Sunday, April 6, 2014

TWITrek Character Insight No. 91: Admiral Dougherty

This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe.  An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
For record, episode 90 was written and produced by Ken P., as we did an April Fool's switch of segments for the show. He did a great take on Commander Kruge from The Search For Spock, who ranked 18th in our poll for Star Trek villains. Check out the audio in the show feed (a script here wouldn't do it justice, as it was a great job!)

Welcome back to Character Insight!  This week, we begin our series on best Trek movie villains with Admiral Matthew Dougherty from Star Trek Insurrection. (Insert film theme)

Dougherty comes in at number 16 on the list of top Trek villains.

(Nero, who was profiled a few months ago, came in at No. 17 and Commander Kruge came in at No. 18, which Ken P. did last week. But let's get to the subject at hand, the badmiral).

Like most Trek movie villains, Admiral Dougherty only appears in the movie he stars in. Dougherty had secured approval from the Federation council to collect all the metaphasic particles from the rings of a planet in an area of space called the Briar Patch. These metaphasic particles have rejuvenating qualities, and of course the Council is all about finding the fountain of youth, proverbially speaking.

However, the vice admiral left out one important detail when briefing the Federation Council on this action, and that was the need to relocate a peaceful race called the Ba'Ku from this planet since the collection of the metaphasic particles would render the planet uninhabitable. Although the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few may apply as a Vulcan axiom, the political fallout from such a forced relocation would not have been tolerated if the Council was fully informed.

(Quote of the Week)

I'm acting on orders from the Federation Council.
How can there be an order to abandon the Prime Directive?
The Prime Directive doesn't apply. These people are not indigenous to this planet. They were never meant to be immortal. We'll simply be restoring them to their natural evolution.
Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these people?

Thus, Dougherty has to turn to an alliance with some bad actors the Son'a, who just happened to be Ba'Ku that were previously exiled from this paradise planet. But of course Badmiral Dougherty was too blind to see the obvious, plotting for personal power and gain rather than doing things the right way. Thankfully Captian Picard and his crew figure out the deception and stop the Son'a, but not before their leader gives the Admiral the most vicious face-stretch ever. (Insert death noise).

If you launch the injector while the planet's still populated, the Federation will pursue you until--
The Federation... will never know what happened here.

Here's to you Admiral Dougherty. Your mediocre small role in a plot better suited for a television episode than a movie may not be memorable, but you do continue the trope of the bad Admiral. And that death by face lift was pretty cool as well. I give this villain 2 stars out of 5, as I share the view of the audience that this is a bottom-feeder in the chase for most evil and devious.

Anthony Zerbe played Dougherty, and he also played the villain in the James Bond flick License to Kill. He most recently appeared as a senator in American Hustle, his first acting role in over six years.

Until next time, live long and prosper...

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