Alongside a few of his Next Generation co-stars, Brent Spiner returned as fan-favorite Data in the first season of Star Trek: Picard. But with the android having died back in 2002’s Nemesis, he can’t keep playing that role forever, and Spiner has confirmed Data was definitively retired in the season 1 finale. He’s not going anywhere himself, though, and will be on board as a different character in season 2.
When we first heard this, fans simply assumed Spiner would be reprising his other role—Altan Inigo Soong, the son of Noonian Soong, Data’s creator. However, Spiner has now revealed that, while he is playing another member of the Soong family, it’s not one he’s portrayed before. As the actor told Inverse:
“I can tell you I’m not Data,” Spiner said. “I know they haven’t revealed much about me being in the show. 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 played Noonian Soong in several TNG episodes, after which guest-starring as Noonian’s great-grandfather, Arik Soong, on Enterprise‘s final season.
Thanks to the interference of Q (a returning John de Lancie), Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard and his friends look to be transported to the present day (as in, our present-day), so it seems that Spiner will get the opportunity to portray an even older ancestor of Noonian’s in season 2.
Alongside Q, Picard will be facing another of his greatest foes in his next batch of adventures. Anne Wersching is joining the cast as none other than the Borg Queen, though it’s unknown quite how she’ll fit into the plot at this point. On the side of the good guys, Whoopi Goldberg will be back as Guinan, too, with Jonathan Frakes likely to stop by as Will Riker again.
Also starring Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Jeri Ryan, and Orla Brady, Star Trek: Picard season 2 is shooting now ahead of its arrival on Paramount Plus in February 2022.