Jonathan Frakes has confirmed that he will direct two episodes of the forthcoming Picard solo series starring Patrick Stewart. Frakes is perhaps best remembered by the Star Trek faithful for portraying the popular William Riker in The Next Generation, but more recent years have seen him achieve acclaim as a director rather than a star in front of the camera. Despite an impressive array of directing credits across a wide range of TV shows, Frakes is never too far away from the world of Star Trek and has shot episodes of Discovery, Voyager, Deep Space 9 and TNG, as well as the First Contact and Insurrection movies.
However, another title will soon be added to the canon of Star Trek TV shows: a solo series for Patrick Stewart’s Enterprise-D Captain, Jean-Luc Picard. The legendary actor himself confirmed the news at a Las Vegas Star Trek convention last year and the new series will continue Picard’s story following his last appearance in Nemesis, supposedly exploring new sides of the famous character. Discovery‘s Akiva Goldsman is involved and the series is expected to premiere later this year on CBS All Access. Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd have been cast in supporting roles and Discovery director Hanelle Culpepper has been recruited as director.
Another familiar Star Trek figure who will be acting as director in the Picard series is Jonathan Frakes. During an interview with Trek Movie, Frakes confirmed his role in the project, stated his interest in directing for the upcoming Georgiou solo series and discussed his feelings towards working on this ambitious new Star Trek venture with an old friend, claiming:
“I’ve been booked for what they call the “second block,” which is episodes 3 and 4… I am so looking forward to it, I can’t tell ya… I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised. I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged, [laughs] sorry. It’s wonderful. It’s smart. I’m excited about it.”
Frakes’ involvement in the Picard series will likely be warmly welcomed by Star Trek fans, primarily because the man clearly has a strong affinity for the franchise both in front of and behind the camera. The director has delivered arguably some of Discovery‘s strongest episodes, such as “Despite Yourself” and “Project Daedalus” which managed to combine a familiar Trek tone with new, modern elements to great effect. It’s also worth noting that Frakes’ involvement in the Picard series could potentially pave the way for a fan-pleasing Riker cameo.
However, Frakes’ creative input will also help maintain a sense of continuity between the various Star Trek stories currently in production. A pitfall of running Discovery, the Picard series and the Georgiou series concurrently (and that’s without considering any of the big screen Trek output in the works) is that the fictional universe can start to feel disjointed and fractured. Having a familiar pair of hands helping to steer the ship should certainly help avoid that issue.
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The Picard solo series is expected to premiere in late 2019.
Source: Trek Movie