Jonathan Frakes has pitched a Star Trek: Picard spinoff that’s hugely problematic
Jonathan Frakes has been as attached to Star Trek as long as anyone at this point. While names like William Shatner started 20 years earlier, and Patrick Stewart started at the same time as Frakes, neither man stayed with the franchise for nearly as long. Shatner left after 28 years, never to return, and Stewart took a nearly 20-year break.
Frakes, however, has never actually left the franchise. While he didn’t really do any work on the JJ Abrams films, he worked on every series in some capacity. He either directed or acted in every Trek series save for Prodigy, where there still exists a possibility of that happening.
You’d think if anyone would understand the slippery slope and complications of putting together a coherent Star Trek show, it would be Frakes, yet his idea for a Star Trek: Picard spinoff presents a huge problem that really needs to be taken into consideration.
Jonathan Frakes’ Star Trek: Picard spinoff is a bad idea
Frakes, Stewart, and even Picard showrunner Terry Matlas have all said to some degree that they’re not sure the stories are done after the show has ended. Frakes told Emmy Magazine that he has an idea of how to do a spinoff.
"Frakes imagines a ship where the characters of Picard would serve together (and with the family ties, there would be ample room for more legacy appearances): Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine as the captain, Michelle Hurd’s Raffi as first officer, Jack Crusher on the bridge, Geordi’s daughter Sydney “Crash” La Forge at the helm and Riker and Troi’s daughter Kestra graduating from Starfleet Academy."
While Seven of Nine may work as a captain, the fact that Raffi is even considered in this, as is Jack Crusher is laughably bad. Crusher is everything that Starfleet shouldn’t be, and to shoehorn him into a series just so you could do the Next Next Generation would be awful.
Yet, the worst is Raffi. Raffi is a severe drug addict, who constantly relapses. If this was Star Trek before Alex Kurtzman took over, this wouldn’t even be characteristic of her. But Kurtzman has ruined a lot of the standard expectations for the series. So it’s not a surprise that Raffi is an addict.
Not only that but she has a romantic entanglement with Seven of Nine, the proposed captain of the ship.
In what universe would Starfleet give an addict that much power on a ship, knowing she may relapse at any point, all while serving under her girlfriend/former lover? It didn’t make sense in The Orville when they did it with the two leads, but at least there they had the good sense to close the relationship for good, we think.
While the Nu Trek era is overly invested in including everybody in the action, there has to be some common sense applied. You wouldn’t let a chronic alcoholic fly a plane for an airline, so why would you let a relapsing drug addict serve as number two on a ship?
It makes no sense, and the need to constantly make some of Trek “edgy” and “grimdark” is really turning most of the franchise into your run-of-the-mill procedurals.