Series: Star Trek: TNG
Episode: 6.24 Second Chances (May 24,1993)
Redshirt Status: 0/20/54
Notable Guest Stars:
Mae Carol Jemison (Lt. Palmer) – Mae Carol Jemison is a real life astronaut, and was in fact the first black woman in space. She was also the first astronaut to guest star in Star Trek. She is awesome for so many reasons.
Jonathan Franks (Thomas Riker) – I mean…
Honestly this isn’t my favorite episode to watch. But it is an important episode because of future episode of DS9 Also Imzadi reasons.
This episode focuses on Will Riker, who finds himself a twin all of a sudden. Prior to being on the Enterprise, Riker had partispated in a mission where he was involved with a transporter accident. To his mind everything ended up okay -he made it back on the ship and continued on with his life. I’m going to refer to Riker Prime as Will. Will has grown considerably as a person and has become more comfortable with his life, his decisions and where he wants things to go. He no longer wants to advance as fast as possible, hoping to linger where he can learn. And he’s also built himself a family on Enterprise. I have my own theories about why it took Enterprise to finally make him comfortable with himself but lets stick to the episode.
Riker 2, or Thomas as he will be known, did not make it up to the ship. The transporter accident caused a duplication of Riker, with one making it back and the other spending 7-8 years living on the planet waiting for a rescue. Tom has spent this time alone and focused on his previous decisions. One of the things that kept him going was correcting his mistake with Deanna.
If you are an Imzadi fan this episode can be a pretty good one. It goes more in depth about their history, and gives us more moments where you see what is still there. And just because I didn’t really care for the episode doesn’t mean you will. In fact, many people like this episode, and its exploration of having gone in both directions from a single incident.
I think what bothers me about this episode is that Tom Riker isn’t really spoken of much afterwards. He does appear in an episode of DS9. He ends up being a way to play wiht Riker if he wasn’t molded by Picard’s sense of ethics and duty. Tom spent 8 years alone and pining for a woman who he loved but who didn’t (seemingly) love him enough to stay with him.
Which is another part of this episode that brings some interesting conversation. Tom is made to be what Will would be like if he hadn’t been on Enterprise. Except not, because Tom was stranded Alone for 8 years. That’s got to do something to your psyche. And he’s had 8 years to obsess over his break up with Deanna. So I think that for her, while it was nice reliving the glory days of their relationship, Tom wasn’t ready anymore then Will had been. He had some things to work through. I think the Will that spent 7 years on Enterprise was more ready for what she needed, to be honest. Even though it takes them another 7 years to figure that out.
- Written by Michael A. Medlock (Story), and Rene Echevarria (Teleplay)
- Directed LaVar Burton in his first directing role.
- They almost killed off the original Will Riker that we had grown to love. They also almost killed off Tom Riker. I’m glad no one died.
- Nichelle Nichols was also on set.
- Mae Jemison.
- Imzadi content
- Transporter Clone stories always seem weird to me and uncomfortable.