Star Trek (1966–1969): Season 2, Episode 25 - Bread and Circuses - full transcript

The Enterprise crew investigates the disappearance of a ship's crew on a planet that is a modern version of the Roman Empire.

No doubt about it, captain.

The space debris comes from
the survey vessel, the SS Beagle.

Missing for six years, and now this.

Junk in space.

Portions of the antimatter nacelles,
personal belongings.


no signs of bodies whatsoever.

Whatever destroyed the ship,
the crew was able to get off safely.

Navigator, compute the present drift
of the wreckage.

Computed and on the board, sir.

Mr. Spock, assuming the wreckage
drifts at the same speed and direction

- for the past six years...
- It would have come from

Planet IV, Star System 892,
directly ahead.

Only one-sixteenth
parsec away, captain.

We should be there in seconds.

Standard orbit around the planet.
There may be survivors there.

SS Beagle,

small class-4 stardrive vessel,
crew of 47.

Commanded by...

Jim, I believe you knew him.
Captain R.M. Merik.

Yes, at the academy.

He was dropped in his fifth year.
He went into the merchant service.

Coming up on the planet, captain.

Put it on the screen.

Definitely class-M.
Somewhat similar to Earth.

Yes. Similar.

The land masses and oceans
are quite different, however.

Different in shape only, captain.

The proportion of land to water
is exactly as on your Earth.

Density, 5.5.
Diameter, 7917 at the equator.

Atmosphere, 78 percent nitrogen,
21 percent oxygen.

Again, exactly like Earth.

Exactly in some ways,
different in others.

I also picked up
indications of large cities.

- What era?
- No sign of atomic power as yet,

but far enough along
for radio communications,

power transportation,
an excellent road system.

Captain, both amplitude
and frequency modulation being used.

I think I can pick up something visual.

It's a news broadcast using a system
I think they once called "video."

"Television" was the colloquial term.

- Put it on the screen.
- Right.

Police rounded up
still another group of dissidents.

Authorities are as yet unable
to explain these fresh outbreaks

of treasonable disobedience

by well-treated, well-protected,
intelligent slaves.

Now turning to the world of sports,

and bringing you the taped results
of the arena games last night.

The first heat involved amateurs,

petty thieves from city prison.

Conducted, however,
with traditional weapons,

it provided some amusement.

For a few moments.

In the second heat,
a slightly more professional display

in the spirit of our splendid past,

when gladiator Claudius Marcus

killed the last of the barbarians,
William B. Harrison

in an excellent example of...

Transmission lost, sir.
Shall I try to get it back?

Slaves and gladiators?

What are we seeing,
a 20th-century Rome?

Captain, the one described as
The Barbarian is also listed here.

Flight Officer William B. Harrison
of the SS Beagle.

At least there were
some survivors down there.

Ready the Transporter Room,
Mr. Spock.

We're beaming down.

Space, the final frontier.

These are the voyages
of the Starship Enterprise.

Its five-year mission:
To explore strange new worlds,

to seek out new life
and new civilizations,

to boldly go where no man
has gone before.

You could've selected
a more convenient place, Mr. Spock.

But hardly more practical, captain.
Close to the city we located,

but not populated.
We should not be observed.


This atmosphere is remarkably similar
to your 20th century.

Moderately industrialised pollution

containing substantial amounts
of carbon monoxide

- and partially consumed hydrocarbons.
- The word was "smog."

Yes, I believe that was the term.

I had no idea you were
much of a historian, doctor.

I am not, Mr. Spock.

I was trying to stop you from giving us
a whole lecture on the subject.

Jim, is there anything at all
we know about this planet?

The SS Beagle was the first ship
to make a survey of the star sector

when it disappeared.

Then the Prime Directive
is in full force, captain?

No identification of self or mission,

no interference with
the social development of planet.

No references to space

or the fact there are other worlds
or more advanced civilizations.

Let's go.

Once, just once,
I'd like to be able to land someplace

and say,
"Behold! I am the archangel Gabriel."

I fail to see the humour
in that situation, doctor.


You couldn't claim to be an angel
with those pointed ears, Mr. Spock.

But say you landed someplace
with a pitchfork.

Don't move. Hands in the air.

Complete Earth parallel.
The language here is English.

I said, don't move.

I think he means it, Spock.

There would seem to be
evidence to that effect.

Who are you?

We come from another... province.

Where are you from?

- What do you call those?
- I call them "ears."

- Are you trying to be funny?
- Never.

Colloquial 20th-century English.
An amazing parallel.

We come from a place
that's some journey from here.

- I doubt if you've even heard...
- Uniforms.

Probably some new
Praetorian guard unit.

I should kill you here.

But Septimus
would probably be displeased.



I didn't harm them, Septimus,
as much as I wanted to.

Keep always in your mind, Flavius,
that our way is peace.

For which we are grateful,
for we are men of peace ourselves.

Are you Children of the Sun?


if you're speaking of worships of sorts,
we represent many beliefs.

There is only one true belief.

Roman butchers,
sent here by the First Citizen.

Do we look like any Romans
you ever saw?

Then are you slaves like ourselves?

- Our people don't believe in slavery.
- A Roman lie.

We must kill them.

Sir. We came here
looking for some friends.

Forty-seven of them who were
stranded here some six years ago.

They wore clothing similar to ours.

- Have you heard of such men?
- Septimus.

I know killing is evil,
but sometimes it's necessary.

- No.
- But they've located us, our hiding place.

It's better to kill few of them
than all of us.


I can prove we're telling the truth.

A small device.

I'll take it out slowly.

- Kirk to Enterprise. Come in.
- Scott here, captain.

Scotty, lock in
on my transmission beam.

- Scan us.
- Scanning, sir.

Including ourselves,
how many of us are there?

- Twelve, captain.
- Good, Scotty.

Continue scanning.
We'll maintain transmission. Kirk out.

The Enterprise is our ship,
somewhere at sea.

That's all I can tell you.

If it isn't sufficient,
you will have to kill us.

Tell me the empire
has a device like that, Flavius,

and you may kill them.

...accept them, as friends.

Captain's log, stardate 4040.7.

On the surface of Planet IV,
System 892,

the landing party
has won the confidence

of what obviously is
a group of runaway slaves.

They dwell in caves
not far from a large city,

wear rags,
live under primitive conditions.

But they are creatures
of a heavily industrialised,

20th-century-type planet,
very much like Earth.

An amazing example of Hodgkin's
Law of Parallel Planet Development.

But on this Earth, Rome never fell.

A world ruled by emperors who can
trace their line back 2,000 years

to their own Julius
and Augustus Caesars.

No, captain.

I'm sure I would have heard
of the arrival of other men like you.

Perhaps you've heard...

...let's say, an impossible story
or a rumour

of men who came from the sky?

Or from other worlds?

There are no other worlds.

- The stars.
- Lights, shining through from heaven.

It is where the sun is.

Blessed be the sun.

Yes, of course.

Captain, I thought
you might find this interesting.

- Spock?
- Fascinating.

The Jupiter 8. Conventional
internal combustion engine.

You were right about the smog.
But the Jupiter 8?

Mars toothpaste.

Neptune bath salts.

Taken from the names of false gods.

When I was a senator
I worshipped them too.

But I heard the words of the sun.

I became a brother.
For that, they made me a slave.


we need your help.

We must go into the city.

We know that one of our missing
friends was seen there recently.

My advice to you is to leave.
Go back where you came from.

We can't do that.

Perhaps you know his name,
Merik, Captain Merik.


Yes, he's the leader of our friends.

Merikus is First Citizen.


Doesn't sound like the same man.

Captain. A logical question, if I may.

Septimus, how many years ago
did Merikus become your First Citizen?

- Perhaps five years.
- Almost six.

I was there,
when he became Lord of the Games.

If he is your friend,
you are no friends of ours.

Septimus, wherever we may be from,
you must believe

that it is one of our most
important laws that none of us

interfere with the affairs of others.

If Captain Merik is Merikus,

then he has violated that law,
must be taken away and punished.

Will you help us
to get to the truth of all this?

First, I must discuss it
with the others.

Curious, captain.
The similarity in names.

Were you told why Merik was dropped
from the Space Academy?

He failed a psycho-simulator test.

All it takes is
a split second of indecision.

Hardly the type
to become a political strongman.

Odd that these people
should worship the sun.

Why, doctor?

Because, my dear Mr. Spock,
it is illogical.

Rome had no sun-worshippers.

Why should they parallel Rome
in every way, except one?

We have decided.
Flavius will guide you.

We will provide you
with suitable clothing.

I caution you, take great care.

The police are everywhere.

May the blessings of the sun
be upon you.

We'll wait here until dark.

Are you a slave, Flavius?

You are barbarians, indeed.

Not to know of Flavius Maximus.

For seven years, I was the most
successful gladiator in this province.

Then you heard the word of the sun?


The words of peace and freedom.

It wasn't easy for me to believe.
I was trained to fight.

- But the words, the words are true.
- There many are things I'd like to know...

Hold. Don't move. Hands in the air.

Four fleeing fish. A fine haul.

Flavius Maximus.

You have been too long absent
from the games, Flavius.

The First Citizen will be pleased.

Runaway slaves are always welcome.

No, not slaves. Barbarians.

It's been a long time since I've watched
barbarians die in the arena.

Captain's log, stardate 4040.9.

Uniformed police, like those of Earth.

A great city, like Rome,
with automobiles.

Astonishing similarities
to 20th-century Earth,

down to the fine carbon steel
in the bars.

Tell Merikus I'd like to see him.

The First Citizen?

Why would he bother
with arena bait like you?

Tell him it's Jim Kirk.

- Perhaps a friend.
- Perhaps?

Well, if I am a friend,
and you don't tell him...

Do you really want to risk that?

If there've been slaves
for over 2,000 years,

hasn't there always been
discontent runaways?

Long ago there were rebellions,
but they were suppressed.

And with each century, the slaves
acquired more rights under the law.

They received rights to medicine,

the right to government payments
in their old age.

And they slowly learned
to be content.

Even more fascinating.

Slavery evolving into an institution,

with guaranteed medical payments,
old-age pensions.

Quite logical, I'd say, Mr. Spock.
Just as it's logical that

20th-century Rome
would use television

to show its gladiator contests

or name a new car the Jupiter 8.

if I were able to show emotion,

your new infatuation with that term
would begin to annoy me.

What term? Logic?

Medical men are trained in logic,
Mr. Spock.

Really, doctor,
I had no idea they were trained.

Watching you,
I assumed it was trial and error.

Are they enemies, captain?

I'm not sure they're sure.

When the slaves began to
worship the sun,

they became discontent again.

- When did all this happen?
- Long ago.

Perhaps as long ago
as the beginning of the empire.

The message of the sun, that all men
are brothers, was kept from us.

Perhaps I'm a fool to believe it.

It does often seem
that man must fight to live.

You go on believing it, Flavius.
All men are brothers.


Your friends are waiting for you.

You've already been matched
for the morning games. Come.

I will not fight.
I am a brother of the sun.

Put a sword in your hand,
and you'll fight.

I know you, Flavius.
You're as peaceful as a bull.

You three, come with us.

Three against three.
We may never have a better chance.

No talking. Outside.

I doubt if he'll get very far. He feels ill.

- I do?
- Outside.

All right, but he'll double over
before we get very far.

I think I can walk. I'll try.

Let's go.

Well done, Jim.

But I'm afraid it isn't that easy.

They've been handling slaves here
for 2,000 years.

But it was exciting.
They'd do well in the arena.

- Captain Merik, isn't it?
- Yes, it's me.

This is our proconsul,
Claudius Marcus.

But this is no place for a reunion.

This way. Your friends too.

There's lots to talk about,
lots to explain.

I agree.

Don't judge me
before you know the facts.

Come on. We can talk freely here.

The proconsul knows
who and what we are.

You can leave us.

Well, a celebration.
A meeting of old friends.

Prepare food for our friends.
They've come from a great distance.

A great distance, indeed.

So this is a Vulcan.


From what I've heard,
I wish I had 50 of you for the arena.

- This other is your ship's surgeon?
- McCoy.

A pity we can't let him loose
in our hospitals.

Our level of medicine
would improve immeasurably, I'm sure.

Come. You must be hungry.

Try the sparrow
broiled in garum. Delicious.

Or perhaps some of this roast kid.

Lovely thing, isn't she?

Merik, what happened?

We had meteor damage, Jim.

I went ashore with a landing party

to look for iridium ore for repairs,
and I met this gentleman.

Go on.

He convinced me
it would be unfair to this world

to carry word
of their existence elsewhere.

Contamination. Can't risk that.

You'll understand
as you learn more about us.

So I made the decision to stay.

What happened to your crew?

Did they voluntarily beam..?
Come ashore?

This is an ordered world, Jim.

A conservative world

based on time-honoured
Roman strengths and virtues.

What happened to your crew?

There's been no war here
for over 400 years, Jim.

Could, let's say, your land of
that same era make that same boast?

I think you can see why they don't want
to have their stability contaminated

by dangerous ideas of other ways
and other places.


And given a conservative empire,
quite understandable.

- Are you out of your head?
- I said I understood it, doctor.

I find the checks and balances
of this civilisation quite illuminating.

Next, he'll be telling us
he prefers it over Earth history.

They do seem to have escaped
the carnage of

your first three world wars, doctor.

They have slavery,
gladiatorial games,


Situations familiar to the 6 million
who died in your First World War,

the 11 million who died in your Second,
the 37 million who died in your Third.

- Shall I go on?
- Interesting.

And you, captain.
Which world do you prefer?

My world, proconsul,
is my vessel, my oath, my crew.

What happened to your vessel,
you've explained.

What happened to your oath
is obvious.

And as for my men...

Those that were able to adapt
to this world are still alive.

Those who couldn't adapt are dead.

That's the way it is
with life everywhere.

You sent your own men
into the arena?

Just as I did, Jim, you're going
to order your own people ashore.

You must know that's impossible.
Starfleet regulations...

Are designed

to circumvent any such order.

There may be over 400 men
on your ship, captain,

but they can be brought down
if it's handled properly.

Say, a few at a time.

You see, I have the advantage

of a trained ship captain to tell me
what is and what is not possible.

Your communicator, Captain Kirk.

Do save us all a lot
of unnecessary trouble

and issue the appropriate orders.

They're going to be arriving soon,
anyway, Jim.

A recon party, then a rescue party,
then another rescue party.

I had less men, it added up the same.

Do you really believe I could be made
to order my own people down?

I believe this, captain,
that you would do almost anything

rather than see these two dear friends
put slowly to death.


- Kirk to Enterprise.
- Bridge. Scott here.

Scotty, if you have a fix...

Stand by, Scotty.

Very wise of you, captain.

No point in sending up
bullet-ridden corpses.

Yet on the other hand, my chief
engineer is standing by for a message.

I do hope so, for your sake.

Now, captain, what are you
going to order your men to do?

If I brought down 100 of them
armed with phasers...

You could probably defeat the
combined armies of our entire empire.

And violate your oath regarding
noninterference with other societies.

I believe you all swear you'd die

before you'd violate that directive.
Am I right?

Quite correct.

Must you always be
so blasted honest?

But on the other hand,
why bother to send your men down?

From what I understand,

your vessel could lay waste
to the entire surface of the world.

But there's that Prime Directive
in the way again. Can't interfere.

Jim, you've already
started the message.

Your engineer's waiting.
What are you going to do?

Scotty, sorry to keep you waiting.

We were becoming concerned,
captain. You were a bit overdue.

Order your officers to come down.

Condition Green, all's well. Kirk out.

Guards, take them.
Prepare them for the games.

That was stupid, Jim.

This is not an academy training test.
This is for real.

They're taking you to die.

Ship's log, stardate 4041.2.

Chief Engineer Scott recording.

Captain Kirk and his landing party
have checked in,

but they have used the code,
"Condition Green,"

which means they're in trouble.

But it also prohibits
my taking any action.

Mr. Chekov.

Pinpoint power source locations.
Type power load factors,

and how much our beams have to pull
to overload them.

- That may take some time.
- Let it take time, lad.

They're in trouble,
and I'm under orders not to interfere.

However, no order

can stop me from frightening them.

May do no good,

but it may suggest to someone
just what a starship can really do.


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

Live and direct from City Arena,
and in colour,

we bring you Name the Winner.

Brought to you tonight by your
Jupiter 8 dealers from coast to coast.

In just a moment, tonight's first heat.

We're in a taped commercial,
proconsul, for 40 seconds,

then we'll be back live.

Stand by, ten seconds.

And first tonight, ladies and gentlemen,
a surprise extra.

In the far corner,
a pair of highly aggressive barbarians.

Strong, intelligent, with strange ways,
and I'm sure, full of a lot of surprises.

And facing them, two favorites
from previous encounters,

Achilles and Flavius.

Victory or death?

And for which of them?

Ladies and gentlemen, you know
just as much about that at this moment

as I do because
this is your programme.

You name the winner.

I don't mind fighting, but why you?


Flavius may be
getting off to a slow start

but he's never disappointed this crowd.
There's a close one.

The barbarian with the pointed ears
seems to be in trouble.

I tell you, I'm well able to defeat you.

Fight, barbarian.

Most of my men went the same way.

I hoped I would feel it less with yours.

I do not want to injure you.

Fight, you two.

You bring this network's ratings down,
Flavius, and we'll do a special on you.

- Question, captain?
- The rules?

If Spock should finish his man off first,
will he be able to help?

We believe
men should fight their own battles.

Only the weak will die.
My word as a Roman.

Ready to
order your men down, captain?

Maybe now you understand
why I gave in, Jim.

The Romans have
always been the strongest.

And they've had
practise for over 2,000 years

in enslaving men,
using them, killing them.

Quite true, Captain Kirk.

The games have always
strengthened us.

Death becomes a familiar pattern.
We don't fear it as you do.

- At least defend yourself.
- I am defending myself.

Not like that, you fool.
Hold your weapon higher.

Admit it, you find these games
frightening, revolting.

Proconsul, in some parts of the galaxy,
I have seen

forms of entertainment
that make this look like a folk dance.

Certain this isn't different, captain?

Those are your men dying,
not strangers.

I've had to select men to die before
so that others could be saved.

You're a clever liar, Captain Kirk.

Merikus was a spaceship captain.
I've observed him thoroughly.

Your species has no such strength.

He commands not just a spaceship,
proconsul, but a starship.

A very special vessel and crew.

I tried for such a command.

I see no evidence of superiority.

They fight no better
than your men did, Merikus.

Perhaps not as well.

Stop running. Fight.

Need any help, doctor?

Whatever gave you that idea?

Fight, you pointed-eared freak.

You tell him, buster.

Of all the completely ridiculous,

illogical questions
I ever heard in my life.

A clear foul, proconsul.
Your decision?

Your opinion, Merikus?
After all, they're like yourself.

It's your decision, proconsul.

And your opinion, Captain Kirk?
Would you like me to kill them now?

An easy death?

Then you'd gladly accept
whatever happens to you.

Take them back to their cage.

Well, it won't go that easily
for them, captain.

Nor for you.

Take him to my quarters.

I was told to wait for you.

Provide wine, food, whatever you wish.

I am proconsul's slave, Drusilla.

Although for this evening...

For this evening,
I was told I am your slave.

Command me.

- It won't work.
- What will not work?

Whatever he has in mind,
whatever tricks.

You hear that, proconsul?

It won't work.

I'm not cooperating.

I may die, but you won't get
any entertainment out of it.

We're alone. Please believe me.

I've never lied to one who owns me.

Angry, Mr. Spock?
Or frustrated, perhaps?

Such emotions
are foreign to me, doctor.

I'm merely testing the strength
of the door.

For the 15th time.


Spock, I know we've
had our disagreements.

Maybe they're jokes, I don't know.

As Jim says, we're not often
sure ourselves, sometimes.

- What I'm trying to say is...
- Doctor,

I'm seeking a means of escape.
Will you please be brief?

What I'm trying to say is,
you saved my life in the arena.

Yes, that's quite true.

I'm trying to thank you,
you pointed-eared hobgoblin.

Oh, yes.

You humans have that
emotional need to express gratitude.

"You're welcome,"
I believe, is the correct response.

However, doctor, you must remember
that I'm entirely motivated by logic.

The loss of our ship's surgeon,

whatever I may think
of his relative skill,

would mean a reduction in
the efficiency of the Enterprise, and...

Do you know why
you're not afraid to die, Spock?

You're more afraid of living.

Each day you stay alive
is one more day you might slip

and let your human half peek out.

That's it, isn't it?


Why, you wouldn't know what to do
with a genuine warm, decent feeling.

Really, doctor?

I know.

I'm worried about Jim too.

Very good.


I was concerned.
I am ordered to please you.

I've been in some strange worlds,
strange customs.

Perhaps this is considered
torture here.

Torture? I do not understand.

I do not wish to see you tortured
in any way.

At the first sign of pain,
you will tell me?

You'll be the first to know.


I'm sorry I was detained.
Shall we have our little talk now?

So far on this planet,
we've kept you rather busy.

I don't wonder
you slept through the afternoon.

By the way, one of the communicators
we took from you is missing.

Was it my pretty Drusilla
by any chance?

See if he has it.

Not that I would have punished her.
I would have blamed you.

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

- It's not on his person?
- No, proconsul.

I am sorry I was detained.

I trust there was nothing further
you required?

Nothing, except,
perhaps an explanation.

Because you're a man,
I owe you that.

You must die shortly,
and because you are a man...

Would you leave us, Merik?

The thoughts of one man to another
cannot possibly interest you.

Because you are a man,
I gave you some last hours as a man.

I appreciate that.

Unfortunately, we must demonstrate
that defiance is intolerable.

- Of course.
- But I've learned to respect you.

I promise you,
you will die easily, quickly.

I thank you. And my friends?

When their time comes,
the same, of course.


Take him to the arena.

We've preempted 15 minutes
on the early show for you,

in full colour.

We guarantee you
a splendid audience.

You may not understand,

because you're centuries beyond
anything as crude as television.

I've heard it was...


Enterprise log,
Engineer Scott reporting.

All banks in readiness for disruption of
power sources on the planet surface.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Before tonight's first heat,

a simple execution.

Stay tuned to this channel. There's
a lot of excitement coming your way.

Make it a quick, single thrust.

Don't move. You'll only die harder.

Murderers! If you want death,
fight me.

Now, Mr. Chekov, activate.

Guards. Don't let him escape!



Stand back.

Obsolete, but effective.

- What happened, Jim?
- What did they do to you, captain?

They threw me a few curves.
No time to explain.


We're in each other's line of fire.

I pity you, Captain Merik.

But at least watch
and see how men die.

Swords only!

Starship, lock in on this:
Three to beam...

Enterprise to Captain Kirk.
Ready to beam up three.

Captain's log, stardate 4041.7.

Note commendation
Engineering Officer Scott.

Despite enormous temptation
and strong personal feelings,

he obeyed the Prime Directive.

His temporary blackout of the city
below did not interfere with the society

and yet saved the lives of myself

- and the landing party.
- Thank you, captain.


Captain, I see on your report
Flavius was killed.

I am sorry.

I liked that huge sun-worshiper.

I wish we could have examined
that belief of his more closely.

It seems illogical
for a sun-worshiper

to develop a philosophy
of total brotherhood.

Sun-worship is usually
a primitive superstition-religion.

I'm afraid you have it all wrong,
Mr. Spock. All of you.

I've been monitoring some
of their old-style radio waves.

The empire spokesman trying
to ridicule their religion.

But he couldn't.

Don't you understand?

It's not the sun up in the sky.

It's the Son of God.

Caesar and Christ.
They had them both.

And the word is spreading only now.

A philosophy of total love
and total brotherhood.

It will replace their lmperial Rome,

but it will happen in their 20th century.

Wouldn't it be something to watch,
to be a part of?

To see it happen all over again?

Mr. Chekov, take us out of orbit,
ahead, warp factor 1.

Aye, sir.