Is Star Trek Vet Jonathan Frakes Teasing Riker's Return For Star Trek: Picard?

Riker Jonathan Frakes Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: Picard is headed to CBS All Access sometime before the end of 2019, and despite that relatively soon debut window, we're still relatively fuzzy on what former Star Trek actors may appear to reprise their roles in the new series. So far, we've mostly sussed out who won't be involved, with Trek alum like Wil Wheaton and Kate Mulgrew more or less confirming they won't be appearing in Picard Season 1.

Then there's Jonathan Frakes, who has already confirmed he'll be directing multiple episodes of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Picard. Now, though, he may have teased that he's doing a bit more than directing, as a cryptic tweet may hint at Picard's "Number One" Riker coming back for an episode or two in some capacity.

Either Jonathan Frakes is about to drop the hottest trombone album of 2019 – come at him, Trombone Shorty – or this is a not so subtle hint that Riker will be making an appearance within Star Trek: Picard. For those still confused, Star Trek: The Next Generation set up that William T. Riker was an accomplished trombonist, with various episodes having portrayed him showcasing this ability.

Will Riker be back to play the trombone once more in Star Trek: Picard? We can't say for sure, but speculation ran more rampant after another member of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast responded to the tweet.

Brent Spiner, who played the beloved android Data, gave quite an enthusiastic response to the tweet, which has obviously given some Star Trek fans hope that Frakes' tweet is teasing exactly what they think it is. Check it:

Now, it's worth noting that Riker's skill with the trombone is not just something that was done for the show. Jonathan Frakes is actually a skilled musician. So while my comment earlier about him having the "hottest trombone album of 2019" was made in jest, this tweet could very well be tied to Frakes announcing a music-related project that is not tied to Star Trek at all.

Star Trek's Picard: An Updated Cast List

Because this is Star Trek, there's another possibility here even beyond those mentioned. It's possible that Jonathan Frakes may make an appearance on Star Trek: Picard, but not as William T. Riker. Remember when Riker's duplicate was created as a result of that transporter accident? Thomas Riker is, hypothetically, still out in the Star Trek universe. Plus, he was gifted a trombone by the OG Riker when they parted ways. Is it possible Frakes is returning to play that character?

The question of whether Jonathan Frakes will appear in Star Trek: Picard is one that Star Trek fans are eager to see answered. There's a strong urge to see some sort of Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion for Patrick Stewart's Picard in this upcoming series. Riker is certainly one of the bigger cameos fans would like to see, and one that seems to be the most possible, considering he's already involved with the series as a director.

Star Trek: Picard is heading to CBS All Access before the end of 2019, and CinemaBlend will continue to keep an eye out for updates regarding the series in the meantime.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.