Because the interconnected Star Trek tv universe continues to develop, it’s clear that actor/director Jonathan Frakes is an integral a part of that storytelling, each in reprising his beloved Star Trek: The Subsequent Technology character, Capt. William T. Riker, and as a director.
Simply final week, the actor stunned followers of the franchise together with his cameo look (albeit in animated kind) within the Star Trek: Decrease Decks Season 1 finale, “No Small Parts.” And on the latest New York Comedian Con Metaverse Star Trek panel for the collection, showrunner Mike McMahan and Frakes promised Riker’s return in Season 2.
Then there was Frakes reprising Riker within the flesh, together with Marina Sirtis’ Troi, for 2 episodes of Star Trek: Picard earlier this 12 months.
Within the meantime, followers can respect his Trek-pertise behind the digicam as he directs three Star Trek: Discovery Season Three episodes for showrunners Alex Kurtzman and Michelle Paradise. Helming episodes 3, eight and 12 of the third season will carry Frakes’ complete tally of Discovery episodes to 6.
SYFY WIRE spoke completely with Paradise about why Frakes’ return to Discovery is such a grounding presence for the present.
“First of all, he’s wonderful,” she enthused. “I mean, he is just such a lovely person and he’s such an amazing energy on set. The actors, as you might imagine, adore him. The crew adores him. So, having him on set to direct any episode is a treat just because of that, but his knowledge of Trek, his innate feel for tone is really so important for us because every episode has emotional moments plus action, fun, special effects, and visual effects. There’s a lot that’s packed into any given episode in finding the right tonal balance for each of those scenes and each of the storylines, and he’s just so deft at it and such a great communicator.”
In reality, Frakes is second solely to fellow Trek thespian/director LeVar Burton in the case of the quantity of Trek tv collection episodes directed by a former solid member. Nonetheless, Frakes is the one TNG-period actor to direct any of the Star Trek function movies (he helmed Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Rebellion.) So yeah, he is aware of his Trek mythology and storytelling.
It was a singular degree of experience that Paradise was eager to faucet.
“The questions that he asks about script and story in the prep process, he always has great questions and great suggestions,” she explained. “He’s super collaborative. We’re always so proud of the scripts that we come up with, and then the directors get involved and I feel like [with Jonathan] in particular, he helps to make it better. You always want that with the director, someone who’s going to come in and work with you as the writer and dig in with you. When he’s directing, he’s of course helping to lead the charge with that along with [series executive producer/director] Tunde [Osunsanmi]. I just can’t say enough about him.”
And simply what is going to Frakes be directing in his episodes? Paradise will not spill however she teases that it’s going to have one thing to do with The Federation, and one thing “huge” that dismantles it sooner or later.
“Once we end 3.1, we do not know a lot about what occurred,” the co-showrunner stated. “We do not know what state it is in. We now have a way that it is on the market … and we all know that we will go discover them wherever they’re. The massive query although is, what’s ‘the Burn’ and what does ‘the Burn’ need to do with it? So, that’s actually what we will likely be exploring this season.”
Star Trek: Discovery Season Three premieres Thursday, Oct. 15, on CBS All Entry.