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Old December 30 2013, 01:39 AM   #151
Mr Pointy Ears
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Have to go with harriman,how he got promoted to captain and captain of the newest enterprise are separate questions by their selves.
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Old December 30 2013, 01:42 AM   #152
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

For the general question, I tend to want to go with Esteban. Harriman was obviously inexperienced and his hesitation was informed by his knowing full well how unequipped the Ent-B was. Tracey was corrupt and evil, which seems like a different category.

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
But even in TV, thanks to Star Trek's long hiatus, that also means that the last dignified, competent non-hero captain we've seen was probably Hernandez of the Columbia, last seen on screen almost 9 years ago. So even Robau's turn on screen comes after a long absence of competent captains.
As you said, there was a hiatus, during which there was no opportunity to see new captains, good or bad. In addition, the 9-year figure includes the years since ST09. So I'm not sure that the figure really means anything. As far as installments go, Hernandez and Robau were practically back-to-back (last season of ENT, first movie after ENT).
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Old December 30 2013, 08:29 PM   #153
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
TheSubCommander wrote: View Post
Harriman, on screen, is a mystery as to how he became captain in the first place.
I think the idea was that he was SERIOUSLY intimidated by the presence of Captain Kirk, Scotty, and Chekov. Since these are men who saved THE UNIVERSE *multiple times* and we rarely see them given the proper respect for it (the TNG episode "Relics" was just out and out disgraceful), I didn't mind seeing some awe there.

On top of that, Harriman had to be aware that two previous captains of ships called Enterprise (Decker and Spock) had relinquished command to Kirk on what ended up being a permanent basis for one reason or another - both of which amounted to death, really. (Yeah, I know, Decker didn't DIE, but he also no longer exists as Will Decker.) So, that doesn't help instill confidence.

AND, there were all those reporters and cameras. Starfleet trains for things like the Kobayashi Maru - I'm not sure how much training they get for press junkets and addressing large groups that aren't under one's command.
I can't buy that as an explanation. If Harriman was an ensign or LT, that would be one thing, but he was a captain. Captains are supposed to handle stressful situations of all types. The real answer is of course, the writers wanted Kirk to look badasssssss in comparison, but really there is no in-universe explanation good enough to explain away Harriman's incompetence.

Intimidated by living legends? Maybe, but by the time he has reached captain, he should have bumped into enough other captains and admirals to not be scared stiff like that.

BTW, I agree how Scotty was treated was the exact opposite, especially on the part of Geordi, who was uncharacteristically an asshole.

Can't handle reporters on the bridge during a crisis? Then clear the bridge. Kinda simple. When one is the captain, they can do that.

As far as thinking of Spock and Decker goes, a Starfleet officer knows from the time they are in the academy that death can happen on the job. By the time the one makes captain, one probably has seen people die, if not faced the possibility of one's own death.
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Old December 30 2013, 08:45 PM   #154
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

The Old Building & Loan wrote: View Post
For the general question, I tend to want to go with Esteban. Harriman was obviously inexperienced and his hesitation was informed by his knowing full well how unequipped the Ent-B was. Tracey was corrupt and evil, which seems like a different category.

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
But even in TV, thanks to Star Trek's long hiatus, that also means that the last dignified, competent non-hero captain we've seen was probably Hernandez of the Columbia, last seen on screen almost 9 years ago. So even Robau's turn on screen comes after a long absence of competent captains.
As you said, there was a hiatus, during which there was no opportunity to see new captains, good or bad. In addition, the 9-year figure includes the years since ST09. So I'm not sure that the figure really means anything. As far as installments go, Hernandez and Robau were practically back-to-back (last season of ENT, first movie after ENT).
How fortunate then, that after the hiatus, the Trek screen franchise immediately opens up not just with a competent captain, but also with a heroic XO who clearly showed signs of being a great captain himself (albeit briefly).
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Old December 30 2013, 09:43 PM   #155
USS Triumphant
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

TheSubCommander wrote:
I can't buy that as an explanation. If Harriman was an ensign or LT, that would be one thing, but he was a captain. Captains are supposed to handle stressful situations of all types.
Oh, sure. I'm certain every Captain in Starfleet is trained to handle being on the equivalent of intergalactic television.

People react differently to different stresses. I've met Presidents and foreign royalty and been far less nervous than I was when I asked my wife out the first time. Harriman might face a Klingon fleet with calm determination, but have stage fright.
TheSubCommander wrote:
Intimidated by living legends? Maybe, but by the time he has reached captain, he should have bumped into enough other captains and admirals to not be scared stiff like that.
How many of those captains and admirals have saved the universe? How many of them are the man whose boots he's been called on to fill?
TheSubCommander wrote:
BTW, I agree how Scotty was treated was the exact opposite, especially on the part of Geordi, who was uncharacteristically an asshole.
Yep.
TheSubCommander wrote:
As far as thinking of Spock and Decker goes, a Starfleet officer knows from the time they are in the academy that death can happen on the job. By the time the one makes captain, one probably has seen people die, if not faced the possibility of one's own death.
Well, sure - but there's a difference between knowing "we're in the danger business" and thinking you're about to, specifically, fall prey to the curse of terrible things that happen to captains of the Enterprise not named Kirk.

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
How fortunate then, that after the hiatus, the Trek screen franchise immediately opens up not just with a competent captain, but also with a heroic XO who clearly showed signs of being a great captain himself (albeit briefly).
Oh, c'mon. You saw them for ten minutes or so, and Robau got himself killed during them, heroically or not. It's easier to be "hero" for a few minutes or an episode, harder to sustain it for a series. You might as well judge Lt. Barclay entirely on the episode "Realm of Fear". For all we know, George Kirk had an uncharacteristically heroic moment in an otherwise lackluster career.
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Old December 30 2013, 10:04 PM   #156
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Cyke101 wrote: View Post
How fortunate then, that after the hiatus, the Trek screen franchise immediately opens up not just with a competent captain, but also with a heroic XO who clearly showed signs of being a great captain himself (albeit briefly).
Oh, c'mon. You saw them for ten minutes or so, and Robau got himself killed during them, heroically or not. It's easier to be "hero" for a few minutes or an episode, harder to sustain it for a series. You might as well judge Lt. Barclay entirely on the episode "Realm of Fear". For all we know, George Kirk had an uncharacteristically heroic moment in an otherwise lackluster career.
Kirks are NEVER lackluster!

(but if you take on the surname Marcus, you might as well just sign a death sentence. Heck, Carol's leg was broken -- after she revealed her real name! That's three generations of Marcuses getting physically harmed in the movies!)
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Old December 30 2013, 10:07 PM   #157
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Oh, sure. I'm certain every Captain in Starfleet is trained to handle being on the equivalent of intergalactic television.

People react differently to different stresses. I've met Presidents and foreign royalty and been far less nervous than I was when I asked my wife out the first time. Harriman might face a Klingon fleet with calm determination, but have stage fright.
So you don't think that part of the decision process to promote someone to Captain isn't going to be some kind of psychological component, like a test to see how they handle certain situations, including talking to the media? And they had better be prepared because in the Trek world, or in the real one, someone who shuts down like Harriman did, regardless of what stress triggered it, doesn't need to be captain. Indecisiveness like that gets people killed.

How many of those captains and admirals have saved the universe? How many of them are the man whose boots he's been called on to fill?
The thing is to get to that level, those captains and admirals are going to have done some important stuff, themselves, to even get to that rank. Regardless of whether they saved a universe or single life, a person is just a person. A captain is an authority figure and should recognize this. This isn't to say one wouldn't be inwardly nervous, but it is how they handle the situation.

Well, sure - but there's a difference between knowing "we're in the danger business" and thinking you're about to, specifically, fall prey to the curse of terrible things that happen to captains of the Enterprise not named Kirk.
Technically, even Kirk died for like 5 minutes in STID :P. But like the real world equivalents, military and first responders, they train for such situations to help minimize the risk. Someone constantly dwelling on dying, or getting superstitious feeling liek they are going to get it because a predecessor did, won't likely make it to captain in the first place.
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Old December 30 2013, 10:08 PM   #158
USS Triumphant
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
Kirks are NEVER lackluster!
Peter Kirk had two unnamed brothers who died on Deneva. Unnamed is pretty lackluster.
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Old December 30 2013, 11:56 PM   #159
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

I don't remember any of Kirk's nephews dying on Deneva, just his brother and sister-in-law.

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Old December 31 2013, 12:03 AM   #160
USS Triumphant
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Frankincense + Myrrh wrote: View Post
I don't remember any of Kirk's nephews dying on Deneva, just his brother and sister-in-law.

Exactly. My point is made. SOOO lackluster you don't even *remember* them!
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Old December 31 2013, 04:01 AM   #161
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
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Old December 31 2013, 02:18 PM   #162
USS Triumphant
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Ok. After consideration, I have to change my answer to Captain Braxton.

Tracey murdered someone and tried to get Kirk and crew killed, but that's small beans compared to Janeway. She wiped out the populace of an entire timeline - including people she knew. BUT - at least she did it to try to help her crew. Braxton, OTOH, tried to wipe out the populations of at least THREE whole timelines, and his motive was just that he hated Janeway. I mean, I find the feeling understandable, but that's just carrying things too far, man!
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Old December 31 2013, 02:57 PM   #163
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
Ok. After consideration, I have to change my answer to Captain Braxton.

Tracey murdered someone and tried to get Kirk and crew killed, but that's small beans compared to Janeway. She wiped out the populace of an entire timeline - including people she knew. BUT - at least she did it to try to help her crew. Braxton, OTOH, tried to wipe out the populations of at least THREE whole timelines, and his motive was just that he hated Janeway. I mean, I find the feeling understandable, but that's just carrying things too far, man!
Although, Braxton was suffering a mental breakdown after his experience in the 20th century and apparently other temporal incidents Voyager was involved in.
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Old December 31 2013, 03:09 PM   #164
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Braxton is definitely not the worst captain. One of his future selves planted a bomb, yes, but people like Ron Tracey were much worse.

As for Janeway messing with the timeline: You can't measure the effects of that, because we have no idea if anyone who lived in the original timeline would not live in the revised one. So you can't say for sure that she wiped anyone out. Indeed, if anything is likely, it's that she enabled more people to live, because surely there's going to be a lot of baby-making by happy crewmembers who got home earlier than in the original timeline! Also, she saved Tuvok's life, because Tuvok had a crippling illness in the original timeline but was cured of it in the revised one.
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Old December 31 2013, 03:12 PM   #165
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Re: The absolute worst captain in Star Trek

Ice-T, from Law & Order, was rumored to have been Berman & Braga's first choice to play The Sisko. I often wonder what kind of a Captain he'd have turned out to be...
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