Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Captain McBain, Mar 23, 2013.
Were holograms in use during the TOS era?
By Starfleet? Only in recreational purposes, as seen in TAS "The Practical Joker" - and their quality may have been somewhat cartoonish...
By Starfleet's enemies? Sure - our heroes regularly encountered visual illusions best characterized as holograms. But mundane foes such as Klingons or Romulans were not witnessed using those, or being any more hardened against visual illusions than our heroes.
By the UFP civilian population? Most probably. Entertainment technology would have moved forward from where it is today. Starfleet just wouldn't necessarily take its newest achievements to deep space, and the cameras in any case wouldn't necessarily focus on those moments when our heroes utilized such achievements. "The Practical Joker" is a fairly plausible glimpse into the rare off time of our heroes, and the seldom seen but often talked about Recreation Rooms of TOS.
Losira from "That Which Survives" was a projection, yet seemed to have substance. Was she a holodeck-type projection with force beams to create "contact," or was she an actual object, transporter/replicator-type?
Then there was Landru from "Return of the Archons," a see-through specter hanging in the air.
Maiman built the first LASER in 1960. I'm not sure when the first hologram was recorded after that. While it is possible for sci-fi writers to imagine anything, some technical grounding in reality, such as LASER holograms, helps advanced technologies seem more "real." (In other words, LASER holograms were extremely new, at the very least, at the time of TOS.)
Looking at The Original Series in isolation? Not by Starfleet.
Looking at the greater Trek universe, yes holograms were used in the TOS era. The technology was available in-universe but simply not seen due to 1960's TV budget/FX constraints. They had the Rec Room holodeck in the animated episode "The Practical Joker", a whole century earlier we saw lots of holograms in the Enterprise TV series (including seeing the NX-01 crew practicing by shooting holographic targets and the Romulans using holographgic technology to disguise one of their ships), and in the last movie we saw holographic heads-up displays on the USS Kelvin and the new Enterprise. Oh, and holographic games were seen in the TMP rec room and the bar McCoy visited in TSFS.
Watch out, man. You're showing your age by capitalizing laser like that. Next thing you know you'll be telling us you recently watched TOS on a CRT.
Sorry, but no. No such things were shown.
Interesting how an acronym can become so commonplace as to lose its all capital status. I imagine the Chicago Manual of Style shows all lowercase as the new "normal."
Laser is a word now, not an acronym. Capitalizing it just makes it look like you're shouting it.
Well, a three-dimensional object of unknown physicality was shown. For all we know, even the tables from which the games emerged were holographic, and could be replaced by holographic trees, pole dancers or other ornaments at the push of a button.
But yeah, no effort was made to suggest a visual illusion nature for the fancy games. Then again, effort was made to suggest that shower stalls clothe Starfleet officers with the help of transporter technology, but none of this really manages to be evident on screen...
3D chess was all holographic. Prove the opposite.
Charlie Evans melted the chess pieces in Charlie X.
I see what you did there. +1
From the "For What It's Worth" Department:
The script for "Chalie X" has an interesting quick scene between Kirk and McCoy right before Charlie comes to Kirk's quarters for the above scene. Before Charlie gets there, Kirk is puzzling over the inexplicably melted chess pieces and tells McCoy: "These are Antarian metal chess pieces. They can't be melted." (I guess the thinking was that crossing your eyes with dramatic sting music and melting stuff at will is rather hum-drum. But--Holy Moly!--he's able to do that with unmeltable Antarian chess pieces! How could he have done that just by crossing his eyes with the dramatic sting music? Now that ability should be concerning!)
In the end, of course, the whole scene was excised.
This is a reminder that The Making of Star Trek book has the following content (on page 190):
"The fourth major facility on the eighth deck level is the entertainment center. Cetainly man of the future will require entertainment as much as we enjoy motion pictures and televisioin today. Probably entertainment will be three-dimensional in nature, and perhaps will even go further, in that you will sit in the room and the story will take place all around you. In orther words, a sophisticated extension of holography.
"This technique will also have its effect on the traditional 'mail call.' Instead of receiving a letter, a man can sit in the room and, via tape, actually 'see' the person sending the correspencence. As the tape is projected, the images will form in the air in front of him, so he will be able to see how his child looks, what's happening to the house, and how great his grandmother looked that day. It will be just as if he were standing there with them. Having used the 'projecting unit,' he can then use the 'photographing unit,' to do a similar thing himself, and send it home. To a certain extent, we are doing this even today through the practice of corresponding through tape and tape recorder."
So it looks like Roddenberry did indeed contemplate small, one-man non-interactive holographic booths on board ship.
But after THAT they introduced holograms so no one would melt than again!
Naw, they kept the Antarian metal chess pieces.
"Prove the opposite."
They needed those Antarian metal chess pieces to defend themselves if some alien snuck aboard and got rid of all of the phasers. They can load the chess pieces into bamboo tubes and shoot them at the intruders!
Those pointy bishops really sting!
I thought: science background
If we are taking TOS movies into account, how about the little biplane fighter game seen in the bar in The Search For Spock? Those little planes looked hologaphic to me, although hardly detailed or realistic.
They looked holographic to me too. Yes, they were crude three dimensional wireframe representations of biplanes. Here is a picture of it courtesy of trekcore.
Navigator NCC-2120 USS Entente
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