Brent Spiner On The “Pleasure” Of Being Directed By Jonathan Frakes In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

Brent Spiner played two different roles in the first season of Star Trek: Picard, and Paramount+ has confirmed he is back for season two. The actor has been talking about what it’s like to reunite on set with his Next Generation co-stars Sir Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes.

Spiner: Picard is in “good hands” with Jonathan Frakes

Thanks to the chatty John de Lancie and Jonathan Frakes, we know that Brent Spiner has already been filming Picard season two, with two episodes directed by Frakes. And in an interview with Showbiz Junkies, Spiner told them about being directed by Frakes on both TNG and Picard:

Jonathan really learned his stuff; he is a fine director. I always feel I’m in good hands when Jonathan’s directing. I just finished doing an episode with him and it was just great! We have a shorthand, of course, and it’s great to work with somebody I’m that close to. He’s really skilled now and it’s not just me saying that about my friend; I think if you ask anyone on the set – any crew member, any other actor – they all take pleasure in working with Jonathan. Definitely my favorite TNG director.

Jonathan Frakes on set directing season one of Picard

Spiner also talked about the closeness of TNG cast playing out again on set for Picard:

We really did have a special bond. We were working 16-hour days on sets that had no windows. We really could’ve gone crazy. I think what we chose to do instead was have a good time. We really did. We laughed all day long, every day. There were prickly moments here and there, but really nothing much. This camaraderie has survived. It’s transcended time, really; we’re as close now as we ever were – if not more so. We still get together for dinner. I still speak to one or more of the cast members every week… As it happens, we’re also working together again, which is great.

Brent Spiner as Alton Soong in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”

Our most recent Picard update clarified that Spiner is likely playing Dr. Altan Inigo Soong again in season two of Picard. In the new interview, he spoke about his decision to reprise the role of Data in season one after saying that after Star Trek Nemesis, he would not play the role again:

I was influenced by the fact that I thought it was a really amazing group of people writing the show. Indeed, the stuff I did was beautifully written. Basically, I had a little wink in the first episode. In the last episode, there was this phenomenal scene written by Michael Chabon that I thought was fantastic, so why not? We do change our minds from time to time. I’d like to take a lesson from Sean Connery, who said, “Never say never.”

Spiner also talked about his legacy as an actor and close association with the role:

I’m very fond of Data. I’m very happy I played that role. It offered me – and continues to offer me – a lot of opportunity and a lot of challenges, but I prefer, if I had my choice, to be remembered as Brent Spiner. Just because that is actually who I am. Data is – I know this is hard to take – a fictional character. And I am, believe it or not, a real person. As much time I’ve spent as Data, I’ve spent so much more time as myself. That would be my preference.

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard and Brent Spiner in “Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”

Star Trek: Picard season two will arrive in 2022.


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Data will forever be Brent Spiner.
And Brent Spiner will forever be Data.
Perfect casting. Perfect acting.

I can’t wait for this show. Picard season 1 is great. It’s far better than people give it credit for

Yeah? Well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.

I can tell we disagree on Picard but we agree that there’s always time for a Big Lebowski quote

By definition it’s his opinion, Captain Obvious. He’s the one who said it.

I too really liked the overall story of S1, but axing certain characters, and the manner in which they did it, really turned off a lot of viewers incl myself.
That said, I’m still looking forward to seeing what’s in in store for S2.

I wholeheartedly agree. People will ultimately look back upon Picard as they do DS9 … ahead of its time.

I didn’t have a single issue with how the show was portrayed. I just thought it was a lot of bad story telling that was the real issue.

Yup.

I enjoyed most of season 1, but felt the final two episodes weren’t well executed (except for Data’s final “death” scene), and the ultimate resolution to the synth storyline was incredibly rushed (the Federation just suddenly lifts than ban on synths, end of story…?). Beyond that, Picard’s death and resurrection was just horribly handled. It’s not that the resurrection came out of the blue – it was heavily foreshadowed in part 1 of Et in Arcadia Ego with Alton Soong specifically mentioning the “golem” – it’s just that Picard’s death as handled so beautifully, with some incredibly moving scenes of his friends and found family mourning him, that the resurrection completely undermined those previous scenes. Many have theorized (myself included), that had STP originally been a one season show (which I believe was the initial intent), Picard would have died at the end. However, when it became apparent that there would be more seasons, the writers had to rush to “undo” Picard’s death. While that certainly makes sense, the writers really could have come up with a better solution – even something as simple as being able to repair Picard’s “abnormality in the parietal lobe” using parts from the golem, and NOT having a protracted death and mourning scenes to only have them completely undone in the next scene :p

With that being said, I am really looking forward to Season 2! I’m a sucker for time travel and alternate universes, and what Terry Matalas pulled off with his 12 Monkey’s TV show was nothing short of brilliant.

Perhaps a l’il callback with Dr. Soong poking his head out from a haystack as a cute CGI rodent goes scurrying by?

Jonathan Frakes is a TREASURE! Love the man, love the spirit, love the work!!

He directed the only Discovery episode I like, “New Eden,” which makes me like him more than I already did. He’s a huge asset for this franchise.

Always loved Brent Spiner and so happy to see him coming back as Soong! And while Data is one of my top 5 favorite characters, I never had an issue with killing him off. I thought how they did it sucked in Nemesis but it was a very sweet goodbye in Picard, one of the best scenes of the season. That season had a LOT of issues but it did have some great scenes, especially with all the legacy characters!

Hoping season 2 will be much improved but super excited with Q back!!!

I didn’t like the graphic violence, and I didn’t believe that Picard would be so quick to forgive Elnor for cutting a man’s head off (even if the victim wasn’t completely innocent). The Picard we know would have expected a lot more from Elnor (remember how Picard dressed down Wesley Crusher when he lied about something?). The Icheb eyeball scene was inexplicable, as were the scenes of implied incest between Narek and Narissa.

I didn’t hate the show, but it could have been so much more. I wish they had gone along with Bryan Fuller’s “Picard and Data idea” (as reported on the “Robservations” YouTube channel).
Okay, I’m done complaining…and I will happily watch season 2.

You must’ve lived a sheltered life if you thought it contained “graphic” violence.

Last edited 8 days ago by Paul Heap

I was thinking of the scene where Icheb’s eyeball gets pulled out of his head (and we see a close-up), and also the scene where Elnor slices off a man’s head.
I respectfully disagree with you, but thanks for commenting on my post.

Uh, Picard, after reprimanding Worf for killing Duras, turned a sympathetic ear almost instantly .

A fair point. I was thinking about Picard’s scenes with Wesley Crusher and Sito Jax (after the flight “accident”). Maybe the writing of Picard’s character has been a little less consistent than I remember.

Picard is a geared towards older fans and the violence itself wasn’t really that bad at all. It often all came off as slightly campy anyway IMO, and not that scary, disturbing…
It’s fiction. It’s not real.
You want disturbing and graphic, go watch tbe Chernbyl TV series from 2019, which is more graphic and disturbing than anything you’ve seen in Star Trek and that’s all based on real actual events which is even scarier.

You make a fair point. I guess I’m an old school fan…and, yes, I was surprised to see Icheb’s eyeball getting pulled out of his head!

I do admit that Picard isn’t the most graphic/disturbing show available.
Thanks for your comment. Live long and prosper.

You have a remarkably inaccurate view of Picard’s personality. He has let ALL of his officers off the hook for doing horrible things.

That is what is interesting about Picard, he does come off as really stern and by the book but he has let everyone off the hook because he clearly cares about them personally. They all get the speech about duty and the responsibilities of being a Starfleet officer but then he’s cool with them a day later.

Interesting point. Thanks for commenting on my post.

I recently watched the TNG episode where he dressed down Wesley Crusher for lying to him, and I watched the “Lower Decks” TNG episode where he still hadn’t let go of Sito’s Jax’s ethical lapse (although he did send her on an important mission after criticizing her). I though it would have been in character for Picard to criticize Elnor’s behavior (at the very least).

Perhaps my view of Picard’s personality is a bit inaccurate…or maybe the writing has been less consistent than I remember.

Anyway, thanks for commenting honestly on my post. Live long and prosper!

but he is no longer starfleet and that organisation seems alien to him
his current mission and crew do not need to abide by those rules.

I recently rewatched Picard S1. I suspected that telling a serialized story arc would seem disjointed when viewed a week at a time. I rewatched the season over 3 days. It flowed much better for me and some of the storylines flowed better with faster viewing. Yes, it still went CLUNK! in a few places.
For those pushing back at the more graphic violence or the incest? You’re just gonna have to get used to it. Trek competes with Game Of Thrones (it did) Westworld, and Outlander. Westworld and Outlander are much more graphic in nature. It’s show BUSINESS. Par+ wants and needs those viewers.

I haven’t watched those other shows, but my real objection to the creepy incest-hinting scenes is that her acting was awful. I didn’t like her in any other scenes either.

Yeah, I’m with you there. I like the character, and I like season one of Picard, so this isn’t a blanket-statement bashing, but it seems pretty apparent to me that they were attempting to cash in on the Lannister vibe from Game of Thrones.

If that was the goal, they better should have cast Peter Dinklage for the Rios part.

This is great to hear. I’m doing a grand rewatch of the franchise chronologically and plan to rewatch Picard of course. I never binged it, just watched the first season as it aired and never went back to it. And I was one of the really disappointed people by the end of it. But if what you say is true, hopefully I will enjoy it more when I eventually get there. I’m currently in the 24th century now and watching both DS9 and VOY so almost there once I’m done with those shows probably by fall!

Don’t miss the animated episode “Yesteryear” by D.C. Fontana. Enjoy.

Watched it and all of TAS for the first time back in April! I liked it! :)

You make a fair point. I guess I’m an old school fan.
Live long and prosper!

Mr. Spiner might want to read Leonard Nimoy’s SECOND autobiography, I Am Spock. :-)

Or his third: I am not Peck’s grandson

Or his fourth book,(based on The Elephant Man): I AM NOT AN ANIMAL!

Picard season 1 is BRILLIANT

It’s probably better than TNG season 1.

A fair point!

I think Data’s death in Nemesis was better. Being brought back to be killed again made no sense. That and Picard being a robot really lost me. The rest of the series was excellent.

I loved Data in “Picard”, but something was wrong with his eyes and really weird. His pupils looked in different directions.