Star Trek has provided us with a chance to delve into the future of technology and discover what could lie in store for us in the next 400 years. We’ve explored the variety of technology that we want to see earlier, rather than later, and every day, scientists and engineers make new discoveries fuelled by dreams of reaching those heights. Holosuites, however, could be a closer reality than once believed. Introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the holodeck quickly became a fan favourite, allowing the writers to expand on the entertainments available to those posted on ship for long stretches of time as starships became mobile stations, and storytellers to explore the lines between reality and fiction, created by a perfect simulacrum.
Taking a nosedive into the world of the holodeck, the series has shown us a variety of holoprograms to entertain and thrill, and to train and educate. We can slide through the scuba-diving in Hanauma Bay, or jumping into the training simulations of Operation: Fort Knox, experience the Klingon Rite of Ascension or take coffee in Café des Artistes. They recreated simulations of great Earth battles; the Hirogen sought the holodeck for Klingon war games, while training simulations allowed Doctors the independence to learn without harm.
The holodeck also allowed the viewer a glimpse into the private life of the characters we know and love, with unforgettable moments. Picard role played as the eponymous Dixon Hiil in detective noir, Tom Paris as Captain Proton, Julian Bashir as a secret agent listening to the crooning melodies of Vic Fontaine, Data as a Deadwood gunslinger and Sherlock Holmes, while Janeway liked to kick back in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop.
This week, we’d like you to have a think about what holodeck experiences you and your characters would like to indulge in. What could tempt you into the holodeck, or what does your character like to simulate?
What’s your favourite holodeck simulation from the series, and why?