Probably everyone reading this recognises the most famous split-infinitive in (science) fiction:

From Star Trek TOS:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

and from Star Trek TNG:

Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Both these quotes were read by in-universe characters; the Captains Kirk and Picard (and I think even Spock read it in one film).

But I think they were always "real world quotes", by which I mean for the television programme and never "in-universe" e.g. in a Star Fleet directive.

Is this correct? Were they ever "in-universe"?

  • Doesn't Archer say this, too, at the end of the final episode of Enterprise? Or maybe it was a montage of several voice actors... (It's clearly been too long since I've watched the show!) – Flimzy Sep 25 '11 at 11:39
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    Why was "where no one has gone before" considered more politically correct than "where no man has gone before"? The newer version seems awfully speciesist to me, seeing as every place they ever went was already inhabited. – user14111 May 18 '14 at 4:34
  • @user14111: Not every place they've gone has been inhabited. – Keith Thompson May 19 '14 at 4:20
  • @KeithThompson Most every place? – user14111 May 19 '14 at 4:31
  • @user14111 @ KeithThompson Then again, those inhabitants weren't men, in the now-archaic sense of "man" meaning human. – pleurocoelus Feb 19 '16 at 1:18
up vote 24 down vote accepted

The last part of "to boldly go where no man/one has gone before" is used a couple of times by characters within the universe. For example by Captain Kirk at the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and in the speech at the launch of Archer's Enterprise.

In addition it is seen on the Enterprise-D's "Dedication Plaque". Enterprise-D's "Dedication Plaque"

Wikipedia has an article on "Where no man has gone before" with a lot of information on its origin and evolution.

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    "to boldly go..." was first uttered by en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Zefram_Cochrane – HNL Mar 21 '12 at 3:38
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    Cochrane's the only one who gets the grammar right: "to go boldly". – luser droog Apr 22 '13 at 3:44
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    there's nothing grammatically wrong with either variation. – KutuluMike May 18 '14 at 17:49
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    another example in ST:IV, McCoy is quizzing Spock about his recent experiences and says " C'mon, Spock, it's me, McCoy. You really have gone where no man's gone before. Can't you tell me what it felt like?" – Joseph Rogers Nov 11 '15 at 15:06

From the TNG episode "The Measure of a Man":

PICARD: Starfleet was founded to seek out new life--- well, there it sits! Waiting.

which pulls a few more words of the opening monologue in-universe.

In "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", McCoy says to Spock, "You really have gone where no man's gone before.", which implies that that at least that part of the phrase is known in-universe. Other answers have other examples.

In the 2013 movie, "Into Darkness",

in the closing scene Kirk recites it, referring to it as the "Captain's oath". (Which I find really annoying, since it's not phrased as an oath.)

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    Yes, from en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Into_Darkness the quote is "When Christopher Pike first gave me his ship, he had me recite the Captain's Oath. Words I didn't appreciate at the time. But now I see them as a call for us to remember who we once were and who we must be again. And those words: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before." – Hypnosifl May 23 '14 at 12:33
  • Yes, it was annoying wasn't it? – EleventhDoctor Jul 1 '15 at 16:01
  • Doesn't that rather sound like an "and those words..."? I.e. he didn't recite the oath but rather quote "Space, the final frontier" as an old common phrase? (also @EleventhDoctor) – Zommuter Aug 15 '15 at 17:43
  • Obviously everyone in the "Into Darkness" universe has seen Star Trek and knows what's up. It makes precious little sense otherwise! – Wolfie Inu Nov 12 '15 at 12:53

It is established in S01E01 of Star Trek:Enterprise that theses words first said by Dr.Zefram Cochrane in the dedication ceremony for the warp-five complex. So, yes, it is a in-universe quote.

  • COCHRANE: On this site, a powerful engine will be built. An engine that will someday help us travel a hundred times faster than we can today. (as the officers take their bridge stations) Imagine it. Thousands of inhabited planets at our fingertips. And we'll be able to explore those strange new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations. This engine will let us go boldly where no man has gone before. – Valorum Nov 12 '15 at 13:59

In-universe is part of a speech from Cochrane before the inaguration of the Warp 5 Complex. In real world is part of a 1950s paper from the US Gov about space exploration

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    "part of a 1950s paper from the US Gov about space exploration" -- are you sure? Do you remember where you read/heard that? – Hypnosifl May 23 '14 at 12:35

Also Cpt. Janeway said it twice... It's not like an oath, but it could be a general purpose for the captains given by the Starfleet

  • Welcome. Can you please add references? When did she say it? – Wikis Aug 29 '16 at 8:45
  • @Wikis I found one of them: "The final frontier has some boundaries that shouldn't be crossed, and we're looking at one." -- Janeway, VOY The Omega Directive. – Rand al'Thor Aug 29 '16 at 10:10
  • @Randal'Thor: that's only a small part of the quote; my question was about the full text. – Wikis Aug 29 '16 at 10:11

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