Frakes Skewers Paramount – Praises Abrams

At last weekend’s FedCon 16 in Germany Jonathan Frakes let loose on Paramount and the last Trek movie, but then had some nice things to say about JJ Abrams and the next movie. Regarding the box office failure Star Trek Nemesis, the director of two previous films joked "there was a perfectly good director available." He then used a couple empty seats reserved for Paramount to poke some fun at the studio. Holding up the chair signs he yelled out "this is a perfect example, see who is not here…Paramount…need I say more? That speaks volumes." To cheers from the audience he continued, "Paramount doesn’t show up. Paramount doesn’t know what to do with the franchise."

Frakes summed up his thoughts on Nemesis by joking "I’m not bitter" but apparnetly he really is not. The Next Gen actor went on to say the nicest things about JJ Abrams and his plans to continue the franchise without Frakes and his fellow TNG co-stars:

JJ Abrams, who created Lost, which I think is one of the greatest shows on television, has been given the keys to the spaceship and I for one, being the eternal optimist that I continue to be, am very optimistic about what he will do with the franchise, what he will do with the next film and I think all of us who are excluded are reacting in different ways. My feeling is, from the work that he has done and the passion that he has for the franchise and the legacy and the vision of Roddenberry that it will be in good hands…It’s going to happen so we can’t be upset. And I’m very glad that the franchise is carrying on, obviously, but it could be great. And that’s what I hope.

Frakes did an excellent job directing First Contact, the only bonafide hit of the TNG film era. His work was competent on Insurrection, but that film suffered from the ‘too many cooks’ problem and a weak script. (Piller may have been a great show runner and TV writer, but could not migrate to the needs of a feature). Frakes may even have been able to save Nemesis. The script (from Academy Award winner John Logan) had potential in the right hands. Frakes comments above clearly show he lays the blame for the failure of Nemesis on director Stuart Baird and Paramount itself…and there is certainly enough blame to be had on both parts. It is also good to see Frakes not jump on the ‘I hate the Abrams prequel’ bandwagon with some of his fellow TNG castmembers.

Much thanks to Markus Kettner of the German Trek site TrekZone for providing the reporting on Fedcon.

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I’m sure the new Trek movie will be good.

My ” Imzadi”….what in the name of Shatner has happened to your hair!

The “too many cooks” on Insurrection is probably aimed at Stewart – he vetoed a perfectly good script because he wanted a lighter film, with Picard in an “action” role. It was a great missed opportunity.

Re – Insurrection

IMO – It would have been great idea to set Star Trek 9 in the mirror universe…especially since it hadnt been done in TNG (the excellent Yesterdays Enterprise was almost a Mirror universe ep but wasnt the real deal)…..the movies did time travel twice, earth in peril a good few times and also had Khan and a few Khan-a-like villians but no mirror universe…

TOS ep Mirror Mirror and the 2 Enterprise eps In A Mirror Darkly were brilliant …In fact i think that Enterprise 2 parter was better than Treks 9 and 10 put together..

I think what would have been good (and saved everyone from the awful Insurrection) is if at the end of First Contact when Geordie oh so conveniently recreated the wormhole and they went back to the 24th Century – they had ended up in the Mirror universe 24th Century and had to do battle with an evil Picard aboard the Enterprise D…..

He really should have diretced NEMESIS. If he had directed it, I think we would have seen at least one more TREK film with TNG.

I’m still holding on to hope for one more TNG film. If the prequel does well, we may get a TNG sequel.

oh and wasnt Insurrection supposed to be Heart of Darkness done in Trek b4 Stewart demand they lighten up?

as for Nemesis – bah! worthless rip off of TWOK…TNG had already had their WOK with First Contact…why go one further and almost remake it?

Its a pity they could get Nicolas Meyer for one of the TNGs films – I’d love to have seen what he would have done with Stewart

as for First Contact? – great movie the only TNG film that can go up with the best of the original films…

May as well mention Generations i guess – I always thought they should have just remade Yesterdays Enterprise except with the NCC 1701 A instead of the Ent C (coming through the rift just after Trek VI) – therefore aloowing both the crews and Enterprises to share the screen…i mean they bascially remade a few eps from TOS for TMP so why not…

Anyway Frakes is cool – I’ve always liked him..he gave us the best TNG film and although Insurrection was awful it was directed quite well IMO and had a couple of nice moments (Picards discussion with the Admiral about the Prime Directive)…Good to see he’s in favour of the new movie and Abrams.

For the love of god please stop with those Mirror Universe ideas. This is Star Trek and we all know what is it about. If you wanna watch MU stories go watch some show like BSG and leave Star Trek out of that. I’d rather watch a series where Wesley Crusher is the captain of a starship then to watch another MU episode. Yesterday’s Enterprise was no where near an MU story and no wonder TNG didn’t made any. Because they suck.

One thing is sure. The end of Star Trek will be when they make a MU movie or a series. At least the end for me!

Nemesis is many things.. but it is no Wrath of Khan!

re 7 – cmon – A mirror universe movie would have been FAR preferable to Insurrection!

What wrong with the mirror universe anyway? its ok to check in every now and then..the movies never did one and i think they would have done a great one if they had.

I always though a mirror universe would be a bit silly for a movie. Works well enough for the tv shows, but I just don’t see it working in the movies.

I hate how Hollywood chews up and spits out talent, the TNG cast deserve better.

I have always liked Frakes and his attitude here cements that opinion. I hope he gets once more chance to do Riker. Who needs Patrick Stewart anyway? Of course Brent would require a LOT of CG to appear as Data again.

its abit depressing to see Frakes hair – man he used to have great hair in the series…

Get on the shat wagon Frakesy!

anyone know why the new voyages web site is down?

He looks like Ricky Gervais in that top shot…

I respect him for not getting a rug. He just needs a more flattering hair cut to go with what he has.

As for complaining about Paramount, I assume he was just kind of playing to the crowd. He has no reason to complain — they gave a moderately talented actor a 20 year career on-screen, a chance to launch a career directing feature films… by Hollywood standards they treated him pretty well I’d say.

He showed a lot of class in his support of Abrams though. Interesting video.

Insurrection – admittedly, ok I guess.. just couldn’t get past the scene where the big-E was being flown by joystick *shudder*

I’d say Insurrection is the worst of the entire 10 films – worse than Final Fronteir even…

Imo best to worst (in order):

classic – II
all great – III, VIII, IV, VI
ok – I, VII
Bad – X, V, IX

“It is also good to see Frakes not jump on the ‘I hate the Abrams prequel’ bandwagon with some of his fellow TNG castmembers.”

Who? and what have they said? I have only heard, or read about Shatner talking about the next film.

What happened to Frakes’ hair you ask, #2? Well, it’s obvious: he got old!
He needs to get himself a “Shatner Turbo 2000,” at least for his next film role…

And, he may kvetch about Paramount and what they’ve done to the franchise, but hey! he did choose to participate in the abortion that was the “finale” of ENT. (Occasionally decent show, miserable ending.)

Although a complete MU movie would be a bad idea, another crossover, with the MU trying to infringe on ours and take over, would be an awesome movie.

Doubt that Frakes will work for Paramount again. Talk about biting the hand that feeds, or fed you. And I’m sure he still receives revenue for TNG and the films from P.

Though I never cared for any Next Generation Era style Trek, I’ve always found Jonathan Frakes, on a personal level to be a quite personable & diplomatic individual, especially in relation to Classic Trek.; which, as Paramount has determined, is the way to go movie-wise for the future.

As for the other cast members, so what? That’s to be expected. Sour grapes. They had their shot, their time and now it’s come and gone. It’s over, and it ain’t coming back, folks. Get over it already.

re 16 – yeah i thought it was an article about his new stand up show for a second!

(plus isnt Gervais good pals with Abrams? think he appeared in Alias)

Frakes is a pretty alright guy. He’s had massive success with Star Trek, and unlike people like Patrick Stewart, hasn’t got an ego about it.

When First Contact was being made, while Frakes was concentrating on being a director, Stewart was in the gym trying to get buff because he wanted to be like Bruce Willis in Die Hard or something.

In Insurrection, Frakes, again eager to direct and expand on the success of First Contact is vetoed by Stewart who wants more fun and light hearted romance.

I’m surprised Frakes even showed up for Nemesis, absolutely terrible movie with some of the worst direction I’ve ever seen. Stuart Baird may not be a bad editor, especially under the watch of RIchard Donner. But as a director he is simply criminal.

Had Frakes done Nemesis I feel it would have had a chance to be a better movie, with Frakes able to utilise the talents and experience of the production crew.

He’s a good guy and his remarks at this convention ring very true.

# 20… He will not only need to get the “Shatner Turbo 2000”, but soon he’ll be the “Turbo hair club for men” president as well. : (

i Heres a statement Berman made prior to nemesis coming out:

“”I think we are in extraordinary shape,” Berman said in an interview with TV GUIDE. “ENTERPRISE is right on target and a strong success for UPN, and there is great electricity about the movie. The footage – the dailies – look more like a Ridley Scott film or a John Woo film than a classic TREK movie. I think – contrary to rumors – that this is very, very likely not going to be the last movie. If this one does well as I believe it will, it will be a mere matter of weeks – make that days – before Paramount comes to me and says ‘So, when are we going to get to work on number 11?'” ”

Can someone please explain how he came to the conclusion that Nemesis resembled a ridelty Scott or John Woo movie??


Also found this bit – what Stewart had to say about his appearing in Trek X – dosnt sound like he was very happy…maybe they were trying to get him to sign for the same fee he had for Insurrection – not taking into account he was the star of the X Men movies by the time Nemesis was going ahead:

In an interview with the UK magazine EMPIRE, Jean-Luc Picard himself, Patrick Stewart, revealed he almost rejected the role in the tenth TREK film.
“I was a breath away from saying this is not worth the time. An absolute breath away,” Stewart said. “They [Paramount Pictures] were negotiating so uncompromisingly that it had reached the point where humiliation was the only way of settling this and I wasn’t prepared to do that. But luckily the nice thing for actors is that you don’t actually have to walk into those rooms yourself, and you don’t have to answer the phone when they call. It’s a very curious place, Hollywood, in that in the space of the day, someone’s attitude can shift from downright brutality to treating you as a member of the family.”

btw – not spamming – just found these bits of interesting info that fit in with the whole discussion on the TNG movies..

“Nemesis” missed a massive golden opportunity to bring back Spock and wrap up the ambiguious storyline from Spock’s guest role on TNG. Already had a villain in Sela, to see Spock on screen again would have been wild. Why didn’t they throw Wesley a freakin bone? He had been away all those years and doesn’t even get a line?
Again, Berman is the biggest hack alive. Not surprised he had never seen anything Trek related when he got his producing job on TNG in 1986.

re – 29 – Indeed u’d think so…i remember when i heard about Trek X being about the Romulans I thought ‘great – an oppertunity for Spock to come back’

That’d have been cool actually Nimoy as Spock and maybe have him directing too.

Actually enjoyed Nemesis quite a bit, and thought the performances to be engaging. I could watch this time and again. I only wish the “Turn to Stone” effect happened to Shinzon at the end.

Jonathan Frakes seems like a good guy to me. I think he’s always had Star Trek’s best interest at heart. I still think he took that role in the final Enterprise episode simply because he loves playing the Riker character. I also truly believe that he is ok with Trek moving on without TNG. It wouldn’t shock me that IF Star Trek 11 works, IF Star Trek 12 works, that maybe IF Abrams needs a director…Frakes might get the call sometime IF he is available. That’s a lot of IF’s, but I like his positive attitude about everything except Paramount! LOL

I agree with and , Nemesis missed an opportunity with Nimoy. It was the last chance to bring back an Original Series regular. That would have created a lot of buzz and perhaps put asses in seats. “Unification” was a great concept … the Picard clone, not so much.

I will also never understand why they decided to create another DATA – clone instead of finding a way to work in Lore. Lore was a great character and had a lot more dimensions with which to carry an audience’s interest than B4.

29- “Nemesis” missed a massive golden opportunity to bring back Spock and wrap up the ambiguious storyline from Spock’s guest role on TNG.

Thanks for reminding me of YET ANOTHER continuity gaff from that movie. It wasn’t bad enought that B4 appears with no mention of Lore or Lol… there’s also the concept that Piccard was secretly cloned at a time when he should have been an ensign or l-t… or, the Scimitar’s killer WMD that takes 49858745 hours of screentime to unfold… or, my personal favorite, ship’s sensors that can find B4’s brain or most of Starfleet thousands of parsecs away. Nemesis was an unloved wreck of a movie. Damn shame, because the special effects were pretty cool.

I like Frakes. I’d like to see more TNG. But, I think it would be best to establish that the next string of movies have NO CONTACT with old versions of the show. Some of these changes probably won’t go down well with us fans. So be it. If we play it comfortable, the series will die. Period. Time to BOLDLY GO WHERE NO FAN HAS GONE BEFORE.

and now I’ll shaddup

I often wondered how the Romulans obtained Picard’s DNA to make the clone that became Shinzon. I wait, everythime, with baited breath to hear mention of the time Picard and Data were on Romulus and met Spock. I thought that was when they got his DNA, but they never said. I waited for any allusion to Unification, but there was none.

When I first saw the film, Nemesis, I kept waiting for Spock to pop up. I kept hoping that they’d make some kind of mini-series, or a new series that touched on what happened after Nemesis. Do the Federation and Romulans become friendlier? I beleive that it would provide a new opportunity for Trek “explore strange new worlds, and go where no man, or one, has gone before.” I’m sure there are plenty of species in the Romulan portion of the Beta Quadrant that Federation ships never encountered.

34. – I am guilty of continuity flaw now, too. haha I just read your post and remembered that the DNA was taken a long long time before Unification. So, why would they steal his DNA if he were just an lieutenant? Maybe they did it while he was on the Stargazer? But I didn’t think Picard was such a hot shot, yet, in Starfleet.

My God, I like Frakes but, the Shat looks better than he does and he’s 30 years older!


36 – That’s the thing. Baird seems to show such contempt for Trek, his own script, and mostly the audience. Paramount should pass by the next issue-riddle loser instead of making him a director. I will look for Baird’s name… and avoid his movies, if he ever works again.

For those of you who want to know more about Picard being cloned, I suggest reading “Death in Winter”, it’s an interesting twist.

#39: I don’t think many people are going to go read “Death in Winter” for the interesting twist on the clone thing…lol… I’ve heard from numerous people that the book is rather dull (the whole Crusher/Picard love angle). Might as well just share the ‘interesting twist’ on the clone issue with us.


As for a new TNG Movie:

The easiest way to get one made would be as follows:

1. Patrick Stewart picks up a phone

2. Patrick Stewart calls Bryan Singer

3. Bryan Singer picks up phone

4. Bryan Singer says “Hello.”

5. Patrick Stewart says “Hello Bryan. How are you doing?”

6 Bryan Singer says “Hello Patrick! Good to hear from you! I’m doing well! Whats new with you?”

7. Patrick Stewart says “Oh, this and that. I’m working on a new Shakespere production in London and…. (blah, blah, blah, Shakespere, blah,blah, blah, England, blah, blah, blah….)… Listen Bryan, I had a thought the other day… wouldn’t it be cool if you had a chance to direct a TNG movie to end the series!

8. Bryan Singer says “Yeah that would be cool! My schedule is a little full right now, but I would love to do one in the future”

9. Patrick Stewart says “My schedule is a little full too, but maybe after this prequel movie comes out, we can do a new TNG movie!”

10. Bryan Singer says “That would be cool. Lets call Paramount after this new movie comes out and see what they say.”

They got the DNA from the Klingons who taught them a few things they learned from The Search For Spock.

Frakes has commented numerous times that he feels that Insurrection is a wonderful film.
I, for one, agree.
It has nowhere NEAR the plot holes of First Contact, and humorous scenes that are actually funny and not smarmy or forced, again, like similar scenes in FC.
It was film most like the show was.
That alone is a successful trait, one must admit.

I agree with comment #29. Where the hell was Spock? Not even a mention of his name. The guy was on Romulus working on Reunification. How come Shinzon never mentioned him? He certainly knew that Picard knew him since he was so obsessed with him. Makes absolutely no sense.

Forget the movie. Let’s get Trek back on the small screen where it belongs. How about Star Trek: Titan? Make in the antithesis of TNG. Give it that new frontier spirit. Give Riker a crew of whack jobs and have Deanna killed off in the first scene. That way, he can get some space ass.

Re: Tomalak

I had heard about the troubled writing process when Insurrection was in its early scripting stages but I didn’t know that Stewart had jettisoned, what sounds like, a screenplay for a completely different story. Can you give us some details on the plot?



I always enjoyed Frakes work as a director, hes a great showman at conventions and seems to have the fans ear. His post trek work isn’t bad but I would like to see him directing something thats not kid oriented. He does great commentaries on DVD’s versus some Trek people who just plain bore you out silly.

I remember reading that Frakes had problems with Berman mainly during filming of INS. Just over stupid issues. The movie pretty much lost me after the Pinafore scene. With Berman’s inflated do no wrong ego and Piller’s failing health didn’t help this film in the long run. And it shows.

Personally for the TNG films I never bought the idea of Picard being a action hero. Kirks a action hero and Picard is not supposed to be Kirk. In seven years of TNG he was anything but a action hero. Its hard to make a Star Trek film work with a short attention span audience. Everybody wants space battles and no story these days and with Nemises thats what you got.

re: 29. Yelnick McWaWa

How’s the Presidential campaign going?

“Personally for the TNG films I never bought the idea of Picard being a action hero. Kirks a action hero and Picard is not supposed to be Kirk. In seven years of TNG he was anything but a action hero.”

I think that there are enough episode to prove this statement wrong, such as “Starship Mine”. Picard was perfectly capable of being an action hero, but it was in his character to work the diplomacy angle hard before he had to resort to that, and I can respect that. In fact, I like how in “First Contact”, they made a point of showing how going for violence first wasn’t necessarily the best way to handle the situation.

Anyway, on to Frakes. I completely understand where he’s coming from. They canceled TNG on him and he wanted to continue playing Riker. He stated that he couldn’t understand why they were canceling a very popular show. He played Thomas Riker on DS9, and tried to get Berman to do a second story with Thomas Riker. He obviously also had that cameo in the last (and very possibly worst) Enterprise episode. Let’s face it, Frakes is to TNG what Shatner was the the original in terms of always being ready and willing to reprise his role, and do so enthusiastically.

All that said, damn he’s looking old. I really think it wouldn’t hurt him to become a client of the Hair Club for Men and get a face lift. Go ahead and Shatnerize! because after this prequel movie, I’d really like to see either (a) Riker do a Titan movie (or better yet, series), or (b) Riker take command of the Enterprise after Picard retires and pick up, along with the TNG cast members who are willing to come back. I’d be willing to bet that they could still get everyone back except for Stewart and Spiner. I’d really like to see Christine Vale, I think she’s a cool character.

If they did one more Trek film with TNG, and where smart enough to include Nimoy in the picture, it would make money at the box office. Doing a “Star Trek 6” for the TNG crew, where you have peace made between the Romulans and Federation, with Spock again serving as a peacemaker would be a great show.

I’m really grateful that this video is available. There hasn’t been a Trek convention in or near Omaha in years….
That said, Frakes is one of the good guys. My hope is that the powers that be put him to work soon in a Titan movie or series that recaptures the spirit of awe and adventure of TOS and DS9. Let Frakes direct a Trek movie and they will come!

Snake, I can agree with your Trek film rankings, if you switch Generations with Insurrection. Generations was absolutely, shamefully abysmal. I can’t even watch it because it hurts my eyes.

Insurrection, while more like an episode than a feature film, as is often said, was as enjoyable and entertaining as a mediocre TNG episode, which isn’t so bad, really. Generations belongs on the list with Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Regarding The Wrath of Khan vis a vis Nemesis,

I knew The Wrath of Khan. I worked with Wrath of Khan. Wrath of Khan was a friend of mine.

Nemesis, you’re no Wrath of Khan.