CBS saved the biggest surprise for last with the SDCC trailer for Star Trek: Picard, in an extra bit of content after the title card featuring Star Trek: The Next Generation star Brent Spiner’s return, in full android form. How exactly he is returning has been the subject of much speculation, and the actor is now providing a bit more clarity.
Data is back, but not every episode
Speaking to the Las Vegas Review Journal promoting his upcoming appearance (and concert) at Star Trek Las Vegas this week, Brent Spiner also talked a bit about his appearance in Star Trek: Picard:
Data makes appearances in the show, I can say that. And Data is a story point in this season as well. But I’m not in every episode. I’m not a major character on the show.
According to the article, Spiner has read all the scripts for the first season of the show, describing them as “excellent.” The actor also offered this assessment of Picard:
I think people will be really, really excited about it, because it’s a great story.
Based on what Spiner says to the LVRJ as well as his SDCC media appearances and on the SDCC panel, it seems he will have a recurring role in the series and not just a brief cameo. Jeri Ryan has also confirmed she will be appearing in more than one episode. As for Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, indications are they appear in just one episode, which was shot last week.
Spiner’s comments to the LVRJ also confirm Spiner is appearing as Data, and not another Soong-type android, like B-4, who Spiner has suggested appears in the trailer as the non-functional android seen in a Starfleet lab. Spiner has also made clear that Data died in Star Trek Nemesis. This has led to speculation that Data’s appearances in Picard will be different than other returning characters like Seven (Jeri Ryan) and Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco).
A popular theory is that Data will appear as some kind of holographic simulation. However, Alison Pill’s Dr. Agnes Jurati character is described as a researcher and can be seen with Jean-Luc Picard in the trailer examining the B-4 android. It has also been said that Picard is haunted by Data’s sacrifice in Nemesis. So, there may be more to his appearance than just a flashback or hologram.
Brent sings at STLV
On Saturday night at Star Trek Las Vegas Brent Spiner will be singing a selection of songs with his live band in an event being called “In Search of Lost Time.” This will be Spiner’s musical debut at STLV. The actor has released a number of musical albums and sang as Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation and notably at the Riker/Troi wedding in Star Trek Nemesis.
Spiner explains the gala event to the LVRJ:
It’s not exactly a concert. I mean, I sing a number of songs. They’re all woven into dialogue that tells stories. The theme is time: time in the abstract, the times of our lives, particularly the times of my life. There’s a lot of talk. There’s a lot of stories. The stories lead into the songs; the songs lead into the stories.
The Spiner event is included in Gold, Captain’s Chair and Copper packages. Others can purchase a separate ticket for $60 (Note: The Gala ticket does not include admission to the convention)
Full STLV coverage to come
We expect more news about Star Trek: Picard to emerge at Star Trek Las Vegas. TrekMovie’s team is currently on their way to Las Vegas to provide our usual comprehensive coverage of the biggest annual Star Trek convention. The convention and our coverage kicks off on Wednesday here on the site and via our social media platforms.