Jonathan Frakes as an older Commander William T. Riker


Star Trek: Why Jonathan Frakes Replaced The First Actor Cast As Riker
Jonathan Frakes had an incredible franchise run as Commander William T. Riker on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," but the role had initially gone to someone else.
When "The Next Generation" was coming together, the minds behind it originally cast Billy Campbell in the role, only for him to be quickly swapped out for Frakes.
Per producer Rick Berman's recollection in the "Star Trek" oral history book "The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years," Paramount executive John Pike wasn't sold on Campbell.
"He didn't feel he had a sense of command. He wouldn't follow this guy into battle. I think it was really more that he didn't audition that well for the part," Berman said.