Jonathan Frakes is back as William Riker in Star Trek: Picard but how much of his iconic character are we getting?
Star Trek: Picard is bringing back the whole gang. Of course, Patrick Stewart is back as the titular Jean-Luc Picard, but so is the rest of the cast; LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, Michael Dorn, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, and of course Jonathan Frakes.
Frakes will be back as William Riker, reprising his franchise role once again for Picard. Since he’s returning with the added influx of past talent who are also returning to their iconic roles, there may not be enough screen time for everyone.
So it was rather surprising to see Riker in just about the entire trailer. So when asked by TrekMovie.com how much he’d be in the series, Frakes was actually quite candid;
"Ten Rikers! There is one episode where I only have a brief scene, but I’m in all ten. Terry [Matalas] came to me during season two and he said, “How do you feel about playing a lot of Riker?” I had already done it in season one and said, “Yeah, I’m psyched. I’m looking forward to it.” I had no idea he meant like full Riker [laughs]. But I got to say, it was a blast. It was a blast to work with Patrick [Stewart] again, as an actor. It was kind of emotional. And I had great stuff with Marina [Sirtis] again, who I adore. It was all I could have hoped for and I think the fans are going to go cuckoo. I think season three is going to crush. I had plenty of good Riker stuff during seven years and certainly on First Contact, but the Riker stuff [Terry Matalas] wrote for the character is denser and more interesting. It has a greater sense of irony. There’s a lot of levity. I mean, he just gets the characters in such a positive way."
Star Trek: Picard really feels like a swan song for The Next Generation crew
We’ve gotten Frakes in a lot of Star Trek outside of The Next Generation. He was in Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and Lower Decks. He’s directed all sorts of episodes and several movies and is someone the entire fanbase adores.
So to see him coming back in a near-starring role next to Stewart once again, playing his iconic character one more time in every episode, really does have us feeling like this is the final adventure for the ole’ crew.
With each passing bit of news, it makes more and more sense that this is the last adventure for so many of these characters, and if that’s the case, at least fans are getting a heaping dose of Riker on the way out.