Captain Picard and some of his crew are caught in a deadly trap in the holodeck as the result of a ship-wide scan from an alien race.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Cyrus Redblock
Harvey Jason ...
Felix Leech
William Boyett ...
David Selburg ...
Lt. McNary
Desk Sergeant


The Enterprise is sent on a diplomatic mission where Captain Picard has to master a very difficult language and deliver a welcome address faultlessly or face the end of any hope of establishing relations. Stressed and tired from his efforts, he decides to take Counselor Troi's advice and spend some time on the holodeck. He chooses his favorite program, that where he plays a private detective named Dixon Hill in 1940's San Francisco. Accompanied by the ship's historian, Dr. Crusher and Data they live out the wonderful world created for them in the holodeck but when they are scanned by aliens, it causes a malfunction that traps them there. Not only that, but the safety mechanisms malfunction as well leading to one of the participating crewmen being seriously injured. With the clock ticking away, time is growing short for Picard to make his address to their hosts. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

9 January 1988 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The unnamed baseball player who broke Joe DiMaggio's record for longest consecutive game hitting streak would later be revealed as Harmon "Buck" Bokai of the London Kings in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: If Wishes Were Horses (1993). See more »


When Picard is in Dixon Hill's office, he hears a car horn blow. He walks to the window in a long shot angle and pulls down the blinds. They make a crinkle sound as a metal blind would. Then we see a shot of the street through the pulled down blinds using a deep focus lens. The close up of Picard's hands show him holding down flat wooden blinds. Wood blinds make no sound when bent, unless they break. See more »


Lt. Dan Bell: You better not try to leave town.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard: If I leave town, town leaves with me.
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Referenced in Star Trek: First Contact (1996) See more »


Out of Nowhere
by Edward Heyman and John Green
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User Reviews

Hammett and Chandler by way of Roddenberry
28 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

And thus, it is born, the holodeck - which, outside of time travel, has got to be Star Trek's go-to plot device (who am I kidding, this is kind of a time travel story). But as cynical as that sounds, I'm sure this was pretty cool back in '88 before it became (almost) groan-inducing. And really, it's one of the reasons I dig the Enterprise-D. the wish-fulfillment possibilities are endless.

Anyhoo, stressed out while prepping for a diplomatic mission, Jean-Luc uses the holodeck to disappear into a detective novel; which means trading in a starship set for a dingy P.I. office, period suits (which everyone wears the hell out of) and '40s cliché dialogue. Naturally, the computer wigs out, a man is shot with no access to sickbay, and in walks the big bad guy (Lawrence Tierney, lending his signature terrifying toughness to the show).

Despite the mild silliness and the completely uneven pacing, I do like this episode. The pulp environment is a fun one and it does give Data an opportunity to overdo the period mannerisms while Dr. Crusher tries to blend in as a dame. And it's kinda nice to see Picard get really excited about something.


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