Why didn't Riker accept his own command for so long?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by The Mule, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. The Mule

    The Mule Commodore Commodore

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    that's something i've never quite understood about William T. Riker. he turned down command after command, Drake, Aries, Melborne, Voyager and who knows how many others before finally accepting the Titan.

    now, it made sense turning down the Drake (doomed snotcruiser could only make warp 3) to instead serve as XO on the fleet's flagship. but the Aries sounded like an adventure to me, a lone ship in a distant corner of the galaxy on the verge of encountering a new civilization. and he kept turning down each command offered for the next decade.

    what was holding him on the Enterprise all that time? was he hoping to wait out Picard and get the Enterprise for himself? was 14 years as XO of the finest ship in the fleet really that much better for his career than command of his own, fine ship? was it because of his feelings for Counselor Troi? did he really just like being second-in-command to such an impecable leader as Picard? was he afraid of the Big Chair? did the offers eventually stop, and that's why he took the Titan, realizing that might be the last shot he had at captaincy? none of those reasons fit Riker as i see him. what you you fine folks think?
     
  2. Finn

    Finn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    He turned down Voyager?
     
  3. smeos

    smeos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because it would have taken him off of the series.
     
  4. Borg451

    Borg451 Captain

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    when was he offered Voyager?
     
  5. Durek

    Durek Commander Red Shirt

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    Look at it this way. If he took the Melbourne, he'd be dead.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I see it simply in terms of "The Icarus Factor": Riker was seeking for a father figure, and once he found one in Picard, he stopped looking. There was no incentive for him to move forward in his Starfleet career once he had found what he wanted.

    And the only reason we'd think Riker was ever offered the Voyager is because Q in "Death Wish" says he was betting Starfleet would put him in command of that ship... And if you take Q for his word, I have this reel of a long-lost TOS episode to sell.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. cultcross

    cultcross The truth is precisely the opposite Moderator

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    I'll give you 100 quatloos! no! a thousand!



    Riker's never accepting command was one of the most ridiculous character aspects on TNG, actually. They should have done the scene once, had him chose to stay, or done it the BOBW way and have his ship destroyed, and then dropped it. It was rally stupid trying to ratchet up tension by trying the 'will Riker take command' thing after the first tiem they tried it - we all knew what would happen, and it just made the character look cowardly and Starfleet look rather desperate.
     
  8. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    And truth be told, I would not have had with that. I would have enjoyed seeing Riker promoted and leave the show after BoBW. It leaves room to bring in a new XO and adds a bit of realism to the show.
     
  9. smeos

    smeos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't really have an opinion either way. It could have been interesting, or it could have been a disaster. But the simple reason why he didn't leave was because it would have taken him off of the show.
     
  10. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    When you're on the Enterprise, the grandest and bestest ship in the fleet, it seems to me that taking command of an Excelsior-class ship, a Nebula, or hell any other ship in the fleet is a step DOWN.

    Riker was second in command of a prized assignment. Why would anyone want to leave?
     
  11. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

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    That's the explanation that makes sense to me, although one theme that was recurring was mentioning how "ambitious" he was. Meh.

    The Drake was, as mentioned before, a crappy ship.

    The Aries was described by Picard as a "relatively insignificant" ship. (Although it's non-canon, I refer you to Ex Astris Scientia's ASDB page on the Renaissance-class starship. http://www.trekships.org/renaissance.htm )

    The Melbourne was either a prototype Nebula, a different type of Nebula, or an Excelsior, all of which were taken out of service à la the Battle of Wolf 359 courtesy of the Borg.

    The end result is that all the commands offered Riker wouldn't have lasted long or wouldn't have given him the same opportunities that being on the Enterprise did.
     
  12. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    Well, that's exactly why... he's only second in command... It's not his ship. We saw in Chain of Command that even after saving the fleet from the borg, there were many admirals that didn't think he could command the ship in a difficult situation
     
  13. smeos

    smeos Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I suppose that it would be better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.
     
  14. RaymondJames

    RaymondJames Captain Captain

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    And Why hasn't Picard retired yet or been promoted. I think its pretty much tye same reason Riker turned down offer after offer, pride and or stubborn as hell. In the Titan novles I believe both Laforge and Worf turned down the XO posting on Titan, Vale who took it turned it down once or twice before.
     
  15. Dancing Doctor

    Dancing Doctor Admiral Admiral

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    It was also a desire to not be the first to voluntarily break up the Enterprise-D family. Once Worf left, even though it ended up not being permanent, it then set the stage for others to break off and leave.
     
  16. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    I would say sometimes people get into a comfort zone and want to stay there. Riker obviously had better opportunities for exploration on ENterprise than anywhere else, the flagship also had a certain prestige to it. He knew after the Enterprise he could have his pick of the litter in starships.

    RAMA
     
  17. Lilith

    Lilith Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I think being a captain for seven years is really not that long.

    I wonder if any of the mentioned episode was ever written with the possibility in mind that Riker actually would leave. Did they ever ask Frakes if he'd be okay with being written out of the show, or was it always preemptively decided that he wouldn't?
     
  18. DanCPA

    DanCPA Admiral Admiral

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    Picard doesn't leave because he is the Captain of the Federation's Flag Ship. It's his ship... and we've seen that Picard gets very few "orders" from the chain of command above him. He has the job he wants with the crew that he wants... Why would he want to go serve at a desk job.

    Riker on the other hand, is still a second fiddle...
     
  19. KayArr

    KayArr Commander Red Shirt

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    Because it's a tv show, and Frakes is a major cast member. In real life, I'm sure such a person would have moved on long before Riker did. I wish that writers wouldn't address it AT ALL, just ignore it, rather than shining a light on the fact that he sticks around for no apparent reason. He only sticks around because he's a fictional character on a televsion program.
     
  20. aloha62

    aloha62 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    When you are earning some major points by doing a good job in the flagship under the most well respected (and influential?) captain of the time perhaps holding out for when your not offered a bag of snot to captain is a good idea.

    In the end presumably he got the titan, a far greater command one that was worth the gamble.