In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider Where No Man Has Gone Before, which aired on September 22, 1966, Star Date 1312.4.
The Federation starship Enterprise is on an exploratory mission to leave the galaxy. En route, a damaged ship’s recorder of the SS Valiant, an Earth spaceship lost 200 years earlier, is found. Its record is incomplete, but it reveals that the Valiant had been swept from its path by a “magnetic space storm,” and that the crew had frantically searched for information about extra-sensory perception in the ship’s library computer. The recording ends with the captain of the Valiant apparently giving a self-destruct order.
Captain Kirk decides that they need to know what happened to the Valiant, and the Enterprise crosses the edge of the galaxy. There, it encounters a strange barrier which damages the ship’s systems and warp drive, forcing a retreat. At the same time, nine crew members are killed and both helmsman Gary Mitchell and ship’s psychiatrist Dr. Elizabeth Dehner are knocked unconscious by the barrier’s effect. When he awakens, Mitchell’s eyes glow silver, and he begins to display remarkable psychic powers.
Mitchell becomes increasingly arrogant and hostile toward the rest of the crew, declaring that he has become godlike, enforcing his desires with fearsome displays of telepathic and telekinetic power. Science Officer Spock comes to believe that the Valiant crew members may have experienced the same phenomenon and destroyed the ship to keep the power from spreading. He advises Kirk that Mitchell may have to be killed before his powers develop further, but Kirk angrily disagrees.
Alarmed that Mitchell may take over the Enterprise, Kirk decides to maroon him at an unmanned lithium-cracking facility on the remote planet of Delta Vega. Once there, the landing party tries to confine Mitchell, but his powers have become too great. He kills navigator Lt. Kelso and escapes by knocking out Kirk and Spock, taking with him Dr. Dehner, who has now developed similar powers.
Kirk follows and appeals to Dr. Dehner’s humanity for help. Before Mitchell can kill Kirk, the doctor attacks and weakens him. Mitchell fatally injures Dehner, but before he can recover from the effort, Kirk uses a phaser rifle to create a rock slide, killing Mitchell.
On the Enterprise, Kirk makes a log entry that both Dehner and Mitchell gave their lives “in performance of duty”. He explains to Spock that he wants his friend’s service record to end positively: “He didn’t ask for what happened to him.”
- Your root cause analysis is different than an investigation.
- Compliance training should provide answers to employees when times of high stress arise.
- Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Internal controls are the key.