Jonathan Frakes Talks About Directing The Upcoming Star Trek Crossover Episode

Mariner and Boimler from Star Trek: Lower Decks will appear in an upcoming episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, directed by Jonathan Frakes.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Jonathan Frakes just took Star Trek to a strange new world, an animation/live-action crossover! reports that Frakes directed an episode for Season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds that features Mariner and Boimler from Star Trek: Lower Decks. The episode marks the first time the two have ever appeared in live-action.

The director calls the episode “flat-out comic,” and claims to be “very proud” of the episode. Jonathan Frakes said that it will start out animated like an episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks before transitioning to the regular flesh-and-blood setting of Strange New Worlds.

According to the 70-year-old director, the transition to live-action was easy for the Lower Decks duo due to the fact that they resemble their cartoon counterparts. Fortunately, both Quaid and Tawny look like their characters,” said Jonathan Frakes in reference to actors Jack Quaid and Tawny Newsome, who play Boimler and Mariner, respectively. Jonathan Frakes also assured fans that the Star Trek: Lower Decks crew weren’t just there for a cameo but would appear throughout the entire episode.

Jonathan Frakes is no stranger to being both in front of and behind the camera on a Star Trek set. The actor started by playing Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation before making the jump to director on the very same show. Frakes would go on to direct eight episodes across Next Generation‘s seven seasons on the air.

Since then, Jonathon Frakes has directed episodes on several other Star Trek series, including Deep Space Nine, Picard, and Discovery. Frakes also made the leap to the big screen with his feature directorial debut, Star Trek: First Contact. The star went on to direct the slightly less respected follow-up to First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, before handing the reins off to someone else for all the future Star Trek movies.

Jonathan Frakes

Meanwhile, Jonathon Frakes has directed his share of non-Star Trek properties as well, helming episodes of Marvel‘s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Burn Notice, and even rival sci-fi franchise The Orville. The star has even directed a few feature films that don’t involve the Enterprise, such as 2002’s Clockstoppers and 2004’s puppet odyssey Thunderbirds. No matter how far the Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction host strays, however, he always finds his way back to Starfleet. Sometimes literally.

Among the director’s upcoming gigs is an episode of Strange New Worlds Season 3 and, possibly, the recently announced Starfleet Academy series. While production on Academy isn’t set to start until next year sometime, Jonathan Frakes is already keen to direct an episode or two of the series. “I’m hoping—if I don’t screw up—to get on the rotation on the Academy show,” said Frakes.

For now, Jonathan Frakes is busy promoting his current acting and directorial efforts. The franchise veteran has been recording podcasts with fellow Trek actors like All Access Star Trek, where he discusses directing the above-mentioned Lower Decks/ Strange New Worlds crossover as well as his current role-playing Riker on the final season of Picard.

As for Jonathan Frake’s crossover episode itself, fans will have to wait until the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds starts on June 15 to find out what kind of shenanigans the crew of the USS Cerritos gets up to in three dimensions.

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