Killing off Will Riker

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Cmdr.Druss, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Josh Kelton

    Josh Kelton Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Although "A Time to Heal" does provide an explanation for that, (Even if it's not necessarily a cannon one) that Riker just became too comfortable and that Data, by his nature, wasn't willing to just push him out of the first officer position.
     
  2. James R

    James R Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I didn't need to kill him they should have had him leave and that should have been the set up for one of the spin offs espically after Deana and Worf got together that could have been used as a reason to get the character off the ship.
     
  3. 47

    47 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh holy CRAP I LOVE that one!
     
  4. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    well, it is kind of a canon one-Riker admits to getting "too comfortable" in his position in BOBW. Which is ridiculous of course from a Starfleet point of view-you don't have quality officers sit in one position for a decade just because they're happy there, but that's the fictional universe explanation.
     
  5. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was speaking figuratively. Thomas Riker meant a character change for Frakes, so he'd have to work hard at making the shift and not fall back into "Will Riker". Frakes did gain some poundage later, but that kind of fell in line with his "sticking around" persona of not moving on to his first command as captain. Thomas Riker seemed to be a younger version of him, more full of fire/passion/enthusiasm.

    I think it would've been hard to work this in, on a show that was generally not serialized. You'd have to have some kind of development on this that would be plausible, perhaps leading up to a crescendo where Picard finally learns about that's going on and has a confrontation with Riker over it. But, managed well enough, I could see it being a "side arc" that would last over the course of a single season, but not two.
     
  6. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Sounds like a Peter David novel.
     
  7. doubleohfive

    doubleohfive Fleet Admiral

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    Admittedly, its sort of clever, in a convenient way now that we know how TNG and the TNG films end. That said, it flies in the face of what TNG was supposed to be "about."
     
  8. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    For once I agree with Berman and Braga. Killing Riker and replacing him with "Thomas Riker" would've been basically killing off everything Will Riker had done and experiences over the six years or so.

    That said, although I like Jonathan Frakes and the Riker character a lot, I personally don't think that Frakes had the acting chops to pull off a "same but different" take on Riker that would work onscreen.

    Nor do I think the quality of ST:TNG writers were high enough quality at that point to pull it off.

    After a few episodes, the only thing different would be that "Riker" would use a different first name, be sitting in a different bridge chair, and having sex with Troi now and then.
     
  9. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Here's something though...

    They thought about killing Will and replacing him with a never-before-seen, less experienced twin. Many people think this was a good idea and think they should have done it.

    Years later they did do it, and almost everyone seems to really hate it.

    Why is it a good idea for Riker but not for Data? Discuss...
     
  10. Knight Templar

    Knight Templar Commodore

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    Easy.

    1) For Riker it is a hypthetical idea and people tend to think the best possible outcome for a hypothetical.

    2) For Data, it actually happened in the context of a horrendously bad and unsuccessful movie.
     
  11. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Good point.

    For me I would have to say that with the Riker's, though Will was killed off and replaced with Tom, they were two different characters (thanks to their experiences). Also after Second Chances then Tom had the chance for development, adjusting to life around people again, new position on a ship haunted by his 'brother', relationship with Troi, etc. There would have been the chance to get to know him, and with the good standard of writing and work being done on Trek at the time it could have been done in a considered way, not making light of the situation whilst also giving Tom the chance to shine in his own light.

    With B-4, all of Data's memories and experiences were ripped away from him and implanted in another. B-4 would have become Data 2.0, just the same character with an origin that would probably never be touched on again (how often was the fact that Harry was a duplicate ["Deadlock"], or O'Brien was a 'time traveller' from a few hours in our future ["Visionary"] ever mentioned after the episode?). It was also thrown in at the end of what was always advertised as being the last TNG movie (which was awful), so we have no way of knowing what happened next and it leaves lots of unanswered questions that will never be aired on screen.

    But that's just my thoughts on the matter.
     
  12. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think there would have been much of a problem with "erasing" Will Riker's experiences. The show was more episodic than serialized, after all. But I do agree that Frakes didn't have the ability to really pull of sustained shift to Thomas instead of Will. Still, he might have surprised us. Who knows.

    I personally feel that it would've "refreshed" a bit of the show, at a time when it had already shown signs of going stale. The last season would've had just a little bit of a different spin on it, with Thomas instead of Will. But it certainly would've caused a shift in officer positions. I doubt Thomas would've gotten promoted to commander.

    Would Thomas have worked out for the movies? I liked the dynamic between Will and Troi in First Contact. It would've been different with Thomas, and it's hard to think of the result.



    Even though Data is an android, his personality evolved over time in reaction to the people he worked and lived with across many years. B-4 would start out with the same base positronic design, implanted with Data's memories, and the engrams of his personality would be influenced by Data's memories. So, you would probably see behavior like Data at times. But alas, as Bry pointed out there was no room to ever discover what would have become of B-4, because it was the end of the TNG movies. I also feel it was a terrible exit... the worst movie of the franchise.
     
  13. 47

    47 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Simple. The execution was crappy and there was no valid reason or advantage in hell to kill Data, when it was clear that Nemesis was the last movie of the series.
     
  14. Commander Riker

    Commander Riker Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Killing off Will Riker and replacing him with Thomas Riker would have been just as bad as when they killed off Data, just to replace him. It would have angered avid fans of the show and confused casual viewers of the show. i.e. that Will Riker is now called Thomas and is in a new position. Hard to do with a show that relied on being episodic.
     
  15. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do agree that it would've been better for Data to survive, if only for it being easier for the subsequent novels written to make use of him without "canon violation." In movie production respects, it's a wash, anyway. Remember, the whole crew is "dead" because TNG movies are no more. There won't be any more. The actors are through with it due to age, as well.

    We have seen some TOS actors (secondary and guest) make appearances in fan productions. I do wonder if a really good TNG fan production might lure some TNG cast members to make appearances too. But for Brent to show up slathered in Data make-up? Nah. I think there's a very slim chance of that ever happening. I could see Frakes doing it. He's the kind of guy who'd love the ego boost of the experience, another round of intense fan fawning. ;)
     
  16. Anji

    Anji Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That Will/Thomas Riker was one of the stupidist episodes of Star Trek I've ever seen!

    If you want to soften Will to make him more accessible to Deanna (which I think that is what they were going for) you can do it without replacing him with something so implausable as a transporter duplicate.

    The easiest way i can think is to jeopardize either her or his life and the two will appreciate each other. That's the way it works in real life. Only after a couple realizes one will be missing do they truly start to appreciate each other.

    C'mon!
     
  17. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    We basically got to see this same plot thread actually play out on another show, nuBSG. Sharon Valerii and Sharon Agathon were essentially the same person but with different life experiences, and when Boomer was killed off and replaced with Athena, we got to see how the rest of the crew reacted to her. Athena never experienced the months on Galactica where she ultimately shoots Adama (not to mention not being Cylon brainwashed), so she comes across as a more redeeming character. Meanwhile, Boomer was just one failure after another until she finally bites it in the finale. It was interesting to see the dichotomy between them. I think it worked out well, plus we got two of Grace Park ;)

    I was going to suggest this if no one else had. There's no reason to kill off Will Riker, just force him to take a Captaincy on another ship and get rid of him. The actual "Will Riker" will still be alive and we can see him every now and then, his character won't be stagnant, and we get to start all over again with Tom Riker. It's the Best of Both Worlds (pardon the pun).
     
  18. Gil T.Azell

    Gil T.Azell Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You might have seen a short ratings Spike, but thats all I could see coming from this idea.
     
  19. Lt. LaForge

    Lt. LaForge Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Theory subscribed to by myself.
     
  20. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That was a cool idea. You also could have done something like "the Pegasus" a lot earlier in TNG, thereby creating a disciplinary scenario where Riker CAN'T become a captain for a long time and so must remain an XO on the Enterprise. That way it doesn't look absurd for him staying so long considering his ambition, plus it gives the character some bitterness.