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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old June 20 2012, 08:20 AM   #16
Therin of Andor
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

newtontomato539 wrote: View Post
The flagship Enterprise with Captain Decker in command with Admiral Kirk on board. Perfect! Better move.
And Kirk fans woulda complained. And fans of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" would have been claiming plagiarism.
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Old June 20 2012, 08:53 AM   #17
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Your argument would be the equivalent of a tank commander who is the only thing standing between a town and an armored division with a record of destroying everything in its path who doesn't do anything else but radio the enemy because his tank mightn't survive the encounter.
Replace "armored division" with "a horde of 1950s scifi movie monsters of unknown motivations", and you get closer to the actual scenario. Going into battle with a known enemy would be a known way to get the city destroyed - the "sacrifice" would be but meaningless suicide, less than an empty gesture (because nobody would appreciate the tank commander being that stupid). But an unknown enemy might be tackled in several ways, including a suicide attack, repeated attempts at radio contact, and the popular and often victorious approach of waiting for the white-coated people to come up with a fatal weakness in the enemy. Except that this time, Decker would have the white-coats aboard his ship, so moving in eventually would be a very good idea indeed.

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Old June 23 2012, 07:45 PM   #18
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

The mission certainly wouldn't have turned out the same way. Kirk based his decisions on experience as a commander but he also relied heavily on input from Spock, especially once he learned Spock was in communication with The Intruder. Decker presumably had experience as a First Officer but not much as a Captain. Also, he probably wouldn't have put nearly as much trust in Spock's input as Kirk did. Spock probably would have eventually talked Decker into entering the cloud as this was the only way to gain more information. I'm CERTAIN that Decker would not have pulled off the bluff near the conclusion of the film that proved the tipping point to direct contact with V'Ger. Kirk is comfortable making those really big gambles by that point in his career, Decker isn't. V'Ger would have set off the Orbiting Devices before Decker found a resolution.
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Old June 24 2012, 03:03 AM   #19
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Yes, Decker did merge with V'Ger, but only because (a) the probe assumed Ilia's form and carried her memories/personality and (b) he felt adrift, after losing command of the Enterprise. Who's to say that V'Ger would have taken Ilia if Decker was in command. If I recall, I think that was after Spock thwarted V'Ger's attempt at downloading the ship's information. After all, did the Ilia-probe/V'Ger believe that the Enterprise was the sentient being, infested with carbon-based lifeforms?

Anyway, even if somehow everything else played out the same, then Decker would have had to choose between being in command and merging. To me, his actions were of a desperate man who had recently lost two things he cared about, the Enterprise and Ilia. If it was only Ilia he lost, would he have made the same decision? I don't think so.

Another consideration is Spock. He journeyed to meet up with the Enterprise because he sensed V'Ger. I think he would have done the same, even without Kirk in command (as far as he knew, it should have been Decker in command). However, would Decker have readily accepted his help? Would he have made Spock first officer? McCoy, for sure, would not have been a part of the crew if Kirk had not taken command.

Then there's Sonak. Would he have died in the transporter accident if Kirk had not told him to hurry up his departure preparations and ordered him aboard the Enterprise earlier than Decker had? He'd be an x-factor and I'm not sure what that would do to Spock's presence, since the Enterprise would have already had a science officer.
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Old June 25 2012, 01:48 AM   #20
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

^^ I don't think Spock was First Officer in TMP. Sure, he was the Science Officer, but Decker remained the XO until he was "lost in action"
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Old June 25 2012, 01:55 AM   #21
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

TMP states several times that Decker, not Spock, is the XO even after Spock comes aboard.
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Old June 25 2012, 07:13 AM   #22
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

The mission wouldn't have succeeded without Spock, regardless of whether Kirk or Decker was in command. Even if Kirk was on board in an flag officer observational capacity, his assertiveness would have counteracted Decker's cautiousness, leading to the inexperienced captain going along with whatever the more experienced Enterprise officers recommended.
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Old June 25 2012, 03:43 PM   #23
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Best case scenario without Kirk is probably taking V'ger out in orbit with the self destruct.
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Old June 25 2012, 06:19 PM   #24
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Admiral M wrote: View Post
leading to the inexperienced captain going along with whatever the more experienced Enterprise officers recommended.
It's not clear who Decker's XO originally was, there has been conjecture that it was Sulu, seemingly the most senior bridge officer who was frequently seen to command the Enterprise during TOS.

What advice he might have given Decker as XO (instead of helmsman), kind of hard to say.

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Old June 25 2012, 09:41 PM   #25
Timo
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Might have been Sonak. Might have been a person we never saw, as Kirk summoned his selected specialists on a very short notice, and had no reason to summon Decker's XO because he knew he would be demoting Decker to that role anyway. In either case, we could speculate that leaving that person ashore (one way or another, dead or alive) created a serious gap in Decker's team of advisors, as the upwardly mobile clever young man would no doubt have chosen a team with complementing but not overlapping qualities...

I wonder... Was Sonak Decker's man? Or was he forced upon Decker by Kirk at the second-to-last minute, with Kirk's barging in as the CO happening at the very last minute? All we know for sure is that Kirk recommended Sonak, and that Decker had time to react to that and send Sonak to a briefing at SF HQ when the deadline was still set at 20 hours rather than 12. Sonak might have joined the team 13 hours before the actual launch, then - or 13 months for all we know.

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Old June 25 2012, 11:07 PM   #26
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

All we know for sure is that Sonak is the science officer per dialog from TMP. But he is wearing full commander braids, and Sulu was only a lieutenant commander.

So who knows?

EDIT: If I remember correctly, the second person who died during transport was Vice-Admiral Lori Ciana. Was she coming aboard to supervise the mission in general and Kirk in particular?
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Old June 26 2012, 01:51 AM   #27
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Sounds like Marvel really needs to do an issue of "What If..." about this film.
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Old June 26 2012, 04:56 AM   #28
C.E. Evans
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

BillJ wrote: View Post
EDIT: If I remember correctly, the second person who died during transport was Vice-Admiral Lori Ciana. Was she coming aboard to supervise the mission in general and Kirk in particular?
That was in the novelization of TMP, but onscreen (and in the screenplay) the second person was never referred to by any name.
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Old June 26 2012, 06:12 AM   #29
shivkala
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

arch101 wrote: View Post
^^ I don't think Spock was First Officer in TMP. Sure, he was the Science Officer, but Decker remained the XO until he was "lost in action"
Trimm wrote: View Post
TMP states several times that Decker, not Spock, is the XO even after Spock comes aboard.
I did not mean to imply I thought that Spock was serving as the XO. I did, however, mean to suggest that if he came onboard with Decker in charge, he might have gotten that spot, assuming Decker didn't already have an XO.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Admiral M wrote: View Post
leading to the inexperienced captain going along with whatever the more experienced Enterprise officers recommended.
It's not clear who Decker's XO originally was, there has been conjecture that it was Sulu, seemingly the most senior bridge officer who was frequently seen to command the Enterprise during TOS.

What advice he might have given Decker as XO (instead of helmsman), kind of hard to say.

Timo wrote: View Post
Might have been Sonak. Might have been a person we never saw, as Kirk summoned his selected specialists on a very short notice, and had no reason to summon Decker's XO because he knew he would be demoting Decker to that role anyway. In either case, we could speculate that leaving that person ashore (one way or another, dead or alive) created a serious gap in Decker's team of advisors, as the upwardly mobile clever young man would no doubt have chosen a team with complementing but not overlapping qualities...

I wonder... Was Sonak Decker's man? Or was he forced upon Decker by Kirk at the second-to-last minute, with Kirk's barging in as the CO happening at the very last minute? All we know for sure is that Kirk recommended Sonak, and that Decker had time to react to that and send Sonak to a briefing at SF HQ when the deadline was still set at 20 hours rather than 12. Sonak might have joined the team 13 hours before the actual launch, then - or 13 months for all we know.

Timo Saloniemi
It's been a few months since I've seen the movie, but Memory Alpha states that Sonak was given the science officer position based on Kirk's recommendation. It also states that Sonak was on Earth because Decker assigned him to the task of attending a final science briefing at headquarters. Kirk ordered Sonak to report to the Enterprise in an hour.

This leads me to believe that Sonak would not have been killed had he stayed on Earth per Decker's orders. I would assume that Decker would still have had to leave earlier than he intended to intercept V'Ger, but perhaps not as quickly as Kirk did. By the time he reported either the glitch with the transporter would have been detected/happened.

So if Sonak survived and was XO, would Decker have accepted Spock's request to come aboard? If so, what capacity would he have used Spock? I'm not sure he would have told Spock to turn around, but there would not have been a convenient opening in the bridge personnel.

This also leads to the question of whether or not they would have experienced the same problem with the Warp Drive. I don't see Decker ordering them to go to warp inside our solar system, even with the need to intercept V'Ger as quickly as possible. So, assuming that the whole wormhole incident didn't happen, Spock's help may not have even been needed to assist Scotty with the Warp Drive. All of which leads me to believe that Decker, at best, would have given Spock permission to board, but either given him some minor position or, at worst, told him to stay out of everyone's way unless he was needed. I don't mean to suggest he'd be rude about it, but I also don't see him shifting around his command staff to accommodate Spock, either.

Without Spock, pieces of the V'Ger puzzle would be missing, such as his mindmeld and, perhaps, the creation of a probe (Ilia or otherwise).

To a lesser degree, McCoy wouldn't be onboard, either. He'd be enjoying his retirement, still.
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Old June 27 2012, 04:53 PM   #30
Timo
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Re: TMP: Decker in Command?

Without Spock, pieces of the V'Ger puzzle would be missing
But even if Spock were accepted onboard as a mere passenger, he would probably still be capable of hijacking a thruster suit and contacting V'Ger directly. And earlier on, if Decker's team initially failed to decode V'Ger's ultimatum during the plasma bolt attack and to send a placating reply, I guess Mr Spock would have been asked to contribute even if his expertise wasn't associated with a formal position...

If I remember correctly, the second person who died during transport was Vice-Admiral Lori Ciana.
We get fairly good glimpses of the uniform of the second victim; it's quite unlikely that she would be of flag rank. The actual uniform on the actress was that of an enlisted person, IIRC; this is a backstage (that is, unprocessed) shot of the accident scene, as found e.g. on the 1979 Futura printing of the novelization:

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__..._March_sml.jpg

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