Mitchell medical profile from the "computer display" in "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
It is not at all clear that Mitchell was the navigator on this voyage. Granted, he is seated at what will become the navigator's position, but the dialogue is inconsistent with this assumption. First, Kirk ordered warp to be neutralized and Mitchell responded, "Neutralized warp, sir." Next, Kirk said, "We're leaving the galaxy, Mr. Mitchell. Ahead, warp factor 1." Finally, after the energy barrier has begun to wreak havoc on the ship, Kirk instructed the helm to get the ship out of there. At that moment, we see that Mitchell is struck by some force and he falls. Kirk then yelled, "Helmsman!" and ordered lateral power. By this time, Spock had taken over Mitchell's station, and Enterprise was thrown back to the relative safety of the Milky Way.
By definition, the "helm" is responsible for managing the ship's propulsion. All of Kirk's orders regarding speed are directed to Mitchell. Moreover, when Mitchell is stricken, Kirk says "Helmsman!" It is my position that either Mitchell is recognized as the helm or recognition is given to this ambiguity. --GNDN 03:45, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
- You know, I've always wondered about this... and in light of this new evidence, I think it's safe to say that we can change Mitchell's position aboard the Enterprise from navigator to helmsman. --From Andoria with Love 03:35, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
- funny because in TNG, the two front positions were also switched for one episode only, Encounter at Farpoint had the conn on the left and ops to the right. seems that TOS had done the same thing 25 years before.
- To be fair, the original story pitch for Star Trek called José Tyler and navigator, and he sat in what became known as the navigator position. -- Captain M.K.B. 05:28, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the off-screen evidence, coupled with Tyler laying in the course to Talos IV, strongly suggests that he was a navigator. The switch in positions could be attributed to giving guest-star Gary Lockwood the more prominent position for sight lines and action. If this is a valid consideration, it is interesting to note that navigator Dave Bailey was the first guest star of the first regularly-produced episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver". --GNDN 05:47, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
There is no indication in his records that his father has the same name. There is simply a field "Name" that says "SAME", but it does not say "Father's Name". In fact, you can see from Dehner's record that the very next line is for the father's name, and she also has "SAME" listed under "Name". That would mean that her father's name is Elizabeth! But we know it's Gerald. It is not clear what this field means, since there is another "Name" field, but in contemporary records there is sometimes a field for maiden name, which would make sense for women, and men would use the same form. Maybe it's for name at birth, which would usually be a woman's maiden name, and usually the same name for a man, unless it was changed for some reason; some men today do change their name upon marriage, as well. --OhEidhin 21:25, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
- This has been brought up (oddly enough, also by OhEidhin just 14 minutes before) on Talk:Gary Mitchell (senior), and because of that was brought up for deletion by Alan del Beccio (see this page). Any further comments should go to one of those two pages.--Tim Thomason 01:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Original research / speculation Edit
It seems he didn't know the middle name of his friend James Kirk, as he put an R. as his middle name instead of T. on his tombstone. (This is explained on Captain Kirk's page, as a production detail.)
It is popular belief that Mitchell was the navigator of the Enterprise while Lee Kelso was the ship's helmsman, as suggested by their positions at the conn. However, on-screen evidence suggests otherwise. Firstly, Mitchell's responsibilities aboard the Enterprise – neutralizing warp speed and piloting the ship, for example – are those of a helm officer. Secondly, when Mitchell is knocked out of his chair after being "zapped" by the energy barrier, Kirk yells out "Helmsman!", an exclamation aimed at Mitchell. And third, Kelso himself was credited as "Navigator" in early cuts of the episode. In the first pilot, "The Cage", and in subsequent episodes, however, the stations are reversed: Mitchell's post is the navigator's station and Kelso's the helm station. It is never explained – either on-screen or from behind the scenes – why their positions at the conn were reversed.
It has also been argued that Mitchell was indeed the First Officer of the Enterprise, and that Spock was granted that role in addition to his post as Science Officer following the death of Mitchell in the aftermath of the encounter with the galactic barrier. Under Captain Christopher Pike, Number One had been his Executive Officer with Spock as the Science Officer; Spock likely continued in that post after command was transferred from Pike to Kirk, with Kirk naming his own Executive Officer in the person of his trusted friend, Gary Mitchell. Spock's later promotion from Lieutenant Commander to full Commander may have been in response to his increased responsibilities from occupying two crucial starship command positions.
This is all supported by original research/speculation/fine imagination/above discussion.
It is conceivable that Mitchell could still be alive in his grave, but nobody has as of yet had the misfortune of returning to the planet where he rests, unless you count the non-canon Star Trek - X-Men comic book.The above came from the apocrypha; clearly not the encyclopedic approach in writing. --Alan 21:21, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
- Since most people believe he is the navigator of the Enterprise rather than the helmsman, since he was sitting at what became the navigator's station, shouldn't the part explaining that he was the helmsman and not the navigator be kept to avoid confusion? Just sayin'... :) --From Andoria with Love 22:38, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Something concerning the whole "James R. Kirk" mistake should be mentioned, and the out-of-canon explanations on it. --ChrisK 13:58, December 12, 2009 (UTC)
Minor Change to Reference Edit
I have changed the reference 'Lithium Cracking Station' in the article to 'Dilithium Cracking Station'. I changed the reference from the whole phrase to only the word 'Dilithium'. I base this on the novel Republic which replays the scene of Mitchell's death on Delta Vega and refers to the Dilithium Cracking Station on that planet. Besides, warp-capable ships use dilithium crystals, not lithium... <grin> (I made the change before I established this account, sorry) OH - and also, the book I mentioned is written by Michael Jan Friedman and uses the common Star Trek 'back patch' for the "James R. Kirk" reference - that it was an 'in joke' between Mitchell and Kirk to have Kirk's middle initial wrong. Elegyjay 05:04, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
- As noted on the talk page for the station, that novel is non-canon, and in the show (and in the script), it is very clearly "Lithium cracking station". Lithium was used before Dilithium in Trek. -- sulfur 05:09, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
My apologies - I noticed that even the novel and its sequel said "Lithium" in other places... the mention of Dilithium must have gotten by the editors in the one place I saw it. Considering what episode this came from, I am sure it was when the producers were working out what was to become canon later (grin)... Elegyjay 07:05, March 13, 2010 (UTC)
Is there a source for his birthdate being in 2242? This would make him the extremely young age of 23 when he encounters the Galactic Barrier. This age seems too young for him to be first officer of the Enterprise, regardless of his friendship with Jim Kirk.
Also, Memory Beta has his birthdate as being in 2234, which seems more reasonable to me. However, I cannot find sources on either of these dates.