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Is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Erica Ortegas the Riker of this new show? Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes, says "Totally!"

William T. Riker approves of the idea that Ortegas is... the next William T. Riker

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
Image credit: Paramount+

Everyone who’s watched Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has already fallen in love with Lt. Erica Ortegas' — the pilot of the Enterprise who has a devil-may-care attitude that brings a whole new sense of fun to the series, and an energy not unlike some earlier Trek icons. According to Melissa Navia, who plays the character, that’s not a connection that’s gone unnoticed by those icons.

“I remember, I think even before episode 1 came out, there were whispers saying, Ortegas seems like the Riker of the crew,” Navia told fans during the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds panel at the recent MCM Comic Con in London, referring to Star Trek: The Next Generation’s endlessly charming, trombone-playing Commander William T. Riker, as played by the even-more-charming Jonathan Frakes — who, these days, is a director on multiple television series, including Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. “I remember telling Frakes that, and he was just like, ‘Yeah! Yeah, totally.’ And I was just like, ‘Good. That’s all I need.’”

Of course, we’ll have to see if Ortegas can pull off the Riker Maneuver before we’ll consider it an official passing of the torch.

Navia was, of course, very complimentary about the chance to work with Frakes on set of the Paramount+ series, which is just weeks away from launching its second season. “Being on the bridge with Jonathan Frakes, and hearing that voice that we all know, and hearing him tell me to do things at the helm, it’s just, ‘raaaaargh,’” she told the audience during her hologrammatic appearance on the panel. “He’s just wonderful to work with. It was just an example to us, one of the many examples, that this is just a really big, beautiful, family, and a generations-long experiment that has been going very well.”

Want more from the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds panel? We’ll be sharing the whole thing for members on May 31, with free access for everyone following in June.

If you want to see more panels from MCM Comic Con, here’s where you’ll find out which ones we’re sharing online.

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