Jonathan Frakes Directing Episode of ‘V’ + More Frakes Updates

TNG’s Riker, Jonathan Frakes is one of the Star Trek actors who got on the job training as a director during his time with Trek, which led to him directing two Trek feature films. Frakes continues to direct for film and TV, and now comes news that he will once again be directing aliens. Frakes is slated to direct an upcoming episode of the ABC sci-fi remake V. More info below, plus more on what The Beard has been doing lately.



Frakes directing V

According to Spoiler TV, Frakes is directing episode 6 for V, which went into production today. The episode will be the first appearance of the character John May, who is the leader of the “5th column” of V aliens. TV Guide reports that Battlestar Galactica’s Michael Trucco has been cast as May. The episode is slated to air April 6th according to IMDB. The episode is being written by V co-executive producer Charles Murray and Natalie Chaidez, a former exec producer on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, who recently joined V.

Frakes keeping busy + podcast interview

Jonathan has been keeping busy, mostly as a TV director. In the last year he has directed episodes for Leverage, Castle, and Dollhouse . His most recently aired work was "LD50", an episode of the new CBS show NCIS: Los Angeles which aired February 2nd.

Frakes also directed two episodes of the upcoming mysterious NBC series Persons Unknown. No date yet on when those episodes will air, but you can watch the trailer at

But he has also kept his hand in at acting. Frakes appeared as a bad guy doctor in the Criminal Minds episode "The Uncanny Valley", which aired in January. Here is a clip from that.

Late last year Jonathan was the guest on the NDB Media Podcast, hosted by Roger Noriega. On the show he talks about his recent career, but also a lot about his directing work on Star Trek, comparing TNG, to DS9 to VOY and more. You can listen to that below.


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frakes as a bad guy…no bueno

Man, I’d love to see Riker be a bad guy, that’d be funny.

For the record, best Frakes performance (and one of the best single-episode Star Trek performances, period) is “Frame of Mind”. That “I am not insane” monologue gets better as the episode goes on.

I think Frakes best was “The best of both worlds”

Frakes is second only to Shatner for space chicks.

I watched this Criminal Minds….was waiting for the whole episode to see when he would appear. Good episode!

Also watched the NCIS he directed….pretty cool.

Was surprised that this Frakes update didn’t come sooner!

Good to see he’s keeping busy!

Wow, if that’s what regular eps of “Criminal Minds” are like… I’m disgusted.

First off, criminal profilers are crap. As in, they’re often worse at figuring out who did it than if the police decided to use coin tosses to decide arrests.

Secondly… I think that guy would have been sued out of existence for making accusations on the basis of no evidence.

When will we see Captain Riker on the starship Titan in a made-for-TV miniseries???

@6: It’s Hollywood criminology. You might as well get het up about the Hollywood science in CSI. Just sit back and enjoy the performances.
(That being said, they’d better be VERY strong performances. And I don’t think I’d be a fan of Criminal Minds myself.)

That being said, I want to hit that smug little twit with a polo mallet, even though he probably ended up being right.

One of the best Riker episodes was “The Pegasus”. Great performances from Jonathan Frakes and Lost’s Terry O’Quinn. “Best of Both Worlds”, “Second Chances”, “Frame of Mind” and “Parellels” were great episodes. While technically not a Riker episode, “Parellels” contained a classic scene in which thousands of Enterprises from thousands of realities appear in a reality where Worf was Commander and first officer.
The scene featured a scraggly-bearded Riker from a parellel reality where the Enterprise was the last remaining ship left after the Borg conquered the Federation. “The Pegasus” contained some great scenes between Admiral Pressman and Commander Riker, with an arguement ensuing after Riker tells Pressman that he cannot keep the Pegasus experiment a secret anymore. I don’t understand why the producers needed to revist that episode for “These Are The Voyages…”.

I love Frakes.

Am I crazy, or does Jonathan look kind of like the Shat in this clip?


Great episode choices. I agree. That scene in “Parallels” with a desperate Captain Riker screaming “We won’t go back!!!” is haunting to say the least.

Oh, and a big ditto about “These Are The Voyages…” as well. “Demons/Terra Prime” will always be the finale of Enterprise for me. Peter Weller was his usual awesome self, and the recorded speech of Colonel Green was another great reference to TOS in the fourth season. Too bad we never got a fifth (to watch).

#12 That scene shows just how easily events can unfold in different ways.
In one universe, “our own”, Picard is rescued from the Borg. The Borg are defeated. In another universe, Picard is killed during a battle with the Borg.
And in yet another reality, the Federation is conquered by the Borg. Classic.

Gross. I hated that scene. Good to see Frakes acting again — I’ve always really like him but UGGGH!!! I hated that noxious butt wiesel supposed investigator with that ratty hair, far too young to have that job. What an obnoxious thing. Way to deprive a real actor of a good job. Just grotesque.

And he was a bit Shatnerish, putting on a bit of weight I see, and going gray. Damned age and the games it plays with people.

I easily prefer Frakes behind the camera than in front. No disrespect meant, but that is clearly where he is supposed to be.
I’m one of the very few adults on the planet that really enjoyed Thunderbirds!

Frakes is the man.

Frakes is a legend, love the guy

He is a great director and actor.

As a director he always crafts great shots.

Glad to see he’s still getting steady work.

I remember seeing him play a very young suspect on an old repeat of Hill Street Blues. So he’s been working in television for a very long time.

I wonder how things would have turned out had Frakes directed the last Next Gen film.

I guess we will never know.

Frakes always comes off as a decent guy in real life. I like his directorial choices, and would love to see him work a really good Trek script… say, what’s he up to in 2011? It would be interesting to see the sense of scale he brought to “First Contact” in the JJ-Verse. His sense of visual dynamics is similar in that scale is less important than drama. Compare the Enterprise dropping out of warp at Vulcan and the impossibly huge saucer to the impossibly big Enterprise dwarfing the Defiant when arriving to face the Borg. Both scenes fall apart if you get out the rulers, but are extremely effective in conveying the visceral reaction the directors want you to have for the respective images.

#22 surely he wouldn’t have had that much say in the fx?


BTW, that episode of Criminal Minds was totally creepy. He was the only redeeming factor of the episode!

I predict V will be cancelled by the end of season 1. Just nothing going on there storywise. They took a great concept and completely defanged it..

I wonder if he’s still living in Maine while traveling to do all this directing stuff–Actually saw him in an episode of Voyagers! where he played Charles Lindbergh. Too bad that show didn’t last longer–I loved the history they portrayed in that show.

Somehow it bothers me to see Frakes as the bad guy. He’s practically typecast into being a leader and a good guy through Riker specifically. I think it wasn’t Frakes acting but the horrible show of which is Criminal Minds. I never watch the show and that clip alone reminds me why I never will again.

I regret that Frakes only real, epically delivered line in his theatrical Star Trek days was: “Fire”, from Generations. He delivered a lot in the series too, most notably ‘Mr Worf, Fire.’ from Best of Both Worlds.

Glad to see he’s still got a busy schedule. The fanboy in me would enjoy seeing Riker in a miniseries – a well thought out and budgeted miniseries.

I’m 24 and film of Frakes from 20 years ago still stands the test of time!

Directing, he needs to be on screen! He’s too good lookin’ to be stuck behind a camera. ;)

Speaking of 24, I think Jonathan Frakes would be perfect on the TV show 24. THey have some over-acting thug as the leader of CTU this year. That job would be perfect for Frakes. I think that show would be perfect for him. And there are some Star Trek alumni in the writing room, they should get a good role for him.

I wish he was directing the next star trek movie. First Contact was better than the new movie that came out in 2009, in my opinion.

That Criminal Minds episode was one of the creepiest ones ever… *shudders* I had no idea that Jonathan Frakes would be in it so it was quite a surprise to see him there although I would have preferred not to see him in that kind of role. Seems like all the Trek alumnus who have been on that show have played creeps (Wil Wheaton, Ethan Phillips, John Billingsley).

#15 –

Matthew Gray Gubler isn’t too young to play that character since Spencer Reid is supposed to be a genius with about 3 or 4 PhDs under his belt. He has that job because he can and he’s probably more intelligent than all the other members of the FBI combined.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Frakes to direct the next Trek movie either.

“32. Nick Cook – February 17, 2010
I wouldn’t mind seeing Frakes to direct the next Trek movie either.”


Wonderful! To a great actor and director! Love his work. And V yet. Ok let’s get Jane Badler back as Diana.Anna’s mom maybe? Then WILL be cooking..not people LOL

The more I think about it the more I realize how much of an uncredited talent Fakes is. I personally think he was the best Trek director and did a great job with Riker, who seemed to be written as more of a two dimensional character and Frakes brought out something else in him, along with a good evolution from Encounter at Farpoint to Nemesis. Its good to see that he’s still acting and directing.

As for Frakes aging like Shatner well like any fine wine we all improve with age. Happens to the best of us, not to mention the rest of us! Keep up the great work be it acting or directing The best in both worlds!

@23- well, he was director. I don’t know how closely Paramount (read B&B) were keeping an eye on him for the film, but I would imagine he had some form of control. JJ got to approve the SFX for Trek 2009 as I understand…

In regards to First Contact Rick berman was the producer and Brannon Braga the writer along with Ron Moore. It was a great script and a great blance of action and character. It’s a pace I prefer because it fast and it has action yet has moments in between the action. The scenes between the Borg Queen and Data were brilliant.

I do find it amazing the Brannon Braga gets lumped in with Berman on Nemesis when he had nothing to do with the movie, he was a showrunner on Enterprise but Brannon Braga’s last movie was First Contact as a writer.

He is great writer and wrote a lot of the cool concept episodes I loved in the show.

Yes he wrote some trash (Threshold) but he wrote a number of my favs.

Oh I think Jonathan Frakes had a say but I think he defined his style with Insurrection but First Contact is the superior movie. I loved First Contact loads and Frakes is an excellent director.

Yeah, character relationships in V have been pretty corny and predictable — I’m hoping it finds its legs…

#7: “When will we see Captain Riker on the starship Titan in a made-for-TV miniseries???”

As much as I would love to see this, it is not going to happen. Heck, I’d like to see Paramount follow MGM’s lead by releasing TREK movies direct-to-DVD. Still, not going to happen.

Here’s my reasoning. Paramount surely recognizes that fans grew weary of a steady diet of TREK over the past 19 years (up to 2005). I know some fans claim that ‘Enterprise’ brought the franchise down. I disagree with that notion, feeling ‘ST:E’ was great television!

Watching the TV ratings slide and the box office receipts diminish surely has served a lesson that if TREK is to survive and flourish it must pick a medium and do it well. Aside from TREK, I am hard pressed to think of other mediums that have done well by doing copies of itself (yeah, I know ‘Law & Order, CSI’ and the ‘JAG/NCIS’ series have done well, but other TV shows’ sequels rarely have done well).

Paramount spent a great deal of money on the last movie and we can expect the same for the next. They are not going to jeopardize that by permitting other stories that will weaken interest in the franchise.

In other words, Paramount is protecting its flagship franchise!


I would love to see a lot more of TREK. I think a continual series of direct-to-DVD movies by rotating the various TREKs could be a lot of fun–we could get new stories of TNG, DS9, ENT and VOY– and even unaffiliated adventures, but I think it is most assuredly in Paramount’s best interests to keep us wanting for more by limiting what we get. –sigh–

#41 I agree with everything you said. But I think it is possible for Paramount to give fans something to chew on while not filling them up before the next movie. A couple of animated or live action “Titan” or “Enterprise” t.v/dvd movies can’t hurt. A little something to tide the fans over. Perhaps if Bob and Alex find some time after they write the sequel, they can come up with something.

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