Jonathan Frakes isn’t happy with the way Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is praised.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds came around at a time when many a fan was in need of something familiar, and downright classic. The fandom was not, as a whole, enjoying other Trek shows like Discovery or Picard, and it seemed like a mass of fans were getting ready to walk away from the franchise. Then Strange New Worlds dropped and fans raved.
The producers listened and went back to a mostly classic formula for the first season, belting out banger after banger, and while the second season was a bit rockier with the producers deciding to do sillier and sillier ideas, it’s still the best-received series so far.
Yet, the franchise icon Jonathan Frakes didn’t like how Strange New Worlds was praised, saying it felt like a slap in the face for everything that came before it. Frakes spoke to Star Trek.com about it, saying;
"What a treat, [Star Trek: Strange New Worlds]. I was there when they premiered, and all of a sudden, everybody loved it, the fans and the critics … Unfortunately, part of what happened during that time was that the fans and the critics took the same opportunity to say, ‘This is the Star Trek we’ve been waiting for.’ Either written or unwritten was, ‘Not Discovery and not Picard,’ if you recall. There was a congratulations and a slap in the same swing, but I was fortunate, as I often am in my timing, to be on Strange New Worlds when all the good stuff happened."
Jonathan Frakes may not be happy about it, but that doesn’t make how it was praised any less true.
Whether Frakes likes it or not, Discovery and the early seasons of Picard were not well-received for a reason. They were objectively anything other than Star Trek. Turns out, no, not anything can be Trek, and sometimes you just have to bow to the formula that made it so famous in the first place.
Strange New Worlds’ arrival forced shows like Discovery and Picard to dramatically change how they were presented, changing up the core concepts of both shows to better cater to the fandom. So while Frakes may not like that Strange New Worlds was met with a slap on the back and the cheek, that doesn’t make the conversation around the show and its impact any less true.