Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 1, Episode 25 - The Devil in the Dark - full transcript

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.

Who's there?

lt's your relief, Sam.

- All quiet?
- Didn't see a thing.

Nobody ever does. Whatever
the thing is, it's already killed 50 people.

- l never realised how dark it is.
- Stay on your toes, Schmitter.

Keep your phaser in your hand.

You saw what happened to Ed Appel
when he shot at it.

How about all those other people?

Sorry, l know how you feel,
but we've got to have guards.

OK, Chief. l'll do what l can.

Keep alert. lf you hear
or see anything, call in.

- Somebody can be here in minutes.
- A lot can happen in minutes. it true
the Enterprise is on its way?

- lt's coming.
- Could it get here in the next four hours?

You'll be all right.

Come on!


Like the rest of them. Burned to a crisp.

Space - the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the starship Enterprise.

lts five-year mission,
to explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilisations,

to boldly go
where no man has gone before.

Captain's log, stardate 3196.1.

A distress call
from the production station on Janus Vl

has brought the Enterprise
to that colony.

Mr Spock, Dr McCoy and l
have beamed down

to meet with Chief Engineer Vanderberg,
administrative head of Janus Vl.

Let's assume there is a monster.
What has it done? When did it start?

Three months ago,
we opened up a new level.

We got an unusually rich
pergium reading.

Not only pergium, whatever you want -
uranium, sirium, platinum.

- The whole planet is a treasure house.
- We're aware of that.

lf mining wasn't so difficult, Janus Vl
could supply a thousand planets.

But what happened?

First the automatic machinery,
piece by piece, almost disintegrated.

Metal began dissolving away.

Our chemists were unable
to analyse the corrosive agent.

l am sure there is an answer.
lt simply has not yet been discovered.

Yes, it has.

l don't know what this butchering
monster is, but l know what it's doing.

Engineers were sent down
to repair the corroded machinery.

We found them seared to a crisp.

- Volcanic activity?
- There is none on this planet, Captain.

He's right. None.

At first the deaths were down deep,
but they've been moving up toward us.

The last man died two days ago.

- The same way, burned?
- l'd like to examine the body.

We kept it for you. There isn't much left.
Roberts will show you.

lt isn't pretty.

- Do you post sentries, guards?
- Of course. Five of them have died.

- Who else has seen this?
- l have.

This is Ed Appel,
chief processing engineer.

- Describe it.
- l can't. l only got a glimpse of it.

But it's big and shaggy.

- Ed shot it.
- Oh.

- You mean shot at it?
- No, l mean shot it. With this.

- Fascinating.
- A good, clean shot.

Didn't even slow it down.

Well, l've made my report to you.

Production has stopped.
Nobody will go to the lower levels.

lf the Federation wants pergium,
you'll have to do something.

- That's why we're here.
- You're pretty tough.

Starship, phaser banks. You can't get
your starship down into the tunnels.

l don't think we'll need to. l'll need
a chart of all the drifts and tunnels.

- You'll get it.
- Mr Vanderberg, what is this?

A silicon nodule. There are millions
of them. No commercial value.

But a geological oddity, to say the least.

- Pure silicon?
- We didn't call you here to collect rocks.

Thank you.
We'll need your complete cooperation.

You'll have it. Just find that creature.
l have a quota to meet.

Come on, Appel.

The number of tunnels
won't make hunting easier. Doc?

Schmitter didn't burn to death,
not in the usual sense.

There were only fragments left,
but the physician agrees with me -

a chemical corrosion, almost as if
he had been thrown into a vat of acid.

- Strong enough to eat machinery?
- And anything else you can think of.

Mr Spock?

l've charted the position of the deaths
and sabotages. Here, here and here.

lf the times of these incidents
are accurate,

the creature must have moved
at an incredible speed.

How recent are these charts?

- They were made last year.
- Before this thing appeared?

- That's right.
- l see.

Give us a report
on life beneath the surface.

Within sensor range, there is none,
other than the residents of this colony.

At least, no life as we know it.

We can't cover every tunnel on foot.
We must get production going again.

- lf we could force another appearance...
- When it appears, men die.

Too many tunnels.
We couldn't possibly...

Mr Spock, our sensors can pick up
normal life functions at a large distance,

but what about abnormal life functions?

Something's happening
in the reactor room.

Back to your stations.
Look at that.

l wouldn't touch it. An extremely
active corrosive. Traces may linger.

Kirk, quickly!

The main circulating pump
for the reactor is gone.

The same as shown at the door -
a very strong corrosive.

- ls there a replacement for that?
- No, and it's outdated. lt worked fine.

- Spock, on board?
- Nothing for a device this antiquated.

Without the pump, the reactor will go
critical. lt could poison half the planet.

We can't shut it down. lt provides
life-support for the whole colony.

We seem to have been given a choice -

death by asphyxiation
or death by radiation poisoning.

A PXK pergium reactor?

No, we don't have a spare pump
for a thing like that.

- l haven't seen a PXK in 20 years.
- Can you rig one up? lt's vital.

l can put together something,
but it won't hold long.

- How long?
- 48 hours, with luck.

48 hours is better than nothing.

Get what you need
and beam down here with it.

l'll be right down. Scott out.

- What happens when it breaks down?
- Hopefully we'll find the missing part.

We'll have to. The alternative
is to evacuate you all to the Enterprise.

A dozen planets depend on you
for pergium.

They're already screaming...

My people are being murdered.
You find that monster and kill it.

The pump was not taken by accident.

lt was the one piece of equipment
essential to the operation of the reactor.

The creature is trying to push
the colonists off the planet?

- lt would seem so.
- Why now?

These facilities have been
in operation for over 50 years.

l don't know.

But there is a possibility.

What's that?

Life as we know it is based on some
combination of carbon compounds.

But what if life exists
based on another element?

For instance, silicon.

You're creating fantasies, Mr Spock.

l've heard of a possibility
of silicon-based life,

but it would be of a different order.

Our phasers might not affect it.

Certainly not phaser 1,
which is far less powerful than phaser 2.

All right. How about this?

A creature that lives deep inside
the planet, at home in solid rock.

ln order to survive, it would need
some form of natural armour plating.

lt could explain much, since the colonists
are armed only with phaser 1.

- But we have phaser 2.
- l could adjust it for use against silicon.

Silicon-based life
is physiologically impossible,

especially in an oxygen atmosphere.

lt may be that the creature can exist
briefly in such an atmosphere

before returning to its own environment.

- You're imagining things.
- At least it's something to go on.

Have Commander Giotto
assemble the security troops.

Arm them with phaser 2.
You make the proper adjustments.

You seem fascinated by this rock.

Yes, Captain.

Vanderberg said there were thousands
of these at a lower level,

the level the machinery opened just prior
to the first appearance of the creature.

Do they tie in?

- l don't know.
- Speculate.

l have already given Dr McCoy
cause for amusement.

l would prefer to cogitate for a time.

A short time, Mr Spock.
We have very little.

- How's it going?
- lt's a nightmare but it'll hold for a bit.

- lt has to hold longer.
- Sorry, that's the best l can do.

- But it's not good enough.
- Kirk here.

Security officers
are in the chief's office.

l'll be right there. Kirk out.

Scotty, give it some tender loving care.
Kiss it if you have to but keep it going.

l'll do what l can.

You will proceed from level to level,
checking every opening.

You are searching for a creature
which is highly resistant to phaser fire.

Set your phasers on maximum.
Remember, l want no more deaths.

- Except the bloody thing.
- You must attack it on sight.

lt is vitally important that we get
this installation back into production.

May l ask at which level
you discovered the nodules of silicon?

The 23rd. Why?

Commander Giotto, take your detail
to the 23rd level and start searching.

Aye, sir. Do you have reason to suspect
the creature is on that level?

lt's a possibility.
Stay on the top level, in a safe place.

l don't know any safe place,
the way that thing comes and goes.

Gentlemen, you have your instructions.
Let's get at it.

Mr Spock? Find something?

Adjusting my tricorder
to register for silicon.

- Hm... lnteresting.
- Traces?

A life-form, Captain.

Bearing 111 degrees,
elevation 4 degrees.

- One of our people?
- No, sir. Silicon.

Come on.

He never had a chance to fire.

lt's only seconds since he screamed.
The creature must still be around.


What is it?

This tunnel. My readings indicate
it was made moments ago.

Are you certain?

Our best machinery couldn't cut
a tunnel like this, not even with phasers.

lndeed, Captain. l'm quite at a loss.


Disappeared. Astonishing that anything
of that bulk could move so rapidly.

- This walls are hot.
- lndeed, this tunnel has just been cut.

- Are you all right?
- Yes.

- Did you see it?
- Yes. Where does the tunnel go?

Readings indicate a maze of tunnels
in that direction.

- Did you get a shot at it?
- Yes, we took a bite out of it.

lt's not animal tissue. What is it?

My closest approximation
would be fibrous asbestos. A mineral.

- Then your guess was right.
- lt would seem so.

- Silicon-based.
- Summation?

lt is a silicon creature capable of moving
through rock as we move through air.

- That would account for the tunnels.
- Correct.

lts body secretes
a powerful corrosive.

Enough to dissolve
the reactor chamber door.

And it explains the murdered men.

lt's definitely phaser-resistant.

We had our weapons set for silicon
and on full power, yet it still lives.

- lt's impossible to kill?
- No, it might require massed phasers.

Or a single phaser
with much longer contact.


...pass this on to your men.

We knew it was a killer,
now it's wounded,

probably in pain, somewhere back there.

Nothing is more dangerous
than a wounded animal.

lnstruct your men to concentrate
the search on this sector.

- Remind them the creature is wounded.
- Aye, aye, sir.

What is it?

l've run a complete check
on all life-forms, radius 100 miles.

l've located our men, all of them,

and one creature, moving rapidly
through rock, bearing 201.

- That is all.
- One creature in 100 miles?

Exactly. There are thousands
of these tunnels in this area alone,

too many to be cut by one creature
in a lifetime.

Then we're dealing
with more than one creature

or a creature
with an extremely long lifespan.

Or the last of a race of creatures
which made these tunnels.

lf so, if it is the only survivor
of a dead race,

to kill it would be
a crime against science.

Mr Spock...our mission
is to protect this colony,

to get the pergium moving again.
This is not a zoological expedition.

Maintain a constant reading
on the creature.

lf we have to, we'll cut our own tunnels.
We'll try to surround it.

l'm sorry, Mr Spock,
but l'm afraid the creature must die.

l see no alternative myself.
lt merely seems a pity.

- The search team is gathering.
- Good.

So it is wounded,
and therefore twice as dangerous.

Stay in pairs.

lf you see it, concentrate your fire
at what appears to be its head.

Concentrate it. Maintain it.

lt is resistant
but it can be hurt and therefore killed.

- Mr Spock.
- Examine your charts, please.

l last located the creature in the area
marked adit 26, moving at bearing 201.

This group will move out from there
in all directions

in an effort to surround it
and possibly capture it.

Your orders are shoot to kill.
Protect yourself at all times.

- Commander, disperse your parties.
- Aye, aye, sir.

Lewis, Vinci, take your men out.

Mr Spock...

Capture it? l didn't give that order.

l thought that if the opportunity arose...

l will lose no more men.

The creature will be killed on sight
and that's the end of it.

- Very well, sir.
- Mr Spock...

l want you to assist Scotty
in maintaining that makeshift pump.

- l beg your pardon, sir?
- You heard me.

lt's vital we keep that reactor running.

- Your scientific knowledge...
- ls not needed there.

Mr Scott knows more about reactors
than l do. You're aware of that.

You are second in command.
This will be a dangerous hunt.

Either one of us is expendable,
both of us are not.

There are a hundred of us engaged
in this search, against one creature.

The odds against you and l
both being killed are 2,228.7 to 1.

2,228.7 to 1 ?

- Pretty good odds.
- And they are accurate.

Of course.

l hate to use the word, but logically,
with those kind of odds,

you might as well stay.

But please stay out of trouble, Mr Spock.

That is always my intention, Captain.

- Kirk here.
- Scotty here.

My brilliant improvisation just gave up.
lt couldn't stand the strain.

- Can you fix it again?
- No.

Start evacuation to the Enterprise.

l and some of my key personnel
are staying.

- We'll be down to join you.
- We don't have enough phasers.

Then we'll use clubs.
We're staying.

Good. Get everybody else
aboard the Enterprise.

The fewer people breathing the air,
the longer it will last. How much longer?

The reactor will go critical in ten hours.

- You must find the mechanism by then.
- We'll do our best.

Start feeding us constant status reports.

Vanderberg, assemble
at level 23, checkpoint Tiger.

Team up with my men. They're
better armed. Keep someone in sight.

Vanderberg, take two men
through that tunnel to meet Giotto.

Appel and the rest go through there
and tie up with Lieutenant Osborne.

Mr Spock and l will control the operation
from a central point.

- Mr Spock?
- Captain, we are being watched.

Are you sure? lntuition?

No, sir. We are being watched.

Captain. Fresh readings within the hour
in each of these tunnels.

The chart says these tunnels converge
a few thousand yards further.

- You take the left, l'll take the right.
- Should we separate?

Two tunnels, two of us. We separate.

- Mr Spock.
- Yes, Captain.

l've found a whole layer of these
silicon nodules, hundreds of them.

lndeed? l find that most illuminating.

Do not damage any of them.

- Explain.
- Only a theory...


Are you all right?

Jim! Jim!

Yes, Mr Spock, all right.

We seem to have had a cave-in.

- l could phaser you out.
- No, you'd better not.

A disturbance might bring down the rest.

Besides, it isn't necessary. The chart
said the tunnels meet further on.

Very well, but l find it disquieting that
the roof chose that moment to collapse.

Please proceed with extreme caution.
l shall quicken my pace.

Very well. l'll meet you at the other end...

- Kirk here.
- l've just read some fresh signs.

The creature is in this area.
l'll take a life-form reading.

lt's not necessary. l know where it is.

- Where?
- Ten feet away from me.

- Kill it, quickly.
- lt's not making any threatening moves.

You don't dare take the chance. Kill it.

You wanted it kept alive, captured.

Your life is in danger.
You can't take the risk.

lt seems to be waiting.

l remind you it is a proven killer.
l'm on my way. Spock out.

Well, what do we do, just talk it over?

You can be hurt, can't you?

We just sit here?

lt's your move.

Don't shoot.

Come on over, Mr Spock.


- lt's made no moves against you?
- No. lt seems to be waiting.

l tried talking to it,
but it didn't do any good.

Yes, they're all through here,
all over the place.

- Thousands of them.
- Yes, l see.

- Does it mean something to you?
- Possibly the answer, Captain.

l'm not certain.

You are aware of the Vulcan technique
of the joining of two minds.

- You can get through to that thing?
- lt's possible.

Mr Spock...

l know it's a terrible personal lowering
of mental barriers,

but if there's a chance...

l'll try.


Pain! Pain!

That's all l got, Captain.
Waves and waves of searing pain.

lt's in agony.

"No kill l."

ls that a plea for us not to kill it
or a promise that it won't kill us?

l don't know.

lt gained an immediate knowledge
of us from its empathy with me.

ln my brief contact with it, l discovered
it is a highly intelligent animal.

ln great pain because of its wound,
but not reacting like a wounded creature.

lt calls itself a Horta.

A Horta. A Horta.

We need that retardation mechanism.
Re-establish communications with it.

lt has no reason to give us the device,
and every reason to wish us gone.

Yes, l'm aware of that.
lf we could only win its...


- Dr McCoy, this is Kirk.
- Yes?

Grab your medical kit.
l have a patient for you.

- ls somebody injured?
- Never mind. Just come to level 23.

Follow our tricorder readings.

l remind you that
this is a silicon-based life-form.

- McCoy's knowledge will be useless.
- He's a healer, let him heal.

You must re-establish communications.

l want to know why
it suddenly took to murder.

To attain that kind of communication,
it will be necessary to touch it.

We've seen how the creature destroys.

- Commander Giotto.
- Giotto here.

- Are you all right?
- Perfectly.

- Where are you?
- At the end of the tunnel.

Mr Vanderberg's men are here.
They're pretty ugly.

- Shall l let them through?
- Under no circumstances.

The minute Dr McCoy gets there,
send him through.


Of thousands!


Eternity ends!

The chamber of the ages...

The altar of tomorrow...


Stop them. Kill!

Strike back!


What in the name of...?

- What is Spock doing?
- lt's wounded. Badly. Help it.

- Help that?
- Go take a look.

The end of life...


You can't be serious.
That thing is virtually made out of stone.

Help it. Treat it.

- l'm a doctor, not a bricklayer.
- You're a healer.

That's an order.

Mr Spock...

Tell it we're trying to help.

The mechanism.


lt is the end of life.


Go out...

...into the tunnel... the chamber...of the ages.

Cry...for the children.

Walk...carefully... the vault of tomorrow.


...for the murdered children.

The thing you search for is there.

Go... Go.



...for the end of things.

Go...into the tunnel.

There is a passageway.

Quickly, quickly.

The captain said for you to wait here.

The monster's in there.
We're going to kill it.

You're going to stay here.

That's right. Beam it down immediately.
Never mind what l want it for.

Now move!

lt is sleep.

lt is over. Failure.

The murderers...have won.

Death is welcome.

Let it

Mr Spock...

Mr Spock. Spock... Spock!

Come out of it.

l found the unit in there.
lt's in pretty good shape.

l also found about a million
of these silicon nodules.

- They're eggs, aren't they?
- Yes. Eggs.

And about to hatch.

The miners must have broken into
the hatchery and destroyed thousands.

No wonder.

There, they're coming.

All right, let's go.

Come on.

- How are you doing, Doc?
- l'll let you know.

Don't fire!
The first man that fires is dead.

- That's killed 50 of my men.
- You've killed thousands of her children.


Those round silicon nodules you've
been destroying? They're her eggs.

Tell them.

There have been
many generations of Horta.

Every 50,000 years, the race dies.

All but one, like this one.

The eggs live, she cares for them,
protects them.

When they hatch, she is the mother
to them, thousands of them.

This creature is the mother of her race.

The Horta is intelligent, peaceful...


She was happy to share this planet
until you started destroying her eggs.

Then she fought back,

as any mother would
when her children are in danger.

We didn't know. How could we?

You mean if these eggs hatch,
there'll be thousands of those things?

This is where they live.
They digest rock, they tunnel for food.

And they are inoffensive creatures.

- They harbour ill will toward no one.
- We have pergium to deliver.

Yes, l know.

Here's your circulating pump.

You complained this is a treasure house
if you had the equipment to get at it.

The Horta moves through rock
as we move through air.

And it leaves tunnels.
The greatest natural miner.

Seems to me that we could make
an agreement,

reach a modus vivendi.

They tunnel, you collect and process.

And your process operation would be
a thousand times more profitable.

- Sounds all right, if it'll work.
- Except for one thing.

- The Horta may die.
- lt won't die.

l'm beginning to think
l can cure a rainy day!

- Can you help it?
- Help it? l cured it!


l had the ship beam down
a hundred pounds of thermoconcrete.

lt's mostly silicone.

So l just trowelled it into the wound
and it'll act like a bandage until it heals.

Take a look. lt's as good as new.

Mr Spock, get in touch
with the Horta again.

Tell her our proposition.
She can do all the tunnelling she wants.

Our people will remove the minerals
and each side will leave the other alone.

- Think she'll go for it?
- lt seems logical.

The Horta has a very logical mind.

After close association with humans,
l find that curiously refreshing.

- Ship ready to leave. Course laid in.
- Good.

Chief Engineer Vanderberg
standing by on channel 1.

- Yes, Chief. Kirk here.
- The eggs have started to hatch.

The first thing they do is start to tunnel.

We've already hit
huge new pergium deposits,

and l'm afraid to tell you
how much gold and platinum.

Once mother Horta tells her kids what
to look for, you'll be embarrassingly rich.

The Horta aren't so bad
once you get used to them.

- That's about it. Thanks for everything.
- Our pleasure. Kirk out.

Curious, what he said about the Horta
is exactly what the Horta said to me.

She found human appearance revolting,
but said she'd get used to it.

Oh, she did, did she?

Did she happen
to comment on those ears?

Not specifically,

but l got the impression she found them
the most attractive human feature.

- l couldn't tell her that only l have...
- She really liked them?

The Horta is a remarkably intelligent
and sensitive creature,

with impeccable taste.

- Because she approved of you?
- My modesty...

...does not bear close examination.

l suspect you're becoming
more and more human all the time.

l see no reason
to stand here and be insulted.

Ahead, warp factor 2.