Review 42 - Episode 43
The One with the gladiators
Hmm, not very good this one, but a couple of things make it worth a watch. Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to a planet which is what 60's earth would be like if the Roman empire has never fallen.
Lets get the stupid part out the way first, because this episode does actually address bigger issues. A planet in space that resembles an upside down earth which has the Roman empire and all our Christian references if they has survived to the 60's is merely a throwaway line. this is much like Miri, which had a duplicate earth and no one was fussed about it.
As you can tell from the photo, this is a Trio episode, which I've discovered are really the weaker of the series. When the rest of the cast are missing, it starts to drag slightly. The big debate here is a former friend of Kirks, captain Merrik, who crashed on the planet and forced his crew to fight in gladiatorial combat on TV, whilst he was set up as a puppet king. Kirk can't simply blast his way out of trouble as that would violate the prime directive. It made me laugh though, when Marcus states that they would die before violating the directive. Kirks got a bit of a hit and miss ratio with that to say the least. He seems incapable of not changing things.
Spock and Bones have in theory a nice scene in a cell talking about Spocks human side, but it lays it on too thick and there are things that we can simply take from body language that didn't need to be said. The whole point is that they'd die for each other but can never admit to liking each other. Nice idea though.
The rest is filled with long scenes of fighting or waiting (though Kirk somehow wangles a shag which actually leads to a funny scene where Spock and Bones think he's being tortured), but only that one scene of Marcus talking about the prime directive with them really tries to examine it and Spock once again playing devils advocate and respecting their culture.
Messy, but give it a go.
Overall Star Trek Franchise Rating so far: 126/210