Jonathan Frakes Has One Big Star Trek: TOS Envy That TNG Never Did

  • Jonathan Frakes wishes that Star Trek: The Next Generation had the same kind of banter as the original series, envying the camaraderie between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.
  • The USS Enterprise-D crew in TNG was closer and had more camaraderie than Kirk's crew in the original series, both on-screen and in real life.
  • TNG fans appreciate the genuine closeness of the entire USS Enterprise-D cast.
Jonathan Frakes envies one thing about Star Trek: The Original Series that he wishes the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation also had. Frakes portrayed Commander William T. Riker for 7 seasons of TNG and in all 4 TNG movies. Frakes, who is also one of Star Trek's most prolific directors, returned as Captain Will Riker in Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: Picard. As First Officer of the USS Enterprise-D and E, Riker was a key member of Star Trek: TNG's bridge crew, but Frakes identified something crucial about The Original Series that TNG lacked.
In the Star Trek oral history "The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years" by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, Jonathan Frakes looked back on Star Trek: The Next Generation's successful run, but he notes that Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Lt. Commander Data (Brent Spiner), and Riker didn't have the type of banter that Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley) shared in Star Trek: The Original Series. Read Frakes' quote below:
I only wish we’d found a way to have the irony and tongue-in-cheek banter of the triumvirate of the original. Picard, Data, and Riker should have that. We had our own relationship, but there are moments between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy that I’ve always envied. That’s a small complaint in a show that I was very proud to be a part of.


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