Jonathan Frakes Confirms He Is Directing On Star Trek Picard Show, Says ‘Lower Decks’ Is Hysterical

Star Trek: The Next Generation veteran actor and director Jonathan Frakes has revealed some new things about his future on the franchise, his assessment of the expanding Star Trek universe, and what it is like shooting an episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

Frakes focused on directing sci-fi, including Picard show

Jonathan Frakes was a guest on this week’s episode of the Writer Experience podcast, which gets into the nuts and bolts of working in the film and television industry and is worth listening to in full (which you can do below). Frakes spent a lot of time on the podcast discussing his history and his work process. He also gave an update on what is keeping him busy these days as a director, noting that he has been pulled back into the world of sci-fi shows, including one headed by a certain Next Generation co-star:

Now my season looks like Star Trek: Discovery – the new wonderful Star Trek series, the Picard show – which Patrick [Stewart] is launching, and The Orville, which is some people’s new Star Trek. And I just finished The Gifted, which is a sort of X-Men Marvel origins show. So, I am back in that world.

It is not a surprise that Frakes, who has helmed three episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, would be tapped as a director for the Picard series. The first season of the show is expected to have 10 episodes and is set to go into production in mid-April in California, with a planned release in late 2019.

Jonathan Frakes directing Patrick Stewart for the TNG episode “Drumhead” in 1991

Expanding Star Trek TV universe and assessment of Lower Decks

When asked how he sees Star Trek stacking up to the expanding Star Wars universe, Frakes gave his assessment of CBS’ plans for the franchise on TV:

My understanding is that Alex Kurtzman and Secret Hideout are creating a Star Trek œuvre that will hopefully allow fans of Trek to have something fresh to see all the time. That is why Discovery, now that it is a hit, will continue, and they have announced Sir Patrick’s show, which is not titled, that will air after Discovery. And they have announced they are developing a show for Michelle Yeoh, so Empress Georgiou who is a character on Discovery will have her own stories. They have hired the guy from Rick and Morty – [Mike McMahan] – to write an animated show called Lower Decks, which I have seen parts of that are hysterical. So you have one, two, three, four. They’ve got a Nickelodeon connection for a little kid’s Star Trek, so that’s five. So, there is a world that is being created by Kurtzman and his team that will hopefully continue for many years and provide entertainment, and obviously conversation, about Star Trek for decades.

The new series Frakes mentioned have all been previously reported, but his comments add some more context. He also seems to indicate that Star Trek: Discovery will continue into a third season, which is expected but has not yet been officially announced.

His mention of Star Trek: Lower Decks denotes the first time anyone associated with Star Trek has talked about seeing work for the animated comedyThe show was announced last October with a two-season order but is not expected to be released on All Access anytime soon due to the long production times for animation. Showrunner Mike McMahan recently made a joke about this when praising his fellow Rick and Morty writer Michael Waldron, who has been tapped for the new Marvel Loki show coming to the Disney+ streaming service. McMahan sarcastically noted that even though both started working on their shows at the same time, “his is live action, so it’ll be fun to see him rich, famous and finished while I’m still animating Starfleet court scenes.”

Understands being typecast as Riker, prefers directing anyway

When asked if he is still acting, Frakes noted the offers these days are keeping him behind the camera:

For some reason, I have not been getting work as an actor, and some of that is the double-edged sword of having been identified as Commander Riker for so many years. Obviously, Patrick has done very well and gone on to other things and [William] Shatner does a lot of other things. But for a lot of us in the Star Trek universe, there has been a certain typecasting… I have been told there are certain shows and certain parts I don’t get—or some of us don’t get—because we are recognized as Riker, or Troi or Data. So, it is an interesting quandary. So, I always feel blessed and grateful to have learned another craft, which I must say without too much conceit – that I am better at anyway and I enjoy it more.

But he made it clear when it comes to acting he is available and said he recently filmed a part playing himself for a German Netflix series Don’t Try This at Home.

Jonathan Frakes in the 2017 horror film Devil’s Gate

Fun and freedom shooting Discovery

The bulk of the podcast was about the process of shooting, especially on television. Frakes—who has directed three episodes of Star Trek: Discovery—would often use the show as an example, explaining how it differs from some other shows in that it allows more freedom as a director. Frakes tells Writer Experience:

On Discovery, Olatunde Osunsanmi, who is also the producing director, also believes we are free to do and express ourselves visually in an exciting a way as possible. So, the restrictions I mentioned from Castle and Falling Skies I don’t experience on my current shows, where I am encouraged to do what whatever. They want it to be cinematic. The thing about the new Star Treks, like Discovery, is they are very much in the J.J. [Abrams] world of very cinematic. A lot of moving camera. A lot of crane work. So, it is frankly more fun to shoot than sitting on a dolly and looking at a close-up that doesn’t move.

The TNG vet also noted that his favorite part of directing is working with actors, and he sees similarities between his Trek cast and that of Discovery:

My favorite part of the job is directing the acting, and enjoying the actor, and being sure I capture the moments that the actors created for us, especially with actors at the level of some of the stars of these shows. Sonequa [Martin-Green], and Patrick [Stewart]…and Anthony Rapp and Doug Jones. When you give them a note they take the note and you can watch them fine tune it. It’s like a musician, like a fine violin player. They don’t over-dramatize the note. They just tune the instrument ever so slightly in an elegant, creative, stylish way. That’s the real treat of a day’s work.

Jonathan Frakes on the set of Star Trek: Discovery‘s “Despite Yourself” with Shazad Latif and Sonequa Martin-Green

Listen to the full interview

You can listen to Jonathan Frakes on the Writer Experience podcast below.


Keep up with all the news on the Picard show and other upcoming Star Trek TV shows here at TrekMovie.com.

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Tiger2

OOOOOOOOOH YEAH!!! Frakes directing the Picard show, music to my EARS!!! In Frakes we trust!

I would love it if he directed the pilot. But either way, while it was always a foregone conclusion it was going to happen, this is going to thrill the fanbase. The band is coming back together! :)

The bigger question is will we be seeing him as Riker as well??? My vote is yes, but they are trying to keep the bigger surprises under wraps. With Frakes in the know, I suspect we’ll hear the entire premise and the first five episodes within a month though lol.

Glad he likes the direction of Lower Decks. I’m still not sure what to think about that but if Frakes likes it, then it gives me hope I will like it too. And it sounds like Discovery will be back a third season. All great news.

But Frakes directing the sequel to the show that started his career and back with Stewart is incredible. I still pinch myself all of this is even happening. Even though we’ve had Star Trek back for a few years now, for me, it really feels like its TRULY coming back.

Make it so!

Holden

Long con. He’s just directing ‘Picard’ to find a way to make it all about Riker.

Tiger2

LOL, I wouldn’t hold it against him too much though. ;)

Holden

:) Me neither. So excited about this series. I’m curious if the showrunners find a connection between DISC and the new show. There’s gotta be a hook, right?

Tiger2

I’m guessing SOMEONE is thinking of a crossover somewhere lol. It may not happen first season, but if Discovery does get a third season (which I’m pretty sure it will) I am thinking there is going to be some trippy time travel craziness to get Picard to the 23rd century or Discovery to the 24th. I know people who hate Discovery doesn’t want that but as a TV executive its just too good to pass up.

And who knows, maybe the Red Angel is time traveling from the 24th century on orders of a former French captain. It’s a stretch but you never know. ;)

Holden

Yeah. I’m thinking a TV executive who wants DISC to lead directly into the Picard show this year in order to hold the audience might push that kind of creativity. But like you say it’s probably a stretch.

justmyopinion

I bet they are setting it up so Sir Patrick is the Red Angel… Jk

DeanH

Wow that is a stretch but a creative one. Jean Luc has really gone rogue if he is ignoring the temporal prime directive, but perhaps that is what the show is about. We shall see.

Tiger2

I’m joking!

Chuck Abernathy

Horse shit. He is SO not that guy.
Example – ST: FIRST CONTACT originally had Picard on Earth with Riker leading the fight on board the Enterprise. Stewart made the suggestion that inverting his and Frakes roles might make better dramatic sense, given Picard’s history with the Borg.

Those shipboard scenes would have been the bigger challenge for an actor with something to prove. A Shatner in the director’s chair would have balked defensively. Frakes, however, saw that what the writers and Stewart could do with that change would pull the movie together while advancing his lead’s overall character arc and moving Trek forward overall. It also added his chemistry to the scenes at Cochrane’s compound, which enhanced the wonderful, more light-hearted, human moments that better balanced out the intense life or death struggle on the Enterprise.

That’s what a director who is comfortable enough in his own shies can do…submerge his actor-self and give everyone time in the sun. Of all the Trek films, I think it is the best use of the ensemble. It was perhaps a little light on stuff for Gates to do, but it was the best use of the group as a group. I was at a press screening at Paramount, and at the cast event afterward, that was very much the feeling the cast had….there was a lot of pride and happiness in that room, very truly.

Tiger2

Holden is just joking around! :)

Danpaine

Bring it on! Move us forward, Mr. Frakes.

Tiger2

Frakes and Stewart together again moving the franchise forward after 18 years of prequels and reboots.

About damn time Star Trek!

Dave

I remember when TNG came out and I was like NO, NO, NO… won’t watch it. Then I watched it. It was respectful of canon. It allowed some form of closure for Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Scotty. And now an entire generation of fans reminisce about TNG.

For God’s sake give us something new! Pay homage to Picard, Riker, Sisko, and Janeway and move us forward.

Give us another generation of Star Trek to reminisce about 15-20 years from now.

Lastly, blow up Discovery and give a Pike series for “Season 3”.

Tiger2

Agreed! For me, I LOVE seeing Picard and the gang again but I am more vested we get new characters in a new era and if Picard is the only real returning character then basically we are. But I’m pretty sure we are going to get a lot of old characters showing up which I have no issues with, I just hope the show AFTER this will give us a clean slate once the 24th century is established again.

A34

Too bad the 24th century is so boring. They don’t even know how to party. Who plays classical music at a party? Everyone is so repressed, you can’t blame Crusher for getting down with that alien ghost candle man. Poor girl. 😁

Tiger2

Yeah, its boring when you ignore the Cardassians, Borg, Dominion, Section 31, Romulans, Q, The Maquis, Wormhole aliens, Klingons and the rest of the the Delta quadrant. Remove those and there is nothing interesting going on there. ;)

Remind me what makes the 23rd century so ‘interesting’ again? Oh that’s right, Romulans and the Klingons. Klingons are ultra bad again. Yeah we saw how ‘exciting’ the Klingons were were last season (ZZzzz). Maybe Khan will show up again? That went over well last time. I actually would like to see more Andorians though.

I like the 23rd century stories, but judging by the three Kelvin films and Discovery so far, there is zip about 23rd century that has been any more or less exciting. Or am I wrong? And you don’t get most of those guys above which are some of my favorite groups in Star Trek and why I’m excited for a return to the 24th century.

I mean Discovery is 7 episodes in this season, what exactly have they presented they can’t do in the 24th century? Red Angel and the Ba’ul? Seriously? Its a real question. And what’s funny is they are using Section 31 as a big part of their story that came out of DS9 lol. I’m not complaining, just making a point. ;) I love Section 31, one of my favorite groups, so it was great idea to use them. But they are not nearly as interesting so far as they were on DS9 when they were more cunning and mysterious.

But no show has been as interesting since DS9 sadly.

albatrosity

You know what stands out from 23rd century Trek? CHARACTER. I have yet to see characters as iconic as Kirk, Spock and McCoy. They just haven’t been produced. I was born in the 90s, yet I find 60s Trek to be the cream of the crop. Everything was interesting then, somehow. The characters were compelling. TNG is a snooze-fest comparatively. Only Enterprise, of all series, comes close to the excitement that TOS makes me feel. And Disco — well, I’m only up to episode 3 of S2. But it ain’t the same. TOS is the best Trek for me and I’m ready to have that opinion challenged, but I ain’t seen it yet. Everything else seems like a pale imitation. Give us good characters again, PLEASE.

Tiger2

If Kirk, Spock and Bones is the only reason that makes the 23rd century, interesting, then just watch TOS. Seriously. I hear this so much, but was Sulu, Chekhov or uhura that interesting? C’mon, they were just as bland as most other characters. Tell me three interesting things about Sulu? A character that has been around for 50 years. Scotty is fun though, but he’s not someone I want to watch an entire series around.

And all people did was complain about the Kelvin versions of them (well not Bones, everyone loves Karl Urban!) but Kirk and Spock were VERY divided (for the record I liked them). And trust me, the same will happen when the new Spock shows up.

But I just find it funny, how ‘boring’ TNG was and yet they are just as iconic as those guys or TNG wouldn’t be as big as it was. And they certainly wouldn’t be bending over backwards to get 78 year old Patrick Stewart to play Picard again, they would be trying to get 89 year old Shatner again if he was that boring.

For me Star Trek is SO much more! There are about 2 dozens characters I love on these shows from Data to Gul Dukat, Kira, Worf, Janeway, Quark and Shran. I love TOS too but its not the end all and be all for me. Not by a long shot. If it was, I would’ve been bored of Trek long ago instead loving everything else since.

Gary 8.5

I think that one thing that people often don’t focus on is that in the Kelvin Timeline, we are watching younger versions of the people that we know.
And that does affect how we perceive them and their actions.

ML31

I tend to agree, Albatrosity. The Kirk, Spock, Mccoy friendship was really what drove Star Trek. I honestly believe that happened by accident. You just can’t force those things. I can appreciate what TNG did in regards to getting Trek back into the light of popular culture. But let’s face it… There was nothing like the K-S-M dynamic. TNG always felt to me like they were trying too hard to recreate it. Sure, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura… They were part of the crew. But the show was about the big three. The Trek shows since were more ensembles. And they sorta had to be. Once they stopped trying to recreate the KSM dynamic, the shows improved. DS9 and Voyager felt like they weren’t even trying for it. Enterprise probably came the closest with their Archer, T’Pol, Trip combo. But even that felt a little forced.

A34

When I say boring I’m mostly talking about the characters. Everyone on TNG just seems like cardboard cutouts to me.

No one on that show ever changed, Picard gets tortured and in the next episode he’s 100% OK. On DS9 O’brien almost committed suicide and it’s never talked about again.

ML31

Even with the episodic nature of the shows, the TNG characters (save for Worf) were the least interesting of all the spinoffs. It’s like the other shows learned from TNG’s mistakes. It was pretty darn obvious that Kirk was split into Picard and Riker and Spock was split into Data and Troi. (Troi was first envisioned to be fully telepathic until it was decided to scale that back to mere empathic abilities for obvious dramatic reasons.)

A34

@ML31 When I was a young kid I thought Riker was the captain because he was getting the women and having all the adventures. I was always wondering why that old bald guy was giving him orders.

Tiger2

Thats to you, clearly not everybody. But if its fine you feel that way. I feel the opposite and why TNG is my second favorite crew after DS9. But none of this is a consensus, everyone will feel differently about it.

As for no one changing, that’s just how episodic TV worked most of the time. Did anyone on TOS ever change? No, Kirk goes through some plight and the next week it was dropped as well. So I don’t get your point? Every Star Trek show did that at the time because TV was just a different animal.

Today its very different. Trust me, everything in the Picard show will have an effect like we see on DIS because serialize story telling is a different animal and that’s why people like that style of story telling today.

Look I don’t care you don’t like a certain show or era, fine. But you’re coming off like a troll. You were just trying to get a rise out of me, you weren’t trying to have a conversation about it. And I’m pretty sure I know who your other handle was who was banned for trolling last time. Maybe I’m wrong but its just funny that everything you say is literally all the things another poster said her last year but I’ll leave it alone.

Anyway its nothing wrong to have an opinion, but if you’re just trying to bait people you won’t be here too long. If you’re not trying to do that, then OK but its coming off that way.

ML31

Forgive me but how did TNG allow for some closure with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty? Three had guest shots on the show but that is hardly “closure”. Their closure came with The Undiscovered Country.

Gary 8.5

Technically, that would be season 1 especially if you are blowing up the Discovery!
(Please don’t!)

albatrosity

TIGER it’s only been 16 years and 3 months since Nemesis came out, give or take a couple weeks. That’s the nitpicky fanboy response to your comment. But I agree — let’s go forward.

Gary 8.5

16 years?
Where did the all of the time go?
After the box office disappointment of Nemesis, It was easy to think that we might never revisit the world of TNG, apparently, that is not the case.

Professor Spock

I’m happy about the future of Star Trek. I like what CBS is doing with the franchise. They want to create Star Trek to fit for everyone’s needs and tastes. I’m really excited about the Picard Show and Lower Decks. Not so much about the Michelle Yeoh section 31 show. The Nickelodeon Star Trek show is perfect for kids. This is Disney’s strategy for Star Wars and Marvel. To boldly go…

Denny C

They need to give Frakes the pilot. Any director in television wants the pilot, particularly on a show that’s a lock and which he has such a long history with.

ML31

It looks like there is no pilot for the Picard show. It’s been sold already without one.

Spiked Canon

I think he meant to say Premier. I know with Discovery they tended to follow the directing style from the premier so this could give Frakes an opportunity to make a footprint.

Joe

It’s only a matter of time before a third season of Discovery is greenlit. Can’t wait to see Picard show, even Section 31 series has got me halfway interested. I really don’t think Lower Decks is something I will like but I will probably give it a try anyway and if the Nickelodeon show is anything like the original animated series then it should be good.

TG47

Mixed feelings here…

I was hoping to hear that Jonathan Frakes will have an executive producer / showrunner or other substantive role on the Picard show. Or perhaps the onside producing director role like Olatudne Osunsamni.

Directing a couple more episodes of Trek products is great…but somehow I was thinking that Kurtzman might be bringing him further into the tent.

Tiger2

To be fair though, we don’t know if Frakes want any of that kind of responsibility. For the last 20 years he’s been both an actor and a director with some producing credits for shows like Roswell but he’s never had a direct hand in the story process. Even the Star Trek movies he directed I don’t think he had any producer or writing credits on them like others have had in the past. We don’t know if that was his choice or not but considering he directed both without them he probably was just happy making the film itself outside of notes here and there.

But they clearly value his input and I would love that he directed the pilot and a handful of episodes. And I’m just happy they are getting people who really know and understand Star Trek, especially TNG era. My favorite Discovery episodes so far included both of his and New Eden is my top favorite in the series currently.

Professor Spock

Tiger2 what do you want from the Picard show? The Picard show is the most exciting Star Trek production in years. Thumbs up to Alex Kurtzman and crew!

Tiger2

Honestly I am WIDE open to anything! I don’t want to put anything in a box until we at least know what it is first. Sure I have my geeky fan boy wish list of stuff I would like to see like a new Enterprise and all of that. But I really want to just focus what they have plan and go from there. This is the first time we are FINALLY getting back to the 24th century and to expand the universe again with one of the most iconic characters in the franchise, I’m not going to over think on how I would like to see that developed. And they say its going to be very different from the show so I’m holding them to that. ;)

Of course I do hope we at least get the spirit of the TNG stories and philosophy again, which is what really matters to me. To be honest, I was a little concerned after it was announced. After watching the Kelvin movies (which I liked including STID, but they were a bit too flashy and dumbed down for Star Trek) and the first season of Discovery I wasn’t sure if they were really up to the task. BUT with season 2 so far has changed my mind significantly that they at least get Star Trek and now telling the types of stories long time fans like me has missed for decades. Pike comes off like a Picard in many ways. So I have faith the show can do TNG and the 24th century proud!

How about you?

TG47

I got a bit of a feeling from another recent interview that Frakes has a couple of regrets…

First, having to pass on directing the pilot of Roswell (a product of his own production company) in order to direct First Contact.

Second, making the choice to turn down Nemesis in order to get more non-Trek bullets on the CV.

So I was musing that growing in on the production side via Trek might be something he would go for now.

Tiger2

Yeah I think we ALL regret he didn’t direct Nemesis lol. The script was definitely a big part of the problem but man so much about the direction in that film was just poor. I mean Willaim Shatner Star Trek V poor and even Shatner at least kept the chemistry of the characters great.

I did read somewhere a few weeks ago he didn’t want to be known as the Star Trek director as well but at this point in his career he’s directed so much non-Trek now its probably exciting to be working on a Star Trek production again. I doubt before Discovery he thought he would ever be so involved with anything with Trek again. And now he may have two jobs, directing and (fingers crossed) acting.

I read that Paramount asked Nick Meyer to direct Nemesis – and he said he would – but he wanted to re write the script. Paramount were too stubborn so Nick Meyer walked.

I’ll postulate that Nick didn’t want to direct basically a remake of his own film and wanted to change it and paramount wanted to end on basically a remake of TWOK.

But still. A Nick Meyer directed final TNG film ? Big loss.

skyjedi

I don’t know about that, i do know they offered Leonard Nimoy Generations. He turned not only the directing job down but also playing Spock. They wrote out the Bones and Spock scenes that would have been at the beginning of the film and swapped them with Chekov and Scotty.

Professor Spock

The only reason I signed up for CBS All Access is the Picard show

Mark Calcagno

Maybe wait a few months until it exists. You’re money is going to Disco right now.

Danpaine

Yeah, was gonna say, you’ve jumped the gun by several months.

Professor Spock

My favorite Star Trek Discovery episodes are “The Sound of Thunder” and “New Eden”. What’s your favorite Star Trek Discovery episode?

Most of S2 so far are so good with the exception of Point Of Light which was a S1 leftover. And basically a wrap up.

Danpaine

“New Eden” as well, Professor. A close second is the first episode this season, “Brother.”

ML31

I still think Lethe was the best episode of the series. New Eden was the best of the 2nd season, however.

albatrosity

That’s disappointing since it’s the last full episode I’ve watched. And I didn’t think much of Lethe, even though everyone praises it. I still think the 3rd episode of the first season is the best, if only cuz it introduced so many interesting elements — only to discard them entirely later on.

More Troubles More Dribbles

Very happy to see that Frakes has found his element. I could see him Commandant of Starfleet’s new academy campus in the heart of Alaska…

Make it so, Number One.

TG47

Admiral Riker of the USS Titan would be fine by me.

The relaunch books did well by his character in my view. Kirsten Beyer has been very much part of the core relaunch writing team. While she has the acknowledged that the books and comics may have to be left aside for plot on TV, I hope that they can respect the work….

AJinMoscow

I certainly hope the Picard showrunners continue to typecast him as Will Riker, and get him in the series as well.

gwarden019

As many people have already stated, I am extatic to see Frakes directing at least an episode of the Picard series. Knowing that there are 5 different Trek projects in the works or ongoing also excites me. For those naysayers out there you may say, “It’s too much; it’s going to fail”, let me offer two different viewpoints.
I don’t know who said this and I’m sure I’m paraphrasing it, but you can learn more from failure than from success. You learn what not to do and what potentially can be done to make it better. Kurtzman, in my opinion, is making calculated risks in hopes to draw more people into watching Star Trek. I truly hope that it works well in that aspect. If something does fail, at least he’ll know what not to do.
Looking back on TNG, DS9, VOY, and ENT (which I grew up on and love to this day), the producers and show runners found a model and stuck to it (for the most part) for 18 years. By the time Enterprise finished, there was definite fatigue on the franchise. I feel that those in charge right now are trying to keep the audience engaged and happy while continually finding ways to avoid that fatigue. Time will tell if they succeeded, but I believe the future of Star Trek looks bright.

DataMat

18 years continuous is a long run for a sci-fi series.
If the current run goes that long, then we could have Star Trek around until 2035… puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Tiger2

Which is why I find it funny people are shocked Star Trek had fatigue. I’m trying to imagine if the advent of Discovery means we are in for another solid 20 years of Trek stories? Part of me is excited over the prospect of course, while the other part of me is scared shitless thinking about it lol.

And the beauty of that original run (which few people never seem to mention) is that no one making these shows in their right mind thought it was going to go that long or it was ever planned to. I think when TNG started, it was just suppose to be TNG and a few more TOS movies and nothing beyond that. I remember reading somewhere they were hoping the show made it to five seasons they would count their lucky stars if it was that successful.

Instead it spawned 3 more shows and the franchise went on for 25 seasons along with four movies. And 25 seasons is 8 and a quarter times of TOS original run. If Enterprise was more successful it could’ve went another 3 seasons like the others, but sooner or later it was going to need a break. I would be stunned if CBS can maintain Star Trek that long again without a few years break somewhere…but with all the shows in development it looks like they are up for the challenge. ;)

Going to be an interesting couple of years if nothing else.

albatrosity

2035 — let’s think about that year for just a second. We know precious little about the future except for one thing, climate change. And 2035 is halfway to 2050, when we’re expecting 200 million refugees to be fleeing swamped coastal cities and megadroughts that curtail our food supply, not to mention an additional 2 billion humans on Earth to feed. It begs the question: when is Trek going to provide a climate change allegory? When will our culture adapt to the inevitable future that we face? It’s really scary that we can think in these abstract terms of 16 years in the future, yet few if any of us have any real sense of what that will entail. Will we be watching television in 2035? Or will we be evacuating our cities? I guess we’ll have to see. But I think it’s time Trek, of all things, addresses this paramount issue.

alphantrion

By the way in case anyone is interested I watched Devil’s Gate and found it to be better than expected. It was more of a sci-fi horror and Johnathan had a bigger part in it than I expected, but of course it is a supporting part.

Harry Ballz

Frakes is carving out a nice career as a director. As he admits, that’s where his true talent lies.

Oh, I will most definitely listen to this.

GermanTrekkie

Now can anyone please tell me which german netflix production he played himself in – i am too lazy to do my own research XD (maybe something upcoming we don`t know about yet?)

Drongo

Yes, I am interested too! Nothing shows up at Google or IMDB

This all I can find for the show he filmed a guest appearance on:
https://media.netflix.com/en/press-releases/its-a-wrap-on-dont-try-this-at-home

He appears as a fictionalized version of himself, as the host of his old show ‘Beyond Belief.’

German Trekkie

Thanks bro!!! Kudos to your google skills (seriously, I failed miserably ;)
The concept sound mad tho

dsgsdg

This is fantastic news

Dr Beckett

Love Frakes, am always happy to see a Trek alum doing well and keeping busy.

Now I’m just waiting for them to greenlight a spinoff simply called “Star Trek,” set aboard the USS Enterprise and commanded by one Christopher Pike… or even a limited series of 2 or 3 feature length episodes, kinda like the British Sherlock series.

Spiked Canon

I agree. They can’t let Pike, Spock and the Enterprise move away indefinitely

Iconian

I’m okay with a hiatus from the Enterprise. JJ films, now Discovery… Let’s get back to it in 5 or 6 years.

DeanH

Very interesting perspective from Frakes regarding the atmosphere of creative freedom granted the directors of Discovery. This freedom definitely creates shows that are absolutely cinematic and stunning in their look and feel, while others are visually a little difficult to watch at times because of all the movement. This may be a little annoying to some fans who prefer the older formulaic visual feel that we grew up with watching our CRT television shows, however I assume freedom to try different things from the directors chair will attract some of the finest directing talent. That seems like a good price to pay – at least from this fan’s perspective.

The Recursion King

What a living legend. Good man.

ML31

I wish I knew if Frakes endorsement of Lower Decks was a good thing, a bad thing or meaningless. Thus far that is the upcoming show I am most looking forward to. I didn’t think it started production yet. I suppose it could be he has only seen a script. If it is further along than that I’m now wondering what the voice talent is ….

Afterburn

As I’ve said before, Frakes is a company man. Until and if the show comes out and bombs he’s going to do nothing but talk about how great it is. This is not a criticisim of him, just a fact. It behoves him to praise the work on deck (no pun intended).

ML31

Which is why, while I do not know for certain, I suspect his endorsement of something that has not even really begun yet is meaningless.

Danpaine

Of course anyone involved is going to say what’s coming up is the best thing since sliced bread. What are they going to say, “…stay tuned for something really mediocre you may hate?”

Tiger2

Yes I’m waiting for the day when Alex Kurtzman tells us which one of his upcoming 12 Star Trek shows are ‘not that great’ or ‘just gonna be OK’. Its silly, everyone is a ‘company man’ when they work on these projects. I can’t think of one interview where someone from the Discovery cast and staff didn’t say the upmost praise about the show, other cast members and producers even when we know behind the scenes things have been an absolute mess at times.

Its the nature of the business. Its the nature of most businesses if you want to stay employed with them.

Iconian

Sure, but he didn’t have to mention Lower Decks at all, or offer an actual opinion about it. I choose to take the Big Man at his word. I have a good feeling about the show.

Chris

I have 1 question, is this New Star Trek going to be on CBS tv or it going to be like Star Trek Discovery and be closed to the public that does not have the CBS live stream?.

Danpaine

This will be “closed to the public” as well, Chris. You have to purchase CBSAA separately to view it.

Iconian

They’re all ticketed for CBS All-Access, except for the animated kids show. Just think of it as a Star Trek streaming service, soon to have 4 original Trek shows. I actually think it’s pretty awesome, but understand that it’s not for everyone.

Steve Someone

I won’t pay to watch Star Trek.

And they won’t pay for you to watch Star Trek for free. Stalemate.

Afterburn

Please go back and post this in 2016, it still won’t change anything but at least it will be relevant.

Iconian

Ok. Never gone to a Star Trek film? That’s about two months of CBS All-Access. Better value than the film.

ML31

I would disagree. The three KU films provided much better Trek entertainment for the cost compared to subscribing to CBSAA. At least from my perspective.

A34

“A lot of moving camera. A lot of crane work. So, it is frankly more fun to shoot than sitting on a dolly and looking at a close-up that doesn’t move.”

So even Frakes likes the spinning shots.

TG47

A34 I don’t know whether, as DeanH reasons above, this is the price to pay for good directors at this point in time, or if it’s a long term trend.

Sometimes I feel the directors are so caught up in the new toys and freedom, that they are diverted from creating the best product. It reminds me of news video in the early days of the Steadicam.

Other times I’m sincerely asking whether they are trying to impress one another by getting all the cool things they learned in film school into a single episode.

One serious issue is that the big stages with camera movement is actually leading to the actors being more static.

We very rarely see the captain or first officer going to the bridge crew to look over and engage with the bridge crew, unless to take over someone’s station. Saru (who I otherwise adore) is often trumping the comm officer rather than going to his station to support a solution the way River, Laforge, Data or Word did. This really hurts the bridge team dynamic.

Other than the corridors, the place we’re seeing movement from the actors is Pike’s ready room where the camera angle from the corner near the conference table is restricted, of in the close space of the science room off the bridge.

Iconian

He didn’t say that, though, did he? Moving and spinning aren’t really the same thing.

A34

To spin is to move.

I Really Love this Man!!!

Fabio

Hysterical. There are a lot of smart animated series with lots of action and even violence, but Star Trek fans have to have a “hysterical” animated series.

Iconian

But they’re already doing at least one action oriented, occasionally violent show. The whole point of doing more shows is to diversify. I think there are plenty of fans who’ll enjoy a good laugh. They’ve already said that the show won’t be laughing at Star Trek, but be funny within that world. Looking forward to it myself.

Tiger2

There will be five shows on within the next two years, only one of them will be ‘hysterical’. I don’t have an issue with that.

And they are just trying to think outside the box, mix it up a bit and diversify the offerings.

albatrosity

bruhhh I cannnot WAIT for Lower Decks, I seriously think it will be the epitome of Trek. That and the Nickelodeon series. I like Disco and all but it’s soooo corny. It’s trying wayy too hard. I rewatched I, Mudd the other day and still find it amazing. I think Trek lends itself to hilarious, surreal humor. Get the right cast on board, and it’s a winner. Picard? Eh, we’ll see. Sounds slow to me, plodding. Sounds “intellectual”. I just want good entertainment, something that makes me feel like it was worth my time investment. Not sure I get that from Disco. But if it makes me laugh, it’s worth it.

Jako

Frakes is such a leak … good for us :)

Melissa Correlli

I’m uncertain as to why but I’ve a bad feeling but this new series.
True I’ve not watched Discovery – its not on terrestrial TV, but even if it was, I’d NEVER ever watch it. To me it’s not Star Trek, nor even worthy of it.
Bitterly disappointed with the world of Trek in recent years, post Nemesis. Hated the new JJ so called Trek movies. No more TNG, DS9, VOY or indeed Enterprise fuelled my bitterness.
With all this talk of the Picardy series, decimation of Romulus etc, it just makes me so weary of Trek now. I fear it may become as hilariously infantile as Star Wars is.
In any case I shan’t b watching this new Picard thing as it’s not on terrestrial TV.
Not having Trek on terrestrial TV is such a pathetically stupid move, as if Trek isn’t destroyed enough by CBS, JJ and his loonies?!

JJ Wizkid

I’m thinking….Frakes=An old and wise Harry Potter Wizard