In TNG: Ship in a Bottle, all of the command functions are locked to Moriarty's voice.

We can simulate people voices today using relative small computing power(running on laptop) and I find it hard to believe that this isn't possible with equipment in the 24th century.

Why didn't the crew simulate Moriarty's voice to regain control of the ship?

  • 2
    In the case of Data commands were locked to a specific location and code. Could've been that Moriarty also did similar with that location being the holodeck. Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:55
  • @JonClements completely irrelevant question is how morarity made the simulation in the first place to trick Picard into giving away his command codes?
    – Pioneer
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 21:56
  • @Pioneer- He's a genius. He asked the right questions to have the computer teach him how to hack it. Khan used precisely the same trick.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 18:26
  • There are two very distinct questions here. One about TNG: Ship in a Bottle, the other about TNG: Brothers. I've edited out the latter which I suggest you ask as a separate question.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


The very short answer is that simulating Moriarty's voice outside the holodeck would have been pointless since he'd set a password

MORIARTY: Computer... interface with the central computer on the Enterprise.

The computer beeps.

COMPUTER VOICE: Interface complete.

MORIARTY: Release command function lockouts... authorization Moriarty, alpha two-four-one-five-nine.

TNG: Ship in a Bottle

Even if they could simulate his voice perfectly, a five-digit password represents a hundred thousand possible combinations, with the added complexity of an alphabet letter at the start bringing the grand total into the millions.

Assuming the computer is happy for you to do keep trying 24/7, it would take weeks (if not months) to say all of the possible combinations.

Data simulating it inside the holodeck would have been just as useless since the combadges (and presumably the holodeck panels) were slaved to the holographic version of the ship and wouldn't have access to anything real.

PICARD: No. Thank you, Picard out. (to the others) Our combadges must be locked into the simulation; if that had been the real Commander Riker, he would have given our location as Holodeck Three.

  • It's certainly "over" 150,000, but the actual number of possible passwords is 2.6 million (26*10^5). Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 20:12
  • @T-1000'sSon - I'm assuming the first letter has to be Alpha-Omega (e.g. 25 letters) and the other 5 have to be numbers 1-9. My maths is insufficient to work out the permutations.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 20:15
  • 1
    @Valorum 25 * 9^5 = 1,476,225. But why only numbers 1 through 9? Why is zero excluded?
    – user45485
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 22:36
  • 1
    @Hans - I think we're getting hung up on the maths. I've made it more general since it's really not that important.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 22:39
  • @Valorum Oh, I completely agree with your answer. Moriarty had set a password which was basically impossible to guess. Because to be able to start to guess the password you would have to know how long it is to begin with. Wasn't there an episode of TNG where Data locked out the main computer with an impossibly long sequence of characters?
    – user45485
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 9:48

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