Brent Spiner had his hands full during Star Trek: The Next Generation playing the android Data who wanted to be more human. He also took on other roles on the holodeck like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Ira Graves and, of course, off the holodeck, he embraced the identity of his evil brother, Lore which he told Syfy Wire was “the perfect part for me.” But there was role that also fit him perfectly but originally wasn’t going to be his, that of Data and Lore’s father, Dr. Noonian Soong.
Though Spiner suggested he play the part, another actor, Keye Luke, had been cast as the role was for an older actor. Spiner didn’t know at the time that Luke had already been chosen for the part. He just thought it would make sense to have him playing the man who created the brothers in his own image.
When Spiner discovered Luke had been cast, he tried to take back his suggestion, but Keye Luke’s ill-health left him unable to play Dr. Soong. So Spiner was given the role, and then he promptly panicked because he didn’t know how he was going to play an old man.
"I thought, ‘Oh my God, how am I going to play this?’ Because he was an old man, and I really didn’t know what I was going to do."
But once the show’s make-up expert, Michael Westmore, put the make-up on Spiner, the actor took one look in the mirror and knew how he was going to play the part.
Spiner went on to play Arik Soong (Noonian’s great-grandfather) on Star Trek: Enterprise, and Altan Inigo Soong (Noonian’s son) on the first season of Star Trek: Picard. And even though Data won’t be returning to Picard, Spiner hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning yet again as Dr. Soong.