Who doesn’t love a good episode that takes place in the holodeck from time to time?
With the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, titled “Encounter at Farpoint”, we’re shown the new technology that Starfleet has engineered. Our first glimpses of Brent Spiner’s Data character take place in the holodeck onboard the USS Enterprise-D. We’re told that this holographic environment can create anything that the mind can come up with, and in numerous episodes throughout that show’s 7-year run, we find out that not only can it create realistic environments, but also sentient AI programs -remember when Geordi & Data accidentally created the Moriarty character who took the Enterprise hostage for an episode or two?
Enter your genetically enhanced, super smart Doctor Julian Bashir, who created a sentient AI program of a 1960s Las Vegas lounge singer named Vic Fontaine, played by James Darren. While Deep Space Nine takes place during the Dominion War, and some episodes can get pretty dark – like when Nog loses his leg and is dealing with some pretty serious PTSD, Vic’s lounge is a fun, much-needed distraction for all.
Vic helps Nog to get his life back in order, he helps Odo & Nerys realize their true feelings for each other, and also provides a welcome distraction for all the Starfleet personnel who may be stressed out during the Dominion War. That, and who doesn’t love taking a time out from all the phaser fire & technology going haywire to sit back and take in the warm, velvety voice of James Darren, a.k.a. Vic Fontaine?