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"Bread and Circuses," Ep. 43 - Kirk, Spock and McCoy must contend with a former starship captain-turned-traitor, Roman gladiators and television ratings in this unusual story. "Journey to Babel," Ep. 44 - The Enterprise is crowded with alien ambassadors, Kirk is attacked and Spock is in a terrible dilemma: he's replaced Kirk on the bridge of the Enterprise, but his ailing father needs a transfusion in order to survive.
"Bread and Circuses"
Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Dr. McCoy (DeForest Kelley), and First Officer Spock (Leonard Nimoy) discover that Captain Merik (William Smithers), commander of the long-missing Starfleet vessel S.S. Beagle, has become "First Citizen of the Empire" in a re-creation of ancient Rome on an obscure, unnamed planet. Under orders from the Emperor, Merik forced his own crew to die in gladiator battles and lured other Starfleet personnel to the same fate. Now with Kirk, McCoy, and Spock in hand, the Emperor's barbaric (and televised all over the planet) amusements carry on another day. While the script takes a swipe or two at the sometimes less-than-elevated tastes of global audiences, the episode's most interesting idea is the existence of a long-suffering cult of sun worshippers, a parallel to the suppressed Christian groups in Roman times. For Trekkers, however, this one is full of the essentials: a surreal premise, a hostile planet, lots of fighting, and Scotty (James Doohan) on the bridge. --Tom Keogh
"Journey to Babel"
Years before George Lucas knocked us out with his wildly imaginative bar scene in Star Wars (in which a broad mix of exotic creatures mill about), Star Trek did much the same thing in "Journey to Babel." Serving as a transport for a variety of extraterrestrial diplomats, the Enterprise becomes a warp-capacity hotel for truly eclectic visitors. (Director Joseph Pevney credits the makeup artist with this episode's impressive array of alien species.) The story finds murder committed aboard the ship and an attack on Captain Kirk (William Shatner), all in an effort to sabotage the imminent signing of a peace treaty. But against this mystery is an even more curious family drama featuring Spock's conflicts with his parents, the Vulcan ambassador Sarek (Mark Lenard), who disapproves of his son, and his human wife, Amanda (Jane Wyatt). Story editor Dorothy Fontana wrote the script after deciding it was time to show us the oft-mentioned mother and father of the Enterprise's first officer (Leonard Nimoy). We can thank her for inventing all the fascinating details of a complicated family relationship that ultimately became crucial to a couple of feature films and even a memorable episode of The Next Generation. --Tom Keogh
I've got mixed feelings about this mixed bag. I'm a trekker with a tilt towards the original series (Classic Trek or, to others, "TOS"), yet even I can't ignore that incarnation's... Read morePublished on July 14 2002 by Rottenberg's rotten book review
There really is not an obvious connection between the two second season episodes of Star Trek included on Volume 22 of this DVD series, but the cover photograph of Mark Lenard as... Read morePublished on Oct. 22 2001 by Lawrance Bernabo
Over the course of 79 original Star Trek episodes, can anyone imagine the gravity of this series and its progeny without the importance lent by the episode "Journey to... Read morePublished on July 3 2001 by richard hong
"Bread & Circuses"...An episode written by Gene Roddenberry & Gene Coon...an episode with the hidden Easter message. It works quite well. Read morePublished on June 17 2001 by McHenry John
The color and sound on this disc are wonderful. I bet they look and sound better than when they originally aired back in the 60s. Read morePublished on May 1 2001 by Brant Day
With the introduction of this volume of Star Trek we can really see the show is flying high. This second season set shows the cast have shaken off the shackles of the first season... Read morePublished on April 26 2001 by William Smith