Fans got a real treat in this past week’s Star Trek: Lower Decks finale as the episode featured two unexpected cameos, as Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis reprised their roles as Riker and Deanna Troi in the last installment of the animated series’ debut run. And with season 2 on the way, we’ve now been promised that Riker’s role will continue when the show returns next year.
EP Mike McMahan was happy to confirm to Variety that Frakes will be back in season 2 as Riker. The character will be sticking around as series regular Brad Boimler has transferred to the U.S.S. Titan, which Riker took command of after leaving the Enterprise, so we’ll definitely be getting more of their dynamic.
“Yep. We’ll see the Titan next season because Boimler is off the Cerritos, and we’ll be seeing Capt. Riker again as well,” McMahan said. “Boimler has been talking about moving on to bigger and better all first season, and now we’re going to see what happens when he gets what he wants.”
You might be thinking that more of Riker means we’ll get more of Troi, too, but unfortunately, that’s not the case, as it seems that Sirtis’ part on the show was limited to the season finale. At least for now. McMahan went on to explain that the Titan storylines in season 2 focus on Riker and Boimler, so there was no room for the character.
“The stories that are on Titan are really more revolving around Riker and Boimler,” McMahan admitted. “However, I loved Marina and we loved working with her first season. The stories didn’t go that way, but I definitely need to get her back, because she was a blast to work with.”
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Frakes’ ongoing role in Lower Decks cements his status as having fingers in all the pies when it comes to modern Star Trek. He’s a recurring director on Discovery – having helmed some episodes of the upcoming season – he just returned in the flesh on Picard and now he’s crossed over into the animated world for this show. Plus, thanks to his LD role, Frakes also has the honor of appearing in more Trek TV series than any other actor – six in total.
With Star Trek: Lower Decks now concluded, Discovery season 3 kicks off this week. Catch it Thursdays on CBS All Access.