Review 23 - Episode 24
The One with Khaaaaaaaaaaaaannn!!!
This was one I had been looking forward to for a long time. I'm sure everyone knows the story behind this episode, but just in case you don't - after The motion picture, producers wanted to go back to the star trek roots. So they watched through old episodes and came across this. And Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan was born.
So this has a lot to live up to, as ST2 is one of my favourite ever films, let alone trek storys. And at first, I wasn't sure. The Enterprise finds the Botany Bay floating in space, and rescues the crew, who are all genetically augmented superman. Khan's not as charming when he wakes up as I was expecting and the speed at which McGivers falls in love with him and helps him overthrow the ship is ridiculous. But McCoy has a lovely scene with him in sickbay when he has a knife to his throat and Bones coolly offers him advice on the best place to cut. The dinner partys also good, with Kirk getting one over him by angering him.
But it's really the 2nd half, when Khan cuts of the air to the bridge and takes control of the ship (impressive that Kirk is willing to die for his ship, silly that he makes a log entry when everyone is trying to conserve air). The scene where Khan shows Kirk in the pressure chamber and threatens the crew with his fate one by one if they don't help him sealed this as a classic episode.
And of course we have to have the mano et mano fight and Kirk (just) wins, but if he's hadn't been let out the chamber by McGivers it could have been different. Lucky. His final decision for Khan, leaving him on a desert planet is a refreshing ending to what people were expecting but it will come back to haunt him years in the future,
Really, without Ricardo's performance as Kahn this would be an average episode with a few nice scenes. But he makes it and really gives Kirk his sternest test so far. It's just a shame the 1st half is so wobbly. Still very good though.