Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Jonathan Frakes Thinks The Next Generation Could Have Continued Past Season 7

Star Trek: The Next Generation ended its initial run on television in 1994 after seven seasons and 178 episodes. Star Jonathan Frakes believes it could have gone for more. Frakes played Cmdr. William Riker on the series and also directed several episodes. In an interview with Trek Movie, Frakes says he believes The Next Generation ended not because it had run out of stories to tell or come to a natural conclusion, but because the Star Trek film series needed new blood.

“Marina [Siritis] and I have said – with no irony at all – we would still be doing the show if we had been asked,” Frakes says. “I believe the show ended as a television series so that Paramount could continue the movie franchise. I am not convinced [the series finale] ‘All Good Things…’ is not the end of stories we could have told with that family on the Enterprise. I am not sure it had the 21 seasons of [Law and Order: Special Victims Unit] in it, but certainly, it had more to come.”

The adventures of The Next Generation’s crew continued through four movies, with Frakes directing two of them, Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Insurrection. There were plans for a fifth movie but they were scrapped after the fourth, Star Trek: Nemesis, disappointed at the box office. In a previous interview, Frakes said he’d wished he’d directed Nemesis.

“I would have loved to have done Nemesis, but it seemed like, ‘Really? That’s all you’re going to do, is Star Trek movies?’” Frakes said. “It’s glib to say now. I wish I had done Nemesis.”

Frakes has found himself deep in the world of Star Trek once again in recent years. He’s directed episodes of Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s comedic love letter to Star Trek. Next, he’ll reteam with his The Next Generation co-star Patrick Stewart and direct two episodes of the upcoming Star Trek series about Jean-Luc Picard.

“Eighteen years later. I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised,” Frakes says. “I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It’s wonderful. It’s smart. I’m excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas — which I believe was his idea —was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.

Do you wish Star Trek: The Next Generationhad kept going after its seventh season? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: The Next Generation is streaming now on CBS All Access, Netflix, and Hulu.

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