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

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Old August 9 2013, 10:34 PM   #31
Warped9
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

I don't buy that explanation. One of the hooks of TOS was that they didn't get hung up on lengthy explanations of tech. That was TNG's (and the others) gimmick.
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Old August 9 2013, 11:02 PM   #32
Robert Comsol
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't buy that explanation. One of the hooks of TOS was that they didn't get hung up on lengthy explanations of tech.
You don't have to as you just provided a different explanation.

For the general audience it would have been imperative to inform them they're still on the ship and don't watch some alien planet or the commercial. Exactly the reason you just provided could have been the decisive one not to feature the holodeck in TOS.

Alternately they could have done it with rear projection but in such a fashion that the audience would understand it's not the real thing - which however would have been the opposite of what Gene Roddenberry had envisioned.

Bob
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Old August 9 2013, 11:33 PM   #33
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
I don't buy that explanation. One of the hooks of TOS was that they didn't get hung up on lengthy explanations of tech.
You don't have to as you just provided a different explanation.
You don't have to explain anything at all, just let the audience watch and eventually they'll figure it out. TOS never tried to explain how the transporter or phasers worked. Roddenberry wanted to avoid all the technical mumbo jumbo, and as an example used Joe Friday of "Dragnet". Joe doesn't explain how his .38 police revolver operates before he uses it. Roddenberry wanted to avoid that kind of exposition with things like phasers, believing that the audience would be smart enough to come up with their own explanation.
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Old August 9 2013, 11:57 PM   #34
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

TNG didn't go into a lengthy explanation each time the holodeck was used. Why would TOS "have" to do so?
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Old August 10 2013, 12:38 AM   #35
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

They wouldn't, the second the holodeck shut off and they were standing on a room in the Enterprise, the audience would get it immediately. Not that a line from anyone of the cast wouldn't solve the problem either.

I think the issue was partly cost, partly technical (cutting from scene to scene when the background changed) and partly few ways to justify it in the script.

TAS removed most of those concerns and look what happened, surprise surprise the Enterprise had one all along.
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Old August 10 2013, 12:40 AM   #36
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Warped9 wrote: View Post
Watching TNG one could get the idea (because of the way it's presented) that the holodeck was a new form of entertainment on Picard's Enterprise, but that needn't actually be the case. In the real world many ideas can exist only in theory and discussion or even rudimentary form for years to decades or more before technology is sufficiently advanced to fully realize the concept.
The impression I got from Riker's reactions in "Encounter at Farpoint" was that the holodeck was a Nifty New Thing that he hadn't experienced before. Given Riker's rank and many years of experience on starships and traveling around the Federation, if holodecks were standard, he should have encountered them before and not acted so bowled over by their awesomeness.
That was the idea. A couple of episodes later they show Picard falling in love with the holodeck, being all fascinated about how realistic everything is. The holodeck in TNG was something absolutely new for the characters.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:27 AM   #37
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
I think the issue was partly cost, partly technical (cutting from scene to scene when the background changed) and partly few ways to justify it in the script.
In terms of cost, like I said, TNG used the holodeck to save money by using historical Earth sets/costumes/etc. that already existed as opposed to alien stuff that had to be built from scratch. TOS only got on the air because Roddenberry used the parallel-worlds idea to convince the execs that the show could be made affordable with that kind of recycling, and a holodeck-equivalent would've played right into that. So a TOS holographic simulator would actually have saved them money, or at least wouldn't have cost any more than the gangster planet or the Halloween planet or the Melkot Tombstone.

In terms of technical effects, cutting from scene to scene is one of the simplest possible special effects, and it was one that TOS did frequently in episodes like "Catspaw" and "Spectre of the Gun." Bewitched also did it all the time. True, the FX would've been simpler than what TNG used, with more cheats to avoid opticals (for instance, hold a closeup on Kirk's face while the scene-changing sound effect is heard, then cut to reverse angle of Kirk standing in the new scene), but they would've been some of the easier, cheaper effects to achieve overall.

So that only leaves story justification. Which means it isn't something they weren't technically able to do, but something they chose not to do. The mention in the bible or wherever was just a bit of speculative worldbuilding along with the various other bits of future speculation you could find there, but ultimately nobody thought of a good story built around someone getting a holographic letter from home or doing the equivalent of watching a movie.

Let's consider: what makes holodeck stories possible isn't the images, but the artificial intelligence driving them. It's only when the stars of the show can interact with virtual people, holodeck characters that can malfunction and pose a danger, that you get a story worth telling. True, "The Practical Joker" was about a computer malfunction, but that's a story you can really only tell once without there being virtual characters involved. Now, think about the difference between the '60s and the '80s. In the '80s, we had computer games. The idea of a game where a player interacts with virtual characters was around by then. In the '60s, though, the concept of computer gaming wouldn't have been familiar to most of the audience, or to most TV writers. The proposed use for the holographic simulator discussed above was for watching video messages or movies or creating landscapes. The creators at the time probably wouldn't have considered the more interactive possibilities, and so stories built around a holodeck-equivalent wouldn't have occurred to them. So it didn't seem to be as useful an idea from their perspective in the '60s as it did when they were developing TNG two decades later.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:55 AM   #38
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

I'm thinking maybe the holodeck technology wasn't Federation developed. Sort of like the Kzinti weapon left by a past civilisation in TAS.
However could you explain what happened in the Moriarity episode? I mean all you had to do was ask and the greatest computer ever was created. Surely that would have been tested in laboratories when the holodeck was being created.
How do you go from the simple Minuet projection to the Moriarity creation? If someone could just say 'Create the greatest biological weapons expert' or 'the greatest dictator' or even 'the greatest scientist or doctor' why hadn't they done so before? Why didn't the Ferengi?
I'm thinking the actions of the holodeck surprised them. I can think one reason was because it was created by a more advanced technology and adapted for Federation use.
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Old August 10 2013, 03:31 AM   #39
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I'm thinking maybe the holodeck technology wasn't Federation developed.
Well, we know that. ENT: "Unexpected" established that the Xyrillians invented it, or at least were using it by 2151.

However could you explain what happened in the Moriarity episode? I mean all you had to do was ask and the greatest computer ever was created. Surely that would have been tested in laboratories when the holodeck was being created.
How do you go from the simple Minuet projection to the Moriarity creation?
Minuet was hardly simple; she was an advanced AI programmed into the holodeck by the Bynars. I tend to assume that some of the potential they programmed into it remained and led to the creation of Moriarty.
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Old August 10 2013, 03:42 AM   #40
Gil T.Azell
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

One of the novels I read mentioned them I cant remember which one.
Also they (Holograms) were used to hide bases on the moon.
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Old August 10 2013, 10:47 AM   #41
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

A couple of episodes later they show Picard falling in love with the holodeck, being all fascinated about how realistic everything is. The holodeck in TNG was something absolutely new for the characters.
I'd rather argue that from Picard's reaction it directly follows that he was familiar with holodecks already.

The heroes are always impressed by the quality of the simulation, over and over again. Not the concept, but the quality. They even enumerate the details that impress them each time. Whenever they say "this feels so real" they are establishing that they have already experienced less real-feeling versions of the same.

And they are always left wanting - there's always room for improvement in the realism, always new tricks to impress them. The TV audiences cannot fathom this, because from their point of view, a holodeck scene is no different from a conference lounge scene. It's equally fake, as it's created by the very same methods of fakery: actors, sets, costumes, lights, the occasional but expensive visual effect. For the users, there apparently is a world of difference between a pre-TNG holosimulation and their real working environment, and also between an early TNG holosimulation and reality. Only in the late seasons can characters get fooled by Federation holodecks for any length of time.

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Old August 10 2013, 12:59 PM   #42
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Timo wrote: View Post
A couple of episodes later they show Picard falling in love with the holodeck, being all fascinated about how realistic everything is. The holodeck in TNG was something absolutely new for the characters.
I'd rather argue that from Picard's reaction it directly follows that he was familiar with holodecks already.

The heroes are always impressed by the quality of the simulation, over and over again. Not the concept, but the quality. They even enumerate the details that impress them each time.
GEORDI: "Your first visit to the Holodeck, Doctor?"
PULASKI: "First time on one with this level of sophistication."
- Elementary, Dear Data

As an example...
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Old August 10 2013, 01:08 PM   #43
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Christopher wrote: View Post
CommishSleer wrote: View Post
I'm thinking maybe the holodeck technology wasn't Federation developed.
Well, we know that. ENT: "Unexpected" established that the Xyrillians invented it, or at least were using it by 2151.

However could you explain what happened in the Moriarity episode? I mean all you had to do was ask and the greatest computer ever was created. Surely that would have been tested in laboratories when the holodeck was being created.
How do you go from the simple Minuet projection to the Moriarity creation?
Minuet was hardly simple; she was an advanced AI programmed into the holodeck by the Bynars. I tend to assume that some of the potential they programmed into it remained and led to the creation of Moriarty.
Moriarty's creation is scientific bull. A simpler computer program cannot create another computer program that is more advanced, that is proven fact. Which means the Enterprise computer would have to be AT LEAST as complex as Moriarty, meaning self aware and sentient.
And the whole idea that it's so simple to say "create a character that is a match for Data" is ridiculous as well.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:09 PM   #44
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Again, my problem isn't with the idea that holodecks existed before TNG; it's necessary to accept that for consistency with what VGR established about Janeway's childhood holoprograms. My problem is that if we're assuming a curve of progress like that, it suggests the technology is only a few decades old, not a century old. I suppose it's not impossible that a technology could stagnate at a certain level for decades before making a leap forward, but why would that happen here?

Although, really, what's bothered me about holodecks for a long time is, why are they even necessary? Why not just use VR headsets/gloves or direct sensory induction, create an illusory environment completely in someone's mind? The holodeck just seems like an overcomplicated way of doing something that could be achieved far more simply. It's not an idea that really makes a lot of sense on any level.
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Old August 10 2013, 01:12 PM   #45
JarodRussell
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Re: TOS' holodeck...food for thought...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Again, my problem isn't with the idea that holodecks existed before TNG; it's necessary to accept that for consistency with what VGR established about Janeway's childhood holoprograms. My problem is that if we're assuming a curve of progress like that, it suggests the technology is only a few decades old, not a century old. I suppose it's not impossible that a technology could stagnate at a certain level for decades before making a leap forward, but why would that happen here?

Although, really, what's bothered me about holodecks for a long time is, why are they even necessary? Why not just use VR headsets/gloves or direct sensory induction, create an illusory environment completely in someone's mind? The holodeck just seems like an overcomplicated way of doing something that could be achieved far more simply. It's not an idea that really makes a lot of sense on any level.
Because, as you say yourself, it's only in your mind. If I had to choose between a holodeck and that, I would take the holodeck, any time. Could play holo games with my friends for real, instead of online.

That's another point. Sports. VR won't make you lose fat and gain muscles because you don't move while everything is projected directly into your brain. Running around in a holodeck would.
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