Star Trek (1966–1969)
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The Deadly Years 

A landing party from the Enterprise is exposed to strange form of radiation which rapidly ages them.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Sarah Marshall ...
Felix Locher ...
Carolyn Nelson ...
Yeoman Atkins
Laura Wood ...


Rapid aging afflicts all six colonists on Gamma Hydra IV and five members of Kirk's six-man landing party - all but Chekov. With the Neutral Zone so close, suspicion falls on the Romulans testing a new weapon, but is it? With time running out, answers are elusive. As Kirk's memory progressively deteriorates, regulations necessitate a competency hearing no one wants - the outcome of which may eventually lead the Enterprise to its destruction with all aboard. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 December 1967 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In The World of Star Trek, William Shatner relates that he endured an excruciating make-up session for this episode - all for nothing, because the shooting day was just about to end. The producers caught his exasperation in an infamous blooper, wherein he declares, "Robert H. Justman, I'm going home now, after spending three hours putting this [expletive deleted] make-up back on - and it's your fault!" See more »


Kirks hairline is inconsistent. When he first starts aging the hairline is receding, but as he gets much older, his hairline advances again. See more »


McCoy: [to Spock] Oh, you're perfectly healthy.
Spock: I must differ with you, Doctor. I'm having difficulty concentrating, which is most disturbing, my eye sight appears to be failing, and the normal temperature of the ship seems to me to be increasingly colder.
McCoy: I did not say you weren't affected, Mr. Spock. You are perfectly healthy. That is, for any normal Vulcan on the high side of 100.
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Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Final Mission (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

Star Trek ages gracefully
10 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm totally impressed by the makeup job for the landing party characters (with the exception of the aged Lt. Galway, who looks pretty fake). Kirk, McCoy and Scotty REALLY DO look old, especially McCoy. I'm not sure today's makeup artists could do a better job of making someone appear 30-40 years older. And the acting jobs by Shatner, Nimoy, Kelley and Doohan are top notch. They ACT like they're old...especially McCoy, who is even crustier than ever in old age and has his southern drawl magnified. One note, however: Kirk appears to be balding pretty bad when he's "between the ages of 60-72," but he actually has MORE hair at the end when he's gotta be in his 80s.

"The Deadly Years" is an all-around solid episode. The script is well-conceived, the makeup is excellent, and the actors give arguably their best performance of the series. There are a lot of other TV shows that have an episode where the main characters are really old (Cheers, The Brady Bunch), but they never seem very convincing. In "The Deadly Years," I really felt like Kirk and company were 30 years older. There are several episodes I like better, but this episode definitely makes my Top 20 list. I'm giving "The Deadly Years" a B+ grade and admitting I'm getting a little gray – but radiation will do that to you.

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