23. Space Seed
WHY WE LIKE IT: Khan is positively magnetic. Possibly the greatest Star Trek villain of all time.
WHY WE DON'T: If I had to nitpick, that fist fight at the end has problems.
REVIEW: Ricardo Montalban eats up the screen as Khan, a charismatic and ambitious tyrant from a bygone age, immediately likeable but incredibly dangerous. He's not evil, merely ruthless and totally confident that his order is what the world needs.
It's a testament to Kirk (or to Shatner) that he can hold his own against Khan. The two quickly come to admire one another. That admiration gives us a couple of great scenes. The crew's loyalty (especially Uhura's defiance) is also a great moment, and the final solution opens the way for a sequel ;-).
As for McGivers, she's an interesting character, well acted by Madlyn Rue, and her seduction is a powerful moment. If there's a letdown (aside from the 1990s not being a great choice for Khan's origin), it's the fight beteen Khan and Kirk at the end. It's an easy and clichéed climax, is acted out with stuntmen that look nothing like the stars, and is won with a beating stick obviously made of light plastic.
LESSON: I should watch the news more. Completely missed the Eugenics Wars on CNN 10 years ago.
REWATCHABILITY - High: Khan is a most memorable character and the great performances of all involved carry the episode. Top notch.