Jonathan Frakes is not done with the Star Trek franchise just yet.
For anyone who thought Jonathan Frakes was going to start slowing down at his age, you might want to rethink that. Despite being 69 years old, and having debuted 35 years ago as a member of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Frakes is as involved in the franchise now as he ever was. In the last calendar year alone he appeared as his iconic character William Riker in five different episodes of the franchise.
Two in Star Trek: Picard and another three in Star Trek: Lower Decks.
That’s not all, either. Since the franchise relaunched as a streaming property, Frakes has been heavily involved with the shows as a whole. He’s already directed seven episodes of Discovery and two more episodes of Picard, adding on to his previous Trek-television count of 14 now to 21. Not including the films, First contact, and Insurrection, as well as the video game, Star Trek: Klingon.
While Patrick Stewart and William Shatner may have been the faces of the franchise for a time, no actor or director has had more to do with Trek than Frakes.
On his continuation with Discovery:
"When I started on Discovery, the actors were very, very curious…They reminded me a lot of our Star Trek family on the Enterprise on Next Gen in their camaraderie. But they were very curious about what they had gotten themselves into. And because I had, for better or worse, been doing it for, you know, thirty-five years and whatever it’s been, I was able to share some of the great privileges that come with what we all hoped was going to be a hit. And clearly, you know we’re in our fourth season now, and I’m assuming we’ll go on from there on Discovery."
Working with Strange New Worlds for season two:
"I did a number of them in [Picard season] 2 and I’m just finishing editing a couple of [episodes I directed] in [season] 3. I love being on that show as well. And I’m booked to [direct] Strange New Worlds [season 2], which I missed out on [season 1] because of the pandemic.The second season of Strange New Worlds has yet to be officially announced, but it is reported to be going into production in February of 2022, even before season one premieres, which is expected to happen in the spring. While he hasn’t yet directed Strange New Worlds, he did talk about how it will be different than the other shows, saying, “That show has yet another new flavor for Trek.”"
Returning to Lower Decks
"I’ve got more on Lower Decks. I just did a watch-along on Lower Decks with Mike McMahan and Jack Quaid [Boimler]."
Jonathan Frakes is arguably the biggest Star Trek legend there is
Frakes is the only actor and crew member who has been involved in literally every franchise that Star Trek has launched, either as an actor or director with the exception of Star Trek’s original series and The Animated Series of the 60s and 70s. The only modern show he hasn’t done anything with, as of yet, is Prodigy, which just launched.
It’s unlikely he’ll direct Prodigy or Lower Decks, due to the differences in directing an animated show compared to a live-action one, but a cameo is not out of the question.
While Stewart and Shatner are beloved, and other names like Scott Bakula, Kate Mulgrew, and Avery Brooks are also held in such high regard, no one but Frakes has had a career that has spanned nearly four decades and included nine franchises and counting.