Jonathan Frakes New Project Taking Him Away From Star Trek?

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

jonathan frakes

Star Trek stalwart Jonathan Frakes is set to direct Deathlands, a 10-part series based on the novel series of the same name by James Axler. The project, a brainchild of NextCypher — crypto pioneer Jeff Garzik’s independent production company — promises to blend the intensity of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road with the allure of popular thriller series Yellowjackets.

Riker Is Ready For Deathlands

jonathan frakes

Jonathan Frakes, best known for playing Commander William Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generationexpressed his enthusiasm for the project. “One of the things that I find so compelling about Deathlands is that it’s a series about hope and the chance to build a better world. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring this show, combining feature-level action and compelling character drama, to the world.”


jonathan frakes

Deathlands is scheduled to begin shooting in Sofia, Bulgaria this spring. The Jonathan Frakes-directed series will be NextCypher’s flagship project. International sales are being overseen by Bertrand Reignier and Tai Truesdell of Rogue Wave Entertainment, and plans for expanding into new areas of production, including an unscripted division, are also on the horizon.

The first Deathlands novel was published in 1986. The story begins a century after a devastating nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the aftermath is a mutated and chaotic world on the brink of reemerging. Protagonist Ryan Cawdor and his band of survivors navigate the perilous ‘Deathlands’ using teleportation technology they have unearthed.

Jonathan Frakes, Trek Actor

jonathan frakes

Jonathan Frakes has been a Trek regular since joining the cast of The Next Generation in 1987, both in front of and behind the camera. As such, his involvement in Deathlands raises questions about his availability for future Star Trek projects.

Appearance-wise, Jonathan Frakes has proven to be one of the most prolific actors in the franchise, appearing in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Star Trek: Picard. Along with voicing his character in Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Very Short Treks, he appeared in all five TNG-era movies — 1994’s Star Trek: Generations, 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact, 1988’s Star Trek: Insurrection, and 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.

Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek Director

In more recent years, Jonathan Frakes has proven much more valuable to Star Trek as a director. Frakes made his directorial debut with The Next Generation and went on to direct episodes of Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Picard, Star Trek: Discovery, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

His Other Work

Aside from his iconic Star Trek career, Jonathan Frakes has appeared in various television shows, including Fantasy Island, The Waltons, and North and South.

He played David Xanatos in the animated series Gargoyles and voiced the character in related projects. Jonathan Frakes also played Eric Lane in the television series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction.

Is Frakes Leaving Star Trek?

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Since the Deathlands novel series has numerous installments, Jonathan Frakes’ involvement in the show could potentially span several years. Juggling commitments between the new series and other projects might require him to allocate significant chunks of his time. This could, in turn, keep him away from Star Trek for an extended period.

However, the extent of his absence and the impact on his role in the Star Trek franchise remains to be seen, as it largely depends on his schedule.

Source: Deadline