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Star Trek: The Devil in the Dark

The Enterprise goes to a mining colony where 50 workers have been killed by a creature that can move through solid rock. Shortly after Kirk starts investigating, the creature takes a vital irreplaceable component from the colony's reactor and they have only a few hours to catch or kill the creature and recover the part before everyone must evacuate or die.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x25
Production Number: 6149-26
Airdate: Thursday March 09th, 1967

Director: Joseph Pevney
Writer: Gene L. Coon


  • Currently 8.7/10
8.7/10 (3 Votes cast)
Starring Roles
DeForest KelleyDeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy
Recurring
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Recurring

Co-Guest Stars
Barry RussoBarry Russo
As Lt. Cmdr. Giotto
Recurring
Ken LynchKen Lynch
As Vanderberg
Brad WestonBrad Weston
As Appel
Biff ElliotBiff Elliot
As Schmitter
George E. Allen (4)George E. Allen (4)
As Engineer #1
Jon CavettJon Cavett
As Guard

Uncredited
Davis RobertsDavis Roberts
As Lewis
Recurring
Dick DialDick Dial
As Sam
Recurring
Eddie PaskeyEddie Paskey
As Lt. Leslie
Recurring
Frank Da VinciFrank Da Vinci
As Brent/Vinci
Recurring
Janos ProhaskaJanos Prohaska
As The Horta
Recurring
Ron VetoRon Veto
As Harrison
Recurring
William BlackburnWilliam Blackburn
As Lt. Hadley
Recurring
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock

Recap

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
Episode Notes
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.

Barry Russo (Lt. Commander Giotto) would later play Commodore Robert Wesley in "The Ultimate Computer".

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.



Episode Quotes
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.



Episode Goofs
When Kirk and Spock track the Horta, Kirk tells Spock to go left and then points right. Then he points to the left tunnel and says he's going to the right.



Analysis
Changes in the remastered version
An opening CGI shot of the production facilities pans to a cave entrance showing movement; linking the production facilities to the setting of the first scenes. All production facility matte shots replaced by improved CGI effects including limited animation. The effect of the Horta tunneling was improved slightly. The establishing shots of the Enterprise in orbit around Janus 6 featured the new CGI version of the ship and a CGI planet.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerGene L. Coon
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
Make-upFred B. Phillips
GripGeorge Rader
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
Script SupervisorGeorge A. Rutter
GafferGeorge H. Merhoff
OtherHerbert F. Solow (Executive in Charge of Production)
Sound MixerDoug Grindstaff
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
 
Warning: Star Trek season 1 episode 25 guide may contain spoilers
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