The fact that Jimmy and Tom got a second TNG episode chat in time for the weekend when one of them is about two Rikers seems rather appropriate.
Oh, this episode has two Rikers.
Riker has to deal with the unexpected results of a transporter accident he was involved in eight years earlier.
jimmy: You know those Riker’s that are like, double Riker’s, you know?
tomk: I dunno. I was seeing double. Four Rikers.
jimmy: I thought it would have been funny if the credits had “Guest starring Jonathan Frakes” or similar.
tomk: Well, they don’t have your sense of humor.
jimmy: Not many do.
tomk: That’s too bad. You could be the Canadian Rip Taylor.
jimmy: I do have a similar outfit on today.
tomk: That is a fabulous coat.
tomk: It would look good on either Riker.
jimmy: It would match Thomas better.
tomk: You only say that because he’s already wearing yellow.
jimmy: Well, yeah. And he doesn’t seem as…seasoned…as William T.
tomk: He also had a thicker beard.
jimmy: Did he? I never really noticed that. But I did think Frakes did a good job. Besides the obvious wardrobe differences, I felt it was usually easy to tell which one was which.
tomk: Yeah, there’s a bit more hair on Thomas’s cheeks. And he did do a good job, plus the greenscreen effects were pretty good for the 90s.
jimmy: I thought so too. There were a few obvious split screen moments, and body doubles, but otherwise I thought they did a good job. There were a couple of impressive scenes with them walking in front of each other or interacting with the same characters that were well done.
tomk: They got plenty of practice with Data, Lore, and every other character Brent Spiner has played on this show.
jimmy: True. I was surprised Data didn’t mention Lore during his talk with Worf about dealing with a potential double showing up.
tomk: No, instead he just nodded in agreement when Worf said he’s a hard Klingon to get along with.
jimmy: That was funny. Worf wasn’t impressed.
tomk: He needs to stop setting Data up that way.
jimmy: Worf, the ultimate straight man.
tomk: He’s rarely deliberately funny.
jimmy: Neither is Data…technically.
tomk: Data tries too hard sometimes. Like when he took lessons from Joe Piscapo.
jimmy: Let’s forget about that.
tomk: Should we also forget the episode where Riker and Pulaski got cloned and Riker said something about how there should only be one of him?
jimmy: He wasn’t wrong…?
tomk: Except, by the show’s timeline, there already was a second Riker.
jimmy: But he didn’t know that.
tomk: Well, he can’t forget that now.
jimmy: He probably will, mostly, since they shipped him off at the end.
jimmy: And that’s it by the looks of it. Outside of comics and novels. I would have thought maybe a couple of more appearances.
tomk: His DS9 appearance did not end well for Thomas.
jimmy: Some other internet tidbits:
The TNG writing staff toyed with the idea of having Thomas Riker permanently replace Will Riker in “Second Chances”. With Will killed off, Thomas Riker would have been given a position at the Enterprise’s helm, and Data would have been moved to the first officer position.
Jonathan Frakes described Thomas Riker as being “much less confident than Will. But he’s also tender and sweeter. I think I like Tom better!” Troi actress Marina Sirtis concurred, “I preferred Thomas Riker. I thought he was cuter than Will.”
tomk: That could have been interesting. I saw Thomas as more rebellious and less experienced. He was used to doing things his way, and having a by-the-book officer who just so happened to be himself no doubt rubbed him the wrong way. Will is the person he could have been instead of who he was.
jimmy: It’s an interesting question. I think if I took myself now compared to 8 years ago, not a lot of difference. But there would definitely be times in my life where that 8 year swing would make a huge difference. And that’s ignoring the 8 years of living alone, or whatever other paths your 8 years ago self would have taken.
tomk: Meanwhile, Will was probably looking at him and thinking back to the things about himself he maybe didn’t care for since he didn’t have the opportunity to grow and change as a man, particularly on the Enterprise. Thomas doesn’t even know what the Borg are, for crying out loud.
jimmy: Data alluded to this. I think they were both looking at each other with a mix things they didn’t like about the other, and things they were jealous of.
tomk: Like how Thomas can still get some Troi nookie?
jimmy: I mean, Will could if he tried, but yeah. Stuff like that.
tomk: Well, Will gets her in the end.
jimmy: Hard for Thomas to when he never sees her again.
tomk: Sometimes people forget. Sometimes they want to forget. Sometimes things can’t be forgotten.
tomk: C’mon, Jimmy. Don’t be so surprised. I mean, it’s not like Garbage Day Guy is another you resulting from a transporter accident.
jimmy: Or is it? No. No it’s not.
tomk: You’re right. He’s likely another Watson resulting from a transporter accident.
jimmy: That seems more likely.
And I know this was the result of an accident, but it certainly seems like something that could be recreated to duplicate people whenever they wanted. Or store people’s transport patterns in buffers to “resurrect” them if needed, kinda like how the X-Men are immortal now.
tomk: Lower Decks also did the transporter clone story…on a ship captained by William Riker.
jimmy: It takes place after TNG I take it?
jimmy: I’ll watch it one of these days…
tomk: You’ll probably like it.
jimmy: I’ve liked most other Trek.
tomk: Except that stuff you block out.
jimmy: I didn’t care much for what I saw of Discovery and I’m not a big of TOS, but otherwise…
tomk: What about Star Trek: Garbage Day? The show where Garbage Day Guy, Lwaxana Troi, Joffrey Baratheon, the Clock King, and Watson VIII cause trouble throughout out the galaxy?
jimmy: Worst. Trek. Ever.
tomk: So bad, you blocked it out and it’s award winning run.
jimmy: What awards did it win?
tomk: Oh, Worst Ensemble, Worst New Series, and The Golden Turd at the Suck Awards, celebrating the suckiest sucks that ever sucked.
jimmy: Awards are awards I guess. They can’t all be medals of valor while your duplicate self is left alone on a foreign planet with no means of escape.
tomk: But he didn’t go insane after eight years of solitary existence. That got him an award at the Mental Fortitude Awards, as sponsored by the Garcia Foundation.
jimmy: True. He alluded to some tough times, but he adjusted pretty quickly to being an officer again. Except for the punctuation.
tomk: Or punctuality.
jimmy: No, no, having to end all sentences with exclamation marks on away missions…or maybe that was just Will.
tomk: Or Worf.
jimmy: That’s Worf 90% of the time.
tomk: Exactly. Now you win an award.
jimmy: Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
tomk: Unfortunately, all I have here is a participation award for the Gabbing Geek Bowling League.
jimmy: I’ll take it!
tomk: Just like Thomas just takes a kiss from Troi.
jimmy: She didn’t seem to mind.
tomk: She thought he was cuter.
jimmy: But he was still the same old Riker in the end. Going off and leaving her for his career.
tomk: Man, Rikers are jerks.
jimmy: Apparently. Or just ambitious.
tomk: To be fair, he probably just doesn’t want to hang around Will.
jimmy: And he said all the right things to Deanna…but she had lived through that already.
tomk: She must be so tired of these guys by now.
jimmy: You never know, a few more Riker’s might pop up yet.
tomk: Not in the next episode.
But Troi might have more to do.
jimmy: Her scenes will probably all get cut.
tomk: Unless she’s part of a group that was unaffected by some weird phenomenon.
jimmy: Sounds more like a Data episode.
tomk: Well, Data is there too.
It could just be a 45 minute patch of Troi complaining to Data that Will gave the trombone away so she couldn’t make more requests.
jimmy: That was cruel wasn’t it? “Hey, play that song that I know you always mess up!”
tomk: Why do you think Will made sure she was there when he gave the ‘bone to Thomas?
jimmy: Those two have the strangest relationship.
tomk: They make it work. Eventually.
jimmy: Not any time soon.
tomk: Well, every episode gets us one step closer…to Star Trek Nemesis…
tomk: It also gets us one step closer to Star Trek First Contact.
jimmy: Me likey!
tomk: Shall we see what the next episode will give us, taking one more step towards First Contact?
jimmy: One more step it is.
tomk: Put on your walking shoes, Jimmy. It’s time to see how bad time can be messed up.