Various Star Trek: The Next Generation actors have made an appearance in the first season of Picard, among those is Brent Spiner. The actor portrayed two characters on the show, one where he reprised his role as Data, the other as Data's son, Dr. Noonien Soong. The former part has been given a proper sendoff in the season finale, with Spiner's new role introduced as a way to bring back the actor.
In a recent interview with Indie Wire, Picard co-creator Akiva Goldsman hints at the new character's return. "I think you always want another Soong," he said. "I think that we wanted to feather in the possibility of more Brent, and we knew we were letting Data go."
"We all knew that this Soong character had been in our head canon when it came to the season anyway," Goldsman further explained. "But we want more Brent, and we wanted to create a platform for which there could be more Brent in future seasons."
Spiner made his debut as Dr. Noonien Soong in the first half of Picard's two-part finale, "Et in Arcadia Ego." The actor previously ruled out a return as Data on the show, pointing out that it wouldn't be realistic. Spinner thinks the character had a more "gentler" sendoff this time too, and it seemed "right" in the context of the entire season.
Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 is expected to arrive sometime in 2020 followed by Picard Season 2.