Not really. For Space: 1999, yes, the episodes were 'bicycled' from station to station, so could air in any order except the stations were told for Year One, that "Breakaway" needed to air first (as it established the format) and for Year 2, "Metamorph" needed to air first, because it established the new format and characters. There was an explanation in the script for "Metamorph" which explains Prof. Bergman's absence (which Fred Frieberger lobbied to keep in the script), but ITC-New York told them to take it out, and get straight to the action. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was complete and in the can/ready to roll before a single minute of footage was shot for the first season, so 'not being ready' is not why it was aired third rather than first. In fact, NBC didn't really want to use it at all, precisely because of all the differences. When they were choosing which episode to premiere with, the only other complete episodes besides these two were "Mudd's Women" and "Naked Time". NBC decided "Where No Man" had "too much exposition" (it was, after all, a pilot), felt "Mudd's Women" might have critics talking about 'space hookers', and since "Man Trap" had a bone-fide monster, they went' with that one. NBC were kind of forced into using "Where No Man" anyway for the reasons you cite (the effects being slow to come in on other episodes). There weren't any other episodes ready for air (except "Mudd's Women", and "Naked Time"). "Corbomite Maneuver", filmed third, ended up airing as the 10th episode because of all those FX. And of course, the brilliance of what followed next ("The Menagerie") was really something NBC didn't want (using the failed first pilot). If the producers hadn't come up with the brilliant idea of filming an 'envelope' to use this as a flashback episode, their collective goose might have been cooked.