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Old March 18 2013, 02:32 PM   #1
BillJ
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The "Matt Decker" Moment

When I was watching Obsession (TOS-R) the other day, I noticed just how close Kirk came to having a "Matt Decker" moment as the Enterprise was chasing the Cloud Creature. It was incredible how close the situations mirrored each other. A pair of starship captains acting recklessly chasing revenge. Both retreating at the last second when they realize the chase may cost them command.

I think this is the reason Jim Kirk is my favorite character in all of Star Trek. He is a very human character and not that far removed from the likes of Decker or Ron Tracy (The Omega Glory) and could easily go down the same path given the right circumstances.
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Old March 18 2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

I agree....especially with OBSESSION. Probably ARENA also. Moments like these confirm my suspicions that Kirky is very much a Crite Hypo.
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Old March 18 2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Yes, and the very same music as well.
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Old March 18 2013, 06:33 PM   #4
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

I agree...as long as you keep this ruthless, stupid, back-stabbing and fellow-officer murdering a**hole character Tracey out of the comparison.

I wonder if there ever was a worse Starfleet captain in Star Trek. What did the idiot try to accomplish at the end of "The Omega Glory"? Did he really think the Yangs would make him chief?

Bob
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Old March 18 2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I agree...as long as you keep this ruthless, stupid, back-stabbing and fellow-officer murdering a**hole character Tracey out of the comparison.

I wonder if there ever was a worse Starfleet captain in Star Trek. What did the idiot try to accomplish at the end of "The Omega Glory"? Did he really think the Yangs would make him chief?

Bob
I think it's pretty clear that by the time the Enterprise landing party arrived, that Tracey had fallen off the old sanity wagon. I'm not sure Kirk would've fared much better if he had been left on Omega IV for six-months with a dead crew orbiting overhead.
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Old March 18 2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

We never met the sane Captain Tracey. We met the insane and irrational character left after his crew died, trying to find a way to make their deaths a worthy sacrifice for a "noble" goal - immortality.

Clearly people who reach the status of starship captains are driven individuals, and that drive can sometimes push them to reach for insane goals.
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Old March 18 2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Pavonis wrote: View Post
We never met the sane Captain Tracey. We met the insane and irrational character left after his crew died, trying to find a way to make their deaths a worthy sacrifice for a "noble" goal - immortality.
I obviously have severe problems trying to understand the excuses made here on behalf of Mr. Tracey who essentially is a spineless opportunist who just tries to save his skin and at the expense of his fellow Starfleet shipmates.

"noble"goal? Here's some original dialogue:

TRACEY: He will if you order it. We must have a doctor researching this. Are you grasping all it means? This immunising agent here, once we've found it, is a fountain of youth. Virtual immortality, or as much as any man will ever want.
KIRK: For sale by
TRACEY: By those who own the serum. McCoy will eventually isolate it. Meanwhile, you inform your ship your situation's impossible. Order them away. When we're ready, we'll bargain for a whole fleet of ships to pick us up. And they'll do it.

Sorry, to remotely compare this jerk to the likes of Jim Kirk or Matt Decker, is like insulting either one of them.

Jim Kirk and - apparently - Matt Decker had character and if their crew had died I believe they'd rather "join" their shipmates than to seek profit and violate the Prime Directive.

Maybe some of the infection got to Tracey's brain and I hope that's a good explanation, because otherwise I couldn't believe Starfleet appointing starship captains without some kind of character test, first

Bob
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Old March 19 2013, 01:11 AM   #8
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I obviously have severe problems trying to understand the excuses made here on behalf of Mr. Tracey who essentially is a spineless opportunist who just tries to save his skin and at the expense of his fellow Starfleet shipmates.
The only excuse needed is that Ron Tracey was insane.

Sorry, to remotely compare this jerk to the likes of Jim Kirk or Matt Decker, is like insulting either one of them.
We never saw Capt. Tracey in action, only the insane remnant of the man that he was. Why assume he was some kind of jerk before the incident? He did reach the prestigious position of starship captain. Is it so hard to believe that he was a different man before his crew was killed off?
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Old March 19 2013, 03:30 AM   #9
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Pavonis wrote: View Post

We never saw Capt. Tracey in action, only the insane remnant of the man that he was. Why assume he was some kind of jerk before the incident? He did reach the prestigious position of starship captain. Is it so hard to believe that he was a different man before his crew was killed off?
Wasn't he an insane psychiatrist before joining the Fleet?
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Old March 19 2013, 03:40 AM   #10
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Pavonis wrote: View Post
We never saw Capt. Tracey in action, only the insane remnant of the man that he was. Why assume he was some kind of jerk before the incident? He did reach the prestigious position of starship captain. Is it so hard to believe that he was a different man before his crew was killed off?
Maybe not hard to believe, but unlikely.

Anyone who would stoop to the levels that Tracey did was probably not all there to begin with. If he so readily cast aside his morals and ethics, he must logically never have had much of them to start with.

Remember, just because Tracey may have been a good Captain doesn't mean he was a good person.

Decker, in a way, gets a free pass, because he suffered a trauma. Something made him do what he did, and that something was the planetkiller. Tracey has no excuse - he willingly and carefully decided to violate the Prime Directive. He suffered no trauma, no wrenching event that caused him to go cuckoos.
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Old March 19 2013, 04:40 AM   #11
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

What did Tracey do that Kirk hadn't done in the past or would do in the future?

Tracey took a landing party to the surface of Omega IV, where they contracted the virus, and when they returned to Exeter, it spread among the crew, who then died because they weren't protected by the atmosphere. Is that not traumatic, in a similar way to Decker's loss?

I don't know why Tracey went to Omega IV, or why he stayed on the surface when the rest of landing party beamed back up, but Kirk made contact with primitive civilizations, too, just for surveys apparently. Was Tracey simply doing something similar? Do we really know why Exeter was at Omega IV originally?

So why does Decker get a pass but not Tracey?
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Old March 19 2013, 12:01 PM   #12
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Tracey has no excuse - he willingly and carefully decided to violate the Prime Directive. He suffered no trauma, no wrenching event that caused him to go cuckoos.
Huh?
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Old March 19 2013, 12:34 PM   #13
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

BillJ wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Tracey has no excuse - he willingly and carefully decided to violate the Prime Directive. He suffered no trauma, no wrenching event that caused him to go cuckoos.
Huh?
Admittedly we don't know how Tracey reacted to the death of his crew and what happened in the 6 months after that. When Kirk arrives he makes a rather sober report but doesn't show a real human emotion of concern or regret that he lives and his crew died (compare to Matt Decker).

From the start he is deceitful: Oh, I'm so glad you arrived Jim to stop this public execution (after he had previously killed hundreds of Yangs...).

The next time we see him in action is killing the injured Lt. Galloway (he could have just stunned him). After he had already lost his entire crew, I would have hoped he'd make sure that no further Starfleet personnel were killed "under his watch".

That he regards the Yangs as wild animals is one thing, but obviously his murder of Lt. Galloway reveals what kind of man he actually is. He'd sacrifice hundreds of lives just to save his own despicable skin.

IMHO, you could have marooned Kirk and Decker for 6 years on the planet and they still wouldn't have done the things Mr. Tracey did.

Bob
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Old March 19 2013, 12:39 PM   #14
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post

IMHO, you could have marooned Kirk and Decker for 6 years on the planet and they still wouldn't have done the things Mr. Tracey did.
We honestly don't know what either would be capable of when it came right down to it. Starship commanders are a driven bunch and seemingly capable of breaking down in spectacular fashion (Ron Tracey/Matt Decker/Ben Maxwell). We watched Kirk blow a gasket at least twice in Arena and Obsession and had to be reigned in by either an outside force or threat to his position.
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Old March 19 2013, 01:49 PM   #15
Robert Comsol
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Re: The "Matt Decker" Moment

^^ Now you added Captain Ben Maxwell to the comparison and Mr. Tracey is still part of it.

I don't remember one bit of dialogue that established Mr. Tracey got insane or that his reactions are the result of a nervous breakdown for which he can't be held responsible.

And Dr. McCoy was there all the time to give us a diagnosis. The absence of such a diagnosis rather suggests that Mr. Tracey was working on all his thrusters, IMHO.

Apparently he had started to like the prospect that he had become the master of this planet thanks to superior firepower and even when Kirk told him to come on and let's leave the planet he resisted and in the end blackmailed his fellow Starfleet officers: If you don't do as I want, I'll make sure we all go down together.

This was neither Decker's or Maxwell's attitude nor intention. Captain Maxwell was frustrated and embittered but he wouldn't cross this line and start a war with the Cardassians at the expense of Starfleet and his fellow officers.

I can understand and even sympathize for Kirk's actions in "Obsession", Matt Decker's in "The Doomsday-Machine" and Ben Maxwell's in "The Wounded". With Mr. Tracey it's different because I see him mostly motivated by selfish reasons.

Bob
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