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Star Trek: The Next Generation Almost Cut Riker & Troi Romance

Is this going to happen, or what? It's a question that "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fans asked pretty much every time Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) shared the screen. The tension between the two made the ongoing story more enjoyable and added a level of relatable realism to the hit sci-fi show. This is why you may be shocked to learn that shortly after the introduction of Troi and Riker — which came with the revelation of a past romantic relationship — the producers and writers took significant steps to try and squash what would become one of the franchise's most beloved love connections.

When Paramount interviewed Sirtis and Frakes, they discussed their on-screen relationship at length. "The fans loved the Troi-Riker thing," Sirtis said. "A lot of the time in the beginning, the writers ignored it." Both actors knew there was something happening between the characters that was too special to drop. "Jonathan and I refused to let it die," Sirtis added. As Frakes explains it, the writers felt there would be more opportunities for new storylines if Troi and Riker were accessible to other people (or aliens). Thankfully, the actors refused to let the romance die, a choice that proved to be the right call.

Sirtis and Frakes refused to give up on Troi and Riker

The fact that Troi and Riker kept their past relationship secret from Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) only made viewers more interested in how this new assignment was going to play out. However, as Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis explained in a behind-the-scenes featurette, the writers weren't interested in developing it. "The writers conveniently decided that it's easier for them if Riker and Troi are single," Frakes said. "Riker had relationships with other people, Troi had relationships with other people — including, for some reason, Worf, which I never can imagine." According to Sirtis, keeping the flame between Troi and Riker burning was a no-brainer. "People will always like a will-they-won't-they," she said.

Riker and Troi ended up together, marrying at the beginning of "Star Trek: Nemesis." Fans got to see them together again in the recent sequel series "Star Trek: Picard," which brought back the cast of "The Next Generation" in its third and final season. Seeing Troi and Riker together again after all those years was a great moment, and it wouldn't have been possible if the actors behind the characters hadn't fought so hard for the relationship. "We kept it going, much to the consternation of the suits," Sirtis said. "The fans loved it and I'm glad that we did it."