Jonathan Frakes has confirmed that he will indeed be stepping into the director’s chair for a pair of episodes of Star Trek: Picard.
It was just a couple months ago that Jonathan Frakes was doing press for “New Eden” the first of two episodes of the second season of Star Trek: Discovery he had returned to the franchise to direct. It was then that the rumors started circulating that the man who would be Riker would also be involved in the forthcoming Star Trek: Picard.
Picard would of course see the return of Sir Patrick Stewart to the iconic role he made famous and would pick up some 10 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Having Frakes, a man who knows the character almost as well as Stewart, come in to direct a few episodes seemed like a no brainer, but nothing was confirmed.
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Frakes was recently interviewed by the fine folks at TrekMovie.com and he did confirm what was widely speculated. Namely that he would be sitting in the director’s chair for a pair of episodes in the first season.
Frakes will be directing episodes 3 and 4, which is being called the “second block” of the series. Apparently the ten episode first season of Picard will be filmed in two-episode blocks by five different directors. It was announced last month that Hanelle Culpepper will be directing the first two episodes with future directors to be announced for the rest of the season.
Frakes also discussed how he’s been able to read some of the scripts and talk to Stewart about the series and that they are both incredibly excited for the show.
"“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. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas—which I believe was his idea—was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.”"
With Star Trek: Picard being effectively a ten-hour movie broken down into one-hour segments, using the same director for two sequential episodes is a novel and outstanding way to film a series. It will give it a certain amount of continuity while also keeping things fresh and interesting. It would be a intriguing way to film the third season of Discovery given the serial storytelling style the show uses.
Star Trek: Picard begins filming this month with a release on CBS All Access targeted for late 2019.