Jonathan Frakes Says His Return As Riker In Star Trek: Picard Was Nerve-Wracking

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Star Trek: Picard didn’t just bring back Sir Patrick Stewart, but also a bunch of other Trek actors, too. Episode 7, titled “Nepenthe,” for instance, was an instant fan favorite as it saw the titular Jean-Luc travel to the planet Nepenthe to visit his old friends Cmdr. William Riker and Deanna Troi. Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis hadn’t appeared in Trek since the Enterprise finale, so it was a big deal for them to return. And it turns out Frakes felt the pressure.

While speaking to GalaxyCon (via ComicBook.com), The Next Generation star opened up about being invited back to play Riker, admitting that it was “nerve-wracking” to return to the world of acting, not to mention reprising his much-loved character, after spending most of his time in recent years behind the camera.

“It was a thrill to be asked back as an actor,” Frakes says. “nerve-wracking, but a thrill. I thought Marina was astounding. When Patrick came to our home in “Nepenthe,” spectacular.”

Since the TNG sub-franchise ended, Frakes has turned his hand to directing over acting. As fans will know, his on-screen Picard appearance wasn’t the first time he reunited with the Star Trek world. He’s actually a resident director on Discoverynot to mention helming two earlier episodes of Picard‘s first season. In this same interview, Frakes also revealed he directed three installments of Discovery season 3, which is coming later this year.

Following “Nepenthe,” Frakes returned in the season finale, with Riker donning his Starfleet uniform one more time to lead a fleet against the Romulans to stop Commodore Oh and her plot to destroy the Synths on Coppelius. Hopefully we’ll see more of him in season 2. Maybe this venture will even lead Riker to return to Starfleet full-time?

If not, there’ll still be other familiar faces dropping by in Star Trek: Picard season 2 instead. Whoopi Goldberg seems a shoe-in as Guinan, with Voyager’s Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and TNG‘s LeVar Burton (Geordi La Forge) admitting they’ve been in talks to play their roles again, too.