Star Trek: Season 1, Episode 25

The Devil in the Dark (9 Mar. 1967)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 976 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

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



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Title: The Devil in the Dark (09 Mar 1967)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Brad Weston ...
George Allen ...
Engineer #1 (as George E. Allen)
Jon Cavett ...
Barry Russo ...
Lt. Cmdr. Giotto


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:

planet | colony | creature | miner | vulcan | See more »


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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?


The Horta was designed, built, and performed by Janos Prohaska, who reportedly wore the costume into Star Trek producer Gene L. Coon's office. Coon liked the creature so much he wrote Devil in the Dark to feature it. See more »


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


Captain James T. Kirk: Mr. Spock, we seem to have been given a choice: death by asphyxiation or death by radiation poisoning.
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Home Soil (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Still a favorite after all these years
13 May 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Kirk and the crew are visiting a federation mining colony on a remote planet rich in mineral resources. The Devil in the Dark is the Horta, a very unusual silicon based life-form which tunnels through solid rock. The Horta has been killing miners and, it is decided, must be destroyed. But how?

It is hard to continue this review without writing a spoiler, so instead I simply concentrate on the technical aspects of the episode and touch on its themes. The special effects are OK, but many of the scenes with the Horta look a little absurd. The acting is fairly average for TOS. Some of the miners are a little awkward. Nimoy has the most difficult role of all in Devil in the Dark, and he pulls it off well.

Why is this still a favorite of mine?

Devil in the Dark is really an anthropological and ecological morality play disguised as an adventure. More than many episodes of this great TV series, it brings home the importance of maintaining an open mind and at least some degree of empathy toward others. Plus, it involves one of the most interesting, if not probable, plot twists in the original series.


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