For general discussion on this episode, visit the TOS forum at The Trek BBS.
Could we request that people please proofread their contributions? Gads, I feel like I'm reading papers from some of my 7th grade students here. – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 220.127.116.11 (talk).
The complaint about English being spoken is valid, but not deserving of a nitpick. No one should be speaking English on farflung planets-- it's done simply to save the tedium of translations and subtitles. (I made a similar complaint on the page about the third season's "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" and somebody removed it-- and I agreed with their reasons). – The preceding unsigned comment was added by AureliusKirk (talk • contribs).
- The Universal Translator explains the English normally heard (you just have to ignore the fact that the lips match the words as a necessary evil). But in this episode, it's necessary for the "Romans" to speak English for the "Children of the Son" not "Children of the Sun" bit to work. In Latin those terms would be something along the lines of "Liberi Filius" and "Liberi Solaris" which the Universal Translator couldn't confuse. --StarFire209 05:25, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
- If the Universal Translator heard Filius, it would translate it to the phonetic /sʌn/. If the Universal Translator heard Solaris, it would translate it to the phonetic /sʌn/. 18.104.22.168 08:26, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Shatner Mugging Edit
I've seen "Bread and Circuses" umpteen times since I was a kid and didn't notice Shatner's glances to the camera until working on these screencaps today. Can anyone cite other deliberate character breaks in Trek, or is this instance unique? I can only imagine other cases hapenning in TOS, and only with Shatner, but who knows... AureliusKirk 11:12, 10 Dec 2005 (UTC)
- I like Bruce Watson's double-take in "The Man Trap", noted on that page. He does a total Oliver Hardy look (or Alan Hale from "Gilligan's Island", perhaps) when Grace Lee Whitney slaps his hand. It may have been scripted, but he did a great job with this small role. – The preceding unsigned comment was added by 22.214.171.124 (talk).
- It should also be noted that Denise Crosby appeared to briefly break character in "Symbiosis", the final episode that she filmed as a regular cast member of TNG. That tidbit is listed in the episode's background section.
There's an interesting quote from a guard in this episode who hits Flavious with a whip and shouts:
"Fight you fool! You bring this networks ratings down, Flavious and I'll do a special on you!"
I wonder if this is a small message to the network chiefs complaining about ratings.--Fulltwistnow 12:52, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
- Perhaps... were you planning on adding this to the article's background info? You need proof, first. ;) --From Andoria with Love 00:09, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
- Even more interesting is something I caught two days ago watching this episode. Upon catching Kirk & company, the head police officer says: "Been a long time since I've watched Barbarians die in the arena!" Well...he must not have watching TV the night before since William B. Harrison, the "last of the barbarians" got killed on national TV! -FC 11:53, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
- This is just an interpretation, but it sounds more like he expected to watch it live. I'll re-check to see if he was in the background anywhere during the bout. Of course, the "audience" was mostly sound effects.--Indefatigable 23:38, March 16, 2011 (UTC)
Still a copyvio Edit
While the summary has original content added into it, a good part of it is still copied word-for-word from the summary at Wikipedia. If the summary is not rewritten, I think we should remove it. --From Andoria with Love 03:21, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
- It's not copyvio. All Wikipedia work falls under the GPL. You can't violate copyright by copying Wikipedia. You people fail. 126.96.36.199 10:31, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
- And so it becomes a copyvio, because all Wikipedia content must be licensed under the same licence ... but we use Creative Commons licence. Also see Memory Alpha:Why Memory Alpha doesn't use the GFDL -- Kobi 11:41, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
- Didn't the MediaWiki organization decide the GFDL and CC (by-sa?) licenses are virtually identical, and that all Wikipedia material licensed under GFDL may be treated as if licensed under CC? Or do you consider their decision wrong? Is this issue already discussed anywhere here? -- Leonard James Akaar 02:36, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
- Even if it wasn't a copyvio, I think we can do better than just copying a summary.--31dot 11:57, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
World War III - Eugenics War - Third-World War Edit
Is there someone who can help me? I remember having read about a possible clarification of the fact that WW III and the Eugenics Wars are always messed up, something like Spock (?) in "Space Seed" (?) talking about the "Third World War" which could also mean the "Third-World War" (bearing in mind that Khan and his followers were in power in third-world countries in the late 1990s). Thanks! --Emissary77 16:56, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
- I'd suggest reading Talk:Eugenics Wars, where various statements from canon are quoted and analyzed, as well as Talk:World War III, where the same is done. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
re: swings both ways Edit
- If this is the case, then Claudius' contemptuous tone is richly ironic, as his dissolute and affected manner seem to suggest he swings both ways himself.
I'm sorry, is it really encyclopedic to go through Star Trek and make comments about which characters look like they're gay? -- Captain M.K.B. 16:37, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I thought the same thing, even before reading your comments. I've therefore removed it.--MikeStrett 17:20, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Background Information Cleanup Edit
While cleaning up background, I removed the following notes:
After the note about the TV parody, I removed the following line:
- There has been speculation that Gene Roddenberry was commenting on his own frustrations in dealing with network officials as he tried to keep his series on the air.
If some work speculates on this point, cite it. But otherwise it's just baseless.
- This episode has a powerful McCoy-Spock confrontation in which McCoy figures out that Spock has great insecurity that he might let his emotionless facade crack and that a Human face might reveal itself. Both men then acknowledge that they are united in their worry about the captain.
What is it with pointlessly restating what happens in the episode? If you want to add this kind of stuff, put it in the summary. (Without the POV mind you)
- Before Flavius, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are captured by the imperial police, you can see the explosive charges in the trees above their heads that would be used to show the coming machine gun fire.
- Merik's ship, the SS Beagle, is most likely named after the ship on which Charles Darwin sailed when he began forming his theory of evolution by natural selection. This name may have been chosen because of the "survival of the fittest" nature of gladiatorial combat, although Darwin himself did not coin the phrase, and actually found it misleading. Alternatively, the name could be a reference to A.E. VanVogt's novel, Voyage of the Space Beagle.
More appropriate to SS Beagle, where there already is such a note.
- Claudius' dismissive line to Merik ("The thoughts of one man to another could not possibly interest you!") is fraught with multiple meanings. It apparently conveys Claudius' disgust for the former SS Beagle captain, who sold out his crew and allowed them to die in the arena. It could also signal Claudius' hidden esteem for Kirk, who, unlike Merik, is willing to die for his beliefs. It might also signal Claudius' contempt for Merik's possible homosexuality – a common predilection of Earth's noble Romans.
Seems a bit speculative to me.
After noting where the buildings in the stock footage came from, and noting that there is a French inscription on one:
- But the shot of the building is appropriate – the French Legion was instituted by Napoleon who, like Rome's First Citizen Augustus, oversaw the transition of a Republic into an Empire.
That's a stretch for something that is a. a simple oversight and b. not really that significant.
Um, and if anyone knows where stuff from "the blooper reel" comes from, please cite it. They're everywhere on TOS pages without any explanation.– Cleanse 04:12, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
More BI Cleanup Edit
- The title "First Citizen" given to Merik was – in the Rome of Earth – a position not subordinate to that of Emperor but actually identical with it (much less was he subordinate to any Proconsul). Augustus and subsequent Emperors styled themselves both princeps (usually translated as "First Citizen") and imperator (commander-in-chief or generalissimo). The former title was more meaningful inside Rome's city walls, the latter – source of our English word emperor – more meaningful outside, in the provinces and colonies held fast by the imperial military bases. Therefore, Proconsol Merik's apparent title as "First Citizen" may have only only been an honorary title; an allusion to the authority of the Emperor from which Merik draws his own authority and and not the name of an actual position of authority that Merik holds within The Empire.
A bit of speculation in there and though interesting, doesn't belong. — Morder 16:15, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Sun Worshippers Edit
I really don't know if this is appropriate information to note on the episode page, as it may be deemed a "nitpick", but McCoy's line that Rome had no sun worshippers is fairly silly. Rome had a number of sun gods, not the least of which was Sol Invictus -- the state-supported sun god, and Mithras; both gods later contributed to various Christian traditions and festivals. Of course, one could always counter-argue that McCoy is "a doctor, not an historian" ;). 188.8.131.52 06:52, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Strange similarities Edit
How do we explain the development of a second Roman empire on another planet? I feel like I've heeard it before, but for the life of me I can't remember... ThetaOrion 02:15, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Vessel wreckage Edit
A spaceship that broke up in orbit would either stay in orbit or fall to the planet, not drift "1/16 parsecs" away... barring a post-facto explanation for taking it out of orbit before falling apart. And why is the "merchant service" operating a survey vessel? Also, I'm suprised no one has pointed out how similar this episode is to "Patterns of Force". 184.108.40.206 16:17, June 1, 2010 (UTC)
- We only note deliberate similarities- such as a statement from a writer or crew member that they intentionally made the episodes similar.--31dot 22:47, June 1, 2010 (UTC)
An anon added this text tonight:
- The best parodies are those which hit ticklishly near the truth. As Star Trek was fictionally portraying a Rome which still ruled the world, they were broadcasting this episode to a real 20th Century in which the masses were still kept just barely satisfied by bread & circuses, only now the bread arrives via food stamps. And the circuses? Both the Indianapolis Speedway and Spain's bull rings are direct descendants of The Coliseum. We think we've changed in two thousand years, but we really haven't. A Roman from back then, brought forward to today, would find much of our existence very familiar.
It seems that this is personal commentary on reality and thus irrelevant to the article. -- sulfur 03:09, September 19, 2010 (UTC)