Next Generation: Where Are They Now? 3

Commander DataWhat would Star Trek: The Next Generation be like if Jean Luc Picard didn’t have his “Number 1” Commander William T. Riker (played by Jonathan Frakes) by his side? Or what about the intriguing android, Data (played by Brent Spiner), who stares at his crewmembers with blank eyes and curiosity? In this article, we will take a look at what the actors who brought these characters to life are up to.


Recap of the Cast


The main cast of characters and actors for Next Generation included: Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart); Commander William T. Riker (played by Jonathan Frakes); Lt. Commander Data (played by Brent Spiner); Lieutenant Worf (played by Micheal Dorn); Commander Deanna Troi (played by Marina Sirtis); Commander Geordi La Forge (played by LeVar Burton); Commander Dr. Beverly Crusher (played by Gates McFadden); and Ensign Wesley Crusher (played by Wil Wheaton).


Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker)


Appearing in 175 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jonathan Frakes made his start in showbiz by taking on the role in the 1963 television series, “The Doctors.” He then went on to appear in several TV shows, such as “Barnaby Jones,” “The Associates,” Eight is Enough,” and “The Waltons.”  He didn’t play a steady character until he took on the role of Damon Ross in the popular soap opera, “Falcon Crest.”


After the cancellation of Next Generation, Frakes’ last appearance in a Star Trek-related production was in the 2002 Star Trek: Nemesis movie. Throughout his life after Star Trek, he appeared in a variety of television shows, including “Roswell” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” He is also an accomplished director with titles such as “Roswell,” “Star Patrol,” “The Twilight Zone,” and the more recent, “The Librarian 2: Return to King Solomon’s Mines.”


Did You Know?


1) Has the same birthday as the creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry


2) He is the only regular Star Trek actor to make an appearance in four different Star Trek TV series: “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987), “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993), “Star Trek: Voyager” (1995) and “Enterprise” (2001).


3) Before Frakes role on Star Trek, he watched many videotapes of the original episodes because he had no clue regarding the original TV series.


Brent Spiner (Lt. Commander Data)


The character of Commander Data can be viewed within 174 Star Trek: Next generation episodes. Before landing his role on the television series, Spiner made his first appearance in television in 1970 in “My Sweet Charlie,” a role that went uncredited. He then went on to appear in credited roles in TV shows, such as “Mama’s Family,” “Hunter,” and “Cheers.” Before Star Trek, he may be recognized for his reoccurring role on the popular television series, “Night Court,” when he played the character of Bob Wheeler.


After the cancellation of Next Generation, Spiner landed appearances in TV shows, such as “Frasier,” “Friends,” and “Law and Order.” His latest acting endeavor comes from the 2006 film, “Material Girls.” Not only did Spiner act in Star Trek affiliations, but he also directed and wrote. He also has lent his voice to the soundtrack of various projects, including the performances of “Blue Skies” and “Abdulla Bulbul Ameer” in Star Trek episodes. He has also sung “ Bravo, Stromboli!” for the 2000 television production of “Geppetto.”


Did You Know?


1) The character of Data was killed off of the Star Trek series because Spiner felt that he was getting too old to give the role justice.