The reason he couldn’t have the cameos, Terry Matalas said, was a matter of both budget and scheduling. Getting all the expected actors in the room at the same time would have been a logistical nightmare, and not all of the ones he wanted were available during the filming period for “Picard.” Furthermore, he pointed out that Paramount did not have the budget to pay all the actors in question; it seemed that bringing back the cast of “Next Generation” was expensive enough. He also wanted to tie this season of “Picard,” which differs greatly from the previous two seasons, to the first. It seems that Soji (Isa Briones) was part of Matalas’ original ideas. He explained:
“[T]there were characters that I really wanted to see again. In the original final script… look, it was a giant movie that we were building into a television schedule. The fact that you saw what we saw was a miracle that we made it. It almost killed us all. But there was a scene with Soji and Data that we couldn’t afford to do. And another actor.”
Matalas was coy about who “another actor” might have been.
Soji, for those who forgot, was a central character in the early episodes of “Picard”. It appears that a Federation scientist salvaged a particle from Data’s android brain, which exploded after the events of “Star Trek: Nemesis.” So someone essentially “cloned” the particle’s data, not only regrowing consciousness and memories of it(!), but also creating a pair of organic android twins. Even for “Star Trek,” the pseudoscience was overdone, but it resulted in a character, Soji, who found herself struggling with the revelation that she was an artificial being with false childhood memories.
Because she is technically Data’s daughter, Matalas wanted Soji to meet Data.