If you’ve been a fan of the Star Trek franchise, you’ll know that the character of Data (played by Brent Spiner) from ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ was presumably killed at the end of the film, ‘Star Trek: Nemesis.’ He was on a ship that exploded spectacularly when he shot his phaser into an energy matrix. Of course, we never did see his body or any of its composite parts afterward. Given that he’s an android, I thought it odd that the Enterprise crew didn’t even scan for his positronic matrix or unique metallic signatures amongst the debris.
While presenting at Destination Star Trek Birmingham, Spiner explained that he had accepted that taking the role meant the end of his character. However, he embraced the development and wanted it to have an emotional payoff:
“I’ll tell you what. I thought it made a lot of sense and because I was also part of the team that wrote the story, I knew that was going to happen. We had been told in almost no uncertain terms by Paramount Pictures, that this was going to be our last film, so I thought it made a lot of sense to leave the audience with a really big, dramatic, emotional moment at the end of the film. If that’s the last time you were going to see the character then that’s the way it should be, you know … at the time I thought it was the right way to go.”
However, we know from the trailers for ‘Star Trek: Picard‘ that Data is returning to an active role in the Star Trek universe. Spiner was careful not to reveal any spoilers about ‘Picard,’ but he did give a little background to how he made it onto the show:
“[Patrick Stewart] just said [to our original cast] that ‘he was doing [a show], and it’s not ‘Next Generation.’’ They didn’t have a title then. It was just that he had agreed to do a series about Picard and what has happened to Picard in the years since we’ve seen him. But there was no indication from him that any of us would be a part of it in any way.” A little while later, he received a call from the producers. “So they said, ‘Well, would you have any interest in playing Data again?’ And I said, ‘Make me an offer I can’t refuse.’”
They obviously did, because Data is back and Spiner is playing him!
What are your thoughts about Data’s big return to Star Trek?