Number One actor Jonathan Frakes recently appeared on GalaxyCon’s Facebook live stream.
During his conversation, the actor and director discussed plenty of issues related to Star Trek; one that stuck out was his views on fans who are critical of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard.
Frakes discussed fans who are critical of the show while reflecting on his own experiences during the convention circuit. He told a story about his first convention, right after the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the hostile crowd he faced.
Jonathan Frakes Discusses Initial Reaction To The Next Generation
At the beginning of the discussion, Frakes is asked about what it felt like to enter the “weird, strange world of fandom.”
He answered, “The first convention I ever did was in Syracuse, New York and it was the winter of 1987, and the show I think had started that September. So the audience was very hardcore Original Series audience. They were skeptical. They were suspicious. They were generally not terribly interested and completely unfamiliar with this new Star Trek which had a bald English captain with a French name, and an entirely new cast. They wanted their Kirk, Spock, and Bones Star Trek.”
He elaborated, “I had no idea what the world I had entered was going to be like. I had no idea what the experience was going to be like. I was a nervous wreck.”
The conversation then goes into Frakes’ experience as Captain America before it’s brought back to Star Trek.
At around the 22:30 minute mark, Frakes is asked about when Star Trek: The Original Series fans began to embrace The Next Generation cast and show.
Frakes responded, “I don’t think it was until the second or third year when the show got really good. And remember we did 26 a year. That was a lot a year. That’s 50, 60 shows in.”
He added, “They realized there was room in their world for both shows. And then Paramount in its wisdom and greed produced Voyager and Deep Throat Nine and Enterprise and it went on and on. And then we shut down, and they shut down, and J.J. kept it under wraps until he produced the movies which were wonderfully received and didn’t seem to have the same sort of resentment about being the new Trek.”
Frakes on Initial Reception to Star Trek: Discovery
Frakes then discussed the reception to Star Trek: Discovery, “But my friends at Discovery, which I was privileged to be part of and still am, there was a similar vibe when that show came out. People…they didn’t want to find room in their hearts for another Star Trek, which there clearly is.”
He then touched on Star Trek: Picard, “And one of the reasons that was not a factor in the launching of Picard is because the hardcore fans love Picard and were inclined to look forward to the show, and look forward to having him, and look forward to whatever the story because they knew him and they knew who he was.”
“And I think the familiarity with all fandom it’s so important, it’s like the canon of these shows. They want a touch point. Exactly. That’s exactly what it is. And it’s important. And clearly worked because Picard was wonderful,” Frakes added.
Critics of Star Trek: Picard
Some argue the familiarity that Frakes is talking about isn’t there with Star Trek: Picard. Since the show has aired many fans have expressed their concern that Picard is not the Picard that they know, and the world the show inhabits is not Star Trek. Instead it’s a hollow and expensive CGI version of Star Trek.
YouTuber Script Doctor notes the problems with Star Trek: Picard are very easy to see with its inconsistent story, plot holes, and cheap writing techniques that are used to hide obvious re-writes and re-shoots:
In fact as Gary Buechler from Nerdrotic points out, Patrick Stewart told Variety that Picard was saying the “the world of ‘Next Generation’ doesn’t exist anymore.”
Stewart explained, “I think what we’re trying to say is important. The world of ‘Next Generation’ doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure.”
Buechler goes on to note that Star Trek’s current course chooses to ignore Gene Roddenberry’s views of a hopeful future. Instead what you get is in your face propaganda that has been thrown at fans for years now.
Frakes on Picard Critics
Finally the million-dollar question was asked. Host Mike Broder brings up there are a number of Star Trek fans who are unhappy with Picard.
Frakes responds, “But they’ll watch it…They are watching to make sure they hate it.”
What is your view of Jonathan Frakes’ comparison of the reception The Next Generation cast and crew got compared to current Trek?