According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Metamorphosis : The Deadly Years : Friday's Child.
In the Remastered Episodes Chronology, the release sequence is
Metamorphosis : The Deadly Years : The Alternative Factor.

Summary

A landing party consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott, Chekov and Lt. Galway beams down for a routine visit to an outpost on Gamma Hydra IV. They find that the scientists there are dying of rapid aging. After their return to the ship the landing party soon shows symptoms of the disease too. Only Chekov is unaffected. Lt. Galway dies.

Commodore Stocker, who is aboard to be transferred to Starbase 10, urges Spock to hold a hearing to investigate Kirk's ability to command the ship. It is found that Kirk, due to his senility, is unable to stay in command, which falls to Stocker. But Stocker makes an almost fatal mistake when he orders Sulu to set course for the Neutral Zone.

In the meantime Dr. McCoy has an idea that adrenalin could help the aging crew members, as it probably saved Chekov, who was terrified when he stumbled across a dead body on Gamma Hydra. Spock and Dr. Wallace, an old flame of Kirk, develop a cure, which helps Kirk to save the ship that has been surrounded by the Romulans, repeating his "corbomite maneuver".

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpicker's Guide for Classic Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Kirk orders Sulu to raise the orbit to 20,000 miles perigee, but at the end of the show Kirk talks about the destruction in a diameter of 200.000 kilometres. Wouldn't it be confusing to switch continually between the imperial and metric measuring systems? The rapid aging is affecting Kirk’s thought processes.
  2. Although Stocker had to be in charge to make the bonehead decision to run the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, shouldn't Spock fight harder to see Sulu assumes command? The navigator has command and combat experience (“Arena”). Stocker would just use his higher rank to overturn the decision, while pointing out that, logically, Sulu’s expertise would be needed at the helm.
  3. Speaking of Stocker, if this guy is such a stickler for regulations — which the episode tends to assert — why would he violate the very important regulation ‘"Stay out of the Neutral Zone"? He is arrogant enough to think he can get away with it!
  4. After deciding that adrenaline must provide a cure, McCoy wants to admonish Spock and Wallace to get moving on a cure. He says “Well, don‘t just stand there jawin, Spawnck." Spawnck? The aging effect is giving McCoy trouble with his speech.

Internet Movie Database

Plot holes

  1. After the crew's experience with a similar viral outbreak in Miri, their lack of concern about beaming up the infected landing party seems odd. Not really - They probably decided to return to Enterprise in order to carry out a computer analysis, which they weren't able to do during the 'Miri' incident, using details of the earlier event as the basis of a comparison.

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, April 17, 1999 - 5:51 am: Early on when Kirk started to make mistakes it seemed like the crew acted shocked. Is Kirk so infallible that he never makes mistakes? Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 7:17 am: The crew is shocked because Kirk's mistakes are blatant, plus he keeps repeating them. I'll bet they're also noticing them more because Kirk is getting wrinkled and grey.
  2. Why didn't a Federation patrol stop the Enterprise from entering the Neutral Zone? (If entering the Neutral Zone is an act of war it would just be common sense to have patrols on the Federation side to prevent Federation ships from entering. Don't you think?) Starfleet may have considered it unnecessary to have a patrol in that area, especially in light of the Enterprise's presence.

Fandom

  1. Davidoz99 - 13:48, January 12, 2021 Not really a plot oversight, but an oversight nonetheless. The wind generator on the planet is rotating in the wrong direction. Unless that planet only has anti-wind. This could be an experimental version.

Notes

  1. When Johnson appears with his wife Elaine, they are actually in their late 20s, yet appear to have aged 50 more years. Johnson was played by 85-year-old Felix Locher, making him the oldest actor ever to appear on Star Trek.


The Original Series Season 2
Catspaw I Metamorphosis I Friday's Child I Who Mourns for Adonais?I Amok Time I The Doomsday Machine I Wolf in the Fold I The Changeling I The Apple I Mirror, Mirror I The Deadly Years I I, Mudd I The Trouble with Tribbles I Bread and Circuses I Journey to Babel I A Private Little War I The Gamesters of Triskelion I Obsession I The Immunity Syndrome I A Piece of the Action I By Any Other Name I Return to Tomorrow I Patterns of Force I The Ultimate Computer I The Omega Glory I Assignment: Earth
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