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Context Recap / StarTrekS2E25BreadAndCircuses

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1[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/trekbreadandcircuses3.jpg]] ² [[caption-width-right:350:[[Website/SFDebris Feel free to play the Blue Oyster theme music right now.]]]]²²After coming across the wreckage of the S. S. ''Beagle'', Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to the surface of the nearest planet. This planet is a class M planet remarkably like Earth down to the land/water ratio. Atmosphere and radio signals hint a technological advancement equal to 20th century Earth. They beam down to a part of the wilderness close to city limits, thinking it deserted when they're taken captive by slaves on the run. After Kirk impresses them with his communicator, they take him in and tell him about the Empire. Apparently, they get very angry when slaves worship a different god. Kirk and company gather the runaway slaves to be "sun" worshipers. It seems the civilization on this planet is a reflection of a modern day Earth where Rome never fell. ²²When Kirk and company are captured and taken to the city, they find out what happened to the crew of the ''Beagle''. It seems not all captains are that dedicated to their crew. When Merik was offered a life of luxury as First Citizen in return for selling out his entire crew to fight in the gladiator pits, he couldn't resist.²²The FanNickname for this episode is "TheOneWith the SpaceRomans".²²!!Tropes for this episode include:²* AbsenteeActor: Sulu is absent, as Creator/GeorgeTakei was filming ''Film/TheGreenBerets''.²* AncientRome: [[PlanetOfHats This planet's hat.]]²* ArtisticLicenseHistory: Bones keeps nagging at the idea of the "sun" faith, saying it doesn't make sense because "Rome had no sun worshipers". [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_(mythology) Actually, they did]], and the Sun god was pretty important. Spock claims later that solar worship was usually a "primitive superstition-religion"; believers in Surya, Shamash and the numerous Egyptian sun deities would have a great deal to say about that, but Creator/GeneRoddenberry was all about OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions.²* AsYouKnow: Kirk, Bones and Spock all discuss what the Prime Directive is, even though they presumably know what that is.²* BitingTheHandHumor: The sequence with the televised gladiator game show gets in a good few jabs at network television and the pursuit of ratings. This episode was made when ''Star Trek'' was facing cancellation at the end of the season, and the show's makers were not feeling charitable toward the network.²* BloodSport: Barbarians (i.e., people not of this planet) and slaves fight to the death in gladiator pits. It's treated like Series/MondayNightFootball.²* BreadAndCircuses: Look at the title.²* CovertDistressCode: Kirk tells Scotty "Condition Green, everything's fine." However, "Condition Green" is their code for "I'm in trouble, but don't do anything to help." Scotty has to figure out a way to help Kirk without breaking the Prime Directive. He does.²* DeadpanSnarker: When an armed man points at Spock's pointed ears and says "What do you call those?" He calmly replies "I call them ears." When asked if he's trying to be funny, he flatly replies, "Never."²* DefiantToTheEnd: Merik's last move is to throw Kirk his communicator.²* DiscretionShot: When Kirk and co. are watching a televised gladiatorial combat, the losing gladiator falls to the ground and out of shot just before he's stabbed, so the death blow is not visible. Stands out because of the conflict between the priorities of the real TV network and the in-universe TV network, which would have insisted the camera follow the falling gladiator so the audience isn't deprived of the money shot.²* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Claudius Marcus, proconsul of the slave-owning Roman Empire, has a Southern accent.²* {{Dystopia}}: It's the worst of Ancient Rome combined with the worst of the 20th Century.²* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: According to Kirk, Merik washed out of the Academy in his fifth year after failing a psychosimulator test. Starfleet Academy was later established as a four-year institution.²* FamousFamousFictional:²-->'''Spock''': Situations quite familiar to the 6,000,000 who died in your [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI First World War]], the 11,000,000 who died in your [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII Second]], the 37,000,000 who died in your [[WorldWarIII Third]]... ²* {{Flynning}}: To the point where, during the arena fight, Bones is able to look away from his opponent and hold a conversation with Spock, while his opponent stands there carefully hitting his shield. Justified in that: A) The fight is broadcast for entertainment, and B) his opponent had befriended them earlier and doesn't want to harm them.²* GladiatorGames: They even make magazines about it!²* GrudgingThankYou: Spock tells Bones to hurry up with what he's trying to say while he looks for a means to escape their cell. "I'm trying to say 'thank you', you pointy eared hobgoblin!" Bones blurts out.²* HappinessInSlavery: Or at least medical benefits and pension.²* HeelFaceTurn: Merik eventually decides to aid Kirk, redeeming himself, [[RedemptionEqualsDeath though he has little time to enjoy it.]]²* HeroicSacrifice: Flavius rushing in to save Spock and Bones from execution. He does succeed, though he's killed as a result. ²* HonorBeforeReason: Claudius Marcus has a touch of this; because he respects Kirk's courage, he feels obliged to give Kirk a proper death, to the point that when his guards have Kirk's team surrounded at gunpoint, he insists they use their swords instead of just gunning them all down on the spot (though at the same time, using their guns would cause more deaths than just their targets; [[RecklessGunUsage the soldiers are in each other's line-of-fire, Claudius included)]].²* IHaveYourWife: Kirk is told if he doesn't do as Merik did, Bones and Spock will be forced to fight to the death in the gladiator pits. Even threatened with this and with guns to his head, Kirk still refuses. Claudius Marcus is impressed by this show of character. Merik is rightfully ashamed.²* InexplicableCulturalTies: The HandWave we get is something called Hodgkin's Law of Parallel Development.²* InvoluntaryBattleToTheDeath: What could possess a man to battle another man to the death? [[Series/RedDwarf Whips! Massive whips!]]²* LaughTrack: In the televised gladiatorial combats, the crowd's cheers and boos are mechanically produced. Bones even looks around in confusion when he hears the canned boos.²* MistreatmentInducedBetrayal: After Kirk impresses Claudius Marcus with his courage and integrity, Claudius Marcus can't help repeatedly mentioning how much better that makes him than Merik, who betrayed his oath and his crew to survive. Having his nose rubbed in his failings inspires Merik to help Kirk, at the cost of his own life.²* MrFanservice: Just look at the damn picture.²* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Claudius Marcus invites Kirk and company to eat with him, before he forces him into a SadisticChoice at gun point.²* NoSuchThingAsSpaceJesus: A subversion in the literal sense, as the planet is implied to have had an actual Jesus. Beyond that, what exactly their version of him did doesn't get much coverage.²* TheOathbreaker: Kirk condemns Merik as one because he sold out his entire crew just to save his own life and gain luxuries.²* PlayingSick: They try the old faking sick trick. It works okay, despite Kirk not warning [=McCoy=] in advance that he was going to be the sick one, but they're quickly recaptured by another set of guards.²* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Bones gives one to Spock, telling him that he fears emotion more than death. Spock calmly responds with Vulcanese for IAmWhatIAm.²* RedemptionEqualsDeath: In the end, Merik decides to help Kirk, Spock and [=McCoy=] escape, and is immediately killed for it by Claudius Marcus.²* SarcasmMode: [=McCoy=] while in the arena.²-->'''Spock''': Do you need some help, Doctor?\²'''[=McCoy=]''': Whatever gave you that idea?²* SexyDiscretionShot: Kirk makes smoochy face with Drusilla the SexSlave. Pan up to chandelier. Pan down to Kirk sleeping alone. A line that was cut had Kirk drinking wine and saying "good," eating something and saying "excellent," and then -- "And you?" and Drusilla says "Superb, I'm told."²* ShootOutTheLock: Kirk shoots out the lock of the prison cell with a machine gun.²* ShoutOut: A car called the Jupiter 8 could be a reference to ''Series/LostInSpace''.²* SnarkToSnarkCombat: Spock and Bones are at it again! Even in the heat of combat, they manage to snark each other.²* SpaceRomans: The whole planet.²* ThinkNothingOfIt: Spock's reaction to Bones' GrudgingThankYou.²* ThirtySecondBlackout: Scotty causes one to help Kirk and company escape.²* VitriolicBestBuds: Spock and [=McCoy=], as usual. It gets lampshaded when Flavius, after seeing them argue, asks Kirk if they're enemies, and Kirk replies that even they don't know for sure.²* WhipItGood: Anyone who tries to get out of the gladiatorial combat gets whipped back into action.

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