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Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes On Whether The Whole Next Generation Cast Could Still Reunite On Picard

Star Trek: Picard is a treat for many fans of The Next Generation, especially those who never believed Patrick Stewart would return to the franchise. Now, he’s back, and as fans may remember, he and Star Trek mastermind Alex Kurtzman once spoke about a desire to incorporate the entire principal cast of TNG into the series if they could. It’s an ambitious goal and one that I recently asked Jonathan Frakes about the logistics of it happening. 

Jonathan Frakes, who played Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation and reprised the role for Picard, also has ties to the franchise via his various directorial credits. I asked him whether he thought a TNG reunion was still possible given struggles with production shutdowns and the fact the series is currently in production for Season 3. Here’s what the actor had to say:

Oh, that's a good question. I think that we got a taste of it on the planet that Picard visited and found Riker and Troi. So we've done that. So, you know, we've had a little bit of reunion where he comes to see how we are and where we left the business to try and save our son. That was in Season 1 of Picard. So, it's a pretty complicated undertaking to think about revisiting all that glory. It'd be fun, though.

It sounds like Jonathan Frakes isn’t too sure about the odds of a full-scale Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion happening on Picard. Frakes will return to Season 2 of Picard both as an actor and director and shares a scene with notable Star Trek actor John de Lancie. I’d wager he knows a thing or two about the odds of this TNG reunion happening.

While a major reunion between TNG actors may not be planned for Star Trek: Picard, we do know that there will be more mini-reunions like the one that occurred between Picard, Riker, and Deanna Troi in Season 1. Jonathan Frakes confirmed to CinemaBlend that he’ll share a scene in Season 2 with John de Lancie and another notable veteran of The Next Generation: Brent Spiner. The scene will feature one of Spiner’s Soong family characters, and according to Frakes, it is one of his favorite scenes of the season.

The question remains just how many actors from Star Trek: The Next Generation will appear on Picard before the end, and if the ambitious goal of featuring the entire principal cast is doable. Gates McFadden mentioned to CinemaBlend that there might’ve been plans for her to appear in Season 2, but production shutdowns changed a lot of the story direction for the upcoming season. It’s possible that’s also why LeVar Burton seemed to hint at his involvement in the show at one point but later confirmed it wasn’t happening. For now, all we can do is wait and hope that whatever the show does is something fans appreciate all the same. 

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 streams on Paramount+ in February. Gear up for the return of Q by binging the previous season or checking out some of the other new Trek shows like Prodigy or Discovery.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.