Is Jonathan Frakes Teasing A Return As Riker In Star Trek: Picard?

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: Picard is set to bring back Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard a whole 17 years since we last saw him in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. As much of an unexpected treat as this is, fans can’t help but keep their fingers crossed that other characters from The Next Generation could return as well. And it looks like such a thing might be happening. At least, according to a cryptic tweet from one of Stewart’s old co-stars.

Jonathan Frakes took to Twitter yesterday to share a picture of a trombone along with the caption: “My next project…” Though this seems completely innocuous at first glance, it’s got Trek lovers all a-buzz as Frakes’ character Commander Riker frequently played the trombone. So, is he hinting that he’s about to make a comeback as Riker in Picard? 

Frakes is known to be involved with the series already, of course, in the capacity of director. If you think the trombone tweet could just refer to his next project being the Picard directing job, though, that wouldn’t make sense, as a previous photo he shared revealed that he’d already started helming the middle two episodes of production.

Things only get more interesting when you realize that fellow TNG star Brent Spiner has replied to Frakes’ tweet as well, saying: “Oh yeah!” This could be telling, as Spiner’s previously been rumored to be reprising his role as Data on Picard. This was huge news as it was the first time that we’d heard that any TNG characters other than Picard could appear on the show. Suffice it to say, having both Frakes and Spiner back on board alongside Stewart would be a dream come true for fans.

Star Trek: Picard is being described as a psychological character study that explores the former Enterprise-D captain in a dark period of his life. It’s expected to arrive on CBS All Access later this year and as soon as we get confirmation on the Riker situation, we’ll be sure to let you know.