|“||I've been contemplating the death of an old friend. He deserves a decent burial, at least.||„|
|~ Gary Mitchell passing premature judgement on James T. Kirk.|
|“||Morals are for men, not for Gods.||„|
|~ Gary Mitchell's self-acclaimed godhood.|
Gary Mitchell was one of the first major antagonists of the Star Trek franchise, appearing in the second pilot episode of the original series.
He was portrayed by Gary Lockwood in the original series, and Daamen J. Krall in the non-canon Star Trek: Of Gods and Men.
Entering the academy, Mitchell met a young student officer named James T. Kirk. The two men became friends as they served together in various postings over the years. Mitchell introduced Kirk to a young blonde technician (assumed to be Carol Marcus) whom Kirk had nearly married.
When Kirk was named the next commander of the starship Enterprise for a five year mission, he asked that Mitchell join him as his First Officer of the Starship Enterprise. Their friendship was deep, and their command was already shaping up to be a legendary one.
Learning that the SS Valiant, which had disappeared in the mid 21st century, had apparently gone beyond the galactic barrier, Kirk decided to follow to see if they could determine what had happened to the Valiant. The barrier nearly wrecked the ship and began to evolve two of its crew members, Mitchell and Doctor Elizabeth Dehner, though Mitchell's mutations were the more obvious,extreme and immediate.
Mitchell began to exhibit psionic powers and abilities, and rapidly grew distant towards the Enterprise crew, even his old friend James Kirk. He began talking with an odd echo and exhibited glowing silver eyes, and described himself as having ascended to godhood. With Mitchell's power growing geometrically along with the threat he posed, Kirk at last took the advice of Science Officer Spock and Physicist Sulu and made plans to maroon Mitchell on a distant, little-used fueling station where the ship could also conduct repairs. Though Mitchell was fully aware of this scheme, the crew still managed to get him off the ship. All the while, Doctor Dehner, not yet awakened in her power, protested the plan to ditch and maroon Mitchell.
Once at the refueling station on Delta Vega IV, Mitchell began to move against his captors, killing several and leaving Kirk alone to face both him and the now-awakened Dehner. The two planned to remake the galaxy and the wider universe to suit their whims and beliefs. In what would become a series trope, Kirk convinced Dehner that, far from evolving and leaving the worst of Human behavior behind, the two were carrying it with them into their supposed godhood, and this surely meant they must one day turn on each other. He also pointed out how Mitchell already lacked compassion, something a god must always possess. Dehner fought Mitchell, lowering his power enough for Kirk to bury him under a mountain of rock, but died herself in the process.
After returning to the Enterprise Captain Kirk honored their memories by declaring in his official log that both Mitchell and Dehner had died in the performance of their duty. Kirk wanted Mitchell's service record to end that way, that Mitchell had not asked for the galactic barrier to evolve him nor to turn him against his friends.
One of the things Mitchell did learn before being affected by the barrier was that another officer Kirk requested - Ben Finney - was not the friend he appeared to be to Captain Kirk, and that Finney actually deeply despised Kirk. Mitchell made sure to inform Kirk about this so that Kirk would be aware of Finney's true feelings. Because Mitchell had informed Kirk of Finney's enmity towards him, Kirk decided to name Spock as his new first officer instead of Finney. Determined act professionally with Finney and hopefully repair their relationship, Kirk kept what he learned about Finney from Mitchell to himself.