Vic Fontaine was a 24th century Human hologram on Deep Space 9 created as part of a program simulating 1962 Las Vegas on Earth. He was a singer and entertainer who ran Vic's Las Vegas Lounge. His holoprogram, along with his charming personality, quickly became a favorite among the DS9 crew and were frequently accessed.
Life on Deep Space 9
Vic's program was created by Felix and generally modeled after popular mid-20th century entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. He had a repertoire of vocal-jazz era and cabaret songs that he performed with his band. Vic was designed to be self-aware and fully interactive with the program's participants and in fact was fully aware of his status as a hologram. Fontaine was so sophisticated that he was able to turn himself on and off whenever he desired. Furthermore, he was programmed to be highly perceptive and intuitive, creating a warm, welcoming, down-to-earth character that everyone found very approachable and endearing. In that capacity he proved to be a valuable mentor to many residents of DS9. Felix gave the program to his friend, Doctor Julian Bashir who installed it in one of the station's holosuites at Quark's.
Because he was so advanced, the station crew began to think of Vic as more than just a mere hologram. Odo sought Vic's advice when he wanted to win over Kira Nerys' heart and was unsure as how to approach her and confess his feelings for her. Fontaine turned Odo into a tuxedo-clad piano player and invited a pair of beautiful holo-showgirls so that Odo could practice being at ease around women and develop his social skills. Vic played matchmaker by telling Kira about Odo's feelings for her and arranging a date for them in his nightclub. However, he did not tell Odo that it was the real Kira he was having dinner with, thus enabling Odo to be himself around her as he believed he was having dinner with a holo-Kira. In the end, Vic's advice and matchmaking paid off: Kira finally came around and the two became a pair. In fact, they felt such an obligation to Vic that when once Vic and his program were in jeopardy, they felt that they owed him and immediately came to the rescue. (DS9: "His Way", "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang")
Kira and Odo were not the only ones who felt a great deal of gratitude and affection towards Vic. After Ensign Nog lost his leg on AR-558, he struggled, both emotionally and physically, to cope with his disability, even though his new biosynthetic leg worked perfectly. Angry and frustrated with his situation, Nog decided to immerse himself in the world of Vic Fontaine and spend the remainder of his medical leave on the holosuite, "living" with Vic. Gradually, Nog regained his self confidence and had even become Vic's personal accountant; profits rose and Vic grew to enjoy his relationship with the young man and the program's round-the-clock operation. However, Ezri Dax reminded him that Nog needed to return to reality. Nog protested when Vic tried to get him to leave Vegas, leading Vic to be forced to just shut down the program, thanks to another one of Felix's ingenious subroutines. When Vic reactivated himself, he was able to convince Nog to return to the real world and live his life again. Nog was finally convinced and in exchange for everything Vic had done for him, he arranged for Vic's program to stay online continuously, enabling him to experience something close to real-life. (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")
In 2375, a hidden subroutine, which Chief Miles O'Brien jokingly called a "jack-in-the-box", was activated in Vic's program, leading to unexpected plot developments. Felix had intended to introduce some thrill and excitement to the usual routine, so during the original programming he inserted this subroutine to shake things up a bit. In his scenario, Vic was fired from his lounge as the mob took over his business, and he was out on the street. The crew of Deep Space 9, most of them willingly, some – such as Benjamin Sisko – reluctantly, joined Vic and helped him get his club back. However, since shutting down the program and resetting it would have led to Vic losing his memories of everything that had happened to him all this time, everyone had to "play along", forcing the crew to devise a con game that got rid of the mobsters and restored the program to the way it was using 1960s methods of breaking into the safe to force the mob to depart from the lounge. (DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang")
Later that year, Vic put on a special concert for the command crew of Deep Space 9 after the end of the Dominion War. It was the last time they were all gathered together before many took new assignments and left the Station. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Songs in Vic's repertoire
- You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You
- Here's to the Losers
- Come Fly with Me
- The Best Is Yet to Come
- I'll Be Seeing You
- Just in Time
- It's Only a Paper Moon
- I've Got the World on a String
- I've Got You Under My Skin
- Moon River
- They Can't Take That Away from Me
- All the Way
- The Way You Look Tonight
- The Alamo
When asked about the origins of the character's name, Ronald D. Moore commented, "I asked Ira this very question not too long ago, and he said that both 'Vic' and 'Fontaine' were simply names that he's always liked and wanted to combine them." (AOL chat, 1998)
Fontaine appears a few times in the first and third books of the Deep Space Nine Millennium book trilogy. In the first book, he helps the crew of DS9 escape a holographic version of the station's detention cells. In the third book, Odo meets Fontaine in a version of DS9 that exists outside of the normal realm of space and time- Fontaine actually managing to leave the holodeck during this experience-, the Vic the crew encounter after the crisis is over retaining his memories of his encounter with Odo despite the fact that the timeline where they occurred should not exist, prompting Odo to wonder what that scenario says about the nature of time and Vic's own existence. Fontaine also continues to confuse the crew with his 20th century references (such as the Rocket to the Moon ride at Disneyland).