Sunday, December 2, 2012

TWITrek Character Insight No. 31: Gary Mitchell

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, our subject is Gary Mitchell from the TOS episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before."

As heard on this show last week, Gary Mitchell may be a major character or villain in the 2013 Star Trek movie. Mitchell is a character that appears only on the rightful pilot of Star Trek TOS, and would be a nice callback for the alternate universe created by JJ Abrams and the other writers.

Mitchell serves as a helmsman aboard the Enterprise before his incident with the galactic barrier. Mitchell is long-time friends with Captain Kirk thanks to a relationship that began when Mitchell was at Starfleet Academy and Kirk was an instructor. Mitchell almost died for Kirk by taking a poison dart meant for Kirk later on during the careers of both officers.

Mitchell also tried to hook Kirk up with a little blonde lab technician while in the Academy, and Kirk almost married her. If this love interest is explored in the new movie, that character will likely be Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, who also was transformed into a god-like entity by the galactic barrier in this episode.

Mitchell was affected by the mysterious galactic barrier, and it enhanced his likely already-strong telepathic tendencies. Mitchell displayed psionic abilities including telepathy, telekinesis, the ability to control energy and manipulate matter, and hypercognition. If not for the last selfless act of Dr. Dehner, Kirk would not have defeated Mitchell to save the Enterprise.

The silver contact lenses worn to symbolize the transformation of Mitchell only had a pinhole to see through and hurt the eyes of the actors if worn for more than a few minutes, but this forced Mitchell to tilt his head back to see other actors, giving an appropriate air of arrogance and superiority for the character.

Our notable quote this week:
"Morals are for men, not gods."
Actor: Gary Lockwood played Mitchell, and he is also known for appearances on 1960's movies the Lieutenant and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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