Star Trek Day 2020: Jonathan Frakes Discusses Directing Star Trek: Discovery Season 3

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As part of the Star Trek Day 2020 celebrations, Wil Wheaton reunited (virtually) with his closest Star Trek family for an interview with Sir Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes who played, respectively, his captain and his first officer when he was playing young Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: the Next Generation.

Wheaton has since been an avid and vocal Star Trek presence, hosting the Star Trek: Picard aftershow, The Ready Room, as well as moderating multiple panels for Star Trek events such as Star Trek Day.

In the midst of a warm and colorful discussion of their shared experiences on Star Trek: the Next Generation and Frakes and Stewart's work on Star Trek: Picard, as well as their long-running relationships, Wheaton takes the opportunity to ask Frakes about his new gig, directing episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.

Season 3 Key Art - Star Trek: Discovery

His comparison of the cast of Discovery to that of the Enterprise-D (and E) is a little surprising but it's a pleasant one.

Recalling the early days of Star Trek: the Next Generation when the cast would spend nearly every moment of the work week together, Frakes likens that camaraderie to how the Discovery cast has bonded over its first two seasons.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 ended with the U.S.S. Discovery following Michael Burnham through a breach in time and, as another Star Trek Day event revealed, emerging 930 years in the future.

As director, Frakes has great praise for Sonequa Martin-Green, the cast's "Number One" and show's central character.

Future Burnham - Star Trek: Discovery

"She has taken on entirely new life," he shares,"and it's wonderful."

Stewart asks how this transformation has taken place in Frakes' estimation.

Frakes actually addressed this with Martin-Green. "I said, 'I feel so much more joy from you.' And she said, 'My character is no longer driven by fear.'"

A beautiful insight into Burnham and the growth the character has gone through since that fateful day she triggered a war with the Klingons.

Frakes' position as director on nearly every Star Trek vehicle (including two motion pictures) since Star Trek: the Next Generation affords him a truly unique perspective on this world.

His enthusiasm for the characters, the relationships, and the narratives that Star Trek brings to life is an intense and powerful force that is conveyed in everything he speaks about.

For the complete panel discussion, see below:

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, October 15. Be sure to drop by TV Fanatic afterwards to discuss our review!

While you wait, possibly rewatching Star Trek: Picard episodes, don't forget to check out our reviews for Picard's first season!

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Star Trek: Discovery Quotes

One cannot have all the lives one desires. A choice is always necessary.


Tilly: Life is just a blink. It is one heartbeat in the entire lifespan of the universe. Just don't think I really understood that before.
Saru: How we choose to spend our moments, in the short time that we have, matters.