Jonathan Frakes Wants to Be at the Birth of the Next Star Trek Series –

Jonathan Frakes was the first guest on a brand new video podcast hosted by veteran Star Trek journalist Ian Spelling To boldly ask… The premise of this is that Spelling needs to ask questions that the guest has never been asked before. The discussion between Frakes and Spelling was filled with tidbits new and old, covering topics from the start Star Trek: The Next Generation how he plans to take his Star Trek work to the next level. Below are some highlights of the conversation, including a nice story about a call from DeForest Kelley, The original series“Dr. McCoy.

beginnings The next generation

During the season of TNG, when no one knew if the show would be successful or not, the on-set trailers that the actors could return to between scenes, as Denise Crosby Spelling said before this interview, “crappy.” Describing them as “trailer training wheels,” Frakes said they were pretty awful, so the group tried to liven things up.

We had a bunch of them lined up and I think we tinkered them around so that the doors feel like a courtyard and the doors face inwards. And then someone stole AstroTurf from the prop shop or something like that and then someone found some flamingos that we could glue on that would sit on top of the AstroTurf and we would take our folding chairs and put them out there and have it , as if we were on a terrace. It was a very fun time and we made the best of a situation that wasn’t really that bad, to be honest.

Denise Crosby, Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis before Star Trek: The Next Generation set to

“I wore some embarrassing things”

Spelling showed Frakes a meme from the TNG episode “Angel One” showing Frakes in his Boy Toy outfit with Marina Sirtis as Troi and Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar grinning at him.

This is a costume created by Bill Theiss, the costume designer on the original series who was with us in Season 1… They dress Riker as an object of unquoted desire. The best part of the photo next to my left nipple is Marina’s face. Both. “Frakes, what in gods name are you wearing?” is what I see coming out of their heads.

He was amazed to hear the outfit sold for $1800 at a Christie’s auction in 2006, and joked to Spelling, “Who bought it? You?”

“Frakes, what in God’s name are you wearing?”

“We can’t be too awake, can we?”

As a director Star Trek: Discovery, Frakes was one of the first to work with non-binary actor Blu del Barrio (Adira) and said he was amazed by her “talent and disarming confidence” on set. He said he needed to make an adjustment when it came to using correct pronouns — especially when Blu changed from “she” to “they” during filming to reflect her real-life journey — and felt it was extremely important to him to take the lead for example. He said he screwed it up, he’s gotten better at it and it’s “great that it’s part of our brave, weird new world… not so weird”.

He touched on some familiar stories of how he felt Soren should have been played by a male actor on TNG’s The Outcast, saying that “the network or anyone didn’t have the guts to cast a male.” probably out of fear that Riker would have been considered gay. He said he always sees it as a missed opportunity.

As for waking up Star Trek, he said to Spelling:

People perceive that Star Trek is too bright because it’s very timely and conscious and appropriate to what’s really going on in the world, it seems absurd.

Jonathan Frakes is directing Star Trek: Discovery

Jonathan Frakes directs Blu del Barrio and Phumzile Sitole Star Trek: Discovery

After that, he got a call from DeForest Kelley First contact came out

The very first film Frakes ever directed was Star Trek: First Contactand he wasn’t sure how to proceed:

After First Contact ended and was released, I went to a friend’s house in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where Genie and I hung out and hid because I didn’t know how it was going to turn out. I’d never directed a film before, I’d never had a big studio…it was a really big deal and I was nervous.

But De had tracked down Berman, who tracked me down in Great Barrington — I think that might have been before the cell phone — so I got a call from DeForest Kelley to congratulate me on the success. And I remembered that forever.

And what did DeForest Kelley and Rick Berman do together? Kelley once lived down the street from Berman and had met Frakes a few times at meetings at Berman’s house.

What could come next?

When asked what he would like to do in the Star Trek franchise that he hasn’t done — as someone who has starred and directed several Trek series — Frakes expressed his enthusiasm for all the work that is done at the new shows. and said, “I’d love to be involved in the birth of one of these shows, it’s a very attractive job.” He stated:

It’s a medium for writers. And for the past five or ten years, there’s always been a writer on set. So if you get along with that writer, you can work with that writer and the actors, they always have questions about a scene or about the story or about an arc, the writer can take that on, he or she can help you, or they can you save, or they can explain what’s going on – what they know from the writers’ room, what’s coming up, which helps the actors understand why they’re doing it now. So I’d be thrilled to be a part of the birth of any of these shows, that would be a thrill.

Frakes has consistently directed all three recent Star Trek live-action films (discovery, Picardand Strange New Worlds), but he has yet to direct a pilot episode. Pilot directors can have a major impact on a series, setting the style and tone and even being involved in production design and casting. And we know there are more shows in active development, so maybe he’ll make his wish come true.

Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart on the set of Star Trek: Picard

Jonathan Frakes on the set for Picard Episode 5 “Stardust City Rag”

A trailer and more to watch To boldly ask…

Check out the rest of the interview with Jonathan Frakes at The Companion; There is a $6.99/month subscription fee that gives you access to all content and you can start with a free trial. According to the company’s press release, “Next is a guest coming out The original series…Oh my God,” so interpret this however you will and you will know who your next guest is.

In the meantime, check out the episode one trailer.

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