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Commander William Riker - Star Trek - The Next Generation

William Riker from Star Trek - The Next Generation played by Jonathon Frakes.

William Riker is a fictional male Human in the Star Trek - The Next Generation television series who was played on screen by Jonathon Frakes. Commander Riker is the second in command of the USS Enterprise NCC 1701D under the Captaincy of Jean-Luc Picard.

In the first episode of the series, Will Riker was on Farpoint awaiting the arrival of the Enterprise. Being on Farpoint, he was not party to the first encounter with Q (Omnipotent) but Picard was able to handle the situation on his own.

Commander Will Riker takes command whenever Jean-Luc is unable to take command, either being on medical leave or being on an away mission. Samaritan Snare

Riker plays the Trombone which he plays in Thine Own Self when Deanna Troi comes to visit him for advice. Riker also plays it at Ensign Ro Laren and Geordi LaForge funeral. The Next Phase

Rikers' Family

In the series, Will Riker hails from Valdez, Alaska, United States. He had a frought relationship with his father. Riker's mother died when William was five, barely ouf diapers as his father Kyle put it. Kyle tried to do the best he could but eventually they separated.

Riker was offered the captaincy of the USS Aries. He was surprised to hear who the person who would be giving him the information about the Aries was, it was his father. Riker didn't want to leave the Enterprise nor have to work with his father for which he was estranged from. He was also offered the helm of the USS Melbourne which he also declined. StarTrek

Thomas Riker

During a malfunction in the episode "Second Chances", a duplicate William Riker is created. The duplicate goes round creating havoc and is finally caught by the crew of the Enterprise. The second version is named Thomas after William's middle name.

Thomas RIker leaves the Enterprise and eventually joins up with the Maquis who are against the peace treaty between Starfleet and the Cardassians. Thomas steals the USS Defiant - NX-74205 and uses it attack Cardassians installations in the neutral zone. Benjamin Sisko is forced to hand over Thomas to the Cardassians to prevent any further retaliation. It is the last time we hear of Thomas Riker.

In the canon series, he only briefly appears, however in the non-canon books, Thomas RIker makes a number of appearances.


Deanna Troi

Before William Riker had been assigned to the Enterprise, he had had a relationship with Deanna Troi, one that didn't end so well. When they met one another again, they tried to put their feelings for one another behind them. When Deanna announced that she was now with Worf, Riker gave his blessing.

Angel One

In the first series, the crew visit Angel One, a planet that has a matriarchal society, that is where women are the leaders. The Enterprise had been sent there to recover some people who had crash landed on the planet. During his time on the planet, Riker gets close and personal with Beata, the "elected one". Elected One is another way of saying the leader. The relationship only lasts the episode.

The Vengeance Factor

Yuta, a female Acamarian comes aboard the Enterprise as an assistant to the Acamarian lead negociator who wants to bring the gatherers in from the cold. Riker takes an interest in Yuta. When the crew of the Enterprise discover that Yuta is trying to attempt an assassination, Riker has to put his feeling for her behind him. In the end, Riker is forced to kill her to prevent an assassination.

Riker's Beard

In the first series of the show, Riker was clean shaven. He grew it during the break between the first and second series. Instead of shaving it, he kept it for the rest of the series run. He first appeared with the beard in the episode "The Child".

Guest Appearances


William Riker has appeared in guest appearances in Voyager and in Enterprise. Jonathan Frakes has also directed episodes across the franchise. In Voyager, Q calls upon Riker to give evidence on whether Kathryn Janeway should give asylum to a member of the Continuum. After giving the evidence, Riker is returned to his place in space with his memory blanked of the occasion.

Deep Space 9

William didn't actually appear in the episode, Thomas Riker did pretending to be William. Thomas wanted to get hold of the USS Defiant and use it against the Cardassians. No one realised that the Riker that they were dealing with was Thomas until too late.

With the ability to use stealth technology, Thomas was able to launch stealth attacks on the Cardassians. In the end, both Starfleet and the Cardassians were able to track ihim down. Thomas Riker was handed over to the Cardassians to be punished. It was the last time we heard from Thomas in the canon series.


Both Riker and Deanna Troi appear in the last episode of Enterprise where they recount the events of Jonathan Archer and the formation of Starfleet. The episode "These are the voyages" is voted nearly always as the worst Star Trek episode ever. Its not hard to see why.

Will Riker Day

Apparently, the 3rd of April is known on the internet as Will Riker day. It is a day when men should not shave in honour of the character. Its not gone unnoticed by Jonathan Frakes, the actor and has tweeted about it. There is even a dedicated twitter account WillRikerDay.

Jonathan Frakes

In addition to acting, Jonathan Frakes is also known for directing. He has directed a number of episodes across the board starting with the third series "Offspring" episode. He has also directed "First Contact", the film that saw the Enterprise go up against the Borg after being catapulted into the past. "First Contact" has often been referred to as one of the best films, surpassed only by "Wrath of Khan".

Jonathan directed the follow up movie but it was not as good as the previous one and is best forgotten. You can't have Picard without having Riker, the two characters are inseparable. When it was announced that the new series Picard was being made, speculation mounted as to whether Riker would be returning. Its not been confirmed yet but Jonathan is involved in the series either directing or appearing as a special guest.

William Riker Facts

Alien RaceHuman
AllegianceThe USS Enterprise NCC-1701D
LoveDeanna Troi
ActorJonathon Frakes
Last UpdatedTuesday, September 17, 2019

Copyright: Paramount

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