Number One with a smile

William T Riker is a stern man, not to be trifled with. Fans of Star Trek know this. But he has a soft-side. He loves jazz, for example. The man can, literally, converse through jazz.

So it was a surprise to read this bit of interview, given by Jonathan Frakes, about Gene Roddenberry’s plan for William T. Riker:

“Gene Roddenberry, the late Great Space Bird Of The Galaxy, had asked me originally not to smile, that he wanted Riker to be played with what he referred to as a Gary Cooper, Midwestern glint—not a scowl, but not smiling. And my nature is to smile, so I looked, or thought I looked, very uncomfortable—certainly in the first season—because I was playing Roddenberry’s wish, his note.”

Oh, that old Great Space Bird.

Do we really have a Midwestern glint? I’m not much for scowling. I’ll have to start owning my glint, though.



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