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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old October 17 2012, 09:19 PM   #1
MikeS
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Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Sorry, I do not know the etiquette regarding this little rewatch we're having, but I thought the threads go up on a Tuesday and I couldn't find one. Hope I'm not stepping on any toes.

Anyway - the episode. Another one I enjoyed as a kid but is difficult to watch as an adult.

1. The crew act like morons in this - "automobiles!" - what?... Really?... If we were transported back four centuries we wouldn't get excited over a horse and cart. And we'd know how to eat the food of the time unlike Crusher who swallows her gum.

2. The continuity is awful. When Cyrus Redblock and his associate exit the holodeck (ignoring the fact that they should disappear immediately) we should see Wesley and Geordi, unless they ran off straight after fixing the thing, not only that but the door they exit out of is a totally different one to the one we've seen all episode.

Plenty more holes but it does look gorgeous in HD.
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Old October 17 2012, 11:16 PM   #2
BillJ
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Well, Picard was caught up in the moment when describing his experience and if they don't have chewing gum in the 24th century, why assume someone never exposed would know how to eat it? Remember, Crusher hadn't immersed herself in books about the period, she just went along because it seemed like fun.

Another season one home run.
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Old October 17 2012, 11:19 PM   #3
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

This was the first episode centered around a holodeck. I hope people cut the writers some slack since the rules haven't quite been figured out yet.
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Old October 18 2012, 12:15 AM   #4
Trekker4747
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

I found Crusher swallowing her gum an odd thing too. You'd think she'd notice that it's a rubbery-like substance that obviously wasn't being broken down by her chewing it for two seconds. Why would she think to swallow it?! That's not even long enough to chew all of the flavor out of the gum. (And of course it's with an over-obvious TV swallow.) It's sort of a lame pun.

And, yeah, the episode was made nearly a decade later but "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" in DS9 where O'Brien makes "scotch flavored chewing gum" suggests that gum must exist in some form or another in the 24c.

Picard's excitement over the holographic cars also struck me as odd. He's obviously familiar with them if he's read the Dixon Hill books/stories so why would seeing them on the holodeck be impressive to such a high degree? And certainly on earth in the 24c there must be some form of car-like personal transportation. It's also strange that automobile history included the "fact" that they were used in "teenage mating rituals" like they're a a hyena's spine crafted into a necklace in an African tribe or something.

That teenagers occasionally make out and get it on in the backseat of cars I would hardly think would be a noteworthy thing to put in a history text, certainly not a big enough deal worth mentioning.

The treatment of the door/arch is also odd. Picard calls out for the exit in the Dixon Hill office and it doesn't appear, he then orders Data to "try the other one in the hall."

I guess Picard was in that one holodeck on the ship that we've never seen before, or again, that had two exits to it? One of which apparently on the backside or along a different enough wall to the room so that Wesley and those working on the holodeck weren't there? Very odd.

Anyway, this episode is certainly one open to a lot of nitpicking, but it's also a decent, fun, episode. Even if it started the whole "holodeck breaks down and puts people lives in danger" trope that would plague TNG on more than one occasion and then occur on Voyager, like, every other week.
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Old October 18 2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Arguably features one of the very worst examples of the Captain's log as shameless exposition when Picard for no real reason explains what a holodeck is and what it does even though anyone likely to review his logs would probably know this already unless they've been hiding under a rock. I can't really imagine a modern day navy Captain devoting a good chunk of his log to going on about how awesome his IPhone 5 is ("It allows me to speak to people who aren't even in the same room as me!").

But a great fun bit of fluff. It does feel as if noone wanted to make Star Trek that week and is the start of a very long run of increasing dodgy Holodeck stories (which is a shame as the idea still rocks). But it's probably the most relaxed and rompy episode of the series to date and everyone seems to be having a blast.

Not a brilliant episode, but another step in the right direction.
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Old October 18 2012, 07:32 PM   #6
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

It's fun to see the episode riff on The Maltese Falcon (the Bogart version, of course, although that movie was pretty close to the novel), but the storytelling is still a little shaky. This is one of the better season one outings, although it doesn't strike me as Peabody-Award winning material (I suspect the award was given to recognize the series as a whole, and more broadly Trek as a whole, more so than the episode itself).
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Old October 18 2012, 07:33 PM   #7
Jeyl
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

I always found Picard talking excitedly to the crew about using the Holodeck to be one of those moments where I shouldn't like it, but do. I just like the sight of adults happily going on about things they've just experienced. It's one of my favorite Picard moments of season one.
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Old October 18 2012, 07:52 PM   #8
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

The continuity is awful. When Cyrus Redblock and his associate exit the holodeck we should see Wesley and Geordi, unless they ran off straight after fixing the thing, not only that but the door they exit out of is a totally different one to the one we've seen all episode.
I don't understand this objection. Surely story logic requires that the holodeck have at least two doors - and the set decorators go to great lengths to create two dissimilar ones, with the corridors outside them completely unlike each other. Dialogue also establishes multiple doors.

It's a story point that while one set of heroes struggles with holodeck mechanisms at one door, the other set is elsewhere in the holographic wonderland - not an oversight.

(ignoring the fact that they should disappear immediately)
Why? Why can't the machinery reach out through the doorway for some distance?

The holodeck is designed to please. It bends over backwards and then some to give the user everything he asks for and a bit extra he didn't understand to ask for. Redblock wants to walk out of the holodeck and into the corridor. He's assumed user status. The holodeck accommodates him to the best of its ability. And that extends about three meters beyond the door...

Was there ever a scene in TNG where the holodeck would have declared it could not do something that was asked of it? It cheats, lies, and reallocates resources if that's what's required to keep the user happy - and then it overextends itself and breaks down.

Picard's excitement over the holographic cars also struck me as odd.
What's the point of going to the holodeck if you aren't going to get excited?

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Old October 19 2012, 12:38 AM   #9
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Timo wrote: View Post
(ignoring the fact that they should disappear immediately)
Why? Why can't the machinery reach out through the doorway for some distance?
Captain Picard once was struck with a snowball as he passed a open holodeck doorway. Obviously the holodeck's effect extends passed the threshold.

The thing in this episode that gets me every time is when Beverly enters the police station and her ankle goes sideways coming down the steps, I don't know how Gates McFadden did that.

It makes me cringe.

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Old October 19 2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

What the holodeck allows and doesn't allow to pass through the doors varies wildly. Data is able to walk out with a "holographic" piece of paper in "Elemenatry, Dear Data" and the paper remains stable long enough for Picard to look at it later in the conference room. In "Ship in a Bottle" a book disappears at the holodeck threshold when Picard uses it as a demonstration of why holodeck matter cannot exist outside the room. (And, yes, at this time the "ship" outside the door is part of Moriarty's simulation but neither Picard or Data find the way the book vanishes to be abnormal so this must be the way it behaves.)

It should make sense that simple objects, i.e. ones that can be easily replicated, are "real" in the holodeck and can be removed. But people are fully holographic images only made to "feel real" by the simulation. They absolutely cannot exist outside the holodeck so once outside of it the holographic nature falls about and they fade away into energy.

As for objects, the holodeck must be able to "know" when an object is intended to leave the room and when it is not. In "Angel One" Wesley's playmate may have tried to avoid the snowball by calling for the exit and running into the corridor. The holodeck probably "knew this" and allowed the snowball to exist outside the room by replicating a slush of water and ice.

In "Elementary" once the Enterprise sketch was handled by Data and headed for the exit the holodeck realized the paper was wanted to be kept and produced a replicated copy. It did the same with the lipstick on Picard's cheek in "Goodbye."

In "Ship in a Bottle" the book was thrown through the air, the holodeck probably saw no need to replicate the book (realizing the demonstration) and kept as purely holographic object.

It does suggest a bit of a material AI in the computer for all of this to happen but it has to be there for it all to make sense.

Interestingly, in a DS9 episode featuring Nog recovering from a leg-replacement surgery in a Vic Fontane program Vic shuts down his own program. At this point in the episode Nog has "lived" in the holodeck for several days and started living without the use of a cane. When Vic shuts down the program we see Nog's cane appear and drop to the floor out of thin air. Obviously because it was the only other "real object" in the room that came in with Nog and the holodeck wasn't going to destroy it. It existed in the room and was just hidden from view via holograms and other tricks the holodeck uses to manipulate space.
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Old October 19 2012, 02:20 AM   #11
Captrek
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

MikeS wrote: View Post
Sorry, I do not know the etiquette regarding this little rewatch we're having, but I thought the threads go up on a Tuesday and I couldn't find one. Hope I'm not stepping on any toes.
Definitely no toe-stepping. Anyone can start these weekly threads. I wasn’t able to get to it earlier in the week. When I belatedly checked the board just now, I was pleased to see that someone had picked up the slack. Thank you.

I’m not troubled by the holes and errors you mention. This is a fun episode that, for the most part, remains light in tone. Errors and inconsistencies are easy to overlook when the proceedings aren’t taken too seriously.

What I really like about this episode is an excellent guest cast. I particularly enjoy the work of Lawrence Tierney as Redblock, Harvey Jason channeling Peter Lorre as Felix Leech, Gary Armagnac as McNary, and Dick Miller as the newspaper guy.

Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
What the holodeck allows and doesn't allow to pass through the doors varies wildly. Data is able to walk out with a "holographic" piece of paper in "Elemenatry, Dear Data" and the paper remains stable long enough for Picard to look at it later in the conference room. In "Ship in a Bottle" a book disappears at the holodeck threshold when Picard uses it as a demonstration of why holodeck matter cannot exist outside the room.
It has been observed that objects are sometimes carried out of the holodeck in seasons 1-2, but not in later seasons. Perhaps an upgrade changed the way they work in this respect.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:27 AM   #12
davejames
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Yeah it's kind of funny how utterly AMAZED the crew is by the Holodeck in the first season. It's the freakin 24th Century and they all act like they've never seen a hologram before in their life! Lol

I realize most of that was for the benefit of the audience, but still, in retrospect it does seem over the top.
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Old October 19 2012, 03:32 AM   #13
Trekker4747
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Well, the idea is that the type of holodeck on the Enterprise was the latest design and use of the technology, so it was amazing, brand-new experiences to them. It was their version of the iPhone.

It wasn't until later (mainly Voyager) where it's suggested holodecks had been around for longer. Which they may have been in some primitive fashion but the type of holodecks and interactive environments that are bigger than the allotted space with fully interactive and "real-seeming" characters was a brand new feature on the Enterprise holodeck.
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Old October 20 2012, 04:30 AM   #14
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
(ignoring the fact that they should disappear immediately)
Why? Why can't the machinery reach out through the doorway for some distance?
Captain Picard once was struck with a snowball as he passed a open holodeck doorway. Obviously the holodeck's effect extends passed the threshold.

The thing in this episode that gets me every time is when Beverly enters the police station and her ankle goes sideways coming down the steps, I don't know how Gates McFadden did that.

It makes me cringe.

Well, maybe Crusher does not wear heels that very much. ~shurg~ Or in the least got a bad fitting pair.


As for the holodec, I think there's a sorta distance limit for objects to pass through before they vanish, or maybe it's for organic based objects to vanish, or 'living' things, since Data took a piece of paper outside the holodec in "Elementary, Dear Data". Maybe the more complex the object, the better chance it has to vanish, and a holographic human is more complex than a holographic piece of paper and a snowball.
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Old October 20 2012, 12:42 PM   #15
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Re: Episode of the week: The Big Goodbye

Circus Peanut wrote: View Post
... it's suggested holodecks had been around for longer. Which they may have been in some primitive fashion ...
In The Big Goodbye, Deanna said: "You've been looking forward to the upgrade of the holodeck." Follow later by Picard saying that: "The sense of reality was absolutely incredible." Suggesting that previously it wasn't.

Picard might not have found time for a personal visit to the holodeck since taking command of the Enterprise, he had only been aboard a few months at this point. Or the upgrade that Deanna spoke of could have been very resent, perhaps just prior to this episode.

Before The Big Goodbye, we saw a park-like setting, and a martial arts opponent for Tasha. Both considerably simpler that a moving San Fransisco street scene. Picard seemed to be particularly impressed with being able to see an entire city block out the window of his Dixon Hill office.

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