Riker Inheriting Enterprise

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Mojochi, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    There's a huge disconnect here between criticizing Riker's career trajectory and the actual values of TNG... which was that career choices were a personal matter. Troi, Worf, Wesley a lot of characters had non-optimal career choices in the process of finding themselves and the show didn't look down on them for it.

    I mean part of the point BOBW was making was that RIker's cautious experience is still valuable over his younger ambitious Shelby type personality where he just wanted to make captain. We have to assume Starfleet was wise enough to recognize that and continue to offer him commands because they want that mindset in command
     
    Lance and PhotoBoy like this.
  2. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Location:
    London
    The writers dealt with that arc very well. Riker realises he is blocking Data's advancement to XO since Data has no ego to bruise, Riker got too comfortable, Janeway made him realise if he refused another promotion he would never be promoted.
     
  3. Herbert

    Herbert Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2017
    Location:
    CT - The Sad Land of Malloy
    As someone once said in another thread, it would have been very cool if Will Riker had been promoted to captain and Tom Riker remained on the Enterprise. That would have allowed Frakes to remain on the show but than have the challenge of playing a similar yet in some ways, very different character. It would have opened up all sorts of interesting possibilities.

    As far as Will Riker as captain is concerned, it all boils down to way he was portrayed in the first two seasons. He was written as an ambitious, driven officer whose ultimate goal was to become captain, despite turning down promotions to that effect. Then, in later seasons, they toned that down and Riker became the homebody of the Enterprise. So what you have is the early Vs later Riker portrayals and the ensuing arguments/discussions about him as captain.
     
    Lance, PhotoBoy and Phoenix219 like this.
  4. Phoenix219

    Phoenix219 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    By using Tom Riker as the lens, you could actually explore all of that in terms of Wills character.... Comfortable, well adjusted, but stagnant.... Vs hungry, motivated, risk taker.... Make it a plot point that prods Will into taking a promotion maybe.
     
    grendelsbayne likes this.
  5. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    "Inheriting" seems like a terrible approach to the issue. For one thing, it's small-world: Out of all the vessels in Starfleet, the second-in-command goes on to command the same ship, what a coincidence. Second, why should command of one of the fleet's biggest vessels go to a first officer who has not commanded a ship on his own, over someone who actually has proved him/herself commanding a smaller vessel? It sounds sort of like a who you know, insider-connection type thing, not really in step with Starfleet's lofty ideals.

    Prestige seems like a rather self-centered reason for staying in E-D. Prestige might be good for Riker, not sure how that benefits the service as a whole.

    The idea that being second-in-command is just as valuable an experience as actual command... No way. Ned Beach, one of the few submarine XO's to receive the Navy Cross, wrote eloquently about the night-and-day difference in the weight of responsibility upon taking command of a vessel in Run Silent Run Deep, I'll see if I can find it later.

    This always bugged me with TNG and Riker. Of course, there are certain considerations about keeping the cast of a TV show together. So just don't talk about it! Nobody knows how long a first officer serves in a Starfleet ship, Riker's career might be perfectly normal. Instead, for whatever reason, they had to keep dropping in how special Riker was by turning down command after command. It never reckoned with the larger implications for Starfleet. The corollary of people like Riker being allowed to occupy their preferred positions indefinitely is that somewhere in the fleet someone is stuck in a position that he/she doesn't prefer.
     
    Nyotarules, grendelsbayne and Lance like this.
  6. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Another reason why Riker should have move up or away is that Picard is a great teacher, so the more first officers he trains/ commands the more potentinal good captains he delivers to Starfleet.
     
    Lance likes this.
  7. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    The character was pretty much stymied from the start. When your basic definition is having been the maverick ambitious young fast-track who rose through the ranks fast and is still rising, the series format has to do one of two things: eventually write you out of the show, or write a good reason to stay. In Riker's case they did neither; BOBW touched on the contradiction when he's 'fessing up to his Imzadi about how he used to be like Shelby and is grappling with why he isn't anymore, but they kind of flub answering that question and never really come back to it.

    Personally, I have a theory that it isn't so much about the big chair on the Enterprise, as it is that he finally found a father figure in Picard (Riker having had daddy issues from when he was a youngster), and also the possibility of wooing Deanna again, on some level, though maybe that was more subconscious. Whatever the case, I feel like he found a comfort zone on the Enterprise, and deciding he liked it, he simply settled in and let the grass grow under his feet a little. His rise through the ranks prior to the Enterprise XO role was meteoric and maybe he also felt like staying in one place a while would give him a foundation and experience his career lacked (that being said, sticking around for 15 years was probably ridiculous).
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018 at 2:22 PM
    Nyotarules and J.T.B. like this.
  8. Phil123

    Phil123 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    London
    It would make sense for him to take a ship after BOBW, but as many have said as a show I can see why that didn't happen.

    However he really should have been a captain by First Contact. He could have been in command of his ship Borg battle at the beginning, and either come aboard through circumstances like Worf's, or both ships could have traveled back.

    If fact, wouldn't it have been great if they hadn't wasted the destruction of the D in Generations, The D and Riker's ship went back in time, and the had to destroy the D to defeat the borg, all travelling back in Riker's. I know this would remove the obvious justification for him getting a ship, but still.
     
  9. Brennyren

    Brennyren Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    near Pittsburgh, PA
    Riker's career "path" really only makes sense in terms of his being a character on a TV show -- which, of course, he was. He was part of an ensemble cast that worked well together and was quite popular. So TPTB were obviously not going to be in a hurry to make such a significant change to a well-liked show, and Frakes was not going to be in a hurry to talk himself out of a job.

    In anything like a realistic fleet, Riker would never have had the option to actually turn down a command, regardless of his personal career aspirations. And that goes about triple for the post-BOBW Starfleet, where qualified command officers were at a premium. You're not interested in serving where the fleet needs you to serve, Mr. Riker? Well then, have you considered the many and plentiful employment opportunities available to civilians? Because we'd prefer officers who put the needs of the service first.
     
  10. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I reckon Admiral Riker, still holding a candle for that big chair on the D that he didn't get to inherit, went back to Veridian to 'save' the saucer and refitted it into a new stardrive, to become his personal command ship. Hence the three-nacelled thing in "All Good Things..." :D
     
    Phil123 likes this.
  11. WraithDukat

    WraithDukat Captain Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Location:
    The Fire Caves
    He grinned like a Cheshire Cat when he thought he was leaving to go to teach at the academy.
     
  12. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Location:
    London
    Its a shame no one had the foresight to make Star Trek about two ships exploring instead of just the one. Riker could get promoted to Captain and Frakes keep his day job
     
    Lance and Brennyren like this.
  13. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    As cool as the two ship concept would be, the one fear that I have is that eventually they'd find it too hard to write both ships and just phase the 2nd one out like Alexander or Saucer separation and we'd all be like "that second ship would have been cool wish they used it more"
     
  14. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    A two ship concept would somehow have to have them dependent on each other for them both to remain relevant in a weekly context, like if they were trapped in the Delta Quadrant together with Voyager or something
     
  15. Lucky

    Lucky Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2004
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Riker waited, because deep down, there was something he wanted more than command. It is no coincidence he left when he married Troi. She was it for him all along. He greatest wish wasn't to be Captain of the Enterprise, it was to be the husband of Deanna Troi.
     
  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Thankfully, it's not something directly supported by dialogue. Whenever Riker utters words to that effect, we can take it as at least half jest. Nothing ever comes out of it, after all.

    On the other hand, somebody with extensive experience in personal command of lesser vessels might well end up as being XO to the Federation Flagship. His or her familiarity with the rare type of ship and the unique mission profile might then make him or her the ideal candidate for the next skipper.

    It's just that Riker isn't this XO...

    But the "service as a whole" issue is sort of sidestepped when we learn that becoming and staying XO to a ship is on the personal whim of the CO. This is explicated a couple of times, the most notably in "The Pegasus". Not only do the COs get to choose seemingly freely from a long list, it's common to do interviews and Picard is exceptional for having skipped one with Riker.

    Most XOs probably have ambitions that steer them away from the position eventually. But if they don't, it's up to the CO.

    That implication is also reinforced by the constant if indirect referring to ship shortages: the queues must be astronomical. On the other hand, being XO to the Federation Flagship is not much of a clog in this drainpipe: if there are ships with openings, basically nobody will proceed to those through the E-D XO slot anyway. No matter where you went from there, it would be a step down, and bad for your career.

    (Which means Riker has put himself in quite a limbo - and Starfleet is perhaps trying to ease him out of it with those repeated and perhaps atypical offers for independent command, as it would look bad to push him up and away from starship assignments before he has got the fourth pip!)

    It's just a bit worrisome that all XOs are supposed to be pets to the COs everywhere in the Fleet. Perhaps more people than just Riker get stuck there, forming a factual hindrance to overall career advancement?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Location:
    London
    Not really it would mean expanding the universe to remind viewers that there are other starships out there, the 'only ship in the sector' plotline was a joke.
     
  18. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    I see Mojochi's point if there are two ships in 1 hour of television on totally different adventures I think it becomes a challenge, how does one story relate to the other. Do you just have a B plot on one of the ships and one with the main plot? Or maybe alternate between ships each episode? Making them both satisfying & episodic would be hard IMO
     
  19. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2007
    It's a question of focal point. Star Trek has one of the most expanded universes of any sci-fi, but the show only works imho if we have a crew to focus on, people who are not only relevant to us on a personal level, but also to each other in a significant way beyond being in the same uniform