Jonathan Frakes successfully went from playing William Riker in front of the camera to become a director behind the camera on Star Trek and much more. In a new interview Frakes reflects on his directing career and his controversial return to the role of Riker in the Enterprise series finale.
Frakes on return to Riker and directing
It seems that whenever you ask someone involved with the "These are the Voyages", the series finale of Star Trek Enterprise, they usually don’t have the most positive things to say. One of the most controversial parts of that episode was bringing in Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes to set up a framing story using the TNG era holodeck. And in comments to the official Star Trek site, Frakes agrees saying:
It was sold to me by Rick (Berman) as a “valentine to the fans,” and it was anything but. It was, I think, one of his rare mistakes. It didn’t work on so many levels. I don’t think the Enterprise cast was happy to have us. I’m frankly not sure the fans wanted to see us there. It was great, obviously, to be with Marina again and a lot of the crew were people I’d worked with on Next Gen. So the fun part was there, but the legacy of it… I don’t think it was our finest hour.
Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis in "These are the Voyages"
Frakes also talks about how Star Trek stardom comes at a price in terms of typecasting, but also gave him a second career as a director.
Thank God I learned this second craft. I really don’t know how I’d be supporting my family. I’d be looking for another kind of gig. (Frakes’ wife) Genie (Francis) isn’t working the way she used to and my peers as actors – at least from the Star Trek guys, with the exception of Patrick (Stewart) – are struggling as well. Some of it is by choice, granted, some of it is just by the double-edged sword that Star Trek has been for all of us.
For more from Frakes visit startrek.com.
Frakes continues to be busy as a TV director and is currently working on his second episode of The Good Guys. If you missed it, Fox released this fun behind the scenes video from Frakes’ first time director for the show.