Star Trek (1966–1969)
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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 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


When Khan is under guard in his quarters and talking to Kirk, he is wearing a red Starfleet uniform with an Engineering/Security/Operations rating but no rank insignia. See more »


The Star Trek series uses Metric units but the decompression chamber is rated for inches of mercury, not millimeters. See more »


Captain James T. Kirk: [about to beam aboard the Botany Bay] You ready, Bones?
Dr. McCoy: No. I signed aboard this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget.
Captain James T. Kirk: You're an old-fashioned boy, McCoy.
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Alternate Versions

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


Referenced in The Outer Limits: Down to Earth (2000) See more »


Theme from Star Trek
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

one of the best episodes- at least an obvious fan favorite- Ricardo Montalban's finest hour!...
21 October 2007 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

...till the Wrath of Khan that is. In a precursor to one of the finest Stark Trek films, this is the episode that introduces the 'superman' type of villain in specially-bred Khan, who came aboard the enterprise following a sort of 'dethawing' that awoke him from sleep since the 1990s. It's a fascinating episode just on the basis of how there is almost a game made out of power, of things that aren't said but intonated about who's in charge. And the title, to be sure, isn't just something suggestive. There's a power-ideal going on there too, a Darwin thing almost. Oh sure, there's the typical facet of the villain taking over the ship and making the crew choose the captain (death) or him (subservience to an Alexander-type figure).

Sure there's the defector in McGievens, who lit by the cameramen to look like she's in an impressionist painting, and how she loses sight of her professional interest in history for the magnetism of his will when he says (paraphrasing) "stay or go, but do as you truly decide". But it's all pulled off with the utmost attention to entertainment, as well as some of the usual bright food-for-though in the Trek cannon. It's also a riot just seeing Montelban and Shatner go head to head- a kind of battle of the bulge in over-acting and machismo-steel looks- and this goes without saying that this is only the first step before things *really* went overboard on the 1982 sequel. It's wonderful pop-iconic stuff, with dashes of humor and statements on tyranny.

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