During its franchise history, Star Trek has given birth to many different races of aliens. Some, like the Borg or the organ harvesting vidians are brilliantly created and the stuff of nightmares, others are iconic such as the ridges of a IKlingon’s forhead or a Volcun’s ears, and others (predominately from the original series, during a somewhat stone age era of special effects) are almost comical, however that might be exactly what has made them iconic in their own right.
One of the most memorable creatures not only in the 3-season run of the original series, but certainly the franchise as a whole, is that of the Horta, the terrifying creature that romes the tunnels and right through the walls of the planet Janus VI.
The Horta is one of Trek’s most memorable and popular alien races for a number of reasons.
The episode does a fantastic job of passing the creature off as something evil and malevolent, something to be feared, and it is not until the end of the episode that we discover that the frightening creature, capable of tunneling through solid rock with the aid of corrosive acid, was actually a highly intelligent being and a fiercely protective mother, trying to keep her species from extinction at the hands of the miners on the planet that were disturbing her eggs. So by the end of the episode, you completely sympathize with her and her actions as, extreme as they might have been, they were completely justified.
Not only is the Horta one of the most renouned aliens in all of Trek, what might not be well-known except by the most hardcore of Trekkies, is how the Horta came to be. Before the age of cutting edge special effects, back when monsters were just men in rubber suits, that is precicely what the Horta was, nothing more then a man in a rubber suit, crawling around on the ground.
The Horta was played by Janos Prohaska. Not only did Prohaska play the character, he also created what would become the Horta, which was a rubber suit that the acter put over his body and crawled around under, dropping a large egg-like object in the process.
Probably not many Trek fans would know the name Prohaska, but he is a part of Trek lore, for creating his own character, playing that character in the episode, and that episode going on to become one of the most beloved and popular of the original series.