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     Episode Guides Home : Startrek The Original Series : Season 2 Episode 25

Bread and Circuses

Air Date:  
   Ralph Senensky
Written By:  
   Gene Roddenberry and Gene L. Coon
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StarDate: 4040.7

The U.S.S. Enterprise finds the wreckage of the S.S. Beagle, with no survivors, orbiting near the Planet 892-IV. When Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam to the planet's surface, they find a dishelveled group of "sun worshipers" trying to escape being caught by the local authorities. They are captured, along with the landing party, and taken to the city which looks very much like Earth's ancient Rome.

They find that Captain Merik of the Beagle has betrayed his crew, beaming them down to fight in the Roman-like gladiatorial games. Merik is First Citizen of the Empire and supposed close friend to the Proconsul, Claudius Marcus. Kirk realizes, however, that Merik is being used as a lure to get more starship crews to 892-IV for the entertainment of its inhabitants.

When Kirk refuses to beam his crew down to die in the arena, Spock and McCoy are condemned to fight gladiators in the ring. The bout is being televised for the planet's enjoyment, but Scotty cuts off the planet's energy supply, spoiling their pleasure. When Kirk uses the confusion to free Spock and McCoy, Merik sees how a true starship captain acts in the face of danger and uses his communicator to have Kirk, Spock and McCoy beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. For his treachery, Merik is killed by the Proconsul.

Uhura, who has been monitoring the radio waves of the planet, realizes that the "sun worshipers" aren't talking about the sun in the sky, but of the "Son of God."

William Shatner as James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy as Spock
DeForest Kelley as Leonard H. McCoy
James Doohan as Montgomery Scott
Nichelle Nichols as Uhura
Walter Koenig as Pavel Andreievich Chekov

  Guest Cast
William Smithers as Capt. R.M. Merik
Logan Ramsey as Claudius Marcus
Lois Jewell as Drusilla
Rhodes Reason as Flavius

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