Star Trek: The Next Generation

Season 3 Episode 14

A Matter Of Perspective

Aired Unknown Feb 12, 1990 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
202 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Stardate: 43610.4 Riker is accused of murder when a scientist is killed in an explosion. Picard must recreate the recent events in the holodeck to prove his commander's innocence.

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  • A good old sci-fi murder mystery

    This Riker episode, courtesy of the holodeck, borrows an age-old gag from television sitcoms: the trial where we get to see everyone's differing "viewpoints" (the sitcoms having borrowed the idea from the classic Japanese film, Rashomon). The result is a bit predictable (and sometimes outright funny), but as far as filler, bottle shows go, this one is rather nice – with a decent structure, nice acting, and good pacing. Interestingly, the plot of this episode would have fit like a glove into any of the live action Star Trek episodes (although I guess that's why the plot device is so archetypal.)moreless
  • TNG does "Rashomon", with entertaining if not mind-blowing results.

    This is another one of the solid, enjoyable and unremarkable episodes that populate much of the 3rd season. In this one, Riker is accused of murdering a scientist and lusting after his wife. Despite some similarities, each of the three testimonies diverges on enough key elements that Riker can't be immediately absolved.

    Actually, what is weird to me is that despite being absolved of the murder, we never really figure out exactly what happened on that space station – and the show keeps going as if it doesn't really matter! Riker was effectively accused of attempted rape, and Counselor Troi herself suggests that the purported victim truly believes her version of events! Sounds pretty shady to me.

    The best part of the episode lies in the testimony representing Dr. Apgar's view – all of a sudden, this wimpy scientist becomes a butt-kicking superhero – as I suppose he always imagined himself.moreless
  • An under-appreciated episode.

    I would be lying if I wrote that "a Matter of Perspective" was the greatest Star Trek adventure of all time, but I do consider it to be a good episode under-rated by the fans. Its a Star Trek style murder-mystery with a surprise ending which I felt kept the audience guessing. One of the strength of Star Trek is its ability to put out so many original story-lines. This is something lacking in many other television dramas. Its the fact that the plot keeps one guessing until the end, and the fact that not every plot point is cleaning resolved that makes episodes like this so fun to watch, even after many viewings.

    Thankfully this episode keeps with the tradition of the Federation requiring hearings before releasing its citizens to the local authorities -- something that can be troublesome even in real life. Later series had an unfortunate tendency to gloss over this point -- in particular DS9 episode "the Vortex" that I found particular not believable.

    My hat is off to any fan that could solve this mystery before the episode's conclusion. I certainly had to wait until the end of the simulation. Definitely a fine example of Trek.moreless
  • Guilty till proven Innocent? So it may seem? Commander Riker is being accused of murder. The facts we know is he beamed aboard the "Enterprise" about the same time a Tanuga IV science station blows up. Riker was the last one to see Dr Apagar.moreless

    Guilty till proven Innocent? So it may seem? Commander Riker is being accused of murder. The facts we know is he beamed aboard the "Enterprise" about the same time a Tanuga IV science station blows up. Riker was the last one to see Dr Apagar. If you like mystery this episode has it all. I am sure Data and Geordi is going to find out the truth. Is this the end for Commander Riker and his starfleet career? Watch this episode and find out. I have to rate this one a 7.9 not the best but not a dud either.moreless
Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jonathan Frakes

Jonathan Frakes

Cmdr. William T. Riker

Brent Spiner

Brent Spiner

Lt. Cmdr. Data

Gates McFadden

Gates McFadden

Dr. Beverly Crusher

Marina Sirtis

Marina Sirtis

Counsellor/Lt. Cmdr. Deanna Troi

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton

Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Even though the holodeck program is frozen repeatedly, somehow the holodeck-simulated device generating the energy waves continues to function.

    • During all of the simultations when Picard tells the holodeck to "freeze program," the lights on the consoles still flash.

    • During one of the holodeck similations, after Picard says "Freeze Program" all motion freezes except for the red digital numbers at the top of the control panel.

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (0)


    • Multiple points of view
      The plot device of using multiple, often conflicting, viewpoints of the same event was most famously used in the 1954 Japanese film Rashomon. Since then any film or TV show using the device is said to have a "Rashomon" plot.

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