Will Riker actor Jonathan Frakes teases story details about Picard season 3, revealing that Riker and Picard will experience some “antagonism.”
Jonathan Frakes teases story details about Star Trek: Picard season 3. Frakes’ TNG Number One Will Riker made his memorable return in Star Trek: Picard season 1. In that season, it was revealed that the Starfleet hot-shot had made a big change in life by settling down with Deanna Troi and a pizza oven, but also gave Riker a chance to perform some space heroics, as he swooped in at the last minute to rescue Picard from the Romulans in the season finale.
Picard season 1 of course also addressed the tragedy in Will and Deanna’s life, revealing that their son Thaddeus Worf Riker-Troi had died of a mysterious disease. In the upcoming Picard season 3, both Riker and Troi find themselves back in the thick of the action, as the entire main Star Trek: The Next Generation crew reassembles for a new adventure. As teased in trailers, the action kicks off with a distress signal from Beverly Crusher, and sees the crew reuniting on the starship Titan-A under Captain Riker. Soon the TNG gang finds themselves up against a new enemy in Vadic, as well as old enemies Lore and Moriarty.
How these old and new pieces all fit together in Star Trek: Picard season 3 is of course yet to be revealed. But one aspect of the season is being teased rather heavily ahead of the show’s arrival: the new dynamic between Riker and Picard. Showrunner Terry Matalas previously promised “some Riker you have never seen before.” And now Frakes himself has dropped a few hints about the new season, including talk of tension between him and his old captain. See Frakes’ remarks in the space below (via Collider):
First of all, I think it’s the best season of the show, and obviously, we’re thrilled to be having the family back together again. But it has some new colors, there’s some Riker and Picard antagonism towards each other, which never existed on the show. We introduce Geordi La Forge’s daughters to the show, there’s a lot of good, new material if you will.
Why Are There Tensions Between Riker and Picard?
“Antagonism” between Riker and Picard was not in the cards on Star Trek: TNG, which largely adhered to Gene Roddenberry’s directive to avoid depicting interpersonal conflict between the characters. But Picard has tended to veer away from those Roddenberry rules throughout its two seasons, and it seems Picard and Riker will now get caught up in some non-TNG-like drama. As previously teased by Matalas, the characters’ tensions largely revolve around a command-related difference of opinion. As the Picard showrunner told TrekMovie.com, “Riker and Picard have a very strong disagreement about tactically what to do in a specific situation.”
Matalas didn’t stop there though, also teasing that Picard and Riker’s tension is rooted in their changed relationship. Riker was once the student and Picard the teacher, but now Picard is on Riker’s ship, and must take a back-seat to his old first officer. No doubt it will be difficult for Picard to simply accept a subordinate role to Riker. And Riker may experience his own misgivings about being put in the position of giving the orders with his old captain around to second-guess him. On the one hand, this new dynamic represents an interesting evolution of the relationship between Picard and Riker. But on the other hand, Star Trek: TNG didn’t need such conflict in order to create strong drama, and it’s worth asking if Star Trek: Picard really needs it either.