Star Trek (1966–1969)
28 user 7 critic

The Devil in the Dark 

The Enterprise is sent to a mining colony that is being terrorized by a mysterious monster, only to find that the situation is not that simple.


Joseph Pevney


Gene L. Coon, Gene Roddenberry (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Ken Lynch ... Vanderberg
James Doohan ... Scott
Brad Weston Brad Weston ... Appel
Biff Elliot ... Schmitter
George Allen George Allen ... Engineer #1 (as George E. Allen)
Jon Cavett Jon Cavett ... Guard
Barry Russo ... 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


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

9 March 1967 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


A portion of a Horta tunnel was seen in Star Trek: Patterns of Force (1968) as the entrance to the Underground's cavern. See more »


Using clubs to attack the Horta would make no logical sense. Since the Horta exudes an extremely corrosive fluid to create its tunnels, capable of dissolving large quantities of solid rock in seconds, all it would need to do to protect against the clubs is release a large quantity of the corrosive. Any kind of club used to attack the Horta at that point would simply disintegrate when it touched the corrosive on the Horta's exterior. See more »


Mr. 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.
Dr. McCoy: Oh, she did, did she? Now, tell me, did she happen to make any comment about those ears?
Mr. 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...
Captain James T. Kirk: [interrupts Spock] She really liked those ears?
Mr. Spock: ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Featured in Bring Back... Star Trek (2009) See more »


Star Trek Theme
Written by Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Excellent Star Trek; one of my favorites
6 November 2014 | by karnSee all my reviews

Everybody likes to say how cheesy the monster looks. But I'll be honest. It still gave me nightmares at age 10.

I also didn't like this episode much as a kid because we hardly see the Enterprise, and how can that be Star Trek? Eventually I learned that good science fiction, like all drama, is about characters and ideas, not sets and costumes and special effects. And so "Devil in the Dark" is now one of my favorite Star Trek episodes.

I sometimes wonder if it was done as penance for "The Man Trap". That episode also featured an intelligent creature, native to the planet and the last of its species, who began murdering humans for no apparent reason. But that episode doesn't fit the Star Trek philosophy at all, while this one is among the very best examples of that philosophy in action.

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