Star Trek (1966–1969)
7.2/10
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31 user 5 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:

Ralph Senensky

Writers:

Gene Roddenberry (created by), Gene Roddenberry | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
William Smithers ... Merik
Logan Ramsey ... Claudius Marcus
Ian Wolfe ... Septimus
William Bramley William Bramley ... Policeman
Rhodes Reason ... Flavius
James Doohan ... Scott
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Bart La Rue Bart La Rue ... Announcer (as Bart Larue)
Jack Perkins ... Master of Games
Max Kleven Max Kleven ... Maximus
Lois Jewell Lois Jewell ... Drusilla
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 March 1968 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

As Flavius takes Kirk, Spock, and McCoy towards the city and hiding behind the trees, red spots can be seen on various places of the trees. The small charges were set off when guards fired their machine guns at the group. See more »

Quotes

Claudius Marcus: You're a Roman, Kirk, or you should have been.
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Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song See more »

Connections

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 BlueghostSee 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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