Back in 1982, three years on from the first Trek flick, Nicholas Meyer took over the reins from Robert Wise and the franchise started to display a welcome willingness to take risks. Seasoned Trekkers were delighted to find that the story was a sequel to the TV episode Space Seed, though no prior knowledge of this is required to enjoy the film. In that episode, Kirk marooned the evil Khan (Ricardo Montalban) on a distant planet. Now, 15 years on, another starship commanded by the promoted Chekov foolishly lands on the self-same planet, thus unleashing the marvellous panto baddie who, not unnaturally, vows revenge upon Kirk – himself now promoted to the status of Admiral. What follows is a cracking good yarn that even gives us a glimpse of Kirk’s home life as his wife and son are drawn into the plot. They’re both working on the Genesis Project, which aims to breathe life into barren planets. But Khan has other ideas and makes off with their equipment. It all ends on one of the series finest cliffhangers in which Spock, in his usual logical way, deduces that he can only save the Enterprise and its crew by sacrificing himself, thereby setting up episode three.
It’s back on screen in director’s cut form as part of the Showcase chain’s Flashback season of classics.