There was always a command structure between Riker and Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The third season of Star Trek: PIcard will change all of that. Both men will be on equal footing even though Picard still carries the rank of Admiral. According to an interview with Slashfilm, Jonathan Frakes said there is no one person in charge of Dr. Beverly Crusher’s rescue when she reaches out to Picard for help. In fact, Frakes says there comes a time when Riker berates Picard for being too impulsive and putting their starship in danger.
Riker yelling at Picard will definitely add a different feel to the relationship between the men, and that’s exactly what Frakes likes, that they have twenty years of additional friendship between them that now allows them to see each other as equals.
"“It was kind of a privilege to have Patrick in a peer position, if you will, and no longer my boss and no longer Captain Picard to my Commander Riker. And also to have 20 more years of experience as friends and appreciation of who he is.”"
Star Trek: Picard puts Riker and Picard on a level playing field for this season.
And it makes sense. Admiral Picard hasn’t been Riker’s commanding officer for two decades, and they have maintained a friendship which was clearly seen in the first season episode of Picard “Nepenthe,” when Picard brings Soji to Riker and Troi’s house. But it sounds like things are going to be a bit different this time around.
Riker will always have respect for Picard, but Frakes said he enjoyed the conflict with Stewart’s character as it makes for “spicier” stories. And he revealed that he isn’t the only character who has some issues with Picard.
"“The conflict between Riker and Picard and the conflict between Geordi and Picard makes for a spicier story, for more interesting acting, and for more depth for all of us, for the fans and for the actors.”"
We’re only one day away from seeing the change in these characters. Star Trek: Picard season three starts February 16 on Paramount+.