Jonathan Frakes may be best known in the Star Trek universe as William Riker, Captain Picard’s first mate on Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), but he is also a franchise director. Frakes recently directed a throwback episode of Picard, which featured a plot from TNG.
Frakes directed the episode called Fly Me to the Moon, and it featured the same enemies from the 1996 Star Trek: First Contact movie – the Borg. Alice Krige played the Borg Queen in The Next Generation’s second film outing. Annie Wersching takes on the iconic role in Picard’s second series. Frakes told The Hollywood Reporter that he was thrilled to direct the episode and that returning to the beloved sci-fi franchise was like slipping on a pair of his favourite shoes.
“I was thrilled. I was a huge fan of the Borg Queen with Alice. I always liked the Borg story. Alice, because she was our first queen, established the nastiness and the sexiness of the character. Alice established the groundwork, which Annie expanded on brilliantly. Annie works with a fearlessness that I really admire. It is not easy to work through all that rubber-head stuff. She really embraced it.”
In addition, he enjoyed the references to the old film, especially when it came to makeup.
“This Borg Queen design is so out there. They embellished it but did not change it to the point where it was unrecognisable. And the visual effects team used a lot of the same references [from First Contact] but then expanded, given the new tools they have to work with.
Frakes also praised Alison Pill’s role as Dr Jurati, who has several pivotal and eye-opening moments in the episode.
“I think she is one of our finest actors. There is nothing she can’t do. Her timing is impeccable. Her ability to find levity in anything is completely admirable. And yet, she can scare the shit out of you.”