(written from a Production point of view)
The Enterprise discovers an ancient spaceship carrying genetically enhanced supermen from late 20th century Earth and their enigmatic warlord leader: Khan Noonien Singh.
In 2267, the USS Enterprise encounters a spacecraft floating in deep space, sending out a signal in Morse code. Captain Kirk recognizes it as being similar to the DY-500 class, but Spock points it out as being the much older DY-100, built back in the 1990s.
Spock identifies the vessel from its outer hull markings as the SS Botany Bay, but finds no registry of the ship in the computer library; however, he points out that records of the era from which the ship was launched are fragmentary, as the 1990s was the era of the Eugenics Wars, a "strange and violent period in your history" as Spock puts it. Faint life signs are detected on board, and Kirk has the ship go to red alert as it closes in on the mysterious vessel to investigate.
The Botany Bay takes no action as the Enterprise approaches it, the only sign of life being the faint life readings. Now certain the ship is a derelict, Kirk orders Scott and Doctor McCoy to join an engineering party to board the ship and investigate the life readings. Kirk also requests the services of the ship's historian, Lieutenant Marla McGivers. In the transporter room, Scott takes note of the life support systems coming back on, as if the ship is expecting them to transport over. "Very interesting," Kirk notes.
The landing party materializes on board the Botany Bay, and Scott confirms that the vessel is Terran in origin, using old style atomic power and computers with transistor units. He tells Kirk that he would "love to tear this baby apart." McGivers speculates that the ship is a sleeper ship, designed for long periods of interplanetary travel due to the limits of space travel technology in that era until the year 2018.
One of the life units is then activated, and Kirk asks McGivers if this could be the leader; the lieutenant does not reply immediately, seemingly smitten with the appearance of the man, but eventually answers that it's likely, as the leader would be awakened first to determine if circumstances warranted the reviving of the others. She also speculates that the man could be Sikh, from the northern region of India, noting that they were the most fantastic warriors. Scott then reports that there are 84 people held in suspended animation, all of varied ethnic origins.
The life support unit malfunctions, likely due to the accumulation of dust, and its occupant's life readings begin dropping. As McGivers begs Kirk to save him, he breaks the glass on the stasis unit to release him. Taking shaky breaths as he regains consciousness, the man asks in a hoarse whisper how long he had been asleep; Kirk estimates the time at two centuries. Kirk flips his communicator open to request that McCoy and the man be beamed aboard the Enterprise immediately for further medical attention. "Magnificent," McGivers states.
McCoy is conducting a medical analysis on the unidentified man at sickbay on the Enterprise. McCoy is amazed at the physical and recuperative power of the man.
Aboard the Botany Bay, Scott notes that twelve of the life units had failed and that their occupants have consequently died, leaving 72 alive from the 1990s, thirty of the survivors being women. Spock can find no record in the vessel in any of the computer libraries. Kirk suspects that since Botany Bay was the name of an Australian penal colony, this might have been a way to deport criminals.
Spock refutes this, as it would be a seeming waste of Earth's then-most advanced spacecraft, but has no other explanation of his own, lacking sufficient facts. Spock also notes the extremely low probability that a vessel of this type could have survived for so long, and managed to leave Earth's solar system. Kirk orders Lieutenant Spinelli to have the Botany Bay put under tow, and to set course to Starbase 12.
In sickbay, Kirk arrives to speak to the man. McCoy notes his superior bodily strength and efficiency of his lungs, hinting at his Augment origin. McCoy estimates that the man could lift both he and Kirk with one arm. He tells Kirk that it would be interesting to see if the man's brain matches his body. McGivers arrives, while Kirk chides her on her performance on the landing party. She admits to finding the man fascinating, in a purely professional way, as her position aboard the Enterprise is historian. Kirk thanks her for admitting this, noting "If I can have honesty, it's easier to overlook mistakes," then dismisses her.
Later, the man awakes from his slumber and goes through some exercises of Hatha yoga; then, hearing Dr. McCoy at work, the man notes a scalpel among a collection of antique medical instruments on the wall. He takes it, and moves back to his bed, feigning sleep. McCoy arrives to check his vital signs, and the man reaches towards McCoy's throat, threatening him with the scalpel. McCoy sarcastically, and in an admirable display of calm, tells him to make up his mind to choke him or cut his throat, adding that it would be best if he would cut the carotid artery, just under the left ear. The man says he admires such bravery, and lets McCoy take back the scalpel. McCoy simply and calmly tells him that he was just trying to avoid an argument. The man demands to speak to the captain of the vessel, and McCoy calls Kirk, saying he is a man with "many questions."
Kirk arrives, identifies himself as the captain, and asks the man his name. The man avoids the question, and asks what the ship's heading is. Kirk answers that it is Starbase 12, a planet in the Gamma 400 star system, the Enterprise's command base in that sector. The man identifies himself simply as "Khan". Kirk attempts to question Khan further, but he declines to elaborate on his history, claiming he is fatigued. He says that he was once an engineer of sorts, and would very much like to study the ship's technical manuals. Kirk and McCoy then show him how to use the computers to access such information. He is later visited by McGivers, asking her to "sit and entertain" him, rearranging her hairstyle to something more "attractive".
In the officer's mess, the crew prepares a full-dress banquet, and McCoy wonders if the Enterprise is hosting a fleet admiral; Kirk replies it was McGivers' idea to welcome Khan to their century. Dressed for the occasion, Khan meets with McGivers in her quarters, decorated with portraits of great conquerors of the past, including Richard the Lionheart, Leif Ericson, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as an unfinished portrait of Khan in the 20th century. Khan tells her he is honored, but cautions her "such men dare take what they want", before passionately kissing her, which she apparently doesn't mind.
At the banquet, Khan explains the nature of his journey from Earth, going in search of "adventure", believing there was nothing left on Earth. Spock comments on the Eugenics Wars as a conflict to end tyranny, while Khan replies that it was an effort to unite Humanity, calling his era "a time of great dreams, great aspirations"; while there were dozens of petty dictatorships, Khan declares one would have ruled eventually, like Rome under Caesar, "think of its accomplishments!", he intones. Kirk bluntly asks why Khan fled, asking if he was afraid, goading Khan to declare, "We offered the world order!" to which Kirk responds by asking "we?", noting Khan's reference to a master race. Khan congratulates Kirk on his discovery of Khan's intent, then says he says he is "fatigued" again, and returns to his quarters.
McGivers appears at Khan's quarters, and apologizes for how he was treated at the dinner; Khan comments their reaction is understandable, given that he is something of a "mystery" to them. McGivers confesses that she knows exactly who he is, and wonders if he is going to like living in her century, to which Khan replies that he will have to remold it to his liking. Showing the darker side of his nature, Khan tells McGivers he intends to take control of the Enterprise and demands her help, bullying her into submitting to his desire; unwilling to lose him, she promises to do anything he asks.
In the briefing room, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scott consult the historical records and determine that their guest is Khan Noonien Singh, one of the genetically-engineered tyrants of the Eugenics Wars, and the last to be overthrown. From 1992 to 1996, he was absolute ruler of one quarter of the Earth, from Asia to the Middle East. Scott admits he's always held a "sneaking admiration for this one", with Kirk and McCoy adding that his rule lacked the usual massacres and internal wars endemic to tyrants; Spock counters that he also severely curtailed freedoms, and is alarmed at the romantic tone of the Humans towards a ruthless dictator. Kirk replies that they can be against him and admire him all at the same time. "Illogical," Spock says. "Totally," Kirk responds. The captain then orders security to place a 24-hour guard on Khan's quarters, effective immediately.
Later, Kirk visits Khan in his quarters, who is wearing a Starfleet uniform and "lost in thought", commenting on his door being locked from outside with a guard posted. Kirk admits it was "unusual treatment" for who he is, and wishes to know the truth about his departure from Earth. Khan replies that he and his followers sought a new life and a chance to build a new world, plus "other things" he did not believe Kirk, who he considered mentally and physically inferior, would understand; he comments on how little mankind has changed despite its technical advancements, and that he and his people would do well in this century. After Kirk leaves, Khan breaks out of his quarters and brutally knocks out the guard outside, taking his phaser, while McGivers holds transporter chief Kyle at phaser point, beaming Khan over to the Botany Bay to revive his people.
Security alerts Kirk that Khan has escaped; shortly afterwards, communications become jammed, the turbolifts disabled, and life support on the bridge cut off. Kirk calls engineering to find out why, and is answered by Khan, who controls engineering with his followers and has cut off life support, demanding that Kirk surrender the ship to him, or die of suffocation.
The bridge crew suffocates to the point of passing out. Kirk and Spock are the last to fall unconscious; before passing out, Kirk, making a log entry, states he takes full responsibility for Khan taking over his ship. When the crew awakens, they are being held at phaser point by Khan's men in the briefing room while Khan holds Kirk captive in McCoy's decompression chamber, and the rest of the bridge crew in the briefing room.
Khan threatens to kill the captain unless the bridge crew cooperates with the augments. None of the captive crew agree to join him and Khan becomes infuriated by their resistance, threatening them all with suffocation. McGivers then excuses herself, unable to watch the torture of Kirk and the brutal way that Joaquin, one of Khan's henchmen, treats Uhura. As Khan continues to rage, the channel to the decompression chamber is unexpectedly cut. Joaquin demands of Uhura how to regain the picture, but she refuses to respond and he prepares to slap her across the face. Khan stops him with a gesture, telling the crew that Kirk is dead and Spock be taken in to die next.
Meanwhile, McGivers comes to Kirk's aid by using a hypospray to knock out the guard who was watching him in the decompression chamber. She frees Kirk from the chamber, and urges him not to hurt Khan. Spock and an augment arrive just then. Kirk surprises and confronts Khan's man who is subsequently incapacitated by Spock using a Vulcan nerve pinch.
In the briefing room, Khan realizes something is wrong when he cannot contact his men, specifically, Rodriguez, Ling, and McPherson. Kirk and Spock then succeed in flooding the ship with knockout gas, but Khan is able to avoid the gas by escaping to engineering and cutting it off, rigging the ship to blow up with an overload. Kirk rushes to stop Khan with a phaser, but Khan ambushes the captain and crushes the phaser with his bare hands. The two men come to blows in engineering, with Kirk eventually defeating the genetically engineered man by knocking him out with a makeshift club, and saving the Enterprise from destruction.
Later, at a formal hearing, Kirk drops all charges against Khan and his people, considering it a "waste" to put Khan in a penal colony, and gives him the offer of taming the uninhabited world of Ceti Alpha V an offer which Khan accepts referencing a quote from Milton's Paradise Lost that "it is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven." Marla McGivers is given the option of court martial or accompanying Khan and his people. Khan warns her it will be difficult at first to survive, to find food, and Marla chooses to join Khan and his people. As soon as Khan and his people leave, Kirk and Spock express an interest in returning to Ceti Alpha V in a hundred years to learn "what crop will sprout from the seed they planted".
- "Captain's log, stardate 3141.9. A full hour has elapsed since interception of the strange vessel. Our presence alongside is still being completely ignored. Although our sensors continue to show signs of equipment and life aboard, there's been no indication of danger to us."
- "Captain's log, supplemental. Alongside the SS Botany Bay for ten hours now, a boarding party of engineering and medical specialists are now completing their examination of the mysterious vessel. Attempts to revive other sleepers await our success or failure with the casualty already beamed over. Dr. McCoy is frankly amazed at his physical and recuperative power."
- "Captain's log, stardate 3142.8. They have my ship, discarding their own worthless vessel. Only moments of air left on the bridge now. Commendations recommended for Lieutenant Uhura, Technicians First Class Thule and Harrison … Lieutenant Spinelli … and, of course, Mr. Spock. I take full responsibility… I take full…"
- "Captain's log, stardate 3143.3. Control of the Enterprise has been regained. I wish my next decisions were no more difficult. Khan and his people, what a waste to put them in a reorientation center… and what do I do about McGivers?"
"I fail to understand why it always gives you pleasure to see me proven wrong."
"An emotional Earth weakness of mine."
- - Spock and Kirk, as the Enterprise encounters the Botany Bay
"Your attempt to improve the race through selective breeding."
"Oh, now wait a minute. Not 'our' attempt, Mr. Spock. A group of ambitious scientists'. I'm sure you know the type. Devoted to logic, completely unemotional…"
- - Spock and McCoy, on the Eugenics Wars
"Care to join the landing party, Doctor?"
"Well, if you're actually giving me a choice…"
- - Kirk and McCoy
"I signed aboard this ship to practice medicine, not to have my atoms scattered back and forth across space by this gadget."
- - McCoy, before beaming over to the Botany Bay
"Insufficient facts always invites danger, Captain."
- - Spock, on the mystery surrounding the Botany Bay crew
"Well, either choke me or cut my throat! Make up your mind!"
- - McCoy, as Khan chokes him with a scalpel in hand
"Where am I?"
"You're in …" (Khan squeezes McCoy's neck) "You're in bed, holding a knife at your doctor's throat."
"Answer my question."
"It would be most effective if you would cut the carotid artery just under the left ear."
- - Khan and McCoy, in sickbay
"Khan is my name."
"Khan, nothing more?"
- - Khan and Kirk
"Superior ability breeds superior ambition."
- - Spock
"Would you reveal to war-weary populations that some eighty Napoleons might still be alive?"
- - Spock, on the potential threat of the passengers of the Botany Bay
"Such men dare take what they want."
- - Khan, before kissing McGivers
"Tyranny, sir? Or an attempt to unify Humanity?"
"Unify, sir? Like a team of animals under one whip?"
- - Khan and Spock, on the reign of the dictators during the Eugenics Wars
"You have a tendency to express ideas in military terms, Mister Khan. This is a social occasion."
"It has been said that social occasions are only warfare concealed."
- - Kirk and Khan
"You fled. Why? Were you afraid?"
"I've never been afraid."
"But you left at the very time mankind needed courage."
"We offered the world order!"
- - Kirk and Khan
"Go or stay, but do it because it is what you wish to do."
- - Khan, to McGivers
"He was the best of the tyrants and the most dangerous."
- - Kirk on Khan, during the Eugenics War
"There were no massacres under his rule…"
"And as little freedom!"
"No wars until he was attacked…"
- - Scott, teasing Spock, with McCoy joining in
"We can be against him and admire him all at the same time."
- - Kirk and Spock, on Khan
"It appears we will do well in your century, Captain."
- - Khan
"The trip is over. The battle begins again. Only this time it's not a world we win. It's a universe."
- - Khan, greeting his revived followers
"Your air should be getting quite thin by now. Do you surrender the bridge?"
"Academic, Captain. Refuse and every person on the bridge will suffocate."
- - Khan and Kirk
"Nothing ever changes, except man. Your technical accomplishments? Improve a mechanical device and you may double productivity but improve man and you gain a thousandfold. I am such a man."
- - Khan, to his hostages
"My vessel was useless. I need you and yours to select a colony planet, one with a population willing to be led by us."
"To be conquered by you… a starship would make that most simple, wouldn't it?"
- - Khan, on his intentions for the Enterprise and McCoy retorting
"Each of you in turn will go in there! Die while the others watch!"
- - Khan, to his hostages
"It does not matter, the captain is dead. Take Mr. Spock next."
- - Khan
"If I understood your manuals, that's an overload in progress. Your ship flares up like an exploding sun within MINUTES!"
- - Khan, setting the Enterprise's engines to overload
"I have five times your strength. You're no match for me!"
- - Khan, shortly before being incapacitated by Kirk
- - Kirk, before exiling Khan to Ceti Alpha V
"I will take her. And I've gotten something else I wanted. A world to win, an empire to build."
- - Khan's last words at the hearing
"It is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven."
- - Kirk to Scott, quoting John Milton's Paradise Lost
"It would be interesting, Captain, to return to that world in a hundred years and to learn what crop has sprung from the seed you planted today."
- - Spock, unaware that he and Kirk will encounter Khan again
Story and script
- "Space Seed" writer Carey Wilber used the 18th-century British custom of shipping out the undesirables as a parallel for his concept of "seed ships", used to take unwanted criminals out to space from the overpopulated Earth (hence the name "Botany Bay"). In his original treatment, the Botany Bay left Earth in 2096, with one hundred criminals (both men and women) and a team of a few volunteer lawmen aboard. (The Star Trek Compendium, p. 57)
- Also in Wilber's original treatment, the Khan character was a Nordic superman named "Harold Erricsen". This evolved in the first draft, where the character first introduced himself as "John Ericssen" but was later revealed to be Ragnar Thorwald, who had been involved in "the First World Tyranny". Thorwald was more brutal in this version of the story, where he dispatched the guard outside his quarters with a phaser. (Star Trek Magazine issue 120, The Star Trek Compendium, pp. 57-58)
- Gene Roddenberry questioned Wilber's notion of wasting a high-tech spaceship and expensive resources on criminals – just as Kirk and Spock pose the same question in the episode itself – and came up with the concept of "a bunch of Napoleons" sent to space in exile. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
- James Blish, forced to work from non-final script drafts at the time, still used the name "Sibahl Khan Noonien" in his novella adaptation of the episode for the 1968 Bantam Books' anthology Star Trek 2, which indicated that the name change was a late decision.
- According to an archived version of StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website, earlier versions of the script had the SS Botany Bay as a CZ-100 class ship, located by the USS Enterprise in the Coalsack Nebula, and the class designation nearly persisted into the final script.  The script Blish had to work with still contained the "CZ-100" designation, which made it into his novelization of the episode, though the reference to the Coalsack Nebula had been removed.
- A line to be said by Kirk at the end of the episode was scripted but cut from the filmed episode, saying he hoped Khan and his followers would not come looking after them. James Blish included this as the last line of his write-up of the episode in Star Trek 2. 
- George Takei (Sulu) does not appear in this episode. Neither does Walter Koenig (Pavel Chekov), owing to Koenig not having joined the series yet.
- John Arndt (Fields) was a regular extra; he also played unnamed crewmen in "Miri" and "Dagger of the Mind". When Arndt appeared in "Balance of Terror", his character was named "Fields". His part seems to have been edited out of this episode. (citation needed • edit)
- The background actor playing the Augment who is hypoed by McGivers in sickbay previously appeared as a member of the Alfa 177 science team in "The Enemy Within"; he went on to later appear as a Klingon in the final planet scene in Kor's office in "Errand of Mercy" and as another Klingon in "Day of the Dove". The identity of this extra is not known.
- Although only one hallway of the Botany Bay is seen in detail, the design crew took the time and effort to build the beginnings of several other corridors with their own life support canisters, despite their only being seen for a few seconds.
- The Botany Bay model was actually designed by Matt Jefferies before he came up with the Enterprise. He described it as an "antique space freighter" and put it aside for a chance to use it in the series. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)
- The effects scenes featuring the Enterprise and the Botany Bay were filmed at Film Effects of Hollywood.
- The creation of this episode evidently reused a lot of music from earlier episodes. For instance, most of the music used in this installment was taken from "Charlie X", composed by Fred Steiner. Some of Alexander Courage's cues from "The Cage" were reused too, most notably the "Talosian illusion" theme. One piece of music from "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was reused in the climactic fight scene in Engineering between Kirk and Khan.
- A scene featuring a female character named "Baker", who was a friend of Marla McGivers, was scripted and filmed, with Baker played by Barbara Baldavin (who previously appeared as Angela Martine in "Balance of Terror" and "Shore Leave"), but it ended up as a deleted scene. Several sources still claim Baldavin as appearing in this episode as "Baker".  Portions of this deleted scene are available to watch in Star Trek: The Original Series - The Roddenberry Vault.
- Jeff Russo cited this as one of his favorite episodes and scores from TOS. ("Standing in the Shadow of Giants: Creating the Sound of Discovery", DIS Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray special features) Actually, this episode did not feature an original score, rather stock music from previous episodes, most notably "Charlie X" by Fred Steiner.
Continuity and trivia
- The preview trailer for this episode has the stardate as 3142.3.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a sequel to this episode, while Star Trek Into Darkness portrays a different set of events leading to Khan's introduction to the 23rd century.
- In this episode, Spock is shown using the Vulcan nerve pinch in sickbay on one of Khan's Augments. When Spock tries using the same technique on Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, however, it doesn't work. One explanation is that Khan found a way to make himself immune to it.
- The Eugenics Wars, and the notion of genetically augmented Humans, also served as background for TAS: "The Infinite Vulcan" as well as several fourth season episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise: "Borderland", "Cold Station 12", and "The Augments".
- In "The Augments", Khan and his followers are referenced by Malik.
- When he accepts the choice of living on the planet, Khan alludes to the rebellious angels' exile to Hell in John Milton's Paradise Lost. Kirk clarifies by quoting part of Satan's speech: "Here we may reign secure; and in my choice / To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: / Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven" (Book 1, 261-63).
- This episode contains several references to future Earth history that created issues when real life caught up with the mid-1990s timeframe of the so-called "third world war" mentioned by Spock. Specifically, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: First Contact (the latter of which was coincidentally released in 1996, the supposed year of the Botany Bay's launch) established that the third world war actually occurred in the first half of the 21st century, and the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s were a different conflict.
- Although the character of Chekov had not yet been created by the time of this episode's making and therefore does not appear in this installment, Khan remembered him years later, in The Wrath of Khan.
- This is the only appearance of Transporter Chief Kyle in which he has no dialogue.
- At the banquet, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scott are the only officers wearing dress uniforms.
- This is the only episode in which Scott wears his dress uniform without his ceremonial tartan kilt.
- Lieutenant McGivers wears no braid on the sleeves of her uniform.
- Khan goes through a record five changes of costume for a male cast member of the original series. Firstly, he is draped in gold mesh when he is brought back to consciousness; he is then in a short-sleeved sickbay tunic while recuperating; during his scene with McGivers in her quarters and while at dinner, he is seen in a jacket with oval patterns; while consulting with Kirk in his quarters, he is in an Enterprise engineering tunic; and finally, when he returns to the Botany Bay, he wears the red jumpsuit of his fellow exiles.
- In this episode, "The Menagerie, Part I", and "The Menagerie, Part II", one can see the other end of the briefing room set – a wall with a viewing screen was added in. Usually, the room is only seen from the end nearest to the door. The rotating viewer, usually seen on the top of the table, is missing here.
- One of the instruments on the back wall of the Botany Bay eventually found its way to the transporter room, as a scanner (with an added viewer that was similar to the one on Spock's science station) in the second season.
- The unique engineering "clubs," one of which Kirk used to subdue Khan during their fight, were never used or even seen in another episode, nor is the collection of ancient medical instruments that adorns the wall of sickbay. The mirror that figures during McGivers' hairdo scene is seen again in "The Deadly Years".
- The cryogenic chambers from the Botany Bay were recycled and built into the sickbay set from season 2. Also, one of them served as the decompression chamber in "The Lights of Zetar".
- Footage of the Botany Bay was later recycled as the ore freighter Woden in "The Ultimate Computer".
- Kirk's phaser is accidentally knocked off his belt when he smashes the glass to free the reviving Khan aboard the Botany Bay. The phaser can be seen falling to the floor (when viewed in slow motion) as Kirk uses the flashlight (that Scotty had been carrying in his right hand) on the window. Scotty can be seen grabbing the flashlight off the transporter console just before they beam over.
- There is a fairly egregious continuity error in this episode. In the transporter room, Scott (wearing a red shirt) and Kyle (wearing blue) are manning the controls at the beginning of the scene. Scott leaves to join Kirk, McCoy, and McGivers on the transporter pad, presumably leaving Kyle to operate the controls. Yet, the red-sleeved arm of Scott is seen activating the transporter (via recycled footage from "The Enemy Within").
- When William Shatner accidentally knocks his phaser prop off his belt as he breaks the glass to Khan's cryogenic chamber, DeForest Kelley can be seen glancing down toward it and then up again several times. Presumably, he was not sure if the take had been ruined or was expected to continue. Given the time that would have been involved in replacing the glass, he appears to have erred on the side of caution.
- One questionable take from this episode occurs when the camera pans over the mostly unconscious bridge crew as Kirk records his captain's log with commendations for the fallen crew. There are seven visible people on the bridge, but there seem to be eight in total (with the navigator, later seen in Khan's prisoner's row but not in the bridge sequence). From the beginning of the pan, it shows Spock, Uhura, Brent (played by Frank da Vinci), Leslie (played by Eddie Paskey), a red-shirted extra (played by Ron Veto), Spinelli, and then Kirk. Kirk reads off the names of only five crew members: Uhura, Thule, Harrison, Spinelli, and Spock. It seems that one reference is intended to be to the Eddie Paskey character, but that is unlikely since Kirk mentioned both with the rank "technician first class" and the Leslie uniform has lieutenant stripes. While it is odd that Leslie (and the unnamed-in-this-episode navigator who is sometimes referred to as "Hadley") was skipped in the mentions, it leads to the conclusion that the red-shirted man was Harrison (or possibly Thule, who remains unseen, unless it was meant to refer to blue-shirted Brent).
- The conversation between Khan and Kirk in sickbay is reprised in the ST: episode "Ephraim and Dot" (incidentally giving the Enterprise sickbay a previously unseen window).
- Although Kirk inquires as to the exact date of the launch of the Botany Bay, he never receives an answer. The novel The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume Two revealed that it was launched from Earth on January 5, 1996 and began its journey through space six days later.
- There are several non-canon explanations for the fact that, even though Chekov doesn't appear in this episode, Khan remembers him, in The Wrath of Khan, from the timeframe of this episode. All of these explanations point to some off-screen contact between the two characters. In To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh, for example, it is revealed that Chekov led a failed attempt to retake Engineering from Khan.
- A cat version of "Space Seed" was featured in Jenny Parks' 2017 book Star Trek Cats.
- Story outline "Botany Bay" by Carey Wilber: 29 August 1966
- Revised story outline "Space Seed": 1 September 1966
- First draft teleplay by Wilber: 26 October 1966
- Second draft teleplay: early-December 1966
- Revised teleplay by Gene L. Coon: 7 December 1966
- Final draft teleplay by Coon: 9 December 1966
- Revised final draft teleplay: 12 December 1966
- Second revised final draft teleplay by Gene Roddenberry: 13 December 1966
- Filmed: 15 December 1966 – 22 December 1966
- Day 1 – 15 December 1966, Thursday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge
- Day 2 – 16 December 1966, Friday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Bridge, McCoy's office, Sickbay
- Day 3 – 19 December 1966, Monday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. McGivers' quarters, Wardroom (redress of Briefing room), Briefing room
- Day 4 – 20 December 1966, Tuesday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Briefing room, Khan's quarters, Corridors
- Day 5 – 21 December 1966, Wednesday – Desilu Stage 9: Int. Corridors, Transporter room, Engineering
- Day 6 – 22 December 1966, Thursday – Desilu Stage 10: Int. Botany Bay; Desilu Stage 9: Int. Decompression chamber
- Original airdate: 16 February 1967
- Rerun airdate: 24 August 1967
- First UK airdate: 27 September 1969
- "Space Seed" was the eleventh episode of the remastered version of The Original Series to air. It premiered in syndication the weekend of 18 November 2006. For the revamped episode, a highly detailed model of the Botany Bay was created, aged and weathered appropriately.
- The next remastered episode to air was "The Menagerie, Part I".
Video and DVD releases
- "Space Seed" is released on Super 8 film, 1970s
- RCA CED Videodisc released Space Seed & The Changeling 1981
- UK VHS release (CIC-Arena Video): catalog number VHL 2057, April 1983
- This release included "The Changeling" and was originally unrated, as it was released prior to the Video Recordings Act 1984. After 1985, it was given a rating of PG.
- Original US Betamax release: 1985
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 13, catalog number VHR 2306, release date unknown
- US VHS release: 15 April 1994
- UK re-release (three-episode tapes, CIC Video): Volume 1.9, 30 December 1996
- Original US DVD release (single-disc): Volume 12, 23 May 2000
- As part of the TOS Season 1 DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 HD DVD collection
- As part of the TOS Season 1 Blu-ray collection
- As part of the Star Trek: The Original Series - Origins Blu-ray collection
Links and references
- DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy
- James Doohan as Scott
- Blaisdell Makee as Spinelli
- Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
- Mark Tobin as Joaquin
- Kathy Ahart as a Crewwoman
- John Winston as Transporter Technician
- Barbara Baldavin as Baker (scenes deleted)
- Bobby Bass as a security guard
- William Blackburn as Hadley
- Frank da Vinci as Brent
- Joan Johnson as Human Augment
- Robert Justman as Security Guard (voice) 
- Eddie Paskey as Leslie
- Jan Reddin as a Operations table attendant
- Ron Veto as Harrison
- Joan Webster as a nurse
- Unknown performers as
20th century; 1990s; 1992; 1993; 1996; 2018; ability; adventure; air; Alexander the Great; "all right"; ambition; "ambitious scientists"; anesthesia gas (neural gas); animal; answer; area; argument; arm; armory; Asia; atom; atmosphere; atmospheric controls; Australia; authority; barbarism; battle stations; beats per minute; bed; bioscanners; bioscanners report; boarding party; body; "Bones"; Botany Bay; Botany Bay, SS; Botany Bay sector; brain; bust; Caesar, Augustus; carotid artery; century; Ceti Alpha V; Ceti Alpha star system; chance; charge; choice; choke; circuit; colony planet; commendations; communication channel; communications officer; compliments; computer system; conclusion; contact; continent; convalescence; courage; CQ; crop; curiosity; dark ages; DY-100-class; DY-500-class; danger; date; death; deck; decompression chamber; deportation; dictator; dictatorship; dinner engagement; doctor; door; dream; dust; ear; Earth; efficiency; emotion; empire; engineer; Engineering Officer; engineering section; engineering specialist; English language; Ericson, Leif; error; estimate; Eugenics Wars; European; evolution; "excuse me"; expedition; exploding sun; fact; failure; Flavius; "for example"; fleet admiral; freedom; full alert; gadget; Gamma 400 star system; genetics; gladiator; hair; heading (course); hearing; heart; heartbeat; heart flutter; heart rate; heart valve; heat; Heaven; Hell; historian; history texts (history books); hobby; hour; hull; Human; Human history; idea; "in case"; "in progress"; "in session"; inch of mercury; India; intruder control circuit; intruder control system; irritation; knife; landing party; Latin; leader; library tape (record tape); light; Life Sciences; life support system; life support canister; liftoff; Ling; log book; logic; Lucifer; lung; lung efficiency; malfunctioned; manual; massacre; marooning; McIvers; McPherson; mechanical device; medical specialist; medicine; mercury; meteor; Middle East; Milton, John; military terms; mind; minute; mistake; Morse code; name; Bonaparte, Napoléon; nation; nature; nuclear power (atomic power); Oriental; overload; oxygen; Paradise Lost; patient; penal colony; penal deportation vessel; percent; permission; person; photograph; planet; pleasure; population; product; productivity; profession; programming; psychologist; question; record; registry; regulations; relay junction; reorientation center; respiration pattern (breathing); Richard the Lion Heart; Rodriguez; romance; romanticism; Rome; savage; scalpel; scar; scientist; Scotsman; second; second-in-command; section; Sector 25712; security alert; seed; selective breeding; sensor; shore; short circuit; Sikh; sleeper ship; social occasion; space; space vessel; specimen; spray bottle; standby alert; Starbase 12; Starbase 12 planet; starship; star system; strangulation; strength; suffocation; supermen; surrender; suspended animation; tactician; technical library; technical manual; technician first class; "thank you"; theory; thing; thousand; throat; towing; tractor beam; transistor units; transporter beam; training; treatment; turban; turbo elevator; tyrant; universe; voice; Vulcan neck pinch; war; warrior; weapons department; whip; year
- "Space Seed" at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- "Space Seed" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "Space Seed" at Wikipedia
- "Space Seed" at MissionLogPodcast.com, a Roddenberry Star Trek podcast
| Previous episode produced:|
"A Taste of Armageddon"
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
| Next episode produced:|
"This Side of Paradise"
| Previous episode aired:|
"The Return of the Archons"
| Next episode aired:|
"A Taste of Armageddon"
| Previous remastered episode aired:|
|TOS Remastered|| Next remastered episode aired:|
"The Menagerie, Part I"