Star Trek Can Still Team Up Riker’s Doppelgangers (With A Twist)

Star Trek: Lower Decks could potentially reunite Captain William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Ensign Brad Boimler (Jack Quaid) with their doppelgangers that were created in transporter mishaps. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation season 6 episode « Second Chances, » Riker discovers that a clone of him was created eight years earlier through a transporter accident when he was evacuating a scientific outpost while serving on the USS Potemkin. The doppelganger would eventually go by his middle name, Thomas, and departed the Enterprise-D at episode’s end to start his life anew.

Years later, the same transporter malfunction would create a clone of Lieutenant Brad Boimler, a new member of Captain Riker’s crew on the USS Titan, in the Lower Decks season 2 episode « Kayshon, His Eyes Open. » Known as William Boimler, the clone would stay aboard the Titan while the original Boimler returned to the USS Cerritos. William Boimler was presumed to have died in the line of duty, but had in fact faked his death to join the shadowy Starfleet offshoot Section 31.

How Lower Decks Could Team Up Riker & Boimler With Their Doppelgangers

Unable to find a place for himself in Starfleet, Thomas Riker defected to the Maquis and attempted to steal the USS Defiant in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 3 episode « Defiant. » Thomas’ plan failed, and he was sentenced to life in a Cardassian labor camp. Assuming he’s still in the labor camp, it’s not hard to imagine William Boimler using his Section 31 connections to break him out, certainly after the decimation of the Cardassian’s empire after the Dominion War. Captain Riker and Ensign Boimler taking on a mission to take down their doppelgangers would only make sense.

It’s a fairly ridiculous scenario, but ridiculous is often Lower Decks’ bread and butter. Despite the silly nature of the situation on the surface, it’s a story that could invoke as much pathos as it does humor, as Thomas Riker was always a somewhat tragic figure. It would also be a great excuse to get Jonathan Frakes back on Lower Decks, as his guest spots on the show so far have been incredible.

Could The Rikers & Boimlers Team Up Happen In Live-Action Star Trek?

The doppelganger showdown feels very much in Lower Decks’ creative wheelhouse, but it wouldn’t be impossible to pull off the story in live action. Frakes has reiterated he’s keen to continue playing Riker after the events of Star Trek: Picard season 3, which at one point was billed as the final story for the entire TNG crew. Similarly, Jack Quaid is going to make his live action debut as Boimler in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2, which is set to feature a highly anticipated Star Trek crossover with Lower Decks.

Star Trek has a rich history of exploring clones and alternate reality versions of established characters. From the Mirror Universe in Star Trek: The Original Series, to Praetor Shinzon (Tom Hardy) in Star Trek: Nemesis, the franchise has gotten a surprising amount of mileage out of the doppelganger concept. Star Trek: Lower Decks would be the ideal setting for the face-off between the Rikers and Boimlers, but a live action iteration post-Picard could be something truly special.