Jonathan Frakes Calls Strange New Worlds Season 3 Episode His Best Ever

By Charlene Badasie | Published

jonathan frakes

Jonathan Frakes has described an upcoming third-season installment of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as “the best episode of television I’ve ever done.” The episode will hit screens in 2025 and is billed as a Hollywood murder mystery. While the idea might seem odd for a sci-fi series, the creative choice is intentional.

Strange New Worlds Has Been Pushing The Envelope

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While Strange New Worlds showrunners Akiva Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers established the series within a traditional episodic framework, every installment means to push the boundaries of what the franchise is capable of. In its first two seasons, the series explored various genres, ranging from monster horror to body-swapping comedy, costume fantasy, courtroom drama, and even a musical.

This approach is designed to attract viewers who may be interested in watching Star Trek but view the extensive 668 hours of backstory as an overwhelming obstacle. “You shouldn’t have to watch a ‘previously on’ to follow our show,” Myers explained. Goldsman is also open to tackling more outlandish themes, like the Jonathan Frakes-directed murder mystery, as long as the storytelling is cogent.

Frakes Has Been Incredibly Important To Star Trek Both In Front Of And Behind The Camera

jonathan frakes

Jonathan Frakes has had a significant impact on the Star Trek franchise both on screen and behind the camera. As an actor, he is best known for playing William Riker in The Next Generation, where he starred alongside Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Frakes also ventured into directing within the Star Trek universe, starting with The Next Generation and, later, episodes of Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Discovery, and Picard.

Jonathan Frakes also helmed two of the four TNG feature films. Over the past three decades–between on-screen appearances and/or episodes he directed, Frakes has worked on a total of 221 episodes of Star Trek, showcasing his versatility and dedication to the franchise. His directing work has been praised for its character-centric approach and ability to bring out the best in actors.

Other Acting

In addition to his contributions to the Star Trek franchise, Jonathan Frakes has established himself with roles in NCIS and the unscripted series Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction. More recently, he reprised his role as Riker in Star Trek: Very Short Treks, an animated short-form promotion produced by CBS Studios to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Directing Outside Star Trek

Behind the camera, he has directed episodes for shows like Roswell and Burn Notice. Jonathan Frakes’ upcoming projects include the post-apocalyptic sci-fi series Deathlands, where he is rumored to helm all 10 episodes. The series, based on novels by James Axler, is set in a world 100 years after a nuclear exchange and follows a group of survivors navigating a mutated civilization using teleportation.


jonathan frakes

Jonathan Frakes expressed excitement about this opportunity, highlighting the show’s focus on hope and the chance to build a better world, combining action with compelling character drama. Production on Deathlands is scheduled to begin in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the coming months, with Mark A. Altman serving as the showrunner and executive producer.

Additionally, Thomas P. Vitale (associated with Slasher and 57 Seconds) and Garzik are on board as executive producers. Overseeing global casting endeavors is Christine Sheaks (known for her work in Boogie Nights and Fargo).