Jan. 1993
60 min.
Syndicated TV Network

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine tv show photo

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

The Cardassian occupation of Bajor ended in 2369, the mining space-station Terok Nor left abandoned, its systems ripped out. By invitation of the provisional Bajoran government, Starfleet steps in to oversee the rebuilding and the day-to-day operations of the renamed Deep Space Nine. Then found to be strategically important as it is near to a stable worm-hole which leads to the Gamma Quadrant.

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Thomas Riker Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
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Thomas Riker

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  Played by:
Jonathan FrakesJonathan Frakes
Jonathan Frakes was born August 19, 1952, in the small town of Bellefonte, in central Pennsylvania. ...

Character Bio

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In 2361, Commander William T Riker led an away team to Nervala IV to rescue stranded researchers. He was the last to beam out. Atmospheric distortions threatened to dissipate his pattern, so the Potemkin transporter chief compensated by creating a second confinement beam. Only one beam was needed for Commander Riker to rematerialize, so the second beam was shut down. The Potemkin crew did not realize that the second beam had been duplicated and reflected back to the planet's surface, materializing another William Riker. This duplicate remained stranded on the surface for the next eight years. The nature of the transporter accident created a unique situation: both Rikers had an equal claim to being the 'real' William T. Riker, as they are both genetically the same person. This version took the name Thomas and recommenced his Star Fleet career for a while.

During the time he spent on the planet, Thomas had remained deeply in love with Deanna Troi, his girlfriend at the time. Thomas had planned to meet Deanna on Risa the year of the transporter mishap, a fact that he dwelled on while stranded. In contrast, the Riker that beamed off-planet eight years prior was soon promoted and made his career a priority over their relationship, and never made the trip to Risa with Deanna.

Upon his rescue, Thomas told Deanna that he could not believe he had failed to meet her as planned and that he was hoping their relationship could resume. Initially, Deanna was opposed to the idea, but found herself won over despite her objections. In the end, however, the passage of time proved too much to overcome and the two realized they could not continue their relationship.

Divergent Personality

Thomas and William clashed almost immediately due to the resentment each felt towards the other. The eight years of living different lives made them entirely different men – William evolved into a cautious and duty-driven officer, and Thomas remained impulsive and reckless. As a result of Troi's rejection and conflicts with William – who was by that time a superior officer (a Commander) – Lieutenant Riker decided to leave the Enterprise. He chose to use his middle name, Thomas, to distinguish himself from his transporter duplicate. Captain Jean-Luc Picard managed to get Thomas a posting on the USS Gandhi where he could continue his Starfleet career. Upon Thomas' departure, William seemed to have accepted Thomas' existence and gave him his trombone as a parting gift.

(TNG: "Second Chances")

Maquis Affiliation

In 2370, Thomas expressed dismay at the Federation's policies towards the Cardassians and the Federation colonies in the Demilitarized Zone, and later joined the Maquis resistance. In early 2371, Thomas, posing as William Riker, came aboard Deep Space 9 and stole the newly commissioned USS Defiant.

With Major Kira as his unwilling passenger, Thomas took the Defiant to the Orias system, deep in Cardassian space, where the Maquis believed that the Cardassians were building a fleet of warships. Trying to locate the Defiant with the assistance of Commander Sisko, Gul Dukat swore that he knew nothing of this fleet. He was telling the truth, as the fleet had been constructed by the Obsidian Order in direct violation of Cardassian law. As the Defiant arrived at Orias, it was intercepted by a number of Cardassian warships.


Sisko negotiated a compromise with Dukat – Thomas surrendered the Defiant to the ships loyal to Dukat, not those from Orias, and in exchange for his sensor scans of the Orias base, his sentence would be reduced to life imprisonment in a labor camp on Lazon II, while the rest of his crew would be returned to the Federation. Kira promised to return for him one day, but it is unknown whether she ever did.

(DS9: "Defiant")

Episode Screenshots

02x20 - The Maquis, Part I
Season 2, Episode 20
06x10 - The Magnificent Ferengi
Season 6, Episode 10
02x15 - Paradise
Season 2, Episode 15
01x11 - The Nagus
Season 1, Episode 11
[More Episodes]

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