Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes Thinks Gene Roddenberry Would Be "Very Pleased" With State of the Franchise

Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Jonathan Frakes thinks the creator of Star Trek would be [...]

Star Trek: The Next Generation alum Jonathan Frakes thinks the creator of Star Trek would be pretty happy with where the franchise stands these days.

Frakes starred as Cmdr. William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He went on to direct episodes of Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager, as well as the films Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection (and he wishes he'd directed Star Trek: Nemesis as well).

During his early years on Next Generation, Frakes worked with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry prior to his death in 1991. Frakes has returned to the franchise to direct episodes of Star Trek: Discovery, where he works with the next steward of Star Trek, Alex Kurtzman.

During an interview with Deadline, Frakes commented on what his experience working with Kurtzman has been like and how he thinks Roddenberry would feel about what Kurtzman has done with Star Trek so far.

"[Kurtzman]'s very kind which I really like," Frakes says. "It's a great quality for a producer. But maybe an all too rare one, too. [Laughs.] He's very smart and he's very encouraging. I like his Discovery family and I like the freedom that he encourages. When he took over the show, essentially, we had a really productive sit-down where he explained the arc of the season, essentially, and we talked about Trek in general and my guys and about Roddenberry. He was interested in all of it, and it was a pleasure really talking to him and listening to him. He's got a great curiosity but he also has great vision. Gene Roddenberry was an atheist so he didn't believe in heaven, of course, but you know if he was looking down on all of this I think he would be very, very pleased with the hands that Star Trek is in these days."

Frakes thinks part of Kurtzman's success with Star Trek may be attributed to the fact that Kurtzman, like Frakes himself, was not a hardcore Star Trek fan when he first became involved with the franchise.

"I came in unaware of the cultural phenomena of Star Trek and I believe the same applies to Alex," Frakes says. "And just maybe that served both of us very well by making us not feel too precious about the words Star Trek and the canon that came before us."

Frakes directed the first season episode of Star Trek: Discovery titled "Despite Yourself." He returned to direct the most recent episode of the series, "New Eden," which was released last week. He's already directed another episode of Discovery, which will be released later this season.

New Star Trek: Discovery episodes become available to stream Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS All Access.