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Watch Jonathan Frakes Defend STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION’s Commander Riker on NERD COURT!

Oh, Nerd Court, this time you may have outdone yourself… Skybound’s answer to Judge Judy and The People’s Court — created by Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, The Walking Dead) and directed by Adam Stein in conjunction with Maker Studios — presents its latest episode, which cuts to the heart of a debate long-held by Star Trek: The Next Generation fans across the galaxy: just how cool a cat was Commander Riker? Beneath that nautical-but-nice beard and that sly ladykilling grin, was the trombone-playing first officer of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D awesome or overrated? With Judge Malcolm Barrett presiding, the lawyers of Nerd Court duke it out. In the Anti-Riker corner, we have litigant and longtime Star Trek: The Next Generation fan Tina Huang. In the Pro-Riker camp, we’ve got Commander Holly, from Syfy’s Heroes of Cosplay and Nerdist’s own Just Cos. And on the witness stand, there’s one very special guest who may know ol’ Billy T. better than anyone alive — actor-director Jonathan Frakes. Who will triumph in the “The Trial of William T. Riker”? See for yourself, Trekkers…

“Drumhead” meets “Measure of a Man” on an “Encounter at Farpoint” indeed. Yes, nobody sits down in a chair — or manually docks the saucer section — like Will Riker. And while Part 1 of “The Best of Both Worlds” may very well be Next Gen‘s finest hour, let’s not forget that Number One also shines in “A Matter of Honor”, “Future Imperfect”, and plenty of other episodes. What are your favorites? Let us know below!

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  1. Xerxes says:

    Riker changed over time.  He started off very rowdy, countering (as Stephanie said) Picard’s stoicism.  As the show went on, though, Picard became much more proactive, and Riker more…  bureaucratic. 

  2. Jessica says:

    One of my favorite Riker moments was in Future Imperfect when he tells Admiral Picard to “Shut up. As in, close your mouth and stop talking.” The shock on Picard’s face (and everyone elses’) was classic.

  3. Skigh says:

    Damn he looks like Shatner 20 years younger…

  4. James says:

    Q was far better a character as was the one portrayed by Whoopi in several episodes.Personally I think, the episode with Mark Twain, though not quite as racist as he really was, perhaps one of the best episodes to date.

  5. Stephanie says:

    No Trekkie worth their salt can in all honesty deny the role, contributions, and benefits that Will Riker brought to missions of Star Trek: Next Generation. He was the perfect counterpoint to the more stoic Captain Picard. My verdict: awesome. 

  6. Wendy says:

    Technically speaking, Majel Barrett’s character in the original pilot episode was “the original Number 1”.