Jonathan Frakes is a “Star Trek” icon, not just for playing Commander William Riker on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” but for being one of the best known directors of almost all iterations of Trek since the 1990s.
Frakes has never strayed too far away from the franchise, be it helming films like “Star Trek: First Contact” or episodes of “Deep Space Nine,” “Voyager,” “Discovery,” “Picard”. He’s currently riding high on the success of his first “Strange New Worlds” episode – the “Lower Decks” crossover episode “Those Old Scientists”.
That’s not to say he hasn’t encountered some rough spots. His experience with “Star Trek: Enterprise” was an appearance alongside his co-star Marina Sirtis in that show’s infamous series finale “These Are The Voyages”.
Whilst the fourth season of ‘Enterprise’ is widely considered its best, that episode in particular is often cited as one of the worst episodes of any “Star Trek” series ever made.
The episode took place during the TNG era as Riker and Troi visited the NX-01 Enterprise in the holodeck to watch events play out. Both fans and members of the cast famously hated the episode and those involved have in the past spoken about their regrets regarding it.
In an interview with Variety conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Frakes spoke about the episode and the reaction it still receives nearly twenty years later:
“We didn’t quite fit. It was sold as, ‘Oh, come on and do the episode. It will be a Valentine to the fans’ – it wasn’t a Valentine to the fans. The fans didn’t want to see us.
Scott Bakula was such a mensch about it, but all these other ‘Trek’ shows went seven seasons. Nobody wanted to be on a ‘Star Trek’ show that didn’t get to go to seven.
And the inherent insult in having characters from another series that had done well come in to essentially close the books on his episode – it just felt so wrong to me.
I mean, it was a good episode. We had a blast doing it in many ways. The more I think about it, the more I hear from fans about it in particular. It may not have been the best choice we’ve made on ‘Star Trek.’ Again, they’re not all home runs. It’s just unfortunate that that was the last episode of that show.”
“Enterprise” marked the end of the second era of “Star Trek” on TV that began with ‘Next Generation’ in 1987 and wrapped with ‘Enterprise’ in 2005.
“Star Trek: Discovery” subsequently launched the third era of “Star Trek” shows which has resulted in series like “Picard,” “Strange New Worlds,” “Lower Decks” and “Prodigy”.