Yet another crewmember from the Enterprise-D is making his way to CBS All Access’ Jean-Luc Picard series. In a new interview with Trek Movie, Jonathan Frakes confirmed that he will be directing two episodes of the streaming service’s upcoming show featuring Patrick Stewart’s return as the beloved Starfleet captain.
Frakes starred as Commander William T. Riker for all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also reprised the role in four Star Trek feature films, two of which he directed himself. Frakes made his last appearance as Riker in the 2005 series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise. However, he’s remained attached to the Star Trek franchise. Most recently, he helmed several episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.
Frakes explained that the Picard series’ inaugural 10-episode season is broken into five two-episode blocks. His episodes make up the season’s second block. He also assured fans that they’ll be pleased when the series arrives on CBS All Access later this year.
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“I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised,” said Frakes. “I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It’s wonderful. It’s smart. I’m excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas—which I believe was his idea—was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.”
“I’m excited for him and personally, I feel so blessed to be back,” continued Frakes. “It’s so ironic that I spent so many years trying to expand where I was working and I was lucky enough to get onto other types of shows. The directing has been a mitzvah for me—to learn another craft. And now I am deeply ensconced in the world I was in 31 years ago—and I’ve got to say—incredibly grateful for it, between The Orville, and Discovery and Picard. And hopefully the Empress Georgiou show.”
Although he’s only joining the show in a behind-the-scenes capacity for now, it’s entirely possible that the series will present Frakes with the opportunity to don Riker’s Starfleet uniform once again. At the end of the character’s last theatrical outing in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, Riker was given command of his own vessel, the USS Titan. It would certainly be interesting to see how Riker has fared as a captain for the last 17 years.
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