Star Trek (1966–1969)
7.3/10
1,044
22 user 4 critic

Bread and Circuses 

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

Director:

Writers:

(created by), | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Videos

Edit

Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1968 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of Merrick's merchant vessel, the S.S. Beagle, is a reference to the vessel famous for carrying Charles Darwin on the mission to chart South America, the H.M.S. Beagle, which would, coincidentally, turn into a five year mission, and the early basis for Darwin's "On the Origin of Species." 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

Uhura: [Kirk and Spock are assessing Planet 892-IV] Captain, both amplitude and frequency modulation being used. I think I can pick up something visual. It's a news broadcast using a system I think they once called video.
Mr. Spock: "Television" was the colloquial term.
Capt. Kirk: Put it on the screen.
Uhura: Aye.
Announcer: [static clears] ... Today, police rounded up still another group of dissidents. Authorities are as yet unable to explain these fresh outbreaks of treasonable disobedience by well-treated, well-protected, intelligent ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in William Shatner's Star Trek Memories (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The HARLAN ELLISON Thread Doctor_Omega
Those Paramount Star Trek Fanfilm Guidelines in Full Doctor_Omega
Johnny Seven shermandemetrius
I know that this is a TOS message board but I have a question tyroth67
Edith Keller/The Oracle! timmytony80
Balance of Terror (1966) FrankNW
Discuss Bread and Circuses (1968) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?