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 »


In the final shot, Chekov is suddenly wearing a wig instead of his natural hair. (The shot was obviously borrowed from an earlier episode.) See more »


Arlene Galway: [from the blooper reel] Doctor, may I speak to you for a moment, please?
McCoy: Of course.
Arlene Galway: Well, I know this is going to sound foolish, but
[Beverly Washburn breaks character]
Arlene Galway: I feel like hell! I've forgotten my next line!
See more »


Referenced in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Disaster (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Oldies but Goodies
29 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Try not to think too much! The crew of the Enterprise is infected by a virus that causes rapid aging after visiting a strange planet (only Chekhov manages to avoid this). There are some problems with this portrayal. First of all, the characters look really weird as they age. Secondly, even if their bodies age, why are their minds suddenly compromised. For instance, their speech patterns and vocal qualities begin to morph into stereotypical geriatric grumblings. McCoy sounds like a character out of a Mark Twain novel. The old country doctor. Kirk is doddering and forgetful. These are things that grow out of life experiences, not a few days of aging. If you turned from 40 to 80 overnight, your body would change, but your mind would continue to function as usual. As is usually the case, the conclusion is pretty much standard fair. I won't ruin it for you, but suffice it to say that there isn't much new here.

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