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The Girls of Star Trek


The Devil In The Dark

TOS Computer
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TOS Transporter
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TOS Suspense
00:00 / 00:22


The Devil In The Dark

The Devil in the Dark

Star Date Panel




Image Prior to Restoration





The United States Starship Enterprise reached the Pergium mine colony on Janus VI to help with a strange creature that had caused the death of 50 miners and engineers. In addition, it had ruined equipment with a potent corrosive material. During the briefing, Captain Kirk, Spock, and McCoy talked to the mine overseer, Chief Engineer Vanderberg. A silicon nodule piqued Spock's interest on Vanderberg's desk, regarded as a geological peculiarity. They were warned of difficulty in the nuclear reactor of the colony and saw the watchman was dead and the primary circulating pump was gone. As the part was no longer being manufactured, no replacements were accessible. Chief Engineer Scott made an improvised substitute, but it failed soon after, forcing the missing element to be located and reinstated before the reactor reached super-critical in 10 hours.

Kirk and his security team look for the creature. Believing it may be a form of life made out of silicon, Spock alters their phasers to be more successful against silicon. When they spot the creature - which looks like a molten rock - they fire at it, breaking off a part of it. The creature runs away by tunneling through a rock wall. Spock examines the bit, whose composition looks like fibrous asbestos. He concludes that it digs through solid rock by releasing the same corrosive material that murdered the miners. Spock modifies his tricorder to scan for silicon-based life and verifies that the creature is the only lifeform within a certain distance.

Kirk and Spock discover a chamber with thousands of silicon nodules. The being triggers a cave-in that separates the two. Spock requests that Kirk shoot the creature, but he notices it withdraws whenever he points his phaser at it. Spock finds a way to get around the cave-in and reunite with Kirk. He tries a mental connection but only encounters considerable suffering. The creature carves the unclear communication "NO KILL I" into a stone, having obtained some knowledge of the human language through the link. Spock can form a deeper connection by making physical contact with the creature.

Spock discovers that the alien is designated as a Horta; its species become extinct every fifty thousand years, except for a single adult who guards the eggs, composed of silicon nodules. When the nodules hatch, the Horta assumes the role of a motherly figure to the newborns. Despite the severe injury that it has sustained, the Horta conveys to Spock the whereabouts of the stolen pump. Upon arriving, Kirk discerns thousands of broken eggs discarded by the miners, seeing them as worthless.

When the miners arrived, they tried to attack the creature. Kirk and Spock restrained them, informing them that the beast had only defended its eggs when it killed the people. Dr. McCoy healed Horta's injury using silicon-based cement that is usually employed for constructing emergency shelters. The miners were worried about thousands of Horta, but Kirk persuaded them that the Horta was docile and could work with the miners by digging tunnels for them.

Kirk, Spock, and McCoy return to the Enterprise and prepare to take off from orbit. Vanderberg informs them that the eggs have already hatched, and the newer Horta has found vast amounts of Pergium and other precious metals.

This iconic episode of Star Trek titled "The Devil in the Dark" is remembered for its remarkable creature, the Horta, the only female character in this episode. The episode focuses on the deadly beast that is wreaking havoc on the mining facility, and the only thing standing in the way of its destruction is the crew of the Starship. So the incredible three-person team of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is sent in to investigate.

The classic Star Trek episode "The Devil in the Dark" is a powerful and progressive look at female empowerment and interspecies understanding. The episode follows the crew of the Enterprise on a mission to investigate the strange happenings in an underground mining facility. Upon further investigation, the team discovers that the perpetrator of the destruction is a Horta. These alien species have been driven to violence by the miners' mistreatment of her eggs.

The only female character in the episode is the Horta, with no other human females featured. This significantly differs from the typical Star Trek episodes, which usually feature a prominent female character such as Lieutenant Uhura.

Ultimately, the crew of the Enterprise can come to an understanding with the Horta, averting a tragedy and allowing the Horta to survive and reproduce. The episode serves as a reminder of the importance of acknowledging and respecting the lives of all living beings, no matter how different they may appear.

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