Star Trek TNG Wanted To Replace Will Riker With His Doppelganger

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Ar-Pharazon, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Admiral Premium Member

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    Has anyone heard this story? I seem to remember hearing something, but if I did it's been a while.

    Sort of shaking things up without losing the actor. It might have been interesting, but apparently Berman ultimately nixed it because he was already thinking about the films.

     
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  2. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    A real shame, I wouldn't kill Will but make him captain of his own ship.
     
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  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still want to see Thomas again.

    Preferably happy, doing well and not to be killed off.
     
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  4. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. It would have afforded them the perfect opportunity to finally promote Will to captain and then replace him with Thomas, while keeping Frakes as the actor.
     
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  5. Ryan Thomas Riddle

    Ryan Thomas Riddle Writer and occasional starship commander Premium Member

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    It would've reinvigorated a character who had become stale by that point in the series.
     
  6. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Spending about half a season with Babyface Riker getting to know all the new tech and races would be pretty cool. As fans, we'd get a showcase about how much happened in-universe in all those years.

    Klingon civil war? Romulans are back? The Borg? Plus, seeing Data trying to fit into his new role would be interesting, not to mention finally some good stuff for Marina Sirtis, with Troi trying to get to terms with this man on board, the version of Riker that never left her and still love her like he did then, but also aware there's a version of him out there who loves her now, in a new way and has matured. What does she feel? How does she deal with that?
     
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  7. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It wasn't just isolation. There was isolation, survival struggle, assuming they thought him dead, & 8 years of wasted life, but it really got worse when they found him.

    He learned they not only didn't think he was dead, but that they never bothered with him at all. He returns to learn someone else reaped the benefits of his sacrifice & heroism, assuming his life, distinguishing himself so much that he'll always be Riker Prime, reducing Tom to "The Other Riker".

    He saw all he valued in his life (Captaincy aims & Troi's love) squandered by Will, making achieving them less likely, because he looks similarly unsuitable. Plus, his only victory of being posted to the Gandhi? Well, when Will outs himself about the Pegasus, he outs Tom as well, surely forcing him to testify also.

    As much as Will's career was sullied by the scandal, but he had years of good service to keep him in good enough favor, Tom had no such accolades to support him, having only been back a year. Plus, he didn't even have the benefit of having been the whistleblower himself. He had to be publicly outed by Will, as a conspirator.

    This could've made life & career very difficult for Tom on his ship, enough to disillusion him greatly with Starfleet entirely, once he'd found out about the Maqui situation. Now... do I think Will is capable of turning out the very same way under THOSE same circumstances? Absolutely. It was one soul crushing gut punch after another, ever since they found his sorry ass. Tom got more F###ed over than any Trek character ever
     
  8. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It would've definitely shaken up the show. Thomas would've had a whole different relationship with the crew and after being alone for so long would have a whole new set of issues to deal with, plus we'd get Data as Number One and see if what Hobson believes about an Android in command is true or not.

    It is a shame that TNG never did make any major changes as the show went along, help characters develop and grow in new and previously unexpected ways.
     
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  9. AKTunaya14

    AKTunaya14 Ensign Red Shirt

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    I agree! That would have been exciting to watch. I contemplated all of those questions almost exactly! But I do have mixed feelings because I found myself actively justifying why I am glad they didn't kill off Will to keep Tom on board the Enterprise. First, I would have missed Picard and Will's relationship above all. I prefer Will over Tom, even though I really fell for Tom's childish charm and excitement/enthusiasm for life. He was also quite impulsive compared to Will. I see Will and Deanna's relationship and I see two adults who have transitioned into a different stage of their lives making their current relationship strong and mature.
    This stood out to me too, when Tom announced he was leaving, he suggested marriage and almost expected Deanna to leave the enterprise and her life as she knew it almost instantly, etc. so they could be together and in my opinion Will would have NEVER done that. When they were young that may have seemed romantic but not now. I think Will's first thought would have been " I have no right to ask her to leave her life here particularly when I put my career before her all those years ago".
    As much as I love the idea of their romance blossoming again the way Tom's and Deanna's did I really do prefer her relationship with Will.
     
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  10. dupersuper

    dupersuper Commodore Commodore

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    Well, we saw it wasn't in that episode...
     
  11. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I prefer how it went in TNG over the original plans for Thomas Riker. It would have been far more interesting if Thomas had replaced Will after Will took over as Captain of the Enterprise if Picard did not return after BoBW.
     
  12. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    Or Will Riker gets his own ship and maybe make a "guest" appearance one or two times.
    And Tom is stationed at conn or opps and Data becomes first officer
     
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  13. LadyMondegreen

    LadyMondegreen Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I would have found it an interesting change -- though I've never found Riker a particularly interesting or compelling character. I'm not sure I think Tom and Deanna would have worked out even if he did stay, though.
     
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  14. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Commodore Commodore

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    Would have been an interesting shake up, he couldn't have been First Officer, so a change of maybe Tom at Ops, and Data as #1 would have been interesting, maybe the authors here could write an alternate timeline book about it??
     
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  15. Trek Survivor

    Trek Survivor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's an interesting idea, and I remember reading that the writers and producers all enjoyed mulling it over... But they made the right decision in the end. Killing off Cmdr Riker would have been a mistake.
     
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  16. Herbert

    Herbert Commodore Commodore

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    But that's just it. They didn't need to kill him off. They could have promoted Will to Captain and sent him off to command his own ship. Then you get Thomas but get to keep Frakes. Frakes, being an actor, probably would have loved it, Thomas shakes up the dynamic of the crew and we get a new # 1. Not sure why they didn't think of it like that. Seems like a huge missed opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
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  17. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always liked the fact that at the end of "Second Chances" nobody died. The storyline they gave Tom in "Defiant" would not have been my first choice but I think once it was done there would have been a lot of storytelling potential and acting opportunities for Frakes in a sequel to that story rather than just a sequel to "Second Chances". Tom in "Second Chances" is just Diet-Will or Will Riker-Max or some shit. I'm rather enamoured with this idea that once the Dominion War kicked off Tom, Ro, Nick Locarno, Ben Maxwell and Eric Pressman were all brought together with other Maquis by someone like Nechayev or Jellico to be this guerilla force against the Dominion. Ro and Tom kind of have this one-sided history that would be interesting to play.
    I think if anytime they were going to shake up the crew I think BOBW2 would have been my choice, with Riker staying captain, Shelby as XO and Picard taking a leave of absence and returning for sweeps or whatever.
     
  18. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Commodore Commodore

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    That would’ve been seen as TNG cutting costs by losing its most experienced actor. The series ends one or two seasons later, likely there is no DS9 or VGR, the end (for the time being).
     
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  19. somebuddyX

    somebuddyX Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Probably, but I'm only talking hypothetically, like in some alternate universe, not actual changes that I wanted in ours.
     
  20. Phily B

    Phily B Commodore Commodore

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    I would not have killed him off, but if I'm gonna do some quick fan fiction, I'd have had Season 4 end with this Thomas Riker storyline with the cliffhanger being something like Best of Both Worlds where you think Will is gonna die, then it turns out it was just a misdirection. Riker and Riker work together, solve the problem and Riker finally gets his own command.

    As a character, Riker largely stagnated after Best of Both Worlds, it made no sense he would remain on the Enterprise, he'd have his choice of command in the fleet, except the one he really wanted. This solves a lot of problems with Frakes in the later seasons, as well as opening up new story possibilities with Will every so often.

    It isn't really surprising to see that Berman nixed the idea, the guy was very conservative when it came to Trek unfortunately and all these ideas and lack of vision are why the shows got quickly left behind.
     
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