"Where No Duck Has Gone Before" is the eighth episode of the Disney Afternoon series DuckTales.
One afternoon at McDuck Manor, Scrooge is awaiting a phone call from Duckburg Studios, a production studio that is supposed to repay a debt to him. Meanwhile, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Doofus sit down in front of the TV to watch Courage of the Cosmos (a Star Trek type show). The character of Major Courage, a burly duck with the attitude of Captain Kirk, is practically a hero to the boys, due to all the bravery he displays on the show. Scrooge, however, couldn't care less about the show due to finding Major Courage a cornball. Scrooge then gets a phone call and learns the truth about his debt. Duckburg Studios can't repay him in cash, so instead, Scrooge has been given ownership of the studio itself. The boys are ecstatic because Duckburg Studios is the studio that produces Courage of the Cosmos.
Later on, Scrooge takes the boys, Doofus, Launchpad and Gyro to Duckburg Studios to check the place out. Though the kids are excited to meet Major Courage in person, Launchpad goes on about how the guy’s stunts are just make-believe. After entering a sound stage, the group meets the actor who plays Major Courage (his real name is never given). It turns out that Courage has a rather obnoxious personality when he’s not on-screen. However, he suckers up to Scrooge when he learns that Mr. McDuck is the new owner of Duckburg Studios. Scrooge announces that he’s going to cancel the show due to low ratings, unless the whole show gets a major overhaul. For starters, Scrooge orders Gyro to build a more realistic looking Star Phoenix, the show’s spaceship set, within two weeks. Courage then meets Launchpad, and is afraid that Scrooge is going to give the real pilot his job. When Scrooge and company leave, Courage announces that Scrooge is probably going to give everyone’s jobs to other people. He then proclaims that the show’s staff must get Scrooge on their side by spoiling his nephews (and Doofus), which is what they intend to do.
Scrooge and company return to the studio two weeks later, when Gyro’s realistic looking Star Phoenix is finally complete. Courage then offers to let the boys be in the episode that’s being filmed that very day. Launchpad insists on joining them as well, much to Courage’s dismay. Launchpad continues to argue that real pilots don’t need all the glamor that TV stars do. Courage starts off the episode by launching the Star Phoenix -- into outer space! Gyro explains to Scrooge that he was ordered to make a more realistic looking spaceship, and that he went too far and actually built a fully working one. Scrooge goes ballistic and destroys the communications system to the ship, which prevents Gyro from telling everyone on board that they’ve actually gone into outer space.
Launchpad is the only one on board who knows better. While Courage and the boys pretend to steer clear of an asteroid field, Launchpad takes control and actually avoids it. Courage, however, takes all the credit. Launchpad then explains to everyone on board that they really are in space, but nobody believes him. Soon the Star Phoenix is taken hostage by an alien ship. Though Courage still thinks it's part of the show, the boys catch on and realize that Launchpad is telling the truth. The aliens, who are from the planet Kronk, want to take over Earth, and will do so at any cost, including stripping information right out of Launchpad’s brain.
Meanwhile, the boys and Courage get locked up in a cell, and Launchpad soon joins them. Courage uses Launchpad’s “pretend to be sick” ploy to get a robot guard to come into the cell and inspect Launchpad. Launchpad places some alien food that Doofus was eating into the robot’s circuitry, causing it to blow up. He also steals the robot’s gun. After escaping from the cell, the group runs into Overlord Bulovan, the leader of the Kronks. Launchpad points the gun at Bulovan but Major Courage, who still thinks everything is just part of his show, stops him stating “This is the part where we fight!” to Launchpad’s shock and disbelief. Courage tries to fight Bulovan, but has no way of defeating him. Bulovan then explains that Launchpad’s gun is actually a food synthesizer, which squirts some sort of sauce. At this point, Courage realizes that the whole thing is real, and chickens out by retreating to the Star Phoenix and driving off by himself, stranding the others on the Kronks’ ship. The Kronks chase them through the ship, and after a slight mishap with the ship’s teleporter, Launchpad traps the Kronks in the teleporter room by shorting out the door with sauce from the food synthesizer.
Gyro finally fixes the radio and contacts Courage on the Star Phoenix. Scrooge then orders Courage to go back for the others or he’s fired. Courage refuses, stating that Scrooge can’t fire him due to the fact he has a five year contract.
Launchpad takes control of the Kronks’ ship, and heads after the Star Phoenix. After connecting the two ships, Launchpad and the boys meet up with Courage, announcing that they’ve been saved by a real hero -- Launchpad. The Kronks’ attempt to head for Earth anyway by using the information they stripped from Launchpad’s head. Since Launchpad isn’t all that intelligent, his coordinates send the Kronks’ ship out of control.
Later, at Duckburg Studios, the boys are happy that Scrooge cancelled Courage of the Cosmos, as they no longer care for the show, which they pass off as “kids’ stuff”. Scrooge then explains that he had the sound stage from the show turned into a space museum so that it could continue to make money after being cancelled. As for Major Courage, he’s stuck in an alien costume, selling candy to bratty children. Courage wants to quit, but Scrooge reminds him that he’s got a five year contract.
- The episode is full of Star Trek references, from the show Courage of the Cosmos to the title itself, which is a parody of "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- Overlord Bulovan refers to the Earth characters as "humans", even though they are ducks.
- Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck
- Russi Taylor as Huey, Dewey, and Louie
- Brian Cummings as Doofus Drake
- Hal Smith as Gyro Gearloose
- Terry McGovern as Launchpad McQuack
- Hamilton Camp as Overlord Bulovan
- Jack DeLeon as Major Courage
- DuckTales: Space Invaders
- DuckTales: Jailhouse Duck (foreign release)
- DuckTales: Raiders of the Lost Arc / Space Invaders
- DuckTales: Jailhouse Duck (foreign release)
- DuckTales: Volume 1
- DuckTales: First Collection (foreign release)