Jonathan Frakes is currently riding high with the rest of his Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates thanks to the positive buzz surrounding Picard Season 3, which reunites Riker, Worf, Dr. Crusher, and the rest with the legendary captain (admiral these days) of the title. But Frakes has been a part of the modern Trek revival from the beginning, having directed episodes of each of the live-action shows since Star Trek: Discovery debuted in 2017.
Frakes will be back to direct the first half of the Discovery Season 5 finale, which will now in fact be the series finale as Paramount+ announced last week that Disco is set to end its run in 2024. According to sources, principal photography on the season is almost complete, but some additional filming will take place.
And now Frakes is filling in that picture a bit more, as he explained to this week that the new filming will “add to” the finale now that it’s the series closer.
“I’m told they have a very satisfying fix so that it will conclude in a way that will tie the story up,” says the Riker actor. “And I think they’ve figured out how to do it. So they’re going to go back and shoot and add to this finale that [producing director] Olatunde [Osunsanmi] and I did.”
Looking back on Discovery, Frakes sees it as an opportunity that allowed him to come back and direct modern Star Trek. But it was also so much more to him.
“It was so great,” he says. “It was not only good for me, but it reopened the door for this whole – the season with Anson [Mount] birthed Strange New Worlds, right? Michelle Yeoh, they were talking about doing a show with her. There’s so many things that came out of it. Sonequa Martin-Green was such a fabulous leader, and her set is such a special place to be. I’ll never forget it and I will always cherish it. Mary Wiseman plays a character unlike any you’ve ever had on Star Trek anywhere. The whole LGBT thing with two icons – Anthony [Rapp] and Wilson [Cruz]. There’s so much about that show that was so Star Trek and so important.”
And while Discovery and Picard – which is also in its final season now – are ending, Frakes is sticking around. He’s already directed an episode of Strange New Worlds Season 2, and who knows? Maybe we haven’t seen the last of Riker yet either…
Talk to Executive Editor Scott Collura on Twitter at @ScottCollura, or listen to his Star Trek podcast, Transporter Room 3. Or do both!