Thursday’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery features the return of a Star Trek: The Next Generation veteran from in front and behind the camera.
The return of Frakes for “New Eden”
The second episode of Star Trek: Discovery’s second season is titled “New Eden,” and it was directed by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jonathan Frakes. This is Frakes’ second time directing for Discovery. CBS has released a promo highlighting Frakes’ return and it includes footage of him directing the new episode (so minor spoilers).
NOTE: Like all CBS videos, it is region-locked to the USA.
The promo also shows Frakes’ TNG co-star visiting the set during the filming of “New Eden” last May, something that sparked a lot of speculation at the time. “New Eden” is the first of two episodes directed by Frakes for Discovery’s second season.
“New Eden” Trailer
In case you missed our post from yesterday, a trailer for “New Eden” has been posted by Netflix (and is viewable to all).
“New Eden” will be available on CBS All Access, Thursday, January 24 at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT. In Canada the episode will air on Space also on Thursday at 8:00PM ET/5:00PM PT. It will be available on Netflix Friday (January 25) morning.
More behind-the-scenes from “Brother”
If you are a fan of behind-the-scenes details it is worth following executive producer and director Olatunde Osunsamni, who in the last few days has been posting some interesting stuff from the production of the season two premiere “Brother,” directed by Alex Kurtzman.
Here is some footage of Burnham on the asteroid.
Better angle of Burnham running for her life in the middle of explosions. Nothing about this sequence was easy! #brother #StarTrekDiscovery pic.twitter.com/eLeDwlSKAt
— Olatunde Osunsanmi (@CenterWillHold) January 23, 2019
And here are a couple of shots of Kurtzman working with the crew.
Alex Kurtzman/Glen Keenan on a Director/DP scout in Disco hallways. #brother #StarTrekDiscovery #spock They literally had hours of conversations about what they were planning to do. pic.twitter.com/mVdJatWn59
— Olatunde Osunsanmi (@CenterWillHold) January 22, 2019
Weeks of prep went into #brother. Here’s Director and Showrunner Alex Kurtzman walking DP Glen Keenan through the stairway sequence in Sarek’s House on our tech scout. Alex always knew precisely what he wanted. #StarTrekDiscovery pic.twitter.com/xdAKzHHR0a
— Olatunde Osunsanmi (@CenterWillHold) January 22, 2019
For more, check out Osunsanmi’s Twitter at @CenterWillHold.
Star Trek: Discovery is available exclusively in the USA on CBS All Access. It airs in Canada on Space and streams on CraveTV. It is available on Netflix everywhere else. The second season debuted on All Access and Space on Thursday, January 17th, 2019, and on Netflix January 18, 2019.
Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.
Now I need to know what’s written on the set dressing stickers in Disco. Please post in ultra high-def.
Noticing those transparent displays aren’t fully CGI… interesting.
The transparent displays are not CGI at all. They’re practical on set transparent OLED displays.
@Matt Wright — seriously? They’re not projection Halo screens, used on most other TV shows?
They’ve talked about it a few times. I’m making an educated guess about it being OLED. I don’t know the exact display tech, since both LCD and OLED are able to be made in translucent versions for fancy retail displays, museums, etc. Samsung, LG, and Panasonic have commercial display divisions that do displays like that.
They said they got cutting edge early samples straight from a manufacturer (didn’t say which one of course) when they built the sets in 2017.
The displays on the Discovery bridge set look a lot like these:
@Matt Wright — cool. Those seem like an expensive solution, and TV usually tries to do things for much less, but yeah, it’s within the realm of possibility.
They spent a ton of money on the Discovery bridge. So it’s really not surprising. Remember they ran over budget just getting season 1 off the ground.
Wow, I’m actually sorta surprised that so much of the Asteroid/Hiawatha set seen in “Brother” existed as an actual, physical set. But then again, all they needed was basically a “dirtied-up” warehouse.
Also: I’ve come to see Frakes in the director’s chair as a really good sign. While he did of course direct a couple of “meh” episodes/films and even real stinkers (“Sub Rosa”, “Meridian”, “Star Trek: Insurrection”), they’re very much outweighed by all the great stuff he directed (“The Offspring”, “The Drumhead”, “Cause and Effect”, “Star Trek: First Contact” – the latter having its share of weaknesses, script-wise and conceptually, but I’m fairly it’s usually considered the best TNG film mostly due to its direction!) and as far as DISCO is concerned, “Despite Yourself” was probably my favourite episode of the entire MU-arc.
Star Trek First Contact was terrible but hilarious to watch. Generations is the best TNG film.
Love that guy. I believe he’s one of the biggest beneficiaries of, and contributors to the sci-fi resurgence we’ve witnessed over the past couple of years, and seems to be enjoying the hell out of it. Good for him!
I eat up all of this. And it was so nice to see Marina Sirtis on set, as a TNG kid it just makes my heart smile. “Despite Yourself” was one of my favorite episodes from session 1 so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
Frakes should direct the Picard pilot but CBS may no be on board with that (getting the pilot is on par with a feature film assignment).
Considering he has several feature films on his resume, it isn’t out of the question.
I bet Kurtzman does it
A pilot sets up the visual style for a show. Directors of later episodes are generally expected to follow the established style. Last year Frakes talked about how he tried to follow Discovery’s style when directing his episode. So the question is: Would CBS and the producers trust Frakes to define a visual style for the Picard show? After last week’s episode I could imagine that Alex Kurtzman might take a shot at directing the pilot. That is, unless he wants to make sure the two shows differ also in shooting style.
Kurtzman has said a few times now that the Picard show is a different beast. Also we know CBS wants different styles of shows, so I’m sure it will look a bit different.
Already we’ve seen different styles for Discovery: season 2 is very “big budget movie” style, season 1 was not, it was much grittier.
@Matt Wright — aside from style, the director also gets royalties for establishing the series, which is why directing a pilot is a major get. The director may never be hired again, but they get checks forever. There’s financial incentive to keep all the money in one pot for the producers as well if they can.
That’s it in a nutshell so they’ll likely go with someone already involved with the current franchise.
I think it’d be nice if they got a visual stylist who has been forgotten, Dave Carson. He did wonders on TNG and DS9 and made the most of a cheap-out situation on GEN. But it has been over a decade since he shot anything, so that’s not going to happen.
Thinking of other Stewart associates … Just not Bryan Singer, okay?
I agree that the visual style has changed from season 1 to “Brother”. I’m not just talking aspect ratio. The next episode will show if this is the new default for the show. If so, it seems like Kurtzman took it upon himself to redefine the visual style Discovery is using. He didn’t just want to leave it to another director to realize the changes the producers wanted.
That CBS wants different styles of shows doesn’t necessarily rule out Kurtzman directing the Picard show pilot. Unless he can only do one directing style.
Actually, you’re the one who implied Kurtzman only has one style, when you said:
After last week’s episode I could imagine that Alex Kurtzman might take a shot at directing the pilot. That is, unless he wants to make sure the two shows differ also in shooting style.
And honestly he might well only have one style, he’s really only tried his hand at big cinematic stuff. We’ll see.
But I wasn’t specifically addressing that. I was generally addressing the question of style. I’m sure the Picard show will have a different feel to it, so it won’t look like either season of Discovery.
I have a feeling the Picard show will feel very different just like TNG and DS9 did even though they were in the same period.
And with the Picard show being 140 years in the future they can really go very different with it on every aspect. It doesn’t have to feel like its tying into Discovery all that much outside of both being Star Trek.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything else he has directed. Reading my first post again now it’s true that I kind of suggested that Kurtzman may not direct because they want different styles of shows. I guess I realized later that he could still want to set up the look for the Picard show if he has taken a liking to directing now.
The pilot DIRECTOR doesn’t always set the style though. Often the style is set by the producers in a “style guide”. The pilot director has to follow that just like anyone else, just as David Semel had to in “The Vulcan Hello.”
Yep. Kurtzman isn’t just a director, he’s an executive producer. So as a producer he can set a new visual style for the season based on the changes in tone, and then also being the director for the premiere, he can help execute it.
Sure, the producers will come up with ideas of how they want the show to look. I have no idea how detailed such a “style guide” is but the pilot director is the first to translate those guidelines into an actual look.
There was a clash between Fuller and Semel over how to do the pilot, so I guess the director didn’t have to follow that instruction, since the network backed him instead of the creator.
New Eden trailer also on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLE5SsDByOI
Man I was really hoping when they hired Rebecca and then Jonathan again that they would bring Christian Kane along, I mean Frakes has been working with him since Leverage, and pretty much the whole run of The Librarians, which Rebecca was also on.
I’ve noticed Frakes has been doing TV work lately. In addition to his Librarians, Discovery and Orville jobs I also saw his name on this weeks episode of The Gifted. (Which has Robert Duncan McNeil listed as one of the producers) When was his last feature film?
According to IMDB his last feature film was Thunderbirds in 2004. He directed a TV movie in 2011, but besides that all his directing work seems to be for episodic television. Thunderbirds was a box office bomb. It’s possible that Frakes is no longer pursuing feature films but it’s just as possible that he isn’t offered any.
My guess would be that it’s possible no one is offering him feature jobs anymore. I would guess if they were he would take them unless they got in the way of his producing duties. Which may or may not be time consuming. “Producer” can cover a lot of things.
I just really want to see Christian Kane in Trek. I’ve watched him through 3 series I’ve enjoyed (Angel, Leverage, Librarians) and a number of films (like Queen Latifa’s Taxi), and I know he loves working with Jonathan (saw a video of him holding up a Riker action figure saying “my favorite director”). Plus there are now 2 of his former castmates that have appeared in Trek, as Calypso’s Aldis Hodge played Alec Hardison on Leverage (a hacker whose arch rival Khaos was played by Will Wheaton).
As for Frakes, he likes working in television more than films, much like Robert Duncan McNiel and Roxanne Dawson (who learned how to direct from Frakes). I can’t say how much he gets offered film work obviously but he gets a lot of repeat work on a lot of shows.
“NOTE: Like all CBS videos, it is region-locked to the USA.” Not very world friendly are they. Whatever happened to the World Wide Web.
Probably related to whatever agreements are in place with Netflix for international markets.
After watching New Eden I can say Frakes has done it again! :)
A terrific episode all around. I’m glad he’s going to be part of Trek for years to come.
It was more intriguing than anything they did on season 1, I can tell you. Although they did return to the 44 minute format.
I will be interested to see if Frakes is involved in the new Trek Picard series as director.