69 – Hollow Pursuits

Grade: B

Hollow Pursuits (1990) on IMDb


A self-conscious Lieutenant named Reginald Barkley is now on board the Enterprise. Instead of attending to his duties in the engineering section, he creates fantasy worlds on the Holodeck.


This fun episode introduces a great recurring character who will appear in four more episodes in this series, plus the First Contact film and in six episodes in Voyager. Personally, I think Barclay is a great character because he’s the antithesis of the typical Star Trek hero. He isn’t self-confident, but he certainly has some creative and technical abilities. He isn’t trying to become a captain and he doesn’t have much ambition for command. He just wants to do his job the best he can, and he just seems to need a little more encouragement than the rest of the heroes.

He is like a breath of fresh air into this series, in my opinion. He’s perhaps one of the few characters in this series that everyone can relate to. I’m sure the creators of the series didn’t know that he would become such a great character.

In this episode in particular, I really enjoyed seeing the differences between Barclay’s fantasy worlds and reality. He’s certainly like a Walter Mitty character who is completely different in his daydreams than in his real life.

I give this episode high marks on character development and on the storyline. We know the ship will be fine, but we’re not sure exactly how it will work out. This is a lot better than many of the other episodes in which the ending is obvious. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable episode and one that I can watch over and over, despite the overacting and silliness.

Of Note

One bit of irony is when Geordi LaForge tells Barclay that he shouldn’t re-create people on the Holodeck that he already knows. Earlier in this series, Geordi created a character named Leah Brahms, who is a real scientist who helped build the Enterprise. He met the real Leah Brahms later and found out she was nothing like the character he created on the Holodeck. So Geordi knows what he’s talking about.