Star Trek: Picard season 2 will be premiering next month, and we now know Jonathan Frakes will reprise the role of William Riker, as he did in the inaugural season. Thanks to an interview posted Sunday, we know a little bit more. Frakes recently dished on one of his favorite parts of making the new season of Picard, and along the way revealed he’ll be sharing a scene with a couple of old friends.
In an interview with Cinema Blend, Jonathan Frakes said his character shares a scene with John de Lancie’s Q and Brent Spiner‘s Dr. Altan Soong. The longtime Star Trek actor and director called the moment one of his “favorite scenes of the season.” The fact that De Lancie is returning as the mischievous Q isn’t news, but the fact that both Frakes and Spiner will share a scene with him is interesting, especially considering from what we’ve seen of the upcoming episodes, much of them will take place in a time-altered past.
Jonathan Frakes heaped praise upon John de Lancie, who he shared many scenes with not only on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but even as part of a surprising cameo in season 2 of Star Trek: Voyager. Frakes called De Lancie one of his “favorite friends” along with one of his “favorite actors.” According to Frakes’ recollections of TNG, he isn’t the only member of the cast who felt that way,. He said every time De Lancie made an appearance on the show, the cast “circled him in a way that we always felt he is a member of the core group.”
De Lancie’s Q, according to Jonathan Frakes, is one of Star Trek‘s “most complicated villains, arguably, with the Borg Queen.” Ironically, when Q first appears in the TNG premiere, “Encounter at Farpoint,” he seems somewhat generic compared to the villains of the franchise’s past. Seemingly all-powerful, eccentric antagonists were a dime-a-dozen in Kirk and Spock’s rogue’s gallery. But Q’s recurring appearances allowed him to grow as a character, to the point that some fans will tell you calling him a villain is wrong-headed.
It will be interesting to see exactly how, if at all, Q has changed over the years. You would think the time between his last TNG appearance in the series finale and his reappearance in Picard season 2 wouldn’t mean much to a presumably eternal being like Q. But in the trailer that dropped in September, there seems to be an anger replacing the usual mischievous joy when he snaps his finger. This doesn’t seem like the same Q who, upon regaining his temporarily lost powers, celebrated with Jonathan Frakes and the rest of the TNG cast by abruptly summoning a mariachi band on the bridge of the Enterprise.
Fans are likely wondering if some Q-ish secrets might finally be unveiled with his return in Picard season 2. The first time Q runs Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan — who is also set to return in the new season — on screen, they seem to be old enemies, yet the notion that anyone could threaten Q is almost unthinkable. Then there’s the famous moment in the TNG series finale when Q almost gives in to temptation and whispers some great secret to Captain Picard, but stops himself at the last moment. We’ve never found out what he was about to say. Hopefully, we’ll learn a bit more about the intriguing character when Star Trek: Picard season 2 premieres on Paramount+ in February. If not, at least we’ll get to see old friends like Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, John de Lancie, Whoopi Goldberg, Brent Spiner, and who knows how many more?