- See Riker for other articles with titles that contain, either by relationship or by coincidence, this character's surname.
- This character is a member of the Riker family.
- This character is a member of the Troi family.
- This page details William T. Riker in the primary universe; for the William T. Riker in the mirror universe see William T. Riker (mirror); for the William T. Riker in all other alternate universes see William T. Riker (alternates).
William Thomas Thelonius Riker was a 24th century Human male. Riker was best known for service in Starfleet, as a captain in command of the Federation starship USS Titan from the year 2379 to 2385. In that year he was promoted to rear admiral, serving as adjutant to Fleet Admiral Leonard James Akaar, the commander-in-Chief of the Federation Starfleet. Riker had previously served as first officer aboard the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Enterprise-E between the years 2364 and 2379.
- The novel Imzadi posited that Riker's middle initial "T" stood for "Thelonius." After TNG's "Second Chances" established that Riker's middle name was "Thomas", the novel Q-Squared revealed that his full name is William Thomas Thelonius Riker.
Riker's family had lived in the United States of America since at least the mid-19th century, when a soldier named Thaddius Riker fought for the Union in the American Civil War. (VOY episode: "Death Wish")
It was suggested by Astrid Kemal that there was a high likelihood that the Riker family descended from the offspring of Augments who had emigrated to Alaska following the Eugenics Wars. Riker was at first shocked by this suggestion, but later realized it was a very real possibility. (TNG novel: Infiltrator)
Riker was born on April 15, 2335 in Valdez, Alaska in continental North America on planet Earth, the son of Kyle and Elizabeth Laura 'Betty' Riker. (TNG episode: "Conundrum", TNG video game: Echoes from the Past)
- In the novel Deny Thy Father, Riker's mother is given the name Annie.
Riker's mother died when he was two years old. His father, a civilian strategist for Starfleet, was kept away from Earth by his duties for extended periods, forcing Riker to largely raise himself. He spent his early years either staying with various families who owed his father a favor, or enrolled in different boarding schools. On Will's 12th birthday, his father returned to Earth for one day to take him to Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. During this trip, Will expressed his feelings to his father for the first time, saying he "felt like an orphan" and wished to be able to spend more time with his father. His father resented him saying that, and it led to an argument. As an adult, Will would often look back on that day as the moment he believed his father decided to abandon him completely. (TNG novel: Quarantine)
Kyle continued to visit his son occasionally for the next three years, abandoning him altogether when Will was only 15 years old. (TLE novel: Deny Thy Father) At some point during his youth, Riker was forced to hunt animals as the only alternative to starvation (deleted scene from the TNG episode: "Time Squared"). This may have contributed to his adult disgust at the idea of "enslaving animals for food." (TNG episode: "Lonely Among Us")
During his childhood, Will took a trip to Maine. While on the coastline, he had a chance to see the North Atlantic Ocean (TNG novel: The Forgotten War), At some point during his youth, he visited a beach where he learned to bodysurf. He also visited an aquapark where he enjoyed riding the hydrotubes. (TNG novel: Quarantine)
Will's best friend growing up was named Jackson Carter, whom Will nicknamed "Squibby". Carter retaliated by giving Will the nickname "Thunderball". When Will left for Starfleet Academy in 2353, he and Carter swore that they would keep in touch, but they didn't see each other again until the year 2366 on the planet Paradise (TNG novel: A Rock and a Hard Place).
Another person Will called his best friend was Teller Conlon -- who later joined Will at Starfleet Academy -- onboard the USS Potemkin and the USS Yorktown. In 2361, both were detached from Starfleet duty so they could serve on the team that forged the Imperiman Trade Agreement (TNG novel: Fortune's Light).
Will entered Starfleet Academy in the year 2353, and was a member of Zeta Squadron. One of Zeta Squadron's assignments was a "scavenger hunt" style survival test on the streets of San Francisco (TLE novel: Deny Thy Father).
During his first year, Riker auditioned for and won a place in the Starfleet Academy Band, an honor rarely given to freshmen. Several older students played practical jokes to haze him, including stranding him aboard their band cruiser near-naked after tricking him into believing the ship had a swimming pool. While returning from a music competition on the planet Pacifica, they were kidnapped by an Orion and forced to perform for the troops on the war-torn Elofim. While there, a battle broke out, which resulted in Riker and band roadie Geordi La Forge single-handedly ending the war (which was being fought between Orion mercenaries and robots) by hacking into the robot control and sending out a message of surrender (TNG novel: Crossfire).
- Though not stated, it is possible that it was during this visit that Riker had his brief sexual encounter with future USS Titan crewmate Aili Lavena.
During his second year, Will enrolled in an Advanced Survival Skills class, which required him to survive alone on a jungle planet with only a compass and a knife. However, the planet suffered a hurricane far stronger than any on Earth, and Will was pinioned under a fallen tree. He spent three days trapped, lying in mud with giant leeches feeding on him, before being rescued (TNG - Double Helix novel: Infection).
While at the Academy, Will and a fellow cadet once re-programmed a transporter so that a particularly despised instructor would arrive at a ceremony in his honor sans clothing. The incident became a major scandal with mass punishments threatened but the students all closed ranks. The head of the Academy however felt that the reprogramming was brilliant and deserved on the part of the instructor, and let the matter drop. Riker came away from the experience determined to be more respectful of transporter technology in the future (TNG novel: Strike Zone).
During Will's third year at the Academy, he developed a relationship with Janice Eardman. Will enjoyed taking her on walking tours within the holodeck and fixing her favorite dish: real Strawberries and Chocolate mixed with Venduvian sauce. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)
Riker graduated eighth in his class in 2357. He was extremely academic and driven, and this cost him a close friendship when he refused to help a friend cheat. One of the speakers at his graduation ceremony was Admiral Leonard McCoy (TLE novel: Deny Thy Father). Riker took many extra courses of study (in starship command, engineering, communications, and several sciences) both during his time at the Academy and after graduating. He took enough extra courses that he would have qualified for "several doctorates." He also held the Academy Record for all-time highest score on the Starship Reconnect Simulator, a record that was still standing in 2364 (TNG novel: Encounter at Farpoint).
As Will was getting ready to graduate from the Academy, he had an opportunity to fill an Ensign position on the distant Tarett IV orbital base as his first assignment. However his desire for Starship duty inspired him to turn down any orbital base or shoreside assignment. This decision had ended his relationship with Janice Eardman. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)
Will's first assignment as a Starfleet officer was a posting as an Ensign aboard the USS Pegasus under the command of Captain Erik Pressman in late 2357. His youthful appearance soon earned him the nickname "Ensign Babyface" from the ship's tactical officer Mark Boylan. (TNG episode: "The Pegasus"; ENT episode: "These Are the Voyages...")
Among the Pegasus's assignments before the ship was lost were the extradition of war criminal Endyk Plure from the Candelar system and a harrowing encounter in space disputed by the worlds of Omistol and Ven. (TLE novel: Deny Thy Father)
Following the Pegasus's loss, Riker, Captain Pressman and the other seven survivors then underwent a Judge Advocate General's inquiry about a supposed mutiny prior to to the Pegasus's apparent destruction. However, Riker and the others secretly withheld the information about the experiments with a phasing cloaking device and the investigation was stopped. (TNG episode: "The Pegasus"; ENT episode: "These Are the Voyages...")
When Riker received his rank of lieutenant commander, he was commissioned to the USS Zhukov as second officer. He went to the transporter room in Starbase 18, and transported to the ship, and made an arrogant tour around the decks. After ten hours, he went to the office of the first officer to ask permission for duty, where he was shocked to see that the real second officer of the ship was inside the room. Riker realized only at that moment that he was traveling on the wrong ship, the Excelsior-class USS Yorktown under the command of Captain Ledbetter. He was sent back to his own ship, but two years later Riker was promoted to serve on the Yorktown. (TNG novel: Ghost Ship)
By 2359, Will was serving as lieutenant and second officer on the USS Fortuna when word of his promotion to First Officer of the USS Hood came through. Will was on the command fast track, and many even believed that he would achieve a command of his own faster than the legendary James T. Kirk, who became captain at the age of 29.
But before he could report to the Hood, which was in drydock under going repairs from an attack by Sindareen Raiders, Riker was temporarily assigned as Starfleet liaison to the Federation Embassy on Betazed.
On Will's first day on Betazed, he was asked to be the Federation's presence at the wedding of the Daughter of the Third House of Betazed, Chandra Xerx. Will was utterly oblivious to the fact that in Betazoid weddings, all members of the wedding party and all of the guests are expected to be nude. It was at this wedding where Will first caught sight of Deanna Troi (much to her amusement), who was one of the bridesmaids.
Over the weeks that followed, Will pursued Deanna with only limited success. It was not until Will's rescue of Deanna from Sindareen Raiders whom had taken her captive that they each gave into their mutual passion under a waterfall in Betazed's isolated Jalara Jungle. Riker could feel Deanna in his mind, and he heard a word in her voice – "Imzadi."
Deanna's mother Lwaxana was less than pleased with this development, and forbid the relationship to continue. At first, Deanna complied with her mother's wishes, and told Will so. She later defied her mother's wishes and left to be with her Imzadi.
Unfortunately, the rejected Riker had drowned out his sorrows with a bottle of Scotch whisky when he received a visitor in the form of Wendy Roper, the daughter of the head of the Federation Embassy, who had come to "console" him.
Deanna found the two of them in bed together, and realized that Riker was not ready for the kind of relationship that she needed from him. They parted amicably a few days later at a Betazed museum as the Hood arrived to collect Riker. Neither said "goodbye" to the other. (TNG novel: Imzadi)
Riker attempted a reconciliation by arranging a date with Deanna a few years later on Risa while on temporary assignment to the USS Potemkin, but was unable to make the date. Riker chose to make his career a priority and did not see Deanna again until they were both posted to the USS Enterprise-D in 2364. (TNG novel: Imzadi II)
In 2361, Riker was duplicated in a transporter accident on Nervala IV. A redundant secondary confinement beam reflected off the atmosphere, rematerializing a duplicate on the surface; his duplicate was left behind alone on the planet for eight years. Riker was unaware of this incident until returning to Nervala IV in 2369. (TNG episode: "Second Chances")
Riker served on the Hood under Captain Robert DeSoto as first officer with the rank of lieutenant commander, until receiving the promotion to commander and reasignment to the Enterprise-D, the Federation's brand new flagship, where he saw Deanna again. (VOY - The Brave and the Bold, Book Two novella: The Third Artifact)
There is an unspecified reference to an 'earlier ship assignment' with Dr. Katherine Pulaski, prior to their mutual service aboard the Enterprise-D, resulting in Riker becoming an 'enthusiastic fan' of hers. (TNG novel: Strike Zone)
First officer of the Enterprise
In 2364, Riker transferred to the USS Enterprise-D as, "Number One," under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He was soon reunited with Deanna Troi who was assigned to the Enterprise as ship's Counselor. The two chose not to renew their romantic relationship at that time for professional reasons. (TNG episode & novelization: Encounter at Farpoint; WizKids module: Attack Wing)
In some of his earlier missions, Riker led away teams that made first contact with species such as the Theluvians and the Creeg. Riker also took part in celebrating Christmas on board the Enterprise-D. (TNG - Beginnings comics: "... Where No One Has Gone Before!", "Spirit in the Sky!")
Later, this same year, Riker was imparted with Q powers and virtual immortality. A "gift" he later returned to the giver, after seeing how uncontrolled power can corrupt a Human. Little did he know the Q had a particular impact to his family. Years later, the mortal Riker joked with Picard and others how he planned to live forever. Riker and the crew were again joined by Q following the second encounter with him, when Q came aboard during their voyage to Faltos. (TNG episode: "Hide and Q"; ST novels: Q-Squared, The Return; VOY episode: "Death Wish"; TNG movie: Star Trek Generations; (TNG - Beginnings comics: "Q Factor", "Q's Day", "Q Affects!")
During the start of his second year, Deanna Troi convinced Captain Picard to send Riker on enforced shore leave, due to concerns he was suffering from stress. Though Riker enjoyed the shore leave (which he spent mountain climbing on a planet that resembled Alaska), he resented being forced to leave the Enterprise against his will, and decided to gain some small revenge on the pair. It was during this trip he grew the beard he would have for years to come, a decision he made because he felt it would annoy the bald Captain. He soon found the beard was extremely popular with the ship's female crew members. This led to him facetiously asking Picard for "permission to be sexy", something Picard did not find amusing. (TNG novel: Strike Zone)
Riker was close to not living, when attacked by microbes on planet Surata IV. Only the opposite of all his pleasureful memories with Deanna Troi and others he'd ever known saved him from death. (TNG episode: "Shades of Gray")
In 2368, Riker received a strange visitor in the form of himself, Admiral William T. Riker from the year 2408. The elder Riker had traveled back in time by way of the Guardian of Forever in order to prevent the murder of Deanna Troi by a time-traveling Sindareen, who blamed Deanna for his race's troubles in this era.
When the timeline had been restored, Admiral Riker was restored to his proper time. The younger Riker and Troi again chose not to renew their romantic relationship, but Riker long remained haunted by the vision of the bitter and joyless Riker from the future, who had lived his life without his Imzadi. The elder Riker also reminded him of his father. (TNG novel: Imzadi)
In 2369, Riker led a dangerous mission inside a Dyson Sphere, during which he was nearly killed trying to rescue an injured team member. However this event led to him making peace with Darrin Kane, an arrogant young Ensign who had been trying to use his family connections to damage Riker's reputation and relationship with Picard, due to his resentment that Riker was not helping his career to progress faster. Kane saved Riker's life during this mission. (TNG episode & novelization: Relics)
Also in 2369, Riker met himself again, this time in the form of a duplicate created by a transporter accident in 2361. This Lieutenant Riker and he had an antagonistic relationship. When Lieutenant Riker left Enterprise, he took the name Thomas Riker, and Will gave him his trombone as a gift of reconciliation. (TNG episode: "Second Chances")
In 2370, the Enterprise-D rendezvoused with the shuttlecraft Goddard, carrying retired Captain Montgomery Scott. Scott utilized the old logs of the original USS Enterprise and recreated the gravity slingshot that propelled the Bounty 2 back through time, with the Enterprise following. When they determined they were back in an alternate 2293, Picard was certain Scott intended to save James T. Kirk from death aboard the USS Enterprise-B; Riker was the only bridge officer who doubted it, thinking it was irresponsible. When they found the timeline considerably altered, Riker theorized that Scott may have overshot his time destination, or made a second jump back in time. Eventually the Enterprise was able to rendezvous with Scott and Kirk, returning the latter to the Nexus to restore the timeline. (ST novel: Engines of Destiny)
At some point, Troi had begun a romantic relationship with her Enterprise shipmate, Lieutenant Commander Worf. Riker was outwardly happy for his friends, but secretly harbored resentment towards Worf.
After the destruction of the Enterprise-D in 2371, Riker finally realized the depths of his feelings of Deanna. He had no wish to hurt his friend Worf, but he resolved to tell Deanna how he felt. Riker's timing was unfortunate, as before Riker could talk to Deanna, Worf proposed marriage to her, and she accepted. At first, Riker willingly stepped aside, but soon realized that he had no wish to turn into that bitter old man from the future, and went after Deanna, Worf be damned.
At this time, Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko had been captured by Tom Riker (who had recently escaped from the Cardassian labor camp on Lazon II) and was being coerced by the Romulan Sela, who believed him to be Will. Will Riker was, in turn, then captured by Cardassians, who believed him to be the escaped Tom. Will was rescued from the Cardassians by Worf, and the two put aside their differences in order to rescue Deanna and Alexander.
It was after this encounter that Worf and Deanna realized that they were too different for their relationship to work, and they parted amicably. Will and Deanna again chose not to renew their romantic relationship at that time, but both saw it as an inevitability that they both looked forward to. (TNG novel: Imzadi II)
Upon arriving on board USS Voyager for the first time Q remarked that he thought Riker would have been given command of the ship. A short time later Q called Commander Riker to Voyager as a witness in an attempt to get Quinn re-incarcerated into a comet to keep him from killing himself. Riker protested Q's interference in his affairs, but Q said that if it was not for Quinn, who had saved the life of Thaddius Riker at Pine Mountain, he would not have Commander Riker around to provoke and insult at all. Q also mentioned, almost as an afterthought, that Riker's role in defeating the Borg five years earlier was so significant that, had he not been alive, the Federation would have fallen to the invaders. Riker was sent back to his own place and time without memory of this encounter. (VOY episode: "Death Wish")
- Startrek.com seemingly contradicts the general assumption that Voyager's disappearance was before the Enterprise-D's destruction due to Janeway mentioning in a log update that Riker was "late of Picard's crew." It is possible that one of the Qs had told Janeway about the ship's destruction.
In 2372, Riker and most of the rest of the Enterprise-D command staff, including Deanna, requested assignment to the newly constructed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) under the assumption that Captain Picard would be given command. Starfleet Command had other ideas.
Riker strenuously objected when Starfleet gave command of the Enterprise-E to Captain Morgan Bateson, but did his duty as assigned.
During the Dominion War in 2374, Riker was then sent with a team from Starfleet's Corps of Engineers to join the crew of the Klingon battlecruiser IKS Gar'Tukh. They were sent to help enhance the defenses of an outpost on Elkauron II, which was on the edge of Gorn territory. (TNG comic: "The Gorn Crisis")
Will and Deanna finally resumed their romantic relationship in 2375 after feeling the rejuvenating effects of the metaphasic radiation inherent to the adopted homeworld of the Ba'ku. While in temporary charge of Enterprise-E, an armed conflict with the Son'a in the Briar Patch earned his strategy the name of the Riker Maneuver. Much in the tradition of his captain's Battle of Maxia Zeta. (TNG movie: Star Trek: Insurrection)
In late 2375, Riker commanded the Enterprise when the Breen attacked San Francisco. Captain Picard was visiting family on Earth at the time. Riker led the Enterprise against the Breen vessels assaulting Earth alongside the Columbia, destroying them after a short battle. (TNG short story: "Eleven Hours Out")
In late 2375, Riker was given temporary command of the USS Excalibur (which he had commanded briefly during the Klingon Civil War of 2367-2368) when that ship's captain, Mackenzie Calhoun was on a temporary assignment for Starfleet Intelligence. Riker commanded the Excalibur and her unorthodox crew through an encounter with Sela and the Romulans. (NF novel: Double or Nothing)
In late 2378, Riker was forced to take command of the Enterprise after Picard's competence was called into question after an incident at the Rashanar Battle Site that resulted in the destruction of the USS Juno with all hands, and the seeming destruction of an Ontailian vessel. Picard was soon cleared of all charges, and re-assumed command. (TNG - A Time to... novels: A Time to Be Born, A Time to Die)
After the death of Riker's father Kyle on the planet Delta Sigma IV with so much between them still unresolved, he decided that his relationship with Deanna was not something that he wanted to go unresolved any longer. Will proposed marriage to Deanna, and Deanna accepted.
Soon after, he was offered the command of the USS Titan by Admiral Kathryn Janeway. Janeway reminded Riker that Starfleet had offered him his own command more than once, and warned him that this may be the last time. (TNG - A Time to... novels: A Time to Love, A Time to Hate)
When the Enterprise was tasked with assuaging the volatile governor of Tezwa, Kinchawn, Riker was to be a key figure in the planet's development at this period. Kinchawn, a minority conservative leader on his planet, was threatening to take border planets from the Klingon Empire, seemingly an ill-fortuned cosmic bluff that had angered the High Council. Chancellor Martok wanted to send a fleet to seize and occupy Tezwa, but the Federation President Min Zife and his chief-of-staff Koll Azernal convinced him to send an embassy and to allow the Enterprise to accompany the Klingons and pacify Kinchawn. Unbeknowest to the Enterprise or Martok, during the Dominion War Azernal and Zife had armed Tezwa with nadion pulse cannons as a potential strategy against the Dominion. Emboldened by his powerful arsenal Kinchawn had slowly took over his government, and relied upon his democratic opponents - who were trusted by Azernal - to feed the Federation chief-of-staff mistaken information. Not knowing that the cannons were active, Zife sent the Enterprise with Martok's fleet to embolden Kinchawn's political opponents. When the negotiations on the surface between Picard, Troi, the Klingon commander and Kinchawn quickly turned sour, Kinchawn revealed his power by destroying the Klingon fleet in orbit and nearly shooting down the Enterprise. Riker rescued his captain, fiancee and their bodygaurds by taking the ship into the atmosphere beneath the Tezwan capital's shields, and then tow the one remaining Klingon ship's broken carcas from Tezwa. However this last action caused the already depressed officer more heartache when he realised, in confrontation with the curses of its dying captain, that in rescuing the hulk from fiery death in orbit of Tezwa, he had revoked that ship's crew's entry into Sto-Vo-Kor.
The Enterprise was then tasked with disabling Kinchawn's cannons as soon as possible, as an enraged Martok dispatched a full invasion fleet to Tezwa. Azernal and Zife, in fear of the discovery by the Klingons of their foolish gambit, instructed Picard's crew to destroy each cannon. Placed in six sites, Riker led one team to assault a tropically-situated cannon, skydiving into the jungle near the cannon. The mission was a success, with also Kinchawn's government being removed in a coup by his Federation-friendly opponents, who promptly surrendered to the Enterprise. But although his team was succesful, Riker was captured by Kinchawn's troops and his other teammates KIA. (TNG - A Time to... novel: A Time to Kill)
Riker spent several weeks a prisoner of Kinchawn's underground resistance. The former governor had taken his military underground, and was leading an increasingly bitter resistance movement against the new Tezwan government and the Federation "occupation". Tortured and brutalised, Riker only survived because he was released by a general disgusted at the barbarity Kinchawn had descended to. He was rescued by Federation ground troops. After the ordeal, Riker accepted the offer of the Titan a few weeks later. (TNG - A Time to... novel: A Time to Heal)
After seeing the Enterprise through a grueling inspection tour, William Riker and Deanna Troi were married in a ceremony in Riker's native Alaska.
The Enterprise was on her way to Betazed for the wedding ceremony being planned by Deanna's mother Lwaxana (who now claimed that she had always adored Will), when the ship had its fateful encounters with the mad Reman Praetor, Shinzon. After this encounter, they returned to Betazed for their second wedding ceremony, before spending three weeks honeymooning on the Opal Sea on the planet of Pelagia, in Picard's yacht the Calypso II, which he had lent them as a wedding present. During this honeymoon they were kidnapped by sea pirates. In their escape, the Calypso II was badly scratched. (Tales from the Captain's Table)
Captain William T. Riker took command of the USS Titan on stardate 56941.1, in the closing days of the year 2379. After more than four offers by Starfleet Command, Admiral Kathryn Janeway told Riker it was a "take-it-or-leave-it" decision. Deanna was assigned as ship's Head Counselor and Diplomatic Officer. In hindsight of this, one could point out Riker's career choice may have also been borne out of sheer nostalgia, having co-piloted, six years earlier, a Titan-class rocket, in Earth's past. His love for 20th century Earth Blues and its varieties, compelled him to have all issued shuttles christened with names of musicians from the era. One, in particular, the Armstrong; was mistaken for Neil the astronaut, rather than Louis ("Satchmo").
The Titan's primary mission was to be one of scientific inquiry and exploration in the uncharted region known as the Gum Nebula. But, before the ship and crew could begin that mission, Admirals William Ross and Leonard James Akaar ordered a slight detour.
While in Romulan space, Riker and Titan managed to rescue Commander Tuvok, formerly of the starship USS Voyager, who had been sent to Romulus to recall the legendary Ambassador Spock back to Federation space. Instead, Tuvok found himself taken captive by a Romulan faction during the chaos following Shinzon's murder of the Romulan Senate.
Before leaving Romulan space, Riker assisted Romulan Commander Donatra in searching for a missing fleet of Romulan ships that vanished near the anomaly created by the destruction of Shinzon's thalaron weapon, which the Romulans called The Great Bloom. The Remans and others called it Shinzon's Folly. The bloom turned out to be an interspacial portal of some kind that deposited Titan and Donatra's ship, the Valdore into the mini-galaxy known as the Smaller Magellanic Cloud, home to the sundered branch of Earth humanity known as the Neyel. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)
While in SMC space, the Titan evacuated as many Neyel and other species as they could from the destruction caused by the growth of a Proto-Universe (which was called the Sleeper by the natives of the SMC, and dubbed the "Red King" by the crew of the Titan), back to the Milky Way Galaxy. The fate of those left behind in the SMC is uncertain.
After returning from SMC space, Riker chose the Vulcan phrase Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations for the ship's Dedication Plaque, in tribute to Titans crew, which was one of the most diverse in Starfleet history. One of his other choices was a verse sung by Jazz legend Theressa Brewer. (It don't mean a thing/ If it ain't got that swing) (TTN novel: The Red King)
In Riker's first mission, he brokered an agreement between a race of galactic hunters called the Pa'haquel (who believed that they were protecting the galactic ecology by hunting down and killing hostile Cosmozoan species), and the intelligent Star-jellies (who objected to be hunted and their corpses defiled), whom Riker and Troi first encountered at Deneb IV, on their first mission on the Enterprise-D.
The Gum Nebula apparently served as a breeding ground for cosmozoan species such as the Star-Jellies, the Crystalline Entities or Branchers, a living Solar System called the Proplydian, and many others. (TTN novel: Orion's Hounds)
The Titan continued on her mission of exploration in the Gum Nebula.
Sometime in mid-2380, Will and Deanna attempted to conceive a child through natural means. Although she required hormonal treatments to improve fertility which had the side effect of weakening her psionic defenses, Deanna eventually became pregnant with child. However, the fetus was miscarried. With miscarriage not an uncommon occurrence, the medical professionals on the Titan did not consider any further testing after removing the fetus.
In 2381, the couple was able to again conceive a child. Again, the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. Doctor Ree diagnosed severe genetic abnormalities in the fetus, which they had not previously considered testing for. Although the growing child was likely to rupture her uterine lining, Troi refused to allow Dr Ree to remove the fetus, a reaction that Riker supported despite his personal misgivings. The second miscarriage spun the couple into a dark depression; Riker knew that Deanna would refuse to speak rationally with him if he went to speak with her, and he wouldn't remove her from duty. William felt as though he had lost all hopes for children with Deanna when Dr Ree delivered his prognosis that pregnancy was impossible due to Troi's past pregnancy with the entity that she had come to call Ian Andrew Troi II, as the energy the entity generated in her womb had caused subtle damage to her reproductive systems that was beyond anything Federation science could treat. Despite her condition, he allowed Deanna Troi to join an away mission to the planet later revealed to be New Erigol, the home of the reclusive Caeliar. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)
Once on the surface, Troi and the rest of the away team became invited permanent guests of the Caeliar, and a similar message was delivered to Captain Riker and the Titan. The tension and grief between the two had all but prevented communications between them, and Riker found the loss of his trusted officers Deanna, Vale, and Tuvok to be yet another personal blow. Riker attempted to rescue the away team with a strike force, but a feedback in their systems halted the effort; rather than allow his crew to be discouraged, Riker made an announcement that they had made progress in learning more of the Caeliar capabilities and were finding the next attempt. Eventually, the Titan was able to tap into the soliton pulses used to maintain their subspace tunnels; former United Earth Starfleet Captain Erika Hernandez became aware of this, and offered to take the Titan to the Azure Nebula if they left immediately. Although Riker was hesitant to leave behind his wife and away team, he agreed with Erika's plan and they departed New Erigol. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals) They were eventually able to return and retrieve the away team, but during her time with the Caeliar Deanna's damaged reproductive system was cured by their advanced medical science, allowing her to complete her pregnancy and carry the baby to full term.
In November 2382, the Shantherin th'Clane travelled to the Vela Pulsar to meet with the USS Titan, intending to deprive the Starfleet vessel of its seven Andorian crewmembers. The two ships parted without exchanging fire. (TTN novel: Fallen Gods)
In September 2385, in the month after the death of President Nanietta Bacco, Admiral Akaar summoned Riker and the Titan to Earth without explanation. Beaming down to Starfleet Command Riker found himself suddenly promoted to Rear Admiral without explanation, with no option to refuse. Torn by the sudden removal from starship command, Will, Deanna and Tasha settled into life in San Francisco. Without a specific brief ("without portfolio") or instructions from Akaar, Riker was frustrated by the bizarre turn of events. His aide, Lieutenant Ssura could offer no further explanation but advised him on the cynical turn of events on Earth towards surveillance and suspicion. Eventually he managed to confront his superior officer, where it was revealed to him Akaar's frustrations with the President Pro Tempore Ishan Anjar, who had surrounded himself with a cadre of war-minded hawks and begun a series of bellicose policies. He tasked Riker with investigating the fraught state of affairs within Starfleet revealed under Ishan, particularly in connection to the arrest of the traitorous idealist, Julian Bashir, and to dig deeper into Ishan's cadre of advisors.
To tackle the question of Bashir, and what really had happened with the Andorian crisis, Riker assigned Christine Vale to command the medical ship, USS Lionheart on a short term mission as excuse to visit the imprisoned Ezri Dax and gather information from the former Starfleet captain, who, herself, had helped Bashir escape with the classified medical information he stole. He also attempted to breach the communications of Ishan's chief-of-staff, Galif jav Velk. Though itself illegal, Riker discovered that Velk was running an off-the-books secret ops team, Active Four, tasked with capturing the assassins of Bacco and rendering them to a Klingon Imperial Intelligence world for torture and disappearance. Riker, to escape the surveillance on Earth and stop Velk's team, took the Titan in pursuit of the Active Team, contacting Chancellor Martok and finding the Intelligence elements involved to be some of Martok's interior enemies. Riker and Martok agreed to try and capture the Active team and the Bacco assassins, while Martok's troops destroyed the KII base and personnel. In the end, the Titan could only rescue four members of Active Four - his own officer Tuvok, Lieutenant Commander Nog of Deep Space 9, the Bolian pilot Lieutenant Yal Ixxen of the USS Blake, and his own "brother", Thomas Riker. Tuvok, Nog, and Thomas revealed to Riker that the Cardassian extremists, the True Way, had assassinated Bacco. More so, the True Way had claimed to have done so with the cooperation of Ishan's chief-of-staff, Galif jav Velk. Upon returning to Earth several days later, Riker found the situation on Earth changed - Velk had revealed his illegal managing of Active Four, and stepped down. Without proof Riker could not pursue Velk, who was now in custody. In confrontation with President Ishan, Riker found himself committed to toppling the man he believed responsible to have dirtied the Federation and, to some unknown degree, have been responsible for the murder of President Bacco. (ST - The Fall novel: The Poisoned Chalice)
Following the arrest of President Ishan Anjar, both Riker and Admiral Akaar tried once again to convince Captain Picard to accept promotion to the admiralty but was once again turned down by Picard. Riker then presented to Picard with an isolinear chip containing information on a new long term exploratory mission to a region of space only ever explored by long range probes. Picard gratefully accepted such a mission. The new President also hinted to her Chief of Staff that Admiral Riker had requested a posting back to his ship. (ST - The Fall novel: Peaceable Kingdoms)
In November 2385, Rear Admiral Riker was the Federation representative to the mysterious Far Embassy, who, along with representatives from the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, Cardassian Union, Ferengi Alliance, Tzenkethi Coalition, Gorn Hegemony, and Tholian Assembly, became agents of the Cytherians. Under their influence, Riker transferred to the USS Aventine, and began attacking various communications stations. Eventually, with the help of the crews of Aventine and Enterprise, Riker was returned to normal.
After his experience with the Cytherians, Admiral Riker spent a few weeks at the Mira Romaine Center for Rehabilitation and Reintegration on Betazed Station 4 under the care of Dr. Simus. (TNG novel: Takedown)
In 2386, Rear Admiral Riker was assigned as sector commander of the Alpha Quadrant frontier zone, with the Titan to serve as his flagship and mobile base of operations. He experienced some growing pains with newly-promoted Captain Christine Vale as the two attempted to define their new duty parameters.
His first mission as sector commander was to visit the Dinac, and he and Titan ended up in a conflict with the Solanae, the mysterious aliens who had abducted him and many of his crewmates on the Enterprise-D seventeen years earlier. (TTN novel: Sight Unseen)
The 25th century
Alternate timelines and realities
In an alternate timeline, Riker was the last person whom Picard saw alive, as his shuttlecraft departed the Enterprise-D minutes before the Galaxy-class ship was destroyed by a vortex in 2365. (TNG episode: "Time Squared")
In another alternate timeline created when the USS Enterprise-C was accidentally sent through a temporal rift from 2344 to 2366, the Federation had been at war with the Klingon Empire for almost 20 years as the Enterprise-C's disappearance resulted in the destruction of the Klingon colony Narendra III. In this timeline, Riker was still the first officer of the Enterprise. He was killed on the bridge in 2366, while manning a terminal which exploded as a result of heavy Klingon fire. He was helping to buy time for the underpowered Enterprise-C to return through the temporal rift to Narendra III in 2344. (TNG episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
In another alternate timeline called "Track A", Riker was captured and tortured in a joint Romulan-Cardassian experiment into pain shortly after his marriage to Deanna Troi, unaware that he had conceived a son named 'Tommy' with her. In this universe, Riker was eventually rescued by Worf, a paranoid Klingon rogue, who then returned him to the Federation. After Trelane merged this universe with two others, Riker was forced to kill his counterpart from the "Track C" reality, who had become increasingly unbalanced due to the disruptions to reality caused by Trelane. This act was done in protecting his son and Deanna Riker, whom he was finally able to recognize and re-associate into his tortured memory. Following this experience, Commander Jean-Luc Picard- promoted to Captain after the suicide of Captain Jack Crusher- suggested that Riker serve as his first officer, as he was of the appropriate rank and they were each two equally damaged officers who might be just what the other needed. (TNG novel: Q-Squared)
In an alternate timeline in which Khan Noonien Singh won the Eugenics Wars and Humanity underwent genetic engineering en masse, Princeps William Riker was the commanding officer of the Earthfleet warship Excalibur. Like his fellow Princeps, he frequently conversed with a holographic recreation of Khan which possessed all of his intelligence and memories. Riker preferred to use the image of Khan as a general and warlord from the Romulan Wars of the 2100s while consulting the hologram. (DS9 - Myriad Universes novel: Seeds of Dissent)
In another alternate timeline, Riker was given command of the USS Excalibur prior to 2378. He was succeeded as first officer of the Enterprise-D by the ship's chief engineer Geordi La Forge. (TNG - Myriad Universes novel: Brave New World)
In another alternate timeline in which the Cardassian Union did not withdraw from Bajor in 2369, Riker became the captain of the USS Sugihara in 2373, shortly after the outbreak of the Romulan War. Worf succeeded him as first officer of the Enterprise-E. Although Riker had recently married Deanna, she remained aboard the Enterprise as the Sugihara already had a qualified counselor whom Riker did not dislodge for his wife. (TNG - Myriad Universes novel: A Gutted World). (TNG - Myriad Universes novel: A Gutted World)
In several alternate realities visited by Lieutenant Worf in 2370, Riker was still the Enterprise-D's first officer and threw a surprise birthday party for Worf. In another alternate reality, he was the captain of the Enterprise as Jean-Luc Picard had been killed during the Borg Incursion of 2366-2367.
In another reality, the Borg Collective had succeeded in conquering the Federation and much of the Alpha Quadrant by 2370. The Enterprise, under Riker's command, was one of the last surviving ships. Along with Worf, he was one of its few remaining crewmembers. After it became one of the approximately 285,000 different Enterprises to be sent to the same reality, Riker fired on the Curie as he did not want to return to his own reality. The Enterprise indigenous to that reality then fired on the Borg-infested Enterprise using minimal weapons. This began a chain reaction which resulted in its destruction due to the severe damage which it had suffered in its many engagements with the Borg. (TNG episode: "Parallels")
In another reality in which Riker had failed to stop the Borg, Riker had lost his right eye, many of his crew, and the saucer section of the USS Enterprise-D. Despite his defeat, Riker and the remaining crew continued to help Earth resist the Borg using the Enterprise's battle section. (TNG comic: "The Worst of Both Worlds")
In another reality, Riker served aboard the United Earth Space Probe Agency vessel Enterprise before it was captured by the Klingon Empire and became the IKS Qu'. His throat was cut by the Klingons. By 2380, Captain Picard was the only surviving member of the original crew.
In another reality, Riker served as the first officer of the USS Enterprise-E, which was under the command of Thomas Halloway, prior to taking command of the USS Titan. As a final parting gift before leaving for the Titan, Riker assigned Lieutenant Commander Picard to bridge duty. This seems to be a similar, if not identical, timeline to the one which Q had shown Picard in 2369, as it is mentioned that Lieutenant Commander Picard had worked extremely hard since Riker and Deanna had evaluated him.
Starfleet service record
|location||assignment||dates||rank or rate||assignment insignia||rank insignia|
|Starfleet Academy||student officer||2353-2357||cadet|
|USS Pegasus||conn officer||2357||ensign|
|USS Fortuna||second officer||?-2359||lieutenant|
|USS Hood||first officer||2361-2364||lieutenant commander|
|USS Excalibur||commanding officer||2368|
|USS Enterprise||first officer||2368-2371|
|USS Titan||commanding officer||2379-2385||captain|
|Starfleet Command||admiralty||2385-2386||rear admiral|
|Alpha Quadrant frontier zone||sector commander||2386 onward|
|USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) senior staff|
|commanding officers:||M. Bateson • J.L. Picard • W.T. Riker • Data||first officers:||W.T. Riker • Data • Worf||second officers:||G. Bush • Data • M. Kadohata • G. La Forge|
|watch officers||Evan • Heyes • Lynley • Havers||chief medical officers:||B. Crusher • Stevenson||ship's counselors:||D. Troi • T'Lana • Hegol D.|
|chief engineers:||M. Scott • G. La Forge||operations managers:||Data • M. Kadohata • R. Dygan||flight controllers:||S. Hawk • S. Nave • J. Faur|
|security chiefs:||L. Addison • P. Daniels • Rowan • B. Leyoro • R. McAdams • C. Vale • S. Nave • L. Battaglia • Z. Leybenzon • J. Choudhury • A. Šmrhová|
|see also: engineering personnel • medical & counseling personnel • operations personnel • pilots & flight control personnel • security & tactical personnel • sciences personnel • miscellaneous • unnamed|
|USS Enterprise-F personnel|
|25th century (from 2409)||Jirelle Kav • Kyona • Phillipa Matthias • Kirayoshi O'Brien • Savel • Va'Kel Shon • Tem Inasi • Samuel Winters|
|alternate timeline 2382-2388||Krueger • Geordi La Forge • Tom Paris • Jean-Luc Picard • William T. Riker • Deanna Troi|
|alternate timeline 2408||Blair • Data • Hauman • Lamont • Margolin • Tucker|
|USS Titan senior staff|
|commanding officer||W.T. Riker • C. Vale||executive officer||C. Vale • D. Sarai||second officer||R. Keru • Tuvok||chief counselor||D. Troi|
|diplomatic officer||D. Troi||chief engineer||N. Ledrah • X. Ra-Havreii||chief medical officer||S. Ree||chief of operations||S. Rager|
|chief science officer||Jaza N. • M. Pazlar||chief of security||R. Keru||chief tactical officer||R. Keru • Tuvok||watch officer||F. Hachesa • T. Gibruch|
|USS Pegasus personnel|
|Boylen • Ronald Moore • Eric Motz • Erik Pressman • William T. Riker • Andy Simonson • Dawn Velazquez • Phil Wallace|
|USS Zhukov personnel|
|R. Barclay • D'Emilio • N. Gleason • E. Pressman • Reynolds • W.T. Riker • M. Verata|
|USS Hood personnel|
|USS Hood (NCC-1703)||Ankee • J. Banks • G. Barton • K. Chin • L. Craig • K. Dodge • D'Uberville • Ellis • Kyle • J. Martinez • Morax • S. M'Ress • Oxley • A. Paultic • H. Revere • M. Rousseau • Simmons • Stuart • Tavi • G. Vedra • Umba • P. Yudrin|
|USS Hood (NCC-42296)||Abrams • Brian • Buonfiglio • Chandra • Consuela • T. Czierniewski • M. Dayrit • R. DeSoto • R. Green • E. Hayat • R. Holverson • B. Hsu • J. Kojima • G. La Forge • Ledbetter • Lolo • F. Orzon • C. Papadimitriou • W.T. Riker • E. Rose • Tuvok • D. Voyskunsky • L. Weiss|
|USS Excalibur personnel|
|USS Excalibur (2240s)||R. Bannock|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-1664)||T. Haleakala-LoBrutto • A. Harris • J.T. Kirk • H. Ogden • Thonen • M. Walsh|
|USS Excalibur II||Preye|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517)||Argyle • R. Beth • Boyajian • Burgoyne 172 • M. Calhoun • M. Christiano • Howard • M. Gold • Hecht • M. Houle • Janos • Z. Kebron • M. Korsmo • Kothari • K. Kurdziel • G. La Forge • R. Lefler • Lowe • Martins • Maxwell • M. McHenry • Meyer • C. Mitchell • Morgen • W. Morrison • K. Mueller • Ramirez • W.T. Riker • B.G. Robinson • Scannel • Selar • Shastakovich • E.P. Shelby • Soleta • Somak • R. Takahashi • Torelli • T'Shanik • D. Voyskunsky • P. Watson • M. Wilkarah • Yates|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517-A)||Burgoyne 172 • M. Calhoun • Candido • Dreyfuss • Janos • Z. Kebron • R. Lefler • M. McHenry • Selar • E.P. Shelby • Soleta • T. Tobias • Xy|
|Commanding Officers of the Starships Excalibur|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-1664):||Harris|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-2004):|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517):||Shastakovich | Morgen | Korsmo | Calhoun | Riker|
|USS Excalibur (NCC-26517-A):||Calhoun|
|IKS Pagh personnel|
|Dukath • Kargan • Klag • William T. Riker • Vekma • Zegov|