Data throws his combadge at the wall in Ship In A Bottle to show they are in a simulation; however, shouldn't the combadge have continued on in the simulation?

If this isn't so, how does Data know where the wall of the Holodeck is, and if he can see the wall of the Holodeck why doesn't he tell Picard beforehand?

  • Because the computer AI is intelligent. It can presumably tell the difference between an attempt to throw something in-sim and an attempt to locate the wall.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 11:08
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    @PaulL ok, they were revealed to be on the Holodeck by data throwing something at la forge, but data then throws his combadge at the wall to prove to Picard that they were
    – Pioneer
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:02
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    well dang. You are correct. It was I who was misremembering. My apologies.
    – Paul L
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:03
  • @PaulL did you go and watch it at x5000 speed or something, or did I just jog your memory :)
    – Pioneer
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:04
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    Remember that the Holodeck went through a significant upgrade since Farpoint, in the episode 1001010010101 (or some other arrenagement of 1's and 0's) Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 1:57

1 Answer 1


This is a simple one,

The com-badge is real (data was wearing it when he entered), if he had thrown a holographic com-badge it would have passed through the wall as you say

As for Data knowing where the wall is:

A: He has shown in the 1st episode he knows how close the wall should be (until he suspected it was the holo-deck he hadn't bothered to work out where the walls position would be). It is entirely possible that that when the realized its a hologram, that he simple recalled every step they took since they entered: and where the wall should be in relation to that (he is an android and could remember that)

B: He knows how big the holo-deck is anyway, he could have thrown it hard enough to reach across the whole room, and the wall was just closer than that

  • Holodeck unitise treadmills to increase the visual amount of space in the Holodeck. The Holodeck area is small with only a few people, but as they walk away from each other, the simulation splits, becoming two different 'holodecks'. You could simulate Earth, with one person being in the Uk and the other in the USA. That doesn't mean the Holodeck has to be the size of the Atlantic. These treadmills mean data wouldn't know where the wall is?
    – Pioneer
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:07
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    @Pioneer i think he would, imagine he takes 3 steps forward: he knows the WALLS will move back by the same distance (the treadmill effect you mention), if he remembered every step he could work out where the wall was, he also remembers when they split up (and knows the holodeck would split in 2 a that point) Being an android he knows how it deceives people and if he remembered every action could predict the walls location: the same way he knows hes next to the 'rear' wall in the first episode
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:21
  • good point. Why wouldn't the combadge disappear. The Holodeck can replicate food etc, and can remove that replicated food. Why wouldn't the Holodeck just dissemble the combadge like any other replicated material on the Holodeck. I'm aware that the majority of the simulation is holographic, but things on the Holodeck can be replicated and removed from the grid? Why wouldn't the program detect that data is throwing the badge toward the wall, recycle/disassemble it matter, and the simulate its trajectory on the Holodeck wall
    – Pioneer
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:25
  • I assume that any real items taken into the holodeck would not be dissembled, what if you were studying a priceless artifact in there and it fell against the wall. If i programmed it I would make real items stay real (people usually know there in there) so theres no reason to disintegrate a 'real' object just to maintain the illustion. If someone asked for a holo-combadge that would be different
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:31
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    this may also explain the episode where Wesley says if they don't do the repair right, everything is the grid would vanish. The Holodeck has the capability, but savegaurds are in place to prevent real and people from being dissembled?
    – Pioneer
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:33

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