Jonathan Frakes was a big part of the first season of Star Trek: Picard and he’s hoping for more time with his on-screen family.
Jonathan Frakes had a nice arch in Star Trek: Picard that saw him reunite with on-screen wife Marina Sirtis. The two old-friends played William Riker and Deanna Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, Enterprise, Deep Space Nine (just Riker), and Enterprise with varying degrees of length. (Technically Frakes played Thomas Riker on DS9 but he was a clone, so it counts). The two also played the same characters in all four of the Next Generation films.
So when Picard was announced as a sequel of sorts to Next Generation, one that would see Picard out of Starfleet, and the show with an overall more somber tone, a lot of fans got excited to see classic Next Generation characters popping back up as well. The show, unfortunately, only brought back three crew members in Riker, Troi, and Data (Brent Spiner). A fourth minor character from the first series also popped up, Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco).
When we finally see Riker again, he’s settled down with Troi and the two have a daughter now. So when talking with TrekMovie.com, Frakes revealed where he would like to see Riker pick up in season two, and where he expects him to pick up. Frakes also address whether he’ll even return at all to the series as an actor.
Did Chabon or you develop anything besides what we saw on screen about the Riker backstory for the last 20 years?
The story about this son was explained to me. And that’s what motivated our move to that Nepenthe planet. And I’m hoping—I don’t have any indication the hope is going to come true—but I’m hoping that there will be more Riker/Troi family. Lulu [Wilson] was spectacular as our daughter.
So if we see Riker and Troi again, you are hoping we will see him behind a pizza oven, or on the bridge of a ship?
I like the pizza oven, but I’m afraid we’ve already seen him on the bridge of the ship. So he’s gone back to work.
So you see that as it wasn’t just temporary? Riker is back in Starfleet?
I don’t know. Frakes would rather be at the pizza oven.
So, you don’t know if you’ll be returning as Riker?
Yes. I don’t know that… I don’t know what the plan is for season two.
Riker and Troi were a surprise to many after trailers showed the return of Data, and Seven of Nine (Voyager: Jeri Ryan), and now that so many alumni have already popped up the question who else could show up in season two are being raised.
If Frakes has shown anything in these interviews, it’s that he isn’t going to give away any secrets.