Star Trek (1966–1969)
23 user 11 critic

The Devil in the Dark 

The Enterprise is sent to a mining colony that is being terrorized by a mysterious monster.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Brad Weston ...
George Allen ...
Engineer #1 (as George E. Allen)
Jon Cavett ...


The Enterprise travels to the planet Janus 6 to assist the mining colony there. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to the planet where Chief Engineer Vanderberg tells of a creature loose in the mine tunnels killing some of his men. The monster seems to appear out nowhere then disappears just as quickly. Finding that the creature, known as a Horta, lives in a newly opened part of the underground mining complex, Spock uses the Vulcan mind meld to determine why it is killing the miners. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

creature | colony | planet | vulcan | miner | See All (17) »


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Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leonard Nimoy identified this episode's closing banter between Spock and Kirk as one of his favourite scenes to perform. He noted, "It was a wonderful moment which defined the relationship and defined the whole Spock character's existence and his attitude about himself." See more »


When Kirk is cornered by the Horta, a shot from behind shows that it is a stunt double leveling his phaser at the monster. See more »


Chief Vanderberg: When that creature appears, men die.
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Referenced in South Park: Spookyfish (1998) See more »


Star Trek Theme
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

"Just as any mother would fight to save her children..."
4 June 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

In 1975 a friend of the family took me to a local JC in Sacramento for one of the first "Star Trek" conventions. I remember someone had taken some electrical tape and spelled out on the floor in the foyer at the convention entrance "NO KILL I".

The homage paid by this act reflects the importance of the social trend and awareness happening at the time. The country (the western world in fact) had just come off of one social upheaval in the midst of the Cold War, and was entering another. Trek was ahead of the curve by telling another great parable regarding not just a conservationist message, not just an environmental message, but one that levels a finger at mankind in his treatment of other living creatures.

This episode hits empathetic folks on a gut level. My mother included (or especially I should say), for while watching this episode with me (one of the few times she and I watched Trek together) she sternly agreed with Captain Kirk when Shatner's character berates Jarvis for the wanton and irresponsible acts of destruction.

It's not just a warning for today's companies and their forefathers, however still relevant and timely. It's more than that. It's a future warning to mankind, and any sentient who would mindlessly exploit that of which they knew nothing.

Another review comments on the thesping by Shatner and Nimoy. I agree that it's high caliber. The matte painting of the mining facility is what it is, as is the Horta itself. It is, after all, 1960's sci-fi TV. Even so, I'm hard pressed to find better props used in today's TV offerings (part of the reason I don't watch too much contemporary television anymore). Good shots, good dialog, good story, and a profound theme.


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