Since Star Trek returned to television in 2017 with Discovery on Paramount+, Jonathan Frakes found himself busy again in the franchise's universe. And that included pulling double duty again, reprising his role as William Riker when Picard premiered in 2020. While he had a recurring role in season one, he's been elevated to the main cast for the third and final season along with his other Next Generation castmates. The actor-director spoke to Trek Movie about how much Riker we'll see again and what we can expect.
How Involved Will Riker Be in Star Trek: Picard Season 3?
"Ten Rikers!" Frakes responded when asked how much "Riker" we're going to get. "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."
In season one, Picard and Soji (Isa Briones) fled from Romulans to Nepenthe, where Riker and Troi (Sirtis) resided. Matalas isn't beholden to write Jean-Luc and Will as they were during their TNG days, "Exactly. They are not. I have a very strong conflict," Frakes said. "Riker has a big conflict with Picard as part of the arc of this season. A kind of 'f— you, you're wrong!' kind of conflict." For more on how tense things will get, how he feels if Picard gives the closure 2002's Nemesis never did, films, spin-offs, and more, you can check out the whole interview here. The third and final season premieres on February 2023.