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Jonathan Frakes Has One Big Star Trek: TOS Envy That TNG Never Did-TGN

Summary

  • Jonathan Frakes wishes that Star Trek: The Next Generation had the same kind of banter as the original series, envying the camaraderie between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
  • The USS Enterprise-D crew in TNG was closer and had more camaraderie than Kirk’s crew in the original series, both on-screen and in real life.
  • TNG fans appreciate the genuine closeness of the entire USS Enterprise-D cast.


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Jonathan Frakes envies one thing about Star Trek: The Original Series that he wishes the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation also had. Frakes portrayed Commander William T. Riker for 7 seasons of TNG and in all 4 TNG movies. Frakes, who is also one of Star Trek’s most prolific directors, returned as Captain Will Riker in Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard. As First Officer of the USS Enterprise-D and E, Riker was a key member of Star Trek: TNG‘s bridge crew, but Frakes identified something crucial about The Original Series that TNG lacked.

In the Star Trek oral history “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years” by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, Jonathan Frakes looked back on Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s successful run, but he notes that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), and Riker didn’t have the type of banter that Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) shared in Star Trek: The Original Series. Read Frakes’ quote below:

I only wish we’d found a way to have the irony and tongue-in-cheek banter of the triumvirate of the original. Picard, Data, and Riker should have that. We had our own relationship, but there are moments between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy that I’ve always envied. That’s a small complaint in a show that I was very proud to be a part of.

Related: Star Trek: The Next Generation Cast & Character Guide


Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Cast Had Something TOS Never Did

The camaraderie between TNG’s cast is legendary.

Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Picard, Riker, and Data may not have had the same kind of banter that Kirk, Spock, and Bones had in Star Trek: The Original Series, but TNG had something TOS never had. As evidenced by their acclaimed reunion and victory at the end of Star Trek: Picard season 3, the crew of the USS Enterprise-D were closer and had more camaraderie than Kirk’s Enterprise crew ever did. As close as Kirk, Spock, and Bones were, the rest of their Enterprise bridge crew were relegated to supporting roles. But Picard’s Enterprise crew is extremely close-knit, and this is also true for the real-life actors, who have been dear friends for over 35 years.

Star Trek: Picard season 3’s climactic poker scene echoes the poker game at the end of the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Ironically, Commander Riker was the odd man out of Picard’s core triumvirate in the Star Trek: The Next Generation movies, two of which were directed by Jonathan Frakes. The TNG movies created a core trio of Picard, Data, and Worf (Michael Dorn), who usually saw action together. Riker often headed up the movies’ B-stories, while Picard, Data, and Worf got involved in the main action. While Kirk, Spock, and Bones’ banter is eternally entertaining, Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s fans likely prefer how genuinely and endearingly close the entire USS Enterprise-D cast is.

Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: The Original Series are available to stream on Paramount+.

Source: “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years: From The Next Generation to J. J. Abrams: The Complete, Uncensored, and Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek” by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Release Date:
    1987-09-28

    Cast:
    Patrick Stewart, michael dorn, Marina Sirtis

    Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Superhero, Drama, Action

    Seasons:
    7

    Story By:
    Gene Roddenberry

    Writers:
    Gene Roddenberry

    Network:
    CBS

    Streaming Service:
    Amazon Prime Video

    Franchise(s):
    Star Trek

    Directors:
    David Carson

    Showrunner:
    Gene Roddenberry

  • Star Trek The Original Series TV Poster

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    Release Date:
    1966-09-08

    Cast:
    William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry

    Genres:
    Sci-Fi, Action, Fantasy, Adventure

    Seasons:
    3

    Story By:
    gene roddenberry

    Writers:
    Gene Roddenberry

    Network:
    Paramount

    Streaming Service:
    Paramount+

    Franchise(s):
    Star Trek

    Directors:
    Gene Roddenberry

    Showrunner:
    Gene Roddenberry

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