This past week Chicago was home to the first stop for Creation’s Star Trek-themed Continuing Voyages Tour. The weekend-long con featured panels involving several prominent Star Trek actors including the cast of The Next Generation. On Saturday, during the reunion panel, Jonathan Frakes let slip a major spoiler for Star Trek: Discovery. During Sunday’s panel alongside Brent Spiner, he was a bit more tight-lipped. Even though he didn’t drop another bombshell on the audience, he did have some sage words of wisdom for the crowd, and there was some bits of fun too including a cameo from Karl Urban.
Frakes draws Discovery parallel to launch of TNG
During the Q&A panel, a fan said she was originally hesitant about Star Trek: Discovery until she learned Jonathan Frakes was directing an episode. As she told Frakes, “You wouldn’t let the ship go off the rails”. After Frakes joked about the “mixed metaphor” of that statement, he assured fans Discovery won’t disappoint.
“There are people skeptical about Discovery. Which I was experiencing 30 years ago on The Next Generation, which was how loyal the fans were to Kirk and Spock and Bones. Some are more aggressive than others… and I deserve to let you know they know what they’re doing.”
Frakes definitely has some experience with hardcore Trekkies. As shown in the image below, some fans were very skeptical and vocal about their disapproval of The Next Generation before the show aired in September 1987. One fan even wrote to Paramount as part of a write-up campaign asking the producers to put the show “in another space-time continuum”.
Urban ribs Spiner’s ‘Resurgence’ as Frakes praises Urban’s McCoy
Coincidentally enough, having Star Trek exist in another space-time continuum was exactly what happened with 2009’s Star Trek reboot directed by J.J. Abrams. Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy in the Kelvin Timeline films, crashed the panel as a way to pay back Brent Spiner for crashing his. He appeared at the mic and in a funny voice mimicking Spiner’s, joked about how his favorite Brent Spiner movie was Independence Day: Resurgence.
“My favorite movie of yours is Independence Day. Independence Day 2 is a masterpiece. Not only is it a disaster movie… but it is also a disaster of a movie.”
Frakes later went on to praise Urban’s performance as McCoy. Brent Spiner also pointed out how Frakes said at the time Urban’s performance was his favorite in the 2009 film. He also joked about not being invited to the premiere of the film.
“Jonathan did say those very words [how good Urban was] because he went to the premiere when [2009’s Star Trek] came out and said, ‘Karl Urban was great!’” And I thought… why wasn’t I invited?”
Frakes reiterated his praise during the panel, once again singing Urban’s talents.
“My favorite performance in the film was [Karl Urban’s]… he totally inhabited the spirit of DeForest Kelly.”