‘The Deadly Years’ (TOS) (TV)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is a ‘Star Trek’ episode that’s pretty frightening! Captain Kirk and some of his crew get infected with a disease that causes them to age rapidly in a short space of time. How will they get out of this?

After beaming down to the colony planet of Gamma Hydra IV, they find all the colonists are dying of old age. Soon Kirk and his team return to the Enterprise and they discover they’ve been infected too.

In an attempt to find the cure for their ailment, Kirk is struggling to maintain command as he keeps suffering memory loss. This causes him to make the wrong decisions and forget commands he made.

This leads to a competency hearing requested by Commodore Stocker and conducted by Spock. It was tense when witnesses testify against Kirk, who doesn’t help himself either when he’s forgetful.

Kirk is soon relieved of command. Sometimes it was amusing and disturbing to see that Kirk had forgotten to give Sulu and Uhura orders whilst on the bridge and signing a field consumption report.

Charles Drake guest stars as Commodore Stocker, who visits the Enterprise for a brief period Stocker is anxious to get to Starbase 10 aboard the Enterprise and he notices Kirk’s increasing forgetfulness.

Carolyn Nelson guest stars as Yeoman Atkins, who gives the field consumption report to an ageing Kirk. I could feel for Akins when during the hearing she was defending Kirk about signing the report.

Sarah Marshall guest stars as Dr. Janet Wallace. Dr. Wallace seems to be a former flame of Kirk’s. It’s amazing how many former flames keep coming back to Kirk’s life and that they’re on the Enterprise.

Seeing characters like Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty getting older by the minute was really frightening. It also allows the actors to deliver superb performances through their old-age make-up.

I especially enjoyed William Shatner’s performance as Kirk in this episode. Kirk is getting forgetful and continually dismisses the notion that he is incapable of being in command of the Enterprise ship.

Leonard Nimoy is equally great as Spock in the episode, although he doesn’t age so quickly as Kirk and Bones do. Because Spock is a Vulcan, he ages rather slowly although he does lose concentration.

DeForest Kelley as Bones is shockingly old when we see him in his white hair and old age make-up. Bones is also increasingly irritable and impatient in his old age, when finding this disease’s antidote.

But James Doohan as Scotty is terribly affected by this strange disease, as he looks old in an instant when he walks through the sick bay doors. Scotty also is increasingly tired and always wants to rest.

Only Walter Koenig as Chekov from the away team seems to be uninfected by the disease. Why is that then? It may be the key to finding a way to reverse the aging on Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty.

It gets very tense when Stocker takes command of the Enterprise and they battle against the Romulans in space. The outer space scenes on the remastered version of the episode are impressive.

‘The Deadly Years’ is a gripping ‘Star Trek’ episode from the series. I wondered how Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty would be saved; how they’d get back to their younger ages and stop getting older.

The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of the original DVD and Disc 4 of the re-mastered DVD of ‘Star Trek: The Original Series – Season 2’, there is a preview trailer for this episode.

‘The Deadly Years’ (TOS) rating – 8/10

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2 thoughts on “‘The Deadly Years’ (TOS) (TV)

  1. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed this episode. Yes poor Chekov. I don’t think he enjoyed it much either with getting prodded and poked about in sick bay by Dr. McCoy. 😀 Interesting comparison you’ve made between the aging in ‘The Deadly Years’ and ‘Star Trek VI’, Simon! 😀

    Thanks for your comments!

    Tim. 🙂



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