Jonathan Frakes Explains How It Felt Playing Riker In Star Trek: Picard Finale


Jonathan Frakes, who’s recently gone into depth discussing his return as Will Riker in Star Trek: Picard, as well as the future chances of seeing additional Star Trek: The Next Generation stars on the series, has now revealed more about his experience reprising the role.

Discussing the finale with, Frakes offered further details on his performance, after previously admitting that it was “nerve-wracking” to return in the episode:

“That was a really different experience because I was alone. I was ‘self-directing.’ I was in a captain’s chair. I had a spacesuit on. I had my beard trimmed, my Riker hair put back on, my bald spots covered up. It felt very familiar, and it was like a flashback. Because of how well ‘Nepenthe’ went, I was less nervous and, I got to say, thrilled to have been asked back, to be perfectly frank.”

In addition, Frakes explained why he felt showrunner Michael Chabon brought something special to the series as a writer, and particularly in how Riker and Troi’s relationship was shown.

“The thoughtfulness and the depth of character and the sense of irony, just everything that he’s brought. I mean, he’s a fanboy to start, but he’s a genius in the mix. So, his hand on the tiller, if you will, has really been exciting. Given that, I was really glad that Troi and Riker were living in the mountains in a big house. It felt wonderful and different and somehow logical that they would have done what they could.”

Given Riker’s return in the first season finale of Picard, wherein he leads a Starfleet armada to Coppelius, we’d hope to see a bit more of the character in action in future episodes. While Frakes is more likely to lend his directing talents to the next season of Star Trek: Picard, we can’t see another appearance in front of the camera being out of the question. Furthermore, it seems that we should be getting LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, and Whoopi Goldberg as Guinan, in season 2 as well.

For now, the exact date of Star Trek: Picard‘s return is a bit up in the air, although ViacomCBS appear to be banking on a long run for the show, including a possible movie adaptation. The apparent plan to link up Picard with Discovery and have some kind of Defenders-style crossover show also bodes well for there being a lot more content on the way with Patrick Stewart and other classic Trek actors.

In terms of plotlines for season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, we’ve heard some reports of more backstory being given for the Romulan Rescue Mission, while the producers have been cagey about how much the topical relevance of COVID-19 might affect themes in a show that often adapts topical issues to its universe. Now that some of the big questions of season 1 have seemingly been resolved though, it’d be great to have a bit more of a catchup for other characters and stories from The Next Generation.