Series: The Original Series
Air Date: March 9, 1967
Written by: Gene L. Coon
Directed by: Joseph Pevney
After a series of attacks down in a mine, the Enterprise is called in to solve the mystery of why they're happening and from what.
Answering a distress call, the Enterprise goes to Janus VI and talks to the mining chief engineer there, Vanderburg. He explains that the miners at Janus VI were mining pergium, they opened up a new section of the mine and suddenly they were attacked by some kind of monster that burns them to bits. And for some reason he doesn't think it has anything to do with the unnaturally round orbs that they found down there and keep as souvenirs.
So while they're yammering on, one of the creatures attacks the guard outside of the nuclear reactor and damaged it, stealing a circulating pump, so that after a while it'll blow and irradiate the whole mine. They rush to try and fix it, but Scotty says it'll take 48 hours to whip together spare parts to Macgyver a new pump. Because Scotty is good enough to do that.
|And that's why he's the engineer.|
They split up for a while and Kirk finds a whole cavern the spheres. Spock warns him not to damage them, but still won't tell them
Bones comes down and says "I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!", but goes on trying to fix the Horta anyway. Meanwhile, as Spock continues the mind meld, Kirk goes into the "Chamber of Ages" and sees all the orbs. And that's when they finally realize what I knew all along: they're eggs. And when they opened up the new section of the mine, they destroyed all the eggs and the mother was just trying to protect her young. In the chamber, Kirk finds the circulating pump that the Horta stole and brings it back, fixing the reactor.
|You know where to put that thing.|
This is one of the rare instances where the alien they're facing is in no way, shape or form humanoid. No legs, no arms, no head - just a lump of rock. It makes sense, really. But it happens much more rarely than one might expect from a series that explores the galaxy. In that sense, this is a very original episode. And for that, we thank it. A fine job all around.