REVIEW: “The Deadly Years” (Star Trek: Remastered edition)

Star Trek (Remastered): “The Deadly Years”
Remastered Episode #48 (11/10/2007)
Original Episode #40 (12/8/1967)

“The Deadly Years” is one of Star Trek‘s best episodes, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing the remastered version of this one for some time. After visiting planet Gamma Hydra IV, near the Romulan neutral zone, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, and Galway experience rapid aging. The only member of the landing party not affected is Chekov.

McCoy runs multiple tests on Chekov (Walter Koenig) to determine why he’s immune to the condition. Unfortunately, a lot of the ensuing fun moments from Koenig are lost in the syndication cuts to allow more time for the expanded commercial breaks of 2007.

As the aging Kirk, William Shatner proves once again that he is a top-notch actor. His portrayal is quite convincing, which makes the episode all the more realistic. Fantastic makeup effects by Fred B. Phillips also convey the illusion of age.

McCoy takes on a thicker-and-thicker Southern accent as he ages, in a wonderful performance by DeForest Kelley. “I’m not a magician, Spock. Just an old country doctor,” he states.

“Yes, as I had always suspected,” retorts Spock.

The rapid aging will kill them all within a week unless McCoy finds an antidote. Meanwhile, Commodore Stocker is aboard, anxious to be ferried to Starbase 10. When Stocker assumes command of the Enterprise due to the senility of the senior staff, Kirk calls him a “chair-bound paper-pusher.”

To top it all off, there’s a showdown with the Romulans. “The Deadly Years” even includes references to previous episodes (“Balance of Terror” and “The Corbomite Maneuver”), a rare touch for the original series.

The updated effects by CBS Digital are mostly high-quality. We finally get to see multiple Romulan warbirds taking on the Enterprise, as indicated in the dialogue but never shown until now. The image quality, even on non-effects sequences, has never looked better.

All in all, an episode I’ll remember in my old age . . . which won’t be for some while I hope.

Dramatic Content: 10 (out of 10)
Effects Upgrades: 8
Overall Experience: 10