In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jonathan Frakes spoke about directing Stardust City Rag and how much easier it is without Gene Roddenberry’s “no crew conflict” rule. Note: Spoilers for Stardust City Rag.
Being tapped to direct the episode was “completely the luck of the draw,” said Frakes. “But I was grateful to be a part of reintroducing fans to Seven, particularly their mini-scene — where these two former Borgs — they exchange their baggage and their feelings about having been ‘Borg-ified.’ It’s one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever done.”
There’s a reason why Frakes liked the scene so much. “We never could have done [a scene like] this on our show,” he said. “The scene was mostly worked out with the help of Michael Chabon and our wonderful writers and new additions to the Star Trek family: Akiva Goldsman, Alex Kurtzman, Kirsten Beyers. It’s such a simple and beautifully-performed scene between the two actors.”
That wasn’t the only emotional scene in the episode. Raffi came to Freecloud to seek out her son, who firmly rejected her. The scene was “refreshing” to Frakes.
“As we know, conflict is what creates drama,” said Frakes. “So, on Next Gen, it was a very challenging set of rules — primarily for the writers — to find ways to create drama. In this new version of Star Trek, which honors what Roddenberry laid out — in terms of the optimism and respect toward themes like racism — all of those elements are sort of strongly rooted in this show. But the notion of self-doubt, the vulnerability — especially for a [character] like Picard — the damage of past experiences, are so much more compelling to watch… It’s a denser show than Next Gen. I think that’s fair to say. Pushing Picard to these places, watching Patrick act that out – and he was in the writer’s room as they developed this story – it’s all so rewarding to see.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter