A Matter of Perspective
Commander Riker is on trial for murder. He tells his story, but the widow of the dead man tells a different story that tears holes in the story told by Riker… and Counselor Troi says neither person is lying. Meanwhile, an unknown something is tearing holes in the Enterprise. How can both of these mysteries be solved? Find out when A Matter of Perspective goes into the Mission Log.
Tags: A Matter of Perspective, Cliff Bole, courtroom, Craig Richard Nelson, David Krieger, deposition, Dr. Apgar, Ed Zuckerman, forensic, Gina Hecht, holodeck, investigation, Krag, Krieger wave, lambda field, Leger, Manua, Mark Margolis, murder, painting, Picasso, radiation, space station, Tanuga IV, Tayna, The Next Generation, The Next Generation Season 3, TNG, trial
First! Lol. As an 18 yr old my 12 year old sister would yell “Youre a dead man Apgar!! A dead man!! When we were fighting!! Ugh. Yeah one of the weakest episodes of TNG. The holodeck making problems outside the holodeck again?!?! The “Clue” like feel of the episode…. The feeling of “why are we here again?” To the episode. Oh well, mathematically had to be some bad apple episodes. This ranks among the worst ever esoecially in light of what we knew TNG could produce at this point. Ok, podcast downloaded. Kids asleep, sleep then work in 6 hours!! ENGAGE!
OK, so we needed a crappy breather in Season 3, because not only is Yesterday’s Enterprise next… but it’s followed by many more A+ episodes! andbytheway,thisonekindabitit…
Yup…”The Best is yet to come…!”
It puzzles me when people call this one of the worst episodes of TNG. Have we already forgotten the terrible forced humor, clunky dialogue, bad pacing, obvious plot twists, and often just dreadful performances that were the STANDARD in Season One and much of Season Two*? Including the many episodes where Wesley Crusher was the only competent character on a ship of geniuses because otherwise we couldn’t stretch the plot out to 44 minutes?
Sure, there are some legitimately terrible episodes to come in later seasons, but there’s always a certain level of polish to them.
I haven’t even listened to this episode yet, but the other comments already have me cringing at what Ken and John are gonna say. It’s a mediocre episode at worst. It’s not “Code of Honor”**. It’s not even “Cost of Living”. Compared to the worst episodes from any other season or any other Trek, “A Matter of Perspective” still comes off pretty well in my book.
* – And that’s without also picking on bad effects, silly uniforms, horrible alien makeup, inappropriate use of music….
** – And racism, sexism, shameless copying from TOS….
OK, after hearing the ep and re-watching the episode…
It’s mediocre at best also. A few years ago, I went back and ranked all the TNG episodes by how much I liked them, then formed a rough bell curve with relative scores. “A Matter of Perspective” got a 5. A low 5.
I’m thinking now it deserves a 4. But there are 45 episodes that didn’t even get a 4.
It’s not THAT bad.
lol- your favorite was “The Defector” right? Just like me!! This episode just seemed so petty. Hitting on a lady, stress over research…man, Apgar really could have handled this a lot better huh? Riker and Geordi had no clue he was scamming the Federation!
imo, this is considered very bad, because we knew the capabilities of TNG w the S3 quality prior to this episode and after as well. It just seemed a bit comical and Keystone cop like. Who dunit!?! lol- we all knew Riker wouldn’t have done this. They shoulda chose Ensign what’s his name to add more believability to this episode. I am also tired of the holodeck just making problems…its a tool that creates simulations…just leave it at that…TOO many holodeck snafus!
Having somehow missed this one in 1990, I watched it for the first time yesterday. My overwhelming reaction was that it was not terrible, but it did get tedious and felt generally contrived. The fact that Cliff Bole decided to show that same shot of the Enterprise above the planet about 8 times underlined this impression. John and Ken: Good discussion, as usual, and i eagerly look forward to next week!
yup..bound to have some filler episodes…lol
Why is every other legal system the Federation bumps into always a kangaroo-court? Hearsay is admissible, guilty until proven innocent, extradition by secret kidnapping, etc…it’s a tiresome trope that I’m not sure what purpose it serves other than to manufacture false peril.
agreed. In real life, US /NATO have a Status Of Forces Agreement w host nations and Allies when servicemen run amuck. I think it’s always silly that the Enterprise doesn’t have a legal type officer as well. “Measure of a Man” “The Drumhead”…hmmm I am sure a few others will come to mind. Seems like the command staff have to just wing it for so many episodes…lol- Don’t let the extras/underlings talk!! such a lack of supporting characters…
I can forgive the TNG writers of all people for never wanting to put a lawyer in the regular cast.
not a regular cast, but “in reality” you would need some legal experts on a starship for various purposes…red/gold shirts dying for last will and testaments, multiple infractions of Prime Directive to “get our stories straight”, Neutral Zone violations…lol-
This is very much a “This is what we want to do, so let’s just sledgehammer a bunch of stuff into an episode and see whether it works” type of episode. As such a lot of it just plain doesn’t make sense.
I will make note that the Federation was happy to fund and supply Apgar’s experiment. Obviously he can make a bigger profit by selling the weaponized version because the Federation has already paid the development costs. They’ve made the outlay and investment in him doing the work. If he turns around and sells it to someone else, that’s pure profit.
This isn’t the only time they use the holodeck as a kind of automated sketch artist. When the ill fated “fish monks” start abducting people, that’s how they recreate that. This is also no weirder than making a personality for Leah Brahms from random log files.
As to hearsay, it’s more complicated in the case of someone who has died and may be admissible even under current US law, as an example, depending on the statements proximity to death, content and context. It may not be that weird that it was admissible in this case.
The hearing they were having was for whether Picard would hand Riker over, so he didn’t need to apply the guilty unless proven innocent standard. There are plenty of real world examples of people who would be extradited under some circumstances not being handed over due to a conflict in judicial standards. As much as anything, the request for extradition was withdrawn because it was clear that it would not be fulfilled, and not necessarily because he wouldn’t have been able to secure a conviction under their system.
Gina Hecht “Manua”
Mark Margolis “Dr Apgar”
from Scarface, and I almost forgot Ace Ventura:Pet Detective…Ace’s landlord, opening scene!!
Apgar is also used to rate a newborns activity at birth. 1-10 scale, Appearance, Pallor Grimace Activity Respirations…lol
First time I feel inclined to comment, and it’s certainly not because I’m happy with this episode. Seriously, what was this talk about the nude posing? “Is she an exhibitionist”? Are you serious? The way you talk about that, one might think you’re no older than 8.
There’s nothing – I repeat: NOTHING – sexual about posing nude for an act. Only someone who’s in arrested development would think that.
Must be the ‘Murrica in you. Ashamed of being members of the human species. The only country besides maybe Saudi Arabia, where something like a “nip slip” has the potential of being discussed as a full-grown scandal in the evening news.
Guess what, men have penises, women have tits and a vagina. Grow up and deal with it! >:(
The point is: Where did the model come from? If she isn’t a hologram, she’s either a) a Starfleet crewmember, b) family of a Starfleet crewmember, or c) someone they brought aboard specifically to model.
If she’s crew or family of crew, that’s weird: She’s a co-worker, or like a co-worker’s wife. “Yeah, Linda from accounting decided to get naked in the break room in case anyone wants to draw her.” “Oh good, I remember when Bill from sales brought his wife in. That was good fun.”
Similarly, when deciding which civilians they need on their flagship, to make things more bearable, someone thought, “Well, we’ll need a bartender, oh, and someone to cut hair. Also, with all those children, we’ll need teachers. Yeah, and we’ll definitely need a nude model — For artistic reasons.”
See, the thing is, most people do that job for money. But this is supposed to be a post scarcity, currency free economy. What is this woman’s motivation to do this?
If she isn’t a hologram, it is genuinely weird that there’s someone on a military vessel doing this job and that is what was being discussed.
I think her motivation is just for art. To be a model to help artists learn how to paint the human form. Sure it could have been done in the holodeck, like so many things, but its not the same…why eat at Ten Forward, when you can eat at simulated restaurants from all over the Federation? Reality is needed for certain things…
I don’t think it would be totally weird in an evolved 24th century. Nudity as being taboo is kind of a conservative view that would likely be less of an issue hundreds of years in the future…just my thought…
Ugh, you know who doesn’t, or shouldn’t, have a problem with nudity? Anyone who has ever seen any type of nudity (non-pornographic) on a tv or movie and has been entertained by it. Seriously, how many back-sides have you seen in your life?
It’s only when the medium translated to real life that people are ‘shocked’ by it. In this setting, the non-sexual posing for purely artistic purposes, they shouldn’t be.
The idea that it’s about having a problem with nudity misses the point of the discussion completely.
I respectfully disagree. In the episode the discussion around the woman who was posing was all about what was wrong with her. How could she walk around the ship and look people in the eye after that? Is she a strange exhibitionist? What’s her problem? I postulate that discussion is a reflection of the backwards Puritan culture that still pervades large swaths of this country. This type of thinking would conceivably be against star travel in the future because ‘it’s not what God intended’.
This seemingly inocuous attitude regarding what is ‘decent’ has dangerous roots methinks.
The US clearly has a long way to go..but its just reality. Evolution is painful…the US has not progressed as far as Europe w regard to art, the human body etc….
So I see this is a conversation that has gotten WAAAAAYYY out of hand. 🙂
Just to clarify: no, I do not think that our discussion of nudity reveals our “backward Puritan culture,” but thank you very much for the psychoanalysis.
There were two points to our conversation: 1) nudity was very rare in any form on TV in 1990 – especially a show in wide syndication aimed at families in prime time and 2) it did raise a question in our minds (yes, partly for comedic effect) about how this situation came to be on a working ship. It’s just a little out of step. Again, nothing wrong with it. Please don’t let our (perceived) overreactions spawn more overreaction.
“There would be no math…”- Saturday Night Live- Chevy Chase
Next week on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Guinan tells Geordi where to find clothes that will knock his shipmates right out of the space-time continuum. (Wanted to get that one in first.)
ahhh the infamous cuff blooper!, one of the most amazing episodes coming up!! gonna get some prune juice!
I just want to say I loved the joke about checking out Kreiger’s van! I totally missed the Archer connection.
Last week we got the origin of the Picard facepalm, this week, the double facepalm. (Edited for comedic effect)
I found the idea that you could simulate an entire lab and experiment in the holodeck and get real world results that show up outside the holodeck pretty interesting. I know these questions about the holodeck and it’s capabilities/limitations are never-ending, but why build a giant lab in space if you can simulate one in a holodeck and get the same results?
For that matter why build anything when you can have the holodeck build it for you. Want a townhouse in the city? Holodeck. An estate in France? Holodeck. A Jaguar E-Type? Holodeck.
Wait, so the ship experienced damage because the holodeck recreated the sciency thingy? And the safety protocols didn’t stop it? Holy crap, my friend has booked a holodeck session recreating a 20th Century atomic bomb test! Evacuate the ship!
(Not really, I was joking)
(Or was I?)
(yes I was)
The sexual assault in this episode pretty much consumed all of my thoughts- I’m honestly so confused and REALLY concerned. And I’m surprised you guys didn’t talk more about how problematic it was. Forgive the following stream-of-consciousness rant but I’m all kinds of worked up.
A) First of all, how brave of Star Trek to do a storyline about a woman lying (?) about sexual assault before an actual story about sexual assault (she said bitterly and sarcastically).
B) I totally thought they were going to explain how the woman came to believe that Riker assaulted her- but then they didn’t! So this woman honestly recollects this event as an assault. So wasn’t it?
C) But then we are clearly supposed to believe Riker. Riker honestly believes she was asking for it. The woman honestly believes it was nonconsensual sexual assault. BUT THEN THE SHOW JUST SAYS, WOW, WEIRD, BUT OBVIOUSLY WE SIDE WITH RIKER.
D) Troi, the only other woman there, KNOWS that the woman is telling her own truth of her sexual assault but then blows it off to protect her male friend!
E) Is this a statement about sexual assault in general? That sometimes it’s just a matter of perspective? Blurred lines? Gray area? Well what was she wearing? Was she drinking? Did she clearly say no? I mean… what?!
F) We are solving a murder but another freaking crime was brought to the attention of the court. Did we just not see the following trial where someone addresses the sexual assault that may or may not have happened? Is that even a crime on this planet? Or is she simply not pressing charges? Riker’s alleged assault on the woman is used as a mark against his character and motive for killing but is not treated as a punishable offense itself.
G) Even if we put aside this case, the depiction of Riker’s assault was TOO real. How much do you want to bet that crap like this is really (really in this make-believe universe) happening? Cocky Star Fleet Officers throwing their power around because they think they can get away with it. Men protected by their uniform, preying on those who don’t have the means to protect themselves. Maybe I’m projecting contemporary problems with the army- maybe we’ll get better.
Overall, this episode sucked the life out of me. It’s messages on sexual assault (even if inadvertent) are egregious and careless.
You guys can do a pretty decent job about addressing sexism but sometimes I wish there was a female voice on this podcast.