#167: A matter of perspective (tng 3.14)

#167: A Matter of Perspective (TNG 3.14)

https://14kltzj.podcaster.en/download/TaD167-_TNG314-_A_Matter_of_Perspective_1gp1.Download mp3 episode (MP3, 56 MB)

12. February 1990:
Actually, Bill just wanted to work at the research station of Dr. Edgar Apgar-Oetker look after the revolutionary warrior waves. But before he knows it, he’s not only suspected of murder, he’s also in the middle of a Rashomon-Remake. And then even the boss switches to stubbornness!

Germany: Riker under suspicion, aired on 23. October 1992.

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This post has 53 comments

Fittingly, you mention "The Twelve Juries", because it has one thing in common with "Rashomon": both are very good black-and-white movies that have been regurgitated ad nauseam as standard TV premise. For a while, it felt like every other TV show had a "Twelve Juries" episode (which I also parodied on SF Radio back in my "Diary of a TV Junkie" series).
But this is about Rashomon:
Spontaneously I can only think of an episode of "The X-Files" (with vampires, if I’m not mistaken) and an episode of "Garfield and his friends", but it’s been regurgitated forever. But what struck me once: In the reenactments, the characters always behave objectively (i.e., according to the viewer’s point of view) in their self-portrayal as correct or. well. With Rashomon this is just not the case: (SPOILER for a ca. 70 year old movie)
The tramp, the wife and the ghost of the husband don’t claim to be innocent. On the contrary, they all say they committed the crime, but frame the story in such a way that the murder/suicide is right or wrong in their subjective world view. was necessary.

    30 Jun 2020 Replies

I remember this X-Files episode as being pretty good. Must take another look.

Hello Emma,
I dimly remember one of those hospital shows from the 80’s, I just can’t remember if it was "Diagnosis Murder" or "Trapper John M. D." was. There was an episode where heaps of injured people were admitted to the emergency room after a big traffic accident. One of the patients died and the widower sued the hospital. In the style of "Rashomon" the situation was shown from the point of view of the involved parties. I found it fascinating.

    2 Jul 2020 Reply

Could it also have been "Chicago Hope? Because there I can remember something similar.

I have never seen Chicago Hope. I think it was Trapper John.

Besides that vampire episode, there’s another one like that on "The X-Files" with unreliable narrators, where an author wants to write a book about a girl abducted by aliens and questions the people involved about it.
Especially strange: A waiter tells that Mulder came to him in the diner, always asked for a piece of pie, ate exactly one bite of it and asked a question, after that he ordered another piece of pie and then continued to do the same thing.

&there I am once surprised about your valuation. But I like the episode, maybe because I like Law and Order too and I can have fun with Judge Hold and Judge Salesch?! &

Well I have to say, I always liked that episode too. I can understand the objections and the respective versions are just very different, but thereby also somehow in a creepy way funny.
It’s definitely entertaining, so I wouldn’t give it a thumbs down either.

So Jean-Luc "Matlock" Picard saved the day…boah wa ne Mist Folge& So the evidence on the holodock is built up like a bad soap opera. In which the Intregants don’t have their own intrigues in their brains anymore because of all the intrigues. And why should Riker blow up the whole thing, you get some poison and do it quietly& secretly and not with fireworks so that the whole planet& the Enterprise it also quite clearly mitbekommen. Quasi with the largest fence of the Galaxies& For me the thumb goes so of down, so if I want to see something like that I watch Matlock or Dallas&

After two seasons of TOS in a row, I actually didn’t like this episode too much, but I have to agree with Simon. That the thing between Riker and the woman is not resolved is very problematic! Oh, that was Mark Margolis! But this one seemed so familiar to me all the time ..

Short interjection to the topic "Why always planet Nr. 4? ":

Most likely it has to do with the so called. "Habitable Zone" to do, that is, in the area around a sun where water is liquid and thus life is possible.
If planets are always numbered away from the sun, and if one assumes that they must be at a certain distance from each other without influencing each other too much, it is quite explainable that inhabited planets tend to be in the range of no. 1 to 5 (to the sun) lie as from 6 to z.B. 10. This also coincides with the list of homeworlds in Star Trek: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/en/wiki/List_of_home_worlds

    2 Jul 2020 Reply

Hey, not bad! &

That makes sense, but why are the planets always numbered in the first place?? The races that live there surely have names for their planets, and the federation should respect that and use them as well. The earth is still called earth and not sun 3 … ok, sun is also a general term, but still ..

Your objection is valid, but there are both in Star Trek. Planets with proper names are like z.B. Betazed or Romulus and Remus, whereby here the respective central star remains canonically unnamed. Non-canonically, these stars also have a name and the planets in turn also have folk names (https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/en/wiki/Romulan_System).
A nice canonical example we have in the TNG episode "Symbiosis / The Plague": a star (Delos) with the two planets Omara and Brekka. General about planet naming: https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/en/wiki/planet-naming

I think it’s just not always important for the writers to give each planet its own name if it doesn’t really advance the story, but is just an indication of location. Who cares that a people call their planet "Quatzelokatzoityx" themselves when they only appear in one episode?! &

So I’d love to see the characters try to pronounce "Quatzelokatzoityx" throughout the episode&

Hello Simon, Hello Sebastian!

To the mentioned Courtroom Dramas I add "Witness for the Prosecution" because I find it very exciting, well written and excellently acted. It was a financial success when it came out and got good reviews, in which u.a. the script and the exciting twists are highlighted. The movie is an adaptation of the play of the same name written in 1953 by world famous mystery writer Agatha Christie. The film would never have been made without Christie’s novel. In my opinion, this example shows how difficult this kind of story is to write. Agatha Christie wrote bestselling novels in the 20s and 30s. According to Wikipedia she is by far number 1 on the list of most translated authors worldwide. So it’s no coincidence that she of all people provided the template for this great courtroom thriller. Such a story has to be well thought out and built up, because logical errors are immediately noticeable. In Star Trek, the lawyer Melinda Snodgrass drew for the classic "The Measure Of A Man / Who owns Data??" responsible. She has a few mistakes, but they can be easily forgiven. I think writing a good courtroom drama is extremely challenging and this is where the author messed up.

What bothers me about "A Matter of Perspective / Riker under Suspicion" is the premise: A main character and commanding officer of the Enterprise is on trial because he is accused of a crime. Already in TOS we had an episode with the German title "Spock unter Verdacht" (Spock under suspicion), a few episodes later we had "Kirk unter Anklage" (Kirk under indictment) and in TAS McCoy had to answer in court for a crime he didn’t commit. In all three episodes our heroes were correctly exonerated resp. acquitted of the charges. What should come out of it, if you now accuse Riker of a crime and put him in front of the Khadi? Does anyone seriously expect the first officer to be found guilty and sentenced? No! So the story can only be about how to exonerate and acquit him. Manua’s descriptions are so unbelievable that I can’t take the whole thing seriously. Bill Riker is said to be a rapist and murderer. No, it isn’t! Stop this nonsense! This bugged me quite a bit.

I notice three logic flaws that were not discussed in the podcast:
1) Data says in his log entry: "The recreations will have a nominal eight-point-seven percent margin of error." How did he calculate this margin of error of 8.7%? Such a calculation can only be made by comparisons. What did Data compare the simulation of the events on the space station to? Because they are trying to recreate the real course of events, he should be comparing them with the real events, but they don’t know them! If they knew her, they wouldn’t need a simulation. How does the percentage of 8.7 come about and what does it say?

2) Investigator Krag accuses Riker of firing his phaser at the generator right before beaming, which would have caused the explosion. In this case, Riker would have had the phaser in his hand after beaming over to the Enterprise, because there was no time to get rid of it. O’Brien could confirm that he didn’t have a phaser with him, though! All this would have taken is a survey of the transporter chief.

3) The replica of the warrior wave reactor on the holodeck does indeed generate warrior waves. Why did Dr. Apgar so long on the warrior waves, if they can be generated easily with a holodeck (on board the Enterprise-D or elsewhere)? Why aren’t hundreds of Federation scientists on many starships or space stations in Federation space researching the warrior waves?? Why doesn’t the Federation know long ago that this generator can be used as a weapon? Why is Dr. Apgar’s research something special, so he hopes to get rich doing it?

The story doesn’t make any sense to me, that’s what I have to say about this episode, which actually should convince with its logical and well thought-out story. I liked the opening scene with the painting class and the acting. Mark Margoli’s performance made me happy. Overall, however, it is unfortunately a disappointment.

Simon, I read your article on pcgames.de read and agree with you completely. You already mentioned at TAD that you are not religious. Still, you seem to long for a savior figure like Picard. I find that exciting! In "Yesterday’s Enterprise / The Old Enterprise" he again has a savior role and brings the world back into balance. I am very much looking forward to your review of the episode!

Michael from Outer Space

I was wondering at the beginning of the episode which female Ensign was chosen to stand in as a nude model for the painting class including Captain?
Is this something you’re relegated to when you’re new to the ship, or are there enough volunteers? &

Since the corridor wall was made of duranium and not plaster, it must have been a "bearing wall" on the ship…

Now to your evaluation: There you were however strict.
I don’t think it’s so tragic that it’s left in the room that Riker might be portrayed as a rapist.
On the contrary, this scene is an interesting train of thought. Two people tell how they experienced a communication, and Riker learns here that in a conversation the receiver may have felt it quite differently from the sender.
This is reminiscent of abusers who later can’t believe that when the woman said "no" she actually meant "no".
Riker has to take this reproach here that his offensive flirting, which we know from all kinds of episodes, can also be taken as an affront sometimes. Obviously the wife felt so offended that after the explosion and the death of her husband she remembers Riker’s behavior all the worse. I guess the truth is definitely in the middle here.

Hello Bjorn,
But I find that very well put. I also think that the lady has exaggerated here beyond measure. At the latest when she saw the scene played out in front of her eyes, she must have realized that her memory had played a trick on her. And even if she didn’t want to admit it, at least Deanna should have noticed a change in her feelings. All in all I find the whole story very far-fetched. In the end, I was confused by all the technobabble and found it quite unbelievable that a holodeck simulation with an error rate of almost 10 percent could have exactly the same effects. I too can only give a thumbs down.

Your Bridge

Riker has to take the blame here – but actually that’s not really the result, but rather the feeling that everybody knows that Riker is a decent guy and would never do something like that. And he probably really is, but I find it very annoying that this is just left in space because the solution at the end is quite different. And Riker can just continue his service without the problem being dealt with. It’s an easy way to get away with rapists because, after all, they’re all good guys and there’s no need to check such claims more closely, and women exaggerate everything anyway. That’s just so not possible – we’ve proven that he didn’t commit the murder, so there’s no need to investigate the rape suspicion, the woman can’t be believed anyway … but unfortunately that’s not unusual, and that’s probably why the writers didn’t notice the problem at the time.

You are both right, of course. That Riker gets away with this stunt so easily is big crap and a bad statement of the episode.

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