Excellent story, strong performances and powerful guest star
Aug 26, 2004
It is impossible to review this episode without thinking of the subsequent movie, "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan." I consider Ricardo Montalban to have been the best guest star to appear in the original series and in the sequence of movies extending the series. The Enterprise encounters an old Earth ship slowly making its' way through the stars. They board it and discover that it is a sleeper ship containing a group of people who left Earth in the late twentieth century. The leader of the group spontaneously awakens and is brought on board the Enterprise. They discover that he is a human genetically engineered to have superior strength and mental ability. Eventually, they learn that he is Khan Singh, who was the absolute ruler of a large segment of Earth several centuries ago, when all leaders were genetically engineered tyrants. With the help of a traitorous female member of the Enterprise, Khan is able to get back to his sleeper ship, revive his comrades and take over the Enterprise. However, the female crewmember betrays Khan, rescuing Kirk and giving the Enterprise crew an opportunity to regain control of the ship. In one of the best endings in the original series, Kirk convenes a tribunal and gives Khan a choice. He and his group can either face charges or be marooned on a planet with a harsh climate. Khan's response is to refer to Milton, which Kirk immediately understands. Scotty then asks Kirk for the reference, which is "It is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven." Montalban is superb as Khan, arrogant yet compelling. He yields nothing to the crew of the Enterprise, having lost none of his confidence, despite being several centuries out of date. His personal power is clear, and his willingness to die rather than be defeated is consistent with his statement, "I have never been afraid." This is one of the best episodes in the original series, an excellent story, a powerful guest character and strong performances by all make it a joy to watch over and over again.
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Charles Ashbacher (CharlesAshbacher)
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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"Space Seed" introduced Khan Noonien Singh (a viperlike Ricardo Montalban) toTreklore. The trouble begins when Kirk and crew discover a derelict ship and its crew of 70 supermen aboard, all in suspended animation. Led by Khan, these strange people turn out to be the product of genetic experimentation in the 1990s and instigators of a so-called Eugenics War, i.e., the Third World War on Earth often mentioned on various Trek programs. Though displaced from his more violent time and place, Khan quickly overcomes his disorientation and shifts into conqueror mode, rapidly overtaking theEnterprisewith the aid of a comely Federation historian who is swooning at his feet. As anyTrekfan knows, "Space Seed" inspiredStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, regarded by many as the best of theTrekfeature films.--Tom Keogh