Jonathan Frakes
An older Jonathan Frakes

Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes Responds to Backhanded Praise for Strange New Worlds

Star Trek veteran Jonathan Frakes has addressed the mixed fan reaction to some of the franchise’s more recent projects.

Speaking to Star Trek Explorer in an interview shared online by, Frakes acknowledged the incredibly high praise for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds‘ crossover episode with Star Trek: Lower Decks, which he directed, but wonders if some of the comparisons to other Star Trek shows were necessary.

“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,” Frakes explained. “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.”

Frakes Is a Star Trek Legend

Frakes is no stranger to the world of Star Trek, having first ventured out into the stars as Will Riker in the classic TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He’s also appeared in various other projects set within the sci-fi universe, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, Picard, and Lower Decks — plus a number of movies. He also directed plenty of episodes in most of the aforementioned shows, as well as the feature film Star Trek: First Contact.

As for whether Frakes could ever play Will Riker again after his storyline seemingly concluded with Star Trek: Picard, the actor has admitted that while he has no plans on returning again, he’ll never say never.

Most of Frakes’ Star Trek projects — as both an actor and director — can be streamed on Paramount+.