Star Trek: The Next Generation

Jonathan Frakes Says He Would’ve Directed Star Trek: Nemesis If He’d Been Asked

For 18 long years, Star Trek: Nemesis was the last we saw of the beloved Next Generation crew. And, to put it bluntly, it sucked. The movie totally wastes a young Tom Hardy, has a nonsensical plot and there's a ridiculous dune buggy chase sequence. Thank god Star Trek: Picard came along to give the TNG crew a proper swansong.

For 18 long years, Star Trek: Nemesis was the last we saw of the beloved Next Generation crew. And, to put it bluntly, it sucked. The movie totally wastes a young Tom Hardy, has a nonsensical plot and there’s a ridiculous dune buggy chase sequence. Thank god Star Trek: Picard came along to give the TNG crew a proper swansong.

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Nemesis director Stuart Baird has come under specific criticism for his behavior on set. At one point, he proudly told the cast that he’d never watched an episode of The Next Generation, acting as if the job was beneath him. To rub salt into the wound, Baird also made no effort to pretend that he knew who the cast were, repeatedly calling LeVar Burton, Laverne Burton.

But it could have all been so different. Star Trek: First Contact and Insurrection were directed by Commander Riker himself, Jonathan Frakes. Those films are regarded as some of the finest Trek movies to date and were big hits, so why didn’t he take on Nemesis?

Frakes has touched on the subject before in interviews, explaining that at the time he didn’t want to get known for just Star Trek. But now, in a Watch From Home live commentary for First Contact hosted by IGN, he’s revealed that he wasn’t even offered the Nemesis directing job.

“I wish I had been. I probably would have [done the film]. I know that my representation, they thought that it would not be a great idea just doing Star Trek after Star Trek.”

Unfortunately, things didn’t go particularly well for Frakes’ directorial career in the early 2000s. He went on to helm a little known film called Clockstoppers, about teenagers with the power to slow down and stop time. He then followed that up with 2004’s Thunderbirds, which was a huge flop, lost a ton of money and put him in what he refers to as “movie jail.”

But while he might be still incarcerated as far as Hollywood goes, Frakes certainly has a busy career in directing TV. He’s brought his expert touch to Star Trek: Discovery and Picard and his episodes are usually singled out as some of the best of the series. Let’s hope his involvement with the franchise continues for years to come.


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