Star Trek: The Next Generation star Jonathan Frakes expects to return to direct episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season Two. Now, despite how "never-wracking" his Season One appearances were, he says he also hopes to get back in front of the camera in future episodes of the show. Frakes reprised his role as William Riker for two episodes of Picard's first season. Frakes appeared on a live charity stream set up by the TrekGeeks podcast, along with co-stars Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner. During the stream, he talked about what it is was like taking command of the USS Zheng He as Riker and shared his hope that the series will need Riker again.
"I did find myself getting into the lean as soon as I sat down," Frakes said (via TrekMovie). "I liked that scene actually. I thought the writing was clever. I was wary of when they had gone to the well to have Riker show up again because he had said he had left Starfleet. But I think between Akiva [Goldsman], and [Michael] Chabon, and Alex [Kurtzman], they cleverly wove it into the story. And I hope that we see him again. I certainly hope to have the spacesuit on again."
Speaking to ComicBook.com in April, Frakes said he expects to return to direct in Picard's second season. He also said he expects other Next Generation alumni will show up in the series before too long.
"I do expect to be back to direct the show, and I also think it'd be a good bet that we'll see some other members of Next Gen because I think the 'Nepenthe' test went very well," Frakes says. When asked what that test was, he says, "I think to see if there was an appetite. I think they suspected there was, but I think to see if it would resonate to have Picard reunite with some of the people in a creative way. I'm glad we didn't come back on the Titan, for instance, that we were found on another part [of the universe]. It's 33 years or something. As Picard as changed, so has Riker and Troi, and so has Seven."
He also told ComicBook.com how he felt when he learned about Riker and Deanna Troi's future in Picard. "I was really glad that Troi and Riker were living in the mountains in a big house," he said. "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 [Wilson], 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."
The first season of Star Trek: Picard is streaming now on CBS All Access. The second season is in pre-production.