Of all the original series ‘Star Trek’ episodes, “Devil In The Dark” must be counted among the best.  The tale of first contact with a horrifying, inhuman creature (one that has killed a number of personnel, it must be noted), it underlines the most special part of Trek, as Kirk refuses to execute the Horta in retribution.  The creature itself, brought to life by genius old-school effects man Janos Prohaska, is unique, even in the weird worlds of the United Federation of Planets, it’s a convincing silicon-based lifeform, and one that makes you forget that it’s a guy under a blanket crawling around, leading to today’s extraterrestrial query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) might also argue passionately for The Ferengi, a joke race that turned into something entirely different and much more intriguing, asking: Which of the myriad alien races of ‘Star Trek’ is the best Trek alien?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I’m fairly attached to the Caitins, the race of M’Ress from the animated series that eventually made it’s way to live-action (a few were seen in the background in Star Trek IV, and the tailed twins seen in bed with Kirk in “Star Trek Into Darkness” were also Caitians though less catlike) and various other media material (novels, games, etc.). There were even plans to include them had Star Trek: Enterprise made another season.

    For completely non-humanoid aliens, though, I gotta go with the Horta.

  2. The Horta for certain. I seem to recall in the OS novels there was even a Horta serving on the Enterprise.

    Although, I stil have a soft spot for Ilia from Delta IV…

  3. I’m excluding all powerfuls like Q, I like Comander Bele and Lokai 1/2 black 1/2 white but I don’t remember the actual race.

    • No actual species name was mentioned in the TOS episode. Memory Alpha (the “Seen on screen” canon wiki) only lists “Native of Planet Cheron”, while Memory Beta (the spin-off material wiki) lists Cheronian, which was the species name listed in one of the novels.

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