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Following the discovery of debris from the SS Beagle, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are captured on a planet that resembles the Roman Empire with 20th century technology. They are set to die at the hands of gladiators for the sake of public spectacle.
The Original Series is very much a social studies assignment outside of the classroom, in this episode - what would happen if Rome never fell? Wait -- they actually have a code to signify the landing party is in trouble... why is this never used again!?

As for the parrallels between the discussion about ratings in the arena and Star Trek's real world ratings trouble was gold, a nice surprise for someone watching these episodes for the first time. Having this happen in a TV studio on this alien planet probably helped the budget a lot I reckon...
Starring:
William Shatner as Captain Kirk
Leonard Nimoy
as Commander Spock
James Doohan
as Commander Scott
DeForest Kelley
as Doctor McCoy
Nichelle Nichols
as Lt. Uhura
George Takei
as Lt. Sulu
Walter Koenig as Ens. Chekov
Guest Cast:
William Smithers
Logan Ramsey
Ian Wolfe
Rhodes Reason
Max Kleven
Lois Jewell

Written By:
Gene Roddenberry and
Gene L. Coon
Direced By:
Ralph Senensky
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