An Interview With Jonathan Frakes About Star Trek

This week sees the theatrical release of two of Star Trek: The Next Generation's best episodes, stitched together into one movie, The Best of Both Worlds. Next week sees the Blu-ray release of the newly remastered third season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"The Best of Both Worlds," for those who don't remember, was the season three finale and season four premiere that saw the Borg assimilate Captain Jean Luc-Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) assumes command of the Enterprise and launches an assault against both the Borg and his former Captain.

I've never been the biggest fan of the Borg and probably haven't seen these particular episodes in at least a decade, but the Blu-ray release had me on the edge of my seat all over again. In fact, with the redone effects and HD remastering, I was so taken by the theatrical quality of the show that I've watched it no less than three times to marvel at the beauty of the image and the storytelling.

It plays theatrically only once on April 25 and I can't implore you enough: if you have any love for the show you will be kicking yourself if you don't make it. You can buy tickets at Fathom Events.

To mark the occasion, I spoke with Jonathan Frakes, Will Riker himself.

Jonathan Frakes: I think the show holds up quite well, the storytelling is great. The writers were at the top of their game at the time. I think the special effects have been redone in a very painstaking, impressive and elegant way. I was told that one of the downsides is that you can see a lot of glue on the wings on the aliens and stuff like that, but I didn't see that and I didn't find myself distracted by that at all.

Bryan Young: This story played out over two seasons. Did you know how things were going to resolve between season three and season four?

Frakes: No, we were left hanging out to dry. We were wondering if Patrick Stewart was in the middle of negations and they were using that as a tactic to renegotiate his contract by stressing that he might not come back. And I think it was that seriousness of the story that made for such a brilliant cliffhangers. I think it is one of the greatest cliffhangers in television history.

Young: I'm curious how you've felt about the Abrams Star Trek reboot and how you would feel if they decided to reboot Next Generation in the same way.

Frakes: I think JJ has been brilliant with the reboot. His work is astounding. I love the first movie, and I'm really excited about the second one, and I can tell from the trailer it's going to be spectacular I'm a big JJ fan, and I think the franchise is in good hands, and I think Star Wars is lucky to have him as well. he idea of Next Gen working its way into his franchise is hard to imagine, but not impossible, so I'm certainly hopeful that at least one of us will show up in his movies.

Young: So if JJ called you up and asked you to switch teams and be in Star Wars, would you follow that direction?

Frakes: In a heartbeat.

There was certainly more to the interview than this space can maintain. You can head over to Big Shiny Robot! to read about the time he spent working for Stan Lee as Captain America and his directing career.

The Best of Both Worlds comes out theatrically April 25. Those episodes as well as Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season Three comes out on Blu-ray April 30.

Bryan Young is an author and the editor in chief of the geek news and review site Big Shiny Robot!