Did Jonathan Frakes Just Drop A Big ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2 Clue? [UPDATED]

The second season of Star Trek: Picard kicked off production in southern California last Tuesday. It is expected to arrive on Paramount+ in 2022. There isn’t much confirmed about the show’s sophomore season, but a Star Trek luminary may have just given us a big clue.

Frakes’ cryptic tweet

What has us wondering if something is afoot is a tweet sent out Friday morning by Star Trek: The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes. He posted a photo—without a caption—of himself smiling with his TNG co-stars LeVar Burton and John de Lancie. It’s a fantastic photo and in just a few hours, the tweet garnered hundreds of comments and thousands of likes.

Could there be more to this image than just a fun post for his fans on social media? Let’s start with the image itself. The shot of Frakes, de Lancie, and Burton is one in of a collection taken by celebrated British photographer Andy Gotts in 2017. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation members of the cast sat for Gotts in London for a series of individual and group prints. You can buy a photographic print of the shot at Gotts’ website.

“TNG: Contact Sheet” print by Andy Gotts

Putting the clues together

So why did Jonathan Frakes choose today to share a four-year-old image, and why this specific one? Could it be a clue? If so, to what? Well, let’s put some pieces together.

In his most recent TrekMovie interview, Frakes confirmed he would be returning to direct Star Trek: Picard in season two, which is being broken up into two-episode blocks and divided among five directors. As of this week, production should still be in its first block of two shows, with the next director already prepping. Frakes told TrekMovie he hoped he’d get to reprise his role of William Riker (after appearing in two episodes of season one). But at a bare minimum, Frakes is involved as a director.

As for LeVar Burton and John de Lancie, both actors have hinted that they, too, could appear in season two of Picard. Last April, Burton said he has been in discussions with producers of the show and expected he and the rest of the cast would eventually turn up. And in 2019, Burton visited the set during the location shoot for “Nepenthe.” Burton’s Geordi La Forge has already been mentioned on the show, indicating that he’s still around and on good terms with Jean-Luc Picard. There are plenty of ways to fit the legendary engineer into the story, especially given that Picard was resurrected in an android body last season.

LeVar Burton and Michael Dorn visited the Picard set when Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes were guest stars

As for de Lancie, in December in a Cameo.com video the actor revealed he would be reprising his role as Q. While he didn’t specifically mention Star Trek: Picard, it makes the most sense of any of the Star Trek shows currently in production, especially as he had already appeared on Star Trek: Lower Decks by that time. One more intriguing piece of the puzzle: Whoopi Goldberg will be reprising her role of Guinan on Picard this season, and the two characters have a complicated history together, as established on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Is this all a convoluted web of connecting dots that may not really be there? Perhaps. But Frakes has been known to drop a spoiler or two, and with strict restrictions on sharing behind-the-scenes images while shows are in production, this simple posting of a photo from 2017 could be his way of letting us know some of the gang are getting back together.

Artist rendering of TrekMovie team examining the evidence

UPDATE: Showrunner joins in

If you are looking for another data point, you can find one from new Picard executive producer and showrunner Terry Matalas. On Friday Matalas retweeted Frakes’ tweet with the image we have been discussing. Could he just be another fan sharing a great image, or was this his way of confirming the theory?

What about this one?

If you’re still down the rabbit hole with us, then we might as well keep going. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds also just went into production, and Frakes is likely to helm an episode or two of that show as well.  So, what do you make of Frakes’ tweet from last week with the phrase “Strange New Worlds” (which features Spock as one of its main characters) and a Photoshopped image of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock playing 3D chess with Anya Taylor-Joy from the Netflix chess mini-series The Queen’s Gambit?


50% off Paramount+ deal ends next week

If you sign up now for a CBS All Access annual plan, you can get 50% off your first year. On March 4, your subscription will automatically switch over to Paramount+.  To get the 50% off deal CLICK HERE and use the code PARAMOUNTPLUS. This limited-time offer expires on March 3rd.


Find more news and analysis from Star Trek: Picard.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Burton all but confirmed he would be in season 2 last year in an interview. So I’m not shocked. I’m also betting on Gates McFadden returning, as well

Yeah no surprise, plus we all knew Q would show up sooner or later.

I hope they don’t mess Geordi up.

In truth, what is there to mess up? Geordi was the show’s most one-dimensional character.

I can think of any number of ways.

For example. Geordi, having been taken captive and tortured for 8 years by the Sheliac following their attempted takeover of the Federation, is now a half robot mercenary working as a bounty hunter for the Orion Syndicate. His wife, a Gorn woman name B’oxtop, and their daughter C’arhorn, roam the Beta quadrant in a modified Klingon Battlecruiser, doing any nasty deed they are paid handsomely for.


Thanks man, that was the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.
…and it rings true!

To be fair, that would be more exciting then what we usually get from Geordi.

Good god, man, I’d pay lots of money to see THAT!

Please don’t give the hacks ideas lol!

He was the show’s everyman, able to transcend his disability to manage the ship as well as be a best friend to data.

Give this writing staff a chance.. they’ll find a way.

Geordi and his Husband is very happy.

Please no. Just no. Nothing against LGBT people, but don’t retroactively change people’s gender, sex, orientation or whatever it’s called nowadays.

Who said Geordi only liked women?

Oh c’mon, you know what I mean. Not everyone is bisexual or gay. There are straight white and coloured men and women out there.

“Or whatever it’s called nowadays”. Spiken like a true bigot.

I would guess the episodic nature of SNW might make for more big-name guest stars . . .

Maybe later, but travel restrictions due to COVID may actually make it harder to get big-name guest stars in the near term unless they are big-name local talent. Strange New Worlds is shot in (or close to) Toronto.

Unless they are already in Canada and through quarantine due to other projects, it doesn’t seem likely.

But that still leaves a large number of actors from outside Canada. Vancouver and Toronto production is going full bore winter notwithstanding. There are a lot of big names already through quarantine.

I fully admit that I don’t know how guest casting works on a TV show, i.e. how far in advance people are booked. It just seems like a scheduling gamble to land a big name who happens to be in town due to another project but also happens to be available right during that one week that SNW would need them.

Even then, projects are probably going to be wary of “crossing the streams”. If a COVID outbreak disrupts one production, they don’t want it spreading into others.

Even the Arrowverse shows which normally do a crossover as a matter of routine are foregoing that this year.

So great to see these guys together again!

And as said Burton all but said he was coming back and De Lancie hinted before he was doing more Star Trek. Of course that could’ve been for his cameo appearance in LDS but most assume an actual appearance.

Either way, Q showing up is not an if but a when at this point. There are Trek shows coming for the next 20 years and Q is a very popular character. And these are the same people who just brought back GOF after 50 years. Nothing is off the table anymore.

I do consider his appearance in *Lower Decks* an “actual” appearance, but I do think there’ll be a live-action one as well that he wasn’t referring to (I was under the impression he dropped the hint about an upcoming appearance after he had already been on *Lower Decks*).


Guardian of Forever, which I loved seeing on Discovery, but seem to be a mixed bag with a lot of people here (but that’s the life of Discovery though ;)). But they been making it clear, literally since season 2 of that show after they promised we wouldn’t even see Spock show up just to give him an entire story arc on it, that anyone and everyone is fair game now. I expect to see every major character from TNG back on Picard before that show is over. These were also the same people who were saying you shouldn’t expect to see any former characters on the show outside of Picard himself in the first season and they managed to squeeze in seven of them…in just ten episodes. If Kirk doesn’t make an appearance before season 2 of SNW is done, I will die from the shock lol. The revolving door of TOS characters will just have started over there.

Q is just a no-brainer considering how popular he still is in the fanbase and since he’s a character you can use for any time period, area of space or story line, it’s not exactly hard to bring him back. I still would love to see him on Discovery in the 32nd century.

I honestly couldn’t remember when he remarked about showing up as Q again, I just assumed it was before we saw him in LDS. But if it was after, then maybe more proof he’s coming back. If not next season, no biggie, it’s really just a when and not an if like I said; especially now that canon wise he can show on literally any show minus SNW.

For me, it’s not that they used the Guardian.. it’s that they turned it into something it’s not. ,… a mystical, fantastical being, and not the machine it was in TOS. I don’t mind fan service when it’s used well, But I absolutely HATE it when they contort it into things that make no sense within the rules that this universe has always played by. It’s not like it’s this little thing.. it’s the Guardian.. the most iconic episode of TOS. It’s like when they used Khan in STID… why use him when you’re going to so drastically alter who the character was fundamentally (and I’m not talking physical appearance, here)? Use your imagination and come up with something new and cool. Expand this universe and make it better.

theres already talk of Bones appearing in SNW (but its from one of those usually BS sites). if Kirk were to appear in a reoccurring role i guess itd be a new actor like Spock/Peck, or if a cameo for the final scene theyd use CG Twilight Zone/WNMHGB Shatner (but itd be more fun if the latter)

with Q i wonder if they will CG deage him to the 90s Berman era or simply have Q say hes aged for Picards perception of time or something

With all the criticisms I have of this show… bringing Q back would be great. Everybody thought The Borg were kind of the ‘big bad’ of TNG, but Q was the best antagonist of the series. He and Picard deserve their own closure of sorts on screen. As great as All Good Things Was.. he deserves a second go ‘round with the crew. If they can nail that, then I can forgive them for a terrible season 1.. (the completion of Data’s story notwithstanding… that part was fantastic).

If Q does appear, have to wonder if they’ll be making Jean Luc into a real boy again

Nice, next we need Shatner tweeting a photo of himself sat in the chair on the Enterprise F bridge

Oh for the love of heaven, don’t give the man any ideas!

Now we now why Q may be coming back! ;)

Maybe Number One will end up teaching Spock 3D Chess? Or will it be a guest star???

Maybe Sheldon Cooper will show up and introduce 4D chess for 3 players.

Technically 3D chess is 4D over time. Lol

Imagine a chess game whose moves affects the game in the past…

No doubt Q is going to make fun of Picard being a Golem. Q will be probably be their to lighten things up a little in Picard. I mean the show was sometimes depressing, the tone was always inconsistent. Hopefully that will be sorted out with having such a long delay between seasons.

Geordie will be their for moral support like he was in All Good Things I suppose. Can’t see him as part of a conspiracy, the larger arc or some such. That’s not his style. Hope it gets mentioned he is married to Leah in this timeline.

Geordi probably thought he was finished performing maintenance on his friends, then Picard had to go and become an android too.

Is it just me, or does Geordi getting married to Leah feel a bit like Riker being married to Minuet in that one episode?

Instead of being a nerd, they should make Geordi all like world-weary and stuff, and like some assassins will get in his way and all of a sudden Geordi will pull out a shoulder-mounted photon torpedo launcher and just blow everyone away- but Geordi will be all nonplussed and just take a swig of whiskey and act like nothing happened- would be kickass. I love Star Trek.


Nah, just have him hug everybody and be the same as always so the old TNG fans can get their fan service…the actual need for his character in the new series be damned.

In theory, Geordi could be more important to Star Fleet than any other TNG character. He could be really responsible, really in charge and… perhaps unsettled by the sudden appearance of the giant Romulan Fleet.

Too good! He’ll need a catchphrase as well. Nothing’s better than a catchphrase.

Also, could have an eyepatch and half a VISOR just to really emphasise how kick ass he has become since Nemesis?

that could work as he cant be too happy at how Spock took his Jellyfish into a blackhole that thing mustve cost him alot in terms of money and man hours

Just noticed that Terry Matalas, the new showrunner of Picard, retweeted Frakes’ tweet with the photo of Burton, Frakes and Delancie.

I would read that as a confirmation of sorts.

Wow, great catch man! Man I hope it’s true!!! Maybe they are starting to get the hype train rolling!

Hopefully this one won’t derail like first season. :(

BTW, I saw you mentioned in another thread you took my advice and watching 12 Monkeys! Wow, very cool! What are your thoughts so far? Now I’m thinking of watching it again lol. But there is so much stuff I’m trying to watch just for the FIRST time, but may try to do it later in the year.

I really enjoyed the first season aside from the finale which was a colossal disaster (not Picard becoming an android…. that didn’t bother me as much as some, but more that it was so rushed and the colony was not fleshed out which was surprising given how the entire season was a race to protect it). I just hope they manage to stick the landing this time around!

Honestly I did love the first half of the season, but by the time it got to the finale from the second half, it just turned into a mess. And yeah don’t get me started on Picard becoming an android. I would love for Q to show up just to snap the guy back into his regular body. That was just sooo unnecessary to me.

Really glad you enjoyed the show overall more though. But we agree the finale was pretty bad and what I think ruined it for a lot of us.

I’m still working my way through 12 monkeys. It’s definitely bingeable.

It’s so tightly and coherently plotted that I can’t imagine Matalas as showrunner permitting the kind of incoherence of Picard and Discovery’s first two seasons.

More, for S2 of Picard he will have had the planning requirements of Covid to force advance decisions on what scenes will be shot and what will happen in them. Directors will know what has to be shot in order to have the plotting work.

Thinking about this, and Patrick Stewart’s recent comments about just getting the first 5 scripts, I’m thinking that Matalas may have driven some significant rewriting and reworking of the scripts since he came on board. Chabon and Goldsman made it sound as though they were expecting to have all 10 episodes written before an October 2020 production start. Hopefully, the additional time will have been well spent and will have enabled Matalas to put his stamp on things.

I guess the question is also how much he is really in control. From interviews during Picard’s first season it sounded like different producers were pulling the show in different directions without a clear guiding voice. Maybe the problem was that Chabon didn’t have experience running a TV show. If Matalas has a clear vision and is allowed realize that vision without too much intervention that might help.

Really glad you are enjoying it so far at least. And yes, it is really a show where everything is taken into account, which is doubly hard for a time travel show on top of everything else. Now it’s not perfect either. There are story elements here and there that will probably make you go ‘what??’ but you been watching Discovery for 3 seasons now, nothing beyond how ridiculous that show can get lol.

And last thing, what many people may not know about 12 Monkeys, it didn’t start out as an adaptation to the movie, he had an original idea about a time travel show but SyFy suggested to him that he actually go with making the movie into a TV show because it would naturally get better exposure and interest out of the gate. So he basically combined his original idea with story elements of that movie. Pretty crazy but amazing at the same time. The original show was named after the first episode of the series, but it’s not coming to me right now.

And yes hopefully we will see something vastly different with his leadership in Picard. But as DIGNON mentioned, we don’t know exactly how much control he really has. I don’t blame Chabon completely for the show turning as bad as it did in the end because I do think there was a lot of interference as well. Not to suggest everything he wanted to do would’ve been great, but with what, 13 executive producers, it probably was too many chefs in the kitchen.

Tiger2, you’re the last person I’d expect to harp on the many EPs thing.

Star Trek has a tradition of listing them all, but the titles come from the guild contracts.

EP is the title required for all the senior production people as well as the heads of the production company. It’s basically the top rank in each of the guilds involved, not just the writers. So generally tells us more about rank in the union hierarchy than role.

This can include the head of vfx and the production designer. The supervising director (who keeps the acting style and visual tone consistent across the directors of the episodes) also gets EP or Co-EP status.

Add on top of that the Roddenberry estate company has some continuing role in the management of the IP (two EPs), this adds up.

I think what is different is that Kurtzman has brought in a lot of senior writers who rate the EP ranks (e.g. Goldsman). In this case, it seems that their power in the room is based on seniority and status — the EP title is more a reflection of the challenges in having big names and big egos in a room rather than the cause.

LOL, OK, OK! It was just a thought and one line. I don’t pretend to know, but we do know Chabon didn’t have complete control either. And of course no show runner ever has complete control, everyone has a boss, it just depends on how much freedom they are given like Ira Steven Behr on DS9. Of course he had been part of Star Trek for years and a proven producer and writer so Berman trusted him to do what he wanted. It probably wasn’t completely the same thing with Chabon although I have to reiterate none of us really know and of course he could’ve been responsible for a lot of the show’s problems as well.

Bottom line, I’m just hoping with a lot more time to work on the scripts and a new showrunner who has proven they know how to make a really strong serialized show, it will be a different story regardless how many others are involved. Picard is currently my least favorite show in the franchise. I’m hoping it will get above Discovery at least lol.

I love how it is always Frakes who spills the beans so to speak. It is refreshing after seeing so many actors and producers trying in weird ways to keep secrets.

Well we do know Guinan and Q have history but that was never explored, just mentioned. Be interesting to get some more depth added to it.

Whats the Name of the Red haired officer in the Cage?

Yeoman Colt.

The one with unusually strong female drives?

I loved the first season of Picard, but now I fear they are going to make the same mistake that JJ and company made with STID. Just when you have a new crew set up to have new adventures, instead of doing that you go back and revisit stories and characters that were largely finalized decades earlier.

It’s like they don’t trust themselves to write new material and want to instead fall back into fan service crap like Lower Decks did with the force-fit “old Trek tie-in of the week” in every ep. And then instead of just Picard and this great new energetic crew, we are going to get “Picard and his geriatric friends” like this is some Star Trek take on The Golden Girls.

And I especially don’t need Q…that ship sailed away long ago in my book. Q is also going to seem silly to the audiences of today as well — like a superhero.

I could be wrong, and I hope I am, because Season 1 of Picard was just tremendously good.

Star Trek: Golden Girls. I’d watch that.

Really can’t be any sillier than the tubolift scene I’ve heard featured in Discovery though, No?

I think Q should be limited to voice-overs in Lower Decks. Q is supposed to be immortal, but John De Lancie isn’t, and an old Q in Picard would just be strange.

Wouldn’t be the first time he aged himself solely for the purpose of messing with Picard:


Personally, I’d like him to flash in de-aged to look like he did in TNG, comment on how much Picard has changed and say he’s going to take on a new appearance in sympathy, flash in again as a toaster, and then flash in one more time as John De Lancie today, snickering about how the toaster was maybe a low blow.

Don’t the audiences of today like superheroes?

I am not sure they should trust themselves to write new stuff. Wish they’d bring in some bona fide science fiction writers. Then maybe we’d get some strange new worlds and something new besides the same old, same old war arcs and unstoppable big baddies. IMHO, Wrath of Khan and Best of Both Worlds (extremely good, both) were the best things and the worst things to happen to Trek.

Thinking about it Geordi is a natural fit for Picard. He was closest to Data after all and Picard will have to fill him in what eventually became of him. Geordi, more than anyone, will completely sympathize with his former captain being a gollem/android now. I’m sure he can give him some encouragement and pointers.

Hugh bonded with Geordi the most and he’ll have to come to terms with his death as well. I wonder if Geordi would take over as the director of the ex B’s? That was the most interesting part of season 1, when Hugh takes Picard on a tour around the cube demonstrating the borg can be successfully rehabilitated. Powerfull stuff. Their was even a tiny plot thread were Hugh hinted to Picard if he could put in a good word for the exborgs, hope that won’t be forgotten. Geordi could take over that role now Hugh has gone. I would like to see that explored more in season 2.

I’m officially getting excited.

Wasn’t Geordi also said to be the head of Utopia Planetia as well? So they might have a subplot about him surviving the assault and how it affected him and through that have a connection with the synths.

He was at Utopia Planetia in the novels and comics, but I don’t think that was confirmed in canon.

Maybe Geordi, the retired engineer, will be around to oil Picard’s joints.

I kind of hope they make Geordi instrumental in bringing Hugh back. For one, it’d be a dose of actual optimism, which the show does badly need. Two, it’d be a bit of a balm to S1, where two of the characters who were closest to Geordi got shuffled off for Picard’s benefit without even bringing his name up. Picard helped Data die, Geordi can help revive Hugh.

Maybe Q will return Picard to human form.

Would that be a cheat or would the fans be happy that happened?

Bring back Leah Brahms

Bring back the Irish space farmers too


Only if they also bring back the space hippies from TOS.

Sometimes, a picture may just only be… A picture.

Amazed geordi is not back considering his role in trying to save Romulus and reviving b 4.