Earlier this year, Paramount+ confirmed that Brent Spiner was returning for the second season of Star Trek: Picard. However, what role he is playing has not been confirmed and now the actor himself is dropping some clues.
In the first season of Star Trek: Picard Brent Spiner reprised his Star Trek: The Next Generation role of Data, playing the android character both in dream sequences of Jean-Luc Picard and in the form of a simulation created from Data’s memories stored in his brother B-4 (also played by Spiner in Star Trek: Nemesis). At his request, Picard shut down the simulation, giving final closure after the character’s death in Nemesis. So while initially it wasn’t expected that Spiner would play Data again, with season two of Picard involving time travel and an alternative timeline, it seemed at least possible. But Spiner has now closed down that possibility. In a new interview with Inverse, the actor confirmed the Picard season two character he is playing is “not Data.”
One might then assume that Spiner is back to play scientist Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, a new character in Picard season one who was the human son of Dr. Noonian Soong, Data’s creator (who was also played by Spiner on TNG). Last year, co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman had stated Altan Soong was developed to “create a platform for which there could be more Brent in ensuing seasons.” However, Spiner told Inverse:
I can tell you I’m a member of the Soong family. And, that I’m not playing a character I’ve ever played before.
Spiner has already played quite a few members of the Soong family, both human and Android. To date, in addition to Data, Spiner has played two other Soong-type androids (Lore and B-4) and three human members of the Soong family (Noonian, Altan, and 22nd-century ancestor Arik Soong on Enterprise).
With much of season two set in an alternate fascist universe, it’s possible that Spiner is playing an alternate version of one of his previous human or android characters. This would be an alternate version of a character from the fascist version of 2399/2400 seen in the season two trailer.
Spiner’s comment about playing a character he has never played before sounds like we could be meeting an entirely new member of the Soong family. This could be someone from the alternate late 24th century or even an earlier ancestor from the 21st century after the team travels to contemporary Los Angeles.
One thing we do know about Spiner is that his character will interact with Q. John de Lancie confirmed he had scenes with Spiner, some of which were directed by Jonathan Frakes. For his part, Frakes also talked about working with Spiner on Picard season two, saying, “Brent Spiner, who played Data, is back in another role.” While we have seen de Lancie’s Q in two trailers, we have yet to see Spiner, indicating that Paramount+ is keeping this new character under wraps.
Season two of Star Trek: Picard arrives in February 2022. It will be on Paramount+ in the United States, and in Canada, it will air on CTV Sci-Fi and stream on Crave. Outside North America, Picard is available on Amazon Prime Video.
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