Episode Title: "THE DEADLY YEARS"
Production Number: 40
Original Air Date: 12-08-67
Stardates: 3478.2, 3579.4
The U.S.S. Enterprise is transporting Commodore Stocker to assume his post at Starbase 10 when it stops at the experimental colony at Gamma Hydra Four, close to the Neutral Zone between the Federation and the Romulan Empire, for an annual check of the scientific expedition.
Ensign Chekov is frightened when he comes across the body of one of the expedition members on Gamma Hydra Four, who apparently died of extreme old age. The landing party finds that the other expedition members are also dying of old age, and members of the Enterprise landing party start to show symptoms of aging, except for Chekov.
Dr. Janet Wallace, an expert in endocrinology and a former girlfriend of Captain Kirk, is aboard the Enterprise and assists Dr. McCoy in trying to find a cure for the landing party's advanced aging. Commander Spock determines that Gamma Hydra Four's orbit passed through the trail of a rogue comet, whose residue produces low levels of radiation.
As Captain Kirk begins to show signs of aging and forgetfulness, Commodore Stocker calls for a competency hearing and relieves Kirk of command. Commodore Stocker, who has never commanded a starship, orders the Enterprise to take a direct course to Starbase 10, across the Neutral Zone. However, the Enterprise is intercepted and attacked by Romulan ships.
Dr. McCoy realizes that when Chekov was frightened on the planet, his body released adrenaline, which prevented him from aging like the rest of the landing party, and develops an adrenaline-based cure for the crew's aging.
When Captain Kirk is cured, he returns to command and uses the Corbomite maneuver to bluff the Romulans into letting the Enterprise leave the Neutral Zone. Once back in Federation space, the Enterprise resumes its course for Starbase 10.
Factoid: Captain Kirk has not seen Dr. Wallace for six years, four months, and an odd number of days. She got married after they called it off, but her husband subsequently died.
Factoid: Gamma Hydra Four is a Class-M planet with a conventional oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and normal mass.
Factoid: Lt. Sulu has served with Captain Kirk for two years.
Factoid: Captain Kirk is 34 years old.
Factoid: Adrenaline-based treatments for radiation sickness were used after the atomic age, but research on adrenaline was abandoned when hyronalin was discovered and became the accepted treatment for all radiation sickness.
Dr. McCoy: "I'm not a magician, Spock, just an old country doctor."
Dr. McCoy: "She's dead."
Guest Characters: Nurse Christine Chapel, *Commodore Stocker, *Dr. Janet Wallace
Alien Races: Romulans
KEY: [brackets]=illusions *star=first appearance