Jonathan Frakes came back to the Star Trek universe by working on Star Trek: Discovery. He returned again for Star Trek: Picard, working first behind the camera and then in front of it. He directed two episodes of the Picard's first season, "Absolute Candor" and "Stardust City Rag." He then stepped back into his role as William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation first in "Nepenthe" and the again "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2." The finale appearance surprised some fans as Riker returned to Starfleet active duty, but not aboard the USS Titan, the ship he left the Enterprise to take command of in Star Trek: Nemesis. Instead, he was in command of a brand new Starship. ComicBook.com spoke to Frakes and he says he's glad he didn't come back on the Titan and that he does plan to return for Picard's second season, at least as a director. "I do expect to be back to direct the show," Frakes says.
Frakes also told us that he would expect to see some other Star Trek: The Next Generation stars in the new season. "I also think it'd be a good bet that we'll some other members of Next Gen because I think the 'Nepenthe' test went very well," Frakes says. That test being, "I think to see if there was an appetite. I think they suspected there was, but I think to see if it would resonate to have Picard reunite with some of the people in a creative way. I'm glad we didn't come back on the Titan, for instance, that we were found on another part [of the universe]. It's 33 years or something. As Picard as changed, so has Riker and Troi and so has Seven."
In a previous interview, Frakes suggested that he may not only be sticking around for more Picard but that he may be involved in some of the other upcoming Star Trek shows as well. "It has been a blessing to have my career to be rekindled by the new Star Treks," Frakes said. "It didn’t hurt that I learned how to do another craft. The directing has been fantastic for me. When Discovery worked out and then Picard worked out and now there will be a new one, and another one."
Next up is the third season of Star Trek: Discovery. “I can tell you this much about season three of Discovery: It is in fact much more optimistic,” Frakes said during a convention appearance. “They’ve gotten themselves out of the Mirror Universe... After Gene died, some of the writers decided that Deep Space Nine should maybe take a different tone, which, I think, it did to certain degrees of success. The optimism that Gene infused in all of his shows and in all of us may not be as obvious as it once was, but it’s certainly the driving force of his vision and the franchise and [Alex] Kurtzman and all the people who run our shows are very conscious that that canon is important to all of you and all of us. JJ [Abram]’s movies, I thought, were very uplifting and wonderfully told stories. There needs to be conflict to make drama. So I’m here to share that Discovery certainly is taking a more optimistic, traditional Star Trek approach in next season.”