Star Trek: Space Seed   Rewatch 
December 20, 2014 9:58 AM - Season 1, Episode 23 - Subscribe

Captain Kirk and his crew find and inadvertently revive a genetically augmented world conqueror (Ricardo Montalbán as KHAN!!!!) and his compatriots from Earth's 20th century.

"Space Seed" is the 22nd episode of the first season and was first broadcast by NBC on February 16, 1967. "Space Seed" was written by Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber and directed by Marc Daniels. In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise encounter a sleeper ship holding genetically-engineered supermen and women from Earth's war-torn past. The supermen's leader, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), attempts to take control of the Enterprise to begin a new conquest. The episode also guest stars Madlyn Rhue as Lt. Marla McGivers, who becomes romantically involved with Khan.

Memory Alpha Link

The episode can be viewed on Netflix and Hulu.
posted by Benway (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So I want to share my "Space Seed"/"Wrath of Khan" story.

My brother and I only knew Star Trek from catching it in syndication over the years - neither of us was around for it's first run. And as with shows in syndication in those days, it moved around the schedule a lot, jumped between channels as the rights changed hands, and they sometimes got aired at really odd moments, when a network had an hour to kill after a sporting event, or some such. They weren't always listed in the schedule, is my point, nor was the schedule always adhered to. We missed some and we caught some - heck, we were kids without VCRs - but we were fans. We had no idea, on those occasions when we did catch an episode, if it would be one we had seen a dozen times or never before.

Anyways, Star Trek II comes out. My dad has promised to take me and my brother to go see it as a matinee screening on the weekend, but my brother got invited to a birthday party the week before where they went to see it too. So all week he's been telling me what an awesome movie it is, sharing spoilers, that he loved it, can't wait to see it again, just being a generally superior jerkass like brothers do. And I'm like, "but who is this Khan guy? And why is he wrathful?" because we had never caught "Space Seed." And my brother is like, "I don't know, Some guy from Kirk's past. He's a great villain."

Anyways, like the day before my dad is going to take us, I'm goofing around downstairs with the TV on...and Star Trek comes on, and I'm instantly happy because hey - these are the days of like a 7 channel TV universe for us, so anything you like being on is just a bonus. I have no idea where my brother is that afternoon, it's just me hanging out.

The episode, of course, was "Space Seed". My jaw dropped when Khan was introduced, because after a whole week of my brother lording over me about STII being so awesome and knowing the plot, and all that...I now knew who Khan was and why he hated Kirk. I had seen the story that set the stage for the events of this awesome film, something my brother didn't know. I think the spent the whole trip to the theatre filling my brother in on what he didn't know, and in general being a general jerkass like only a brother can be.

It was like Brother Trek: The Wrath of Nubs.
posted by nubs at 12:12 PM on December 20, 2014 [18 favorites]


The first episode I ever watched, a week before going to see Khan in the theatre. I had a friend who was a big fan but I'd never watched it. But this episode happened to be on so I checked it out (I think CBC was airing them on Sunday afternoons back then), and the next weekend we took in the big show. After that, I watched every episode in the run, week after week.

I think there are better episodes, but boy you can't go wrong with this and Wrath of Khan back-to-back.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:42 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Benedict Cumberbatch isn't fit to lick Ricardo Montalban's rich Corinthian leather boots.
posted by briank at 3:36 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


I dig the electric guitar stingers every time Khan did his yoga. I know the music is used in other episodes, but it's used best here.

And of course Chekhov wasn't on the show yet, so how could Khan have recognized him etc.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:25 PM on December 21, 2014


Related post.
posted by homunculus at 7:20 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Walter Koenig's story is they crossed paths because Chekov was in sick bay with a case of Space-Montezuma's Revenge, hogging up the bathroom when Khan awoke with a 200-years-of-sleep full bladder.
posted by fings at 8:40 PM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Benedict Cumberbatch isn't fit to lick Ricardo Montalban's rich Corinthian leather boots.

To be fair to Cumberbatch, he was given a script that made Khan's villainy rather nonsensical; the emotional impact of it being Khan relied entirely on the audience knowing who Khan was, and in order to pander to audience expectations, Khan must be the villain. In my mind, Star Trek: Into Darkness would've better served everyone if it had stuck with what appeared to be the initial premise - Khan was found by someone other than Kirk, who was then turned over to elements in Star Fleet who began manipulating Khan into acting the way he was. Have the crew of the Enterprise decide to work with the man, who is quite justly trying to free his crew, and then help Khan and his people settle somewhere in the galaxy after exposing the plot...well, it would've neatly inverted audience expectations and allowed Cumberbatch to explore new ground with the character of Khan.
posted by nubs at 9:36 PM on December 21, 2014 [7 favorites]


Walter Koenig's story is they crossed paths because Chekov was in sick bay with a case of Space-Montezuma's Revenge, hogging up the bathroom when Khan awoke with a 200-years-of-sleep full bladder.

That guy's awesome. I'm so glad he got the part of Alfred Bester in B5, and got to do more than nuclear wessel jokes. And for what it's worth, Khan had enhanced intelligence, too: all he really needed was a brief encounter to recognize Chekhov.

Have the crew of the Enterprise decide to work with the man, who is quite justly trying to free his crew, and then help Khan and his people settle somewhere in the galaxy after exposing the plot...well, it would've neatly inverted audience expectations and allowed Cumberbatch to explore new ground with the character of Khan.

It's a shame nobody involved with the project thought about it for a whole five minutes. That's not bad.

I didn't feel like Cumberbatch had the right amount of presence to be Khan though, even given a better script. (Watching him, he actually came across like someone had imported a Star Trek Online player character into the story, which also would've been a funny script. "Yeah, he just named himself Khan after the guy in the history books because he thought it sounded '1337.' He can get to Q'onos pretty fast because he already has the waypoint from the tutorial mission, and they totally cured death in the 25th century. Except in cutscenes, of course.")
posted by mordax at 9:45 AM on December 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


« Older BoJack Horseman: Christmas Spe...   |  The Amazing Race: All or Nothi... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments