Patrick Stewart Hints Brent Spiner May Have Significant Role In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

It’s looking more and more likely that we haven’t seen the end of Brent Spiner in Star Trek, with the latest hint coming from Star Trek: Picard star (and executive producer) Sir Patrick Stewart.

Brent Spiner’s potential role for Picard season two

On Saturday Patrick Stewart participated in Deadline Hollywood‘s “Contenders Television” streaming event targetted at Emmy voters. The panel focused on the first season of Star Trek: Picard, but when asked about what it was like to work with some of his Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars, Sir Pat answered with a hint about season two:

It was a very desirable and a very emotional experience, to be reunited with Jonathan [Frakes], with Marina Sirtis. And with Brent [Spiner] too, although he doesn’t appear that often, he has a very significant role in season one, and maybe he might again in season two. But I can say no more than that. Sorry to be so coy.

Brent Spiner appeared in three episodes in season one, playing two characters. He reprised the role of Data and played another member of the Soong family, Dr. Altan Inigo Soong. It’s likely if Spiner returns, that it would be playing Soong again based on previous comments from Spiner and show producers. Last week executive producer Akiva Goldsman said the Soong character was introduced to “create a platform for which there could be more Brent in ensuing seasons.”

Even if Soong has a role to play in season two, it may not be completely focused on the story of Coppelius and the synths, which dominated the first season. In May Stewart said the second season is “not going to be covering the same ground” as season one, promising it includes “startling events.” We do know from previous comments from Stewart and producers that Jean-Luc Picard’s new status as a consciousness stored in an android body will be addressed in season two, and Altan Soong, who created the android “golem” which became the new Picard, would be a natural fit for that storyline.

The second season of Picard is expected to go into production in September. No word yet on when it will premiere on CBS All Access.

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard; Brent Spiner as Altan Soong; Alison Pill as Agnes Jurati in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1”

Doubt was the key to Picard’s return

During the Deadline virtual panel Stewart also recalled the story of his reluctant return to the character of Jean-Luc Picard, saying he “did not want to simply reprise what had happened in The Next Generation.” The challenge he gave Alex Kurtzman and his team was to try to find a way into the character like was done for the 2017 film Logan, telling the CBS Star Trek team: “if you can find that transformation of the man and his spirit, then I am up for it.” The actor detailed how he saw the resulting character evolution:

His frustration, his sadness, his feeling of shame that he made some bad decisions, we saw none of this is the seven years and four feature films of the Next Generation. Rarely was he in any doubt at all about any of his judgments or the decisions that he had made. Now he is.

Stewart also recently participated in an actors roundtable with The Hollywood Reporter where he spoke more about his appreciation for the Picard writing team’s solution to his “Logan challenge”:

I was astonished. What they came up with was something that so fundamentally changed the nature of the character. Also, I had grown old differently in those 17 years, and I was interested to see how I could merge that into him.

Patrick Stewart participates in Deadline’s Contenders series of Emmy panels

Stewart’s collaboration with the writers made the director’s job easier

Hanelle M. Culpepper directed the first three episodes of Picard, and is being promoted by CBS has part of their Emmy campaign in hopes of landing her a nomination as well. Culpepper spoke to Variety about the show, and emphasized how Stewart working closely with the writers made her job easier:

Because he was so involved with the writers, a lot of the things that he felt about his character were already incorporated into the script. So for me, it was just about creating the safe space where he could do the things he wanted to do. He was still collaborative with me. But ultimately, it was nice to be in a situation where the actor and the writers are all on the same page for who this character is.

Patrick Stewart in “The End Is The Beginning”

Stewart a longshot contender for an Emmy

Emmy voting begins on July 2nd. While Star Trek: Picard will likely garner nominations in some of the Creative Arts Emmy categories, nabbing an acting nod could prove more daunting. CBS has made Stewart the center of their FYC Emmy campaign, but the last time the Television Academy nominated an actor for his work in the franchise was Leonard Nimoy for the third season of Star Trek: The Original Series in 1969.

Stewart is getting some buzz, but he is certainly a longshot. Both Variety and IndieWire list him among the contenders for the Drama Best Actor nomination, which is an accomplishment itself in a world where there are so many critically-acclaimed television shows spread across broadcast, cable, premium cable, and streaming. As for Gold Derby, the site that tracks Hollywood awards odds, only one of their panel of experts (Tom O’Neill) predicts Stewart will get a nomination. The site put Stewart’s odds to win the trophy at 100/1.

Stewart has been nominated four times for an Emmy, but never for his work on Star Trek. His last nod came in 2010 for Hamlet.

Patrick Stewart with Sunny Ozell at the Emmy Awards in 2010 (Bauer Griffin)


Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news, reviews, and analysis at TrekMovie.com.

60 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Brent Spiner won’t play Data in season 2 because you know what. He’s playing a Soong character from season 1. I wasn’t a big fan of the Soong family. A family of mad scientists, all of them are.

I’m looking forward to the season 2 storyline. Season 1 had a interesting storyline. From the synth story arc to the Romulan and Borg components of the story. I thought it was compelling enough watch.

Patrick Stewart deserves an Emmy for his performance.

They’re giving out an Emmy for Worst Dismantling Of A Beloved Character now?

Agreed Bryant, if he does get one, it should be as an acknowledgement of his incredible performances during TNG and the TNG films.

Agreed — an Emmy is well-deserved for Steward. What a great continuation of the Picard story-line in the first season, and outstanding character growth from an older Picard.

The time for a Stewart Emmy for playing Picard has long since past. He severely deserved at least one for TNG. But certainly not for this. He seems to have completely lost his charisma in his old age. His skills have waned.

I thought it was cheap garbage, bad writing, poor acting, canon destroying rubbish.

I don’t have any interest in Spiner playing a Soong ever again. Keep it.

Based on your many comments it doesn’t seem like you have any interest in anything from any new Star Trek show so… why are you here?

Because I hate to break this to you, and I know this might come as a bit of a surprise, but you don’t get to vote on what will be in the next show and just saying “I am not interested” is perhaps one of the most vacuous comments anyone could ever leave. Particularly after 3 solid years of them producing content you don’t like and have no interest in.

How long before you finally just accept that these new shows are not for you, and you leave?

Will you still be watching them after 10 years, 6 new shows, and 28 seasons of Trek that you have no interest in?

You seem like a masochist.

I have a huge amount of interest in new Star Trek. I’m hopeful that both “Lower Decks” and “Strange New Worlds” will be more to my liking than either “Discovery” or “Picard” has been. I just want new Trek to not be crap, which so far has not happened very much under the All Access reign. Sorry it chafes you to hear about it; feel free to ignore any comments you see with my name on them. That’s totally fine by me.

Saying that I’m not interested is not vacuous, by the way; and it’s certainly not “one of the most vacuous comments anyone could ever leave.” It’s an expression of my level of interest, in this case for this particular aspect of the show (A.I. Soong). Vacuousness would come with accepting any old thing these shows have to offer simply because one is disinclined to be critical. Maybe you yourself like Spiner as this version of Soong. Great! Leave comments praising the role. You seem to be less interested in that than in trying to shout somebody else’s comment down. THAT’S vacuous.

“How long before you finally just accept that these new shows are not for you, and you leave?” — Star Trek has meant a lot to me for the majority of my 46 years. The misuse to which it is currently being put is galling. To exaggerate things, I’d compare it to how if my father was in a nursing home and was receiving poor care, I wouldn’t stop going there to visit him. I’d go more often in the hopes of catching it happening, so I could prevent it and change it.

If that seems like masochism to you, let me suggest you need a new dictionary.

I guess it makes sense for Brent to continue with that character as they will explore the “new” Picard going forward. I just am not overly excited about it as much as I like Brent Spiner. Went to the Soong well too often. Hopefully there will be a lot more going on so it wont make or break the season

Agreed. I don’t find that character compelling.

The only reasonable way to bring this guy back is to expand upon the “god complex” that has already been completely apparent. Turn him into the season’s heavy.

I felt back during the last two episodes that there was a lot more going on with Spiner’s “new” character than they were revealing–some of his wording and his reaction to events suggested it (to me anyway). But I thought they were saving it for season 2 since there was already enough going on in concluding the first season. Hope I’m right about that.

I really hope you’re right Holden. Of course sadly the character development hasn’t been that great on this show in general (or just VERY confusing ;)) but maybe there is a lot more going on with Soong.

Yep. Agreed. I have little interest in the character that was paper thin anyway.
Brent burnt his bridges choosing to kill Data

This is eerily starting to remind me of the direction JJ and company took after the successful and generally pleasing 2009 movie. They had the perfect set-up to to an “explore strange new worlds,” but instead, they lazily went to fan service with the Khan thing, and it backfired.

I don’t need Soong, Picardo, or any more Berman-era characters than we already have on the show. I want to see some new adventures with the great new crew, not more from the beloved “senior circuit” from the 80’s/90’s — they had their day.

Last edited 2 months ago by Methusalah

I agree to a degree, I do however need Worf and a Sovereign class ship call Enterprise ;) Not too fussed about the others.

Given producers need to a make a show their own, combined with the studios desire for a new look and more merchandise, and the in-canon time that has passed— id be surprised if we don’t see the Enterprise F, if we do see the Enterprise.

I know the book revealed the E is still active, but that is easily ignored.

Thing is Picard is not generally pleasing. Most Trek fans have shown mostly disappointment in various polls you can find if you look.

Unfortunately the only good thing about Picard was the fan service of Riker & Troy, showing how poor the show is in almost every aspect.

Considering all the time that had Stewart and the talking heads saying this wouldn’t be a reunion show, well, it seems to be becoming a reunion show.

And I never doubted it wouldn’t be. ;)

I did think season one they would try and focus it on Picard more (as they kept saying over and over this is about Picard and not really no one else). I assumed we may get a few cameos in season one like a surprise cameo from Riker or Worf, but second season they would go bigger with it. But the second we saw Seven of Nine and Data in that first trailer I knew then all bets were off from that point on. Now literally anyone can show up when you bring in a character from another show and another one who is suppose to be dead lol.

Personally I don’t mind it at all. It’s just smart business to do it. EVERYONE was talking about Seven and Data’s appearance in that first trailer. It only got more excitement and buzz for the show, which was already pretty hyped before that. It was such a surreal moment to see Seven especially and she is what made me enjoy the season overall (and I didn’t enjoy the season that much overall ;)). Of course they shouldn’t over do it, but I’m all for seeing old characters from all the shows. But if they decided to just keep the ones we’ve already seeing like the Riker’s and Seven, that’s fine too.

Well I need my Worf on a starship appearance, that’s MANDATORY in my mind, but the only one. ;D

(Ok, I still want to see Janeway too but I’m GOOD after that, promise!)

Last edited 2 months ago by Tiger2

TNG gave him some meaty material he deserved Emmy nods for off and on. Picard has not, and he didn’t even really dominate his own show – even now, not far removed from it, all I can remember is endless scenes of him pleading to be listened to/getting lectured.

His pole in Picard is incredibly weak and at times almost pointless/embarrassing. I wonder what damage it will do to his, and his character’s legacy.

Why are there now an almost uncountable number of ads before the comments section of trek movie? The number of them has just exploded and made it almost impossible to navigate beyond.
As for this article, Brent Spiner is a fine actor and a good friend of the cast but his seemingly throwing away of his lines as this latest Soong character is almost embarrassing. I cringed as he greeted Picard and introduced himself as the mad scientist of the planet. As if he was greeting Patrick Stewart, the actor, with a snide yet friendly description of his latest gig. He also seems to mumble his lines as that character. I wish he was given a character with greater challenge. He’s up to it.

I just noticed that too. Must be the new design which is “optimated” for that. I’ve noticed that on other pages too and automatically scroll down. (on some pages I even have to use CRTL and F to type “comments” just to get there quickly!)

I’ve pretty much always used the hot link from the ‘# comments’ at the top of the article to get directly to the beginning of the comments section.

However, what was a convenience is now a necessity.

And the vast number of ads and click-bait basically means that I will never look at the ads, while I might have occasionally scrolled by them previously the first time I read an article when there were just 4 or 5.

While I recognize that TrekMovie needs the revenue to keep giving us these great articles and a platform to discuss them, the annoying ad factor might deter new posters who won’t know how to find the comments. That would be very unfortunate.

Thanks for pointing out that link. I had no idea it was there. Absolutely will use it now.

I’m personally fine if they bring Soong back (I guess SOMEONE has to make sure Soji and Picard are functioning properly ;)) but I’m not begging for it either. I think in reality they know fans want to see Spiner back in any form and he has played a Soong or two in the past, so it makes sense even if canon wise it makes no sense lol. But hey, if they can give Spock a sister out of nowhere this can’t be that much of a big deal.

Last edited 2 months ago by Tiger2

My streaming group groaned and threw virtual popcorn at the screen when Spiner showed up as Soong, but it was mostly done in affection. Sometimes you even miss the bad running jokes of the franchise. XD So no, I wouldn’t be upset either, so long as it’s a brief appearance.

I feel pretty much the same.

This isn’t the character that I’m excited to see more of.

I personally don’t care about strict adherence to canon. The other day, I was happy to see there are a few episodes of Star Trek TNG that I have not yet seen when I came across Inheritance and the story about Data’s “mother” Dr. Trainer. Adding what at least in my world was a new character and a new page to Data’s story was great. Also, I remember in the TNG episode Sarek, Picard made a comment about Sarek’s son’s wedding. Was this Spock’s wedding or did Sarek have another son with Sarek’s current human wife? So in other words, Spock either had a wife other than T’Pring OR he had another half sibling, but I know nothing about either. Conceivably, maybe Amanda and Sarek had another son. Once again, I have no issue with hearing about another potential new character who would be new to canon. Maybe a Star Trek novel answers these questions, but are they considered to be canon?

I’m not a canon nazi, as long as whatever changes they make improves the story then I’m all for retcons. A great example of that is Zefrum Cochrane. They clearly made a few changes to his background in First Contact from his original introduction in TOS, mostly suggesting he was born on another planet but it really works IMO. For one thing he was just in one episode and not a very good episode at that. The only reason why people remember it because of Zefrum Cochrane’s importance in the franchise itself. But the character they made in FC is just WAY more interesting and fun. I’m glad he’s not so clean cut like he was introduced and a much more flawed person.

But then giving Spock a sister is another I think they just went too far with and just wasn’t needed at all IMO. People say her presence doesn’t really contradict canon but I honestly disagree. And the producers themselves seem to agree as well and why they threw her a thousand years into the future and came up with the bizarre reason of citing TREASON if her name is brought up lol. I still have no idea why they had to take it that far.

Now, ALL that said, I completely accepted Burnham as Spock’s sister. I’m not one of these people who yell ITS NOT CANON just because I don’t like something they do. End of the day it’s all fiction, I recognize that and writers simply go another way. It’s happened on every show, but yes some can probably take it too far for people’s liking and that was probably one for sure. But I did like their development together in season two and it gave both characters an extra layer. Still far fetched but whatever.

But you make a great point about Spock and TNG. Yes, its funny it was probably one of those throwaway lines they made in that episode because they probably thought they would never have Spock on the show or would ever reference him beyond that episode. But they could’ve just referenced he got married in Unification or they simply broke up later but I guess they weren’t that interested giving him a wife.

But hell, Sarek seems to have so many secret children maybe it is just another sibling we just haven’t met yet lol. Look out for that connection in season two of SNW ;).

Last edited 2 months ago by Tiger2

I, too, am OK with small canonical changes IF it makes for a good story. Like Chekov recognizing Khan from a season he was not on. Sure, one could retcon it but the movie worked so I never really worried about it.

But Spock’s adoptive sister… We both know I feel it was just a bad creative choice and does not destroy canon. But I still think the reason the producers did what they did was mainly due to overreactions from fandom. Yes, they listened to fans and made changes but they needed to think those changes through. IF they really were up on their Trek they would know that Burnham’s presence was NOT a canon violation. Yet they opted to treat it that way anyway only because some people complained about it. Once again supporting my assertion that creative types should NOT follow what the fans want. They need to do what THEY want. It’s their show. Let the fans love it or hate it for what they want it to be.

They had to kill Data for this? Unbelievable.

Also, had to scroll an eternity to get down to the comments section. What’s with all the commercials inbetween all of a sudden? I’d almost given up.

It’s pathetic, it was Spiner’s own self centeredness that causes this.

Gawd, aren’t we finished with the Spiner LUVFEST at this point?

well, are you?

I’m thinking happy thoughts for season 2 of Picard and season 3 of Discovery. *please be good* please be good*

Both shows need quite a massive change to make them good, which is VERY unlikely to happen considering the 2-3 huge opportunities they have had since Disco started.
ST: SNW is likely to be garbage too while these people are in control.

Is anyone else feeling uneasy about Sir Patrick Stewart’s comment hyping “startling events.”

Sigh.

I really wish that serialization didn’t seem to compel Trek writers to look for a galaxy or Federation-civilization threatening event or shocking character transformation every season.

It could just be Sir Pat spinning, but it’s not giving me comfort or raising my anticipation.

I’d rather see the series as a whole, or significant characters, build to something over the long haul, in the way of DS9 or Farscape, rather than trying to overdo each season and then underdeliver with too big a storyline, too many radical moments of personal growth, and too much complexity to land such stories in a satisfying way.

Last edited 2 months ago by TG47

Just leave your comfort zone dude!

jako, I think you’re mistaking me for someone who hasn’t been keen to see new and different Trek concepts and formats.

The occasional season where the entire existence of intelligent biological life in the galaxy is at stake, well-delivered and without forgotten major plot threads would be a joy.

That said, escalation of ‘startling’ or ‘shocking’ events or character developments shouldn’t be the only way to build suspense or anticipation.

Sir Pat should have stuck to acting, not steering the ship.

Data died, don’t need replicants of the Soong family coming back as regular characters now…it would feel forced.

tough

Hi Brent, you’ve had enough screen time, leave it to someone new now

Tough for CBS is figures and opinions about the utter mess nuTVTrek keep going they way they are. It’s garbage.

Well, “Picard” introduced a serious ethical question for the Federation. Now that people can be uploaded into a brand new (and potentially super-powered) body like Picard was, what effect will that have on the general population? Are people going to want near-immortality now that it is essentially available? What about people with serious illnesses, like we saw in both Picard and Sarek, will they be lining up to get themselves uploaded into a new illness-free body? What about Starfleet deciding that in case of another Dominion War or Borg attack, it wants an army of humans uploaded into synths with Data-like strength?

This could be good fodder for future storylines, and A.I. Soong would be in the thick of it.

Or by season 3 they could show that it doesn’t really work and then Picard could die for good…

Just spitballing here to avoid something of such huge significance there is really no way they could do it justice.

They will put it in the same bucket as the Spore Drive with a label saying “We didn’t really think this one through again like we used to in the good old days”

Good point, without Data any Soong characters would just remind us we want Data back

If Spiner was available, I wonder if they considered the possibility of Data getting a ‘human’ body like the synthetic one Picard was transferred to?

Spiner for many years has shown his dislike for not wanting to play the character again, making all sorts of excuses that were not entirely genuine (we seen him again in Picard!).
He won’t be back.

I really hope so much that season two will look like the new generation, with the ship, the crew, new exciting adventures I didn’t like Picard season one, at all.

Last edited 2 months ago by Nir

It has to be, Picard Season 1 was really bad on all levels.

Funny how he said that Picard now has doubts or made mistakes. I really saw no doubts in the man the entire season. He was very much the JL Picard we saw on the other show and the features. The one thing that was changed was that his ego did indeed grow to the point where he thought his resignation would affect galactic politics. That was his one miscalculation. Apart from that, he was essentially the same guy. Just older.

At this stage I couldn’t care less. Kurtzman’s incompetence coupled with Stewart’s misguided motivation to cackhandedly politically lecture people has created an unwatchable trainwreck. Star Trek always had political messages I know, but it used to deliver them in a entertaining way that didn’t feel forced. I can’t imagine there’ll be that many TNG fans still hanging around for a season 2 of more of the same.

I agree, I think after we see what ST:SNW has to offer we might have to declare Star Trek dead.
Picard season 1 was really bad.

Going out on a limb here, but I think that by the time the Picard series wraps up…………….Data’s story isn’t done yet.

*Even just a quick last scene flash. :-)