In many ways, this episode is the ultimate by the numbers episode. The big three are captured, they have to be resourceful to escape, Kirk gets the babe, there’s talk of the Prime Directive, and once more we encounter another Parallel Earth which is my least favorite thing for the Enterprise to encounter at this point in the series.
“Bread and Circuses” is well executed and has a nice premise, but it’s underused and the whole affair is just plain old Trek. Nothing exciting, nothing different… just a highlight reel of writer crutches.
Interesting Fact: An outtake from this episode deals with the director of the Roman television program. The line was supposed to be “If they refuse to move out on cue, skewer them!” and he misspoke it as “screw them!”.
“In some parts of the galaxy, I have seen forms of entertainment that makes this look like a folk dance.”