ST:TNG 3.14 A Matter of Perspective ~ Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch

Images Source: TrekCore

Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch continues with an (almost) trial and nod to Japanese cinema with...

A Matter of Perspective
Season 3, Episode 14

  • The Enterprise crew evaluates the work of Dr. Apgar who is experimenting in creating Krieger waves as a new energy source, but as the evaluation wraps up and Riker is beamed away the Tanugan space station explodes and shortly thereafter Tanugan security want to detain and try Riker for the murder of Dr. Apgar. To determine if the extradition request is valid, they recreate the events on the holodeck to try and find out what happened.
    Character Focus:
    • Riker is the focus, being the one under suspicious of the Tanugans. It's actually the first time I think we ever see him unnerved by a mission from a personal nature (outside of death ~ he was of course very effected by Yar's death in 1.23 Skin of Evil and the inability to use his Q power to have people in in 1.10 Hide and Q).
    • Picard and Troi both play strong roles in this episode as they attend and speak at the proceedings that will determine if Riker will be subject to being extradited and detained by the Tanugans.
    What I remembered about this episode:
    • I remember this as the 'Riker on trial' episode, and I knew he'd be cleared (aren't they always?); although I mis-remembered this one a little bit as the plot and style is quite similar to a Star Trek: Voyager where Paris is in a similar situation.
    • I remember the way this story was told, the multiple perspectives of the same situation and how those minute differences told a different story, and we as the audience kind of automatically side with Riker but how can there be more than one truth?

    Images Source: TrekCore
    What I noticed now, that I didn't notice then:
    • More evidence to my 'Wesley is always right' theory as he states that Riker's phaser could not be the cause of the explosion and there must be another solution.
    • I'm very impressed with Jonathan Frakes' acting in this episode, you can tell from the sound of his voice when he asks to be beamed up that something is off and he's completely unnerved on the bridge when he arrives. It's such a clear reminder that he's usually jovial or professional, so this makes the episode feel different right from the get go.
    What feels different now, than then:
    • I was very confused when Deanna said both Riker and Apgar's wife reenactments are the truthful, this might be the first time I feel like there is something off in an episode (which is formidable - normally I notice stuff like that all the time). Apgars wife's testimony/reenactment has Riker being pretty forceful on her, and that's not Riker's character at all. This is one of the reasons I thought it was the plot of the similar but different Voyager episode. There are some seeds planted in the episode that Tanugans and Humans are slightly different, so possibly they could be chocking it up to cultural differences, but I feel like I'm really stretching to believe that.
    • Now I have a totally different reference for APGAR, and I couldn't quite place it until after I finished watching the episode this time round as now I know it as a medical term.
    What remained the same:
    • There is no way Riker could have done it! I think I must have been a Riker fan by this point because I don't think I ever doubted it.
    What I see differently:
    • I didn't think of this myself, but thanks to Wikipedia for notating the reference that the theme (although I'd argue style as it's the 1 story told from different perspectives) of this episode is derived from the fabulous Japanese film Rashômon from director Akira Kurosawa. I can't believe I didn't picked that up given that Rashômon is one of my all-time favourite films.
    • There is a moment where Picard and Troi have a discussion during the proceedings where things are going well, and Picard concedes that there doesn't appear to be enough evidence to prove Riker innocence, but you know that he knows he is innocent. It's wild because for a brief moment, it feels like he would consider not adhering to procedure to save Will, although thankfully it doesn't go that far.
    Great Quotes:
    • "We can't both be telling the truth." - Riker
    • "It is the truth as each of you remembers it." - Troi
    • "In ours (judicial system), he is guilty until he is proved innocent. And you are under *our* jurisdiction."- Inspector Krag
    • "It wasn't the Commander's phaser, it couldn't have been! There's another answer. We're just not seeing it." - Wesley
    • "
    Left off at:
    Geordi, Wesley and Data figure out that Dr. Apgar was actually successful in the creation of Krieger waves to everyone's surprize, as the Holodeck re-creation is the lab and it's events creates the Krieger waves on The Enterprise. With this knowledge, it's proven that Dr. Apgar was hiding this information and attempted to attack Riker when he beamed out but it backfired and blew up the science station. Riker's cleared and everyone goes about there merry way.

    Images Source: TrekCore


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