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Star Trek TNG - Season 1 - Episode 06

Star Trek TNG - 1x06 - Where No One Has Gone Before

Originally Aired: 1987-10-26

The crew is sent a billion light years from their own galaxy. [DVD]

My Rating - 5

Fan Rating Average - 5.17

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Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 56 3 5 12 14 17 42 33 39 17 19

Filler Quotient: 0, not filler, do not skip this episode.
- This episode is essential viewing for Wesley's character development.

- At one point in this episode we can hear the warp core booming very fast, but behind Wesley, we can see the light which is apparently supposed to cause the booms only moving at the regular slow speed.
- Data says subspace communication can travel 2.7 million light years in 51 years, 10 months, 9 weeks, and 16 days, which is a quite odd way of saying 52 years, 2 weeks, and 4 days.
- This episode establishes the top speed of the Enterprise as 9,000 light years per year but also notes that only 11% of the Milky Way galaxy has been charted by the Federation. These two figures would seem at odds with each other, as the Milky Way galaxy isn't much larger than 100,000 light years wide. At this speed, it would only take a couple decades to go everywhere.
- When Picard calls Wesley to the bridge at the end of the episode, he appears seconds later, as if he was waiting in the turbolift waiting for the call!

- This episode was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Drama Series.
- LaForge says "we're passing warp 10!" This line is notable because according to off screen sources, warp 10 is infinite speed on the new TNG scale, which calculates warp speeds differently than TOS. Data seemed to confirm that seconds later by stating that they were "off the scale."
- This episode establishes that subspace communication can travel 2.7 million light years in about 52 years, or roughly 52,000 light years per year.
- This episode establishes that only 11% of the Milky Way galaxy has been charted by the Federation at this time.
- This episode establishes that the Enterprise can travel up to 9,000 light years per year.

Remarkable Scenes
- Kosinski's incredibly obnoxious behavior.
- Picard walking out into space from the turbolift.

My Review
While this is yet another not-so-subtle nod to a TOS episode—this time to TOS: Where No Man Has Gone Before—this time the rehash is far superior to the original. Even the title reflects careful refinement: replacing the word "man" with "one" in the title of the episode (just as was done in the opening theme of TNG versus TOS) is an explicit rebuke of the accidental(?) sexism of TOS' popular catchphrase "where no man has gone before."

In the original take on the story, Gary Mitchell embodied both Kosinski's obnoxiousness and the Traveler's superpowers in a single person. Separating these two qualities into two different characters and misleading the characters into thinking Kosinski had real talent only to be outed by Wesley was a nice touch. The foreshadowing about Wesley possibly having the potential to develop the Traveler's superpowers himself some day is also an intriguing piece of character development for him; as was Picard deciding to make him an acting ensign and encouraging him to go to the academy.

The metaphysical stuff about thought becoming reality at the edge of the universe worked considerably less well. Star Trek is not exactly at its best when it delves into this new-agey quasi-religious mumbo jumbo as a plot device. And once again we have yet another non-corporeal somewhat godlike alien. All things considered though, this is the best episode since Encounter at Farpoint.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From Bernard on 2007-12-03 at 4:09pm:
    I like this one, but it could and should have been so much better. The guest characters are excellent too.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-02-17 at 9:23am:
    I thought this episode was fairly successful, especially by first season standards. In many of the early episodes the characters seem unreasonably obtuse just to move the story along, but here their decisions mostly made sense. I liked how everyone knew Kozinsky's equations were nonsense, but since they worked on other ships, they had no choice but to let him try them. I liked how Picard decided to skip the science after the first trip and concentrate on getting back home. That is what I would have done, if I thought I had discovered a new warp formula; the potential military and scientific value of nearly limitless warp speed would far outweigh the value of one more scientific survey. I liked the pacing of how the first trip takes them far, and the second takes them some else totally different, and the way Picard comments on how he could believe the first, but not the second. Riker's dismissal of Wesley seemed rather obtuse, but I like how he admitted his mistake. The main down side: I wasn't that fond of the "super-Wesley" idea when I first saw the episode, and it doesn't seem any better now.
  • From Jason on 2011-07-15 at 2:16pm:
    I agree with Wil Wheaton from his Season One reviews: this is the first episode that is not "a stinker", and it's leagues beyond the five episodes that precede it.
  • From Omcn_7 on 2012-01-24 at 11:47pm:

    On first viewing (when I was a kid) this was one of my favorite episodes for the series. I watched it so many times I wore out the tape. :)

    As an adult viewing this episode I remember why I liked it but it doesn't have quite the same appeal. However I give it a 9 because of how much enjoyment I had as a child. I think this is the very episode that made a trek fan out of me for life.

    Watching again I noticed one error. Kozinsky mentions that being out this far they have an excellent chance for scientific discovery, to which Picard replies and we report our findings how and to whom? I am not certain this is consistent with Picard's character. In later episodes it would seem to me that Picard is out there to discover, period, regardless of if he can report it to Starfleet or not. The man is kinda a loner.
  • From Trekkie on 2012-07-07 at 1:06pm:
    One of my favorite TNG episodes.I just wish they could have explored the far away galaxy more.It would have been cool to see all the civilizations that inhabited some of the planets.
  • From dms on 2012-09-22 at 2:00am:
    In my opinion, this is the best episode in the series up to this point. While the Picard turbolift scene was surprising, the scene that really struck me was the one with his mother.

    One of the problems you did not mention was that some of the "hallucinations" are visible to everyone, but others only appear to the person having them.

    Kozinsky I thought was over-the top. A little bit too much of Wesley also. The actor playing the Traveller did a good job though.
  • From SJ on 2013-03-03 at 10:20pm:
    Remarkable 1980's futuristic fashion in this episode:

    Wesley's sweater. Did grandma knit that, or did he swipe it from Bill Cosby? Possibly worse than his infamous rainbow GrrAnimals suit.

    Redshirt ballerina's Jhericurl.

    Redshirt dude's manskirt uniform.

    Factoids: Chief Engineer Argyle was later sent to by the Traveler to the Star Wars universe, where he assumed the name Porkins and tragically died in the battle of the first Death Star.
  • From Oren on 2014-02-02 at 10:18pm:
    One of the most memorable episodes of my younger years. Watching it now that I'm older doesn't have the same impact but as a teenager the mysterious episodes, those with a sense of wonder where some thing go unexplained, were my favorites. Both the Traveler and the far away galaxy ignited my imagination during and after the episode.
  • From Axel on 2018-06-10 at 5:49pm:
    I swear I've seen the "edge of the universe" in one of my digital effects libraries as a Christmas/winter holiday background.

    Ah, the Traveler. He's TNG's version of Prophet/wormhole alien, albeit thankfully far less featured. I agree that this brand of New Age/sci-fi fusion is annoying, although it was all the rage in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

    It would be interesting to see an episode like this made now, given what we've discovered or theorized about what's beyond the observable universe. It could make for a cool, fascinating episode without delving into "thought becomes reality" crap. Humans have always fantasized about our thoughts, dreams, imaginations, whatever somehow being connected to reality. What may be at the "edge" of the universe is far more mind-blowing.

    Anyway, enough geeking out. The episode was at least entertaining and attention-grabbing, a very nice break from turban-wearing African stereotype aliens, Aryan free-love aliens, and humanoid fish and snake aliens.

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