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According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is: The Cage : Where No Man Has Gone Before : Mudd's Women.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Wink of an Eye : Where No Man Has Gone Before : For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky.


On the way to the Galactic Barrier the Enterprise picks up a disaster recorder from the old Earth ship S.S. Valiant that disappeared 200 years ago, indicating that something related to extrasensory perception (ESP) happened to the crew. The Enterprise crosses the barrier nonetheless, whereby nine crew members are killed and the engines burn out. Moreover Kirk's old friend Gary Mitchell begins to develop ESP powers that pose a growing threat to the ship. Kirk assigns psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner to observe him. When the Enterprise arrives at the Delta Vega station for repairs, Kirk sees no other way but to exile the dangerous individual that Mitchell has become on the uninhabited planet, with the option to blow up the facility if necessary. Mitchell, however, kills Lt. Kelso and escapes with Dehner who too has mutated in the meantime. Kirk goes after them with a phaser rifle, but Mitchell easily anticipates the attack and prepares to execute his old friend. Dehner, with what is left of her humanity, decides to help the captain and weakens Mitchell at the expense of her own life so Kirk can kill him.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Confusion over who the title refers to. According to the trivia section of this episode's entry in the Internet Movie Database, the title is taken from the opening pre credits monologue, although it could be intended to link Mitchell and Dehner with the crew member from the Valiant.

Nit Central

  1. Jonathan (Jon0815) on Saturday, February 05, 2011 - 4:54 am - When Spock says that the recording describes the Valiant being caught in a magnetic storm, Kirk comments that "The old impulse engines couldn't handle it". Does that mean the Valiant didn't have warp drive? It's more likely that Kirk is referring to the fact that the impulse engines on the Valiant were less powerful that those of the Enterprise.
  2. How did the Valiant get to the edge of the galaxy - several thousand light years from Earth - at sublight speeds? Did the magnentic storm somehow propel it at warp speed? Either that or a wormhole.

Internet Movie Database

Character error

  1. When the Enterprise officers are in the boardroom discussing the increase in Gary's ESP abilities, Sulu uses the word "geometric" instead of "exponential". While both refer to growth rates of a mathematical function proportional to the function's current value, "geometric" refers to a function with discrete domain values; "exponential" refers to a continuous domain value. (Sulu's description of starting with a penny and doubling it daily is correctly geometric, but Mitchell's ESP was continually growing, so exponential would be more appropriate.) Perhaps Mitchell's abilities are doubling at this stage.
  2. Gary Mitchell makes Captain Kirk's "headstone" which reads: "James R. Kirk." In all other Star Trek references, his name is "James Tiberius Kirk". Even in his god-like state, Mitchell is capable of making mistakes

Crew or equipment visible

  1. Lee Kelso's wristwatch is visible under his uniform sleeve at 4 minutes 3 second. Possibly a good luck charm?

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. The events of this episode obviously occur significantly earlier than the bulk of the rest of the series. As such, the educational title of physicist that is given to Sulu is in line with subsequent appearances where he is later promoted to the positional title of, and referred to as a 'helmsman'. Both Sulu and Spock have time to change their occupation, and as such get promotions and change their respective uniform colors.

Ex Astris Scientia


  1. It is curious in hindsight that
    1) Kirk asks Dr. Dehner about ESP rather than Spock, who clearly has such abilities as a Vulcan, and
    2) she and Mitchell develop ESP powers rather than him.
    1) Dehner has specialist knowledge of ESP.
    2) Spock may be immune to the effects of the barrier, possibly due to his Vulcan physiology.

The Original Series Season 1
Pilot episodes: The Cage I Where No Man Has Gone Before
Regular episodes: The Corbomite Maneuver I Mudd's Women I The Enemy Within I The Man Trap I The Naked Time I Charlie X I Balance of Terror I What Are Little Girls Made Of? I Dagger of the Mind I Miri I The Conscience of the King I The Galileo Seven I Court Martial I The Menagerie Part 1 I The Menagerie Part 2 I Shore Leave I The Squire of Gothos I Arena I The Alternative Factor I Tomorrow Is Yesterday I The Return of the Archons I A Taste of Armageddon I Space Seed I This Side of Paradise I The Devil in the Dark I Errand of Mercy I The City on the Edge of Forever I Operation: Annihilate!