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

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Old November 25 2013, 09:08 PM   #1
pontypool
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tng "second chances"

This is the episode where years ago, William T Riker was teleported off a planet using a technique which duplicated the transporter beam, which bounced off the planets unusually strong magnetic field, years later they learn that it duplicated Will Riker, creating a second, but identical Will riker who has survived on the planet for years.
What did you all think of this episode? I can't understand why the second Will Riker didn't get promoted... After all up until performed the deed which earned him his promotion, he was indistinguishable from the Will riker we all know, so I found it a bit strange that it was never even discussed that he would or may have the same promotion?
Secondly I think it's odd that someone who has survived on his own for that length of time didn't seem negatively effected by his experience. In fact the second Will Riker seemed perfectly fine, other than his individuality complex - which had nothing to do with living in complete isolation for so long. I think it's very strange that he was able to return to service so fast, and not even have to undergo a more extensive period of rehabilitation.
Also it's obvious that the second Will Riker would also hate his dad, as up until the situation was resolved with "our" will riker, he also hated his dad, but I found it unusual the second Will Riker liked his middle name "Tom" whereas the other one "didn't care for it" I fail to see how that could happen over the course of some differing experiences after the transporter incident.
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Old November 25 2013, 09:50 PM   #2
Ho Ho Homeier
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Re: tng "second chances"

I've not seen it in many, many years. But Tom did seem rather well adjusted for a guy who'd been marooned for 8 years or so. It certainly seems a huge coincidence that the ship that finds him already has his double aboard., though maybe the Enterprise gets the assignment only because Will had been there before.

It's probable that rehabilitation techniques have improved by the 24th century, though it seems like there should have been some lasting bitterness about his situation. Though that could explain some things that later happen on DS9 (I'll avoid specifics in case you haven't come across it yet, but it's in DS9: Defiant).

As far as rank, promotion wouldn't necessarily be given just for surviving alone for as long as he did. It would be more dependent on his service record and performance in the line of duty. Starfleet's not going to say "Here's a promotion to Commander for being Robinson Crusoe."

Apparently during story plotting, there was an idea to kill off Will and have Tom replace him. Frakes was open to the idea, possibly because it would be a chance to start fresh and develop Tom further.
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Old November 25 2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: tng "second chances"

That really was a missed opportunity. It would have removed the elephant in the room of William not accepting repeated promotion opportunities. Certainly they could have explored the idea that the readjustment wasn't entirely smooth. Rather than killing off William, they could have just given him a ship and moved Tom Riker into a different role. Certainly would have been interesting to see how crewmates who felt stepped on by William (part of an XO's job is stepping on people at times) would have reacted to Tom as an equal.
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Old November 26 2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: tng "second chances"

Melakon wrote: View Post
As far as rank, promotion wouldn't necessarily be given just for surviving alone for as long as he did. It would be more dependent on his service record and performance in the line of duty. Starfleet's not going to say "Here's a promotion to Commander for being Robinson Crusoe."
Will Riker was promoted to lieutenant commander for "exceptional valor" during the mission to Nervala IV. This lead to his posting as first officer of The Hood.

Tom Riker was equally "exceptionally valant" - their lives having not yet diverged - so he is equally deserving of the promotion that Will got.
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Old November 26 2013, 03:26 PM   #5
Lance
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Re: tng "second chances"

^ It's true, but a technicality. It's a strange situation, but nevertheless Will had already got that promotion, and it was so far back in Tom's timeline that making the case for him also getting it might have been... a little awkward.

Besides which, Tom's experiences on the planet changed him. Whereas Will was kind of on the command fast-track, Tom's extended period alone more or less left him with issues that would have made him unsuitable for the role (he seems well adjusted when he returns to duty aboard the Enterprise, but just look at what happened to him post-TNG: he pissed his 'second chance' away by leaving Starfleet to join the Maquis, and probably ended his days in a Cardassian prison cell -- or worse, knowing the brutality of the Cardie legal system! )
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Old November 26 2013, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: tng "second chances"

That's like promoting Janeway to Admiral after being stranded in the Delta... Oh, wait, never mind.
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Old November 27 2013, 03:40 AM   #7
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Re: tng "second chances"

Do we reckon everybody on board Voyager got a promotion bump when they got home? Assuming the Maquis crew stayed in Starfleet?

Or did Janeway take all their credit?
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Old November 27 2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: tng "second chances"

If I remember correctly, William Riker was to be killed off, Thomas Riker was to become the new Operations Manager and Data would be promoted to Executive Officer.
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Old November 28 2013, 07:14 AM   #9
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Re: tng "second chances"

Mister Spock wrote: View Post
If I remember correctly, William Riker was to be killed off, Thomas Riker was to become the new Operations Manager and Data would be promoted to Executive Officer.
Would have been a pretty cool way to shake things up, having Data be Riker's superior officer. I don't know if I could take the killing off of Will Riker though. I always liked him even though he could be a jerk sometimes, and an HR nightmare to boot.
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Old November 28 2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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Re: tng "second chances"

Lance wrote: View Post
Do we reckon everybody on board Voyager got a promotion bump when they got home?
Except for Harry Kim of course.



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Old November 28 2013, 08:54 PM   #11
pontypool
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Re: tng "second chances"

MikeS wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post
As far as rank, promotion wouldn't necessarily be given just for surviving alone for as long as he did. It would be more dependent on his service record and performance in the line of duty. Starfleet's not going to say "Here's a promotion to Commander for being Robinson Crusoe."
Will Riker was promoted to lieutenant commander for "exceptional valor" during the mission to Nervala IV. This lead to his posting as first officer of The Hood.

Tom Riker was equally "exceptionally valant" - their lives having not yet diverged - so he is equally deserving of the promotion that Will got.
That's exactly what my point was. Up until the transporter accident, which was also the point where will riker earned his promotion, will riker and tom riker were both one and the same person, so I cannot understand why one would get a promotion and the other wouldn't.
As for suggesting that Tom wouldn't get a promotion due to his mental instability from being marooned for 8 years I propose that at the point Riker earned his promotion was immediately after the transporter incident, when 'tom' had only been marooned for a short time and in any case, Tom seemed perfectly fine, albeit a little bitter because of an individuality complex.

I saw the episode of ds9 where riker says to O'brien " I have nothing to say to you"
Seems a very odd thing to say. O'brien had done nothing wrong, other than the transporter accident which cloned riker of course... but under the circumstances, why would Tom want to raise alarm bells by indicating he had a problem with O'brien? the guy is only gonna ponder it and think wtf I haven't done anything?! wait a minute , is that tom?
very poorly planned mission. Unless of course something more recent occured between the real riker and O'brien, which Tom was aware of and used as an excuse not to engage O'brien in conversation.

You know what? after giving this more thought, I am even more confused why Tom would want to pose as will... He has starfleet clearance as Tom anyway, why does he need to be will? :s
I know that's a ds9 discussion, but it is also related to this tng episode : )

Last edited by pontypool; November 28 2013 at 09:12 PM.
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Old November 29 2013, 02:36 AM   #12
Lance
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Re: tng "second chances"

pontypool wrote: View Post
I saw the episode of ds9 where riker says to O'brien "I have nothing to say to you"
Seems a very odd thing to say. O'brien had done nothing wrong, other than the transporter accident which cloned riker of course... but under the circumstances, why would Tom want to raise alarm bells by indicating he had a problem with O'brien? the guy is only gonna ponder it and think wtf I haven't done anything?! wait a minute , is that tom?
Um no, he just needs O'Brien off the Defiant right now, and he hasn't got time to come up with anything better.

Tom's mission is the steal the ship. O'Brien is the only person on DS9 who might be able to blow his cover if he strikes up a conversation with him, especially if he starts talking about stuff that happened in the good old Enterprise-D days. All it would take is for O'Brien to say something along the lines of "Hey, remember that time you got bitten on Surata IV?", and for Tom to come up with the wrong response, for Tom's entire mission here to come into jeopardy. So basically, Tom panics, tells O'Brien to fuck off, and it catches O'Brien off guard long enough that he kind of walks off in a daze... but it's achieved it's purpose (getting rid of O'Brien) just long enough for Tom to put his plan into action. Tom doesn't need O'Brien to trust him, he just needs him to get off the bridge of the Defiant right that instant.
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Old November 29 2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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Re: tng "second chances"

Lance wrote: View Post
Um no, he just needs O'Brien off the Defiant right now, and he hasn't got time to come up with anything better.

Tom's mission is the steal the ship. O'Brien is the only person on DS9 who might be able to blow his cover if he strikes up a conversation with him, especially if he starts talking about stuff that happened in the good old Enterprise-D days. All it would take is for O'Brien to say something along the lines of "Hey, remember that time you got bitten on Surata IV?", and for Tom to come up with the wrong response, for Tom's entire mission here to come into jeopardy. So basically, Tom panics, tells O'Brien to fuck off, and it catches O'Brien off guard long enough that he kind of walks off in a daze... but it's achieved it's purpose (getting rid of O'Brien) just long enough for Tom to put his plan into action. Tom doesn't need O'Brien to trust him, he just needs him to get off the bridge of the Defiant right that instant.
Exactly.
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Old November 29 2013, 01:56 PM   #14
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Re: tng "second chances"

I have no doubt there were better, more 'in character' ways Tom could have done it (I've seen it suggested on here that Tom could maybe have given O'Brien some kind of silent signal that he wanted some 'alone time' with Major Kira, which would have prompted a sheepish smile from O'Brien and a "Ah, of course, I just remembered some internal couplings that need recalibrating on Pylon Two, uh, excuse me Major, Commander" from him as he beats a hasty exit).

But the reality is that Tom visibly tightens up when he sees O'Brien. He panics, knowing that Miles could so easily ruin the entire escapade, which presumably hinges on Tom getting control of the Defiant at a specific time. So he kind of just flies with the jerkass thing, on the hunch that Miles won't call out a superior officer on being a jerk. Luckily, he was right. In all honesty, he just needs Miles to leave, ASAP. How he does it isn't important to him.

(Either that or 'being a jerk' is perfectly in character for Will Riker, so O'Brien wouldn't suspect a thing anyway. )
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Old December 1 2013, 03:25 PM   #15
pontypool
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Re: tng "second chances"

Lance wrote: View Post
I have no doubt there were better, more 'in character' ways Tom could have done it (I've seen it suggested on here that Tom could maybe have given O'Brien some kind of silent signal that he wanted some 'alone time' with Major Kira, which would have prompted a sheepish smile from O'Brien and a "Ah, of course, I just remembered some internal couplings that need recalibrating on Pylon Two, uh, excuse me Major, Commander" from him as he beats a hasty exit).

But the reality is that Tom visibly tightens up when he sees O'Brien. He panics, knowing that Miles could so easily ruin the entire escapade, which presumably hinges on Tom getting control of the Defiant at a specific time. So he kind of just flies with the jerkass thing, on the hunch that Miles won't call out a superior officer on being a jerk. Luckily, he was right. In all honesty, he just needs Miles to leave, ASAP. How he does it isn't important to him.

(Either that or 'being a jerk' is perfectly in character for Will Riker, so O'Brien wouldn't suspect a thing anyway. )
I'll agree with you that he panicked and you are probably correct. However considering this wasn't some half assed mission, but was planned between Tom and the Marquis, surely it should have been considered that O'brien was aboard ds9 and a contingency plan should have been prepared if there was such a confrontation.

Also is there a reason why Tom riker himself couldn't have access to the defiant using his legitimate identity? he was still a starfleet officer. Tom could just as easily have took his shore leave to Risa via ds9 and been given permission to pilot the defiant if it appeared their was a danger, in exactly the same way "Will Riker" would have.
In which case a possible confrontation with O'brien would have been irrelevant and the whole plan could have proceeded with less chance of failure : s seems very illogical.
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