Interview: ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Showrunner Talks Brent Spiner’s Mysterious Character, And Hopes For A Spin-off

The latest episode of TrekMovie’s All Access Star Trek podcast features part two of our extended interview with Star Trek: Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas. Topics ranged from season 2 time travel, to interacting with fans on Twitter, and beyond. And as he did in part one, the executive producer offered insights and context to the upcoming season featuring the return of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Still avoiding any big spoilers, Matalas revealed much about his approach to the season, the characters, the tone and more. He also offered some thoughts on what he would like to do with Star Trek next.

A reflective Jean-Luc Picard… and some family fun

Picking up on some of the discussion in part one of the interview about how season three will be personal for Jean-Luc Picard, Matalas followed up on comments from San Diego Comic-Con about how the character has evolved through the first two seasons, helping set up the third:

He is different… I don’t think you could have done this season without doing a version of seasons 1 and 2… So this Picard—now that he’s gone through seasons 1 and 2—is probably a bit closer to where we left off in Next Generation, but older and wiser and sort of in the latter years of his life. Looking back and trying to understand how to look forward and look for those things that are legacy, that are family, and the most important aspects of your life that aren’t related to your job, essentially. But at the same time, you’re going to see him do the job again, which is cool.

This concept of family has been brought up in other interviews, and Matalas elaborated a bit, but also set up how it may not be what some fans are expecting:

It is the story of a family coming together. This is a tough thing to do. in the respect that I remember watching The Force Awakens and I found it really jarring that they weren’t all hanging out still… I was like, “Wait, Luke Skywalker is on an island and Han and Leia had a divorce and their son is a Sith and even R2D2 is miserable and depressed and sleeping.” And it took a bit to get my mind around at all. That’s not what’s happening here, but I think the hard part for some fans will be “Hey, the thing that I thought my head was that the Next Gen cast gets together for Thanksgiving every year.” That doesn’t happen and hasn’t happened–and why and how and is that a good story? So your preconceptions over the last 20 years of novels and rewatching the series might send you in an expectation that’s not quite where we go here. That’s not to say you won’t get those feelings again, certainly by the end, but there’s going to be some surprises as to what they’ve been up to.

And like any good family, there can be some good-natured kidding around. Matalas has made it clear season 3 is influenced by the TNG series and both the TOS and TNG movie era, he explained how this will extend to include some of the same kind of humor:

You’re going feel that [humor]… and that comes from the characters. For instance, Riker is a blast this season. And the season kicks off with Picard and Riker in a big way, in a kind of Butch and Sundance way. And that was something I felt was missing [in the first two seasons of Picard]. But when you have Frakes, who’s hilarious, you want to write towards his voice. And they’re at a place in their life now, where Riker can be looser. He’s not first officer to Picard anymore. Now he’s an old friend his own captainship in his past. So the humor and the sarcasm sort of comes naturally. And then Riker and Worf haven’t seen each other in a bit… Worf, he’s a little a little bit different when you meet him. And you have Riker as the voice of the audience going, “What is this?” And then they’re back and forth. And it’s really fun… [But] it’s not schtick. It all comes from character. There’s one particular new character that’s a smartass that appears to be going to be a fan favorite from anyone who’s seen it.

Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard in season 3 poster

About Spiner’s mystery character

Another member of the Next Generation family who is returning in season 3 is Brent Spiner; however, his role is a bit of a mystery. The only clue came from executive producer Alex Kurtzman, who said at Comic-Con that Spiner plays a “new old” character. Matalas offered a bit more insight into why Spiner’s mystery character was the only one who didn’t get a special poster at Comic-Con:

Brent’s character is specifically tied into the plot and the mythology in ways that if you were to show a poster, you would have a thousand more questions. And I think you want to earn it. But he plays a new old character that you have seen and never seen before. it’s, we think, a great way to do this that honors what has come before yet treads new ground.

He also explained that the team feels Spiner’s character is best revealed within the show itself:

The answers to your questions are better told in the context of the story than to say, “And now everybody, here is a link to who this character is.” That plays out. And for those who have seen the season, they’re like, “I’m really glad I learned it this way and not the other way.”… If you see him now and got a name, there’s too many questions tied to “Okay, so who is that now?” Whereas, even as its unfolding and you’re introduced to this character, you’re not quite sure. And then as you learn more about this character, you understand that the answer is not so clear for a bit.

Patrick Stewart as Picard and Brent Spiner as Adam Soong in season two of Picard

Frakes’ best work

Star Trek: Picard breaks up the work for directors into two-episode blocks, and as Matalas talked about the five directors for season three he discussed how impressed he was with a certain TNG veteran:

The first two are Doug Aarniokoski, who is the producing director on the show, who is fantastic. I will say there is a pretty remarkable—the next block of episodes is directed by Jonathan Frakes and I think it’s the best thing he’s ever done. Everyone who sees one of those episodes is absolutely in tears by the end. The next block is Dan Liu. And then Deborah Kampmeier has another two-hour block, who is an extraordinary visionary director. And then I close it out. I do the last two-hour movie.

Filming wrapped up earlier this year on season 3 and Matalas has been busy with post-production, giving an update that work is almost complete:

We’re right at the end. It’s visual effects and sound, which is a really satisfying place to be because the end of this is quite big. And it’s the kind of thing I’ve always wanted to do. Getting to see these visual effects and getting to say I want a little bit more of this or a little bit more of that is really satisfying. And musically, I’m working with Stephen Barton, who was my composer for 12 Monkeys… Hearing that music makes it feel like the Star Trek movie I’ve always wanted to see and hear.

Matalas expects work to be completed this fall but says decisions on a release are not up to him. He doesn’t know when Paramount is planning to release it but he expects “they’re heading towards 2023.”

Season three Riker poster

Indulging his inner fanboy

Matalas has previously revealed that in addition to the Next Generation cast, season 3 will include some other legacy characters. He revealed to the TrekMovie podcasters how in some cases, it took some convincing:

There were three specifically that I really would like to see these characters again, that are outside of the legacy cast. And that was really satisfying. And sometimes you get a big dose of them. Sometimes you get just a tiny dose, but enough to be like, “Oh, I’m really glad I got to see that one more time.” There was one character I wanted to bring back that if you are a Next Gen fan you are infinitely aware of, but when it came to the powers that be they were like, “What?… Explain this to us? Why are we going to spend money to get this character and fly them in?” I’m like, “You just got to trust me.”… If you know you know, and if you don’t, you’ll be like, “Oh, that’s intriguing.” But if you know who that character is, you’re going to be like, “Okay, we’re deep diving into some Next Gen here.”

The executive producer acknowledges that there may be some parts of season 3 that just play for TNG fans:

There aspects of season 3, where if you don’t know certain parts of Next Gen, yeah, that scene is not going to be for you. We always try and give context, but I didn’t really want to dumb it down. There were moments like “That one’s for the fans.” And if you’re confused, you’re welcome to Google that character later and you’ll enjoy many episodes of greatness you can go back and watch.

Lifelong Trek fan, Matalas revealed that sometimes he would have to keep his inner fanboy in check to get the job done. Like when he was on the set directing the final two episodes:

The fanboy part really goes away quick when terror takes over. Like there was a couple of legendary moments, like unbelievable moments, that you really don’t have the time. You take about three seconds and like, “Wow, if I could tell my 10 year-old self where I am right now.” I’ve got to get up and I need to go tell Picard and Worf and Riker to do a thing. I never thought I would be the person to do that or worthy of that or deserving of that in any way. But that goes away just because you have a limited amount of time. You got 12 hours on that set to do way too much because season three is very, very ambitious because of how we wanted it to be a movie. So we were doing more in a day than we would on any other season of the show. Which meant you are running and quick to the punch of like, “We’ve got to do this, this and this and go!.. So you don’t really have a lot of time. I am the most fanboy in the cuts when the music is all there. And then I’m not seeing the choices I could have made on the day. I’m not seeing LeVar, Michael, Brent, or any–I’m literally seeing the cast of Next Gen, those characters. And that’s the fanboy part.

Matalas is active on Twitter, often engaging with fans, including critics of the series. He explains that it is all part of his own fandom:

It’s really hard, but yeah I do take it to heart because I am those guys. There is a part of me that absolutely sympathizes with things like that, but I get it. When you love something… it’s always indicative of hate comes from love in some way. So if you can look past the really angry stuff, it stems from “I love a thing and I feel heartbroken by it.” And that’s legit. And I feel those things too about aspects of many franchises.

Hoping fans want more of the next ‘Next Generation’

Something mentioned recently by LeVar Burton is how season 3 will be about the “next Next Generation.” Matalas talked more about this idea and how the season could set up another show:

If you were going to do the last Next Generation movie… because that’s where we started, you’d want to pass the torch, right? They were called “The Next Generation,” and now we’re at the end of their generation. So a thing you would want to see is the next next generation of that world. And what does that mean? And how do they look at these people?… If you’re if you set up the next next generation, you want the feeling that this is going to go on that and this can continue. And that’s also the case with the legacy characters. By the end of this, there are things you’re going to say, “Gosh, I really want to watch this legacy character.” I like an ending that promises more… It definitely could be a passing of the torch for more. And if it happens, I will be there in a minute.

At Comic-Con, Alex Kurtzman teased how there are a couple of Star Trek shows currently in development. Matalas clarified that this does not currently include a Picard spin-off, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been discussed:

There’s always discussions happening, but there’s not currently, at least to my knowledge, [active development for] the next chapter of this world. But that does not mean that there are also not discussions. The Universe and Alex has a really hard job of looking at everything and looking at the success of Strange New Worlds and charting out the future. I think the people who can make anything happen are the Star Trek fans. That’s been the case since The Original Series. So if there is something in this season that “I want blank,” it’s going to be the fans that are going to make that happen. I can tell you that there are some brilliant other Star Trek things in the works that aren’t this that I can’t wait to watch, but they’re different than this.

And Matalas hopes that like the ways fans called for more with Captain Pike’s USS Enterprise after season 2 of Discovery, there will be a similar call for a continuation with characters and elements from season three of Picard:

I hope. You never know what people are going to want. I hope and think, yes [fans will want a Picard spin-off]. But again, it’s sort of the life of a show where some things you think will work, work. And then some things don’t. If I’m a betting man, I think so. And then, it’s sort of up to the television gods to decide from there.

Geordi LaForge poster for Picard season 3

Listen to part 2 of our interview

Here is the full second part of our podcast interview with Matalas [starts at 19:34]. And if you missed part one, Listen to it here.


Find more Star Trek: Picard at TrekMovie.com.

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“He plays a new old character that you have seen and never seen before”.

The only way I can make sense of this – with what I know now – is that this sounds like another Soong android. So not Lore or B4, but yet another one. It’s a character we’ve seen before (looks like data), but a new one, not seen before.

Yep that’s the most likely explanation.
Otherwise the only thing that would make sense that it’s a data from an abandoned timeline…. ( Sela style ) but of the top of my head there is no such timeline….

Far out theory: The borg queen was so infatuated with data in First Contact that she later built a Borg-Data or Bata if that sounds better *G*

far beyond out theory: The borg queen didn’t built bata, she bare him after she tried out if Data was fully functional… and after Data wanted to see how fully functional he was with the emotion chip and the additional real flesh. ;-)

far far beyond theory: That panned out, and from there on borgs procreated with datas for all the time since first contact. And we find a race of batas living in the beta quadrant !

Far out theory: cute.

That’s what I’m thinking now. Maybe Soong built a second/backup Data in case (our) Data didn’t perform as expected.

That one could have been activated at a later time, and has had his own experiences outside of Starfleet. Or maybe even activated recently before/during the events of SE3 of Picard.*A brand new Data Out-of-the-Box.

What about a Data-Hologram who stole the Doctor’s mobile emitter?

Maybe we’re getting a Project Khan version of Data this season…

Sorry, that came out more snarky than I meant it too.

There are two ways to pronounce DATA: DAY-Tuh and DAT-uh. Maybe Brent is playing another inferior brother named DAT-uh.

Dr Pulaski would get along better with DAT-uh!

3 ways actually. We Aussies pronounce the word DATA as: DA-TUH

That would just be a new character though. I’m wondering if he’s playing a new evolved version of Data. Data’s dream was to be human, he got an emotion chip but that’s not really the same. Maybe this version of the character will have a fully organic body, he’d still have all the old memories with his former crew mates (possibly suppressed at the beginning of the story) but the way he experiences the world would be irrevocably altered. It could of course be another Soong Android or an altered version of Lore or B4 but I just get the impression that Matalas really wants to play with all of the TNG characters are and by removing the make up, eliminating the issue of the actor ageing out of the role and giving the character real growth they would be effectively eliminating most of Spiner’s concerns about revisiting the role.

To be honest, that’s what they should have done in Season 1. Data gets the Gollum body and Picard is saved by Crusher

That would’ve given Spiner the possibility to keep on playing Data without his gold face and without de-aging him.

Granted, and I think it’s fair to say that’s what we all expected at least in terms of Data getting the Gollum body.

They’ll make him into a Max Headroom-type character. A copy of Data’s software running virtually.

I wish I could say that was an impossible idea, but this is Picard, so I fully expect some variation of that idea. :P

Or they’ve Used Data’s layout as the new Ship AI interface.

Is it going to be the original Dr Noonien Soong by way of flashback or something?

Data has been possessed by a Metron. All shiny and sparkly, too.

My first thought seeing this headline was “Oh no, is he talking again”.
Makes me wish he was more like Michelle Paradise to be honest.

Why? Matalas is obviously a Star Trek fan and I enjoy his insights on interviews and on Twitter.

Nothing against him being a huge Trek fan (obviously). I do sometimes wish he would keep things about season 3 of Picard a little closer to the vest.

I wish he would reveal more.

I actually was more intrigued by this interview than some of the other recent ones.

It’s ok

Unfortunately it’s not even new information. This all came from the All Access podcast last week, they just made another thread out of it.

Oh good! I listened to that interview and enjoyed it.

Michelle Paradise doesn’t say anything because she’s embarrassed by Discovery plain and simple

I’m glad he’s nothing like her in every Star Trek way!

The TNG Awakens

Have you felt it?

Sorry….that was the Chipotle I had for lunch…(urp)

I’ve been there. It’s similar to when a subspace inversion reverts into a quantum flux and generates metaphasic chroniton particle acceleration.

number 1.. we’re home..

Has anybody suggested Spiner is playing the mysterious female baddie? I mean, didn’t he play a female holocharacter in FISTFUL?

It would be SO un-PC, yet …

He’s playing a Horta, who happens to be Beverly’s lover…

..”Data…get the candle…”

Maybe we will get to see Lore & B4?
Whatever role Spiner has, he is the greatest thing in Trek really since William Shatner.
I would say he is the better character that Picard.

As to who these 3 TNG legacy characters are, I am thinking Miles o’Brien

He has to make an appearence at some point, he was on Encounter at Far Point, All Good Things, first episode (and many more) of DS9 he is the TNG piece of furniture that basically had to leave TNG before his potential as a character was realised!

My money is on Colm Meaney appearing this time round

Yeah, the key words are “fly in.” Who doesn’t live in LA?

Terry said outright on the Treksperts podcast that O’Brien is NOT coming back, but he would have loved to write him.

My money is on Ro Laren.

The Next Phase popped up on broadcast a few nights back, Ro and Geordi seem to click a bit in that episode.. Maybe Ro and Geordi hooked up after the war…..assuming the Dominion didn’t kill her.

If I were director Dan Liu, I’d be a little annoyed by this interview. ;)

A spin off? How about “Star Trek: Soong”, starring Brent Spiner and Brent Spiner, with special guest Brent Spiner and cameos by Brent Spiner and Brent Spiner?

That’s funny! I loved Spiner as Data, but honestly, have grown bored with the repeated ways they keep bringing him in. His acting style worked for Data because he had to restrain himself, but when he isn’t Data, Spiner has a tendency to overact. A lot.

The holodeck western episode is going to be nuts.

Spiner plays the Enterprise computer

What if Adam Soong put himself in suspended animation and is awaken in the present setting of Picard season three? The process for such technology existed or was conceived not long after season two and implemented on the Botany Bay.

That would account for the conditions of his playing an old new character (the new part could be that now he’s an Augment or something like that…) and the villain having a grudge against Picard.

If Adam Soong had been aboard the Botany Bay in a stasis pod, that could account for the references to Wrath of Khan as well.

And that pod could have remained unopened until now…

So they are bringing back barber Mott? :))

Minuet

Did anyone really care about Minuet?

Brent Spiner will be playing Minuet!

That gave me a good laugh. Good one.

It would be completely great if they made Mott the big bad.

This is genius. No one would see it coming. Perhaps he’s a SHIIIIFFFFFTTTEEERRRR.

Or Morn, lets not forget Morn, he never shuts up.

Looking forward to S3, but two things stand out: (1) they’re beating Spiner like a dead horse, indulging the actor in a way that has created less than zero emotional response from fans… and (2) whoever lit and approved that lighting of Frakes in his hero poster should be excommunicated from media.

It looks ok to me in fact I think he looks freaking badass in that poster.

Data’s do-over death didn’t do much for me, but it really did seem to sock a bunch of fans right in the heart. So I’d say they got that right. Bringing him back as yet another damn Soong in S2? Less so.

Looking forward to S3. S1 and S2 were both great Trek so hopefully S3 lives up to the quality of the previous seasons. I also hope we get still get a captain 7 and Raffi TV show at some point.

I’m totally on board with a 7 and Raffi show, but I think you are way off base on PIC S1 and S2 quality. There were elements that were good but both were very shakey affairs (in terms of pacing, story coherency, and overall purpose/direction). I think inexperience in serialized storytelling for TV upended S1, and the pandemic clearly torpedoed whatever they had originally intended for season 2 and prevented them from turning out an effective replacement.

I do remain ever hopeful for season 3.

Well said. I think both seasons got off to excellent starts and then just stalled before rushing to unsatisfying conclusions. Shame because they wasted some really good actors. John de Lancie is so wonderful and he really only made a glorified cameo. Synthetic Picard still feels like a cop out. Still, the TNG reunion has me engaged in season 3. Hope it’s 10 episodes worth of story instead of 3 hours and 7 episodes of padding, ideally I’d like to keep some things open ended for 7 and Raffi. There’s more stories for them and even Chris of the 21st century.

If the intent is to do the NEXT next Generation, maybe they’re bringing back Alexander Rozhenko.

I’d like to see a Fenris Rangers and/or La Sirena show (given the Jurati La Sirena went off to meet up with the Borg, the Prime La Sirena might still be out there).

I hope the La Sirena is destroyed into a thousand pieces. I really hate that ship.

What if it’s old ‘Often Wrong’ (as Lore called him) and he was able to transfer a copy of his consciousness to an android body that ages, before he died after Lore attacked him. He did do something similar for his wife Dr. Tainer.

Great idea. In even better twist, we discover that Lore was right the whole time – and Soong actually was…mostly wrong.

I’ve already read that book.

I have too, still have that book actually. But they have basically nixed that book line to beta cannon/apocrypha now so it is up fo grabs.

Absolutely excited to see the Frakes episode. They sound amazing! In Fakes we trust!

And even more excited to see him back as Riker that gives him a real story and not just popping in like he did in Picard and Lower Decks. Frakes must pinch himself all of this is happening again. I’m pinching myself too!

I’ve gotten to the point where I just can’t trust anything any producer or actor says about of these Secret Hideout Trek shows. They are really good at saying the right things but really bad when it comes to delivering even decent Trek. At this point I would say there is a better than 90% chance this season will not be better than mediocre.

have to agree with you there. after the last season of “picard” all i can think is “TNG reunion? let’s see how they manage to ruin THAT.”

Exactly..

but older and wiser and sort of in the latter years of his life “

You mean Dead.

If anything – it should LOOK good. TV now has better CGI than movies from 20 years ago. The CGI in Insurrection was pretty ropey at the time. I don’t think it was even ILM.

To be quite frank, besides in the role of Data, I’m sick and tired of seeing Brent Spiner. Enough already!

Honestly the more I think about it the more I’m thinking they don’t need Spiner at all. Data is gone. The only way to get Spiner in is for a Data flashback or him to play a different role… AGAIN. Getting a little tired of that.

Hologram Data, with the real Data’s memories downloaded into it, makes the most sense to me… that fits the “New” Old Character We Know description best, imho.

There’s one particular new character that’s a smartass that appears to be going to be a fan favorite from anyone who’s seen it.”

ugh.



Especially given that they jettisoned most of the new characters to make way for the TNG cast this season.

In other words he’s probably another doctor Soong.

honestly if that turns out to be the case that’s going to be the first sign to that this third season is not going to be all that great in and that Matalas is all big talk.

It would’ve been so refreshing if they had just told Spinner, ‘hey dude your character was killed off, so sorry, but you can’t be part of this season because it’s too much of a force fit for the story we’re trying to tell, and we’ve went to the ‘Dr. Soong well’ one too many times already – the fans just don’t want to see that again.”

I hope I am wrong.

This.

Fully agreed. Brent Spiner will always be a lodestar of TNG. Data’s sendoff in season one was poignant. There was no need for him to appear in season two, and I suspect the same will be true of season three. It cheapens his swan song in “Et in Arcadia Ego.”

Personally since Spiner is involved I would rather have him revive the Altan Soong character we met at the conclusion of Season 1, but that might bring back questions about Soji and dialogue about the synths. You make a good point though – Spiner had big roles in both the first and second seasons. Sit back and just let everyone else play.

Why would they have done the huge Data death in Picard S1 just to bring him back now, in some form? I don’t think that’s happening. No hologram Data, etc. Spiner is just playing yet another character/Soong relative, I guess.

My bet is on Noonian Soong in android body

I like this idea. He needs to have a t-shirt with a big picture of Ira Graves on the front.

You would hope that they respect what the writers of season 1 did (unless you hate Data’s end) but it’s a different showrunner so they could also undo it.
Spiner has been complaining for years that he can’t play a convincing Data anymore.
I didn’t find the two Soong characters he played in season 1 and 2 particularly interesting so I can’t say I’m looking forward to potentially yet another Soong. But since we know Spiner will be in the season, I’m hoping to be surprised (in a positive way).

You forget that Data already sacrificed himself in Nemesis. I still say the Picard-Data interaction in S1 was just a manifestation in Picard’s head.

I agree. It was like a dream sequence whenever he saw Data. It wasn’t real, but like his unconsciousness trying to tell him to dig further.

I bet he’s the new computer voice/ai for their new enterprise and that’s why it’s hard to take a picture for him for the posters

That would be good. He pretty much was a walking talking version of the ship’s computer on the show anyway.

That would be very cool.

Just a random thought – Could this mysterious Spiner character actually be an “aged” Data from the far future. *Could have been flung “out of time” being at the core of the explosion.

He could have been flung out of time in several million pieces being at the core of the explosion

This is Science “Fiction” LOL

Heck – Spock’s cold corpse was shot out into space ……………until………….. :-)

Personally, I like the idea of Q saving Data because Data was very kind to Q when he was made human on TNG, and like the magic fairy in Pinocchio, then made him human. It would allow Data to age as the talented Brent Spiner. Q did this for Picard when his heart failed during the TV series, and brought him back to life. I would love to see Q again too.

i want there to be a backdoor pilot in season 3 featuring the new enterprise and crew. we have star treks in the tos era, far future era, and we need one for the tng era.

Yes, like a series called, Riker Season 1, or Q Season 1. etc etc.

Five bucks says the deep dive character will be Lt. Jae.

Who’s that?

Never mind. I looked it upon Memory Alpha. Never even realized she’d been in so many episodes.

Left field answer that would make sense and be weirdly plausible: Spiner is playing a new EMH.

Star Trek: Janeway, I certainly hope

I’d love to see this also.

Janeway would be so cool!

Brent’s character is specifically tied into the plot and the mythology in ways that if you were to show a poster, you would have a thousand more questions […] But he plays a new old character that you have seen and never seen before. […] If you see him now and got a name, there’s too many questions tied to “Okay, so who is that now?”

Alrighty, some theories:

1. Adam Soong’s consciousness downloaded into a new android body.

2. A genetic clone of Adam Soong, possibly a legacy of “Project Khan”.

3. A genetic clone of the Augment-creating Soong from ENT.

4. A partial genetic clone of Khan or Joachim, hybridised with Adam Soong’s DNA (so the result looks like Brent Spiner), possibly a legacy of “Project Khan”.

5. “Emperor Kahless” from TNG.

6. Some other version of Kahless (eg. another clone, or “the real Kahless reincarnated” etc).

7. Worf’s Klingon father Mogh, if it turns out Mogh wasn’t actually killed and has been alive all these years.

8. Odo.

9. DS9’s female Founder, now using a male “solid” form.

10. A character (either male or female) from one of the previous Trek shows who has secretly changed their physical appearance and is now in disguise as a male (either human or alien) with the appearance of Brent Spiner.

Random thoughts: Matalas has confirmed the main villain is female. So, either Brent Spiner isn’t playing the main villain (or a villain at all), or he’s playing a female villain disguised as a male. If it’s the latter, Matalas was technically telling the truth but also engaging in clever misdirection ;)

a new old character that you have seen and never seen before.

Come to think of it, Brent Spiner’s character could be a holographic representation of the new Enterprise’s AI (and/or the latest version of the EMH/ECH etc).

Or he’s specifically the EMH from VOY, previously played by Robert Picardo.

All of these would fit with Matalas’s hints too.

“omg omg you won’t believe whats happening, I can’t tell you but omg its amazing”.

Setting yourself up for a fall Terry…

He isn’t wrong JJ messed up Star Wars. He made Luke a worthless Maguffin the hero of the OT and main character. He also sidelined Artoo to slot in Beach Ball 8, and never reunited Han, Luke and Leia. Its how you don’t update a classic. I kind of like JJ Trek movies, but man his Star Wars films are the worst in the history of Star Wars. What they got right fun popcorn escapism, but they ruined the lore Lucas set up, and even worse ruined the legacy characters.

Ok I figured it out. This Soong is a fertility expert that Beverly and Picard will consult.

Whatever switch Picard flipped to turn virtual Data off, he turns back on again. They download Data into a new synth body that isn’t gold with yellow eyes, but looks just like Brent Spiner looks now. The reason for this is that Data is essential to some important issue, only he can fix/help. Perhaps something relating to the Paxans in “Clues”, since Data is the only one who knows about them. No matter the reason, just put Data in a new body please.

I’m just so glad Brent Spiner will be included in Picard 3, in whatever capacity. I love watching him at his craft. He’s so very talented, and a very kind gentleman, as anyone who has met him will attest. Go Spiner!!