Star Trek: Prodigy has already delivered two great holodeck episodes in its first season.
It’s hard to get good Str Trek stories built around the holodecks. Never mind the nonsense (and yes, it’s nonsense) explanations as how to holodecks and holosuites supposedly work, but often times the episodes get used as an excuse to do episodes that range far from the space traveler goodness.
That’s not to say they all miss the mark. Take Me Out to the Holosuite is an all-time great episode (seriously, how do 18 people fit in a tiny Quark holosuite, GAH! Nonsense!) and really centers around a good Star Trek story; teamwork.
Some fans will enjoy The Next Generation’s use, as it was just an excuse to give Patrick Stewart the chance to play Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes. Which are characters every balding Frenchmen wants to play.
Voyager also did great work with Bride of Chaotica, a great episode where Kate Mulgrew gets to ham it up as a 50s sci-fi B-movie villain.
Yet, for the best bang for your beck, Prodigy so far is two-for-two with great holodeck episodes.
Star Trek: Prodigy delivers on the holodeck
The holodeck is among Star Trek concepts that have always perplexed me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good holodeck-centric episode and Prodigy delivers in spades. They’ve only done three episodes that featured the holodeck to any significant degree but one of them, “Time Amok” uses more of a setup, while the other two, “Kobayashi” and “Ghost in the Machine” prominently feature it.
“Kobayashi” sees Del and Jankmen on the holodeck playing out the Kobayashi Maru test. Del is given several iconic Trek characters like Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Odo, and Dr. Beverly Crusher. The episode uses archived audio from past episodes and films to provide the dialogue from those past stars, save for Crusher. Crusher’s actress Gates McFadden returned to her role for the cameo.
It’s a great episode of learning how to embrace the tough decisions in life.
The second episode that really nailed it, is “Ghost in the Machine” which features the crew becoming stuck in the holodeck, and not realizing it until it’s too late. The episode sees the crews’ favorite programs get merged into one odd mashup and a scenario where Murf of all things, croons out some songs.
They’re both delightful little romps, with the latter episode being a very good example of why things like artificial intelligence can be truly problematic.