Episode 61 - Holodeck Episodes

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Justin_Case001

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Hey.  Y'know what really grinds my gears?  Every single Star Trek episode where one or more crew members get stranded in the holodeck, and the doors won't open, and the computer won't respond, and they can't shut the power down, and the safety protocols gets stuck off, and the holo characters come to life and become sentient and try to kill 'em, and the crew have to play out some stupid wild west story or medieval story or whatever the sh*t in order to escape.  F*CK THOSE EPISODES, dude.

I absolutely love Star Trek, but every time I see that's it's going to be one of those stuck-in-the-holodeck episodes, I definitely do the Michael Scott "no, god, no".  I hate those episodes so much.  They're so f*cking ridiculous.  Every time I'm watching one of those, I just feel like, "okay, how long before we can get back to the real world and see some development in a story that we actually care about?"

But the main reason that those episodes piss me off so much is that I just can't get past the fact that those situations are allowed to happen in the first place.  Y'know, in-universe, I mean.  Like, how many f*ckin' times do people have to get stuck in the holodeck with lethal weapons pointed at them before Starfleet figures it out?  I know this would ruffle a lot of feathers, but if I was an admiral in Starfleet, the first thing I would do is push to have all sentient holo characters banned.  Period.  Possibly with an exception for training purposes with heavy regulations, but no recreational characters of any kind, period.  Environments and inanimate objects only.  Holo recreation would just be for going for a hike, taking a drive in the country, riding a roller coaster, surfing, skiing, rock climbing, etc.  No more wild west gunslingers or medieval battles or Her Majesty's Secret Service spy stories or whatever the sh*t.  No more characters that can come to life and rebel and kill people.  Ever.

The worst one of these episodes ever was Spirit Folk on Voyager.  It was exactly one of these premises that I'm talking about, except that Lt. Torres suggested cutting power to the entire deck to shut off the program, but Captain Janeway refused to do that because it would wipe the program and they'd lose all of the holo characters that the crew had spent time getting to know.  Are.  YouF*CKINGSERIOUS.  Look, I love Janeway, but that was the most bullsh*t decision ever made by any Starfleet officer, ever.  Two of her crew member were stranded in there having their lives threatened by psycho holograms with no safeties, and she let it go on because she didn't want to lose this entirely recreational program.  F*cking bullsh*t.  That would be like if I literally put my family and friend's lives on the line in order to save my Skyrim character.  She shoulda been court martialed for that sh*t.  That's my pick for worst Trek episode of any series, ever.

I HATE HOLODECK EPISODES.  :Cozy:

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Oh yeah. The holodeck safety protocols turning off at the slightest problem, but the program itself not turning off.

I get it, holodeck technology is dangerous and the safety measures are probably "active" instead of "passive", that is, a holo-axe has the same properties as the real one, but the computer actively monitors ir and removes it if the blade gets too close to a human body. This, of course, means that it is possible for that monitoring to fail and you get hit with an axe. OK, let's say this is how the technology works and it is not possible to make the axe inherently safe (say, behaving like rubber) without destroying the immersion. So, why doesn't the program immediately turn off if the safety is compromised?

Also, "shutting down the holodeck, we will lose the characters" - I guess games in the future will not have saves or backups.

However, speaking out-of-universe, the holodeck episodes were a way for the creators to have different styles of episodes and safety being enabled all the time would make it boring to watch (well, the characters are not in any kind of real danger, they are just playing a game), so the safety has to fail in order for the holodeck episodes to count for something.

Similar is how Voyager pretty much never had a backup of the EMH, except in one episode where the backup was stolen. I get it, the EMH can be considered a sentient being and there are moral issues with copying him, but then say so in the episode, you can even have characters debating whether they should or shouldn't keep a backup of the EMH when he goes somewhere dangerous.

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The holodeck episodes are usually an excuse to have a change of setting. But it seemed cheap to me. You should do a list of episodes and a deeper analysis. It never made sense to me that you can't just shut the power off or open the damn door. And from what I remember in Voyager, they said they couldn't use the holodeck power grid for other things. They were rationing replicators, but they had plenty of power for a holodeck.

One of the early holodeck episdoes on TNG had the characters in a gangster holo program, and someone got shot because the holodeck safeties shut off and things became real. But that makes no sense. How did that holo gun become real? When a holodeck makes an object, I imagine that it only makes a shell. It uses forcefields to make things feel solid. But I think also the holodeck uses replicator technology to make some objects. For example, you can eat food there. Probably small objects get replicated, and dereplicated when the program is done. But what about the gun? Would the holo program actually replicate a gun with all the working parts? How do the safeties work in that case? Would it make a working gun but only shoot blanks, or make a loud noise but not fire a bullet? I would think that the program would only make a hollow shell for a gun. Turning the safeties off would not then cause the program to turn that hollow fake gun into a real working gun.

I think a lot of that has to do with who programmed it. Maybe older programs were poorly designed. Maybe people figured it was easier to just make things real and solid. Then people figured out that they needed safeties, so maybe better made, newer programs aren't as inherently dangerous. Imagine a holo program where there is a poison. Would the holodeck actually replicate a poison, or harmless water? Imagine how difficult it would be to think of all possible dangerous things that can happen, and trying to create safe guards.

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The original series episode where they got stuck on the pleasure planet at least made more sense.

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The Animated Series had them on a holodeck that went bad. The holodeck environment became a blizzard and they almost froze. So your idea of not allowing holodeck people won't solve the problem.

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On 5/6/2020 at 11:45 PM, Brony Number 42 said:

And from what I remember in Voyager, they said they couldn't use the holodeck power grid for other things

Well, the writers wanted to show that the Voyager crew has limited resources, not enough power for the replicators, but also wanted to have the holodeck episodes, so we get the stupid explanation that the ship uses a dedicated and incompatible power source for the holodeck.

On 5/6/2020 at 11:45 PM, Brony Number 42 said:

Probably small objects get replicated, and dereplicated when the program is done. But what about the gun?

Probably the gun gets either replicated or uses forcefields to appear solid and fires a bullet that also appears solid. The safety would destroy the bullet when it comes within a safe distance of a human.

At least it looks like that. Safety was an after thought and it shows. So, in-universe the holodeck design is stupid and unsafe. Out-of-universe it makes sense, otherwise the holodeck episodes would be pointless if they could just turn it off.

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On 5/6/2020 at 11:01 PM, Brony Number 42 said:

The Animated Series had them on a holodeck that went bad. The holodeck environment became a blizzard and they almost froze. So your idea of not allowing holodeck people won't solve the problem.

Ooh, damn.  You got me there.  Okay, clement weather only, normal, survivable temperatures only.  But then the holodeck would probably suck all the air out and suffocate them or something.  Or they'll be enjoying a nice day on the beach, but the safeties will turn off and the holographic sun will give them real melanoma!  *Gasp!*

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