Actor Brent Spiner is picking up where he left off since his return to the Star Trek franchise in the Paramount+ series Picard playing multiple characters. When it was announced of his return for season two, there was some speculation that he might return as his signature character in Lt. Cmdr Data. Speaking with Inverse to promote his latest book Fan Fiction, Spiner confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that Data will remain dead and not return, but he does offer a tease of what the next chapter of his life in Trek might bring.
For the uninitiated, Spiner's known to play multiple roles in the Star Trek franchise not only the beloved android Data, but also his evil twin Lore, his defective brother B-4, and his creator Dr. Noonian Soong on Next Generation, and his ancestors in Arik Soong on Enterprise, and most recently, Alton Inigo Soong in Picard. Of course, I'd be remiss to not mention how Spiner utilized that Data sandbox to play different characters from within that android mold during his run on TNG. On top of ruling out Data, we also won't see Alton in the second season at least.
"I can tell you I'm not Data," Spiner said. "I know they haven't revealed much about me being in the show. I can tell you I'm a member of the Soong family. And, that I'm not playing a character I've ever played before." There you have it. We know from the trailer that Picard will have the cast travel back in time. What's intriguing is that since it's not Arik, we'll probably find out more about the family. What I'm curious is if we'll see a female blood relative of the Soong family. My guess is that it could be played by Isa Briones.
The human-to-android arc has been explored numerous times starting with Noonian's wife Juliana O'Donnell (Fionnula Flanagan) in TNG, who was later discovered as a golem with her consciousness still believing herself to be human. This is also the case at the season one finale after Picard's (Patrick Stewart) physical body died and his mind transferred to a synthetic body. Star Trek: Picard season two premieres in February 2022 on Paramount+.