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William Riker

XO Officer and second in command of the Enterprise under Picard. Played by Jonathan Frakes.

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"I'm warning you....stop it.....okay I'm gonna shoot now!.....right now.......okay....I'm shooting!"

  • Sep 8, 2010
Captain Picard may not have been the man of action stud that Kirk was, those tasks were normally handed over to Riker the First Officer on Star Trek: The Next Generation the younger officer to get his hands dirty to protect the Captain.  These are his own words.  I don't hate Riker and he had his moments but damn if he had one failing that I can't overlook.

Riker, born in Alaska made a name for himself in one assignment after another.  Becoming second in command of the Enterprise, he certainly had a job where all the action was not to mention had a past relationship with the exotic Deanna Troi.  On the ground, he led his away teams (landing parties in the old show) with efficiency, could solve problems when needed to and when things got hairy he wasn't afraid of picking up a phaser and fighting back, put him in space however, and heres that failing.

The Enterprise, holder of the best and brightest and armed to the teeth if it needed to fight whenever Riker is in command never seems to get it's guns out.  Riker's command during an attack is to get the ship shot at 20 times.  Try talking to them.  Get shot 10 more times.  Get a status report.  Get shot 20 more times, shoot back at your opponent once.  Wash rinse repeat.  I'm not kidding. 

Unification part 1, Rascals, Star Trek Insurrection and others are obvious episodes that expose Riker's lame ship defense skills but the wost offender of this was Star Trek: Generations where I still remember in the theater when I saw it sitting wide eyed and aghast as a rust bucket of a Klingon ship is whipping the mighty Federation Flagship's ass instead of seeing the Enterprise overpower that old ship with something I call MORE AMMO. 

I won't bore the average reader with nerdiness but the Klingon ship is the equivalent of an old biplane trying to shoot down an F 35 Lightning II.  Yeah the biplane has a chance but it's slim and none.  As Kruge in Star Trek III even said: "Why haven't they finished us, they outgun me 10 to 1!" and the Enterprise HE faced was outdated tech to his modern vehicle.  The villains in Generations have more or less the same ship as Kruge at their disposal.  Riker can't shoot down an 85 year old spaceship with the modern world at his hands and had to find a cheap win.  That takes talent of an awful kind.

Sorry for that tangent we went down but it was necessary to show just how bad one character flaw can make you dislike a character sometimes.  I guess every cloud has a silver lining since if the Enterprise didn't get destroyed in Generations, we wouldn't have had the nice new Enterprise in the other 3 movies so theres something.  Of course if Star Trek was real, imagine the people on board really wondering what his problem was.

To be fair, he didn't shrug away from really taking charge in "The Best of Both Worlds" when he needed to, so that is something, not to mention one of Riker's best moments ever.

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September 09, 2010
wow! I didn't know this about Riker! Well done, John! Deanna Troi...hhmm....
September 09, 2010
I like Riker but I can't watch Generations without wondering WHY he doesn't order a full phaser attack and shoot that pest down. He's risking over 1000 lives on board because of it.
More William Riker reviews
Quick Tip by . August 27, 2010
TNG's answer to Kirk. I'm glad he was there to fill the vacancy left by Picard.
Quick Tip by . May 29, 2010
Too cautious at times for episodes that have him centering on action.
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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Born in Alaska, the human Commander Riker is second of the Enterprise D starting in 2364 under Captain Picard.  Often put in charge of away missions and while ready for action, perfers more unorthadox tactics.  Once romantically involved with Deanna Troi.
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