Far too many holodeck stories deal with the thing not working quite right. But there are, no doubt, many implications of such a device, such as, well, proper usage and even addiction to a fantasy realm.
“Hollow Pursuits” deals with that while introducing reoccurring character Lt. Barclay, and Jimmy and Tom have some thoughts on that guy.
An introverted guy from engineering is spending too much time on the holodeck.
jimmy: I think Riker is probably right that there should be some kind of protocols against recreating your co-workers on the holodeck. Especially when you are seducing them. (But I bet the cast had fun breaking character and making this one.)
tomk: Oh, come on! Who doesn’t love Mini-Riker?
jimmy: Regular sized Riker?
tomk: Well, maybe they should talk to Geordi about that first.
jimmy: Geordi just wants to get Broccoli out of his department.
tomk: And send him where?
jimmy: I don’t think Geordi much cares.
tomk: Geordi at least tried to get to know him.
jimmy: Under orders.
tomk: Still puts him ahead of Riker, Wesley, and Finnigan.
jimmy: True enough.
tomk: All Barclay really needed was a real friend.
Would you be his friend?
jimmy: If I was on the Enterprise, I’d probably be Barclay.
tomk: No, you wouldn’t. You’d ask Barclay to do the programming for you so you don’t even need to do that much to date Cousin Minka and Malin Ackerman at the same time.
jimmy: You’re right. Then me and Riker would drink Romulan ale and share beard stories.
tomk: And Picard would be your best friend.
jimmy: Real Picard or Muskateer Picard?
tomk: Sassy Picard.
jimmy: Wesley and Data were in the wrong spots.
tomk: Yes. That’s what’s wrong with that clip.
jimmy: Heh. Speaking of wrong, and of Mustakeers, that fight had to be some of the most obvious stunt double work I’ve seen in a long time. It didn’t look anything like Barclay. Even his hair was completely wrong.
tomk: That’s because it was really Watson all along.
Because when you think of something inexplicably wrong, you think of Watson.
tomk: So, was this episode commentary on the die hard fans?
jimmy: In what way?
tomk: Well, new character hangs out with he crew and thinks he could be one of them, but better.
jimmy: Hmm. I guess you could look at it that way. Especially since Barclay’s entire fantasy crew are the main cast.
tomk: Yeah. It’s not like he’s set up something with the cute woman from stellar cartography.
jimmy: Exactly. Or maybe that is program #9.
tomk: That’s to date all the women who rejected Geordi.
jimmy: I hope the holodeck has a lot of RAM.
tomk: It has enough to make Barclay’s programs as it is.
jimmy: I also found it surprising that Geordi and Riker could just walk in on Barclay in the holodeck. Maybe it is a commanding office thing.
tomk: There’s no privacy in the future. Be glad he’s always wearing pants in there.
jimmy: Very glad.
tomk: Be glad Riker doesn’t slip his off whenever he goes to Ten-Forward, too.
jimmy: We assume…be weary of anytime they are only shooting him from the waist up.
tomk: Eh, a giant like him, we’d probably notice.
jimmy: How tall is Frakes anyway?
tomk: The Googles say 6’3″. About two inches shorter than me.
jimmy: Umm. Yes. Yes, they are.
tomk: I just assumed other people were slacking off and not standing up straight.
jimmy: That’s certainly me.
tomk: So, how mad would you be to see yourself in there?
jimmy: I probably wouldn’t care too much personally. But there is a lot of context here. For the most part, Starfleet is a military operation, and I’m sure it is very frowned upon to have fun at the expense of your commanding officers. It’s also a very different angle for Troi and maybe Beverly as their likenesses were probably being used for sex.
tomk: Troi was reimagined as a love goddess.
Though how much Starfleet is a military organization is a bit debatable. They hold military ranks and the ship has weapons, but the mission is one of exploration and diplomacy.
jimmy: You’re being too literal. My comparison was about the rank mostly. There’s a chain of command.
And that’s just what we saw of Troi. In the cold open he is essentially seduced by her in Ten Forward. Who knows what goes on in other programs…or even this one had he not been hailed.
tomk: Troi also proved it’s not funny when it’s you that gets reimagined by the Engineering outcast.
jimmy: I don’t think anyone would be too happy about it. Even if harmless. But especially the cases where they are being sexualized or made fun of.
tomk: Geordi got it. But he fell for the hologram of a real person before.
jimmy: Yeah he did!
tomk: He even told Barclay as much.
Man, Geordi would be in soooooo much trouble if that woman ever shows up.
jimmy: You phrased that very ominously…
tomk: She’s standing behind you.
jimmy: I’m not falling for that old trick!
tomk: Uh huh.
tomk: If you say so. The Moose let her in.
jimmy: He would.
tomk: Regardless, Barclay does become a reoccurring character in the future, even appearing in other Trek series. Any thoughts on the guy?
jimmy: I don’t mind him. I like Dwight Schultz.
tomk: And he likes you.
jimmy: Tee hee.
tomk: Odd, wasn’t it, that Picard of all people was the one who screwed up and used the insulting nickname that was clearly invented by an evil teenager in front of the poor guy?
jimmy: He’s very relaxed since he returned from Risa.
tomk: Yeah, well, I expect that sort of sloppiness from Captain Jake, but Picard should know better.
jimmy: It was a bit of an odd slip of the tongue, I agree.
tomk: He must have hit Captain Jake’s stash. It’s the only way to get through the day with Wesley on the bridge.
jimmy: Always talking about pie.
tomk: That’s Lt Commander Moose’s stash.
jimmy: What was with Wesley eating the pie anyways?
tomk: He couldn’t have a beer?
jimmy: Even Holo-Wesley?
tomk: Especially Holo-Wesley.
jimmy: But especially real Wesley.
tomk: He had an an ancestor who sang songs about pie.
jimmy: Lol, I just watched that one very recently.
tomk: Save it for our parallel universe Simpsons chat!
jimmy: I’ve only got…18 seasons to go…ah crap…
tomk: Parallel. Universe.
jimmy: I bet that parallel universe Jimmy has finished the Spider-Man Chronology too.
tomk: He’s on Earth-3 where Spider-Man was canceled in 1973.
jimmy: Let’s never go there.
tomk: Earth-4 Jimmy is working on the Superman Chronology.
But he also claims he looks like Henry Cavill.
jimmy: Pffpt! He wishes!
tomk: The Crisis of Infinite Jimmys will settle all of those unasked questions. Turns out there’s only one Moose.
jimmy: Like there’s only one Worf. He was never holodeckized by Barclay.
tomk: Until the last scene.
jimmy: Ah yes, you’re right.
tomk: Besides, do you know what Worf would do to someone if he learned that person made a foolish version of him on the Holodeck? Riker and Troi just got angry. Worf gets homicidal.
jimmy: That did cross my mind. But also that Worf would be the least likely person to probably interact with Barclay. Riker intimidates him and is close with Troi. I’m sure he sees the Doctor. Wesley is underfoot. Geordi is his boss. Not sure how Data fits in, but he would be one of the most notable members of the crew next to Picard.
tomk: The Klingon isn’t noteworthy?
jimmy: I figured that would be your response. Like I said, I didn’t really know why Data would be included.
tomk: They couldn’t get a musketeer hat that fit Worf’s head?
jimmy: Makes sense to me.
tomk: Good. Have some of Wesley’s pie.
jimmy: Not the part he was digging into with his hands I hope…
Just an untouched slice of future pie.
tomk: Made with Romulan rumfruit.
jimmy: Probably synthoholic.
tomk: No, the fruit is as real as GAGH!
jimmy: You’re not doing a great job selling this future pie.
tomk: Look, the Romulans have a fruit that is self-fermenting and makes pies. I did not make that up at all or borrow intellectual property from the Star Trek franchise to make this joke.
jimmy: Ok, ok. I don’t know much about alien fruit.
tomk: It’s fine. I don’t know much about a lot of things either.
So…what does all this have to do with Barclay’s figuring out some forgotten element got onto the ship somehow?
jimmy: …the forgotten element was a pie?
tomk: You are probably right. Have a Hot Pocket.
jimmy: In non-pastry thoughts, when “Tin Man” focused mainly on some random guest star it seemed to bother you. Doesn’t seem like it here. Is it because Barclay was one of the crew, or that you know he will be a recurring character?
tomk: A little of column A and a little of column B.
jimmy: That’s fair.
tomk: Barclay wasn’t written out of the show, and it was also about people like Geordi (especially Geordi) has to learn how to deal with someone who isn’t all that outgoing.
You know, like a lot of Star Trek fans (stereotypically).
jimmy: You big on this one being “about the fans”. You hear that comparison elsewhere?
tomk: I may have. I don’t remember. Probably.
Maybe Watson said something around the watercooler while Jenny was waxing euphoric over Madame Xanadu.
jimmy: That does sound like them both.
tomk: Well, we learned about pie, holodeck manners, and why a shorter Riker is funny but inappropriate. Did I miss anything?
jimmy: Broccoli is the worst nickname ever? #evilwesley
tomk: Also true. Have a plate of mozzarella sticks.
jimmy: I’m going to have to watch these shows while running on a treadmill.
tomk: Or, again, you can share.
jimmy: Treadmill it is!
tomk: That wacky Jimmy!
Well, while you work out, are you ready to move on to a Data-centric episode?
jimmy: I sure am!
tomk: Then let’s see what happens when a jerk challenges Data’s programmed morality.
Better Call Saul “JMM”
Comic Review: Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3
Noteworthy Issues: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 (April, 2023)