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Talk:Elementary, Dear Data (episode)

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Merge Edit

While the contents of this article are factually accurate from a real world perspective (I am a small Holmes fan myself), this story was never named in canon. This belongs as a background note on either the episode article, or the holoprogram article. Since I could not find the holoprogram article, I move that this be merged with the episode article. --OuroborosCobra talk 16:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, we could probably just go ahead and delete this (well, nominate first, of course), but I'm okay with a merge, too. --From Andoria with Love 17:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm the guy who threw together the "A Scandal in Bohemia" entry. In the entry for "snuff box" there was a link with this title but when I clicked it it took me to a page saying that no article exists for that topic so I went ahead and created it. I thought that if something was linked to a non-article that this was an invitation to create an entry? Thanks. --
That all depends on who created the link. In most cases yes, if on one hand it is a regular user familiar with policies and so forth, but on the other, no, not if it is a casual or first time user that hasn't enveloped themselves in the intricacies of this site. --Alan del Beccio 22:20, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I noticed an entry for the short story "The Valley of Fear" (another Holmes story pertinent to "Elementary My Dear Data") so when I saw the dead link for "A Scandal in Bohemia" it didn't occur to me that it would be inappropriate to provide some content.

In this case, the difference is that "The Valley of Fear" was specifically named in the episode (making the name canon), while "A Scandal in Bohemia" was not. Hope that helps. As Alan said, in most cases, a red link is an invitation to create an article, unless said link was created by someone unfamiliar with our policies. --OuroborosCobra talk 23:57, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


P.S. This is IP address guy from above.

Watson's first nameEdit

I just added this snippet to the "Background information" section:

When starting the initial Holmes program, Data gives the full name "Dr. John Watson" for La Forge's character. The stories of the Holmes canon have identified Dr. Watson's first name as both "John" and "James".

The main reason I felt it should be mentioned at all was that I feel it probably would have been more prudent of the writers to leave the name at "Dr. Watson", and avoid the question altogether, but I really didn't think there was any way to address that aspect of the topic in an encyclopedic manner. On the other hand, I do know that this wiki is a little more "casual" than Wikipedia, so I wanted to mention it here and hope that someone can figure out a way to phrase it that fits. I also wonder if putting the word "variously" or something similar into the bit of trivia might clarify that some stories gave the name "John" and other stories gave the name "James", so it doesn't sound like there's any individual story which gives both names. - Ugliness Man 05:42, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Trademark versus copyright confusion?Edit

Conan Doyle's estate most certainly did not hold "copyright" on the character of Moriarty; that copyright expired in 1980 (fifty years after the death of Conan Doyle) in Britain, and in 1969 (75 years after the publication of _Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes_) in the US. It would be very interesting if they had litigated over the copyright to the character; it would have been a textbook case of a frivolous lawsuit. (Unfortunately in 1996 the UK passed a law extending copyrights retroactively *and* reinstating expired copyrights, but that wouldn't have applied at the time.)

However, what they most likely do hold is the *trademark* on the character name, since trademarks don't expire, and I wouldn't be in the least surprised if they'd complained over that. Someone with some information on this event, if it really happened, should research this. 04:54, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

In the US, works that were published after 1923 but before 1978 expired 28 years after publication, unless renewed. If renewed, they can last up to 95 years after publication - "The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes" is still protected by copyright in the US, and can be protected until 2022. Moriarty specifically, I don't know about, as I don't remember what's in that publication. Izkata 10:41, July 9, 2011 (UTC)

Holodeck object inconsistencyEdit

How'd they get Moriarty's drawing off the holodeck? – 07:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

The same way Wesley got the water off the holodeck in the TNG pilot, when he fell into the lake, and Picard commented something to the effect that he was getting the carpet wet. Simple molecular structures are simple replicated. Only complex organisms are holographic. I'm not saying this makes sense (especially in regards to how the holodeck can then make a thirty foot square room seem immense), but thats the explanation. --Hossrex 07:47, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
The holodeck also seems to pick and choose. They can throw a book at the exit and it disappears as soon as it reaches it. My guess is stuff on the holodeck for the most part is entirely holographic (and forcefield for tactile feel), except for matter that an AI determines needs to be physical and replicated, such as food, and items it determines are intentionally being taken off the holodeck. As they were carrying the drawing, it would be seen by the AI to be intentionally being removed, and thus replicated. This is all conjecture, of course, with no basis in canon beyond my whimsical imagination. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't really work. Wesley's snowball was not intentionally thrown out of the Holodeck, whereas Picard intentionally tossed the book out of the holodeck. Yet Picard's book disappeared while Wesley's snowball did not. I think Hossrex has it right – simple things are replicated, while more complex things are holograms. Since snow is just frozen water, it can be easily replicated; but the book consisted of paper, cardboard, ink, glue, etc. So the AI just saw the book as more complex and just made it a hologram. This is all speculation, of course. --From Andoria with Love 23:40, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I know this probably goes without saying, but the writers were probably just inconsistent. I like Cobra's explanation better, even if Hossrex's would seem to have more backing. Neither explanation is infallible, however. Many instances of stuff disappearing and not disappearing isn't the only problem. What about food and beverages consumed on the holodeck? Do they get excreted later back in your quarters? Hmmm... --Icesyckel 03:27, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Its possible, that the piece of paper Moriarty use to make the drawing was brought into the holodeck by Dr. Pulaski. It's not the best theory, but it is sound. - 19:17, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Picard tossed a book out. Now, that book was part of the holographic recreation of Holmes' study. Did every page get painstakingly reproduced by the computer, or was it simply a cover with blank inside pages? I think the latter. If the computer had reason to expect a user to open and read from the book, it would trouble itself to create all the inside detail of that book as required for the plot. It could not, of course, discern Picard's intentions. Possibly, because it was a blank-paged book, the computer got rid of it so a blank book didn't end up in the corridor, but what would have been the harm? Ensign Whatsername picks up the book, flips the pages, sees they're blank, then looks inside the front cover - "Holodeck Prop", and realizes it just needs to be disposed of. But that bother is exactly that - an unnecessary bother. Moriarty's drawing, however, was created by a holodeck character, and is complete as presented, and therefore removable without ambiguity.
It would have been more convincing if Picard had thrown a potted plant out the door. The plant is supposedly alive and would deteriorate without the support of the holodeck. It would have been more consistent if it had dissolved similar to how Cyrus Redblock and Felix Leech dissolved once they were outside the holodeck. GCapp1959 05:16, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Well I think that the Enitire Enterpise is just a big holodeck recreation it's just that no one on board knows about it becasue they are part of a sceince experiment being run by xenomorphs in the 99th century. Just becasue I think it's true, doesnt mean we can use it. It has to be stated on screen.— Vince47 05:24, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
The truly simplest explanation is that Moriarty used a computer command to replicate what he needed since there were several items he had that he should not have (i.e. electrical blinking lights simulating a circuit board on his device that controlled the ship). He had the knowledge and the access. As far as replicating certain things and not others, (as far as I recall) no object that is created by the replicator just gets sucked back up after use instantly or lack of use, i.e. food doesn't disappear from your stomach or off the plate at the computers command, it presumably gets recycled back into base matter back into the replicator. So the computer wouldn't replicate certain things and then just "un-replicate them" when they weren't needed.--Codename Zero 07:49, September 24, 2009 (UTC)
As I commented on the page with the issue of Wesley's snowball, I think it is also possible that incidents such as these CAUSE them to recalibrate the holodeck so similar incidents can't reoccur. Comments like those by Dr. Pulaski seem to show that holodeck technology is relatively new and is advancing rapidly. Who knows what kind of "bugs" may exist in a 24th c. reality simulation that mixes complex replications and holoprojections.

S.T.T.N.G.T.M p. 156


The Holodeck utilizes two main subsystems, the holographic imagery subsystems and the matter conversion subsystem. The holographic imagery subsection creates the realistic background environments. The matter conversion subsystem creates physical "props" from the starship's central raw matter supplies. Under normal conditions, a participant in a holodeck simulation should not be able to detect differences between a real object and a simulated one.

Objects created on the Holodeck that are pure holographic images cannot be removed from the holodeck, even if they appear to possess physical reality because of the focused force beam imagery. Objects created by replicator matter conversion do have physical reality. They can indeed be removed from the holodeck, even though they will no longer be under computer control. -- 02:19, August 26, 2010 (UTC)


When does Moriarty become sentient? Supposedly when Geordi's instructions to the computer go awry. However the episode clearly shows him noticing Geordi, Data, the arch etc before Geordi gives this instruction. Although it's arguable he does this before he becomes sentient, i was under the impression holodeck characters are not designed to see the holodeck user(s) as being anything out of the ordinary. So why include a shot showing him looking all puzzled at seeing them before the computer reprograms him? Can holodeck characters normally see the holodeck door and/or arch? Personal opinion? Continuity error - there's a stupid amount of inconsistency regarding the mechanics of the holodeck throughout TNG and this looks like another error that crept in. Shame.

Removed nitpick Edit

The following nitpick was removed from the article. I have thus archived it here. --From Andoria with Love 00:11, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

When Moriarty shows Data the picture of the Enterprise, Data becomes flustered and walks out of the Holodeck. On the way to see the Captain, Geordi asks Data what was on the paper, and Data shows him the paper. At this time, however, they were outside the holodeck, and the paper should not have been able to exist. (Although it is possible that the paper and pen used were created by the replicator portion of the Holodeck simulation, and no tht e holoprojectors.)

Curiousity Edit

Just looking at the Victory model... can't make all the flags out clearly but the bottom few seem to spell out D-U-T-Y. England expects... anyone? Would make sense. - Salak 03:34, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

It is indeed. The HMS Victory article claims so, and using the BluRay version (the flags are easy to make out) I verified this myself. RecursiveForest (talk) 00:08, July 2, 2013 (UTC)
Probably that user hasn't been waiting for five years for an answer; they haven't posted here since 2009. 31dot (talk) 01:15, July 2, 2013 (UTC)

Model of the Victory Edit

Would have been good for the article to tell us who supplied the model of the HMS Victory for this episode. GCapp1959 05:17, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

HMS Victory might even be better place. --Alan 05:22, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Memorable Quotes Edit

I don't want to mess anything up since I'm not sure how to edit pages, but since I noticed there's no memorable quotes for this episode yet, I just wanted to mention Picard's swearing after Geordi tells him that he made a character to defeat Data. Picard responds "Merde", the French word for shit.

Note removed Edit

  • For a character who endeavours to play the Sherlock Holmes character accurately, Data completely fails to do so with the character's outdoor wear. Namely, the deerstalker hat, inverness cape and curved pipe are not from the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, especially concerning the former two elements for the urban setting. Sherlock Holmes in the stories considered himself interested in keeping with contemporary fashions and never wore such clothes that were appropriate only for rural areas in an urban area. The whole look instead came from the actor, William Gillette, who was the most famous early player of the character on stage. The curved pipe was used by him since it allowed him to hold the pipe only with his mouth while keeping his hands free for other business.

Removed as original research. If mentioned by production staff or other authority, it might be able to be mentioned.--31dot 20:48, August 19, 2010 (UTC)

Drawing Edit

Just a small observation. When Data and Geordie leave the holodeck after having received the drawing of the enterprise, data hands the drawing to geordie upsidedown. When Geordie flips the page over the drawing appears rightside up. 10:34, January 25, 2011 (UTC)

That would be a nitpick, which we don't put in articles.--31dot 11:06, January 25, 2011 (UTC)

What about disengaging the override protocol? Edit

In the episode, I thought it strange that when the computer said the holodeck couldn't been shut down due to the use of the override protocol, the matter seemed settled in that regard. I would've thought that the same person that engaged the override protocol would be able to disengage it later and/or that someone with more clearance would be able to do it too. The lack of a (plausible) explanation at that point in the story was not according to The Dictates of Poetics. -Kjarrval (talk) 16:49, September 24, 2014 (UTC)

Please note that article talk pages are meant to discuss article changes only, and are not for general discussion of the subject. While specific questions can be asked at the Reference Desk, general discussion like your comment should take place at a site geared towards that. 31dot (talk) 21:02, September 24, 2014 (UTC)

It did seem like the discussion here was also geared towards similar matters regarding the plot peculiarities, and therefore I assumed it was OK to discuss this here. Seems like I was wrong in that assumption. Thank you for pointing this out to me. -Kjarrval (talk) 23:23, September 24, 2014 (UTC)

Sometimes stuff gets through; but that's the general policy. 31dot (talk) 23:38, September 24, 2014 (UTC)

Holmes' Death Edit

While chasing after Moriarty, Data explains the character to La Forge as the one Holmes could only defeat at the cost of his own life at Reichenbach Falls. However in 1903 the character of Holmes returned, in the story 1894, and explain to Watson that he faked his death to fool his enemies. Tripodssj6 (talk) 16:51, October 1, 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps by this point, Data hasn't read that far yet? ;) --LauraCC (talk) 17:41, October 2, 2016 (UTC)

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