Star Trek: Season 2, Episode 25

Bread and Circuses (15 Mar. 1968)

TV Episode  |   |  Action, Adventure, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 950 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 4 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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Episode complete credited cast:
R.M. Merrick / Merikus
Logan Ramsey ...
William Bramley ...
Rhodes Reason ...
Bart La Rue ...
Announcer (as Bart Larue)
Jack Perkins ...
Master of Games
Max Kleven ...
Lois Jewell ...


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 | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

15 March 1968 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title "Bread and circuses" is a translation of "Panem et circenses", an ancient Roman metaphor for people choosing food and fun over freedom. It first appears around AD 100 in the Satires of Juvenal, which also provided the title of another Star Trek production about 20 years later: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Who Watches the Watchers (1989). See more »


Max Kleven is billed as "Maximus", but his character is referred to as "Achilles" in the arena fight. See more »


Flavius: The message of the Son, that all men are brothers, was kept from us. Perhaps I'm a fool to believe it. It does often seem that men must fight to live.
Capt. Kirk: You go on believing it, Flavius. All men are brothers.
See more »


Referenced in Futurama: Where No Fan Has Gone Before (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

You bring this network's ratings down...
3 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While this is an enjoyable episode, one of the things that sets it apart is that it has some great lines in it.

"Doctor, if I were able to show emotion, your new infatuation with that term would begin to annoy me."

"Really, Doctor? I had no idea they were trained. Watching you, I assumed it was trial and error."

"You bring this network's ratings down and we'll do a special on you!"

"Fight, you pointed-eared freak!"

"I'm trying to thank you, you pointy-eared hobgoblin!"

"Oh...we've preempted 15 minutes on the early show for full color. I guarantee you a splendid audience."

If nothing else, this episode gets high marks for the script.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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