Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 22

Space Seed (16 Feb. 1967)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Captain Kirk and his crew find and inadvertently revive a genetically augmented world conqueror and his compatriots from Earth's 20th century.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Madlyn Rhue ...
Makee K. Blaisdell ...
Spinelli (as Blaisdell Makee)
Mark Tobin ...
Kathy Ahart ...
Crew Woman
John Winston ...


The Enterprise finds a 20th century spaceship which contains dozens of people in suspended animation. While investigating, one of the people is revived automatically. His name is Khan, a strikingly handsome Sihk who charms the Enterprise's historian, Lt. McGivers. While recovering, Khan reads up on the nearly 300 years of history he's missed, plus a great deal of technical information on the Enterprise. Through research, Kirk discovers that he's a genetic superman that escaped after the Eugenics Wars of Earth's 20th century. But he's too late: Khan and McGivers have gone back to his ship, revived Khan's crew, and returned to commandeer the Enterprise. Before he's successful, the crew manages to lock out some controls of the ship. Khan attempts to coerce the bridge crew to give him the controls by torturing Kirk in a pressure chamber. They don't relent, and Kirk is believed to have died. However, McGivers had a change of heart and rescued Kirk. Together, they initiate an gas attack on ... Written by Tony-B4

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Release Date:

16 February 1967 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Barbara Baldavin was to reprise her recurring role as Angela Martine in two scenes but they were deleted from the finished episode. See more »


The main characters all remember Khan Noonien Singh as a great tyrant from their history books, with a legendary reputation that Scotty in particular has "always admired." Presumably they have seen many pictures of him, so why did they not immediately recognize him when they saw him sleeping in the SS Botany Bay? See more »


Mr. Spock: I fail to understand why it always gives you pleasure to see me proven wrong.
Captain James T. Kirk: An emotional Earth weakness of mine.
See more »


Spoofed in This Ain't Star Trek XXX (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The abusive husband.
17 February 2011 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Trek fans, recall how the cute girls went for the abusive jocks? Here we have the egotistical brute incarnated. Believing himself to be superior to any common man, he is beyond simple pride. He exercises his desires via physical force coupled with vicious cunning. He knows only warfare and military conflict as a means to an end. He takes what he wants.

Remember that guy? Remember how the cute cheerleader always went for him? Well, so it is with the Enterprise's ship's historian Lieutenant McGivers, who gives in to her romanticism with a historic figure brought to life before her. Her inner passions form a symbiosis with some inner instinct to find a successful male, and she betrays both her higher intellect and oath to Star Fleet because of it. McGivers is cute, alluring, attractive, but her inner desire to see a child with the successful code of the antagonist is her own down bringing. She succumbs to his interpersonal tyranny, mistaking his anger-filled desire for power respected by other males. So it is in the real world.

Ah, but the "superior man", adeptly played by the late Ricardo Montablan, with all of his intellect and physical prowess, is no match for knowledge and wisdom, tempered by Star Fleet training. The former "Napoleon" of the past and would be tyrant of the future is confronted with a kind of understanding beyond his ken. It is in fact why he failed on Earth centuries before, and perhaps why the many McGivers and Kahns in the contemporary western world divorce.

Can we blame McGivers for her weakness in not following her intellect, by letting her baser instincts dictate her actions? No more than that cute cheerleader falling for the egotistical jock that plays brutal and mean spirited pranks on those whose brain and brawn are more balanced.

Again, Trek shows us that not just brute strength, not just pure intellect, but a melding of those elements interwoven with wisdom and caring brings forth the best in men. One without the other is a weakness, and when that is energized with an innate superiority complex, only disaster can follow; the bully; the abusive husband, the tyrant.

On a more Trek oriented vein, as other have mentioned, this is indeed the "Space Speed" not just in the name of the title, but in fact the genesis for one of the most popular of the Star Trek films. I speak of none other than Star Trek 2, the Wrath of Kahn, where emotional, physical and space ship battles run paramount. It is a memorable film tying old Trek with then state of the art effects, and updating characters and story line.

As Trekker and Trekkies we watch and are reminded of the parable presented by this episode, and appreciate not just the thesping from the usual gang of suspects, but Ricardo Montablan who himself keenly observed that villains do not know that they are villains. It is a lesson for many a cute girl who fell for the brute. Too bad they're not Star Trek fans.

Watch and enjoy.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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