William T. Riker - Character Assassination or Praise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Tom, Jul 2, 2013.

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What do you think of Riker?

  1. He is amazing and respected.

    24 vote(s)
    45.3%
  2. He is tolerable.

    7 vote(s)
    13.2%
  3. He is just ok, but could be better

    10 vote(s)
    18.9%
  4. He is a Jerk!

    12 vote(s)
    22.6%
  1. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    William T. Riker, a jerk? a hero? or just misunderstood? Let us weigh all his bad moments vs. all his good moments. We are not just taking about actions like saving the Federation from the Borg, but how he deals with other people and how other people view him.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    He was pretty useless after The Best of Both Worlds. Probably would've been more fondly remembered if Frakes had left the show after the season four premiere.
     
  3. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Would have been remembered more fondly had he left the series after Picard was rescued from the Borg. Aside from "Second Chances" and "The Pegasus," I don't remember him having that many worthwhile episodes post-season four.

    --Sran
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Riker was pretty much the lynch pin in the TNG command clique. If you're fortunate enough to be a member of their circle, everything's great. But if you're an outsider, such as Barclay, Ro, Shelby, Jellico, Lavelle and so forth he's in full condescending jerk mode. Even with his clone... well the second one. He killed the first one.

    He's a competent officer, but he does carry a lot of baggage as demonstrated with his daddy issues, frequent womanizing and his all but idolizing of Picard. Gotta agree with BillJ and Sran, he'd have been much more fondly remembered if he took a command and just showed up in a guest role in the last three seasons, but that wasn't going to happen even if it would've made sense in the Trekverse.
     
  5. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well Tom Riker was the first clone technically, just discovered 4 seasons after he killed the other one.
     
  6. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    This has come up a lot lately. Riker was the worst example, but it seemed like the entire senior staff (minus Picard) had this problem to a lesser degree. They didn't treat outsiders well, and none of them seemed to have any friends away from Enterprise. Contrast that with Sisko's bunch, who had friends everywhere, and it's not hard to see why almost none of the TNG crew had assignments elsewhere during their careers (around the time of TNG's run). Only Crusher and Worf had other postings. When Riker finally left, he took Troi with him (and several other Enterprise crew members).

    --Sran
     
  7. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My wife is....not a fan. She nicknamed him Dickweed Smarmbeard. (Smarmchin for season 1)
     
  8. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    ^O'Brien was an Enterprise transplant too, & there is some truth to the senior staff having old friends mentioned or creeping in on occasion, but with that said, it's kind of hard to disagree with any of the sentiments posted so far

    I always found it weird that when Ro returned in Preemptive Strike everyone was so welcoming, when ultimately, only Guinan, Picard & maybe Geordi, (a tiny bit in The Next Phase) ever connected with her at all

    You can add Nella Darren to that list too, & pretty much everyone of the crew members featured in Lower Decks along with Lavelle, except maybe Ogawa. She seemed to fit in well enough

    You do see some of the same faces showing up at onboard social functions, & celebrations too, which would seem to indicate that at least the other bridge officers got along well enough with the senior staff
     
  9. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    O'Brien's a little different because he wasn't a senior officer. His DS9 gig was a huge promotion for him, as he was only a transporter operator on TNG. In any case, I stand by my earlier comments. The Enterprise was the most sought after assignment in Starfleet, so it's not surprising that some of the senior officers and department heads would be somewhat snooty, but for all of them to be that way doesn't make much sense. Picard was never that way. The problem seemed to start with Riker and work its way down.

    --Sran
     
  10. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You should be able to select multiple options here. He's great AND a jerk!

    I think the reason Enterprise culture seemed more insular than DS9 was that there was less traffic through Enterprise. People didn't come to the Enterprise on vacation, and there aren't random business dealings going on throughout the ship. Anyone on Enterprise was there for official business, so there were less opportunities to show off a character's social circle.

    But it seemed to me Riker had plenty of friends off the Enterprise, more than the rest of the crew except Picard. Not even counting his parade of one night stands he had connections at seedy gambling joints, multiple references to former crew.

    I liked Riker's role in the command structure. It's true he didn't have a 'specialty' like most of the other crew so he had less opportunities to save the day but he was always able to make efficient command decisions in pressure situations.

    I'm not sure I would classify those examples as snooty so much as, on a Starfleet ship having the expectation of Roddenberrian Starfleet discipline. Not unreasonable for a military command structure, IMO.
     
  11. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

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    Frakes is awesome.

    Riker is a douche.
     
  12. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked early Riker a lot better, the fast track, career minded, hot-shot.

    Riker was reduced by not getting him own command in best of both worlds, plus we found out that Riker had been refusing offers of commands to remain first officer.

    I lost considerable respect for him when he murdered his defenseless clone in cold blood, why not just cut off his head with a sword while yelling "there can be only one."

    :)
     
  13. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I can't vote 'cause there's no combo option. He's awesome and a jerk.
     
  14. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I wish Shelby had replaced him.
     
  15. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    Shelby would have been great.
     
  16. maneth

    maneth Captain Captain

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    My feelings exactly. Oddly enough, I always had a bit of a crush on him in spite of his being a jerk on occasion.
     
  17. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wouldn't say useless, because I like Riker, but his character growth was stunted after that.

    I think a good "out" would have been introducing Thomas Riker, his transporter clone, earlier in the series, and either writing William Riker out of the show as finally getting a command and having him choose a ship over Troi, or killing William Riker off altogether, and have Thomas Riker "join" the cast.

    Then you would still have Riker on the show, just a different version of the character, with more room for character development, the "second chance" for Troi to have a relationship with Riker would make sense, plus you wouldn't have the problem of someone who should be a captain, hanging around as "co-Captain" of the Enterprise.

    Also, since Tom Riker was only a Lieutenant, we could have seen him grow as an officer, earn a promotion or two during the rest of the show and perhaps have a dynamic where Tom Riker is trying to live up to William Riker's Legacy (especially if he had been killed off) and maybe going out if his way to overcompensate and even trying to be a better officer than William Riker, and a better boyfriend to Troi.

    Instead, they wasted Tom Riker on a one-off episode, where he steals the Defiant but doesn't get away with it and he presumably spends the rest of his life in a Cardassian penal colony.
     
  18. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Riker had his moments but I do agree with the concensus that had he left after BoBW it would have been better.

    After saving Earth, the centre of the Federation and Starfleet, gaining lots of recognition and presteige, he then takes a step back to being just a First Officer--it made no sense for the character. He should have taken a command of his own and been replaced with Shelby, she would have helped add a new look to the crew.

    Riker could then pop up a few times throughout the remaining series whenever needed.
     
  19. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

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    I think a good follow up to the BOBW would have been Riker (possibly during the episode "Family") interacting with Starfleet Command on Earth about a fulltime Captaincy. He could have had some emotional conversations with Troi. Maybe something to the effect of "I really found out something about myself during the Borg invasion. I know I'm ready now." Maybe have him struggle to tell Picard about it and have an emotional closing scene where they part ways in Picard's ready room.

    Riker's character hit a brick wall as soon as the BOBW ended. He did not grow as a character anymore even with the ADM Pressman incident. I think Riker served best as a foil to the other characters for the remainder of the show; which is fine. He was a great interface to the rest of the cast.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  20. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Love Riker. One of my favorite characters.

    Well, Picard did. But most of them were blown up in Starships about 5 minutes after being introduced.