Casting Star Trek‘s 2nd pilot
With Star Trek getting a second chance and the script for the show’s second pilot having been written, casting of the episode got underway. Although “Where No Man Has Gone Before” had been selected to be produced as the second pilot only the day before, the casting process was officially a “go” from 11 June 1965.
Veteran character actor Paul Fix was cast as Doctor Mark Piper, Paul Carr as Lieutenant Lee Kelso, Lloyd Haynes as Communications Officer Alden, Andrea Dromm as Yeoman Smith, George Takei as Lieutenant Sulu, and James Doohan as Engineer Scott (whose name was chosen after Doohan had tried various accents, and had decided that an engineer ought to be Scottish). Guest starring were Gary Lockwood (who had starred in Gene Roddenberry’s 1963-64 television series about the peacetime Marine Corps, The Lieutenant) as Lieutenant Gary Mitchell, and Sally Kellerman as Doctor Elizabeth Dehner.
It was Director James Goldstone‘s idea that James Doohan, Lloyd Haynes, and Paul Fix be brought into work on the episode, all of whom the director had worked with previously. Despite Roddenberry having wanted DeForest Kelley to portray the ship’s doctor in both this episode and “The Cage“, he acquiesced, in both cases, to the choice each of the episodes’ directors made for the actor to play that role. Whereas Gary Lockwood was the unanimous decision between Roddenberry and Goldstone to play Mitchell because they felt he was suitably “animalistic” and “very physical”, they did try out a variety of possible selections to play Doctor Dehner, ultimately being impressed with the way Sally Kellerman matched Gary Lockwood and were amazed by her own physical appearance too. At one point, Roddenberry, regarding the casting of the Yeoman Smith role, was overheard saying about model Andrea Dromm, “I’m hiring her because I want to score with her.“
Leonard Nimoy was quickly signed to reprise his role of Spock, whose uniform color changed from blue to gold only for this single episode. After Pike actor Jeffrey Hunter decided he didn’t want to return as Captain Pike, both Jack Lord, later the star of Hawaii Five-0, and, next, Lloyd Bridges were offered the lead before negotiations with each of them broke down. William Shatner, a Canadian actor who had worked in Hollywood for over a decade, with memorable appearances on The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Playhouse 90, was cast as “Peter York”, shortly before the captain of the Enterprise was finally renamed to “James Kirk”.
This production was ubiquitous extra Eddie Paskey’s first association with Star Trek. He appeared in the background during the chess game between Kirk and Spock, as well as in corridor shots.
While the casting of “Where No Man Has Gone Before” had been ongoing, so had the pre-production process in general. Find out about the production aspects of Star Trek‘s second pilot next time.
David Eversole has been a Star Trek fan since he saw “The Apple” in 1973 at age nine. He has written spec scripts and pitched (most notably for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). A two-time winner of the Rod Serling Memorial Scriptwriting Contest, he lives with his wife Annie in Ohio. His script reviews for TOS episodes can be found here.