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Walter Peck

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Walter Peck

Environmental Protection Agency Inspector
Head of PCOC

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Appeared in Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
IDW Comics
Played by William Atherton

"Forget it, Venkman! You had your chance to co-operate, but you thought it'd be more fun to insult me; well now it is my turn, wise-ass."

- Walter Peck; Ghostbusters

Walter Peck was the secondary antagonist of the first film and was an inspector for the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, for the third district, in the greater New York area. In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, he went on to lead the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission, an agency overseeing the Ghostbusters.

HistoryEdit

GhostbustersEdit

Walter Peck was concerned with the wild stories about the Ghostbusters generated by the media and the EPA wanted to assess the Ghostbusters' operations for any possible environmental impact, such as the the presence of noxious, possibly hazardous waste chemicals created by the Storage facility that the Ghostbusters used to house their captured spirits. Peck met with Peter Venkman and things quickly became heated. Peck demanded to see the Containment Unit or he would back with a court order. Peter goaded him to get a court order and threatened to sue him for wrongful prosecution.

After Peter refused to allow him to tour the facility, Mr. Peck secured a cease and desist all commerce order, a seizure of premises and chattels, a ban on use of public utilities for unauthorized waste handlers, and a federal entry and inspection order to tour the facility. Peck declared the Ghostbusters were facing federal prosecution for at least half a dozen environmental violations. Under pure speculation and against both the firm warnings of the Ghostbusters and an attending Con Edison worker's reticence against it, he had the grid shut down and released all the spirits back into the city. This caused a massive explosion in the process which he later claimed was the responsibility of the Ghostbusters. Egon Spengler did not take kindly to Peck's accusation and lunged at him. The Ghostbusters were subsequently arrested.

In a meeting with the Mayor Lenny, Peck tried to tell him that the Ghostbusters were running a scam operation using sense and nerve gases to induce hallucinations of ghosts as well as repeating his spurious charge of them causing an explosion he himself is responsible for. However, Peck's immature fury of the Ghostbusters' contempt for him and the attending civil servants', including the Fire Chief, firm rebuttal of his claims with numerous reports of bizarre phenomena that cannot be explained as anything but supernatural completely undermined his credibility. With this support, Venkman is able to convince the Mayor of New York City of the dire threat and their readiness to attempt to stop it and Peck was promptly ejected from the office while he childishly swore revenge against the Ghostbusters. Peck was among the spectators outside 55 Central Park West when the Ghostbusters confronted Gozer. After the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was defeated, a large amount of melted marshmallow fell on Peck and he humorously screamed out that he hated Venkman.

Ghostbusters: The Video GameEdit

In 1991, during the Thanksgiving weekend, Walter Peck clashed with the Ghostbusters again. This time, Peck was a liaison between the Office of the Mayor and the Ghostbusters themselves. When Mayor Mulligan won the election on a pro-Ghostbusters campaign platform, he hired the Ghostbusters as official city workers. The Mayor then chose Walter Peck, who is the new head of the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission (PCOC, pronounced "peacock"), [1] to become involved because he has vaguely heard that Peck had experience working with the Ghostbusters in the past.

The Ghostbusters protest being saddled with Peck while the equally belligerent civil servant's first declared intention is to remove the business' certification. However, the Mayor points out that they need each other since the business needs Peck to gain creditability with City Council and Peck's own job would be eliminated if he put Ghostbusters, Inc. out of business. Peck begrudgingly followed the Mayor's orders but refused to give the Ghostbusters free tickets to the opening gala for the Gozer exhibit at the Natural History Museum. Once The Chairman and several ghosts interrupted the party to kidnap Selwyn, Peck insisted the Ghostbusters were trying to extort more money from the Mayor. After Selwyn was rescued, Peck threatened to shut down the Ghostbusters and their Containment Unit once again even if it meant his job. Oddly, Egon revealed he got strange readings off of Peck.

While the Ghostbusters investigated Shandor Island, Peck opened the Containment Unit and kidnapped Selwyn. Following a lead on the news, the Ghostbusters headed to Central Park only to find out Ivo Shandor was possessing the Mayor all along and using Peck as a patsy to slow their investigations down. Once the Ghostbusters destroyed Shandor and returned to Shandor's mausoleum, the Rookie decided to free Peck from his restraints. Peck's threats were cut short as everyone was forced to run to safety.

Secondary Canon HistoryEdit

Walter Peck from the Animated SeriesEdit

Walter Peck appears once in animation, on The Real Ghostbusters in the episode "Big Trouble With Little Slimer". Having been fired from the EPA, Peck became a member of the government organization B.U.F.O. (The Bureau of Unidentified Flying Organisms). He tried to bring the Ghostbusters down by destroying Slimer who he thinks is fake and ends up causing more trouble. To find more about animated version, go here.

IDW ComicsEdit

Sometime after the Gozer Incident, Peck was hired by the B.U.F.O. along with Jack Hardemeyer. Days before the appearance of Idulnas, the Paranormal Contracts Oversight Commission was reinstated by the City & County of New York. Peck was also reinstated as the head of the commission. After first hand witnessing "Apocalypse Events," Peck admitted his perspective had changed and believed the Ghostbusters should exist but needed to be kept in check for the good of the public and best interest of the city. With a temporary office set up in the Department of Public Safety, Peck was granted full access to audit any documentation, was authorized full access to inspect premises and property, write full reports to all city contracts, and report on anything related like patents and proposals.

During the rampage of the Gozerian Terror Bear, Peck made an appearance at the Firehouse and was infuriated by the lack of response. When the Ghostbusters returned from Queens, Peck made an empty threat to fire and replace them all. After an angry exchange with Janine, Peck informed them all the PCOC office would fax them details on the Terror Bear then he left. Two days later, as the Re-Selection of Gozer's Destructor Form drew closer, the Mayor called Peck and demanded to know why the Ghostbusters hadn't mobilized yet. He then called the Firehouse and requested assurance from Janine that the Ghostbusters were handling the situation. Peck was confused when Janine alluded they were taking to the air. Less than pleased with the destruction of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Peck greeted the Ghostbusters outside the Shandor building and informed them of new physical requirements. Until the guys could meet the standards, they wouldn't get paid from the city and would lose their permits. He felt he was doing the right thing since they operated dangerous equipment in public.

Several weeks later, Peck was forced to acquiesce when the Governor personally asked for the Ghostbusters to investigate an incident just outside of Schenectady. Peck temporarily restored their permits and had a plane waiting for them at Laguardia. After the Fantastic Land case, Peter was hospitalized. A full work-up revealed Peter was in great health and everything from BMI, cholesterol, and blood pressure all went down. The results were faxed to Peck who visited the hospital and accused the staff of falsifying records. He was subsequently hauled away by security. In mid-June, Peck saw fit to approve time away from New York requested by the Ghostbusters for out of state jobs. He was informed of their itinerary and reached out to both out of state and federal levels for an extra "lending fee" to the city of New York for any services rendered, securing a modest and legal commission. Peck hoped it would lead to some consideration from the Mayor when the Oversight Commission's budget came up for review next quarter.

New York remained the center of supernatural activity as the Ghostbusters dealt with disturbances across the country. Walter Peck received complaints from business owners across Manhattan for leaving the city vulnerable and they demanded compensation. In the fall, after the Ghostbusters returned, Peck was paid a visit by Peter concerning the Ghost Smashers. To Peter's surprise, Peck revealed he disliked them even more than the Ghostbusters. However, Peck had little power to deal with them since they didn't have a contract with PCOC and their publicity was attractive to the Mayor. Despite Peter's warning about the atomized ghosts returning, Peck simply advised him to bring reasonable cause so an injunction could be filed. Once the Megaspook manifested, Peck gathered the Ghostbusters and Ghost Smashers together to figure out a way to defuse the situation. He also notified Ron Alexander the Ghost Smashers would be out of business afterwards and the city would be looking into seeking damages if anything catastrophic occurred.

Months later, Peck joined a team of police sent to arrest Janine's team of Ghostbusters. He then met with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor Stone. Peck proposed Janine's team be official endorsed to fulfill the city's needs. The Mayor accepted this solution but Stone had her reservations. Peck admitted he considered recruited police officers and fire fighters but concluded it wasn't feasible since they tend to avoid running into something that may have a personal grudge. Peck found justification with keeping Janine who had sole security access to the Containment Unit, Kylie Griffin who had experience in paranormal research, and Special Agent Melanie Ortiz who was a trained federal agent. Peck also noted the extraordinary Q-rating garnered by the mostly female unit of the Ghost Smashers and proposed a contract addendum allowing for the city to license and merchandise imagery connected to any new Ghostbuster approved by PCOC. The Mayor was pleased. Peck then asked him to put a call to the Governor.

Peck then with to the City Jail and had Janine's team released. They regrouped at the Firehouse for a chat. Peck started by admitting he didn't like any of them but believed they could all work together for the greater good if they accepted several conditions. He would be installing a PCOC liaison to coordinate and prioritize the team's case load, they would be required to attend personal appearances and press events at PCOC's discretion, and Ron Alexander would be added to the roster for his expertise with the equipment. If they did not accept the contract, Peck threatened to retract the offer, confiscate and store all equipment, and influence the city to file charges for their misadventures. Ortiz objected but Janine accepted PCOC would figure something else out. She agreed to the offer and shook on it with Peck.

After the Ghostbusters returned home and retained control of their brand and merchandising, Peck no longer had any need for Jack Hardemeyer. He called Jack into his office and ordered him to cancel every deal he made. Since Janine resumed her position coordinating with PCOC, Jack was no longer needed either. Jack realized Peck was using him and they weren't friends. Peck admitted the only thing they had in common was they both hate Peter Venkman. Jack threatened to bring his attorney in to which Peck welcomed.

Later in the summer, Peck received an call from the irate governor who was upset his request to deal with the John Milton was not fulfilled by the Ghostbusters. Peck attempted to placate him but the governor didn't care about the Ghostbusters' work load. Peck then called up Peter and passed on the request. He hung up before Peter could finish his sentence. With the sharp seasonal increase in supernatural activity, Peck began work on searching for competent help for the Ghostbusters rather than let him find their own employees. He believed the right one person made all the difference. Peck concluded Melanie Ortiz was the perfect candidate based on her experience with the equipment and work hazards. Peck approached section chief Agent Edward Norris and proposed making Ortiz a FBI liaison to the Ghostbusters. PCOC gets continued use of a well-trained agent and the FBI gets to stay on top of supernatural menaces.

At first, Norris refused. During a game of golf, Peck made the proposal again. After Norris refused again, Peck released a Golfer Ghost from a Trap and it slimed Norris. Peck noted ghosts were everywhere and if Norris were to find his house haunted, Peck wouldn't be able to send help on account of limited resources. They then continued through the back nine. Norris expedited the paperwork and Ortiz was sent to New York. On October 30, Peck attended a staff meeting at the Firehouse. He passed on the Mayor's praise for a new record of 11 captures in one night. Soon enough, he and Peter got into a shouting match about hiring more help. Their argument was broken up by the manifestation of Red Lightning in a cloudless sky. Peck wasn't convinced when Egon hypothesized it was just a hiccup based on limited data.

After a day of meetings about the Blood Rain, Peck went to the Firehouse for something actionable to bring back to the Mayor and prevent a city-wide quarantine from being issued. Peter's lack of concern with the rain and floating cars was the last straw. Peck swatted Peter's Chinese take out away and demanded answers. Peter conveyed occasional ripples in the ambient P.K.E. levels were noticed by Egon. It was not good enough for Peck. He became concerned when Peter answered his phone and without a typical remark, sped off on Ecto-5. Peck ordered Janine to gather the other Ghostbusters.

PersonalityEdit

Walter Peck follows his orders to the letter and apparently does not believe in flexibility or grey areas. Walter possesses little to no sense of humor and approaches his job with almost unshakeable seriousness. He seems to genuinely believe that he is a noble crusader, fighting "the good fight" and that anyone who voices opposition towards him is essentially making an admission of guilt. Peck's title as a "civil servant" is an amusing paradox in regard to his demeanor, as he's about as uncivil as one can be. His desire to protect the public does seem to be sincere, even if his personality is highly abrasive. Peck is certainly not in the game for his own personal glory nor does he seem to have any desire at all to win "popularity contests." Peck seems to actually expect people to not like him. He clearly views getting his job done as being more important than people liking him.

Walter Peck has displayed he can be initially cordial and professional with others but his demeanor can be quickly reduced to visible agitation when he is met with non-cooperation. This was evident in 1984, when Peck met Peter Venkman for the first time. He was particularly offended by Peter Venkman's unwillingness to allow him to inspect the Ghostbusters' facilities. As a result, he has shown that he is perfectly willing to lay spurious charges against those under his suspicion while still sticking to established protocol. This was evidenced when he obtained a court order against the Ghostbusters under claims that they were in criminal violation of the Environmental Protection Act. He then was shown to ignore his own responsibility for the fallout of his orders, such as the city-wide disruption caused when he ordered a city worker to shut down the Containment Unit's power grid, despite the warning of the Ghostbusters currently on site and later pinning the blame on them for the explosion.

Walter Peck is also a skeptic by nature and therefore does not believe in the supernatural. It is presumed his attitude regarding the existence of the supernatural has since changed, when he is hit literally over the head with it in a large deluge of melted marshmallow. Peck's skepticism towards the supernatural had subsided by late 1991, when he was placed in charge of PCOC. His over-zealousness and inflexible personality, however, remained unchanged. Peck has allowed, the Ghostbusters a certain degree in flexibility in the destruction of property during an assignment, albeit grudgingly. But he will not hesitate to fine them if they go above a set limit of damage expenses and still planned on getting them shut down eventually. By the end of the Shandor Incident, it would seem likely Peck's skepticism towards the supernatural was invalidated. He was possessed by a ghost, brainwashed by the ghost of Ivo Shandor, was witness to the Ghostbusters' initial battle with Shandor, and observed the collapse of the Cult of Gozer Cemetery from Central Park. Peck's antagonism between himself and the Ghostbusters remained as strong as ever following Shandor's defeat.

LegacyEdit

His abrasive, unlikeable demeanor aside, Peck was not wrong to be wary about the safety of the Ghostbusters' equipment and their training in operating it. Even the Ghostbusters themselves admitted strong doubts to the safety and reliability of their equipment and their lack of testing for it. And there are strict laws regarding the use of nuclear equipment in a populated area. While he was a jerk and at fault for the meltdown of the Containment Unit, it did illustrate why such laws exist. For all his faults, Peck's unrelenting hassling of the Ghostbusters can be construed as a benefit to the people he overzealously strives to protect in the end. He forces the Ghostbusters to be attentive to the safety of the public by maintaining and adequately testing their equipment and to keep their noses clean.

TriviaEdit

  • According to the August 5, 1983 script, Peck is described as a junior EPA administrator. [2]
  • Walter Peck is one of two Ghostbuster antagonists to get doused in goo. The second being Janosz Poha in the second movie.
  • Two separate insults on Peck in the same Mayor's office scene were filmed, the Theatrical and Home Video Versions still contains the "dickless" insult, while the TV version contained the lesser toned "Wally Wick" insult. The Comedy Central version keeps Rays line of calling Peck "Dickless", but changes Peters line to: "Yes it's true your honor, this man is some kind of rodent, I don't know which."
  • While the antics of the Ghostbusters still provoke his suspicion and ire, jokes and insults regarding his name and personality don't seem to phase him much, if at all. Even when Mayor Mulligan outright said Peck was annoying, Walter didn't seem to mind the appellation at all. So personal insults don't seem to be an issue with him.
  • In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, Walter Peck was called to the witness stand to testify against Peter, Ray, and Egon. [3]
    • Peck's middle name is Margate. He is still working for the EPA and is the Assistant Chief Deputy Investigator. [4]
  • In the realistic versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the possessed Walter Peck is used as the image for the Tobin's Spirit Guide entry on the Possessed Human.
  • In the omitted Thanksgiving Day Parade Lost Level (realistic version) of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Walter Peck is doused in Black Slime by Blinkers the Science Pup.
  • In his first scene in the stylized version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Peck's mouth does not move while speaking. All of his other scenes are normal.
  • In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Walter Peck leaves the first message after the cut scenes following Panic in Times Square Level implying he doesn't think highly of Rookie [5] and Checking Out the Library Level on the Firehouse answering machine. [6] Peck is later mentioned in another message left for Egon. [7]
  • In the stylized version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Walter Peck's likeness is used for the art page of "The Skeptic" in Tobin's Spirit Guide.
  • Erik Burnham didn't plan on Peck being as overt a part of IDW's ongoing comic book series but drew inspiration from the PCOC backup done by Tristan Jones. [8]

AppearancesEdit

Primary Canon AppearancesEdit

Secondary Canon AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. GBTVGReferencePCOC02.jpg
  2. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (First Draft August 5, 1983) (Script p. 69). Paragraph reads: "Walter Peck, a junior E.P.A. administrator, is reading one of the articles when Venkman walks in.""
  3. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 33). "Paragraph reads: "WALTER PECK, a career bureaucrat and the Ghostbusters' principal antagonist is sworn in."
  4. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 33). "Walter Peck says: "My name is Walter Margate Peck and I am the Assistant Chief Deputy Investigator for the Environmental Protection Agency."
  5. Walter Peck; After Panic in Times Square, Firehouse 2nd Floor Answering Machine Message 1 of 13 (2009). Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions) - Firehouse (2009) (PC/PS3/Xbox 360). Terminal Reality. Walter Peck says: "I hardly think you did an adequate job, you heel. Keep that up and you'll be out of this business in no time."
  6. Walter Peck; After Checking Out the Library, Firehouse 2nd Floor Answering Machine Message 1 of 13 (2009). Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions) - Firehouse (2009) (PC/PS3/Xbox 360). Terminal Reality. Walter Peck says: "Excuse me, you're getting paid to catch ghosts. Not to blow the place to bits."
  7. Male Caller; After Museum of (Super)Natural History, Firehouse 2nd Floor Answering Machine Message 6 of 11 (2009). Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Realistic Versions) - Firehouse (2009) (PC/PS3/Xbox 360). Terminal Reality. Male says: "Ah..hello, Dr. Spengler. This is Gilgamir Electronic Supply. We have all the parts you requested. But a representative from the Mayor's office, a Mr. Peck has recently informed us that all invoices from you must be approved through his office first. We called him about your order and he just laughed then hang up. For all we know, he's still laughing."
  8. Ghostbusters Wiki Interview with Erik Burnham 1/4/13


GalleryEdit

OverallEdit

Primary CanonEdit

Secondary CanonEdit

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