‘THE DEVIL IN THE DARK’ (TOS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
‘The Devil in the Dark’ has the Enterprise visit a mining colony called Janus VI. Captain Kirk, Spock and Bones help the miners to sort out a creature called a Horta that’s lurking in their mining tunnels.
The Horta is killing off people one-by-one. Kirk and his friends need to find out what’s going on and why the creature is killing so many people. But will this mean killing the creature itself so to do that?
This is another classic ‘Star Trek’ episode that I enjoyed. It’s full of menace and atmosphere throughout, as our ‘Star Trek’ heroes are facing what seemed to be an impossible creature to defeat.
It’s also interesting to have introduced in this episode an alien creature that is made out of silicon. All the clues about the Horta being made out silicon provide the answers to what’s going on in this.
I like it with Spock’s curiosity when he examines an egg-like silicon module collected by the miners. The miners dismiss this curiosity, as they want to have this creature dead and to end this nightmare.
But Spock’s curiosity about the silicon is vital to the story, as he, Kirk and Bones begin to doubt that the creature is killing the miners without a purpose. More gets unraveled as this episode progresses.
This episode features guest star Ken Lynch as Chief Engineer Vanderberg, the leader of the mining colony of Janus VI. Vanderberg is determined to have this creature dead, as it has killed fifty people.
The Horta itself is impressive to watch and looks pretty scary. There’s no CGI effects involved. It looks like a man in a large suit crawling about on the floor, which must have been really challenging.
There are moments in the episode when miners or Enterprise red-shirts look one way before the creature comes behind them and they turn around. They’ get killed so instantly and burnt to a crisp.
Why couldn’t these people go in twos instead of one? I did like that moment when Kirk and Spock see the creature before them and they shoot a hunk off it before it retreats back into those tunnels.
I liked it when Spock seems keen not to kill the alien creature, whereas Kirk is concerned for the well-being of the miners and has to kill it regardless of scientific curiosity. It’s an interesting contrast.
Very soon, Kirk becomes entrapped by himself and the Horta creature comes for him. But thankfully Kirk doesn’t get killed, as the Horta seems to be afraid of being killed by his phaser and backs away.
I liked those moments when Spock manages to form a mind-meld with the Horta alien creature. More gets revealed about why the Horta has been killing people and Spock also gets to feel its pain.
It’s revealed that the Horta is the mother of many children formed inside the silicon egg-like modules. The miners have been killing her children, thus the Horta has fought back to protect them.
I found it funny when Bones gets called down by Kirk to heal the Horta creature when it’s wounded. I love Bones’ line to Kirk “I’m a doctor, not a brick layer” before he goes off and heals it with concrete.
‘The Devil in the Dark’ is a fantastic ‘Star Trek’ episode to watch on DVD. I liked how it gradually develops with the Horta creature as a ferocious monster before it becomes something else entirely.
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 7 of both the original and re-mastered DVDs of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 1’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.
‘The Devil in the Dark’ (TOS) rating – 10/10
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