I was just thinking about the Data-derived androids in Picard being used for physical labor on Mars, which is further in the future than when copies of the Voyager doctor were being used to scrub the widgets. They seem to highlight the androids' strength as their most striking contribution, while the holograms seem more intelligent, which leads me to believe the holograms can't do better than the androids physically. So how strong are the holograms, and why aren't they being used on Mars?

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    Note that apart from the Doctor’s mobile emitter(which is 29th century tech we can assume can’t be replicated in the 24th), holograms require large isolinear computers and fixed emitters, so there are other reasons that the synths are more suitable for shipbuilding.
    – Ben Murphy
    Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 2:36
  • @BenMurphy Good point. I forgot about that.
    – user15742
    Commented Jul 19, 2023 at 4:24
  • The EMH is able to overpower Chakotay in "Renaissance Man." The first officer doesn't appear to be a weakling, though I admit I can't think of any strength feats for him. And, of course, there is no default strength for every hologram in classic Star Trek (I'm unfamiliar with STP). I think a hologram could probably be as strong as it needed to be (assuming ship/station/base resources were sufficient for the task), but, at least in the case of the EMH, its default strength level was more or less fit-human level. Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 12:40
  • The EMH copies in Voyager (episode "Author") work in a mine, and while we do not see anything that exceeds normal human strength it is a bit more that "scrubbing widgets". Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 6:56
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    They operate at the strength of plot.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 14:13

2 Answers 2


In the Next Generation episode Descent Part I (S06E26), Data fights a simulated Borg drone in the holodeck, while repeatedly making the drone stronger to present more of a challenge.

In the last fight that we see, the drone hologram appears to be close to overpowering Data. Data tries to increase the drone's strength further, and the computer refuses the order as a violation of the safety protocol. Data and LaForge discuss disabling the safety protocol, and the only thing they discuss is the possibility of Data being injured.

It seems clear from the scene that the holodeck is capable of producing a hologram that's stronger than Data. The computer never says it can't; just that it's not allowed. Data and LaForge--who both should know the holodeck's capabilities pretty well--never discuss whether the holodeck can do it; just whether it's safe.

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    The hologram also produces bullets capable of penetrating Borg armour in First Contact
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 15:27
  • @Valorum I think something about the Borg armour not protecting against primitive projectile weapons was in play there. I might be wrong, it's been a long time since seeing that film. Picard did definitely remove the safety protocols though.
    – user15742
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 17:27
  • @frеdsbend - Look at you with a sneaky Cyrillic lower-case e in your name...
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 17:50
  • @frеdsbend - I think the armour is supposed to be Tritanium or something. Not impenetrable, but at least as strong as modern ceramic armour.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 17, 2023 at 17:50

The only thing that gives holograms solidity is a network of lasers and force fields. Hypothetically, they can be as strong as the force fields' power level.

The only case of substantial strength we saw, was in Voyager Episode "Worst Case Scenario" where Seska reprogrammed a Simulation to mess with Janeway and associates as revenge. A simulation of the existing EMH doctor was able to grab both Tuvok (a Vulcan) and Paris and toss them out of the sickbay.

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