Star Trek: Picard's Brent Spiner On Playing A New Character In Season 2, And How He Made Sure Data Wasn't Returning

Brent Spiner as Dr. Adam Soong in Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 2, including the episode “Two of One,” are ahead!

Brent Spiner is best known for playing the sympathetic android Data in the Star Trek franchise, but it’s certainly not the only character he’s brought to life in this universe. In addition to playing Data’s evil “twin brother” Lore in a handful of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, Spiner has also appeared as various members of the Soong family, from Data’s creator Noonian Soong to geneticist Adam Soong, Noonian’s ancestor from 21st century Los Angeles. Adam Soong entered the Star Trek: Picard Season 2 picture in “Fly Me to the Moon,” and Spiner has shared some details on his new character, how he made sure Data wouldn’t return for this season of the Paramount+ series and more.

In “Fly Me to the Moon,” Adam Soong was presented as a father desperate to cure his daughter Kore (played by Isa Briones, who also stars in Star Trek: Picard as Soji Asha, Data’s android “daughter”) of her genetic disease that prevents her from being exposed to sunlight and non-filtered air. However, in “Two of One,” Kore learned that she was the latest product of a series of cloning experiments that Adam Soong carried out, with all her predecessors having died. In an interview with THR, Brent Spiner had the following to say about his character now being painted in a sinister light:

He is much more complex than he would lead us to believe. Adam is in a lot of denial about who he is, which is a classic narcissist. And I think it is his DNA that made its way to the dark side of the Soong family, all the way to Lore. There is a light side to the family with Noonian. Data is the light side.

While Adam Soong is chronologically the first Soong family member to get in way too deep with genetic experimentation, he isn’t the only Soong Star Trek fans have seen become obsessed with this scientific field. Brent Spiner previously appeared in three episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise as Dr. Arik Soong, who was desperate to prove the benefits of genetic engineering (which had been banned after the Eugenics Wars) and show that not all humans enhanced in such a way would turn out like Khan Noonien Singh. Eventually though, Arik abandoned that work and turned his attention to artificial life, paving the way for Noonian Soong to eventually create androids like B-4, Data and Lore.

Adam Soong is the second new character Brent Spiner has played on Star Trek: Picard, as he appeared in Season 1 as Altan Soong, Noonian’s son. Additionally, Spiner appeared as both a hallucination of Data and a copy of the android’s consciousness in the Picard Season 1 premiere and finale, respectively. The Data copy requested that Jean-Luc Picard terminate his existence, marking the second time we’ve seen this character die, as the original Data sacrificed his life in Star Trek: Nemesis. When work on Picard Season 2 started unfolding, Spiner’s contract stipulated that he wouldn’t reprise Data again. In the actor’s words:

Everyone agreed on it. The writers knew early on where this season was going.

So we won’t be seeing Data in Star Trek: Picard Season 2, but Brent Spiner is keeping busy enough with Adam Soong’s narrative arc. Let’s also not forget that Picard Season 3 has already been shot and is set to become available to Paramount+ subscribers in 2023. Earlier this week, it was announced that Spiner is among the many Star Trek: The Next Generation vets who will be joining Patrick Stewart in Picard’s final season. Here’s what Spiner had to say about that upcoming reunion:

It is really rewarding for all of us. Here we are still doing it — together, which has just been a blast.

It remains to be seen who Brent Spiner will play in Star Trek: Picard Season 3. My best guess is he’ll reprise Altan Soong once the main protagonists make it back to the 25th century (although we may be losing a major character beforehand), but maybe the actor changed his mind and was also willing to play Data one last time… truly! Regardless, Spiner will be sticking around Picard, and as far as the near future goes, Adam Soong is still allied with Q, who has altered the timeline for reasons still unclear, and has looped Soong into his machinations with the promise of permanently curing Kore.

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard drop Thursdays on Paramount+. Our 2022 TV schedule lays out what else is currently airing/streaming, and keep checking back with CinemaBlend for updates on upcoming Star Trek TV shows and movies.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.