Oct 26 2012 3:30pm

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch: “Ship in a Bottle”

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle“Ship in a Bottle”
Written by Rene Echevarria
Directed by Alexander Singer
Season 6, Episode 11
Production episode 40276-238
Original air date: January 26, 1993
Stardate: 46424.1

Captain’s Log: Data and La Forge are playing Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck, but one of the characters who is supposed to be left-handed is right-handed. La Forge calls Barclay to the holodeck to fix it. While doing so, Barclay comes across files in protected memory, and runs that program, thus meeting Moriarty. The professor explains the events of “Elementary, Dear Data” to Barclay, who is rather stunned by what he says—and even more so by Moriarty’s revelation that he was aware of the passage of time over the four years he was stored away.

Moriarty demands to speak to Picard, and Barclay agrees to ask, putting Moriarty back in storage. But after Barclay leaves, Moriarty is able to reintegrate himself onto the holodeck.

Data and La Forge brief two engineers on their current assignment: observing the collision of two planets. They’re interrupted by Barclay, who tells them what he saw. Shortly thereafter, Picard, Data, and Barclay enter the holodeck and speak to Moriarty. Picard assures Moriarty that the finest minds in the Federation have attempted to find a way to allow him to survive off the holodeck, but they have yet to succeed. Picard is also apologetic, as he had no idea that the professor would feel the passage of time.

Moriarty, however, is cranky, irritable, and refuses to believe anything Picard has to say. He also firmly believes that his having consciousness allows him to survive outside the holodeck. To prove it, he walks out the door—and does not disappear in a puff of photons the way the book Picard tossed out the door seconds earlier did. Data and Barclay are aghast, as this contradicts everything they know about holodeck physics.

They take him to sickbay, where Crusher declares him to be human, and La Forge examines him with his VISOR, saying his molecules aren’t losing cohesion. Moriarty then asks what sea the Enterprise is sailing, and if going on deck might be feasible, weather permitting.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Picard takes Moriarty to Ten-Forward, and the professor is overwhelmed by the fact that the ship travels in the heavens. While he is thrilled at the opportunities presented by the 24th century and to travel, not just the world, but the galaxy, he also realizes how very much alone he is. He requests that the Countess Regina Bartholomew—a fictional character created to be the love of his life—be brought off the holodeck with him. He asks if she be created sentient and conscious in the same way he was. Picard refuses—they don’t know enough about how he is able to survive, indeed don’t know enough about how he was created, to risk doing it again.

Moriarty is not thrilled at the notion of Picard once again postponing action until he can learn more. Last time he did that, Moriarty was stuck in a computerized dungeon, and nothing got done until the professor himself acted. His love for the countess is also quite passionate, and Picard uses that as leverage: they shouldn’t act to bring her to him in too much haste and risk her not making the transition as readily as he did.

Picard goes to the bridge as the Enterprise approaches the colliding planets, and just as he gives the order to launch probes, command functions shut down. Moriarty has somehow managed to take control of the Enterprise once again. He demands that they bring the countess to him—and thanks to the colliding planets, they have a deadline of five hours. If they fail to fulfill Moriarty’s terms, the Enterprise will be destroyed by being in the wake of the planetary collision. Moriarty will die, too, but he has no wish to live without the countess.

Data, Barclay, and La Forge discuss the issue. Data suggests using the transporter to beam stuff off the holodeck. La Forge is skeptical as to the plan’s efficacy, but Barclay and Data come up with a notion that might work. Meanwhile, Picard instructs La Forge to find a way around Moriarty’s lockout of the command functions.

Barclay proceeds to the holodeck to place pattern enhancers around a chair—while doing so, he meets Countess Regina, who charms the socks off him with her stories of exploring.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Moriarty arrives in the sitting room and explains to Barclay that he has given the countess consciousness. Barclay is apprehensive about that, but proceeds with the test, as he and Data transport the chair—which loses molecular cohesion as soon as the transport cycle is completed. Data thinks that they can learn something from the attempt, though, and calls up the transporter log—which is empty. It’s as if the transport never happened.

Picard arrives in engineering, where La Forge informs him that he has found a way to regain control of the ship. Data arrives just as Picard gives his code for reinitializing command functions, but it doesn’t work. Data notices that La Forge is operating a padd with his left hand. Data tosses something at La Forge, who catches it with his left hand.

Data drops the bombshell, then, as La Forge’s behavior confirms what the lack of a transport log suggested: Moriarty was able to survive leaving the holodeck because he never actually did leave the holodeck—and neither did Data, Picard, or Barclay. The Enterprise that they’re in is a simulation.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Picard realizes, to his horror, that he gave the “computer” his command codes, which in turn may have given Moriarty access to the real Enterprise’s command functions.

Sure enough, Moriarty has now taken control of the Enterprise, and negotiates with Riker, suggesting they use the transporter for realsies the way Data and Barclay attempted to in Moriarty’s simulated ship. Riker reluctantly puts La Forge on it.

Back on the holodeck, Picard meets the countess, and they have a charm-off (Picard wins by a nose, but it’s very close to a photo finish). Picard tells Regina that they have discovered a method of transporting matter off by uncoupling the Heisenberg compensators. He tells Regina that he will not order the transporter adjusted unless Moriarty gives Picard control of the ship.

Regina tells Moriarty about the uncoupling of the Heisenberg compensators. Moriarty is gleeful, as he now believes he has the solution. He contacts Riker and tells him about the possibility of uncoupling the compensators—at which point, the professor and the countess are beamed off the holodeck together. Moriarty won’t give Riker control of the ship back until he and Regina are on a shuttlecraft and free to explore the galaxy. Reluctantly, Riker agrees. They take off in a shuttle, which is set to work entirely on voice commands, and then Moriarty interfaces with the Enterprise computer to give control back.

Picard walks into the shuttle bay and discontinues the program he was running. Riker, Worf, and the shuttle bay disappear, and Picard leaves the holodeck on the simulated Enterprise and tells Data and Barclay that it worked. He pulled the same trick on Moriarty that Moriarty pulled on them, creating a simulated ship for him to be on. Then he calls for the computer to end the program, and the Enterprise disappears, and the trio are standing on the holodeck on the real Enterprise. Barclay removes a module from the wall unit, where the program continues to run. As far as Moriarty and Regina are concerned, they are adventuring away on the shuttle, and Barclay plugs the module into an enhancement unit that has enough active memory to keep them going for a lifetime.

Troi points out that Picard did give Moriarty what he wanted, and Picard waxes philosophical: maybe they’re just a simulation playing out on someone’s table. (Ha ha ha.)

And as if that wasn’t meta enough, after everyone but Barclay leaves the observation lounge, he looks up and says, “Computer, end program,” and is relieved when nothing happens.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Can’t We Just Reverse the Polarity?: The notion of creating sentient life on the holodeck becomes more commonplace in the Star Trek universe, via the regular characters of the Emergency Medical Hologram on Voyager and Vic Fontaine on Deep Space Nine. The Federation will eventually come up with mobile emitter technology that will enable holomatter to survive outside the grid. The EMH on Voyager will obtain such. The transporter trick that Picard mentions with uncoupling the Heisenberg compensators is, of course, rubbish.

Thank You, Counselor Obvious: With Captain Jellico’s departure, Troi is still at least sometimes wearing her full uniform, but in the final scene (the only scene in which Troi really appears) she’s back in the brown outfit.

If I Only Had a Brain...: Data was established in “Encounter at Farpoint” as being able to see through the holodeck’s deceptions, so his inability to realize that they never left the holodeck is problematic. To make matters worse, when he tells Picard the truth of the situation, then he knows where the wall is.

No Sex, Please, We’re Starfleet: Moriarty is head over heels in love with Regina—and after meeting her, we totally get why—and at one point he gives her a passionate kiss in front of Barclay, who watches the intense smooch with a certain longing.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

What Happens on the Holodeck Stays on the Holodeck: Amusingly, the problem with reversing holodeck characters’ handedness is never actually fixed in the episode.

I Believe I Said That: “Our reality may be very much like theirs. All this might just be an elaborate simulation running inside a little device sitting on someone’s table.”

Picard getting all meta and stuff, as quoted by me typing on a device sitting on my table.

Welcome Aboard: Daniel Davis returns as Moriarty following “Elementary, Dear Data,” and Dwight Schultz returns for his second appearance of the season as Barclay following “Realm of Fear” (he’ll return in “Genesis” in the seventh season), while the radiant Stephanie Beacham—best known at this stage in her career as Sable Colby on Dynasty and The Colbys, and most recently appearing in the British sitcom Trollied—is simply magnificent as Countess Regina Bartholomew.

Trivial Matters: This is the long-awaited sequel to “Elementary, Dear Data,” the four-year wait being due to issues with the Conan Doyle estate over licensing. When Jeri Taylor reinvestigated the possibility for this season, it was discovered that the estate’s issue with Paramount was not over the TNG episode, but rather with the 1985 movieYoung Sherlock Holmes. Everything was worked out, and they were able to do Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty once again.

As a subtle hint that all is not as it should be, there are no establishing exterior shots of the Enterprise after Picard, Barclay, and Data enter the holodeck, until Moriarty talks to the real Riker on the bridge.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Countess Regina Bartholomew is entirely a creation of this episode; the character appears nowhere in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, nor any Holmes tales. (It should be pointed out that Moriarty is not a particularly critical character in the Holmes canon, only actually appearing in two stories, “The Adventure of the Final Problem,” where he was unconvincingly retconned into a role of import in the London criminal scene in order for Conan Doyle to have a “worthy” adversary to kill off Holmes, and briefly in The Valley of Fear, written later but taking place prior to “The Final Problem.” Adaptations have made far greater use of the professor than Conan Doyle ever did, losing sight of the fact that Moriarty was a terrible character, not particularly interesting, and notable mainly for being the antagonist in one of the worst stories ever written in the English language. Seriously, “The Final Problem” is a simply dreadful piece of fiction.)

Moriarty and Regina’s fate is part of the Star Trek Online timeline “The Path to 2409,” which details the history of the Trek universe between Star Trek Nemesis and the start of the STO game.

The character of Barclay was included in the script so there’d be a character who wasn’t there for “Elementary, Dear Data.” Also: no one else could’ve delivered the episode’s final line....

Make it So: “I have them running around like rats in a maze.” Whenever people tell me something is a bad idea, at least in a story context, I always tell them they’re wrong. Doesn’t matter what the idea is, what matters is the execution. Take, to give a vaguely related example, Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell novels. On the face of it, those books are a terrible idea, prototypical Mary Sue fiction involving Sherlock Holmes and a woman as smart as him—but King’s writing is so powerful, her ability to immerse you in a particular time and place so strong, that the books work.

So too with this holodeck-gone-awry storyline, which has by this time become a Trek cliché and was the impetus behind a particularly awful story just a little while ago (“A Fistful of Datas”)—but here, it works. Part of why it works, of course, is that the holodeck doesn’t go awry as such. I mean, yeah, there’s the whole handedness thing, but that’s not a malfunction, it’s a glitch of the type that happens with machines. No, the plot is engineered by a clever being who uses the holodeck’s function for his own ends.

The whole thing is so well played, and rewards subsequent viewings because the hints are there. In particular, when Data suggests using the transporter to beam the countess out, La Forge is unable to wrap his mind around so radical a notion—which is the first hint of something wrong, as La Forge being the wallflower in an engineering conversation is very unusual.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

Indeed, one of the episode’s strengths is how the holodeck versions of Riker, Worf, Crusher, Troi, and especially La Forge act: not especially out of character, but still kind of flat. LeVar Burton in particular does well, as holo-La Forge is utterly unequipped to deal with the revelation that they’re on the holodeck, and he kinda stands there helpless until Picard excuses him, and he wanders off.

All the acting in the episode is superb. Stephanie Beacham is rarely anything other than amazing, but she so perfectly sells the character of the countess (the mischievous joy she expresses at her being able to wear trousers during her safari in Africa is delightful). Dwight Schultz gives us a still-evolving Barclay, as his neuroses seem to be under control, but his awkwardness remains an issue, particularly when dealing with Regina. And Daniel Davis is magnificent as Moriarty, always with layers and multiple motives to everything he does—even his love for the countess, though genuine, is also a tool for his endgame of getting off the holodeck. With all that, the scene where he walks into Ten-Forward and realizes how much more the world outside the holodeck offers him is a delight.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch on Ship in a Bottle

This is a clever, delightful, brilliantly written episode, and it ends with a very clever resolution to the conundrum presented way back in the second season when Moriarty first appeared.

And it has the best closing line ever.


Warp factor rating: 9

Keith R.A. DeCandido is one of the readers, along with Genevieve Valentine, John Wray, and’s Emily Asher-Perrin, for’s Ryan Britt’s “I, Reader” Scary Stories reading at Singularity & Co. in Brooklyn, tonight, the 26th of October, at 7pm.

Bastiaan Stapel
1. Stapel
Spot on with this: "LeVar Burton in particular does well, as holo-La Forge is utterly unequipped to deal with the revelation that they’re on the holodeck, and he kinda stands there helpless until Picard excuses him, and he wanders off."

This episode, or rather its clue, was not on my mind for some reason. I really had a good laugh when LaForge found out he was just a holodeck image!

For a holodeck episode, this one is indeed a strong one!
Bethany Pratt
2. LiC
With the advent of the Doctor and Fontaine, I feel like Moriarty's program must have been sent to the Daystrom Institute (because isn't that were everything ends up?). COME ON, Dr. Zimmerman must have examined his program; Moriarty's sentience is a miracle of engineering.

With the Doctor's foray into holographic rights, it becomes a rather sticky situation, because these are 2 sentient programs locked away in a cube. What happens if they are let out? If they're not, what does that say for holograms' rights? Yes, Moriarty was a criminal, but even if living in the block was his punishment, it has to end sometime (see O'Brien's 20 years in Hard Time). Enough characters on ST have gotten in trouble for relying too heavily on the holodeck when they should be out in the "Real World" - Barclay and Nog, for example. Even though these were fantasys, I feel the same idea applies to a realistic program like that which Moriarty is trapped in.
3. grandspeculator
"Whenever people tell me something is a bad idea, at least in a story context, I always tell them they’re wrong."
I love this observation because I remember this episode so vividly. I can remember that at the time, I was pretty unimpressed with season 6. At least the several episodes before this one did nada for me.

"Ship in a Bottle" was a breath of fresh air, and the self contained virtual universe fascinated me (I was 15 at the time and easily fascinated).

Speculators Club
Where Serious Fans of Sci-Fi & Fantasy Hang Their Pointy Little Hats
4. Sean O'Hara
Is it just me, or was the love of Moriarty's life act an awful lot like Dr. Pulaski did in Elementary My Dear Data?
5. Tesh
I always wondered what would happen when Moriarty figured out that he was stuck in a computer *again*. Would he care, or would he revel in having his own pocket universe?
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
6. Lisamarie
This is one of those episodes that I would think that I shouldn't like, but because of the reasons you describe, I really ended up loving. And I do think one of my favorite scenes is Regina describing her safari :) She was just such a...sparkling character.

I would have been interesting if more came out of it :)

So, curious - how do you all pronounce Regina, because I always thought it was Re-GEE-na, so it was quite disconcerting to here it Ra-GY-na. I've never heard it pronounced that way. Is it a regional/national thing? And it kind of reminded me of that Seinfeld episode (Dolores!).
Keith DeCandido
7. krad
re-JIE-nuh is the traditional British pronunciation of the name that, on this side of the pond, is generall pronounced re-JEE-nuh.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
Bastiaan Stapel
8. Stapel
Potato potato, tomato tomato......
The list of Yanks pronouncing, and even spelling, English words wrongly is endless ;) .
Christopher Bennett
9. ChristopherLBennett
This was a fun one, though you have to overlook a lot of technical problems, like the inexplicable ease with which the Countess was made sentient, or the perpetuation of a theory of "holodeck matter" that completely contradicted the official explanation for holodecks from the TNG Tech Manual published over a year earlier. And it suffers from employing the predictable "Oh, we've left the virtual world -- Oops, we're still trapped in it!" cliche, a well that Trek itself would return to again in later series. But I was glad that they finally got to bring back the charismatic Daniel Davis as Moriarty.

I've just remembered that one of the unused episode pitch ideas I came up with for TNG in the early '90s was a Moriarty comeback, making this the second time in just a few weeks that TNG did an episode that echoed/pre-empted one of my ideas. I can't remember much about my version, but I think it was somewhat darker than "Ship in a Bottle," with Moriarty's consciousness having experienced time at a faster pace than in real life (being inside a supercomputer and all) and thus having had to endure being alone for subjective decades or centuries, becoming rather more twisted and villainous as a result. I think it involved Moriarty forcing the crew to endure a gauntlet of lethal games on the holodeck, which in retrospect seems rather cheesy. I'm not sure what his motivation was for doing that -- whether it was to blackmail someone into helping him or just to punish them for abandoning him.
Rob Rater
10. Quasarmodo
Sounds like you might've been inspired by the X-Men villain Arcade.
11. rowanblaze
@8 Watch this American bristle at the suggestion that a pronunciation scheme younger my country should hold sway in it. ;)

I, for one, would pronounce the name however its owner prefered. “Dayta” or “Dahta”?
12. C. Wildeman
Sorry, krad, I think you mean "in the middle bit of this side of the pond". I'm from the upper bit, and I think re-JEE-nuh sounds weird. We have a whole city of people here who'll back me up :)
13. Jeremy Marr
Wasn't the "handedness" thing a feature of the holodeck? Just in case something like this happened, and the holodeck's occupant(s) couldn't fully distinguish real or fantasy? (Also, typing that just got the opening line of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" stuck in my head.)
14. Jazzlet
Would you say Elizabeth Re-Gee-nuh? I don't know if you would, but as used to say Elizabeth Queen, it is Elizabeth Re-Jie-nuh in standard Recieved Pronunciation (posh English).

Best final line ;-)
15. RobinM
This is one of my favorite episodes even it is one of the holodeck is malfuntioning episodes. I really enjoy the performances by the guest stars everyone seems to be having a great time. Barclay's reaction to Moriarty is also funny. I always watch it when it pops up in reruns.
Christopher Bennett
16. ChristopherLBennett
@10: We're talking 1992 at the latest, and I didn't get into the X-Men until the animated series that premiered that year. And Arcade never appeared in that show. I never heard of him until years after that, when I read some of the Essential X-Men collections from the library.

But I'm sure the "forcing people to play deadly games" trope has been all over the place in the mass media. TRON is an example, to a degree. And I guess it just seemed logical to me that the holodeck would be used for more action-oriented computer games rather than just simulated landscapes and LARPing.
17. Robby The Robot
I loved this episode within an episode. I always thought this idea could have been utilized in a different setting. What about a starship captain that didn't want to face that his crew was gone? Something like Captain Decker in "Doomsday Machine". He could go on holo-missions for quite a long time if he wasn't discovered. If he had replicators for food and water he could go on for a long time.

But I digress...the episode gives us a sequel to one of the few and great second season episodes. I don't have many people to agree with me here. However the actor portraying the great Sherlock Holmes nemesis was great to watch. It's too bad we never saw him again.
18. StrongDreams
Nothing about this episode should work. Holodeck malfunction episodes were already cliche at this point. It should be nearly impossible to create a sentient computer program (see Data, uniqueness of...), and clearly impossible for a non-sentient computer to create a sentient subroutine within itself. Holodeck matter contradicts everything established about how the holodeck works, plus Data's sudden inability to perceive the holodeck. One computer module could not possibly contain a simulation of a lifetime's worth of experience, unless you plan to spend that lifetime in one location. (What if Moriarty wanted to visit a planet that wasn't programmed?)

the episode can't possibly work, and yet it does, mostly pretty well.
Christopher Bennett
19. ChristopherLBennett
@18: I don't agree that it's impossible for a nonsentient computer to create a sentient subroutine. Because intelligence/sentience isn't simply a matter of quantity, but of structure and function. In theory, a supercomputer that's just a really powerful brute-force number cruncher could model a detailed simulation of a living brain or equivalent neural network, in the same way it can simulate a weather system or a forming galaxy or anything else. The neural network would function differently from the rest of the computer because its processing would happen in a different way, at least on the macroscopic level. (Sure, the substrate level would still just be binary switches, but then, the same is arguably true of our own neurons.)

By the same token, heck yes, a large enough supercomputer could easily simulate a large enough world to fool Moriarty and the Countess for a lifetime. Even today we have large, immersive, ongoing simulated worlds in MMORPGs, Second Life, and so forth, and they keep getting bigger and more elaborate even as the hardware that runs them gets more compact. So it's entirely plausible that by the 24th century, or even by the mid-21st, that tabletop box could contain enough memory and processing power to do the job.

As for visiting planets not already programmed, the simulation could easily be set up with some kind of random environment generator to create plausible worlds as needed. It's not like Moriarty would know the difference. But then, why would he ever go to an unprogrammed planet? What does a simulation of a 19th-century supercriminal know about interstellar navigation? The only way he's gonna know about any given planet is by looking it up in the computer, so it seems unlikely he'd visit any world that wasn't already programmed into the simulation.
Marc Gioglio
20. Fuzzix
"If I Only Had a Brain...: Data was established in “Encounter at Farpoint” as being able to see through the holodeck’s deceptions, so his inability to realize that they never left the holodeck is problematic. To make matters worse, when he tells Picard the truth of the situation, then he knows where the wall is."

I thought it was established that Moriarty was created as an adversary capable of defeating Data. Why is it a stretch that Moriarty (given ample time in the computer) would defeat Data's ability to see through the illusions?
21. Lance Sibley
I always had a problem with the bit where a right-handed person would be expected to catch an object with his or her right hand. As a baseball fan (and former softball player), I know that a right-handed person catches with their left hand, and vice-versa.

But apart from that nitpick, I always found this episode delightful (and concur in your opinion of the last line).
Jack Flynn
22. JackofMidworld
I think Fuzzix may've just nailed it.

Great episode.
Ian Tait
23. Cradok
The left-hand catch always annoyed me too, because Data throws an object across Geordi from right to left, and outside of his left arm. Trying to catch that right-handed would have been much more difficult, requiring better timing and positioning, than just letting it travel into his left, so left is what he would be more inclied to instincitvely catch it with.

Also, didn't Moriarty already know he was on a starship from Elementary? He was able to draw a picture of it, after all.
Christopher Bennett
24. ChristopherLBennett
@23: Moriarty described the Enterprise as "a great monstrous shape on which I am like a fly stuck on a turtle's back adrift in a great emptiness." So maybe he didn't quite comprehend the whole "starship" business. Sentient or not, he was still a software entity programmed with 19th-century habits of thought, and thus would tend to filter information through those habits and assumptions (just as real people would). Often, when faced with information outside their worldview, people will just focus on the parts that make sense to them ("aboard a vessel") and gloss over and forget the parts they can't understand ("adrift in emptiness").
alastair chadwin
25. a-j
My second favourite Moriarty (him off the Downey jnr film is number one) who is a truly awful character in the original story but a great idea and name.
Did Moriarty and Regina survive the destruction of the Enterprise in Generations? Or had their box been moved by then? I remember wondering about that.
I also daydreamed about having Moriarty as a semi-regular character with some kind of emitter fitted on the bridge so he could advise or something. And then Voyager came along.
As to the final line, I particularly liked Barclay looking relieved, leaving the cabin and then the programme ends.
Alan Courchene
26. Majicou
@21: That reminds me of a case in one of the Ace Attorney games that hinges on knowing that a baseball player wears a mitt on his off hand. Still, that's because he needs to throw with his dominant hand. I don't know if the same logic would apply to someone not playing baseball and not expecting to have to throw anything. Then again, I can't catch anything thrown at me very well, so I'm probably not the best example.
Alan Courchene
27. Majicou
Oh--but KRAD, how come no mention of Stephanie Beacham's role in the first season (aka the good season) of seaQuest DSV?
Keith DeCandido
28. krad
Majicou: I find it's conducive to my sanity to simply ignore the existence of seaQuest DSV. I said all I have to say about sQ in this here rant archived on my web site.

---Keith R.A. DeCandido
29. NullNix
You missed a metalevel joke I think. Barclay says 'end program', is relieved when nothing happens -- and then, of course, the program ends and the credits roll!
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
30. Lisamarie
Hah, I love that your rant calls out Riker losing the ship to Ferengi.
Joseph Newton
31. crzydroid
Data's ability to see through the holodeck or not aside, it's pretty amazing that it also fools humans when you think about it. The holodeck doesn't only have to produce images, but textures as well. With the advent of Tixels ( this doesn't seem too implausible for 24th century holograms. But the computer still has to produce all those little things that we take for granted but might subconciously notice if not there--minor facial twitches, carpet piles being moved, particles of dust being disturbed. If something is a little bit off, people might start to sense that something is strange, even if they can't put their finger on whtat it is. From what we've seen of the Enteprise computer, it is probably powerful enough to handle all of this, but it is still an amazing and mind-boggling accomplishment. (Granted, for replicated objects, this is not much of a problem--but the fact that Picard tosses the book out of the holodeck and it disappears contradicts that part of holodeck explanations). Not to mention that the restraining force fields used to create the "treadmill effect" used in the holodeck would also have to be completely unnoticeable.

I love this episode, but with the "solution" I can't help but think that if Moriarty ever found out what they did, that he would be royally pissed. I almost wonder if he would've made a better "nemesis" for Picard than Shinzon. I was also dwelling on this issue a little further, though. The Doctor on Voyager obtained mobile emitter technology, and returned to Earth with it. Granted, his possession of this technology is technically a violation of the temporal prime directive, so maybe it was never mentioned outside of official Starfleet reports--was considered classified, or never allowed to be developed, etc. But let's say in a case where the possibility exists that this concept can be pursued, does Picard have a moral obligation--or would he feel he has--to offer this to Moriarty? Or would someone feel that Moriarty has a right to be presented with this technology? In which case, someone would have to blow the lid off of his fake holodeck world, and open that whole can of worms, and not to mention give him the means to move about in the real world. Perhaps Starfleet in that situation would consider the possibility too much of a danger. It's also possible that no one would think about his rights at all, as no one seemed to question the morality of assigning all the EMH mark Is to manual labor until the Doctor's holonovel (with no mention brought up to the legal precedent of android rights...)
adam miller
32. adamjmil

I like your idea of a story about Moriarty perceving time far more slowly than us and coming out demented. But man, that would be way too dark for TNG :). Would have fit in nicely on DS9 though.

Edit: we did just finish Chain of Command, probably the darkest TNG ever, so maybe it would have fit in...
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
33. Lisamarie
Hope everybody is okay - I can't remember if you are in Sandy's area or not. But I hope you weren't too badly impacted!

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