***** (5 stars out of 5)
Twisted childhood: I saw the movie that is sequel to this episode before I saw 'Space Seed'.
So I had the luxury of being immediately afraid of Khan in exactly the way our characters aren't.
Probably that would've happened anyway: Ricardo Montalban is superb.
Kirk invites McCoy along to explore a two-centuries old derelict, the S.S. Botany Bay.
"If you're actually giving me a choice..." says the Doctor.
It's a sleeper ship with 42 men and 30 women from the twentieth century. They stopped making these in 2018, you know.
"What a handsome group of people!" gushes the historian gal. She asks the Captain if she can keep one. This burly Northern Indian man, perchance. Possibly a Sikh warrior, definitely buff.
He's no ordinary man: his heart is twice as powerful, his lungs are 50% more efficient, and he has the most magnificent, luxurious wig. Also, he can lift in one hand any two grown men who might dare laugh at his wig.
Men were bolder, more colorful in the 1990's. Matthew Perry, for example.
The patient seizes a scalpel from McCoy's Shiny Display of Horrifying Medical Antiques. McCoy just got them, he's very proud of them, tomorrow he's maybe going to tuck them in a drawer instead.
The warrior holds the scalpel to the doctor's throat and McCoy tells him where to stick it. Metaphorically speaking.
"I like a brave man." says the Sikh, relinquishing his weapon.
"I was simply trying to avoid an argument." McCoy assures him. (Please reference my earlier statements regarding McCoy and how he is awesome.)
Kirk meets the visitor soon after. Sure, you can leaf through the technical manuals, unidentified knife-wielding genius strongman. Where's the harm?
Kirk worries about the effect the guy has on Historian Marla McGivers, but McCoy shrugs it off. "There aren't any regulations against romance, Jim." There AREN'T? Then what's been the problem with Captain-Yeoman relations that seems to come up so often? Metaphorically speaking.
In 1993 a selectively bred group of engineered young supermen seized power in 40 nations. Khan Singh was the head honcho, from 1992 to 1996 absolute ruler of one quarter of Earth from Asia through the Middle East. Not a metaphor. Really happened. Ask anyone. Bombed whole populations out of existence. Unified humanity like a team of animals under one whip. And they were nuts for yoga.
"We offered the world order!" snarls Khan, for it is he.
He is disappointed with how little humans have evolved, despite their technological advances. "Improve man and you gain a thousandfold." He does not add 'in my pants'.
Khan's improved men and his captivated woman help him seize the ship, but wouldn't you know it, McGivers gives it right back to Captain Kirk again. She's a giver. Cheers for actress Madlyn Rhue as Khan's demure but duplicitous fickle female.
Despite being five times stronger, resistant to neural anesthesia gas, and able to squish a hand phaser like bread dough, Khan is still felled by Kirk's pipe to the back.
But Kirk thinks a Reorientation Center would waste the potential of these mighty champions from a bygone age: so he drops all charges and gives them a world of their own to tame, the fifth planet of Ceti Alpha.
What dire space crop will spring from this space seed?