Fair warning: today's post is a bit of a rant (and perhaps a bit of heresy).
I've mentioned revisiting the Star Trek universe. At this point, I'm well into Star Trek Voyager. Overall, I'm enjoying myself -- but I can fairly predictably spot episodes that'll make me sputter: anything holodeck-intensive.
To name just a few gripes:
1. Could the safety provisions be any less reliable, or the safety protocols any easier to disable? And after, say, the tenth incident, why has no one thought to fix things? It's lazy writing, pure and simple.
2. Holo matter is magical stuff that people can touch -- or that can strangle them -- when it is convenient, and is ephemeral at other times. It's limited to the holodeck, except (and I'm not referring to the "mobile holo-emitter") when it's not. More lazy writing.
3. Why, exactly, does the holographic doctor use a terminal to interact with a computer? Isn't he already a two-way, real-time program within the ship's computer network?
(And as to the shipboard network, a non-holo gripe: Why hand-carry little computers to deliver crew reports? Is email too advanced?)
4. Holo matter is projected and/or maintained by force fields. The illusion of a space much larger than the physical holodeck comes from a sort of virtual treadmill -- more force fields. And still no force fields to keep people in their chairs on the bridge during battle.
Virtual reality -- good. Holodeck -- faugh. I won't even dignify the latter as a respectable SF trope.