“Bread and circuses” is a phrase used in politics to describe how a party in power generates public approval. This approval is not generated through policy or excellent leadership, but through diversions, distractions and the immediate, shallow requirements of a misled public.

So, unfortunately, and in my opinion, Bread and Circuses is an incredibly apt description of our current political climate.

The episode introduces a planet where Roman style gladiator battles are televised for the entertainment of the public.

Bread and Circuses NotesI chose to write about the heroes of this episode: the pacifists, the resistors, a band of refugees living in caves on the outskirts of the city. They call themselves what is at first interpreted as “The Children of the Sun”, later we learn they are called the “Children of the Son”, meaning the Son of God. Here Star Trek reveals the same Christian persecution by Romans as happened in history on Earth.

Lyrically I followed the Children of the Son and their viewpoint in their world. Musically, I drew on inspiration from R.E.M.’s “Life’s Rich Pageant”, one of my favorite albums. It’s currently quite a challenge to mix, and I’m being fairly particular about it. However, in the end, I think it will pay off.

I’m pleased I got to reference the Jupiter 8 in the song. It’s an obscure little reference in the episode that I hope is appreciated.

Five Year Mission
Year Four
Bread and Circuses
Written by Noah Butler