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Star Trek TNG - Season 3 - Episode 14

Star Trek TNG - 3x14 - A Matter of Perspective

Originally Aired: 1990-2-12

Riker is accused of murder. [DVD]

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 4.11

Rate episode?

Rating: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
# Votes: 30 11 7 38 21 22 29 14 9 10 3

- That was a rather large space station for only a few people.
- The testimony that Riker fired his phaser at the space station core mid transport seems a bit difficult to believe from a technical standpoint.


Remarkable Scenes
- Data criticizing Picard's painting.
- The space station explosion was quite surprising.
- Riker watching curiously as Data enters Picard's ready room.
- Recreated Riker attempting to rape Mrs. Apgar.
- Picard and Geordi solving the mystery.
- The holodeck exploding around them.

My Review
Another TNG guest star with a secret. The number one TNG cliche. The holodeck recreations were interesting though. It was fun to see all the different perspectives on the events leading up to Dr. Apgar's death. This is a decent TNG episode though a bit cliched and predictable. A bit sub average, but not by much.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From DSOmo on 2007-07-23 at 5:52am:
    - Krag claims that Riker fired a phaser just as he beamed out. No one on the Enterprise disputes this. Yet in "The Most Toys," O'Brien can tell that Data has fired a weapon just as O'Brien beamed him off Fajo's ship. If O'Brien can read Data's weapon, why can't he read Riker's weapon? And if O'Brien didn't read a weapon in discharge, wouldn't that constitute evidence that Riker didn't fire a weapon?
    - If the sensors could tell that an energy beam went from Riker's position to the science station's generator, why couldn't the sensor's register the first energy beam coming from the generator to Riker's position?
    - Every scene showing the Enterprise orbiting Tanuga IV has the ship moving across the face of the planet while the planet turns in the other direction! So how did the Enterprise manage to be above the generator at precisely the right time to intercept the lambda field (every five hours, twenty minutes, three seconds)?
  • From Shashank Mayya on 2007-08-11 at 12:21am:
    How come the 24th Century does not have something akin to a Closed Circuit Monitor/Camera. Even my local grocer has two.
  • From tur1n on 2010-02-15 at 9:31am:
    I don't get why Riker would have been armed in the first place. The mission certainly didn't require one.
    Plus we never see that thing in one of the other scenes.

  • From MJ on 2011-01-05 at 1:08pm:
    I agree this is an average episode. I still don't understand why Troi would perceive that Apgar's wife is being honest when her account is so very different from Riker's. I can understand innocently forgetting a detail or two, but she seems to be deliberately framing Riker and yet there is no deception from her at all?

    Still, for some reason, I like this episode. Maybe it's the interesting concept of a society where hearsay is considered valid testimony and where innocence must be proven in court. I'm not sure, but I enjoy what the episode is trying to do.
  • From thaibites on 2011-01-09 at 8:02pm:
    Hey MJ,
    Are you sure she is trying to "frame" Riker? Remember the name of the episode, "A Matter of Perspective". From HER perspective, that is what really happened. From HER perspective, she is not lying and that is why Troi doesn't sense deception. Truth is relative, my friend.
    The problem I had was the fact that all 3 accounts show Riker and Space-MILF touching in an inappropriate way. That means it happened. Somebody had to initiate the contact. Who was it? Since they're all telling the "truth", one of them must be completely insane. Couldn't be our dear Riker, could it...?
  • From MJ on 2011-02-13 at 10:52am:
    I don't necessarily think she's trying to frame Riker, only that her account of the events is so drastically different from his that I find it hard to believe there isn't deception on some level. Two people can give different versions of the same story, and as you say that's what this episode is all about. But I think it was a bit mishandled here because everything, from the behavior to the actions, is so different that neither account really resembles the other. They could've had a more slight variation in details and still made the point about perspective.
  • From CAlexander on 2011-04-20 at 9:32pm:
    I'm a sucker for a good gimmick episode, and this is a good gimmick episode. I tend to agree with some of the technical complaints DSOmo and MJ bring up. I don't think these points are impossible to explain, but they did make me scratch my head as I watched the episode. Nevertheless, I found the episode memorable, and generally fun to watch.
  • From Jeff Browning on 2011-10-21 at 8:51am:
    I agree with MJ in that there had to be some deception somewhere, especially on the issue of sexual seduction. In the three versions shown, Riker claims that Mrs Apgar seduced him, Mrs. Apgar claims that Riker seduced her, and the aide recounting Dr. Apgar's version clais that Riker attempted to rape Mrs. Apgar. These cannot all be true, even from a perception point of view. Sexual relations don't just happen. Someone has to be the initiator. Unless Mrs. Apgar is a master of rationalization and self deception, we must conclude she is lying. Unless, of course, Riker is lying. But Troi would never let him get away with that. So we are left with a logical fallacy, as MJ says.
  • From Arianwen on 2012-12-17 at 6:58am:
    I agree with CAlexander. The technobabble was used remarkably well in this episode, especially given the usual standards (the biological nightmare of Picard's heart operation is still fresh in my mind). The waves bouncing off at different angles actually made sense! Probably only superficial sense, true, but it passed my willing suspension of disbelief and it works with the plot.
    Re. DSOmo, if the generator broadcasts in all directions the Enterprise would receive the signal so long as it was within 90ยบ or more of the generator. The waves only hit the Enterprise twice, so even in a low orbit it'd likely still be within range. After all, what matters isn't the risk of a third attack but the unique time difference between emissions.

    Re. the "seduction": anyone telling an embarrassing story will unconsciously cast themselves in a better light. Riker and Mrs. Apgar weren't being deliberately dishonest, so Troi wouldn't detect deception - and in both cases it was the other one who started things! Since the personality of the rape projection was so unlike Riker, and since Riker is... well, put it this way, Riker must be at least distantly related to Jim Kirk, I think they probably both seduced each other.
    In other news, watching Dr Apgar punch out Riker was hilarious.
  • From Dstyle on 2013-09-17 at 11:29pm:
    The most unbelievable part of this episode: the fact that the Enterprise crew all seem to think it would be completely impossible for Riker to mack on some foxy alien lady while on duty. Umm, you guys have met William T. Riker, right?
  • From Rick on 2014-03-05 at 1:34pm:
    I agree completely with MJ. The wife is lying and its a plot hole that Troi doesnt recognize it. The whole "matter of perspective" theme only goes so far. Where it doesnt go, is attempted rape. Next, where does everyone get off saying it would be in character for Riker to seduce and take advantage of this lady? Riker will no doubt go for the young, single alien females but since when is it Riker's practice to seduce older married women in front of their husbands?
  • From Epsilon Obummer 5 on 2021-07-24 at 12:58pm:
    Guilty until proven innocent, huh?
    They should have just accused the prosecution witnesses of lying. That would automatically "prove" Riker innocent, since the witnesses would be guilty.

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