Star Trek (1966–1969)
23 user 10 critic

Space Seed 

While on patrol in deep space, Captain Kirk and his crew find and revive a genetically engineered world conqueror and his compatriots from Earth's 20th century.


Marc Daniels


Gene L. Coon (teleplay by), Carey Wilber (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
Ricardo Montalban ... Khan
Madlyn Rhue ... Marla
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
James Doohan ... Scott
Makee K. Blaisdell ... Spinelli (as Blaisdell Makee)
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Mark Tobin Mark Tobin ... Joaquin
Kathy Ahart Kathy Ahart ... Crew Woman
John Winston John Winston ... Transporter Technician


The Enterprise comes across the SS Botany Bay, an ancient Earth spaceship from the 20th century traveling through deep space with a group of genetically engineered humans in suspended animation (a remnant from Earth's Eugenics Wars of the 1990s). Visiting this vessel automatically revives Khan, a charismatic Sikh warrior-type with five times the strength and ambition of regular humans, who immediately attracts the attentions of ship's historian Lt. Marla McGivers. While Kirk and Spock slowly learn he is Khan Noonien Singh, the last and greatest of Earth's tyrants, Khan uses both Marla and the ship's library to revive his superhuman compatriots and take over the Enterprise. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

16 February 1967 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The Botany Bay model was later recycled as an ore freighter in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968). See more »


As Khan hides behind a wall in engineering just before Kirk enters, someone walks in front of a stage light and the shadow of his head passes across the floor. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: The bridge is yours, Mr. Spock. Care to join the landing party, Doctor?
Dr. McCoy: Well, if you're actually giving me a choice...
Captain James T. Kirk: I'm not. Oh, I'll need somebody familiar with the late 20th Century Earth. Here's a chance for that historian to do something for a change. What's her name? McIvers?
Mr. Spock: [corrects] Lieutenant McGivers.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: William Shatner/Lone Justice (1986) See more »


Theme from Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

A landmark for Trekkers and Trekkies
18 April 2007 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Space Seed is the first season episode of TOS which gave us Khan Noonien Singh, the eugenics wars back-story, and the situation that culminated in one of the better Star Trek films - The Wrath of Khan. For fans of the franchise, this is a landmark episode which established some important aspects of the history of the star trek universe. For non-fans, it is definitely one of the better TOS episodes, but perhaps not a legend or a classic.

The Enterprise encounters a 200 year old, pre-warp drive earth vessel derelict in space and boards it. Aboard, they find dozens of people in suspended animation. As the ship begins to power up, on of the stasis compartments begins to fail and Dr. McCoy saves the man within from the brink of death. The man is Khan Noonien Singh, a product of genetic engineering. This former world leader has been engineered to be smarter, stronger, and more aggressive than normal humans. What happens is somewhat predictable (except for the excellent finish), but very satisfying because of the Coon and Wilber script, the excellent performances, and solid Marc Daniels direction.

Khan is played with the pure intensity called-for in the role by Ricardo Montalban. Montalban carries every scene away, and Shatner and Nimoy - as powerful as their personalities usually are - do a great job of portraying respectful intimidation.

Highly recommended for franchise fans, recommended for others.

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