Star Trek. "The Deadly Years"
This episode that always felt to me like a third season effort, but to my great suprise was a mid-second season show. Earlier in season two we had the undisputed classics Amok Time, The Changeling, Mirror, Mirror, The Doomsday Machine and Journey to Babel. And after this episode they gave us Trouble With Tribbles, A Piece of the Action and The Ultimate Computer. Well, they can't all be winners.
Any time you need to save money you do a bottle show on your existing sets and Deadly Years felt like one of those - they even had a trial onboard the Enterprise - but with having to do old age make up on the four leads, plus constructing the planet set with those neat buildings simply for the teaser, this one must have cost at least as much as an average show. This was probably the talkiest episode they've ever done, but also the dullest in that respect. Commodore Stocker starts out as just another standard Federation or Starfleet Stick in the Mud, "You have to get me to my new base/war/garage sale/etc" (see Commissioner Hedford in Metamorphosis, Commissioner Ferris in Galileo Seven, Ambassador Fox in Taste of Armageddon), but I liked his last line to Kirk that he's "now quite aware of what a starship can do...with the right man at the helm."
There were a couple of really sad moments, like when Spock and Dr. Wallace go to Kirk's quarters with the results of the hearing and they have this exchange.
Spock: Yes, Captain.
Kirk: So...I've been relieved.
Spock: I'm sorry, Captain.
Kirk: Yes. (beat) You should've been a prosecuting attorney.
and later in that same scene:
Kirk: I order you to take command.
Spock: I cannot, Captain.
Kirk: Are you refusing a direct order?
Spock: No, sir. Only Commodore Stocker can give a command order onboard this ship.
**Kirk: You traitorous...disloyal...you stab me in the back the first chance you get.
Kirk: Spock...get out. I never want to have to look at you again.
** The look of shock on Kirk's face here is amazing as Spock's line sinks in. He really give Spock hell - I wish there was a scene at the end where they two discuss this feeling of Kirk's.
One thing I've always thought was odd was the scene where Kirk is given the antidote. The camera focuses ON HIS CROTCH! What are we to imply from that? The ST Compendium says they originally wanted to show Kirk gradually getting younger as he and Old-Spock headed from sickbay to the bridge. They never shot it but that would have been a neat sequence.
At the end, as McCoy is escorting Spock from the bridge to get his antidote, cutey Dr. Wallace comes onto the bridge. Kirk turns, sees her and waves Hi. He even wiggles his fingers a bit. What the heck? Did the serum de-age him back to a pimply 13 year old? If you have Season Two on DVD, you have to pop this episode in just to see that last little bit.