February 16, 1967: premiere date of Star Trek episode ‘Space Seed’
One week before I was born, an episode of Star Trek premiered that would one day be the catalyst that rejuvenated the franchise.
The Enterprise discovers an ancient sleeper ship, the SS Botany Bay, which escaped from Earth’s Eugenics Wars in the late 20th century. The genetically engineered passengers, led by war criminal Khan Noonien Singh, seize control of the Enterprise and attempt to destroy the ship. (This episode serves as the backstory to the second Star Trek film)
Admittedly, this was never one of my favorite episodes. Indeed, when the first news of the second Star Trek film came out, and that the producers were going to base it on this episode, I had serious doubts about how that was going to work.
Ricardo Montalban was known by me for his Chrysler Cordoba commercial, with the ‘rich Corinthian leather’ seats, and as Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. I was totally unaware of any of his other work in TV and film.
The movie itself was a huge success, and still remains as my favorite of all the Star Trek films.
It was also the first film that made me cry like a baby at the theatre. It still makes me tear up when I watch it.
Doubts aside, if it wasn’t for this particular episode, and the foresight of Harve Bennett and Nicholas Meyer, Star Trek may have never reached the popularity it achieved to this day.
And while I say that Star Wars rules my life, I was first, and foremost, a Trekkie.