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Star Trek: Bread and Circuses

The Enterprise comes across debris from the Federation scout vessel, S.S. Beagle, that went missing six year earlier. The crew extrapolate the path of the wreckage backwards and finds it last visited the fourth planet of the System 892 which is inhabited by what appears to be modern day Romans who view their gladiatorial fights on TV. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to look for the missing crew and find themselves part of the savage gladiatorial TV spectacle.

Episode Info
Episode number: 2x25
Production Number: 60343
Airdate: Friday March 15th, 1968

Starring Roles
James DoohanJames Doohan
As Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
Nichelle NicholsNichelle Nichols
As Lt. Nyota Uhura
Walter KoenigWalter Koenig
As Ensign Pavel Chekov

Guest Stars

Co-Guest Stars
Ian WolfeIan Wolfe
As Septimus
Bart La RueBart La Rue
As Announcer
Logan RamseyLogan Ramsey
As Claudius
Rhodes ReasonRhodes Reason
As Flavius
Jack PerkinsJack Perkins
As Master of Games
Max KlevenMax Kleven
As Maximus
Lois JewellLois Jewell
As Drusilla

Bob OrrisonBob Orrison
As Policeman #2
Eddie PaskeyEddie Paskey
As Lt. Leslie
Paul BaxleyPaul Baxley
As Policeman #1 / McCoy's Stunt Double
Tom SteeleTom Steele
As Slave #2
Allen PinsonAllen Pinson
As Spock's Stunt Double
Gil PerkinsGil Perkins
As Slave #3
Paul StaderPaul Stader
As Slave #1 / Flavius's Stunt Double
Main Cast
William ShatnerWilliam Shatner
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk
Leonard NimoyLeonard Nimoy
As Commander Spock
DeForest KelleyDeForest Kelley
As Dr. Leonard Horatio "Bones" McCoy


The Enterprise is sent to find the missing S.S. Beagle. They find its wreckage drifting in space but no bodies. They follow the path of the debris back to a nearby system where they discover a near-Earth planet with two moons. Uhura picks up old-style “television” transmissions and they pick up broadcasts from what seems to be a modern-day Roman Empire. The Empire’s slaves are rebelling while gladiatorial games are broadcast planetwide. The crew overhears a broadcast of the last “barbarian” being killed in the arena and realizes it’s a crewman from the Beagle..

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Episode Notes
Ian Wolfe (Septimus) would later play Mr. Atoz, and his android copies, in "All Our Yesterdays".

Marcus' jacket insignia is actually William Shatner's real-life coat of arms.

Episode Quotes
Spock: Fascinating. This atmosphere is remarkably similar to your 20th century. Moderately industrialized pollution containing substantial amounts of carbon monoxide and partially consumed hydrocarbons.
McCoy: The word was "smog."
Spock: Yes, I believe that was the term. I had no idea you were that much of a historian, Doctor.
McCoy: I am not, Mr. Spock. I was simply trying to stop you from giving us a lecture on the subject.

McCoy: Just once I'd like to be able to land someplace and say, "Behold, I am the Archangel Gabriel".
Spock: I fail to see the humor in that situation, Doctor.
McCoy: Naturally. You could hardly claim to be an angel with those pointed ears, but say you landed someplace with a pitchfork..

Flavius: What do you call those?
Spock: I call them ears.
Flavius: Are you trying to be funny?
Spock: Never.

McCoy: Quite logical, I'd say, Just as it's logical that a 20th-century Rome would use television to show its gladiator contests or name a new car the Jupiter 8.
Spock: Doctor, if I were able to show emotion, your new infatuation with that term would begin to annoy me.
McCoy: What term? Logic? Medical men are trained in logic, Mr. Spock.
Spock: Really, Doctor, I had no idea they were trained. Watching you, I assumed it was trial and error.

Claudius: I believe you all swear you'll die before you'd violate that Directive. Am I right?
Spock: Quite correct.
McCoy: Must you always be so blasted honest?

Achilles: Stop running! Fight!
Spock: Need any help, Doctor?
McCoy: Whatever gave you that idea?
Achilles: Fight, you pointed-ear freak!
McCoy: You tell him, buster. Of all the completely... ridiculous... illogical questions... I ever heard in my life!

Claudius: Admit it. You find these games frightening, revolting.
Kirk: In some parts of the galaxy, I have seen forms of entertainment that makes this look like a folk dance.

McCoy: Angry, Mr. Spock, or frustrated, perhaps?
Spock: Such emotions are foreign to me, Doctor. I'm merely testing the strength of the door.
McCoy: For the fifteenth time.

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

Claudius: Would you leave us, Merik? The thoughts of one man to another cannot possibly interest you.

Episode Goofs
Does Merrick (and thus the Proconsul) really believe they're going to lure all 400+ Enterprise crewmen down to the planet? Apparently they think that after Kirk, Spock, and McCoy are killed, Scotty will send down another recon party... and another recon party... and then even more. Realistically, at some point Scotty's going to say, "Well the last 20 recon parties disappeared... better not send another." But for their plan to work, Merrick and the Proconsul have to ignore this obvious fact.

Even if the landing party doesn't have subcutaneous transponders, and the Romans are biologically identical to humans... Scotty & Co. could still scan for the only Vulcan on the planet, wait until he's isolated, and either beam someone down to investigate or beam him up.

Kirk uses a machine gun to blast the cell door and then swings it open. It is clear that the lock is undamaged; a lock shot open by a machine gun would be torn apart and ruined.

Claudius says he's going to give Kirk a 15-minute televised execution but then tells the Master of the Games to kill the captain with one quick thrust. What are they going to do the other 14 minutes?

They've done it before, but once again they take Spock on a landing party when they're under strict orders not to violate the Prime Directive and give any indication that life exists on other planets.

What Changed in the Remastered Episode
The starship and planet models received the expected upgrades, and the Enterprise passes some obvious debris just before the scene change to the bridge, where Spock mentions the debris field. 892-IV (the planet) received a pair of moons visible in most orbital shots as part of its upgrade.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorGene Roddenberry
Executive ProducerGene Roddenberry
ProducerGene L. Coon
CastingJoseph D'Agosta
Costume DesignerWilliam Ware Theiss
Make-upFred B. Phillips
Property MasterIrving A. Feinberg
OtherHerbert F. Solow (Executive in Charge of Production)
Director of PhotographyGerald Perry Finnerman
Art DirectorWalter M. Jefferies
Special EffectsJames Rugg
Main Title ThemeAlexander Courage
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