Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and director Jonathan Frakes is coming aboard to direct an episode of Star Trek: Discovery. Frakes, of course, has credits spread all across the Star Trek universe, from playing Commander William T. Riker on the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series from 1987-1994, to reprising the role in subsequent Star Trek films featuring The Next Generation crew, as well as appearances as Riker in other Star Trek TV series like Voyager and Enterprise.
Throughout the years, however, Frakes has established a big presence behind the camera in the Star Trek realm, having directed episodes for The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, as well as the feature films First Contact and Insurrection — and that experience appears to be a factor in his invitation to come aboard the bridge of the Discovery.
Writer-producer Gretchen J. Berg confirmed the helmer's involvement with the series, telling EW, “Jonathan Frakes will rejoin the Trek world with Discovery. He’s a fantastic guy and great director.” One of Discovery's showrunners, Aaron Harberts, also noted, “Our cast is dying to work with him.”
To begin with, EW says, Frakes is on-board to direct one episode in the series. Also among the helmers reportedly set to direct episode this year include Akiva Goldsman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of A Beautiful Mind and co-writer of Transformers: The Last Knight.
Frakes is a perfect hire to direct an episode of Discovery. Having worked on virtually every iteration of the Star Trek saga starting with The Next Generation (as well as working with actors from the classic series in the film Star Trek: Generations), Frakes clearly understands what makes Star Trek tick, and it will be exciting to see how he puts his extensive knowledge to work on Discovery. On top of that, he has dozens of more directorial credits in film and TV (as well as several acting credits apart from Star Trek), including episodes of the updated version of The Twilight Zone, as well as V, Roswell, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Set 10 years before the events of the original Star Trek series, Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones and Anthony Rapp. The series co-creators are Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) and Alex Kurtzman — The Mummy director and Dark Universe co-architect who previously co-wrote the Star Trek reboot film and its first sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres on CBS on September 24, with the remainder of the show's 15-episode first season airing on the network's new streaming service, CBS All Access.