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Warning! The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Picard Season 1. Read at your own risk!
Star Trek: Picard wasn't just an opportunity for fans to get more adventures with beloved characters they grew up with, it was also an opportunity for those actors to get back into roles they hadn't reprised in a long time. Such was the case with Brent Spiner, who played two characters in Season 1 and would be open to coming back in Season 2 for future episodes. That is, of course, unless the show wants him to play Data.
The actor recently spoke to TV Guide about his time reprising Data on Star Trek: Picard, as well as having to say goodbye to the character yet again. It turns out Spiner had no issue saying goodbye to the character (as he had done before in Star Trek: Nemesis), but mainly because he knew Data was only a role he could convincingly play for so long:
I mean, there was just a finite amount of time that I can actually play Data, no matter what anyone says. So many people were like, ‘Oh, you can do it. You're not too old,’ and then I do it and they go, ‘You're too old. Why'd you do it?’ I think we did it in such brief sequences that it was fine to do it, and I felt good about it. But I wouldn't really entertain the idea of doing it again because I just don't think it would be realistic. So it seemed right to me to give him this more gentle sendoff, and it seemed right to me in the context of the entire season of Picard and what Picard himself had been experiencing because of the loss of Data. I think it allows him to feel okay about it too. So it seemed like the right thing to do.
As much as Star Trek fans may have wanted Brent Spiner to play Data forever, people age and Synths (Jean-Luc Picard's Synth golem aside) don't. Spiner had no illusions that he would be able to play the character forever and mentioned he thought the reason he pulled it off in Star Trek: Picard was because Data had so little screen time.
If Brent Spiner is asked to return to Star Trek: Picard, it's assumed it won't be to play Data. Season 1 concluded the character's arc when the Commander had the last part of his consciousness erased from existence, giving him the true human experience of death. That being said, Spiner can still return to the CBS All Access original to play Dr. Alton Soong. With Soong being a character that can age naturally, Spiner has no qualms with appearing as that character again:
Absolutely. I love working with all of the people on the show. The new cast is fantastic. Obviously, to still be working with Patrick is a dream. Now there's a character that could conceivably go on and continue, so of course I'd love to. ... I just like being every member of this family. I would like to see uncles and cousins and aunts and mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers, and they all look like me.
Playing multiple members of the Soong family is a dream Brent Spiner is already living. Spiner played Arik Soong in Star Trek: Enterprise, Dr. Noonian Soong in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Noonian's androids and real son Data, Lore, B4, and Alton.
It's a badge Brent Spiner wears with pride, and he hopes he can continue to play more members of the Soong family as they come along. After all, for all the Soong's he's played, there are still mountains to climb in terms of showing his acting range:
Well, my hero has always been Alec Guinness, and in Kind Hearts and Coronets he plays every member of the family. I feel sort of like that doing the Soongs, except I haven't really played a female Soong yet, but maybe one day.
Star Trek: Picard Season 1 is currently available to stream on CBS All Access, which can be accessed for free with a special code. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the world of Star Trek and for the latest news happening in television and movies.