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Podcast Enterprise: S2E12 The Deadly Years


Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

When this episode opens, you have the USS Enterprise in orbit around Gamma Hydra IV, and you have Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, a Lieutenant Galway, who’s a new character for this episode and Hansen Chekov, they are beamed down to this planet and they’re there for a routine resupply mission.And on this planet, there is a, there is an experimental colony, which is headed by a certain Robert Johnson, who is supposedly 29 years old.

Now, when they beamed down on this planet, Kirk and the landing party find Absolutely nobody. The area is deserted. There are some buildings, but there’s nobody, so they decide to split up and examine what’s going on.Chekov enters one building, finds an extremely old dead man, and he loses his marbles a little bit. He calls out to his captain. He comes running out in absolute fright. And because he is so frightened, the rest of the landing party go into that building and they find this old man. And McCoy, after he does an examination of the dead body, reveals that this person died of natural causes of extreme old age.Now this is very puzzling for the landing party and for Kirk because none of the colonists on Gamma Hydra IV were above 30. So who is this old person? Now While they are deliberating this, an old man and an old woman come into the building and he reveals himself to be Robert Johnson and he says he’s 29 even though he’s extremely old and his wife, Elaine, he says she’s 27 and they’re not in good shape.So They’re taken back to the Enterprise.

Now, on board the Enterprise, Elaine dies of old age and Robert Johnson also dies of old age, because they are just so old and there is something that is causing accelerated aging in both of these characters. And apparently all the other colonists also died of this sort of accelerated old age.Kirk convenes a meeting in the briefing room to try and figure out what is going on. You are introduced to a new character called Janet Wallace, Dr. Janet Wallace, who is supposedly an old flame of Kirk’s. They try to, They try to figure out what exactly is going down on that planet. They hit a dead end, but as time goes on, they find that they themselves are subject to the aging.And each of the characters is affected by this aging process in a different way. So McCoy, he’s growing old very fast and he’s becoming very cranky. Spock is growing old and he’s feeling very cold and he’s not able to take the low temperatures on board the Enterprise. Kirk is becoming a little senile, and that is a big problem, because there is also a Commodore aboard the Enterprise, a Commodore Stocker.He wants to go to Starbase 10.

Now, because of this aging process, this aging problem, basically, and how it’s affecting the crew, Kirk cannot go to Starbase 10, despite Commodore Stocker’s protests. Everybody’s growing older and older. The most affected seems to be Lieutenant Galway, who’s aging much faster than everybody else, despite being 10 years younger than Kirk. They’re constantly trying to find out why this aging disease has afflicted them all. Nothing seems to be happening. Kirk gets more and more senile. He gets, He gives orders, he forgets he he has given those orders and he gives those orders again. And then just as they get and then They are also very close to the Romulan neutral zone, which means it’s very dangerous.

You cross the line and the Romulans will attack and Kirk is trying to keep it together.He’s not able to and finally Spock finds that there is some sort of radiation on Gamma Hydra for that is causing this aging process, but by now Commodore Stocker has had enough. He’s watching the Captain go senile from this aging disease. He’s watching the rest of the crew members get old. The landing party.I mean Only Chekov has not been affected and they don’t know why.

Commodore Stocker decides that he wants to take over the Enterprise because Kirk is so inefficient right now. And as he does so, he convenes a disciplinary hearing to remove Kirk from his position.Spock is also not in a condition to take over the Enterprise, so Commodore Stocker, who has absolutely no field experience, decides to commandeer the Enterprise. And that turns out to be an absolute disaster because he has no idea how to deal with the Romulans.

He directs the ship to go right into the neutral zone.They’re attacked by Romulans. And while this is happening, Kirk is panicking down in the sick bay because he’s old. He can’t do anything. He’s got arthritis due to old age. He’s senile. And at the same time, his mind is clear enough to realize that his ship is being attacked and there’s a green horn at the helm.And this is when they find out why Chekov wasn’t, wasn’t affected by the aging disease.

It’s because of adrenaline. Spock, despite his age, somehow manages to produce a serum. This serum is injected into Kirk so that he can recover and become young again. And it works with, Although the injection of that serum looks very painful, Kirk, however, manages to recover. He goes back to the bridge and relieves Commodore Stocker of his disastrous command and gets the Romulans to stop attacking with a very clever ruse involving a bluff and a carbomite device and a bomb blast, which doesn’t really exist.

And this episode ends with Commodore Stocker finally acknowledging that he’s well aware now of what a starship can do with the right man at the helm.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!


  1. Intro music: Music from
  2. Shotcut for editing the podcast
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