Riker Sits Down

(YouTube link)

Like many people, I watched Star Trek: TNG for years and never noticed how Riker sits down. And stands up. Jonathan Frakes is a tall guy with long legs, and was compelled to wear a jumpsuit uniform, so this might have been the easiest way he found to deal with chairs. Or it could be totally for style. But why did it take so long for anyone to notice? -via Metafilter


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It may have more to do with production of the show. Does he really do this every time he sits down, or only when it keeps him in frame for the shot?
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I think a lot of this may have to do with the fact that the chairs he's sitting on are often just props. They're very short. Some of them may be screwed to the floor (like the two chairs in Picard's ready room). All these chairs are also next to tables which probably don't have good clearance for his knees. So Frakes can either stumble around for a noticeable amount of time trying to get himself into position, or he can put his leg over the chair and go straight into his dialog. He does the latter. It would be more interesting to see if Frakes does this on other shows like his pre-Trek soaps.
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I have a theory. I was in the Navy stationed aboard a destroyer. The chairs on the mess deck and many others throughout the ship were mounted on a between your legs I-beam attached to the stanchion supporting the table or desk. This kept the chairs from bouncing around in high seas and the deck clear for swabbing. of course, the only way to sit down was to use the method you see Riker using. It was a hard habit to break. Perhaps Riker was a tin can sailor before entering Star Fleet Academy.
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Having see this, and seeing how he does it over and over.. It really is just because the chairs are so short. Compared to him, they're tiny, its almost easier to do this than not. In some cases you don't even NOTICE he's doing it because its so short he barely has to lift his leg
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