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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old August 9 2013, 03:32 PM   #16
Robert Comsol
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Timo wrote: View Post
Obviously, to accomodate such a room on the TOS Enterprise the ship's length would have to equal the size of Picard's Enterprise-D!
Unless, of course, it is just the default "giant empty hall" simulation being run by the actually quite small facility.
Brilliant! That's a great in-universe rationalization!

Timo wrote: View Post
Quite possibly, a key element in such simulations (and more crucial in early models) is the spraying of psychoactive chemicals into the air, to dull the senses and to make the users more receptive to the optical and physical illusions... "Digging one's way out of a pit" could in physical reality be some very different action, only made to resemble the moving of dirt through chemically enhanced suggestion.
That sounds a lot like taking drugs, doesn't it? Curiously, I had imagined the psychodelic aboretum / solarium / S3 rec room to do something like that.

However, more like a well-designed arrangement and combination of exotic plants whose odors have a relaxing effect on a humanoid body (today we'd call it "wellness").

Bob
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Old August 9 2013, 03:36 PM   #17
Warped9
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Whatever. I don't think I'm misunderstanding anything. The entire description of what's supposed to be on the ship (or what they wanted on the ship) is on the page. That's how they envisioned it. They could certainly change their minds when it came to actually showing something, but until that happened then the outline can stand.

If someone doesn't personally like the idea then fine, they're entitled to their opinion. But if the idea isn't contradicted by what has already been shown onscreen then the initial concept is still valid.

The whole point of the Writer's Guide was to give writers some direction and sense of consistency of how things were shown aboard the fictional ship. Sure it could be changed as they went along, but until something actually is changed then the idea is still valid.
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Old August 9 2013, 03:37 PM   #18
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Of course, a "holodeck"-like experience has been part of ST from the very beginning. Captain Pike's treatment at the hands of the Talosians.
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Old August 9 2013, 03:56 PM   #19
Robert Comsol
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't think I'm misunderstanding anything. The entire description of what's supposed to be on the ship (or what they wanted on the ship) is on the page. That's how they envisioned it. They could certainly change their minds when it came to actually showing something, but until that happened then the outline can stand.
I concur. They envisioned the Season Three rec room, it was first featured in "Elaan of Troyius", they envisioned a holodeck, it was featured in "Practical Joker".

Therefore I'd say there was a noticable determination to visualize these sets, only the outcome was somehow different, than originally planned.

Bob
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Old August 9 2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

In "Return Of The Archons" Kirk remarks that the projected image of Landru is impressive given no apprent receiving apparatus on their end. Mind you at the same time the crew can be beamed from the ship and back with no apparatus on the other end either.

The essential point is that the projecting of optical illusions is apparently familiar to the Enterprise crew.
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Old August 9 2013, 03:57 PM   #21
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Whatever. I don't think I'm misunderstanding anything. The entire description of what's supposed to be on the ship (or what they wanted on the ship) is on the page. That's how they envisioned it. They could certainly change their minds when it came to actually showing something, but until that happened then the outline can stand.
It's just a lot rougher than you seem to want to believe -- not so much "intent" as "Yeah, this might work." Fans make such a big deal over "creators' intent," whereas we creators are just floundering along, making up crap as we go and hoping it doesn't turn out to be a complete mess. Usually our only intent is to get to the deadline with something resembling a coherent work. And even then, what we turn in is often just what we had to settle for when time ran out.


If someone doesn't personally like the idea then fine, they're entitled to their opinion.
That's not what I'm talking about at all. It's not about this one idea, it's about clarifying how creativity works.


The whole point of the Writer's Guide was to give writers some direction and sense of consistency of how things were shown aboard the fictional ship.
Sure, but not to the point that it limits them. Every creation evolves and changes. Every writers' guide contains suggestions that get ignored as well as ones that get used. Like I said, they're the paints on the palette. Potential, not intent. They're there to be used if they're needed, but they're optional.
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Old August 9 2013, 04:13 PM   #22
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

There could have been many generations of the "holodeck" that had some very drastically different forms of function over the decades.

TOS "Entertainment Center" (Generation 1)
6 panel holography projected enviroment with gentle air pressure jets, speaker arrays and fine atmospheric enhancement "mists" to stimulate senses.

TAS "Holographic environmental simulator" (Generation 2+)
Similar to the above, but with micro-gravity units, enviroment mists of more complexity, multiple independent layers of projection to give depth perception and greater ability to fool the eye.

With some very loosely generated dense air pockets and non-inhalant micro-particles that can give the sensation of matter on the skin.

Then a few refinements, largely to the TOS/TAS versions.

TNG "HoloDeck" (Generation 5?6?)
A breakthrough that allows actual forcefields, photonic active surfaces, far greater resolution, vastly more powerful simulations, generated semi-solid matter, atmospheric effects generated from artificial molecular constructs. All of it based off the much more recent invention of the Replicator.

Something like that?
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Old August 9 2013, 04:16 PM   #23
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

^^ Which makes more sense than the TNG holodeck springing into being overnight fully formed.
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Old August 9 2013, 04:21 PM   #24
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

It's always been my impression that the holodeck was a major step up in something that had already existed.

I knew TAS had depicted the technology as far back as 1973, but I wasn't aware of the 1968 proposal.

But it means they certaintly knew about it and had envisioned it being a 23rd century invention over a decade before TNG was worked on.

Riker's reaction is based more on how improved the effect of being on the holodeck is, rather than floored at the idea it exists, at least to me.
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Old August 9 2013, 05:16 PM   #25
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Movies today are basically the exact same as back in the days of the Brothers Lumiére, too. Except for incremental upgrades that sort of transcend the whole experience...

Movies without sound are obviously lacking in realism. Movies without color remain unconvincing. Movies with lots of grain to them, and with unrealistic colors, are still unsatisfactory. Movies that appear flat on the screen don't impress us. And soon enough, movies that cannot be walked into will be so unrealistic that we reject them as entertainment.

Riker's statement makes perfect sense in these terms. He's expressly impressed with quality, not with existence, after all.

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Old August 9 2013, 05:56 PM   #26
Redfern
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

From a real world production standpoint, I don't see why a "primitive" (first generation) holo-deck could NOT have been depicted in the original series.

As E-Dub stated above, visually (though not the same method from an "in story" perspective), something similar was depicted in the first pilot with the environment "fluttering" around a bust shot of Jeffrey Hunter. One would just treat the transition like an inversion of the transporter effect. Instead of fading the person in or out of the environment, you fade the surroundings. After all, that's basically what was done in "Next Gen'". Or, if the production felt handling additional fade opticals were too costly (but if they budget it for the transporter, why not for the holo-deck?), then they could have opted for the "Jeanie" or "Bewitched" solution, the simulation just "blinks" into existence with an appropriate sound effect (hopefully not that "rubber gong" sound).

Other than no stories having scenes that could have taken advantage of that kind of "future technology" (say, like Kirk getting a "letter" from his father), I can only speculate Roddenberry and the other writers opted to reserve that ability strictly for the super advanced aliens the crew might encounter. If the Enterprise could do it, then those various hyper advanced aliens might not seem so far ahead as they brag. It would be kinda' like someone yanked from the 1940s and landing in, say 2020. Someone from that year tries to impress WWII Joe with a wall sized HDTV arrangement. Oh, Joe might be impressed by the color, resolution and sound, but he wouldn't worship Mr. 2020 as a god. Joe would likely reply, "So you got better television. Can you tune in Benny Goodman?" So, to keep the "advanced" aliens ever more "godly", the production purposely scaled back some of the tech the Enterprise would use.

Then again, I may be simply full of sh*t. Anybody got a laxative?

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old August 9 2013, 06:12 PM   #27
Warped9
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

In "The Squire Of Gothos" and "Catspaw" Kirk and the crew aren't that impressed with what Trelane and Sylvia and Korob are doing because they assume (rightfully) that advanced technology is somehow helping them do those things. They figure Apollo must also have some advanced tech at his disposal to be doing what he does---and they were right to a large degree. In "Return Of The Archons" Kirk and Spock aren't bowled over by the projected image of Landru. In very few cases did the "godly" aliens actually come off as that magical.
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Old August 9 2013, 07:46 PM   #28
Christopher
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
TNG "HoloDeck" (Generation 5?6?)
A breakthrough that allows actual forcefields, photonic active surfaces, far greater resolution, vastly more powerful simulations, generated semi-solid matter, atmospheric effects generated from artificial molecular constructs. All of it based off the much more recent invention of the Replicator.
Is the replicator recent? It's really just an application of transporter technology; the only difference is that instead of recreating the original pattern, it alters the particles to fit a preprogrammed pattern.


Warped9 wrote: View Post
^^ Which makes more sense than the TNG holodeck springing into being overnight fully formed.
Of course, but it's a matter of scale. Riker's reaction is hard to reconcile with the idea of the technology having been around in some form for a century. A few decades, maybe, but not that long.

Then again, ENT has Malcolm using holographic targets in the armory in the early 2150s, so by this point I guess we have no choice but to disregard Riker's "Farpoint" reaction as one of the many things the canon itself has retconned away.


Redfern wrote: View Post
From a real world production standpoint, I don't see why a "primitive" (first generation) holo-deck could NOT have been depicted in the original series.

As E-Dub stated above, visually (though not the same method from an "in story" perspective), something similar was depicted in the first pilot with the environment "fluttering" around a bust shot of Jeffrey Hunter. One would just treat the transition like an inversion of the transporter effect. Instead of fading the person in or out of the environment, you fade the surroundings. After all, that's basically what was done in "Next Gen'".
Indeed. They did so much with illusory settings that it would've been easy to do. Indeed, the holodeck served the same logistical purpose on TNG that the "parallel worlds theory" and the time travel episodes served in TOS -- an excuse to save money by recycling existing props, costumes, set pieces, etc. from historical or present-day stories rather than having to create whole new alien worlds every week. So it certainly wasn't technological or budgetary limitations that kept them from using the idea.


Other than no stories having scenes that could have taken advantage of that kind of "future technology" (say, like Kirk getting a "letter" from his father), I can only speculate Roddenberry and the other writers opted to reserve that ability strictly for the super advanced aliens the crew might encounter. If the Enterprise could do it, then those various hyper advanced aliens might not seem so far ahead as they brag. ... So, to keep the "advanced" aliens ever more "godly", the production purposely scaled back some of the tech the Enterprise would use.
That's an excellent point. I disagree with Warped9's response, because it's not about how the characters would react, but how the viewing audience would react. If the show depicted its own heroes using such advanced simulation tech, then aliens with the same illusory powers wouldn't seem as impressive to the audience. (Heck, personally I was long skeptical that Q was really as godlike as he claimed, given how much of what he did could've been achieved with a holodeck and a transporter.)

Also, maybe they figured audiences wanted to see their heroes going out and having adventures rather than doing the equivalent of watching TV.
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Old August 9 2013, 08:47 PM   #29
Timo
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Riker's reaction is hard to reconcile with the idea of the technology having been around in some form for a century.
...But is it?

Riker in EaF: "I didn't believe these simulations could be this real."
Riker in 11001001: " I know you are a computer-generated image, but your smell, your touch, the way you feel. Even the things you say and think seem so real."
Riker simply is the easily impressed type, it seems...

Admittedly, in "Farpoint", Riker was impressed by bushes and streams, and in "11001001", he was impressed by, well, not bushes, but close. We could speculate that the latter episode is Riker's first encounter with a holographic person, a step up from the park scene.

But since Riker seems to like the holodeck as a concept, it would be rather remarkable had he never tried out a program that would feature interactive simulations of people. Picard did it in "The Big Goodbye" several episodes earlier (although in stardate terms, it would be later - except for the Tasha Yar Resurrection issue). Odds are, then, that Riker simply finds all sorts of incremental upgrades to holosimulation technology remarkable.

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Old August 9 2013, 10:20 PM   #30
Robert Comsol
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Also, maybe they figured audiences wanted to see their heroes going out and having adventures rather than doing the equivalent of watching TV.
In my deck plan thread we recently had a discussion about the pros and cons of the 22 people emergency transporter and one of the conclusions (at least for me) had been that it's a concept that was envisioned but probably not thought through and eventually abandoned for good reasons.

With the TOS holodeck is not too dissimilar, IMHO.

First of all, screenplay-wise it would have required each time they go there to have a lengthy explanation what they are about to do (so that audiences would understand we're still on the ship and not on an alien planet).

Second, the question would have been what to do there in the context of an episode:
  • Go back in time to Chicago of 1930? We had something like that in "A Piece of the Action"
  • Go back in time to Germany in the late 1930's. Same story, "Patterns of Force"
  • Go back in time to study native Americans? "The Paradise Syndrome"
  • etc., etc.
The use of the holodeck in "Practical Joker" is extremely odd. Our protagonists know the ship's computer is loosing its marbles, and yet they enter.

In the context of the episode the holodeck only serves the purpose to create a new and dangerous situation for the protagonists (and often continues to do so in TNG...).

Bob
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