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"Star Trek" The Devil in the Dark (TV Episode 1967) Poster

(TV Series)

(1967)

Trivia

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In his book Star Trek Memories, William Shatner identified this as his favourite episode, because his father died during filming and Leonard Nimoy's delivery of the mind meld lines made him laugh. He thought it was "exciting, thought-provoking and intelligent, it contained all of the ingredients that made up our very best Star Treks."
When William Shatner, on the set, got the call from his mother informing him about his father's death, the crew was ready to shut down production, but he insisted on continuing. During the rest of the day, Shatner took comfort in Leonard Nimoy, and cinematographer Gerald Perry Finnerman, whose father had died on a movie set less than seven years before.
This episode includes only one actress, who appears for a few seconds and has no lines. This is the only episode with no female speaking parts.
In a book about Star Trek, it was reported that after William Shatner returned from the funeral, to put everyone at ease, as he was trying to do his lines following Mr. Spock's mind meld with the Horta and his cry of "AHH! PAIN! PAIN! PAIN!" Leonard Nimoy just spoke the words so Shatner told him to do it again with feeling. When "Spock" again said "AHH! PAIN! PAIN! PAIN! " Shatner yelled out, "WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE GET THIS VULCAN AN ASPIRIN!"
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."
William Shatner was in Florida for his father's funeral while nearly all of Spock's "mind meld" scene with the Horta was shot. His screen double is shown from behind in several of the shots and all of Kirk's "reaction" shots were made after he returned.
Gene L. Coon's original script featured a different material as the base of the Horta, but researcher Kellam de Forest changed it to silicon, as the original choice seemed to be even theoretically impossible.
Arthur C. Clarke once remarked, in 1995, that of the Original Series, the only episode he could recall was this one, stating that "It impressed me because it presented the idea, unusual in science fiction then and now, that something weird, and even dangerous, need not be malevolent. That is a lesson that many of today's politicians have yet to learn."
This episode was the first time McCoy used the phrase, "I'm a doctor, not a (blank)" when Kirk asks him to help the Horta, finishing the line as, "I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!"
"No Kill I" was the name of a Star Trek-themed punk rock band.
Janos Prohaska, the creator of the Horta costume, actually wore it into Gene L. Coon's office, as if to say "Look what I designed". Coon said "That's great! What is it?", and Prohaska said "I don't know. It can be whatever you want." Coon replied "I'll write a script around it", and he wrote this episode in four days so the costume could be used.
Actor Barry Russo, appearing as Lt. Commander Giotto, also appears in Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer (1968) as the character Commodore Robert Wesley.
Bantam Books published a series of novelizations called "foto-novels," which took photographic stills from actual episodes and arranged word balloons and text over them to create a comic book-formatted story. The ninth installment was an adaptation of this episode. In it, Leslie is depicted as thinking to himself, "That Vulcan would have us killed for his precious science!" after Spock instructs the security detail to capture the Horta.
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This episode marks the first and only time an episode begins without the Enterprise or its crew being involved in the teaser scenes before the main credits.
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The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993) novel Devil in the Sky is a sequel of sorts to this episode.
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The unbroken Horta eggs were toy bouncing balls painted gold.
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NBC announced that Star Trek (1966) will be renewed for a second season next fall, during the closing credits of this episode on 9 March 1967.
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Gene Roddenberry was impressed with the way this episode explains the behaviour of a Star Trek "monster," citing the instalment as "a classic example of doing this right" as well as "one of our most popular episodes." He went on to say, "The Horta suddenly became understandable [....] It wasn't just a monster-it was someone. And the audience could put themselves in the place of the Horta... identify... feel! That's what drama is all about. And that's it's importance, too... if you can learn to feel for a Horta, you may also be learning to understand and feel for other Humans of different colours, ways, and beliefs."
This is the only episode in the original series in which the distinction is drawn between "phaser one" and "phaser two."
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This episode was originally scheduled to be filmed before Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967), with Ralph Senensky assigned to direct it, but during pre-production the two episodes and the directors were switched because Gene L. Coon thought "Devil" would be a tough assignment to first-time Trek director Senensky.
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The only interior portion of the Enterprise seen in this episode is the bridge, and that in only two scenes - when Scotty speaks with Kirk about replacing the circulating pump, and at the end, after the landing party has returned to the ship.
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The reactor for the colony is the same piece of equipment in engineering that Kirk's double phasered in Star Trek: The Enemy Within (1966).
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The miners' one-piece uniforms were worn in a number of subsequent episodes: on various Denevans, including Kirk's brother, Sam, in -_"Star Trek" (1966) {Operation - Annihilate! (#1.29)}_, on an Argelius II bar patron in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold (1967), on Robert Johnson in Star Trek: The Deadly Years (1967), on two Deep Space Station K-7 bar patrons and Lurry in Star Trek: The Trouble with Tribbles (1967), on Rojan and Tomar in Star Trek: By Any Other Name (1968), on Professor Starnes and other Triacus colonists in Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968), on Linke and Ozaba in Star Trek: The Empath (1968), on corpses in Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969), and on Dr. Arthur Coleman in Star Trek: Turnabout Intruder (1969).
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Although having not appeared in this episode, Sulu would mention "the Hortas of Janus VI" in Star Trek: That Which Survives (1969).
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McCoy specifies that he had the Enterprise beam down about a hundred pounds of thermal concrete. In James Blish's novelization of the episode in Star Trek 4, which was generally based more so on early draft scripts than final drafts, states that McCoy only used ten pounds of concrete.
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This takes place in 2267.
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A portion of a Horta tunnel was seen in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968) as the entrance to the Underground's cavern.
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The clubs used by some of the Janus VI colonists during their hunt for the Horta appear to be of the same design used by Kirk during his fight with Spock in the transporter room in Star Trek: This Side of Paradise (1967).
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Gene L. Coon's original script called the planet Thetis Six. Researcher Kellam de Forest pointed out that "The name 'Thetis' has already been assigned by astronomers to the 17th largest asteroid discovered in 1852 in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter," and suggested the name Janus VI instead.
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Pergium mining was later referenced in Star Trek: Voyager: Fair Trade (1997) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Prodigal Daughter (1999).
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Sulu and Uhura do not appear in this episode.
The over-sized microbe from The Outer Limits: The Probe (1965) was the basis for the Horta. It was also designed and performed by Janos Prohaska.
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The 2001 WildStorm Comics comic "Star Trek: Special" featured a short story of the Borg attacking Janus IV.
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The scene of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy discussing the silicon spheres and the murders was originally set in the Enterprise briefing room, but when the death of William Shatner's father halted production, it was re-written to be set in Vanderberg's office instead, so moving to a new set won't slow the filming even more.
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Although the uniforms come in various colours, Vanderberg is the only miner who wears a yellow specimen, and Ed Appel uniquely wears a purple one, which apparently was later worn by the dead Tellarite on Memory Alpha in Star Trek: The Lights of Zetar (1969), as well as on Ozaba in Star Trek: The Empath (1968).
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Although Giotto is identified as a lieutenant commander, he wears a full commander's two solid rank stripes.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Security Guard/Red-Shirt Casualties: 1.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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