In TNG: Elementary, Dear Data, Dr. Pulaski is held hostage on the holodeck by Moriarty.

Why don't they just beam her off the holodeck?

  • 4
    Dr Pulaski hated transporters. – Mr Lister Oct 26 '18 at 6:10
  • 2
    Doesn't Moriarty's control of the computer mean he can negate any attempt to beam her or anybody on/off/around the ship? – E_McAndrew Oct 26 '18 at 11:38
  • 1
    @Flater I remember an episode where she was dying of a disease that made her age rapidly, and the only way to save her was by transporting her. She did consent in the end, but she resisted the idea for quite a while. And no one on board the ship was willing to just do it against her will in the name of saving her life, either. If 24th century ethics prevent people from using objectionable means to save the life of someone who is definitely going to die, and soon then I don't see why they'd permit for rescuing that person from potential harm if they might yet be saved by other means. – Steve-O Oct 26 '18 at 13:19
  • 1
    @Flater So by your reckoning, the fact that someone consents to an act once means they can never refuse on moral grounds in the future? – Steve-O Oct 26 '18 at 13:26
  • 1
    I don't recall any statement to that effect @ZeissIkon - will research further – NKCampbell Oct 26 '18 at 14:26

A similar situation occurs in TNG: The Big Goodbye when Picard and some underlings get trapped inside a Dixon Hill holonovel. Wesley explains that mucking around with the holodeck is potentially fatal when the system is on the blink. The system could "abort" and the people inside might disappear entirely. It's not made clear quite why this would happen, but we do know that the computer routinely disposes of any replicated material that's inside the holodeck when it's turned off. It's possible that the 'holodeck safeties' are specifically intended to prevent people from (metaphorically) getting taken out with the trash but that when they're malfunctioning the computer might read the people on the holodeck as merely blobs of matter waiting to be recycled into feedstock.

RIKER: Forget the explanation! Can you repair it?

WESLEY: I don't know if I should. If this isn't done correctly, the program could abort and everyone inside could vanish.

RIKER'S COM VOICE: Do you need more time to study it?

WESLEY: No, sir. Whether we do it now or later, the risk will be the same.

Original Screenplay - TNG: The Big Good-bye

Since Moriarty has done (unspecified) things to the computer, it's possible that a failed transport attempt would present a similar risk to Pulaski.

  • I don’t recall Wesley saying beaming them off was a problem. His repair operation is what was risky. – Craig Nov 7 '18 at 2:30
  • 1
    @Craig - Oops. Sorry, yes. I've added a rider. Better? – Valorum Nov 7 '18 at 7:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.