The Ancient West Program was a holodeck program created by Alexander Rozhenko and Reginald Barclay. The program, set in the Earth city of Deadwood, South Dakota during the 19th century era which would come to be called the American Ancient West.

As originally written, one participant would play the role of the local Sheriff, another would play the Deputy Sheriff, and a third participant would play the role of the Mysterious Stranger Durango. The Sheriff would arrest a criminal named Eli Hollander, who was called "The Butcher of Boseman" and hold him for trial. The sheriff would confront Hollander's father Frank Hollander when the latter came to free his son from the jail.

The program featured a sheriff's office and jail, as well as a saloon called The Gold Strike Saloon, a brothel named Miss Langford's House of Pleasure, and other buildings found in a town like Deadwood during that time period.

After Alexander and Barclay finished with the program, he convinced his father to try out the program. Worf played the role of the Sheriff, with Alexander acting as the deputy. Alexander invited Deanna Troi to participate in the program, she played the role of the Mysterious Stranger Durango. The three of them succeeded in arresting the younger Hollander.

While the program was running, Lieutenant Commanders Data and Geordi La Forge were in engineering conducting an experiment to see if Data could act as an emergency backup to the main computer. The interface between Data and the main computer malfunctioned - parts of a recreational subroutine and Data's program were modified in the process. As a result, the holodeck safeguards were disabled. Also, the characters in the program were slowly taking the image and physical capacities of Data - giving them the strength and speed of the android. The first character to undergo this transformation was that of Frank Hollander - Eli's father, who then kidnapped Alexander.

After learning that Alexander had disappeared, Worf went to the Gold Strike Saloon looking for him. Frank Hollander arrived soon afterwards. At first Worf had assumed that Data had also been invited to participate in the program, and was playing the role of the elder Hollander. Worf soon realized that something was wrong when Hollander grabbed Worf hard enough to injure him. Worf decided to leave and Hollander had his men shoot at him, one of the shots hit Worf in the arm. Worf and Troi tried to end the program, and then saw that Eli Holladner had also been transformed to look like Data.

Worf and Troi decided to play out the program. They made a deal with Frank Hollander to exchange Eli for Alexander. Knowing that Frank Hollander would not honor his deal and try to kill Worf, Worf used his communicator and telegraph equipment to fashion a personal forcefield that kept him safe from Hollander's bullets. After shooting a gun out of Hollander's hand, Sheriff Worf ordered the Hollanders to not show their faces in the town again. Worf and Troi rejoined Alexander in the Gold Strike Saloon. The barmaid Annie Meyers, now looking like Data, ran up to Worf to tell him that he was as handy with a shooting iron as he was with a woman's heart. Worf endured Annie's embrace as the program ended.

Later that night, Worf told his son that the town of Deadwood might again need a Sheriff, and a Deputy. (TNG episode: "A Fistful of Datas")


Ancient West Program article at Memory Alpha, the wiki for canon Star Trek.

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