Brent Spiner reveals the differences between The Next Generation and Picard’s cats.
Brent Spiner once again returned to Star Trek, this time with Picard’s third and final season. And once again returning to play Data, a character twice dead. Though Data’s constant resurrections are a bit overplayed at this point, Picard has been a show all about bringing back past characters and moments in either small or large ways.
Returning characters and cameos have been a huge aspect of the show and it doesn’t just stop with big names like Spiner and Data. We’ve seen the U.S.S Voyager return this season, and characters like Wesley Crusher return last season.
So it’s not surprising that another minor character, Data’s old cat Spot, would return in season three as part of Data’s memory collection. The same collection he gifts his brother Lore. Yet, things were different this time around.
Brent Spiner talks about the differences between Spots in Star Trek: The Next Generation
Sadly, since the Next Generation, the original cats who played Spot have long passed on. It’s been 30 years after all. So the crew behind Picard needed another cat to play Spot and when Cinemablend (via Yahoo) talked to Spiner about working with cats again as Data, Spiner pointed out how much simpler it was, saying;
"This was a really sweet cat, that’s all I can tell you. And the cat didn’t have to do anything extraordinary. The writers of TNG, particularly Ron Moore and Brannon Braga would write these absurd scenes where Spot had to be a genius cat to be able to do some of this stuff they asked it to do. This cat was not asked to do anything particularly difficult other than to cuddle with me. Just very simple."
The moment that fans saw Spot come back was a quiet and reassuring moment. After all, Spot affected Data emotionally, maybe more than anyone or anything else. Especially in Star Trek Generations. It makes complete sense that Spot would be among his most cherished memories.