Star Trek 1408: A Matter of Perspective

1408. A Matter of Perspective

PUBLICATION: Star Trek: Burden of Knowledge #3, IDW Comics, August 2010

CREATORS: Scott and David Tipton (writers), Federica Manfredi (artist)

STARDATE: 7101.6 (follows the last issue)

PLOT: The Enterprise stops at Starbase 17 for computer maintenance, a starbase staffed only by Andorians. As they head out, they're called to investigate the disappearance of a cruise ship. They find only debris, and computer analysis indicates Tellarite weapons. A Tellarite ship soon appears and not liking what they're accused of, its crew attacks the Enterprise. Kirk refuses to return fire as this is all one big misunderstanding, and when he finally has to target the ship, the computer suggests options for destroying the Tellarites. Finding this extreme and not at all within Starfleet policy, Spock investigates further and discovers an Andorian bias in the computer and that the cruise ship's destruction was caused by an accidental core breach. Kirk signals the Tellarites, mocks their combat capabilities and dares them to solve the mystery of the cruise ship before he does. He lets them discover what he already knows, satisfying their pride and avoiding an interstellar incident. As the Enterprise resumes course, it receives a distress call from Lt. Thompson who has escaped his captors and stowed away on an Orion ship. Except that Lt. Thompson is right there on the bridge...

CONTINUITY: Lt. Thompson appeared in #1 of this series. Andorians, Tellarites and their respective ships have the looks developed in Enterprise. The Enterprise's destination is Janus VI (Devil in the Dark).

DIVERGENCES: There is already a TNG episode with that title.

REVIEW: That cliffhanger finally returns us full circle to the start of the mini and the mystery that began there. Has Thompson been duplicated by whatever medical practices he underwent? As for A Matter of Perspective itself, it's all about the enmity that still exists between Andorians and Tellarites. There's a big battle, but not much in the way of resolution. How do Andorian actions affect the Federation? Were the culprits punished? Were they part of a larger movement or just a small enclave of malcontents? Or is Kirk protecting them in order to keep the peace? The high point is Kirk's handling of the volatile Tellarites, using insults and bravado - in essence, using THEIR language - against them. There are too few Andorian/Tellarite stories, so the issue remains interesting on that basis alone.


snell said...

My impression was that the Andorian bias in the computer wasn't so much deliberate sabotage so much as their just naturally programming the computer to see the world the way they did. With Andorians being more aggressive and and suspicious of Tellarites, it's not hard to believe that they would, unconsciously even, program their computers to interpret the world that way. Not dissimilar to way the Enterprise computers were overhauled by the "female dominated" planet in Tomorrow Is Yesterday, but with potentially deadlier consequences if you weren't aware of it.

Which, of course, still raises all sorts of questions about Federation and Star Fleet computer and repair protocols. In this universe, I guess, the Mac vs. Windows decision carries deadly consequences!!

Siskoid said...


You're probably right, though it's not immediately clear.


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