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Brent Spiner says Data's return in Picard hinged on not undoing his Star Trek: Nemesis death
We're about a week away from the world premiere of Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. Despite being the entire draw of the series, Patrick Stewart won't be the only familiar face from The Next Generation to reprise a beloved character. The likes of Jonathan Frakes (William T Riker) and Brent Spiner (Data) are also coming back to play their famous TNG roles.
When it comes to Data, however, the gold-skinned android is still dead after selflessly giving up his own life in the 2002 feature film Star Trek: Nemesis. The absence of Data plays a major part in Jean-Luc's character arc on the new show. His death still haunts Stewart's former starship captain, which meant there could be no cheap retconning or resurrections.
"It was definitely important that we didn’t do anything that would undermine anything that had been done before. But I think, when you see the whole season … I can’t say anything else," Spiner told SYFY WIRE at the show's red-carpet premiere before becoming particularly tight-lipped.
Funnily enough, the poor reception of Nemesis was one of the many reasons Sir Patrick was open to return to the world of Star Trek. Inspired by James Mangold's Logan, he felt that The Next Generation deserved a better sendoff than it got.
"The producers and writers of the show are incredible [and] really brilliant," continued Spiner. "There was Patrick [Stewart], which was a huge draw because I love Patrick and I love working with him ... It was strange and wonderful and just curious. I remember when we shot the first scene in the show, the very first shot, and we were sitting across from each other, going, ‘Can you believe this?’"
Picard has already scored a rare renewal for a second season, which is already being mapped out with new showrunner Terry Matalas (12 Monkeys) alongside co-showrunner Michael Chabon, according to executive producer Heather Kadin.
"I think by the end of this season, people are gonna step away and feel like, ‘Wow, this is a family I really wanna watch’ and 'Where do we go from here?'" Kadin said. "I think, as you kind of get from the pilot, Picard has to assemble a new crew. He has to make a whole new bridge crew family, and so where do we go from there is really where our jumping-off point is for Season 2."
To check out Picard and Data's best bromance moments throughout The Next Generation, click here.