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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

View Poll Results: What do you think of Riker?
He is amazing and respected. 24 45.28%
He is tolerable. 7 13.21%
He is just ok, but could be better 10 18.87%
He is a Jerk! 12 22.64%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 6 2013, 08:01 PM   #31
The Old Mixer
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

I think part of the problem was that they oversold the character from the get-go...he'd already turned down one command to take the first officer position on the Enterprise, and was given the opportunity to turn down a second as early as Season 2. If they'd wanted to keep him in his position without making it seem like he wasn't growing, they should have had him still striving to prove that he was ready for the big chair...maybe even give him a tarnish on his record that he was trying to make up for. There'd be no need for a Tom Riker solution if Will Riker had been given somewhere to go in the first place.
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Old July 6 2013, 08:06 PM   #32
Sran
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
I think part of the problem was that they oversold the character from the get-go...he'd already turned down one command to take the first officer position on the Enterprise, and was given the opportunity to turn down a second as early as Season 2. If they'd wanted to keep him in his position without making it seem like he wasn't growing, they should have had him still striving to prove that he was ready for the big chair...maybe even give him a tarnish on his record that he was trying to make up for. There'd be no need for a Tom Riker solution if Will Riker had been given somewhere to go in the first place.
If "The Pegasus" had been written earlier, that may have provided the black mark you're talking about. Maybe an earlier fallout from those events sees Riker demoted with Data (or Shelby) taking over as first officer. Riker eventually regains Picard's trust and is reinstated as his right hand, but only after proving that he's capable of making difficult decisions without comprising Starfleet regulations.

The new-and-improved Riker carries himself with much greater humility and makes an effort to befriend junior officers like Lavelle or Sito rather than ostracizing them because of poor performance or inexperience.

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Old July 6 2013, 08:17 PM   #33
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

^Or if he'd already had a public "Pegasus"-type stain on his record from the get-go, rather than it being a secret that was kept for several years. Picard could have been the only captain in the fleet willing to give him a second chance because of his talent/potential, and would have expected 200% from him in return.
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Old July 6 2013, 11:00 PM   #34
JirinPanthosa
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

I heard Frakes hates that they had Riker turn down commands.

It might have been okay if they went one of two routes. First, Riker would rather be on the frontline than have a command out in the middle of nowhere, which they did once or twice. Second, having political reasons why nobody wants to give Riker a command like some stain on his resume, but Roddenberry would have never allowed that. Instead they chose the path of "I just love my friends on the Enterprise so much" which was a huge mistake.

It's true Riker didn't develop much after BoBW, but he was still quite effective in his role as XO.
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Old July 6 2013, 11:22 PM   #35
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

^Effective, yes. But not realistic. People don't routinely turn down promotion when offered it, not more than once in any event.

It would have made more sense for Riker to have his own ship after "The Best of Both Worlds" and for Shelby to replace him as Enterprise first officer. Riker could have remained a semi-regular for the remainder of the fourth season, perhaps popping up every few episodes with his new ship and crew to give the Enterprise a hand. It actually would have been a nice touch with the outbreak of the Klingon Civil War and might have provided some nice parallel plots.

By the end of the year, Riker could have been completely on his own, and Shelby would have been established as Picard's new right hand. I know that Roddenberry wanted to paint a picture of harmony and cohesion, but he could have done that without having Riker rooted in place for so many years.

Obviously, Gene wasn't to blame for anything that happened following his death (and his involvement in the years leading up to that was minimal), but the idea that someone would turn down better jobs because he liked the idea of never leaving his friends doesn't make sense. I would have been okay with Riker staying until the end of the TV series if he had his own ship by the time Generations was ready to hit theaters. When he finally left to command Titan, I wasn't really happy for him. I was glad he finally decided to move on.

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Old July 7 2013, 01:05 AM   #36
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Not exactly after TBOBW. Picard was just recovering from locutusitis, bettre keep Riker there. Also, after wolf 249 there were not so many ships left thus captain posts available.
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Old July 7 2013, 02:13 AM   #37
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Let's keep in mind that a conceit of the series was that serving on the Enterprise was so much better than being in command of a lesser ship....

Shelby used to get on my nerves, but upon recently rewatching BOBW, I thought it was a waste that they didn't keep her in some capacity, even with Riker still serving as First Officer. The series needed a stronger female lead to replace Tasha...one who wouldn't have been breaking vases over people's heads in "Q-Pid".
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Old July 7 2013, 02:16 AM   #38
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

xvicente wrote: View Post
Not exactly after TBOBW. Picard was just recovering from locutusitis, bettre keep Riker there. Also, after wolf 249 there were not so many ships left thus captain posts available.
What's Wolf 249?

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Old July 7 2013, 02:17 AM   #39
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

The Old Mixer wrote: View Post
Let's keep in mind that a conceit of the series was that serving on the Enterprise was so much better than being in command of a lesser ship....

Shelby used to get on my nerves, but upon recently rewatching BOBW, I thought it was a waste that they didn't keep her in some capacity, even with Riker still serving as First Officer.
I thought she'd have done a nice job as a strategic operations officer, similar to what Worf did on DS9. It seemed like that's what she was doing for Admiral Hanson, so why not have her continue while being groomed to eventually take over the XO position from Riker when he finally takes his chair mounting skills to another vessel?

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Old July 7 2013, 02:55 AM   #40
Lance
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

xvicente wrote: View Post
Not exactly after TBOBW. Picard was just recovering from locutusitis, bettre keep Riker there.
There's a reasonable justification there for keeping Riker around for a while longer. We might assume that somebody at Statfleet took him aside and said, "Y'know, Will, you're a captain now. And we won't blame you if you tell us to blow it out our ass and you want your own command. But we'd really like you to stay as Enterprise XO for a while longer and just make sure Picard can still do the job." And then had him grapple with that for a little bit. I mean, 'First Contact' establishes pretty clearly that Starfleet have still got doubts about Picard and the Borg. It would explain why Riker stayed longer anyway.
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Old July 7 2013, 03:02 AM   #41
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Lance wrote: View Post
There's a reasonable justification there for keeping Riker around for a while longer. We might assume that somebody at Statfleet took him aside and said, "Y'know, Will, you're a captain now. And we won't blame you if you tell us to blow it out our ass. But we'd really like you to stay as Enterprise XO for a while longer and just make sure Picard can still do the job." And then had him grapple with that for a little bit. I mean, 'First Contact' establishes pretty clearly that Starfleet have still got doubts about Picard and the Borg. It would explain why Riker stayed longer anyway.
Meh. I never put much stock in Hayes' decision to keep the Enterprise on the sidelines. He was an idiot (if we're to believe Janeway's description of him) who liked to hear himself talk. In reality, the writers needed an excuse to have the Enterprise come charging to the rescue, and Picard's history with the Borg provided them with a perfect scenario for such.

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Old July 7 2013, 07:11 AM   #42
Ain Jalut
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Sran wrote: View Post
^Effective, yes. But not realistic. People don't routinely turn down promotion when offered it, not more than once in any event.
I think some fighter aces did so they can keep flying but i am not really sure.
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Old July 16 2013, 06:15 AM   #43
Lucky
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Riker was my favorite character on TNG.

As for why he stayed on the Enterprise, I think it may have had a lot to do with it being the flagship. And I'm not saying he stayed for the prestige of being on it, but for the unique opportunities it gave him. He got to lead away missions on different worlds, be a part of high profile events that he wouldn't have on some random Federation ship. I think he loved the experiences the Enterprise gave him, and he was in no hurry to be a captain, as he was confident enough to think he would have his own command when he was ready to leave. The romantic in me makes me think part of the reason he stayed, and he may not have even been aware of it at the time, was his feelings for Troi. I think deep down he always wanted a happy ending with her.
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Old July 17 2013, 09:39 PM   #44
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

I think it would be fine for certain characters to turn down a promotion - Geordi, for example, who is a bit softer than Riker - but not someone who was supposed to be a go-getter with an eye on his own command.

I quite agree with one of the earlier posters. They should've had Riker get promoted to being a captain midway through the series and have him be a recurring character that we see often (think someone like Cally or Anders on Battlestar). Not only would it make sense for the character, they could've used the opportunity to boost the number of recurring characters and plotlines in TNG, an aspect that I thought was sorely lacking.
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Old July 18 2013, 05:14 AM   #45
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Re: William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Here's a what if situation:

What if instead of giving Riker his own ship he would have been promoted to Captain and received command of the Enterprise with Picard being written off the show?
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