Type Episode
Date 1993-05-24
Tags transporter accident

Second Chances

Star Trek: The Next Generation 6x24

The planet Nervala IV is surrounded by a distortion field that can only be penetrated for a few minutes every eight years. Eight years ago, Riker was a lieutenant on the Potemkin, and he nearly failed to escape while evacuating the rest of the crew. Now, the Enterprise is there to retreive some valuable data that they left behind.

When Riker, Worf, and Data beam down, they discover that the planet is inhabited–by Lieutenant William T. Riker, who was unable to beam off the planet eight years ago. It transpires that the transporter reflected off the distortion field and duplicated Riker, so one copy went on to become first officer of the Enterprise, and the other was stuck on the planet alone for nearly a decade.

The two Rikers don't get along. Lt. Riker is unused to following orders, which causes friction, and he is still in love with Deanna, which creates its own awkwardness. Deanna contemplates rekindling her old relationship with the new Riker, but decides he's probably as much of a jerk as the guy she's used to, so in the end Lt. Riker (who has decided to call himself by his middle name, Thomas) leaves for a position that Picard has arranged for him on the Gandhi.

It's The Enemy Within, except that both of them are jerks, this time!

Data muses to Worf that perhaps the Rikers don't get along because humans are used to feeling unique and special, which echoes Riker's objection in Up the Long Ladder that "One William Riker is unique, perhaps even special. But a hundred of him, a thousand of him diminishes me in ways I can't even imagine." Worf figures it's because Riker sees something in his counterpart that he dislikes in himself–a much better explanation.

Character TypeName
Deanna Troi MainMarina Sirtis
Thomas Riker MainJonathan Frakes
William T. Riker MainJonathan Frakes
Beverly Crusher SubGates McFadden
Data AppearanceBrent Spiner
Geordi La Forge AppearanceLeVar Burton
Jean-Luc Picard AppearancePatrick Stewart
Palmer AppearanceMae Jemison
Worf AppearanceMichael Dorn
Name RoleCharacter
Brent Spiner Actor
Gates McFadden Actor
Jonathan Frakes Actor
LeVar Burton Director / Actor
Mae Jemison Actor
Marina Sirtis Actor
Michael Dorn Actor
Michael Medlock Author
    Patrick Stewart Actor
    Renรฉ Echevarria Screenwriter