8

Somewhere in the middle of "A Matter of Time" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, curious as always Riker says, that Berlinghoff Rasmussen (the time traveler) could be some kind of impostor like many they've seen before.

Captain Picard contradicts him claiming that time traveler has all the credit he need, that he's proven his words and that all circumstances verify his story thus far.

How can that be? Picard, as well as rest of the crew and episodes viewers has nothing save the time traveler's own words to prove his story. The entire episode is set on the course that someone suddenly appears, says what he says and suddenly everyone believe that they're speaking the unvarnished truth?

Is there anything that I have missed that supports Picard's claims and actually confirms the time-traveler's story?

  • Richard's answer is the correct one. Without the scene he describes, I took it as one of the few times when Picard allowed his hopes to override his better judgement. After all, meeting a historian from the future would be pretty cool for an archaeologist like Picard. – Omegacron Dec 15 '14 at 19:29
18

Because there's a scene missing between scene 8; ("Rasmussen speaks to Picard in his Ready Room") and scene 9; ("The crew meet Rasmussen in the Observation Lounge") in which the traveler was thoroughly examined, along with his paperwork and bona fides.

This scene was never filmed, and likely never written but the next scene has references to it;

  • He was thoroughly examined by Doctor Crusher who determined that he's a human

PICARD : He is Human. Our medical scans have proved that. Haven't they, Doctor?

BEVERLY : He's Human, alright.

  • Worf has had time to analyse the temporal readings

PICARD : And there was a temporal distortion back there, correct Mister Worf?

WORF : (begrudgingly) Yes, sir.

  • Laforge has had time to analyse Rasmussen's time-ship

PICARD : And no one can deny that ship of his is unlike anything we've ever seen before.

GEORDI : The hull is composed of some kind of plasticized tritanium mesh. Nothing we have on record... at least not 'til the present.

  • (and) Picard has had time to look over his paperwork and credentials to determine that they're from real universities, albeit from the future.

PICARD (Cont'd) : Nevertheless, I've reviewed the Professor's credentials, and they're in order. So, I'd like you all to extend him every courtesy.


Given that Starfleet have occasionally indulged in time-travel academia, that his mission seems benign (he isn't asking for anything especially confidential) and that his mission won't conflict with the Temporal Prime Directive (he doesn't seem willing to share info about the future) there's really no reason to deny his request.

  • 1
    I love this answer. It doesn't say that Picard believes him... merely that matters of etiquette are satisfied. – david van brink Dec 13 '14 at 19:43
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    @davidvanbrink - The ship hosts scientists, archaeologists and historians on a regular basis. His origins may be highly unusual, but his presence isn't. – Valorum Dec 13 '14 at 19:46
3

If the year is 1850 and a stranger shows up claiming to be from the future and then shows a well educated man from that era your modern day smart phone, he will likely believe you. That phone is so unlike anything that exists currently that ones belief in it being from the future is very logical. If you show up with a ship that is unlike any device in the 24th century, made of exotic materials and immune to scans. One may be inclined to believe you are in fact from the future, and not just your ship (which in this case is from the 26th century).

  • I think if you showed Edison, Faraday or Kelvin your iPhone they would NOT believe you. Nothing in their era allowed for that large a leap in technology - in 1850 whale-oil lamps were common and the Big Thing was flush toilets. Show it to someone in 1980 and you're good. – paul Dec 14 '14 at 11:22
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    But since the Enterprise is accustomed to meeting new alien races (including races that the Federation has no record of ever seeing before), why assume that advanced foreign technology is from the future when it could just be from an advanced alien civilization? – Johnny Dec 16 '14 at 0:27

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