What Was Dougherty Saying?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Tenacity, Dec 6, 2018.

?

Dougherty's intent.

  1. Send your ships, but only escort the Enterprise back.

    5 vote(s)
    29.4%
  2. Send your ships, destroy the Enterprise.

    7 vote(s)
    41.2%
  3. Send your ships, I expect the Enterprise will destroy them all.

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  4. Send your ships, I have no say in the matter.

    4 vote(s)
    23.5%
  1. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    From Insurrection.

    Ru'afo: My ships are capable of intercepting the Enterprise before it reaches the perimeter, I could send them to escort it back, but Commander Riker might not want to come.
    Dougherty: Send your ships.


    What was in Dougherty's mind when he said those three word? It was obvious that Dougherty held Ru'afo and the So'na in contempt and had previously compared them to thugs, and Ru'afo would soon after murder Dougherty so the feeling was likely mutual.

    Picard wasn't obeying Dougherty's orders. Ru'afo wouldn't let Dougherty communicate with Riker. And likely if Dougherty had talked to Riker, Riker would have disobeyed his orders too.

    Ru'afo was going to send the ships regardless of anything Dougherty said.

    What did Dougherty want to have happen? What did he mean when he said "send your ships?"

    Did he want the Enterprise destroyed? Have her actually escorted back? Did he fully expect the Enterprise to destroy the So'na ships (which is what happen)?

    Or is what Dougherty said an admission that he no longer had any power and authority over the course of events, and he knew it?
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    Considering the way he said it, I always took it as Dougherty begrudgingly saying 'do what you must'. Intercept, escort if possible, more if needed.
     
  3. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    To shed some light on the question I grabbed by novel copy of Insurrection. I know it's technically not canon but it still may provide some insight.

    In the novel he really wanted to youth giving properties of the Ba'ku planet. His wife had died badly and he wanted extra centuries of life avoiding the pain she went through. He also strongly believed that it would help the Federation. He firmly believed the virtual immortality was worth the relocation of 600 people. Then it goes on about the choice to tag the crew and bring the crew back as we know from the film. Ru'afo made the statement about bringing them back and in the novel it's noted he had a choice, the lives of a thousand or more people versus the lives of the rest of the galaxy. Then he thought of his wife's last day and with a pain coiled around his gut (I'm paraphrasing) he said to send their ships.

    Now the personal motivation was only featured in the novel. Even if you remove that since it's not technically canon, you still have his considering the benefit he feels the radiation will provide to the Federation vs. the Ba'ku and all those on the Enterprise.

    Taken in that context it would seem that Dougherty had convinced himself that the Enterprise must be stopped. I would say that he probably had hoped Riker would 'listen' to reason and turn around, or at the very least the So'na would stop the Enterprise without actually destroying it. But he was basically ok with it's destruction if that's what it took.

    So I'd maybe add another option, that he wanted the Enterprise stopped, with minimal loss of life if possible, but if destruction was necessary that was what needed then so be it.
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  4. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    I read on a little bit to Dougherty's change of heart before his murder and he had convinced himself he had done it for the Federation. He realized allowing the So'na to go after the Ba'ku was now unconscionable, that he was willing to exterminate over 1000 people. It was easy he realized to delude himself because they were distant. He would not have to witness it. Then he realized the truth behind Ru'afo's motives. That he allowed himself to basically be manipulated. From that moment on he decided he needed to redeem himself and was almost relieved when Ru'afo finally killed him, feeling some regret only that he would be unable to help Picard get out of the mess he helped create.

    But that would seem to further indicate he believed the So'na would destroy the Enterprise.
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  5. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    I think there was a certain amount of resignation in Dougherty's voice, he was isolated and no one was listening to him anymore.

    Ru'afo's asking his "permission" to send the ships was entirely a contemptuous dig at Dougherty, an act of arrogance. Ru'afo was going to send the ships regardless of anything Dougherty said, and they both knew it.

    But I also think that Dougherty fully expect that Riker and the Enterprise would disable/destroy the So'na ships. Or at least had a high probability of doing so.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    ...What would have happened had Dougherty said "no"?

    I mean, what would have happened had Rua'fo actually responded with "Okay, then, it's on you now, I'll go have another facelift"? What would Dougherty have hoped/feared to happen in such an unlikely case?

    Dougherty was one of the good guys, working on government authority. Riker was one of the bad guys, working in cahoots with criminals down on the planet who had violated their orders and forfeited their authority. As matters currently stand, Dougherty says he has Federation support. Hurting people is said to take that away. So what's the downside of letting Riker sail away? What's the upside of stopping him and potentially hurting him in the act?

    The stopping of Riker would result in a delay in the Enterprise villains' plans to derail the youth particle gathering project. But why would such a delay be necessary for Dougherty? The project is going to reach conclusion in a matter of hours anyway; when Riker returns with pious letters demanding ceasing and desisting, it's all over already. OTOH, letting Riker go beg for such letters is good PR; the government that approved of the project in the first place would see the practical futility of trying to stop a done deal at this late stage, and would be unlikely to sympathize with Riker or sign anything. After all, the best Riker could hope to achieve would be to force the government to admit it made a mistake; nothing good would come out of that admission in the practical sense, it being way too late for that.

    So why doesn't Dougherty respond to Rua'fo's "request" by stating the above, and not only saving the project but also asserting his superior understanding of the situation and humiliating Rua'fo?

    Beyond the Admiral being in a poor state of mind at the time, I can only suggest he's also (needlessly) pessimistic about the chances of the good guy team to recover the fleeing Ba'ku and the rebelling criminals in time, meaning there will be hurting and loss of support anyway when the big button is pushed. And this time the blame will be on Dougherty, whereas Riker's futile rantings at the UFP High Council's chambers would only humiliate that villain-courting officer. So he might really wish to see Riker stopped or at least delayed; Riker getting hurt (killed!) would still be on Dougherty, but it might just possibly look less bad than the killing of all those civilians. Especially as it would happen in the secrecy of the mysterious Briar Patch and could perhaps be covered up (what with everybody involved having it in their interests to look the other way).

    Then again, the government does let Riker convey the official last-minute message that the project must be stopped for now. Perhaps they weren't sufficiently aware of the project's current timetable, revised by the interference from Data and Picard?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
    cgervasi likes this.
  7. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    I recently got the Blu-Ray TNG movie collection and I was watching the movie last night.

    I do have to say Anthony Zerbe does manage the look of disgust very well. Every time he is near Ru'afo, and particularly when he is having 'work' done, Dougherty has this look like someone that is trapped on an elevator behind someone who was just swimming in sewage.
     
  8. IMC Headquarters

    IMC Headquarters Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Location:
    Empire Falls, Maine
    Anthony Zerbe has certainly played some stinking sewer rats in his career...
     
  9. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2014
    Location:
    New England
    I honestly felt like he was just completely resigned to the fact that no matter what he said, the So'na were going to do what they wanted...and he was also resigned to the fact that he was already in too deep and too committed to this course of action. He know he couldn't back out at that point.

    I think he knew that would be the turning point one way or the other. Either the So'na would stop (more likely destroy) the Enterprise in the Briar Patch and the plan would succeed. Or, the Enterprise would escape and he'd have to take his chances with potential consequences.
     
  10. Damian

    Damian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    This is one of the reasons I like reading the novelizations of the movies. They give you some backstory and in this case it gives you a little bit more in the way of motivation for Dougherty. And it makes him slightly more sympathetic, and just before he dies the novel offers just a bit of redemption for the character.

    Yeah, I remember him in the 007 film "License to Kill", definitely a sleazy character. You actually don't feel bad when all his, um, hot air is let out :P (even if he was killed for something that wasn't his fault).

    He was good in "The Omega Man". He played the philosophical mad man pretty well there, and his voice had an oddly hypnotic quality about it that helped his character in that film.
     
    Gary Mitchell likes this.
  11. IMC Headquarters

    IMC Headquarters Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Location:
    Empire Falls, Maine
    Dougherty and Milton Krest shared the same fate!
     
    Damian likes this.
  12. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Ru'afo: What are we going to do about Picard helping the Baku hide?
    Dougherty: I'll talk to him.
    Ru'afo: He won't listen. Picard will help the Ba'ku evade us long enough for Riker to convince the Federation to call a halt to our plan.
    Dougherty: I'll order Riker to turn around.
    Ru'afo: Riker won't listen either. Our deal was the Son'a would provide the technology to collect metaphasic particles you would provide a veil of Federation legitimacy for an operation that destroys the Ba'ku's planet. If the Riker convinces the Federation to stop the plan before we have everyone off the planet, you won't be providing your side of the bargain. I could solve this problem by destroying the Enterprise, but I'll need legal cover from you. I need you to ask us to make contact with Enterprise to convey your lawful orders to return. If Enterprise resists and the Son'a destroys it, we'll say it was self-defense on our part during the course of following your request.
    Dougherty: If I say yes, it will stop Riker from derailing the plan, but there's a chance a court martial would rightly see it as me sanctioning at attack on a Federation star ship. If I say no, there's a chance Riker will convince the Federation to call a halt to the plan before we're able to remove everyone and start the collector. In that event, I have nothing to offer the Son'a. They could keep the youth technology for themselves and possibly become an enemy of the Federation. Saying yes is less risk. Hopefully Riker will agree to return, the Enterprise will only sustain damage to its engines, or we'll get the collector operation started before the Son'a attacks the Enterprise.

    Dougherty really thought Ru'afo needed Federation legitimacy. If he said no, it would just put that Federation legitimacy at risk and therefore risk the Federation not getting the youth treatment. He did not realize that although Ru'afo wanted legitimacy, he would proceed with or without it and was even willing to murder.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    The Son'a are clearly blackmailing Dougherty with something. Is it really plausible that this something would be "Unless you kiss my ass the first thing every morning, I withdraw my technological expertise"?

    At the conclusion of the movie, we know that the Son'a were formerly Ba'ku and for that reason knew about the Fountain of Youth. This fact utterly surprises all the Starfleet characters, though, from Picard to Dougherty. How did this project get started, then? Did the Son'a first approach the UFP and say "By utter coincidence we stumbled (deep inside your territorial borders, but never mind that) onto this Fountain of Youth only we can tap - care to let us do so for you, few if any strings attached, c'mon, who wouldn't trust a face like mine?" - or did the Feds first discover that the Ba'ku planet rejuvenated people, and then advertised for "Youth particle collectors wanted; apply discreetly" and the Son'a sent their CV?

    That the UFP would be dependent on Son'a tech expertise is a welcome and delightful plot element: it's only realistic that the primitive Earthlings can't really handle every wonder of the universe with ease. But that the UFP would become dependent is a mystery not much touched upon in the movie. We do know the Son'a lie a lot - so they obviously also lie about their relationship with the Ba'ku, and may have invented lies more complex than "No, we know nothing about them". A halfway plausible variant of one or the other of the above two approaches might be postulated, wrapped in complex enough a web of lies.

    But where would the pressure on Dougherty and the UFP come from? If the Son'a withdraw from the project, the Feds could in most scenarios simply advertise for the second-best alternative. There's no hurry, especially not with a project that defies time. It takes a very specific web of lies to create a situation where the Feds would falsely think they face time pressures and a lack of alternatives, and we get none of that in the movie itself.

    So why is Dougherty opposed to the UFP hearing out Riker's complaints and perhaps putting the project on ice for a few months? Was he in fact lying to Picard when claiming he had UFP government support for the relocation of people and destruction of planet (even if Rua'fo's actual plan was to slaughter the Ba'ku), and counting on Picard not being able to contradict him without sailing out of the Briar Patch first, at which point the project would have been completed already? But we don't learn this in the end, either - the government is not "appalled by this project they knew nothing about", but merely reconsidering in light of new evidence from Riker (who doesn't even know of the revenge motive and the fundamental lie behind the project yet).

    That Dougherty folds may be due to him being backed into an impossible corner. But we never get given that corner. Instead, it looks as if Dougherty folds because of petty pressures, a personal need to see the project completed without hiccups. Not to save the aging man's own life, obviously, as we get told over and over again he turns down the personal benefits. But perhaps to save his sorry little reputation?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  14. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    It is true there is no time pressure to collect the particles. Dougherty's time pressure comes from the fact he now has Federation approval, which he knows won't last if the project comes under under closer scrutiny. The Son'a's only time pressure comes from age.

    Dougherty wouldn't think of proceeding without Federation approval. He assumes the Son'a are similarly unwilling to become outlaws.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    What would be "wrong" about the project from Dougherty's point of view, though? He supposedly has got full approval for clandestine relocation of natives. Riker is now telling the Council these folks aren't even natives, so whatever PD concerns once existed have now evaporated. Granted, Riker is also telling them the locals are now saying "Hell, no, we won't go!", but consent never bothered the Council in the first place. Why would it now?

    Or is it that Dougherty realizes the Council will have to pretend to be "stunned by new developments" and renege on its promises if Riker goes to the yellow press?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. cgervasi

    cgervasi Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Dougherty does not know what effect Riker will have, if any. But Dougherty knows he can only lose from new developments. Right now he's offering the Son'a legitimacy in exchange for a share of the anti-aging technology. If he was certain Riker would not get the Federation Council to change its mind, he could have, "Do not send your ships. I have more sway with the Federation Council than Riker does. The legitimacy of this plan is secure. But if you go threatening a Federation starship, you put that legitimacy in jeopardy. Tell your ships to stay and take no hostile action."
     
  17. Jedman67

    Jedman67 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Location:
    Jedman67
    Dougherty is the "Director Sloan" of Insurrection. He will do what he wants regardless of his actual orders. The movie never managed to sell the audience on the concept that the experiment would be beneficial.
     
    cgervasi likes this.
  18. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Location:
    On the run.
    Why doesn't the PD still apply? Where does it say that if a species is not indigenous then you can just do whatever you want?
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    The PD supposedly cuts two ways. But originally it was supposed to keep the "natives" from having no say in their fates because they "weren't ready for it". Now it says they are in fact interstellar-savvy colonists who should have known better than squat on UFP turf; they suddenly have a say and sovereignty, but not as regards their illegal squatting.

    The Feds might not be able to do "whatever they want", but deporting the squatters should be within their rights. That is, not necessarily according to the original lie of them being native, but certainly according to the half-truth of them being settlers, and according to the ultimate truth of them being Son'a by another name. Riker's report would only affect the Council's willingness to exercise the rights - and IMHO in the direction of encouraging them. Protecting the adorable lifestyle of 600 natives by clandestine deportation might be a nice idea, but evicting 600 foreigners who try to deprive the UFP of a good thing would not be.

    Timo Saloniemi