Star Trek TOS S1E22: Space Seed
Falling in love with the sexy eugenic bad guy.
See the Star Trek TOS Rewatch Index page for links to all the episodes covered so far.
“SPACE SEED” Rating: 8.6/10
Kirk utters that immortal bellow in the film The Wrath of Khan but it reverberates back to this first appearance of the wonderful Ricardo Montalbán as Khan Noonien Singh. Guest stars don’t usually steal the bridge from William Shatner’s Captain Kirk, but “Space Seed” is a big exception. Montalbán’s rich, accented rumble, his disdainful piercing gaze, his insouciant braid; you can hardly blame historian Lt. Marla McGivers (Madlyn Rhue) for falling head over heels on first sight.
Marla’s reaction isn’t just hers; it’s the show’s. Director Marc Daniels, writers Gene L. Coon and Carey Wilber, and much of the Enterprise crew are enamored with their villainous visitor. He recalls iconic swashbuckling strongmen from Caesar to Leif Erickson—to, for that matter, Captain Kirk. He is, in many ways, Kirk’s double in a truer sense than the doppelganger from “The Enemy Within,” and the episode is a kind of love letter to a heroic type the show half disavows only to more enthusiastically embrace.
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