William Thomas "Tom" Riker is a fictional character from the Star Trek universe, played by actor Jonathan Frakes. He is a duplicate of William Riker, a regular character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, also played by Frakes, who was created by a transporter accident when Riker served as second officer aboard the USS Potemkin. The duplicate goes by his middle name, "Tom" or Thomas (which, in Aramaic, means "Twin"), to distinguish himself from William Riker.
Thomas Riker first appears in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Second Chances", when the Enterprise-D crew travels to Nervala IV, the site of the transporter accident. The crew discovers that while William Riker (then a Lieutenant) beamed aboard the Potemkin and continued his career, a duplicate Riker was unable to return to the ship and rematerialized in that planet's abandoned Starfleet outpost. Thomas largely attributes his ability to remain sane during his isolation to thoughts of reuniting with his at-the-time beloved Deanna Troi.
Tom serves aboard the USS Gandhi before leaving Starfleet to aid the Maquis. At some point, he shaved his sideburns and wears his beard as a goatee. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Defiant", he leads a Maquis mission to steal the USS Defiant from Deep Space Nine. Commander Benjamin Sisko helps the Cardassians capture the ship and its crew on the condition that the Defiant be returned to Starfleet and that Tom Riker not be executed.
Read more about Thomas Riker: Non-canon Appearances
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