Was Capt. Picard negligent to crew safety in First Contact?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Cadet49, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Cadet49

    Cadet49 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    By refusing to abandon ship Ent-E for some time after it was clearly being overrun and assimilated by the Borg, and by forcing his crew to continue fighting a losing battle, was Captain Picard actually negligent in his duties to protect the lives of his crew? He seemed to allow his obsession with stopping the Borg delay his decision to abandon ship and set the auto-destruct ... in other words, he seemed to have been "emotionally compromised" ... which was why Starfleet was reluctant to have him face the Borg at the beginning of the movie. His actions seemed to prove their concerns to have been valid, because his hatred of the Borg did make him seem to fight obsessively for the overrun Enterprise, and many crewmembers lost their lives or were assimilated as a result, until Lily Sloane finally convinced him that he needed to order an abandon ship? Shouldn't he have ordered an abandon ship much earlier??

    Also, would Worf and Crusher be considered negligent for not relieving the captain of duty, since they both seemed to recognize that the captain was letting his emotions cloud his command decisions - (Worf even said so, at which point Picard accused him of cowardice)? According the TOS, the chief medical officer does have the right to relieve a commanding officer of duty on the grounds of being emotionally compromised, as we saw Spock and McCoy do to Commodore Decker in "The Doomsday Device", and McCoy threatened it when Kirk became obsessed and put crew safety at risk in "Obsession" (and Spock was relieved of duty after being emotionally compromised in Star Trek 2009).

    Was Picard negligent in his duties, to protect his crew?

    I've always wondered this, since there seems to have been no consequences to his actions in FC ... it never seems to even be mentioned again in any later movie or literature, as far as I know ... (...I would assume the families of crew members who died at the hands of the Borg would be wanting to find out exactly what transpired aboard the Enterprise leading up to the abandon ship order, since their relative had not returned home, while many others would have ... , etc.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  2. Bamarren

    Bamarren Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Best answered by saying, and it also does in the film, that to Picard, the Borg were his White Whale, even goes as far as quoting Moby Dick in the film, and he gets referred to as Captain Ahab, who also took down his own crew, just to kill the white whale which took off his leg.

    That's one thing I really liked about First Contact, it was a more personal thing with Picard - we've always seem him as a head strong person who you would follow into any battle, but this time around his obsession with them got the better of him. It was interesting to see him approach his White Whale and how he would handle it on that ship with that crew.

    In the end he wasnt suited for the task, and Starfleet were right to keep him away from the goings on, but made for a good story to tell, watching a great captain fight his deamons.

    And as usual, Worf was right!

    It wasn't mentioned anywhere else - from what I have seen/read - but it could be argued the ends justified the means - Borg Queen dead and the past was fixed.

    As it happens, Stewart was in a TV movie of Moby Dick around 1998, wasn't as good as the 1956 version it has to be said.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  3. RyanKCR

    RyanKCR Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If Picard had evacuated when suggested the Borg still would have stopped the self destruct and then assimilated Earth.
     
  4. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Picard was in the middle of a mental breakdown, so he was acting reckless, but a mild case of insanity tends to cause that.
     
  5. Sandoval

    Sandoval Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, he went batshit crazy. Isn't that the point?
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not really. Data by his own admission was only tempted for a second. Really the whole self-destruct/firing thing was just him deciding to screw with both Picard and the Queen's minds for whatever reason.
     
  7. John Mason

    John Mason Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Negligent maybe, but I would find it hard to court martial the captian who saved history....:techman:
     
  8. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    0.68 seconds, but that is an eternity for an android. ;)

    Data needed to distract the Queen before attempting to smash the coolant tanks.
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah I didn't remember the exact number. :p

    I mean yeah, so much distraction is needed to smash that. Doesn't that strike anyone else as a major design flaw? I mean some bumbling oaf like Barclay could be walking through engineering carrying some big part, trip, fall, smash the tank accidentally and kill everyone.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I could see Moore's influence as a writer with Picard's mental breakdown at the Borg. It was one of the best parts of the movie along with the argument between Picard and Worf.

    Too bad Moore didn't return for the next two movies as a writer. We could have gotten something better than Space Amish and the TWOK retread.
     
  11. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Maybe from the TNG point of view. As a leader you make hard decisions. As a good officer you don't abandon the ship without a fight. He is also vindicated for his actions too. Picard was obsessed with the Borg but its not like its not without good cause. How many people have the Borg killed or assimilated? You kind of need to take a hard stance with them, there is no talking it out. Was that not the point of Q showing them the Borg in the first place?

    Its funny that we see his hold hand to hand as crazy but his willingness to run into engineering to save Data is heroic? Its one of Picard's finest qualities that he is determined and willing to go where angels fear to tread.
     
  12. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Commodore Commodore

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    I rewatched First Contact the other night, and after the assault on Deck 16 and retreat to Deck 15, it is abundantly clear that Picard was negligent. All he had to do was use transporters to beam any non-Borgified crewmembers off the deck and decompress the remainder into space. Not only were the lives of his crew at risk, but the entirety of the Federation (well, just the humanity part of it). At least at that point, judging by dialogue, the Borg hadn't invaded other decks yet, so it would have been easy to blow them out into space, minimizing Starfleet casualties.
     
  13. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Commodore Commodore

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    Also when Data breaks free from his skin-grafting table, he is RIGHT BESIDE the plasma coolant tanks. Instead of clotheslining the Borg, he should've smashed the tank and eradicated the Borg Queen right there.

    So, I guess you could say BOTH Picard and Data were negligent. But, then of course, First Contact would have been a pretty boring movie had they acted sooner :p
     
  14. CobraCommander

    CobraCommander Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Seeing how Captain Picard could "sense" the Borg in the beginning of FC , that should have been disturbing. If his implants were removed and his link was severed, he should have felt nothing. Picard did become obsessed with the Borg and did prove Starfleet command right (usually it's the admirals that are wrong). It was sad that Worf was the only officer to challenge Picard and be the voice of sanity. He still could not relieve Picard since that would be mutiny. Only the CMO could do that (Crusher). Dr. Crusher proved once and for all in this film that she was a useless medical officer. She had a duty not to be a sheep but to challenge Picard and relieve him if he was mentally unfit for command. I guess her relationship with him clouded her judgement. It was times like this which make me miss Dr. Pulaski.
     
  15. AggieJohn

    AggieJohn Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Well the only issue is what else could they do? I herd talk of beaming the borg into space but was that a realistic plan. The Borg controlled engineering I thought they had cut power to stuff like that which was why they had to do the whole UAV walk to disable the deflector dish.

    Picard was clearly losing it for a while there but they really had little in other options the Borg were crushing them at every turn. In some ways you need Picard to go all Patton on the crew to keep them from an all out route. I would also note that it did not take much to calm him down. If anything someone should have stepped up and talked with Picard. Its scary to think that Riker and Troy actually did something on the ship because it seems they would have been tailor fit for that moment but were stuck on the surface.
     

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