When Nicholas Meyer signed on to direct Star Trek II, he actually had little knowledge of what he wanted. To prepare, he watched several episodes, including this one. In fact, if someone had never watched Star Trek, this is an episode I would show.
The story begins when the Enterprise finds the starship Botany Bay. They board the ship with historian Lt. Marla McGivens accompanying them. When they beam onto the ship, they discover there are inhabitants in suspended animation. These are the notorious Khan Noonian Singh and his followers.
Everyone is intrigued with the idea of reviving Khan and his followers, despite their reputation. I like how Spock is bewildered that Khan is actually revered despite his tyranny. This is realistic. There are many notorious people who are still admired to this day.
Khan proves to adapt far too well to the 23rd century, and it isn’t long before he takes over the Enterprise. When he awakens and chokes McCoy, I like how McCoy actually goads him into completing the deed. Khan proves to be an equal to Kirk, making it one of the few times Kirk nearly loses a battle. In the end, McGivens actually rebels and falls in love with Khan. Although I think Wrath of Khan gives him a better venue, Khan is one of my favorite villains.
In case you haven’t guessed, I like stories where Kirk’s shrewd strategical mind is challenged best. All too often, his prowess with women is showcased, even in parodies. While I like Picard more than Kirk, I ultimately feel the Kirk vs. Picard argument is apples and oranges. Picard is a diplomatic captain; Kirk is a man of action. This episode proves why Kirk is still revered in the fandom.
Next, we have the end of both my countdowns. I doubt anyone will be surprised with my pick for overall worst and best episodes of Star Trek.