Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 6, Episode 24

Second Chances (22 May 1993)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 596 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

A distortion field surrounds a planet, giving one chance every eight years to visit the surface. Riker once had a mission there and their equipment was deserted in an effort to flee from ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Mae C. Jemison ...
Lt. Palmer (as Dr. Mae Jemison)


A distortion field surrounds a planet, giving one chance every eight years to visit the surface. Riker once had a mission there and their equipment was deserted in an effort to flee from the planet before the distortion returned. Having returned to the planet, he runs into another version of himself...marooned there eight years previous. Written by Moviedude1

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Release Date:

22 May 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Star Trek explored a similar theme of duplication in Star Trek: The Enemy Within (1966), Star Trek: Voyager: Deadlock (1996), and Star Trek: Voyager: Demon (1998). See more »


After the bridging collapses and Lt. Riker is pulled up and crawls over Cmdr. Riker, a long shot shows that the stunt double's legs and feet haven't gotten completely out of the shot before Lt. Riker/Jonathan Frakes stands up. See more »


Commander William T. Riker: Ever since he came on board, I find myself thinking about the choice that you and I made.
Counselor Deanna Troi: Me too.
Commander William T. Riker: Do me a favor. Be careful.
Counselor Deanna Troi: Will, I know you and he have had some problems.
Commander William T. Riker: That's not what I'm talking about. If he had gotten off the planet instead of me, don't you think he would've made the same choices that I made? I just don't want you to be hurt again.
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Referenced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Defiant (1994) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

One of the most interesting & original episodes of any Star Trek...
12 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, it's true, the "duplicate" and "clone" stories are pretty ubiquitous in the Star Trek Universe (the two Kirks in TOS "The Enemy Within", the "alternate universe" duplicates in TOS, ST:NG and "Star Trek; Enterprise", etc), but this installment presents a startling, fresh, and thought-provoking twist on this frequently re-visited concept- the "second Riker" isn't just a copy, clone, or evil twin, he's another original, complete with childhood memories, career goals, and romantic thoughts identical to the first Riker (at least up to 8 years ago in the story).

Being exactly the same person in all respects- sharing everything in common (including Riker's legendary individualism, ambition and stubbornness), the two Rikers are forced to work together on the Enterprise and find themselves competing with each other in almost every respect (including a moving & sometimes heart-wrenching contest for the love of Deanna Troi).

What a fascinating idea- imagine being forced to work with & compete with yourself! This is a great episode because it makes full use of Star Trek's wonderful imaginary technology (in this case the transporter) to present the viewer with a unique situation that could only happen here, in the Star Trek Universe.

Not much action in this one (unless one includes the romantic scene(!) with Riker#2 and Deanna in the workout room but that's a different kind of action- lol), but that is more than compensated for by a well written script, excellent acting and directing, and of course a highly intriguing premise. Jonathan Frakes follows up his outstanding performance in "Frame of Mind" with another tour de force here in a dual role that showcases his excellent acting skills.

The only negative aspect of this installment (if there is any) is that it's only an hour long- all the avenues of such an interesting concept just can't be explored fully in 60 minutes. This story could have easily made a great two-part episode or even a feature film (with a little more action added in).

16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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