Jonathan Frakes on Star Trek: The Next Generation
Movies - TV
Jonathan Frakes Broke A Long-Standing Star Trek Rule For One Episode
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" not only matched but expanded on the Original Series' intellectually acute exploration of humankind at its very best and absolute worst.
No one watched "TNG" eager to see a fluidly staged tracking shot, and the directors generally stuck to a conservative aesthetic. Except for that rascal Jonathan Frakes.
For his third directorial effort in season 4's "The Drumhead," he had Hollywood royalty on the set with two-time Academy Award nominee and Emmy winner Jean Simmons.
It was a strong piece of material, and Frakes felt this called for a departure from the visually conservative style of "TNG." "I tried to stretch the envelope,” Frakes said.
Wary of strict editing, Frakes said, “I wouldn't say I broke any boundaries. But I wasn't told not to do it, so I did it. I was very big on connecting questions to answers.”
“I remember moving around the room and climbing up and down and staying with people, instead [of] it being cut, cut, cut, cut,” Frakes explained.
Simmons' vicious rhetoric and vile dishonesty may have seemed heavy-handed at the time but demonstrated how authoritarianism is something to be avoided at all costs.