Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 25

Bread and Circuses (15 Mar. 1968)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 738 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 2 critic

The Enterprise crew investigates the disappearance of a ship's crew on a planet that is a modern version of the Roman Empire.

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Title: Bread and Circuses (15 Mar 1968)

Bread and Circuses (15 Mar 1968) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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R.M. Merrick / Merikus
Logan Ramsey ...
Claudius
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William Bramley ...
Policeman
Rhodes Reason ...
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Bart La Rue ...
Announcer (as Bart Larue)
Jack Perkins ...
Master of Games
Max Kleven ...
Maximus
Lois Jewell ...
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Storyline

While searching for the crew of a destroyed spaceship, the Enterprise discovers a planet whose oppressive government is a 20th-century version of Earth's Roman Empire. Kirk, Spock and McCoy meet the rebels, seemingly sun worshipers, but are soon thereafter apprehended by the regime. The missing Captain Merik is revealed as the "First Citizen" and a pawn of the regime, but he and the rebels ultimately help Kirk and company to escape. Back on the Enterprise, Uhura observes that the crew's understanding of the rebels as sun worshipers was not completely accurate. Written by MGR

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15 March 1968 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The DVD and earlier VHS editions of this episode contain what is probably the best McCoy/Spock dialogue of the series, which was always edited out in syndication. See more »

Goofs

During the jail scene with Spock and McCoy together in the cell, the joint on Spock's prosthetic pointed left ear can clearly be seen peeling. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Spock: Even more fascinating. Slavery evolving into an institution, with guaranteed medical payments, old-age pensions.
Dr. McCoy: Quite logical, I'd say, Mister Spock. Just as it's logical that, uh... 20th-century Rome would use television to show its gladiator contest, or name a new car the Jupiter VIII.
Mr. Spock: Doctor, if I were able to show emotion, your new infatuation with that term would begin to annoy me.
Dr. McCoy: What term? 'Logic'? Medical men are trained in logic, Mr. Spock.
Mr. Spock: Really, Doctor? I had no idea they were ...
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Referenced in Star Trek (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

"It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the ..."
4 June 2009 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Communication's officer Lieutenant Uhura sums up the decline and fall of the Roman Empire as the world knows it. The plot is really secondary. It's there to drive the story forward, but the underlying theme tells of the human condition via a reign of pure strength, and its ultimate failure.

This theme is reinforced by one of the supporting characters, an escaped 20th century Roman gladiator, Flavius, and his ultimate sacrifice. He represents the old way, once reformed, but gone back to the rule of Rome by fighting the Romans the only way he knows how.

The basic story is a rescue mission, but the real story is the heartfelt examination of the futility of a society that relies on a slave class to sustain itself on all levels, even down to bloody gladiatorial games as entertainment. Kirk is put through the rigors of experiencing both the pains and pleasures of such a society, and although he understands that he cannot change this world, he does help reinforce the message that will ultimately alter it and its Roman Empire on the most fundamental level.

Note Kirk's line as he talks to Flavius in the cave and pats him on the shoulder. Attach that to Uhura's summation at the end, and you got yourself the entire story: "It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the ..."

Positives; Kirk scores with a hot blonde. Druscilla is a HOTTIE! At least she was in 1967 :-) If I were the captain of the Enterprise I think I would bend the rules a little and beam her up to the ship before breaking orbit. Heck... I'd deserve it! The production values in this episode are also top notch. Largely because we're not dealing with aliens and spaceships here, but a historical retrofit to then modern times.

Excellent social commentary on not only a personal spiritual level, but also on the imperial nature of unbridled profit.

Enjoy.


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