[TOS] Season 2, Episode 25 (Netflix: S2 E25): Bread and Circuses
This episode has some nice writing regarding conversations between Spock and Bones, as Bones probes Spock’s hidden feelings. Aside from that, most of the episode has very sloppy writing. A lot of things confused me (I elaborate below).
Read more at Memory Alpha
A Starfleet ship crashed on a planet that’s exactly like earth, except that the Roman Empire never fell. The only attempt at explanation is something called “Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development.”
Kirk, Bones, and Spock beam down but they’re captured by a man in shorts. Spock points out all the remarkable similarities to earth, and that they speak English. Yeah but Romans didn’t speak English on earth.
They used to be slaves of the Romans. Kirk and company are around them for about 10 minutes and the ex-slaves manage to bring up “the son” (which Kirk, Bones and Spock interpret to mean “sun”) that they worship about 30 times. What could it possibly mean????
They suspect the captain of the Starfleet ship is acting as the Roman leader, so they decide to go on an infiltration mission….and they get disguised as slaves? Isn’t that kind of like dressing up like chickens to infiltrate a group of foxes? It seems like the worst possible disguise.
A lot of times in TOS they get captured, make an escape, only to be quickly recaptured. I don’t know if it’s to fill time, or to just show that they’re trying to escape.
They find the Starfleet captain, Merik. He says Romans aren’t so bad even though they have slaves because there hasn’t been any wars in hundreds of years.
When trying to explain why Merik stayed on the planet they talk about contamination, I would think to mean they don’t want their strict culture to be influenced by the outside…so that really doesn’t at all explain why Merik wouldn’t just leave. And then they demand that Kirk stay and make the whole crew beam down? Do they refuse to let themselves influence the outside universe?
Bones and Spock have to fight some guys to the death on TV. Why do they still dress like ancient Romans?
My favorite aspect is Bones and Spock, which almost makes the episode worth watching.
This guy, Claudius, respects Kirk, even though he’s going to have him executed. He says Kirk could have been a Roman, and he even lends Kirk his slave lady for a night, which Kirk seems to acknowledge is wrong…for a few minutes. Claudius also has NO respect for Merik, which raises the issue of why Merik is even their leader. Merik never seems to be packing heat, and they never give the impression that he forced his way into power
Kirk escapes execution! The man who once wore shorts saves him. Then Scotty for some reason thinks it would freak people out to turn off the lights on the planet, and this is for some reason something he wants to do, and it happened at the perfect time!
Kirk, Spock and Bones get pinned by guards armed with guns. Even though Kirk still has his gun, Claudius tells his men to use swords against Kirk because they don’t want to shoot their own men in the crossfire. I guess he didn’t think of the possibility of Kirk just using his gun to shoot everyone trying to attack him with a sword…
…But instead of Kirk using his gun he uses a sword, while Bones wields a mattress.
Kirk just figured out what they meant by “the son”
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