Star Trek (1966–1969)
18 user 6 critic

The Deadly Years 

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


Joseph Pevney


Gene Roddenberry (created by), David P. Harmon

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Charles Drake ... Commodore Stocker
Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall ... Janet Wallace
James Doohan ... Scott
George Takei ... Sulu
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Majel Barrett ... Christine Chapel
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Felix Locher Felix Locher ... Mr. Johnson
Carolyn Nelson Carolyn Nelson ... Yeoman Atkins
Laura Wood Laura Wood ... Mrs. Johnson
Beverly Washburn ... Arlene Galway


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


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

8 December 1967 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Each crew member displays different symptoms of aging: Captain Kirk suffers from short-term memory loss and arthritis, Spock becomes hypersensitive to temperature changes, McCoy becomes more moody and irritable, Galway suffers from hearing loss, and Scotty finds that he is always tired. See more »


Early in the episode, Commodore Stocker consistently addresses Captain Kirk as "Sir", even though it has been established in previous episodes (and in naval protocol) that commodores outrank captains. However, "sir" is also used as a means of polite address in conversation. Spock and Khan, for example, exchange "sirs" in the banquet scene in Star Trek: Space Seed, and Kirk, McCoy, Hengist, and Jaris trade "sirs" among themselves in Star Trek: Wolf in the Fold. See more »


McCoy: [checking out the Captain's twinge] Jim, I think we'd better run a complete physical on you.
Captain James T. Kirk: Why? Just muscular strain, hmm?
McCoy: No, Jim. It's advanced arthritis. It's spreading.
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Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song 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 HitchcocSee 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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