TrekMovie had a lengthy and exclusive chat with Star Trek acting and directing legend Jonathan Frakes. We have already shared what he had to say about directing on Star Trek: Discovery season 3, working on Star Trek: Picard, and his hopes for Short Treks and Strange New Worlds.
There are still a couple more subjects to cover. Today we share the moment when our discussion turned to some of the less stellar entries from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which Mr. Frakes prompted with a question of his own regarding our coverage of a particular episode.
Jonathan Frakes: Now, are you the guys doing the “Sub Rosa” watch along?
It wasn’t my finest hour. [laughs]
Yeah, you directed that one, right?
When you’re directing something do you know is just not going to be great when you are in the middle of it?
Yeah. But my philosophy, which I’ve always held to, is ‘I’m going make the best version of this show that I can make.’ There’s nothing gained by admitting ‘Oh, my God, this story doesn’t make any sense. This is ludicrous.’ All the things that reveal themselves. If you take those notes to the producer of the show and point them out more than once, as I have done, and that producer or showrunner doesn’t feel the same way, then you’ve got to suck it up and make the best episode you can make.
As I understand it back in the ’90s on Star Trek they were making 26 a year and really with two shows they were making 52 and it was just an assembly line. And one writer said told me once that sometimes something is coming down the assembly line, and everyone can see that it’s not ready, but you can’t stop the assembly line.
Exactly, you just got to put it on the street and hope that somebody can still drive it. [laughs]
Speaking of stinkers, a few weeks ago you did one of these virtual events and brought up “Code of Honor,” and how racist it is. You have brought it up a few times, so do you feel CBS should do what some other platforms have done, and remove it from their library? Or keep it with some kind of added context? Or do you just want people to know, you think it is racist.
I thought that they had taken it out of the rotation when they sold the show.
Oh, it’s there. It’s on CBS, Hulu, Netflix, etc.
It is now. But I was told or I was under the impression that it had rubbed so many people the wrong way that it was pulled. I think they should take it out of the rotation. I think it is a great time to make that kind of – as small as it is – to make that kind of a statement would be fabulous.
So, when you log into CBS All Access and pull up Next Generation, it’s just not there. And the same with Netflix, etc.
All right. That’s a bold statement.
Well, but you make a good point. Maybe it should be included with an appropriate statement of reason. A proof of concept. This is not who we are. This is not what we stand for. It’s an embarrassment to the franchise and Gene [Roddenberry] would want us to do this. Something like that.
There is still more to come from Jonathan Frakes. Check back tomorrow for the final entry, with our discussion of the Star Trek film franchise.
Keep up with all the exclusive interviews at TrekMovie.com.