Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Star Trek--"The Deadly Years"

Like “Friday’s Child,” “The Deadly Years” is another bad idea poorly executed. Was it really a good idea to make growing old so scary and buffoonish? Surely Kirk’s bout wirth senility offended older people. I am not a hypersensitive fellow at all, so how the results of the rapid aging disease did not bother me. It is the hypocrisy to trek supposedly serving as an enlightened beacon in the modern world of ignorance while centering an episode around agism.

But that is not the only bad element. The episode blatantly lifts plot elements from past installments. The most blatant is another gung ho commodore taking over the ship and putting it in danger even though ’The Doomsday Machine” aired a scant few weeks previous. But we also have a mentally impaired Kirk ordering Spock to take over (“The Naked Time’), utilization of the corbomotie maneuver (”The Corbomite Maneuver”), and a miracle cure from McCoy after only a few hours of research (“Miri.”)

Because of that last one, “The deadly Years’ also introduced thedreaed reset button to Trek. Not only was the rapid aging disease stopped, but it was reversed. One wonders why people still age in the 23rd and 24th centuries if such a miracle cure exists. McCoy could make a mint offthe infomercial just with the promise of making people look younger, but less actually be younger. But more importantly, there should be a pox on this episode for intrducing the concept that would plague Trek for forty years. Mercy, it was the lifeblood of VOY.

Obviously, I am not a fan of this episode. I will give somwe kudos to the make up department for the aging effects. In many ways, they were much better than the rubbery look subsequent series will use for the various times they will use aged characters. Otherwise, there is not much to compliment in “The Deadly Years.”

Rating: * (out of 5)

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