Where no man has gone before


Where no man has gone before

"Where no man has gone before" is a phrase used in the title sequence of most episodes of the science fiction television series. It refers to the mission of the original starship "Enterprise". The complete introductory sequence, narrated by William Shatner at the beginning of every episode of "Star Trek" except "The Cage" and, ironically, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", is:

Origin of the quote

It has been suggested [Dwaybe A. Day, " [http://www.thespacereview.com/article/506/1 Boldly going: Star Trek and spaceflight] ", in "The Space Review", 28 November 2005. URL accessed on 15 August 2006.] that the quote was taken from a White House booklet published in 1958. The "Introduction to Outer Space", produced in an effort to garner support for a national space program in the wake of the Sputnik flight, read on its first page:

The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before. Most of the surface of the earth has now been explored and men now turn on the exploration of outer space as their next objective. [The White House, " [http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/usa/intro1958.html Introduction to Outer Space] ", U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 26 March 1958. URL accessed on 15 August 2006.]
Interestingly, the situation came full circle in 1989, when NASA used the "Star Trek" version of the quote to title their retrospective of Project Apollo: "Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions". [W. David Compton, " [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4214/contents.html Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions] ", NASA Special Publication-4214, NASA History Series, 1989. URL accessed on 15 August 2006.]

It is worth noting that similar quotes have been used in literature prior to 1958. For example, H. P. Lovecraft's novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, written in 1927 and published in 1943, includes this passage:

At length, sick with longing for those glittering sunset streets and cryptical hill lanes among ancient tiled roofs, nor able sleeping or waking to drive them from his mind, Carter resolved to go with bold entreaty whither no man had gone before, and dare the icy deserts through the dark to where unknown Kadath, veiled in cloud and crowned with unimagined stars, holds secret and nocturnal the onyx castle of the Great Ones. [cite book|last=Lovecraft|first=H. P.|title=Beyond the Wall of Sleep|publisher=Arkham House|date=1943|isbn=978-9997539717 Available in [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Dream-Quest_of_Unknown_Kadath Wikisource] .]

History in Star Trek

Evolution

The phrase was first introduced into Star Trek by Samuel Peeples, who is attributed with suggesting using it as an episode name.cite book|title=Star Trek Creator: The Authorized Biography of Gene Roddenberry|author=David Alexander|publisher=ROC|year=1994] cite book|title=The Making of Star Trek|year=1968|publisher=Ballatine Books|author=Whitfield, Stephen E and Roddenberry, Gene] The episode became "Where No Man Has Gone Before", the second pilot of "Star Trek". The phrase itself was subsequently worked into the show's opening narration, which was written after the episode. Indeed, the introductory sequence was devised in August 1966, after several episodes had been filmed, and shortly before the series was due to debut. It is the result of the combined input of several people, including "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and producers John D. F. Black and Bob Justman. [cite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/words/infinitives.html|title=Words: Woe and Wonder, To Boldly Split Infinitives|author=Blair Shewchuk|publisher=CBC News Online] Under their influence, Roddenberry's original narrative:

This is the adventure of the United Space Ship "Enterprise". Assigned a five year galaxy patrol, the bold crew of the giant starship explores the excitement of strange new worlds, uncharted civilizations, and exotic people. These are its voyages and its adventures.
went through several revisions, such as Black's:
Space, the final frontier. Endless. Silent. Waiting. This is the story of the United Space Ship "Enterprise". Its mission: a five year patrol of the galaxy. To seek out and contact all alien life. To explore. To travel the vast galaxy, where no man has gone before. A Star Trek.
before settling on the one used in the TV series.In the final shot of "", as the camera pulls back and up from the coffin of Spock to space, finally showing the newly-formed Genesis Planet, Leonard Nimoy reads a version of the quote which adds the word "continuing" between "the" and "voyages", replaces the words "its five-year" with "her on-going", and adds the word "forms" after "life":
Space... the Final Frontier. These are the continuing voyages of the starship "Enterprise". Her ongoing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life forms and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Five years later after the release of "The Wrath of Khan", a slightly altered version of the introduction was included in the title sequence of "". The new version replaced the word "man" with the gender-neutral "one". The new introduction, narrated by Patrick Stewart (who played the "Enterprise-D"'s captain, Jean-Luc Picard), at the beginning of every episode of that series, was:
Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship "Enterprise". Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
A first-season episode of that series was also called "Where No One Has Gone Before". It is worth noting that, despite the similar names, the plot of this episode bears no connection to that of "Where No Man Has Gone Before".

Other parts of the narrative have also been used to name films and episodes. These include the original series' film ', and two ' episodes, "Strange New World" and "These Are the Voyages...". This last episode, the finale of "Enterprise", closes with a voice-over of the quote, segueing from Picard's "Next Generation" opening to Kirk and then closing with Archer using the original series' gender specific version. [ [http://www.chakoteya.net/Enterprise/98.htm Transcript of the episode "These Are The Voyages..."] ] Also, a 1996 book written to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek is called "Star Trek: These are the Voyages...". [cite book|last=Kurts|first=Charles|title=Star Trek: These are the Voyages...|publisher=Pocket Books|date=1996|isbn=0671551396]

Fictional backstory

The quote has been used numerous times by various Star Trek characters, and has in fact been given a complete backstory within the show. It is shown to become corrupted as time passes in the series, and to be willingly changed to reflect the political climate of the various time-periods covered in the Star Trek universe.

The backstory states that the phrase, and in fact the entire mission statement of Kirk's "Enterprise", originates from a speech given by Zefram Cochrane at the dedication of the Warp 5 Complex in 2119, and shown in the "Enterprise" episode "Broken Bow": [ [http://www.chakoteya.net/Enterprise/01.htm Transcript of the episode "Broken Bow".] ]

On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us to travel a hundred times faster than we can today. Imagine it. Thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips. And we'll be able to explore those strange, new worlds. And seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly, where no man has gone before.

In the fictional timeline, the quote became corrupted by the use of the split infinitive "to boldly go" at some point before 2151. At that point, it was adopted as the motto of the "Enterprise" and engraved on its dedication plaque with the split infinitive, although it was impossible to make out in normal episodes.

By the 23rd century, the quote had been adopted as the motto of Captain Kirk's "Enterprise", although it did not appear on its simple dedication plaque. The quote did appear on the dedication plaque of the later "Enterprise"-A, and was also engraved on the base of a non-functional decorative ship's wheel found in the ship's lounge and seen in "". Following the events of "", which dealt with cross-species racism, the word "man" was changed to the gender- and race-neutral "one" by Kirk:

Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship "Enterprise" under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man...where no "one"... has gone before.

The new quote "where no one has gone before" was then adopted as the mission and motto of the following starships Enterprise. It is engraved on the dedication plaques of the "Enterprise"-B, "Enterprise"-D and "Enterprise"-E. Other parts of Cochrane's speech also became cultural icons — according to Captain Janeway in the episode "Equinox", the oath that Starfleet officers take includes the directive "to seek out life".

Use in popular culture

The quote has gained popularity outside "Star Trek". The phrase has become a snowclone, a rhetorical device and type of word play in which one word within it is replaced while maintaining the overall structure. For example, an episode of "Futurama" that dealt with a character's devotion to "Star Trek" is named "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" [imdb episode|id=0584464|episode=Where No Fan Has Gone Before] , a level in the videogame "" is called "Starbase: Where No Turtle Has Gone Before" [ [http://www.gamersgraveyard.com/repository/snes/manuals/manuals/tmnt4.zip Instruction manual] for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time" at [http://www.gamersgraveyard.com/ Gamers Graveyard] .] , and an episode of "DuckTales" parodying "Star Trek" is entitled "Where No Duck Has Gone Before". [imdb episode|id=0566953|episode=Where No Duck Has Gone Before]

The split infinitive "to boldly go" has also been the subject of jokes. British humorist and science-fiction author Douglas Adams describes, in his series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", the long-lost heroic age of the Galactic Empire, when bold adventurers dared "to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before." [cite book|last=Adams|first=Douglas|title=The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|publisher=Pan Books|date=1979|isbn=0-330-25864-8] In "The Physics of Star Trek", Lawrence M. Krauss begins a list of Star Trek's ten worst errors by quoting one of his colleagues who considers that their greatest mistake is "to split an infinitive every damn time." [cite book|last=Krauss|first=Lawrence M.|title=The Physics of Star Trek|publisher=HarperPerennial|date=1995|isbn=978-0-465-00559-8]

See also

* Cultural impact of Star Trek

References


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