Jonathan Frakes remembers all too well something Gene Roddenberry didn’t want in his Star Trek series.
Gene Roddenberry had a rule about personal conflict between crew members. He thought that by the time we reached the future, we would have settled all of our petty squabbles, and things like that simply wouldn’t exist. He only wanted conflict to come from external sources.
Star Trek: The Original Series had some small instances of conflict, like in Balance of Terror when Lt. Stiles sees a Romulan for the first time. But Captain Kirk quickly nipped that in the bud by telling Stiles to leave any bigotry in his quarters. Overall, the conflicts remained with the situations the crew encountered during its five-year mission.
Roddenberry intended the same for Star Trek: The Next Generation, and, for the most part, that is exactly how the series progressed. After Roddenberry passed in 1991, things changed a little for the series. Some light conflict was peppered in, but, not as much as we’re liable to see in the final season of Star Trek: Picard, according to Jonathan Frakes, who, in an interview with Den of Geek [via SlashFilm] said Terry Matalas, the showrunner for Picard, wrote conflict between Admiral Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Captain Riker.
Jonathan Frakes said Terry Matalas really gets Star Trek: The Next Generation
Writers will tell you that conflict, both internal and external, is necessary in drama. And Frakes agrees and is okay with Matalas bringing in dissension between The Next Generation crew.
"“Roddenberry was, for some reason, opposed to conflict […] It was a peculiar ask back in the day, but he wanted everyone to get along. Not so much with Terry. He’s really stirred the pot. Conflict, which, as we know, is an absolute necessity in drama.”"
And from what we’ve been reading about Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) and Admiral Picard, conflict is high on Matalas’ priority for this season. But it sounds like it’s done for a good reason and not simply for the sake of drama.
The clash that happens between Riker and PIcard is sure to be epic, considering how long the two men have been friends, and there has never really been that much opposition between the two. So between Riker and Crusher, it sounds like Admiral Picard is in for some heated exchanges. But no one seems to be complaining.