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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 26: The Devil In the Dark

1 rating: 5.0
Science Fiction & Fantasy TV show

There's an emergency on Janus VI, a seemingly uninhabited planet rich in metals and rare minerals crucial to Federation operations. There's a lot of money to be made by the mining contractor involved, but there's a swift-moving, unseen monster roaming … see full wiki

1 review about Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode...

Two extremely different species learn to co-exist

  • Feb 5, 2005
A planet that has so many rare minerals that it is considered a miner's paradise sends a distress call to the Enterprise. Some kind of monster is killing the miners and it appears to be invulnerable to phaser fire. When the Enterprise arrives, the "monster" enters the main reactor and steals a circulation pump, which will cause the reactor to go critical. Since shutting down the reactor will cause the air to cease circulating in the tunnels, this will force the humans off the planet. Scotty is able to rig up a temporary solution so that the hunt for the creature can begin, although it does not last long.
Spock very quickly surmises that the creature is made of silicon, so he modifies their weapons to be more effective against silicon. Kirk and Spock confront it and severely injure it. Spock also determines that it may be the last of its' species, so he argues that they should try to capture it. He is able to make mind-to-mind contact with it and learns that it is called a Horta. The Horta live in the rock and digest it for food. Nearly their entire species experiences a cyclical dying, with only one remaining alive. It cares for the eggs and when the young Horta hatch, the remaining adult Horta cares for them and mothers them. The mother Horta felt forced to instigate the war against the humans when they broke into the hatchery and destroyed thousands of the Horta eggs.
Since the Horta is severely injured and on the verge of dying, Kirk sends for McCoy and tells him to treat the Horta. McCoy responds with, "I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer." This has no affect on Kirk, who orders him to cure the Horta. McCoy manages to succeed, announcing that he feels that he may even be able to cure a rainy day. At the end, the Horta and humans agree to co-exist on the planet and the young Horta help the miners find new deposits of valuable ores.
This is one of the best episodes in the series, because it shows the Enterprise crew as ambassadors as much as policeman. Even though over fifty miners have been killed, Kirk and Spock hesitate to kill the Horta, understanding that it is intelligent and perhaps additional deaths can be avoided. I contrast it with the much weaker episode, "The Galileo Seven", where the crewmembers criticize Spock for being unwilling to kill the humanoid creatures. It also contains one of the oldest mottoes in human fables. `Once you conquer your fear and learn more about your "enemy", you may find that there really is no reason to be enemies and it may be easy for both of you to coexist.' One can only hope that any beings with an advanced technology that humans encounter in space will follow the same set of ethical standards.

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Star Trek - The Original Series, Episode 26: The
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: CBS Paramount International Television

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Star Trek

The Original Series starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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