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 588 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

22 May 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mae C. Jemison:  the first African-American woman in space and a friend of Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura of the original Star Trek (1966)), appears as transporter chief Lieutenant Palmer. See more »


When Commander Riker shouts "I gave you an order..." to Lieutenant Riker, one can see where the picture is joined. It's evident at the bottom of Commander Riker's arm. See more »


Lt. Thomas Riker: I thought if one thing were clear by now, it's that you and I play things a little differently.
Commander William T. Riker: Why don't we wait and see who comes out on top?
Lt. Thomas Riker: I thought you were willing to settle for second, Commander.
Commander William T. Riker: I've never settled for anything in my life. I know what I want, I know what I've got, and you'd be lucky to do so well, Lieutenant.
See more »


Referenced in Trekkies (1997) 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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