Walter Peck is the tertiary antagonist in the 1984 supernatural comedy movie Ghostbusters. He is a representative of the EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) trying to shut down the titular team.
He was portrayed by William Atherton.
He appears in the Ghostbusters' headquarters trying to see the containment grid, but Peter Venkman refuses to allow that. As a result, sometime later, Peck arrives attempting to shut down the grid, joined by a contractor and a police officer. Janine Melnitz tries to stop him, but he orders her out of the way and claims he has a warrant to check the building's containment grid. When he does that, it releases all the ghosts that the Ghostbusters have captured. During the event, Peck tells the NYPD he wants Venkman arrested, prompting Egon to lunge at him provoking a fight. Believing that the Ghostbusters are responsible for that, the police send them to jail.
In the Mayor's office, Peck tells him about what the Ghostbusters did is a scam 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. Fortunately, Peck's case is weakened when the attended civil servants provided firm rebuttal of Peck's claims with numerous reports of bizarre phenomena that cannot be explained as anything but supernatural. Venkman takes the opportunity to convince the Mayor of the dire threat and the Ghostbusters' readiness to attempt to stop it. Agreeing with this, the Mayor orders Peck out of his office, and Peck angrily vows revenge on Venkman for this.
In the end, after the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was defeated by the Ghostbusters, Peck got covered in a pile of Stay Puft's marshmallow goo that fell on him, causing Peck to humorously yell out that he hated Venkman.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Peck appears with Mayor Jock Mulligan in the Ghostbusters' headquarters. He is revealed to have become the new head of PCOC (Paranormal Contract Oversight Commission), and is planning to have the titular team's license suspended. The Mayor tells him to lighten up and keep them under surveillance. However, if Peck would shut down the Ghostbusters, his job is also shut down.
When the Ghostbusters arrive in a museum, Peck is not happy about it. Suddenly, a ghost possesses him and as a result, slimed in the process. After defeating the ghosts, Peck is finally fed up with the Ghostbusters and plans on shutting down their containment grid for good. When Venkman tells him that he'll lose his job too, Peck doesn't care about it and leaves. Egon suggests to keep an eye on him because his PKE meter is high.
The team arrives to find the containment grid shut off and Ilysa Selwyn had been kidnapped by Peck. Venkman thinks that Peck is a Gozerian cultist whose motive to shut the Ghostbusters down so that they wouldn't oppose Gozer.
The Ghostbusters then arrived at Central Park to find Selwyn and Peck both being held captive by Ivo Shandor, who reveals to the team that he possessed Mayor Mulligan all along and used Peck as a pawn to slow their investigation. When the team managed to defeat Shandor, Peck and Selwyn were freed. Peck then vows that he will have his revenge on the Ghostbusters.
Following the Infestation event, the PCOC is reinstated and Peck takes on the role as head of the commitee. At this time, Peck has come to realize that the Ghostbusters are necessary to keep around and, while he still greatly dislikes them (Dr. Venkman especially), understands the importance of their work and the severity of the paranormal threats they have to deal with. Peck's job is now to act as a liason between the Ghostbusters and New York City Hall and to keep the Ghostbusters in line, minimizing the level of collateral damage brought about by their activities.
- According to the October 7, 1983 script, Peck is described as a junior EPA administrator.
- 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."
- According to his friend Harold Ramis, William Atherton had to endure being called "Dickless" by a large number of people in public - including a bus full of teenagers.
- 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 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 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.