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Star Trek: Brent Spiner says he's done playing Data after Picard Season 1, but is up to reprise Altan
Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard is now over, and with it the end of Brent Spiner portraying the character of Commander Data. The final episode saw the android dying for the second time after his emotional sacrifice in 2002's Nemesis movie.
Speaking with TV Guide, Spiner explained why he'd like to let Data rest in peace forevermore.
"I mean, there was just a finite amount of time that I can actually play Data, no matter what anyone says," the actor said. "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?'"
Throughout Picard's debut season, Jean-Luc (played by the returning Patrick Stewart) was haunted by visions of his old friend, finally seeking closure on that front in Episode 10 by erasing the last-remaining fragment of Data's digital mind.
"I think we did it in such brief sequences that it was fine to do it, and I felt good about it," Spiner continued. "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."
Thanks to his dual role performance as Data and Altan Inigo Soong, Spiner can return to play the latter.
"Absolutely," he said when asked if he'd reprise Altan in Season 2. "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."
The complete first season of Star Trek: Picard is now streaming on CBS All Access. A second season of the show is already in development.
Spiner next appears as LAPD Captain Ned Vanderhoff in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. The supernatural spinoff series premieres on Showtime Sunday April 26 at 10 p.m. EST.