How well do you know the Horta episode of Star Trek?

‘The Devil in the Dark’ is one of the original series’ most memorable adventures.

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Star Trek blends the dangers and excitement of the unknown with the wonders of science and a dash of humor. It shows the monstrosity of humans and the humanity of monsters, confronting preconceived notions about the universe.

That ethos is brought to the forefront in the season one episode “The Devil in the Dark.” It revolves around Kirk and company facing a destructive alien being who has been terrorizing a mining colony. But what starts as a small-screen creature feature turns into much more.

How well do you know this classic episode? Take this quiz to find out!

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  1. What is the name of the unlucky man who goes on guard duty at the beginning of the episode?
  2. What did this engineer do to the creature to no avail?
  3. Spock calls this sphere a “geological oddity.” What substance is it?
  4. What is the main vital element mined by the colony?
  5. Why do Kirk and Spock believe their phasers will work against the creature when the miners’ phasers haven’t?
  6. What device does Spock use to search for silicon-based life?
  7. Spock says it would be “a crime against science” to kill the creature if…
  8. After Spock first mind-melds with the creature, he gets just one feeling. What is it?
  9. The creature burns into the rock the phrase: NO KILL… what?
  10. Kirk discovers that the silicon balls are actually what?
  11. How does Kirk convince the miners not to kill the Horta?
  12. What trait does Spock find “refreshing” about the Horta?

How well do you know the Horta episode of Star Trek?

Your Result...

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RedSamRackham 11 months ago
* Spock says it's wrong to kill "last of its kind" BUT in series premiere "Nancy" was last of its kind!
mscott9 17 months ago
I’ll take TOS for 1000 Alex.
Spock123 18 months ago
Thanks to Dr. McCoy , he has lifted the fallen, restored the broken, to heal the hurting. This is a Doctor !
Tim Randolph-California
RichLorn 18 months ago
" I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer! "
They still have bricklayers in the 23rd century? That's what I call a strong union.
Snickers 18 months ago
This will be my last post as I get ready for my next great adventure ( could be to where no man has gone before). To Love MeTV, Just Jeff and the rest I say good bye with a heavy heart and will miss our many pun battles. Will always be grateful for the fun we had and the laughs shared. I will now close on this chapter of my life and say so long.
Wendy57 Snickers 18 months ago
I’ve enjoyed your posts. I wish you a wonderful next adventure.
Mirramanee Snickers 18 months ago
Why will you need to leave (if you don't mind my asking)? I see you are going where no man has gone before, but is it really possible to go somewhere where the internet does not exist? I really do enjoy these comments (often even more amusing than the stories from which they are generated) and will miss you.
Chris 18 months ago
Horta is one of the creatures that I truly loved and it was easy to see that Bones was going to come up with a one-liner like "By God Jim, I am beginning to believe that I can cure a rainy day!!!!!! Second to my Horta is the Gorn. Still, Nancy is the one, "Her Pud'n McCoy " is a funny and her voice and stressed for salt bit is very funny!. My name is Bones Kelley-McCoy!!
Snickers 18 months ago
12/12. A fitting score since this will be my last quiz. I bid a fond farewell to all my MeTV friends and thanks for the memories.
KJExpress Snickers 18 months ago
We will miss you, Snickers. 😿
LoveMETV22 Snickers 18 months ago
Sorry to hear that Snickers. We will miss your comments and contributions to both Quizzes and Stories. However a tribute to you- 𝙎𝙤 𝙇𝙤𝙣𝙜, 𝙁𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡:
Snickers LoveMETV22 18 months ago
Farewell my friend.
TravisBalling 18 months ago
Question 5 is incorrect. It is not level 2 on the phasers, it is that the Enterprise crew has Type II phasers
Mirramanee TravisBalling 18 months ago
I noticed that, too, but chalked it up to semantics. The writers of this quiz at least got the "Two" part of it correct and that's much better than the errors I've seen in some other quizzes.
TheFanFromUNCLE 18 months ago
Pacificsun TheFanFromUNCLE 18 months ago
You 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 get a Like. Just because of your avatar! 😉
MikefromJersey 18 months ago
10 for 12.
I love Shatner but he is getting up there in age.
MeTV, why don't you do an extensive interview with him as he isn't going to be around in 10 years.
Have him host his 5 favorite episodes.
Ask him about growing up in Montreal, and how his and Nimoy's Jewish faith/culture helped
bind them together, especially during this episode when Shatner's father died.
"Who's minding the store" was a wink to that culture when Bill worked it into the script.
Quiz - what part of Hebrew culture did Nimoy make part of the Vulcan culture?
I'm not Jewish, just a goy, but I appreciate such "bits of business" when it's
worked into movies/TV series.
Pacificsun MikefromJersey 18 months ago
🙂 Your comments are always appreciated! So don't get me wrong. There's probably nothing that somebody doesn't already know about him. But I refer you to the definitive collection of celebrity interviews to enjoy. These 𝙖𝙧𝙚 for posterity so they're usually taken seriously by the interviewee. One thing about WS is, he has a sense of evolution. My hunch is, any strong opinions have adapted over time. But age also provides yet another level of being totally candid. I doubt he'll leave the world with any regrets!! 😉
Pacificsun MikefromJersey 18 months ago
Answer: I'll turn it around for you, what is the same thing he taught Celia Lovsky.
ELEANOR MikefromJersey 18 months ago
I think Leonard Nimoy put in "Live long and prosper" which I believe is a Jewish saying.
MikefromJersey ELEANOR 18 months ago
Hi Eleanor,
The Vulcan salute hand gesture represents the Hebrew letter Shin which means "Almighty God"
and is thus a blessing. "Live long and prosper" came from the Jersey boy author Stephen Crane
according to people a lot smarter than me.
MikefromJersey Pacificsun 18 months ago
Hi Pacific,
That link you provided is terrific and is a boon to serious TV aficionados such as you and me.
But it would be nice if Shatner did do a gig with MeTV even if it wasn't a serious in depth work,
the casual fan would benefit and he is a witty interview.
Besides, it's always good for people to know many of their on screen heroes are Jewish
because it might change narrow minded people's outlook.
Some years back I got attacked on a site because I merely mentioned Michael Landon and
Lorne Greene were buried next to each other in a Jewish cemetery.
The idea that their Western heroes were Jewish really threw some people, and this was in
the 1990's, not 60 years ago.
Pacificsun MikefromJersey 18 months ago
I haven't thought about it for a long time. Anniversaries go fleeting by. But for one of the key ST:TOS anniversaries (maybe 40?) there actually was a retrospective. I remember all the promotion, and pretty sure it was featured on MeTV in the earlier (but National) years of the network. I kind of remember LN sitting there, looking older, talking about all the topics we cover frequently. And WS was included. And a lot came from "The Making Of...." kind of books. It was neat.

And to your, looking for that kind of connection, MeTV should dredge it up. Except they probably don't own it and can't rerun it without an agreement. Besides, it might be relatively dated.

But I offer it as an example of fans being in agreement with, and someone coming up with the means to pull it off.

My personal philosophy is people should be honored while they're living. After all, it's only a matter of respect.

Thanks for the great conversations!!😊
cuddles1954 18 months ago
One of my favorite episodes ❤️
bnichols23 18 months ago
As expected, just too easy. I wish they'd done a question about LCDR Giotto or somebody. But enjoyable since I like that episode!
CaptainDunsel bnichols23 18 months ago
You mean Commodore Bob Wesley?
bnichols23 CaptainDunsel 18 months ago
Yeah. I knew Bob Wesley. :)
Mirramanee CaptainDunsel 18 months ago
Yeah, but he was much less respectful of Captain Kirk when he was a Commodore. After all, he did call him "Captain Dunsel" (no disrespect meant to you!).
CaptainDunsel Mirramanee 18 months ago
No offense taken. that is of course (and fairly obviously) where I took my handle. Been using it since the heyday of CB radio. And I've been just as "useless" all those years.
JoeSHill 18 months ago
"The Horta" costume in "STAR TREK"s "The Devil In The Dark" was actually the "Microbe" costume from "The Probe", the final episode of ABC-TV's "THE OUTER LIMITS" that aired on January 16, 1965, as Janos Prohaska was the stunt actor who performed both versions. Project Unlimited, the company that designed the scary aliens on "THE OUTER LIMITS" had sold some of their creations to Desilu, and also, Fred B. Phillips was the makeup man who worked on both series, as The Microbe costume was transformed into "The Horta" for this 1967 episode.
Mike JoeSHill 18 months ago
The story goes that Janos Prohaska came to Gene Roddenberry's office one morning, wearing the Microbe costume, which was his own creation.
Roddenberry, who'd known Prohaska for years, asked him "Janos, what exactly is this?"
Prohaska answered "Anything you'd like it to be!"
Roddenberry called in his staff writers to see Prohaska's creature - and the rest you know ...
Pacificsun JoeSHill 18 months ago
I'm remembering THE OUTER LIMITS was in black and white, so the costume was less effective. Few things are truly new in Hollywood, so my hunch is, Prohaska refreshed the effect of the costume to make it stunning for color TV (thus the impression it made on the producers) and emphasizing its agility within those very limited sets. Yet in digital transmission can all the details really be appreciated, the fringe, a bit of sparkle, the dimension, tactile surface, the pizza-coloration. That it came through as remarkable as it did in 1967 is a testament, not only to unlimited imagination and illusion. But that it was 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 as fascinating then, as it is now. I'm glad MeTV highlighted the episode for everyone to catch!
CaptainDunsel Pacificsun 18 months ago
Recently tripped over another Fun Fact about Janos Prohaska.

"Janos Prohaska" was also the name of a character in the DC Comics series "Blackhawks".

The comic book character was actually named in honor of the actor/stuntman/monster-maker, who ironically died in a plane crash in 1974.
Stranger56 18 months ago
Got 9/12...I liked this episode but not one of my favorites, TOS still the best and these reboots are just Bantha poodoo.
Pacificsun 18 months ago
I could never figure out how they made those smooth, shiny Horta egg spheres. They look like kid's bouncing balls. But they never would've been stationary. They couldn't have filled them because they never would've been smooth. If they used molds, what did they paint the outer shell with. They're absolutely uniform. And did anyone take one as a souvenir?

I'm surprised never to have read anything about there making. They should be one book alone on all the props.

Some ultra-fan, please share the secrets!
LenVishnevsky Pacificsun 18 months ago
I think they painted balloons?
Wendy57 Pacificsun 18 months ago
Great idea for a show/book on all of the props. Makeup, costumes, and special effects too.
Pacificsun LenVishnevsky 18 months ago
Well I did find in one place where they were bouncing balls anyway, and for some reason glued the halves of them together. I watched closely last night DITD, and sure enough saw a few move. Was also reported, they continued to use them as props for other sets too. And now it's fun to see where they ended up. There was no report of any lasting long enough to become a souvenir. But wouldn't doubt, that maybe some fan might claim to have had one!!
Pacificsun Wendy57 18 months ago
see below
ELEANOR Pacificsun 18 months ago
Since Star Trek was after all, concerned with speeding around the galaxies far into the future, they could not use ordinary props so they had to be creative. The prop men were expert dumpster divers; looking for anything that could be turned into something that looked extraterrestrial. Next time you see Kirk or Spock's quarters look closely. You just might see something that used to be in a dumpster.
Pacificsun ELEANOR 18 months ago
🙂 True enough. When "The Making Of" books first came out they described a few things. Of course even the books were written long ago. Remember, they mentioned the Salt Shaker was one? Those Bridge seats are clearly the most futuristic (probably kitchen or dinning or office) chairs they could find. And ridiculous to think they were 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 anchored to the floor! Hilarious! Their utility belts used Velco. Some of the space suits were made out of bubble wrap. About the only thing that came across decently were the Personal Computer monitors, amazingly so. Although Spock easily crushes one in Amok Time. So much for plastic molds.

Like I say, they should've published a book on props alone. How they got and what they did to make them.

Thanks for exchanging w/ me. Your comments are always interesting!
JERRY6 18 months ago
7 forgot most of the episode answers 56years will do that
Pacificsun JERRY6 18 months ago
No need to wait 56 yrs for viewing. It's among the select grouping of favored series running 7 days a week, always, somewhere.
RkBke 18 months ago
12/12 my favorite episode..first one i saw i believe in the early seventies...this is what star trek was about...finding new worlds with other life forms....great episode, great everything...i think william shatner said the same rhing, and i think his father passed away during filming this episode....
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