Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes Reveals What It Felt Like Playing Captain Riker in the Picard Finale

Star Trek: The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes reprised his role as William Riker in Star Trek: Picard. He first appeared in the episode "Nepenthe," which he's described as a nerve-wracking experience. That episode saw Riker living on the titular planet with his family having resigned from active Starfleet duty. In the season final episode, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2," Riker returns to Starfleet in a brand new starship to lead a fleet to the aid his old captain Jean-Luc Picard. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Frakes says filming the finale scene was a different experience from the one he had while playing Riker in "Nepenthe."

"That was a really different experience because I was alone," Frakes says. "I was 'self-directing.' I was in a captain's chair. I had a spacesuit on. I had my beard trimmed, my Riker hair put back on, my bald spots covered up. It felt very familiar, and it was like a flashback. Because of how well 'Nepenthe' went, I was less nervous and, I got to say, thrilled to have been asked back, to be perfectly frank."

Which isn't today he didn't enjoy "Nepenthe." He also spoke about that during his conversation with ComicBook.com.

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"I think the first thing to mention is what an addition to the family Michael Chabon has been as a writer," Frakes says. "The thoughtfulness and the depth of character and the sense of irony, just everything that he's brought. I mean, he's a fanboy to start, but he's a genius in the mix. So, his hand on the tiller, if you will, has really been exciting. Given that, I was really glad that Troi and Riker were living in the mountains in a big house. It felt wonderful and different and somehow logical that they would have done what they could. I love that they had kids, and one has died and that they had gone somewhere to try to save his life. All that I thought was spectacular. And frankly, watching Marina's work with Lulu, who played our daughter, who was also spectacular, which didn't hurt. The whole experience was great, and as you saw in the social, I'm sure, Dorn came to visit, and LeVar came to visit. It has been, without getting too corny or Pollyanna, it's really been great to be back in the Star Trek fold. It was great to be back on Star Trek: Discovery. I feel very privileged to have been part of that family, but this is really our family, the Picard show."

Star Trek: Picard Season One is now streaming on CBS All Access. Season Two is in pre-production.

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