Jonathan Frakes on stage at an event
Movies - TV
Star Trek’s Producer Came To Regret Letting Jonathan Frakes Direct
Actor Jonathan Frakes’ directorial debut on “The Next Generation” was for the Season 3 episode “The Offspring,” which then inspired other “Star Trek” actors to direct episodes.
This came back to haunt producer Rick Berman, who found himself granting directing requests to other actors like Patrick Stewart. “Jonathan started this ball rolling,” Berman said.
Berman recalled that he was uncomfortable letting his actors direct, specifically because he felt they weren’t as disciplined as the staff of directors he had on hand.
He said, “[S]ome actors [...] were not necessarily perfectly behaved in terms of being prepared, being on time, not giving grief to various people that they were working with.”
Berman let several “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” cast members direct, too. He said, “[I]t kept going. [...] One of our finest actors [...] did a very mediocre job at directing.”
“[T]wo or three actors over the course of the shows [...] didn’t do a great job of directing, and I had no interest in giving them a second assignment,” Berman added.
Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko) directed nine episodes, René Auberjonois (Odo) directed nine, Michael Dorn (Worf) directed three, and Andrew Robinson (Garak) did three.
Frakes acknowledged his request to direct opened the floodgates and joked about how he made life hard for Berman, saying, “I heard the caterer was looking to direct an episode.”