Monster of the Day #108

What do this episode and The Alligator People have in common?
Update:  Gamera was clearly on the right track with his Hungarian remark.  The Horta episode of Star Trek was blatantly ripped-off in the final episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker.  Entitled “The Sentry”, it featured a rubbery-looking alligator man attacking miners.  The twist ending revealed that the writers had seen “The Devil In the Dark” and were hoping nobody would remember it.

Sure, why not?  Who remembers anything about Star Trek?

  • Gamera

    What do this episode and The Alligator People have in common?

    Was it something Hungarian? (hint, hint)

  • BeckoningChasm

    I always liked the Horta. For the time, it was pretty unique to show a horrible monster killing people, and then finding out it was justified in doing so.

    No idea about The Alligator People connection. I’d guess “Ken Lynch” but then I’d probably guess “Ken Lynch” no matter what the question was.

  • “Was it something Hungarian? (hint, hint)”

    MMMM…could be!

  • Ericb

    I think that’s Shatner’s stunt double there.

  • Rock Baker

    A good old fashioned monster story, in space! Sadly, this is one of the small handful of episodes I don’t have access too, and I haven’t seen it in forever. (My fading memory of the episode excludes me from today’s guessing game as well.) I do remember really enjoying the episode when I caught it, and I’d love to see it again. Maybe I’ll run across the tape in a flea market someday soon….

  • BeckoningChasm

    It may indeed be his double. Shatner’s father died during the filming of this episode, and he was gone a couple of days for the funeral. Most of Spock’s meld with the Horta was done then, with a couple of over-the-shoulder shots of Shatner’s double thrown in.

  • Toby Clark

    The episode that Arena should have been.

  • sandra

    I always liked the story attached to this episode: Gene Roddenberry’s secretary told him that Janos Prohaska was wanting to see him. “Send Him in.” Prohaska crawls in wearing the Horta costume. “Great ! What is it ?” says Roddenberry. “It’s whatever you want it to be.” Prohaska replies. So they built the episode around the costume.

  • BeckoningChasm

    Sandra, I’m pretty sure it was Gene Coon, not Rodenberry. (Coon wrote the episode, and created a lot of the Star Trek elements that are still with us today.)

  • John Bohlke
  • Gamera

    Yes, Hungerian born FX whiz Janos Prohaska designed and wore the costume for ‘The Outer Limits’ episode ‘The Probe’ where it was a giant alien bacteria or some such. He later brought the suit over to the ‘Trek’ offices and they hired him with some modifications to the costume to turn it into the Horta we all know and love. He designed, built and wore the Mugatu and Yarnek the Excalbian costumes that Ken has also featured as MotD as well.

    I thought that Prohaska had designed, built, and/or worn the Gatorman costume in ‘The Alligator People’ as well but looking around I couldn’t find any confirmation.

    On one other ‘Trek’ trivia tidbit Diane Duane wrote several ‘Trek’ novels with a Horta ensign serving aboard the Enterprise.

  • John Campbell

    Lunchroom pizza!

    A great episode indeed!

  • Rock Baker

    I know Janos Prohaska also played several apes on Gilligan’s Island. The credits didn’t list him, but I’m assuming he also played the giant spider in the episode with Sterling Holloway. Can anyone verify this?

    And did that giant spider also turn up on an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea? (I wonder how many monsters Prohaska played on THAT show!

  • sandra

    A Horta ensign on the Enterprise ? I wonder how he or she managed to fit into the uniform :-D