Although Star Trek: The Next Generation has been off of the air for years, Brent Spiner has kept busy, with his recent work including a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory and his work on his Fresh Hell Internet series.
Spiner will be seen on The Big Bang Theory tomorrow evening, along with Wil Wheaton. “It’s very brief,” he said regarding his role in the episode, where he plays himself. “It’s not even a cameo. It’s a cam.”
Working with the cast of The Big Bang Theory was enjoyable for Spiner. “It was fun,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It’s a really funny and smart show, with really good actors on it and very talented writers. So it was a blast to be there for a week. It was hardly working compared to what I used to do in Star Trek.”
Fans may see Spiner again in a future guest role on the series. “I’m really only in the tag of the show, so it’s very brief, but I’m hopeful beyond hope that they’ll bring me back again, which I think is a real possibility.”
Spiner also appreciated the chance to catch up with Wil Wheaton. “…it was great working with Wil,” he said. “I see him a lot because we’re at conventions together, but we were standing backstage waiting to make an entrance and he said, ‘I think this is the first time in years that we’ve worked together.’ He was in Nemesis, but his scene got cut, so that doesn’t count. And I don’t think I was in the scene with him.’
Spiner’s other recent work, Fresh Hell, a new Internet series, is described by the actor as a “sit-trag.” “it’s a comedy, but it’s also sad and the subtext of it all is actually quite serious,” he said. “It’s really about everybody right now who is losing their jobs. In my mind, there’s a second incident, an even bigger incident, and that is I got old. That’s an incident that is happening to everyone. Everyone is perpetrating that. They keep getting old and you and kicked out and used up.’
Aging was something on Spiner’s mind when he played Data back on The Next Generation. “I really did think about that early on because I was not young when I got the part,” he said. “I was thirty-eight when I started playing Data. So it occurred to me, ‘How long is this going to last?’ I looked pretty young for my age at the time, but I thought, ‘If I was ten years younger, I could play this for thirty years.” But I wasn’t. I was pushing forty. I thought, ‘How long am I going to look acceptably young to keep playing this part?’ Fortunately, it lasted as long as it did.”
The Big Bang Theory airs Thursdays on CBS at 8 PM. Fresh Hell can be seen here.