It has been well over thirty years since Jonathan Frakes was cast as William Riker was cast as Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation and even after all of this time the man remains an integral part of the franchise. As you may know, Frakes directed the most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery and is scheduled to helm another later this year. After wrapping up on the episode titled New Eden, Frakes sat down to talk about the show and even dropped some hints about the upcoming series which will feature Jean-Luc Picard.
It seems that Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) will no longer be a Starfleet captain. “Patrick isn’t playing Capt. Jean-Luc Picard this time, he’s done with Starfleet in this show,” said Frakes. We already know that the new show will take place after the destruction of Romulus (the same incident which affected Spock Prime in the 2009 movie). Picard had been working to bring peace between the Federation and the Romulans. The loss of Romulus will have heavily impacted Picard. “He’s [Stewart] thrilled and excited to be invited into the writer’s room and he’s a producer on the show and he’s part of the development of the story arc. It’s terrific. I mean he is a guy who is fully engaged,” Frakes continued.
Can we expect to see other alumni from The Next Generation like Worf or Riker to appear in the new show? Frakes doesn’t know the answer to that yet but if I had to guess I’d say there will be an occasional guest appearance and it is a safe bet that Jonathan Frakes will direct at least a few episodes. It seems as if the Picard series will not be primarily set on a single starship like most of the previous shows from the franchise.
As for Frakes, he did express one regret from his association with Star Trek. He wishes he had directed Nemesis, the final film for The Next Generation cast. “I would have loved to have done Nemesis, but it seemed like, ‘Really? That’s all you’re going to do, is Star Trek movies?’ It’s glib to say now. I wish I had done Nemesis,” he said.