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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




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 »


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 December 1967 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




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Did You Know?


In the first scene, the landing party beams down to the planet surface in front of two buildings, the first one has a curved exterior with alternating raised light blue panels and sunken white panels with no "ribs," but the second one has a similar curved exterior with "ribs" clearly protruding from the roof. This second building is a repurposing of the structure used as the home for Zefram Cochran in Star Trek: The Original Series: Metamorphosis (1967). See more »


After Kirk is given the adrenalin injection and he is shown writhing, his trousers change colors from blue, to black then back to blue. See more »


McCoy: I don't know what's causing it. Virus, bacteria or evil spirits, but I'm trying to find out.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »


Spoofed in Quark: The Old and the Beautiful (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Star Trek ages gracefully
10 November 2007 | by Guerticus_MaximusSee 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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