Brent Spiner Says His Star Trek Character Foreshadows A Classic Villain

By Michileen Martin | 1 month ago

brent spiner picard

In the Star Trek fandom there is an ongoing joke about Jeffrey Combs and all the many, varied characters he’s played in different Trek series. Combs has played multiple recurring characters on Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, appeared on the same episode of Voyager that included one of Dwayne Johnson’s first non-wrestling acting roles, and even voiced a villain in an episode of Lower Decks. But it’s strange that there aren’t similar jokes about the much more visible Brent Spiner. The actor known best as the android Data has played a bunch of different Trek characters across three series and four movies. Now he says his newest character in the franchise — Adam Soong of Star Trek: Picard‘s second season — foreshadows the classic TNG villain Lore.

WARNING! Reading any further will spoil the events of Star Trek: Picard‘s second season, up to and including episode 6.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the experience of returning to Picard for another season, Brent Spiner explained how the 21st century ancestor of Noonian Soong — The creator of Data, Lore, and B-4 — connects to the TNG villain Lore. “Adam [Soong] is in a lot of denial about who he is, which is a classic narcissist,” Spiner said. “And I think it is his DNA that made its way to the dark side of the Soong family, all the way to Lore. There is a light side to the family with Noonian. Data is the light side.”

brent spiner
Brent Spiner as Dr. Adam Soong in Star Trek: Picard

In season 2 of Picard, Brent Spiner plays the genius but outlaw geneticist Dr. Adam Soong. Adam is desperately trying to keep a young woman by the name of Kore alive, who is fittingly played by Isa Briones, the same woman who played a number of androids in Picard‘s inaugural season, including Data’s daughters Soji and Daj. Adam Soong makes a deal with Q (John de Lancie) to help save Kore, and in the most recent episode, “Two of One,” he tries and fails to murder the 21st century astronaut RenĂ©e Picard (Penelope Mitchell) and instead nearly kills Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). We also learn that Kore is only one of a number of unethically created women Adam has someone developed over the years. Most of the others have died, though their nature isn’t exactly clear yet.

It’s this darkness, Brent Spiner says, that eventually leads to Lore. Also played by Spiner, the android Lore was one of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s few recurring villains. Created before Data and granted the emotions that Data lacks, Lore was twisted, immoral, and petty while blessed with the same incredible brain and physical power as Data. Canonically, Lore hasn’t been seen since the two-parter “Descent” which bridged the penultimate and final seasons of TNG. Lore becomes something like a cult leader to a group of liberated Borg drones in the story. The episode ends with Data finally deactivating his brother, though we never learn what happens to Lore’s body.

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Data and Lore in Star Trek: The Next Generation — S7, E1, “Descent”

Knowing all the different androids and Soongs that Brent Spiner has played adds a little spice to the question of what we can expect from season 3 of Star Trek: Picard. Along with almost the entire principal cast of TNG, Spiner is confirmed to return for Picard‘s final season. But he almost certainly won’t be returning as Data. The android meets his final end in the Picard season 1 finale, and Spiner confirmed to THR that he felt so strongly that it should be the end of the character that it was written into his contract for season 2 that he would not play Data. So who exactly will he play in the final season of Picard? One of the many Soongs he’s portrayed over the years? Yet another Soong we haven’t met yet? Or could we finally see the return of Lore?