Star Trek - The Original Series, Vol. 12, Episodes 23 & 24: A Taste of Armageddon/ Space Seed
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"A Taste of Armageddon," Ep. 23 - The U.S.S. Enterprise is caught in a bizarre interplanetary war fought entirely by computers, but with real deaths. "Space Seed," Ep. 24 - The U.S.S. Enterprise is commandeered by a 20th century genetic "superhuman," Khan (Ricardo Montalban), who along with his followers has survived for centuries aboard a "sleeper ship." This episode inspired the film "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Volume 12 in the classic Star Trek series on DVD begins with "Space Seed," which introduced Khan Noonien Singh (a viperlike Ricardo Montalban) to Trek lore. The trouble begins when Kirk & crew discovers a derelict ship and its crew of 70 supermen aboard, all in suspended animation. Led by Khan, these strange people turn out to be the product of genetic experimentation in the 1990s and instigators of a so-called Eugenics War, i.e., the Third World War on Earth often mentioned on various Trek programs. Though displaced from his more violent time and place, Khan quickly overcomes his disorientation and shifts into conqueror mode, quickly overtaking the Enterprise with the aid of a comely Federation historian who is swooning at his feet. As any Trek fan knows, "Space Seed" inspired Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, regarded by many as the best of the Trek feature films.
"A Taste of Armageddon" is one of classic Trek's occasional, obvious metaphors for the absurdity of the then-cold war between East and West. Gene Lyons stars as a Federation ambassador named Fox, who boards the Enterprise to reach the planet Eminiar VII, where he hopes to negotiate a peace treaty with the inhabitants. Instead the crew of the Enterprise gets caught in the middle of an interplanetary war between Eminiar and neighboring planet Vendikar. The twist is that the war is being fought on computers, and compliant residents of those "destroyed" areas obediently report to disintegration chambers, where their "virtual" death is made literal. When the Enterprise is "hit" in one of these simulations, both the warlords of Eminiar VII and Ambassador Fox fully expect Capt. Kirk & crew to report to the disintegration center. The feisty Kirk has other plans, of course. And while the madness of this controlled armageddon makes a suitably surreal satire of the arms race in the 1960s, the story also evoked the endless, daily reports of body counts during the Vietnam war, with no resolution in sight. Aside from its parable aspect, however, the episode gave Kirk one of his earliest and most compelling scenes of Kirkian preachiness in a bold monologue about peace, reportedly written and rewritten numerous times by series producer and indispensable creative hand, Gene L. Coon. --Tom Keogh
- Volume 12 Contains 2 Episodes: Episode #23 A Taste Of Armageddon & Episode #24 Space Seed
- Digitally Enhanced and Remastered
- Special Added Bonus: Original Broadcast Preview Trailers
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If you watch the "Space Seed" episode and then watch "Star Trek II" you'll immediatley see some interesting things. First, William Shatner and Ricardo Montalban both LOVE to over-act, and it's clear they both have a great time doing it. It's equally clear they had a chemistry on set; by that I mean to say that their portayals and their characters simply work well together.
Also, you'll notice that "Start Trek II" does a pretty good job of picking up at a logical place where "Space Seed" left off. It's a deft touch, widely regarded in the Star Trek community as a beautiful connection between the movies and the original series.
The Star Trek movie is just under 2 hours long. The original series episodes were just under an hour long. Watch the 2 together, and you get a mini-marathon of Star Trek escapist television, replete with morals for everyone, in under 3 hours. Energize!
This is where the movie franchise got it's start. The second movie picks up the story line 20 years after the TV show.
Michael N. Washington