more up-swept eyebrows that made him look more devilish than later on.
The tale of Where No Man itself is a very straightforward action-filled moral dilemma… does the Captain liquidate his best friend who has mutated into a god-like figure? I wouldn’t want to have to make that decision, I can assure you. But James Kirk has to do it, to save the ship and save the crew.
I would have loved this story in 1966 or 2016, no matter when I would have seen it for the first time. This is the story that sold the show to NBC to make it into a weekly series. You can definitely see why. All of the great elements of a great show are present, even if all of the characters aren’t here.
I wonder how many people noticed in 1966 and said the following…
“Hey, where’s Dr. McCoy??? Who’s that old fart playing the Doctor here? Where have I seen him?”
Of course I am referring to Dr. Piper played by Paul Fix, who was a veteran of many, many movies and TV shows.
And you movie buffs will know that perhaps the roles Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman are better known for are ahead of them. It helps that they bring great charm and charisma to this pilot.
All in all, a memorable hour of TV that is significant on so many levels. I could go on for days about it, but I’ve said enough. 🙂
By the way (and I might include these every week, because I like them), here is a look at next week…