This episode. This one right here. The definition of a true classic. I can say that up front with certainty because that’s what “Space Seed” is.
Khan Noonien Singh is the quintessential Star Trek villain. He’s formidable, he’s smart, he’s strong. It also helps that he’s been genetically engineered too. It’s a gripping tale that is quite frightening for someone watching in 1967 to think that the 1990’s might hold such catastrophic events as predicted by this episode here. Of course, in hindsight now, the 1990s was two decades ago, and there wasn’t a World War then, nor were there genetic supermen ruling the world. However, to put yourself in the context of when this first aired, it still is very frightening and very unsurprising all at the same time.
When you think about where humanity has been and where we are going, maybe the suggestion of the events in this episode isn’t too far off, just the timing is wrong. Look at what’s happening in the world now. Things are happening in many facets of life that we never would have considered before, yet they are happening around us. That’s what happened in the back story of “Space Seed.” It’s a cautionary tale for sure.
Ricardo Montalban just proves how much he’s an awesome actor. Whenever I see something he’s starred in, I am just drawn to him. His presence, his charisma, it’s so powerful. He was one of a kind.
Even though the big fight at the end of the episode, which is the second fight in as many episodes to take place in Engineering, is obviously handled by stunt doubles, it is still very tense and dramatic. You think I’m kidding? Look at these screenshots:
Please, leave your disbelief properly suspended at the door!
Oh, and one more thing. This episode has always been significant on another level for me. Way back in 1992, this episode was one of the first VHS tapes I ever bought with my own money. I still have that VHS:
That sucker cost $14.95 at Wal-Mart in Big Stone Gap, VA. VHS was expensive, even then. Just look at the adjustment for inflation!
I only got 2 or 3 of those at that price, and not all at the same time. Imagine buying 80 of those to collect the whole series. Before tax, that is $1,196. I think anyone’s parents would laugh while saying no to that idea.
Next week, let’s voluntarily step into a disintegration chamber!