TMP: Decker in Command?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by BillJ, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Is there any way the mission would've succeeded with Will Decker in command?

    • He was unwilling to go into the cloud, calling it an "unwarranted risk".
    • He recommends a phaser strike when the Enterprise had barely survived an earlier salvo from V'Ger.
    • He is reluctant to engage the Ilia-probe.

    I just wonder what track he could've taken to make the mission successful? Under the conditions that he was unwilling to enter the cloud and was willing to use phaser-strikes against what was a far superior technological foe.

    For what it's worth, I understand the real world reasons of Kirk's the hero... so he has to be right.
     
  2. Jose Tyler

    Jose Tyler Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Most likely, no. He came across as cautious when he should have been brash, and brash when he should have been cautious. At some point he would have to beam all the carbon units off the Enterprise to the fourth planet, and the next thing you know he'd be in auxillary control drooling on a table, mumbling about how the fourth planet was there, but not anymore...
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think the mission would have failed. IMO, the only reason it succeeded was because Kirk was willing to take the Enterprise directly into the heart of V'Ger and get up all in its business. I don't think much could have been done to stop V'Ger from the outside as Decker proposed. At best, it simply would have ignored the Enterprise as it continued to make its way otherwise unchallenged to Earth.
     
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Will Decker's command style is explored in the novel "A Flag Full of Stars" by Brad Ferguson, the DC Comics Annual #2 (Series II), "The Final Mission", and the "Enterprise Logs" short story, "Night Whispers" by Diane Duane.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of the jobs of a first officer is to present the Captain with option that the Captain might not have seen (Riker and the depressurization of the flight deck). Just because Decker pointed out the possibility of a phaser strike on the tractor beam emitter, does not mean he would have made the strike himself as Captain.

    Similarly, another of the first officer's job is that he runs the ship, while the Captain runs the mission. So Decker's avocacy of more warp simulations prior to the first warp attempt was not a example of excessive caution, but him simply doing his job properly. Give the resulting worm hole effect, his advice to Kirk was correct.

    Decker's position, his mind set, would have been different if he had been in the Captain's chair. The weight of the mission would have been on his shoulders, and he would have been the one making the command decisions. I believe he might still have delayed the first warp attempt, however the need to press on into the cloud after the Enterprise as attacked would have been Decker's priority, instead of Kirk's.

    Don't forget, it was ultimately Decker's decision (and not Kirk's) to join with Illa and V'ger that accomplished the mission and saved Earth.


    :)
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    Decker defined entering the cloud as an "unwarranted risk". If he doesn't enter the cloud, there is never an Ilia probe for him to merge with.
     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Decker wouldn't have taken the Enterprise into V'Ger if he had been in command.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    DECKER
    That's precisely the point, Captain. We don't
    know it'll do. Moving into that Cloud,
    at this time, is an unwarranted gamble.
    AT THIS TIME. It means Decker didn't think they should do it at the moment Spock recommend they proceed. They had just been attacked, and while the second attack had been broken off after Spock's sped-up message, Kirk had not even attempted further communication. Maybe as Captain, Decker would have tried that, and gone in after not receiving further reply. I mean, what else could he do? Follow the cloud and keep saying "Hello?" At some point he'd have been forced to go in. Kirk was just bolder, taking "they're not shooting" as an invitation to proceed.
     
  10. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, we don't know that Decker would have taken the Enterprise inside V'Ger at all. All we can go by onscreen is that Decker didn't think it was a good idea and wasn't pleased when Kirk decided to do it anyway (in the background, you can see Decker react negatively upon Kirk's decision).
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^So you're saying that he'd have just flown alongside the cloud all the way to Earth when it didn't answer? Nonsense. There's a point at which a military man has to put himself in harm's way when civilians are in danger. His choices, sans communication, were opening fire (suicide, as proven by the Klingons) or going into the cloud to see what was there.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that eventually he would have entered the cloud. But I think the mission would've came to a screaming halt if he fired phasers at the tractor beam like he suggested once inside V'Ger.
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's not nonsense at all. If Decker believed that the Enterprise would be just wind up being captured (or worse, destroyed) once inside V'Ger, then staying outside would be the wisest course of action. Decker would have tried other means of trying to contact V'Ger.
    There's a point in which a military man has to stay alive to protect those civilians in danger. Sacrifices shouldn't be wasted if there are other alternatives.
    We actually don't know if Decker would have done that. All we can go from onscreen material by is that he wouldn't have. We also don't know what other alternatives Decker would have tried had he been in command.
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. newtontomato539

    newtontomato539 Commander Red Shirt

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    The flagship Enterprise with Captain Decker in command with Admiral Kirk on board. Perfect! :techman: Better move.
     
  16. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    And Kirk fans woulda complained. And fans of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" would have been claiming plagiarism. ;)
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. arch101

    arch101 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  19. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. arch101

    arch101 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^^ 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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