Data and Geordi are playing in a Sherlock Holmes simulation on the holodeck. Geordi, however, quits when Data solves a case immediately because he knows the novel, instead of applying logic. Dr. Pulaski challenges Data by creating a new Holmes-type story, but being just a combination of two novels, Data quickly solves this one too. Then Geordi has the computer create an opponent as a match for Data. Unbeknownst to anyone, the computer gives this opponent, Dr. Moriarty, self-awareness as well as access to the holodeck controls, so he would be able to beat Data as requested.

Moriarty kidnaps Pulaski and even gets his hands on the Enterprise's attitude control. Geordi prepares a particle beam that would destroy every holographic creation but also Dr. Pulaski. Picard resolves the situation when he explains to Moriarty that he is only a computer program and that he won't be able to leave the holodeck. Before Moriarty is stored, Picard agrees to reactivate him once a method to convert him to a corporeal form is found.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Incorrectly regarded as goofs

  1. When a murder occurs, the police inspector calls Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Data and LaForge). But Holmes and Watson were not members of the London Police, and had no business being at a crime-scene. (IMDB) This was a running gag of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, and this continuing irony was the sticking point for Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard, who was repeatedly made to look like a fool by Holmes.
  2. Moriarty hands Data a piece of paper upon which is a sketch of the Enterprise. Data immediately storms off the holodeck, and shows the paper to LaForge. As the paper was holographic, it should have vanished the moment it was removed from the holodeck. (IMDB) Other episodes have established that some objects (such as food) are actually replicated within the holodeck, and thus are "real" (i.e. not holographic), depending on the needs of the program and its user.

Plot holes

  1. The computer tells the senior staff that the override protocol was initiated under the authority of Lt La Forge. So La Forge has the authority to shut it down but no such attempt nor its aftermath are shown. Only Data was shown as unable to shutdown the holodeck. Moriarty could have aotomatically usurped La Forge's authority when he became self aware.

The Nitpicker's Guide
Next Generation Trekkers
Volume 2

Plot Oversights

  1. At one point Data has the computer construct a story in the Holmesian style to prove to Pulaski that he can deduce the answer to an unknown mystery. He, she, and La Forge then enter the holodeck, and Data quickly comes to the right conclusion. Pulaski denounces the victory as a fraud, stating that Data merely recognized the various elements that the computer picked from different Sherlock Holmes stories. Frustrated, La Forge marches to the holodeck exit and calls for the arch. The scene changes to show us Moriarty watching the trio. Apparently he sees the arch. How can Moriarty see the arch? La Forge hasn't instructed the computer to create an adversary that can defeat Data yet. He is curious about the way Data (as Holmes) and La Forge (as Watson) are behaving.

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 09:19 am: Maybe I just heard wrong, but I thought Picard said they would rendezvous with the Victory in 2 days, then later Data says 3 days. The crew of the Victory could have informed Enterprise of an additional delay between the two statements.
  2. Moriarty claims that he is no longer evil, but he later holds the ship hostage in Ship in a Bottle. He was acting out of frustration, due to the crew 'forgetting' about him during the intervening period. Mike Konczewski on Monday, April 19, 1999 - 02:35 pm: Moriarty's actions in Ship in a Bottle were based on self-preservation, but not inherently evil. After all, Picard had promised to help him out of his predicament at the end of this episode, then never gave it another thought.

The Next Generation Season 2
The Child I Where Silence Has Lease I Elementary, Dear Data I The Outrageous Okona I The Schizoid Man I Loud as a Whisper I Unnatural Selection I A Matter of Honor I The Measure of a Man I The Dauphin I Contagion I The Royale I Time Squared I The Icarus Factor I Pen Pals I Q Who I Samaritan Snare I Up the Long Ladder I Manhunt I The Emissary I Peak Performance I Shades of Gray
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