It’s the twentieth anniversary of Star Trek: First Contact and Jonathan Frakes, for whom the movie was his motion picture directing debut, has answered questions submitted by fans.
Best-known to Trek fans for his role of Riker, how much of Frakes’ personality was Riker? “Riker is smarter than I am,” said Frakes. “He’s a better human being. He walks a little differently than I do. But my clothes, the pants have pockets.”
And what about Riker’s beard? Beard or no? “Bearded, without a doubt,” said Frakes. “I’m so proud that Riker’s beard is in the Urban Dictionary, defined as the opposite of jumping the shark. So, I’d have to go with the beard. And I’ve always liked the beard.”
Some questions were about First Contact. One fan asked if there had ever been any thought about showing Romulans or Klingons that had been assimilated by the Borg. “Not that I know of,” said Frakes. “It’s a little late, but that’s a really good idea.”
Another fan wondered why Q wasn’t in the movie. “I always wondered why Q wasn’t in the movie,” said Frakes. “Q didn’t make it into any of our movies. I always thought he was our most-potent nemesis. I pitched him, pitched John (de Lancie) for both movies that I did, and I’m not sure what happened. Rick Berman‘s answer was always that the studio didn’t feel he was a substantial-enough villain, which may or not have been true. But I’m such a huge fan of Q and what he did for the series and he provided for the series. He was kind of a sounding board and a weird, offbeat moral compass. Also, de Lancie is a genius. So, I don’t really understand why.”
With a new Star Trek series to debut next year, will Frakes come on board as a director? “I’ve been lobbying to get on that show,” said Frakes. “So far, it’s been to no avail. Now the show has been pushed. I worked with (Gretchen) Berg and (Aaron) Harberts on Roswell. They’re really good. I’m still lobbying, but I don’t know where they’re at with things.”
Frakes is still very busy in Hollywood. “I just finished editing and delivered an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, which will be on the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” he said. “I did thirty-two visual effects shots for The Librarians, which I’m a producer-director on, and which started on November 20. That’s on TNG. And I’m going to go up and work for Robbie Duncan McNeill on Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which is Marti Noxon‘s show. And then I go to work on Seth MacFarlane‘s new show, which is currently titled Orville, though it will probably be retitled. It’s sci-fi comedy that stars Seth and is written by Seth and Brannon Braga. It’s fabulous. Jon Favreau is doing the pilot and I’m doing one of the episodes after that. So, that’s what’s lined up, and then, hopefully, The Librarians will get picked up, and we’ll go do another season of that.”