On the planet Janus VI, Chief Engineer Vandenberg supervises the mining team at the Federation pergium colony. Something has killed 50 of their men and Vandenberg and his men relieve a sentry while waiting for the Enterprise
to arrive. The new guard goes on duty by himself, but a mysterious alien creature strikes from the shadows and reduces him to a burnt corpse...Read the full recap
William Shatner's father died during the filming of this episode.
This is William Shatner's favorite episode of the series, primarily because of his memories of how kind the cast and crew were to him due to the death of his father.
This is the only episode which does not begin aboard the Enterprise or with a landing party beaming down to a planet.
This is the second of four "appearances" for Janos Prohaska, as the Horta. This is his best-known appearance here, but he also appeared as the gorilla-like creature in "The Cage"/"The Menagerie," and later as the Mugato in "A Private Little War" and Yarnek in "The Savage Curtain." Prohaska, who specialized in designing non-human costumes, created the Horta costume himself and showed it to Roddenberry, inspiring Gene to write the story around it.
Spock: The odds against both of us being killed are 2,228.7 to 1.
Kirk: 2,228.7 to 1? Those are pretty good odds, Mr. Spock.
Spock: And they are of course accurate.
Kirk: Of course. Well, I hate to use the word, but, logically with those kinds of odds you might as well stay. But please stay out of trouble, Mr. Spock.
Spock: That is always my intention, Captain.
Spock: If it is the only survivor of a dead race, to kill it would be a crime against science.
McCoy: (after being asked to treat the Horta) I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
Kirk: You're a healer, there's a patient– that's an order.
Kirk: The Horta is intelligent, peaceful... mild. She had no objections to sharing this planet with you– until you broke into her nursery and started destroying her children. When you did, she reacted the only way she knew how; as any mother would, when her children are in danger.
Kirk: Think she'll go for it?
Spock: It seems logical, Captain. The Horta has a very logical mind. And after close association with humans, I find that curiously refreshing.
Spock: Curious. What Chief Vanderberg said about the Horta is exactly what the Mother Horta said to me. She found humanoid appearance revolting, but she thought she could get used to it.
McCoy: Oh, she did, did she? Now tell me--did she happen to make any comment about those ears?
Spock: Not specifically. But I did get the distinct impression she found them the most attractive human characteristic of all. I didn't have the heart to tell her that only I have...
Kirk: She really liked those ears?
Spock: Captain, the Horta is a remarkably intelligent and sensitive creature with impeccable taste.
Kirk: Because she approved of you.
Spock: Really, Captain, my modesty...
Kirk: Does not bear close examination, Mr. Spock. I suspect you're becoming more and more human all the time.
Spock: Captain, I see no reason to stand here and be insulted.